Xanax’s ingredients do not make it an opiate. It is instead a benzodiazepine. Opiates are narcotic pain relievers used to treat mild to moderate pains. Xanax is a drug used to treat panic disorders, anxiety caused by depression, and other anxiety disorders. Its main ingredient is Alprazolam. The drug re-balances brain chemicals that may be unbalanced in patients suffering from anxiety.
Is Xanax a Narcotic?
As hinted above Xanax is neither a medical nor a legal narcotic. However, even though Xanax will not make the user high, it is still classified as a Schedule 4 benzodiazepine, under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that it is illegal to use the drug without a proper prescription from a medical doctor.
Common Xanax Dosage
The most common starting dosage for adults is 0.25mg to 0.5mg to be taken 3 times a day. Just as is the case with most drugs, the dosage usually varies from patient to patient. While some may be fine with the above dosage, others may need a higher dosage, even more than 4mg per day.
As the prescribing doctor will inform you, taking more than 4 mg a day will increase your chances of mental or physical dependence on the drug. This could result in severe symptoms of withdrawal should you stop the dosage abruptly.
Side Effects of Xanax
The most common side effects include:
- poor coordination
- muscle weakness
- slurred speech
- blurred vision
- trouble concentrating
- memory problems
- upset stomach
- swelling in the hands and feet
- changes in appetite
Is Xanax Addictive?
Although not considered a particularly addictive drug, one can develop an addiction or dependency for Xanax after prolonged use. If you have been prescribed the drug, ensure that you inform your doctor of any changes that may indicate a dependency.
Use of Xanax to treat withdrawal symptoms caused by other drugs
Xanax can be used to treat withdrawal symptoms caused by prolonged use of opiates and other similar drugs. Xanax is quite effective in treating a number of withdrawal symptoms such as:
- psychological terror
- restless leg syndrome
- anxiety as a withdrawal symptom
- soreness and muscle tension
- poor appetite
Despite its effectiveness in treating the above symptoms, there are some precautions that you should take when using the drug to treat withdrawal symptoms. Due to its short acting nature, not many doctors will recommend Xanax as a way to treat opiate withdrawal symptoms.
This is because the patient will require regularly re-dosing after every few hours to maintain good levels in his or her system.
Whatever your situation, always ensure that you get a prescription and the approval of a qualified doctor before starting to take Xanax.