How Does Xanax Work?

By: Annabelle Clarke
Apr 14, 2021

Although the mechanism of action is not fully elucidated by researchers, these benzodiazepine medications are believed to function by attaching to the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. These receptors control most of the inhibitory signalling pathways in the CNS. When the therapeutic binds to these receptors, there is an increased inhibition on brain signals. As a result, this medication produces an anti-anxiety effect. Xanax works by inducing the following properties:

  • Sedative: sedation occurs when your brain activity is slowed down. Benzodiazepine medications are also known as tranquilisers or depressants, and they induce sedation so as to bring about feelings of calmness.
  • Hypnotic: hypnotic agents are commonly known as sleeping pills and these medicines have the primary function of inducing sleep. This tranquiliser is related to hypnotic medications, and can be used for the management of sleep disorders like insomnia.
  • Anticonvulsant: a medication with anticonvulsant properties is one that can treat epileptic seizures. Xanax has been associated with reducing a person’s seizure threshold.
  • Anxiolytic: anxiolytics are substances which assist in the treatment of anxiety. Various anxiety disorders like generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) can be effectively managed when using this medication.
  • Muscle relaxant: these are medicines that can be used for the treatment of muscle spasms. Xanax tablets can be used as adjunctive treatment to physical therapy, for the relief of muscle spasms.
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How Long Does Xanax Last?

Xanax effects are generally brief. The duration of action of Xanax is typically six hours. This medication is considered to be a short-acting benzodiazepine. Short-acting benzodiazepines have a shorter half-life, which means this medication is normally processed at a quicker rate in the body than other tranquilisers. Consequently, it is removed from the body in less time.

The advantage of medications with a short half-life is that they often have a faster onset of action. The downside of this category of therapeutics is that they carry a greater risk of dependency.

The durational efficacy of Xanax anxiety medication can be influenced by certain factors. A person’s age, metabolism and tolerance to the medication can affect the duration of action. For example, Xanax tablets will typically last longer in an elderly person because it will generally take longer for the medication to be removed from the body.

In addition, the concurrent use of alcohol slows down how quickly the medication is removed from the body. This can result in Xanax side effects like memory loss and other unwanted effects.

How Long Does Xanax Stay In Your System?

There are certain substances, which can affect the pathways responsible for eliminating alprazolam tablets from the body, and these include:

  • Oral contraceptives
  • Antidepressant medications
  • Antibiotics
  • Medicines used for the treatment of heartburn
  • Antifungal therapeutics
  • Opiates

If the elimination process of this benzodiazepine is inhibited, the consequences of drug accumulation are possible. The process of drug accumulation is basically how much medication is being added to the body in relation to the amount of medicine being removed from the body.

A build-up of this therapeutic in the body can cause it to stay in a person’s system for longer. However, this accumulation can also be offset by adjusting the dosing schedule and frequency.

This benzodiazepine has a half-life of about 11 hours. This is the time taken for half of the medication to be removed from the body. Each person metabolises therapeutics in a different manner so this indication of half-life may vary from patient to patient. As the effects of Xanax anti-anxiety medication wear off, and the medicine is eliminated from the body, the user will generally feel a mild sense of lethargy.

How Long Does Xanax Take To Kick In?

Xanax has a relatively swift onset of action. This is the time taken for the therapeutic effects of the medicine to become noticeable. For some people, the effects of these anti-anxiety pills can be felt within 5 to 10 minutes, following the administration of Xanax dosages. For the vast majority of users, however, the therapeutic benefits of this medicine are evident within the hour of taking a tablet.

The most potent effects of this therapeutic are normally experienced 2 to 4 hours after administration. This is probably due to the peak concentration levels, which are achieved 1 to 2 hours after the medicine is taken. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), peak plasma levels are proportionate to the administered dosage.

A research study (Huybrechts, 1991,) investigating the pharmacology of alprazolam tablets, indicated that about 90% of the oral dose is absorbed, following administration. Furthermore, data from this clinical trial has shown that, unlike peak plasmas levels, the absorption rate of the medication is not proportionate to the administered dosage. This means that the amount of medicine taken will not affect how quickly it starts working.

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Does Xanax Help with Social Anxiety?

Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is a type of anxiety in which people are fearful of social settings. Those with social phobia have difficulty meeting new people, interacting with people and attending social events.

This anxiety disorder often begins during youth among people who have trouble interacting with others and are intensely shy. It is a relatively common condition, affecting approximately 7% of the American population.

Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, can be useful in the treatment of social phobia. The medication allows a patient to remain calm enough to interact with others, in social settings. Although this medication is approved by the FDA for anxiety, this treatment is restricted to short-term use if it is used on a daily basis.

The typical treatment period is limited to 8 weeks but social anxiety disorder can generally last for much longer periods. This mental health condition can affect a person for years, or even last a lifetime. This anti-anxiety treatment can, however, be used on an intermittent basis to treat the symptoms of social anxiety disorder. For example, to reduce the risk of dependence, it can be used 2 or 3 times a week instead of every day.

If you have trouble with social phobia, the best route of buying medications, for the management of your symptoms, is through safe and secure online platforms. Online pharmacies remove the interaction with other people and allow you to buy Xanax pills quickly and in total privacy.

As well as medication to treat anxiety we also stock a wide range of sleeping pills and painkillers at!

More Information

  • What is Xanax?
  • Available Xanax Dosage (s)
  • Xanax Side Effects

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