Anxiety Home > What Is Xanax?

Although many people have heard of the prescription drug Xanax® (alprazolam), they may not know what it is used for.
 
The medication is approved to treat anxiety and panic disorder in adults. It belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which have been shown to help relax muscles, cause sleepiness, reduce anxiety, stop seizures, and impair short-term memory. Xanax works by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical that is naturally calming.
 
Xanax comes in tablet form and is available in four different strengths. It is taken by mouth, typically two or three times a day. For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Xanax is a controlled substance that may cause serious problems if you take it at higher dosages or for a longer time than your healthcare provider recommends.
 
(Click Xanax for a complete overview of this drug, including information about potential side effects and things you should discuss with your healthcare provider before starting treatment.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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