Xanax is a brand name for the drug alprazolam, which is commonly used to treat anxiety. In its extended-release form, Xanax also treats frequent panic attacks and general anxiety disorder.
As with any medication, taking Xanax requires some care and attention to avoid negative side effects or dangerous consequences. If you need to take Xanax regularly, it’s important to understand how best to take the medication so that you can maintain the benefits of this drug while minimizing risks.
Read on for tips on choosing the right dose, frequency of administration, and more.
Select the Right Dose
The first step to taking Xanax correctly is to determine the proper dose for your needs. The standard dose for adults is 0.5 mg taken once daily.
That said, it’s important to discuss your dosage requirements with a medical professional since the appropriate dose will vary from person to person. If you’re taking Xanax to treat anxiety, you’ll want a dose high enough to help you manage your condition but not so high that it causes drowsiness. If you’re taking Xanax to treat insomnia, you’ll want a dose low enough to reduce your insomnia symptoms while avoiding drowsiness.
If you’re taking Xanax to treat panic attacks, you’ll want a dose high enough to reduce the frequency and intensity of your panic attacks while maintaining your ability to function normally. If you take too high a dose, you may experience drowsiness or become less socially or cognitively engaging.
How to Take Xanax
You can take Xanax in one of five different ways. These include: – Swallowing the pill whole:
The most common way to take Xanax is to swallow it whole. Some people crush the pill and put it in a piece of food like applesauce or yogurt as a way to disguise the taste.
Be aware, however, that crushing the pill will make it easier to miss your dosage timing and potentially create a higher risk of overdose.
- Chewing the pill: It’s possible to chew the tablet and then swallow it with water. Avoid chewing or crushing the Xanax extended-release tablet, however, since the drug is designed to release slowly over time.
- Dissolving the tablet in water: You can dissolve the tablet in water, typically a small cup of water, and then drink the solution. Dissolving the tablet in water once a day may result in lower blood levels of alprazolam, compared to swallowing the pill whole, and may reduce the effectiveness of the drug.
- Spraying the solution under your tongue: This sublingual administration of Xanax is thought to result in very low blood levels of the drug since it is absorbed directly under the tongue. You may want to avoid this method of administration if you take Xanax to treat insomnia or anxiety since it may cause too little or too much drug to enter your bloodstream.
- Injecting the solution: This is not a recommended route of administration.
Schedule Your Xanax Dosages
If you take Xanax once a day, it’s best to take it at the same time each day to help reduce the risk of missed or delayed doses. This may be especially important if you’re taking Xanax to treat anxiety, since consistent dosage can help reduce symptoms. If you take Xanax more than once per day, it’s important to maintain a consistent schedule for each dosage.
For example, if you take a 1-mg dose twice each day, the first dosage should be taken at the same time each day to avoid timing issues.
Try to avoid taking the second dosage too late in the day since it could leave you sleep-deprived the following day.
Frequency of Administration
Xanax is meant to be taken as needed to manage anxiety, panic attacks, or insomnia. If you have consistent anxiety that requires medication, you may want to keep a Xanax dosage on hand just in case. If you have occasional panic attacks or insomnia that require medication, it’s best to take a Xanax dosage as soon as you notice your symptoms.
Waiting until your anxiety or panic attacks are severe or prolonged may result in a lower chance of success. Remember, Xanax is meant to be taken as needed, so it’s important to avoid taking the drug on a scheduled or routine basis.
Routine dosage of Xanax can cause increased anxiety and insomnia and may lead to Xanax withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.
When to Take Xanax
Some people take Xanax when they feel anxious, while others take it before they expect to become anxious. The best way to take Xanax is to use it as soon as your anxiety symptoms become evident.
This is particularly important if you take the drug for anxiety since the sooner you take it, the less likely you are to experience anxiety symptoms. If you take Xanax before a situation that usually makes you anxious, such as public speaking, you’ll likely experience reduced anxiety symptoms and an easier ability to cope with the situation.
If you take Xanax when you’re already experiencing anxiety symptoms, it may take some time for the drug to work and you may have a harder time coping.
Taking Xanax correctly is important to ensure that you benefit from the drug while minimizing risk. The best way to take Xanax is to swallow the pill whole at the same time each day, take a 1-mg dosage once daily, and take the medication as soon as you notice your anxiety symptoms.
Taking Xanax correctly will help you manage your anxiety, panic attacks, or insomnia while helping you avoid negative side effects.