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So first off, what is Xanax?

Xanax, or Alprazolam (generic name) belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines which are intended to be used for chemical imbalances in the brain that cause anxiety. As mentioned, its main use is treating anxiety problems but it can also be used for depression and of course, panic attacks. Anxiety and panic many times go hand in hand. Xanax and depression seem to be a double-edged knife, but we'll go into that later.

Similar to using most prescription drugs, Xanax should only be used when prescribed by your doctor or psychiatrist, who should ask you about your medical history. Additionally, they may test you for allergies to benzodiazepines like oxazepam (also known as Serax), clorazepate (brand name Tranxene), lorazepam (sold as Ativan), diazepam (more commonly sold as Valium and probably the most common of the "pams") and some other non-pam drugs like chlordiazepoxide (sold as Librium).

It should be logical to most of us, but should still be mentioned to NEVER take Xanax or any benzos along with alcohol or any other prescribed medication. If you suffer from asthma, emphysema (most common with daily smokers), kidney disease, glaucoma (an eye disorder in which the optic nerve suffers damage), liver disease, any level of depression, addiction to alcohol or any form of drug abuse (including prescription), please make sure to mention any of this to your doctor or psychiatrist as it could cause severe side effects when taking Xanax.

Those of you who have taken or currently take Xanax will know it can become a bit of a bad habit and you might find yourself getting carried away and depending on it in order to feel good. After prolonged use, you might lose the idea of what it's like to feel normal again without it. It is important to stay aware of this before and while taking Xanax.

It should be noted that with any antianxiety or depressant related drug, it can be harmful and dangerous to use during pregnancy. If you are currently pregnant, it is extremely important to provide your baby with a healthy environment and you should avoid taking benzodiazepines altogether. The same applies if you've just given birth to your child and are planning on breastfeeding your baby, the effects of Xanax will pass on through your breast milk and can cause serious problems.

Something is asked a lot are questions related to overdose and dosage. It should be noted that providing you stick to the amounts you've been prescribed then you should be fine. As with most medication, if abused, it can cause unwanted effects which may include overdosing. There's no set dosage amount that will cause this to happen as it depends on your gender, size and tolerance. We're not all the same.

It's important to take your prescribed dose at the time that has been scheduled for you, as you might start to feel some withdrawal symptoms if you skip taking the prescribed amount. It's never recommended you make up for a missed dose by taking twice your prescribed dosage. You should continue taking the medication at the normal dosage and intervals as it will level out over time. In order to avoid unwanted Xanax side effects, it's important to keep consistent levels of alprazolam in your system, the idea is to keep your levels relatively the same at all times. Remember, what goes up must come down and believe me, coming down from any form of this drug is not a nice feeling!

Were you to make a mistake and accidentally take more than you're meant to, you might feel light headed or feel you've lost control over motor skills. If serious problems occur it's important you get medical help ASAP so never don't be ashamed to dial 911 for help as it could save your life. Yes, taking too much Xanax can be fatal in extreme circumstances that bring other factors into play.