Xanax is a prescription medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines and is available as an immediate-release or extended-release tablet. Xanax is sometimes used ‘off-label’ for the treatment of insomnia, essential tremor, agitation, and essential tremor. Due to the risk of dependence, most patients use Xanax for no more than one month. Taking Xanax with opioids or alcohol could cause a fatal interaction, and patients who take anticonvulsants, mood stabilizers, sedatives, antihistamines, or muscle relaxants should speak with their healthcare provider before using Xanax. Taking these medicines together could lead to severe side effects, and patients might need to be switched to an alternate drug.
Some of the most frequently reported side effects associated with Xanax are discussed below.
Drowsiness is the most common side effect of this medication. Patients may find they are sleepy throughout the day, and they could need to take naps during the daytime. Some individuals may sleep longer than usual. Drowsiness might impact an individual’s ability to drive or operate heavy machinery, and those who are just starting Xanax should not drive or use machinery for the first few days. As the patient learns how drowsy they could become on Xanax, it may be necessary to make activity modifications. For example, patients might need to adjust their driving times or get help when using heavy machinery. Patients concerned about this side effect should speak with their doctor about if other treatment methods could reduce drowsiness.
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