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Xanax: The Celebrity Drug of the Hip Hop Culture

Dr. Hira Tanveer

3 min read

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What are the Uses of Xanax?

Xanax is a tranquilizer that is relied on for the treatment of anxiety. It works by altering the levels of neurotransmitters in the body. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that assist  communication within the brain. Thus, they help to activate, and conversely, deactivate certain centers in the brain.

GABA is a type of inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps in slowing down the hyperactivity in the brain. Xanax increases the production of GABA, and facilitates its binding to the receptors for rapid action. 

Xanax Formula:

The core chemical ingredient of Xanax is alprazolam. 

What are the Available Forms of Xanax in Pakistan?

Xanax is available in the tablet form in Pakistan

Xanax Dosage and Strength: 

There are four different dosage strengths available for Xanax. These include:

  • 0.25mg tablet
  • 0.5mg tablet 
  • 1mg tablet
  • 2mg tablet

The suggested dosage of Xanax for adults is 0.25mg to 0.5mg, three times a day. If need be, the dose increases up to 3mg a day, however, this upper limit should not be exceeded.

How to take Xanax?

Xanax can be taken on an empty stomach, around an hour or so before having food. Do not crush or chew the tablet, instead, swallow the tablet whole, with a glass of water. As it helps people sleep better, therefore, it is advised to take it an hour or two before bedtime so that the effect coincides with your bedtime. 

It is pertinent to follow the dose and frequency mandated by the doctor, and you do not alter dosage strength of frequency on your own. This can lead to chemical imbalance in the brain, causing complications especially regarding mental health. 

Before you decide to stop taking Xanax, it’s imperative that you consult your healthcare provider so they can wean you off the drug, without there being implications for your health.

What are the Uses of Xanax?

Xanax is used in the treatment of issues pertaining to mental health. Conditions and cases it is prescribed for include:

  • Seizures and status epilepticus
  • Management of alcohol withdrawal reactions
  • Sedation for surgeries 
  • Short-term treatment of severe, disabling, or distressing anxiety
  • Short-term treatment of severe, disabling, or distressing insomnia (difficulty in falling asleep)

What are the side effects of Xanax?

Whereas some people can tolerate Xanax well, in others, it may cause some side-effects, including:

  • Fatigue 
  • Double vision
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Reduced alertness
  • Confusion 
  • Dizziness 
  • Headache
  • Numbness of emotions 
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Loss of concentration
  • Constipation 
  • Lethargy 
  • Dermatitis 
  • Sexual dysfunction 

What are the risks and warnings for Xanax?

Hypersensitivity or allergy 

People can have allergic reactions to Xanax and other forms of benzodiazepine or its derivatives like diazepam or bromazepam. It is necessary that drug usage ceases after a reaction is observed. 

Allergic reactions may be mild, but can also be serious, like the case of Anaphylactic shock. In this condition, a person has difficulty breathing, gets disorientated, vomits, or feels nauseous. And if timely and urgent medical aid is not given, a person can face serious consequences. 

Thus, inform your healthcare provider of your allergy for prescription of some other type of drug. 

Respiratory impairment

Since Xanax can exacerbate respiratory issues, hence, anyone suffering from respiratory impairment should take Xanax with caution. 

Neuromuscular disease

Anyone suffering from any neuromuscular disease like myasthenia gravis should not take Xanax, as it can make the condition worse. 

Liver failure

Liver helps the body with the metabolism and excretion of the drugs. If the liver is not able to function well, drugs accumulate in the body, and health impairs. 

Moreover, people suffering from liver failure and similar conditions should not take Xanax as it can cause hepatic encephalopathy. In this disease, the brain and its functionality get affected due to the impaired liver functionality. 


Older people should be cautious with their intake of Xanax. Even in small doses, it can lead to adverse conditions in the body, as they are more vulnerable.

Sleep apnea

Patients suffering from sleep apnea should not take Xanax. As it relaxes the mind and the body, muscles of the throat also get lax. As a result, the respiratory tract gets further obstructed, making breathing difficult. 

Abrupt withdrawal

It is pertinent that people do not abruptly stop their consumption of Xanax. When taken over a long time, your body becomes dependent on the drug. Thus, when one suddenly stops taking the drug, it causes adverse effects in the body. 

It is important that patients gradually taper off the drug, so that body acclimatizes to it. 

Usually, doctors prescribe Xanax for a short-term usage only in order to prevent this formation of drug dependency. 

Narrow-angle glaucoma

Alprazolam, the chemical compound of Xanax, can increase the pressure inside of the eye. This can aggravate a case of narrow-angle glaucoma. Therefore, people with glaucoma should not use Xanax, as it can then result in a vision-threatening condition. 

Interactions between Xanax and other medications:

Xanax can interact with other drugs. However, drug interaction certainly does not mean that patients stop taking their medication. Instead, they should report it to their healthcare provider. 

  • Alcohol 
  • Opioids 
  • Amiodarone
  • Diltiazem
  • Macrolides
  • Fluconazole 
  • Protease inhibitors
  • Cimetidine
  • Grapefruit juice

In order to prevent this scenario, you should give a detailed medical history to your healthcare provider, including pre existing conditions in the body and medicines that you might be taking. Timely adjustment of the dosage and prescription can help prevent this interaction to begin with. 

What is the price of Xanax in Pakistan?

One tablet of Xanax costs around Rs. 6/-.

Storage Conditions:

  • Keep Xanax out of the reach and sight of children. 
  • It should be stored below 25° centigrade. 
  • Do not use the drug after the expiration date has passed.

How to get Xanax in Pakistan?

To buy Xanax in Pakistan, you need to have the latest prescription from the doctor on you while visiting the pharmacist. Old and dated prescriptions are generally not considered valid. Moreover, the pharmacist will also give a certain number of tablets to you, as it can be abused otherwise by people. 

What medicines are available as alternatives to Xanax in Pakistan?

Xanax is also available under other brand names, including:

  • Niravam 
  • Neram 
  • Mulis


Xanax helps keep anxiety at bay. It is also prescribed for certain mental conditions and disorders. However, this drug needs to be used with caution as when taken over a long period, dependence can develop in the body. 

Moreover, the patient needs to slowly wean off the tablets, as quitting abruptly results in withdrawal symptoms in the body. Thus, you should talk to an expert prior to quitting Xanax, so they can moderate and control the body’s response to the lack of its usage. 

In order to consult a doctor before using Xanax, make sure to use Oladoc or call (042) 38900939 and get the best expert counseling while availing up to a 50 percent discount on your appointments. 

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Hira Tanveer
Dr. Hira Tanveer - Author Dr. Hira Tanveer is among the Best General Physicians in Lahore. Dr. Hira Tanveer is an MBBS doctor and currently serving at CMH Lahore. Writing is her favorite hobby as she loves to share professional advice on trendy healthcare issues, general well-being, healthy diet, and lifestyle.
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