Alprazolam is a most frequently prescribed medicine for patients diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorders. It decreases anxiety by increasing GABA in the brain. As this neurotransmitter increases, it calms and soothes your troubled mind. The result will be a very pleasant feeling.
Because of that side effect, a lot of people are using it in excess. Hence, it’s classified as a Schedule 4 medication. It means that alprazolam can be abused.
Alprazolam is effective. However, if it’s used for so long or in excess, it could create dependence. Upon cessation, it can cause withdrawal symptoms.
How alprazolam changes your mind?
As mentioned earlier, it increases GABA activity in the brain, resulting in experiencing a calm mind from having an excited or anxious mind.
When your brain responds to the increased level of such neurotransmitter, it lowers the amount of GABA available in the brain.
The result will give you the feeling that you need to take a larger dose of this drug to have the same effects. Now, if you try to stop taking it altogether, you’ll experience withdrawal side effects.
Once you have adjusted to a prolonged usage of this drug, your GABA levels in the brain would also reduce. GABA minimizes your anxiety and negative feelings. With less of it and no medication, you’ll go through uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
What are the symptoms of alprazolam withdrawal?
This drug works fast but with a shorter life. That said, when you quit, the withdrawal side effects will be felt quickly. Within 12 hours, you’ll feel the symptoms, which usually peak within three to four days.
The following are some of the most common alprazolam withdrawal side effects:
Among these side effects, the most serious is a convulsion, which can be life-threatening.
How to fight withdrawal side effects of alprazolam?
If you have been addicted to this drug, the only best way to break it is a medically monitored period of withdrawal. Although it can take several months, it’s safer than having a cold turkey detox.
How much dosage is reduced will actually depend on the length of your addiction. Of course, the longer you’ve been dependent on it, the slower reduction will be. Individual dosage should come from your doctor, who’s familiar with your medical history.
One of the benefits of a slow tapering down of alprazolam withdrawal side effects is that it enables your brain to adjust to the decreasing dosage of the drug. As a result, it stimulates your brain to produce more GABA.
The GABA insufficiency actually causes the withdrawal symptoms. As your brain keeps up with the tapering, it can alleviate the symptoms.
Tapering yourself very slowly can avoid experiencing severe alprazolam withdrawal side effects. Most of those who followed this routine reported having minimal discomfort.
You’ll also now if you need to continue to use this drug.
Why cold turkey isn't the answer to fighting against alprazolam withdrawal side effects?
It can be harsh and uncomfortable. A lot of those who followed it could not resist the effects resulting in them going back to taking this drug and abuse it.
You should never go cold turkey without the supervision of a medical doctor. Withdrawal from this drug can be fatally dangerous.