Drugs Q & A

Does Xanax Help Menopause Symptoms?

Menopause begins when the menstrual cycle finishes. Menopause is not a health problem, and some experience it as a time of liberation. However, hormonal changes and other factors involved can cause discomfort. Menopause usually starts between the ages of 40 and 58 years in developed countries. In the United States, the average age is 52 years. For some, it will occur earlier due to a medical condition or treatment, such as the removal of the ovaries.

Around the time of menopause, many females experience physical symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and a reduced sex drive. It can also lead to anxiety, changes in mood, and a reduced sex drive.

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 menopause symptoms?

Yes, Xanax can be a very helpful medication during menopause because the fluctuation of estrogen and another key hormone, progesterone, in your body can cause feelings of anxiety or depression.

Some doctors prescribe low-dose Xanax usually 0.25 mg to help women sleep and cope with symptoms of anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings, foggy brain, tense muscles, and sleep disturbances associated with menopause and perimenopause.

Research has shown that women are prescribed benzodiazepines at twice the rate of men and for longer periods of time than men mostly because of increased anxiety and sleep problems related to the reproductive processes of menstrual cycles, pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause.

Other treatments that can help with menopause-related depression and anxiety include hormones, hormone therapy, antidepressants, psychotherapy, or supplements for a better mood. In addition, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) a brief, non-medical approach can also be helpful for a range of health problems, including anxiety and stress, depressed mood, hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems, and fatigue.

CBT helps people to develop practical ways of managing problems and provides new coping skills and useful strategies. For this reason, it can be a helpful approach to try because the skills can be applied to different problems, and can improve wellbeing in general.

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).

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