An Explanation of Xanax, Drug Prescribed for..

While the media is abuzz with speculation about the death of Whitney Houston, who was found dead in the bathtub, it was reported that the singer has been prescribed Xanax, a popular medication taken to treat anxiety. Among the questions about Houston’s demise are those about this drug, and so an explanation of Xanax is in order. Xanax is a popular but potentially dangerous drug
Xanax (generic name, alprazolam) is a prescription medication that is available both under its proprietary name and in generic form for treatment of anxiety disorders and panic disorder. It belongs to the drug class called benzodiazepines, and its main effect is to reduce abnormal activity or excitement in the brain.
Like all drugs, Xanax is known to cause a number of side effects, and the most frequent side effects associated with its use are drowsiness and lightheadedness. These two symptoms can be extremely dangerous because they can easily lead to individuals injuring themselves or even dying by falling asleep while driving or performing other activities that require concentration.
In fact, reports of adverse events in placebo-controlled trials that evaluated alprazolam in anxiety disorders found that drowsiness was the number one side effect, experienced by 41 percent of participants in the study, followed by lightheadedness in 20.8 percent.
In comparison, 21.6 percent of patients in the placebo treated groups reported drowsiness while 19.3 percent said they had experienced lightheadedness.
In placebo-controlled trials of panic disorder, the use of alprazolam was reported to cause drowsiness in nearly 77 percent of patients, with fatigue and tiredness coming in at almost 50 percent. Reports of impaired coordination came in around 40 percent, with dizziness approaching the 30 percent mark.
In addition to these side effects, use of alprazolam is also known to cause depression, headache, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, nervousness, irritability, aggressive behavior, diarrhea, muscle twitching, loss of sex drive, and anxiety (which, ironically, it is supposed to treat).