Anxiety disorders (anxiety neurosis), accompanied by sense of alarm, tension, agitation, insomnia, sense of insecurity, irritability and somatic symptoms. Mixed anxiety–depressive disorders.
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Also, neurotic reactive depression, accompanied by depressive affect, growing loss of interest in the world, feeling of anxiety, psychomotor agitation, loss of appetite, change in body weight, somatic disorders, sense of inferiority or guilt and suicidal thoughts, are treated with Xanax.
Anxiety states, mixed anxiety–depressive disorders and neurotic reactive depression, developed against a background of somatic diseases.
Panic disorders (with or without symptoms of phobia).
Way of use and dosage
The optimal dose of Xanax is established individually in each specific case depending on the severity of symptoms and expression of clinical effect. Average daily dose meets the needs of most patients. In some cases, dose increase is allowed, but the increase should be carried out carefully to avoid the development of side effects.
It is better to perform a dosage increase by means of taking a large amount of the drug in the evening (before sleep). In general, patients who have never taken psychotropic drugs need lower doses than those who have already used tranquilizers, antidepressants, and sleeping drugs.
Elderly and weakened patients should take small doses of Xanax, as overdose can lead to the development of excessive sedation or ataxia. It is recommended to periodically evaluate the condition of the patient with subsequent clarification of Xanax dose. In case of adverse effects, the latter must be reduced to prevent the side effects.
Discontinuation of therapy
Dose reduction should be carried out gradually. It is recommended to lower the daily dose no more than by 0.5 mg every 3 days. In some cases, it is necessary to decrease the dose slower.
Side effects (if any) are observed at the beginning of therapy with Xanax and gradually disappear with further use of the drug or after a dose reduction.
In patients with anxiety, mixed anxiety-depressive disorder, and neurotic depression, drowsiness and vertigo are observed most often. Less common effects are:
• blurry vision
• change in body weight
• memory impairment
• coordination disorders
• gastrointestinal disorders and vegetative symptoms.
In addition, adverse events such as dystonia, irritability, anorexia, fatigue, incomprehensible speech, jaundice, libido changes, menstrual dysfunction, urinary incontinence (or, on the contrary, urinary retention) and liver dysfunction may occur. Elevated intraocular pressure is very rare.
Xanax is contraindicated to the patients with increased sensitivity to benzodiazepines.
Overdose of Xanax leads to drowsiness, confusion, coordination disorder, loss of reflexes, and at the final stage- coma.
As in all cases of overdose, pulse rate and blood pressure should be carefully monitored. General medical methods should be adopted (the main of which is gastric lavage). All medications for the maintenance of vital functions should be administered intravenously. If necessary, artificial lung ventilation must be carried out.
Forced diuresis and hemodialysis are ineffective in the treatment of overdose.
Features of use
It should be borne in mind that the efficiency of the long-term (over 6 months) use of Xanax for the treatment of anxiety, as well as anxiety-related and neurotic (reactive) depression, has not been proven. However, patients with panic disorders have been effectively treated with Xanax for 8 months. The doctor must periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the drug in each specific case.
Xanax 0.5 mg shouldn’t be prescribed to patients with thyroid disease.
The efficiency of the drug wasn’t confirmed for the treatment of so-called “psychotic depression”, that is, bipolar and unipolar type of endogenous depression.