People generally have a question in mind “Is Xanax an antidepressant”. Let us tell you the answer to this question. Xanax is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating panic and anxiety disorders.
It is an anxiolytic and not an antidepressant. Most likely the antidepressants are involved in raising the serotonin level, even including norepinephrine sometimes. Xanax, which is a part of the benzodiazepine family of medications works on the GABA neurotransmitters.
Similar ones are affected by alcohol. This relaxes the patient and helps them cope with acute stress by slowing down the overactivity of the brain and helping a little in treating depression.
Is Xanax a Depressant?
It is a fundamental question that What does Xanax treat come in a patient’s mind. The answer to this is very simple. Since depression is usually accompanied by anxiety. Thus, Doctors prescribe Alprazolam, the patients who are suffering from depression.
But medications that are anxiolytic act as a coping mechanism. This helps in overcoming negative situations caused due to depression rather than being an effective treatment for depression. Xanax usually isn’t prescribed for treating depression because several newer, better, and safer medications are available.
However, this medication can still be prescribed off-label for treating depression. According to the clinical studies held in the ’90s, Xanax could help treat major depressive disorders. Prescribed in double xanax dosage for a short time span.
Despite this fact, using Xanax for depression is very much controversial. Since it is a highly addictive substance when practiced in high doses or for a prolonged time. Xanax, due to its property of sedation could cause depression in people or worsen existing depression in the people.
The Side Effects Of Xanax in People Suffering From Depression-
The patients usually get confused and think is Xanax an antidepressant since anxiety always accompanies depression. Xanax is the best treatment for anxiety. Thus it could also help improve depression.
However, less do they know, using Xanax for depression could also have some side effects like:-
- The patients suffering from pre-existing depression when using Xanax or any other Alprazolam could worsen the symptoms of depression. A patient of this medication should reach the doctor immediately for medical help if the symptoms of depression worsen or he/she has thoughts of suicide.
- Patients have been earlier reported with episodes of hypomania and mania. It is an increase in talking and activity when they were using Xanax for treating their existing depression.
The risk of Xanax dependence –
As already mentioned, Xanax, when prescribed for depression, needs to be used in a lot heavier doses than usual or is prescribed for a longer time period. Thus has a high risk of developing a dependence on the drug.
Using this medication for a long term has a high risk of both physical and emotional dependency. Dependence of a drug means requiring more and more of the substance for achieving the same effect due to the development of tolerance. The patient might experience physical and mental side effects in case of a sudden stoppage of drug usage.
The risk of developing drug dependence is higher in people using doses heavier than 4 mg per day or using it for more than 12 weeks.
A sudden stoppage in the use of Xanax could lead to dangerous withdrawal symptoms like:
- Mood swings
- Muscle cramps
- And also depression
Do not stop practicing this drug abruptly or lower down the dosage without first consulting the doctor to avoid withdrawal symptoms.