Alprazolam is a prescription drug used to treat a variety of conditions, such as panic attacks, insomnia, anxiety and others. One of the downsides of the drug, however, is that those who use it regularly can become addicted. Attempting to stop using Alprazolam creates its own set of problems, some of which mimic the very conditions the drug was intended to control. Withdrawing from Alprazolam requires careful planning and a full understanding of how the drug works in the body.
Alprazolam is in the family of tranquilizers known as benzodiazepines. Alprazolam was first tested in the 1960s and found to reduce anxiety in some people. It’s usually taken in pill form and normally takes full effect in about two hours. Most of the drug is bonded to a plasma protein, but a small portion of it makes to the liver, where it is further broken down. Regardless of where this conversion takes place, the effect on the user is the same as all benzodiazepine-type drugs in that they affect the brain’s GABA receptors that react to neurotransmitters in the central nervous center. The drug in essence “numbs” these receptors. Abnormal interference with GABA receptors has been linked to disorders such as anxiety and depression. Alprazolam alters the receptors and lessens the symptoms of extreme anxiety and other conditions. Alprazolam doesn’t actually “cure” the malfunction of GABA receptors, but it has been found to prevent spells of depression and panic.
As helpful as Alprazolam is for some users, it can also become addictive. In fact, mild addiction can occur after only a few weeks of regular use. At that point, cutting back or ending use of the drug can have uncomfortable, even distressing, withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepines affect everyone differently, just as withdrawing from the drug varies from person to person. GABA receptors are found throughout the body, and for this reason a wide variety of withdrawal symptoms are possible. Estimates vary widely as to how many users experience withdrawal symptoms, from about 15 percent to almost 100 percent. As with withdrawal symptoms from many prescription drugs, the longer someone has used Alprazolam, the greater the chance he will experience more severe withdrawal symptoms.
A vast number of Alprazolam withdrawal symptoms have been documented, from the typical to the extremely rare. Among the most common symptoms are insomnia; extreme sensitivity to loud noises and bright lights; rapid mood swings, especially outbursts of rage; thoughts of suicide; joint pain; ringing in the ears; headaches; fatigue; and intestinal discomfort. Less common symptoms include anxiety; depression; muscle pain; delirium; and extreme confusion. Withdrawal symptoms are particularly pronounced if the drug’s use is stopped suddenly. For this reason, some addiction experts advocate a withdrawal program that progresses slowly, a more gradual process than used for other addictive drugs. Because of problems with Alprazolam withdrawal, some patients plagued with anxiety disorders and insomnia have chosen natural remedies to treat their symptoms. Products such as the all-natural Alpranax help reduce anxiety with out any of the side affects or withdrawal symptoms found in prescription drugs.