Xanax, otherwise known in its generic name as Alprazolam, is a medication used to treat anxiety, panic attacks and sleeping problems due to anxiety. It is available via prescription, as this drug is considered to be safe and effective only when used under a doctor’s close supervision.
Taking Xanax outside the course of medication is rather dangerous than beneficial, as it is linked to dependency and worse, addiction. Getting addicted with Alprazolam, or Xanax is quite a difficult thing to deal with.
It is likely for the patient to experience permanent physical or mental damage due to severe withdrawal symptoms, particularly if the medication is not properly tapered off from the patient’s system.
Seizures, hallucinations, delirium is also common among patients suffering withdrawal from Xanax. To avoid these, it is important to ask the doctor about ways to taper off the medication safely. Here are some of the ways they might suggest.
Detox, Or Detoxification
This is referred to as a closely monitored reduction in the usage of Xanax. This is done in a gradual manner, and is very safe to use. However, this requires the physician’s supervision. If the patient experiences anxiety, sleep problems and the like, the dosage of Xanax can be reduced and withdrawn at a slower manner than the prescribed.
In some cases, another anti-anxiety medication of a lower dose (or less addictive versions) can be given as a replacement during the stage of detoxification. This is very helpful among patients who are experiencing anxiety, insomnia or panic attacks, and is also useful for the prevention of those withdrawal symptoms.
A known combination that is used as an alternative are: Klonopin and Tegretol, for the prevention of anxiety and seizures. This method requires close supervision of the attending physician.
Long Term Treatment
Although the need for Xanax intake becomes physically gone once it is tapered off from the body for 3 consecutive days, the psychological need will still remain. In this case, the patient should not be given any other medications with benzodiazepine content.
Patients who are categorized under psychological dependency, another treatment approach may be used. Mostly, patients who are psychologically dependent could be treated the behavioral approach. Cognitive behavioral modification could be helpful to those who experience panic attacks and anxiety. Sleep clinics are also available for patients suffering from insomnia.
If nothing of these behavioral approaches work, doctors may give the patient a non-benzodiazepine medication. However, if none of these approaches work to treat the dependence, including the patient’s anxiety, they may be given Xanax (Alprazolam) for a short time. In this case, the doctor will strictly monitor the dosage, including the refills to refrain the patients from abusing the drug again.