Alprazolam, sold as the trade name Xanax among others, is a short-acting benzodiazepine—a minor tranquilizer. It is most commonly used as a treatment for anxiety disorders, specifically panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. Other uses include chemotherapy induced nausea, together with other treatments
What Is Xanax?
Xanax (generic name: alprazolam) is a powerful benzodiazepine drug that was first introduced in 1976. The medication comes in tablet form or an extended-release capsule.
Xanax is among the most prescribed, and most abused, benzodiazepine drugs in the US, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.3 The top 5 most prescribed benzodiazepines are:3
When taken as prescribed, it has potent and therapeutic anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant and sedative effects.2 The substance is often prescribed for mental health disorders related to anxiety, including:2
- Generalized anxiety disorder.
- Panic disorder.
- Various phobias.
Benzodiazepines all share many similar properties, with the biggest difference being the speed of onset and the duration of the effects. Xanax is a drug that acts quickly in the body with most of the desired effects occurring within about an hour.4