Drugs Q & A

Can I Use Xanax For Anger Management?

According to the American Psychological Association, anger is an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong. Anger triggers the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. Other emotions that trigger this response include fear, excitement, and anxiety. The adrenal glands flood the body with stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. The brain shunts blood away from the gut and towards the muscles, in preparation for physical exertion. Heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration increase, the body temperature rises and the skin perspires.

Anger is characterized by a constant flood of stress chemicals and associated metabolic changes that go with ongoing unmanaged anger can eventually cause harm to many different systems of the body. Some of the short and long-term health problems that have been linked to unmanaged anger include headache, digestion problems, such as abdominal pain, insomnia, increased anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and skin problems, such as eczema.

What is Xanax?

Xanax is a brand of alprazolam, a powerful benzodiazepine that is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. The medication comes in the form of a tablet that quickly dissolves in the mouth, an extended-release tablet, or a concentrated oral solution.

Benzodiazepines can have therapeutic anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant, muscle relaxing, and sedative effects. Xanax works by increasing the effects of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which promotes calmness and produces a relaxed feeling. The drug decreases the level of excitement in the brain to treat anxiety and panic disorders.

Alprazolam is among the most prescribed benzodiazepine drugs in the U.S. and is among the benzodiazepines most often found in the illegal market, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Xanax is often prescribed for mental health disorders related to anxiety. It can be used to treat general anxiety, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobias. It can also be used to treat seizures. For people who suffer from anxiety, it can create a sense of relief to focus on their lives without issues of anxiety or phobias plaguing them. When used as prescribed, it can calm people down and make them feel relaxed.

Xanax can also reduce physiological symptoms of anxiety and fear, such as a racing heart or hyperventilation. These drugs are so often prescribed because they work well on anxiety and they’re cheap.

Does Xanax help with Anger Management?

Yes, Xanax can be a very helpful medication in the management of anger-related problems such as insomnia, increased anxiety, and depression. Xanax is fast-acting and acts on the brain and central nervous system to produce a calming effect that eases anxiety symptoms.

However, Xanax does not deal with the root cause of your anger, it only suppresses anger-related emotions for a while. In fact, long-term use and misuse of Xanax can exacerbate anger and cause increased irritability, rage attacks, violence, and strain in interpersonal relationships.

Anger issues are more common among persons abusing Xanax with other medications and alcohol. Many people use Xanax for nonmedical reasons, taking it in larger doses or more frequently than prescribed because it can create a euphoric feeling, especially at higher doses. When taken with alcohol, the effects of both Xanax and alcohol are amplified especially in people with a history of impulsivity or mental health disorders.

There are several medications and therapies for anger management you can find the full list here

Xanax side effects

Common side effects of Xanax can include:

•          memory loss

•          constipation

•          hypotension (low blood pressure)

•          dry mouth

•          drowsiness

•          dizziness or lightheadedness

•          problems with balance or coordination

•          trouble concentrating

•          trouble speaking clearly

•          changes in sex drive

•          changes in appetite

•          weight changes

•          mild allergic reaction†

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. However, if they become more severe or do not go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects of Xanax

Serious side effects from Xanax are not common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include:

•          Reduced ability to drive safely or perform other potentially dangerous activities. Symptoms can include:

o          sleepiness

o          dizziness or lightheadedness

o          reduced alertness

o          trouble concentrating

o          slowed reaction times

•          Liver problems. Symptoms can include:

o          abdominal pain

o          nausea and vomiting

o          increased levels of liver enzymes (types of proteins)

o          jaundice

•          Seizures. Symptoms can vary depending on the type of seizure but may include:

o          shaking or jerking movements

o          stiffness or floppiness

o          confusion

•          Hallucinations (sensing things that are not really there). Symptoms can include:

o          hearing something that’s not present, such as a voice talking to you

o          seeing something that’s not real, such as lights or people

•          Risk of misuse and addiction.

•          Risk of dependence and withdrawal.

•          Risk of severe harm or death if taken with opioids.

•          Severe allergic reaction.

Xanmax may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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