How to Get Prescribed Xanax?

October 20 , 2022

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), an estimated 31.1% of American adults experience anxiety disorders. While everyone has anxiety or feelings of nervousness at some point in their life, those with an anxiety disorder may have far more complicated issues. Their condition can cause problems at work, home, or school, impacting relationships, productivity, and overall quality of life.

There are many types of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder (social phobia), panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, specific phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and separation anxiety disorder. Regulation of these conditions has been the topic of many studies, and several medications have been successful in helping individuals manage these mental disorders.

One such medication is Xanax. But with many reports indicating that Xanax is now being abused for recreational purposes, doctors are more cautious about writing a prescription. So how can you get prescribed Xanax? Before answering this question, let us first look into what Xanax is and how it works.

What Is Xanax?

Xanax is a prescription medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat generalized anxiety and panic disorders. Although it is not as common, it can also be used off-label to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms and insomnia. Xanax falls into the benzodiazepine class of drugs and contains the active drug alprazolam. The medication comes as orally disintegrating tablets, immediate-release tablets, extended-release tablets, and oral solutions.

Xanax is fast-acting and can begin to work in as little as one to two hours of taking the drug. However, it is important to note that anti-anxiety medications like Xanax do not permanently cure anxiety. Rather, they help manage anxiety symptoms, often so that you can better participate in other forms of treatment, such as psychotherapy. One of the most common psychotherapies used to treat anxiety disorders is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

How Does It Work?

Xanax works by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that limits nerve transmission and reduces neuronal activity. This promotes calmness and a relaxed feeling, reducing anxiety, nervousness, and feelings of paranoia.

Xanax has a half-life of around 11.2 hours in healthy adults. Half-life refers to how long it takes for the body to eliminate half of the drug. The clinical effectiveness of immediate-release tablets is much shorter, with most people noticing the effects wearing off within four to six hours. Due to this, Xanax is often prescribed to be taken three times a day.

Side Effects of Xanax

In addition to its anti-anxiety effects, Xanax can also cause unpleasant side effects, ranging from mild to severe. Some of the most common side effects of Xanax include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired coordination
  • Decreased ability to concentrate

Xanax’s adverse effects are mostly moderate but can occasionally be severe. Severe side effects of Xanax include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble speaking
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Increased heart rate
  • Extreme dizziness or passing out
  • Headache
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Memory impairment
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Severe allergic reaction (this can happen as early as with the first dose)
  • Reduced motivation
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors

Taking Xanax with other medications, such as opioid drugs or alcohol, can exacerbate physical symptoms and result in extreme sedation, respiratory depression, coma, or even death. Hence, refrain from taking any medication while on Xanax without talking to your doctor first.

Xanax Abuse and Addiction

Xanax is a Schedule IV controlled substance, meaning it has a significant risk of abuse and addiction. Xanax abuse occurs when someone takes the drug for recreational purposes or in a way that a doctor does not prescribe. Most people abuse Xanax to enjoy its euphoric effects when taken in large doses. However, this practice is dangerous and can soon lead to physical dependence, where one may find it difficult to function normally without the substance. Individuals with an addiction to Xanax may also face various withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit the medication abruptly.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms of Xanax include:

  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Increased tension and anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Panic attacks
  • Chest pain
  • Hand tremor
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dry retching and nausea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle pain and stiffness
  • Psychotic reactions
  • Seizures

Benzodiazepines such as Xanax can cause physical dependence even when used as prescribed. This is why these medications are only recommended for short-term use.

Xanax Overdose

Overdose is another potential risk of long-term Xanax use. While most doctors start patients on the lowest possible dose and then gradually increase it to a safe level, those who abuse the drug may take an unsafe amount, leading to an accidental overdose. People overdosing on Xanax can lapse into a coma or even die unless immediate medical attention is sought.

Symptoms of a Xanax overdose include:

  • Confusion
  • Impaired coordination
  • Difficulty breathing or labored breathing
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Slow reflexes
  • Loss of consciousness

Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if you or a loved one is showing signs of an overdose. Seeking prompt treatment can help prevent a Xanax overdose from ending fatally.

How to Get a Xanax Prescription?

If you are a new patient who has not taken Xanax, you must ensure you are eligible to take the drug. Your doctor will evaluate your mental health condition and determine if it qualifies for Xanax. You will still have to talk to your doctor if you are already taking Xanax and wish to refill your prescription. Your doctor will determine if the prescription drug should be continued or discontinued for your mental health issue.

Can Online Doctors Prescribe Xanax?

As per the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008 (also called the Ryan Haight Act), doctors cannot prescribe Xanax through online consultations or over the phone as it is a controlled drug. However, like many laws, there are exceptions to this clause. Under the Ryan Haight Act, healthcare providers may write prescriptions for controlled substances using telemedicine if the situation qualifies for one of the seven exemptions. One of which is a “state of emergency.”

Sure enough, with the U.S. placed under a national public health state of emergency due to the novel coronavirus in early January 2020, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) declared that patients can now receive prescriptions for controlled substances via telemedicine. This change is temporary, but even before the COVID-19 pandemic, medical professionals have advocated for a looser interpretation of the Ryan Haight Act.

What if You Can’t Get a Xanax Prescription?

If your healthcare provider does not see it suitable to prescribe Xanax, it is best to follow their advice. Faking a medical condition or doctor shopping can have serious repercussions. Doctor shopping refers to consulting multiple doctors to get a prescription for a drug. This is an illegal practice. And depending on where you live, you can get jailed or fined thousands of dollars.

Avoid taking medicines that are not prescribed to you, as they can have adverse or even fatal effects. Even if someone you know is taking Xanax for similar symptoms, do not take it, assuming it may suit you. In addition, don’t buy Xanax pills advertised on social media or sold on the streets. These pills are often counterfeit, mixed with a potent and deadly tranquilizer named fentanyl. There have been many reports of deaths caused by these fake Xanax pills.

Who Should Not Be Prescribed Xanax?

Xanax should not be prescribed for individuals with a history of substance abuse, as it heightens the risk of addiction. Xanax should also not be prescribed for individuals who drink alcohol heavily. Combining alcohol and Xanax can lead to severe depression, suicidal thoughts, behaviors, or a risk of overdose.

Inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant. Alprazolam can increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, neonatal withdrawal, and “floppy baby syndrome.” Alprazolam can also pass into breast milk; thus, caution should be practiced when prescribing this prescription medication for breastfeeding women.

Xanax is an effective medication for relieving symptoms of anxiety that can impact everyday life. However, due to its addictive potential, this powerful medication is not as easily prescribed, nor is it generally prescribed for long-term use.