What is Xanax XR®?

S. Zaimov
S. Zaimov
Those taking Xanax XR may have to avoid eating grapefruits or products made from the fruit.
Those taking Xanax XR may have to avoid eating grapefruits or products made from the fruit.

Xanax XR® is a type of medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, as well as certain forms of clinical depression. Also known as alprazolam, it belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines, which affect the central nervous system by producing a calming effect. This medication is usually taken orally and comes in tablet form.

The main difference between generic Xanax® and Xanax XR® is that tablets of the former usually absorb into the blood stream all at once. The latter, however, is digested at a slower rate, allowing the alprazolam’s effect to last over a longer period of time. This benefit allows patients to take fewer pills.

Birth control pills can limit the effectiveness of Xanax XR.
Birth control pills can limit the effectiveness of Xanax XR.

Doctors prescribe Xanax XR® to patients with various problems. People suffering from anxiety, who have sudden panic attacks, often benefit greatly from this type of drug. Panic attack symptoms typically include difficulty breathing, stomachache, heightened sensitivity, stress and feelings of fear.

The medication can also treat those with schizophrenia who experience abnormally high stress levels. It can help reduce the number of sudden seizures, which often consist of involuntary muscle contractions and loss of awareness. Clinical or medical depression is also sometimes treated with this type of drug, because alprazolam reduces stress, which can cause low self-esteem and extended mood swings in patients. Xanax XR® may also help with alcohol withdrawal, social anxiety disorders and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

These tablets are typically taken once daily, and need to be swallowed whole. Doctors can adjust the dosage depending on the patient’s condition. In some cases, Xanax XR® may lose its effectiveness, if the body builds up resistance to it after a number of months. Anxiety symptoms may return if a patient suddenly stops taking the medication.

The possible side effects of Xanax XR® differ from person to person, but there are some common ones. The drug can cause general drowsiness, headaches, nausea and a loss of appetite. Allergic reactions to the drug can include trouble breathing, itching and rashes. Patients should notify their doctor immediately if they exhibit any such symptoms, or any other potential reactions.

Patients taking Xanax XR® are also strongly advised to tell their doctor about any history of liver disease or breathing problems. Drinking alcohol is usually prohibited while taking this drug, because it can cause dizziness. Some doctors may also limit the intake of grapefruit juice or the use of birth-control pills, both of which can interfere with the chemicals in the drug.

Discussion Comments

anon52994

Please don't ever forget that Xanax and all of the other benzodiazepines are highly addictive medications.

This becomes at issue because they start clearing the body more quickly with each use, making them less effective and creating need to take more to get the same results. They are subject to overdose due to this quality and they also must be discontinued with extreme care or they can cause severe seizures. Tapering is needed. These facts should be in this article.

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    • Those taking Xanax XR may have to avoid eating grapefruits or products made from the fruit.
      By: egorxfi
      Those taking Xanax XR may have to avoid eating grapefruits or products made from the fruit.
    • Birth control pills can limit the effectiveness of Xanax XR.
      By: Jacob Kearns
      Birth control pills can limit the effectiveness of Xanax XR.