Anxiety Home > How Does Xanax Work?

Many people may wonder, "How does Xanax® (alprazolam) work?" Xanax is part of a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. These drugs have several effects on the body, including:
 
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Causing sleepiness
  • Relaxing muscles
  • Stopping seizures
  • Impairing short-term memory.
     
All medicines in this category can have these effects to some degree, depending on the specific benzodiazepine that is being taken. They work in the brain by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical that is naturally calming. GABA can slow down or stop certain nerve signals in the brain. This is why Xanax and other benzodiazepines are known as mild tranquilizers, sedatives, or central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants).
 
As a result, Xanax can help treat the symptoms of the following conditions:
 
(For more information on how Xanax works, click Xanax. This article provides a complete overview of Xanax, including information on its uses, general precautions, and potential side effects.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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