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What is Xanax?
Xanax is another name for alprazolam, which comes under the kind of benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are commonly used drugs that act on the nerves and brain to induce relaxation during extreme anxiety and panic attacks. They are safer and more effective than other drugs such as barbiturates in treating anxiety and insomnia.
According to research, Xanax is the most widely used drug in the United States for several psychotic illnesses and the second drug that is highly recommended for use in emergency rooms for substance abuse.
Although Xanax is widely known for its effectiveness in treating anxiety and insomnia, it is not the drug of choice in some scenarios. This is because some antidepressants such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are more prone to many cases of depression, whereas, for insomnia, antihistamines are the drug of choice for most senior counselors.
What is the Working mechanism of Xanax?
How does Xanax work? – Mechanism of action
There are certain receptors in the human body that, when they bind to a drug molecule, trigger the necessary effect. Using the same mechanism, Xanax overcomes the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor. These receptors are also known as GABA receptors, which are vital inhibitory neurotransmitters in our central nervous system.
It penetrates deep into the structure of GABA and consists of five alpha, beta, and gamma subunits scattered across the postsynaptic membrane. Each sub-unit is also equipped with many sub-types. You can say this for an alpha, there are six subtypes, similar to beta and so on.
When the Xanax molecule binds to the GABA receptor, an action potential is created. There is a central ion channel opening that allows chloride ions to move through the pores. The inward movement of chloride ions within the membrane causes an imbalance of ions in the neuron membrane, leading to hyperpolarization. At some point, the inhibitory effect of GABA dominates and inhibits further generation of action potentials in neurons, rendering them insensitive to additional signals.
Xanax dosage effects
The following actions are manifested by Xanax when used.
Xanax acts as an anxiolytic when taken in low doses. They help reduce anxiety by attaching to GABA receptors and increasing the effects of GABA receptors. This causes the inhibition of action potentials around the limbic system neurons in the brain.
The calming and hypnotic role of Xanax
Benzodiazepines are widely used for their calming and hypnotic effects that bring about calm and relaxation. Xanax can induce artificial sleep (hypnosis) when taken in high doses. This is because the entry of chloride ions into the nerve membrane inhibits depolarization and ultimately causes a decrease in nerve excitability.
With frequent use, benzodiazepines can affect your temporary memory. A person’s ability to develop new memories and understand things according to their ability to learn is greatly affected by ingesting large doses of Xanax.
The anticonvulsant effect has not been fully demonstrated by Xanax (benzodiazepines), but partial effects are mediated by alpha1-GABA receptors.
Xanax as a muscle relaxant
When taken in high doses, Xanax directly affects the process of skeletal muscle contraction by increasing the level of presynaptic inhibition in the spinal cord, where there are many GABA receptors. This is how each spasmed muscle relaxes.
Therapeutic use of Xanax
Following are the therapeutic uses of Xanax, which belongs to the benzodiazepine family. The overall effect may vary depending on the dose variation, but anxiolytic and sedative effects occur at almost every dose.