All about Xanax
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How does Xanax affect the brain?Benzodiazepines are regarded as central nervous system depressants. They affect those areas that are involved in anxiety or fear, stress or phobia. Medications that belong to this class of drugs stimulate the production of gamma amino butyric acid. This acid is an inhibitory neuron that decreases anxiety and stress or can promote sleep in those suffering from insomnia. Xanax (Alprazolam) belongs to this class of meds.

Because of its ability to leave a patient feeling drowsy and confused, it is prescribed for a very short term. This is how healthcare providers allow their patients find relief and prevent side effects. But how does Xanax affect the brain and body of a patient? Can’t it be too dangerous even for a short-term use?

How Does Xanax Work on the Brain and Mind?

To start with, Xanax acts as most positive allosteric modulators do:

  1. Alprazolam indirectly affects the work of the neurotransmitters which are at a receptor site;
  2. Gamma amino butyric acid is a regular neurotransmitter in one’s nervous system. It is prevalent through the limbic system as well as cerebral cortex;
  3. GABA triggers the sufficient reduction of neuron firing in one’s brain;
  4. Xanax becomes a GABA opponent and mediates the acid neurotransmission by connecting to the GABA and causing the chlorine channels opening. The result is the chloride influx;
  5. Alprazolam action results in the hyper polarization of the cell, which is accompanied by GABA release;
  6. The release is able to decrease the surrounding neuron’s excitability, produces sedation and reduces anxiety.

Xanax is found in thalamus, cortex as well as cerebellum in concentrations that are high, which means that the provided effects are pervasive.

How Does Xanax Work on the Body?

Another question that most Xanax patients are interested in the most is what does Xanax do to the body? Much can be said about the influence of pills on all body systems, yet we will emphasize the main points.

It was already mentioned that Xanax is a depressant. It affects the patient’s central nervous system, which means that the provided effects are similar to those of strong drinks. A person usually feels less alert and sleepy. Both mechanical and mental performances are temporary impaired.

In most cases reaction time gets delayed, which is why it is strongly recommended to avoid operating machinery or driving after administering Alprazolam. Sometimes the blood pressure drops significantly and the heart rate slows down. This is usually not crucial or dangerous, unless a patient has a history of blood pressure problems or heart diseases. Some people feel numb or lazy and their bodies become heavy and relaxed.

Coping with Xanax Affects

As long as most effects are not dangerous and are the part of the drug’s beneficial treatment, they should not be addressed. It is enough to stay in bed for some time after administration to feel relief. If, for any reason, the meds have caused serious complications, dizziness, fainting or some other adverse reactions, call 911 to get medical help.

How does Xanax affect the brain and body? It relaxes the body and mind, helps experience relief and comfort. It acts a bit differently depending on person, yet serious side effects are not that frequent.

Dr. Andrew J. Olson

Author: Dr. Andrew J. Olson

Dr. Andrew J. Olson is a PHD in psychiatry. He is also a psychiatrist consultant at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. He also serves as a Clinical Director of the Department of Psychiatry, at Royal Marsden Hospital, in London, UK.


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Benzodiazepines are regarded as central nervous system depressants. They affect those areas that are involved in anxiety or fear, stress or phobia. Medications that belong to this class of drugs stimulate the production of gamma amino butyric acid. This acid is an inhibitory neuron that decreases anxiety and stress or can promote sleep in those suffering from insomnia. Xanax (Alprazolam) belongs to this class of meds. Because of its ability to leave a patient feeling drowsy and confused, it is prescribed for a very short term. This is how healthcare providers allow their patients find relief and prevent side effects.…
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