Xanax is a benzodiazepine and is commonly prescribed for people with anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder .It is also sometimes used for short-term treatment in people who have severe insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, and prolonged seizures. Benzodiazepines like Xanax reduce anxiety by attaching to a receptor in your brain called the GABA-A (gamma-aminobutyric acid-A) receptor. When Xanax binds to this receptor, it has a calming effect in the brain.
For most patients, Xanax will start to work within one to two hours. These other treatments may take a few weeks to take effect, though. So Xanax and other benzodiazepines are sometimes used as a “bridge” until other treatments can have a chance to work.
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