You also get to learn about the possible side effects Xanax can cause.
Therefore, before getting a prescription or purchasing it off-the-counter, it is useful to know how Xanax works and the side effects it may pose.
At the end of the day, you’ll ensure that you won’t be causing any harm to yourself in the long run after consuming Xanax.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is a benzodiazepine prescription drug used in treating anxiety, muscle rigidity, insomnia, and seizures.
Therefore, it is used in combating Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and panic disorder in people.
There may be a need to use Xanax for treatment in people experiencing three or more of the following for at least six months:
- Tense muscles
- Trouble sleeping
- Restlessness or edginess
- Feeling tired all the time
- Anticipating disastrous consequences
- Constant worry about health, family money, family, work, etc.
Xanax can also be used to treat panic disorder. Some symptoms of panic attacks are:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
How Long Does Xanax Stay in the Body
Certain tests including blood tests, saliva tests, urine tests, and hair tests can be carried out to detect Xanax in the body.
Here’s a breakdown of how long it’ll take to detect the presence of the drug depending on the method of testing employed:
- Blood tests: Between 1-6 days after the last use.
- Saliva tests: Up to 2.5 days after the last use.
- Urine tests: Between 5-7 days after last use.
- Hair tests: Between 1-7 days after last use for up to 90 days.
Factors That Affect Detection Time of Xanax
The factors that detect how long Xanax stays in the body include age, body fat, weight, and how long the drug has been taken.
It has been proven that the half-life of Xanax is longer in people of Asian descent, older people, people with liver disease, and obese people.
Let’s take a look at each of these:
Age can determine the half-life of Xanax.
In this case, the drug may last for 11 hours in young healthy adults and 16 hours in senior, healthy adults.
A person with higher metabolism will tend to excrete Xanax faster than someone with a low metabolism.
The body finds it difficult to break down Xanax in people that are overweight.
Hence, more body fat may cause the drug to stay in the body for a longer time.
People of Asian descent may have Xanax in their bodies longer than Caucasians.
5. Smoking Cigarettes
Smokers have 50% less concentration of Xanax in their blood than non-smokers.
6. Alcohol Abuse:
Alcohol can increase the effects of Xanax and increase the time it leaves the body.
It may also take up to 20 hours for Xanax to leave the system of people with a chronic disease caused by alcohol abuse.
Effects of Xanax
Xanax helps to enhance the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.
GABA is a neurotransmitter that slows the body’s nerve impulses which reduces anxiety and causes sedation.
For this reason, this drug is often used to create a feeling of calmness and relaxation in order to reduce symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and agoraphobia.
What’s more, the effect of Xanax is felt within minutes, whereas its ability to reduce symptoms of GAD are felt within a matter of hours or days.
Side Effects of Xanax
Xanax is helpful in the treatment of patients with anxiety and other medical conditions.
However, Xanax abuse can lead to numerous side effects some of which can be deadly.
Some side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Severe rash
- Lack of emotion
- Suicidal thoughts
- Lack of inhibition
- Weight loss or gain
- Memory problems
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of menstruation
- Clumsiness or unsteadiness
- Dizziness or light-headedness
Xanax overdose can lead to death even though it is uncommon.
For instance, 30% of overdose death has been attributed to Benzodiazepines, while 20% of such deaths could also be linked to alcohol overdose.
Prescription painkillers including Benzodiazepines were also linked to the possible cause of death of 22,767 people in 2013.
The figure above is even higher than the deaths caused by heroin and cocaine.
Symptoms of Xanax Overdose
Xanax can be very addictive and the body may tend to be tolerant of the drug over time.
As such, more doses may be needed just to create feelings of calm, relaxation and well being.
Doctors tend to prescribe the lowest dose of Xanax to their patients to see how well they recuperate.
However, symptoms of Xanax overdose include:
- Clammy skin
- Dilated pupils
- Shallow respiration
- Weak and rapid pulse
If anyone around you experiences one or more of these symptoms after consuming Xanax, please call 911.
The body may grow tolerant to Xanax within two weeks after its use.
Sometimes, it could take as long as 1 to 2 months for the body grows dependent on the drug.
When that happens, there will be a chemical dependence on the drug instead of the body producing GABA on its own.
This means the user may need to take Xanax just to feel calm and relaxed since the body has stopped producing GABA.
How to Know You Have a Xanax Use Disorder
The signs of Xanax use disorder are
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
- Expectant on the next dose
- Obsession with taking Xanax
- Taking larger amounts of Xanax
- Taking doses more than prescribed
How long Xanax lasts in the body can be tied to a range of factors including the person’s age, medical condition, and tolerance to the drug.
It may last longer in some people and wear off faster in others.
Nonetheless, over-reliance on Xanax could lead to an overdose or pose negative side effects.
That being said, your doctor is in the right position to determine if you need to take Xanax and the doses to consume.
And when you’ve got a prescription, it is advisable to stick to the prescribed doses to ensure that you keep any possible risks that may arise from its usage at bay.