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Xanax side effects in elderly


Xanax and its side effects in elderly

Xanax is a potent medicine that helps people in the treatment of anxiety and panic disorder. The doctor only prescribes these medicines if the benefits are greater than the risks associated with the medicine. This medicine works in the brain to produce calm and relaxing effects in the user.  There are many side effects that this medicine can cause but today we are going to discuss about Xanax and its side effects in elderly.

Make sure that you are using this medicine according to the doctor’s advice. Because it can produce severe side effects on the user. The risk of adverse effects prevails when the user is an older adult. Senior people are more sensitive to the side effects of this medicine such as dizziness and drowsiness. 

There are many factors that can increase the sensitivity of the drug. Such as metabolism, immunity, and the functioning of the body. The cases of accidents and injuries are increasing every day. Also, Xanax also increases the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the user. 

To put more light on the situation you need to know about Xanax and its side effects in elderly.

What is Xanax and how does it affect older adults?

Xanax is a prescription medicine that helps in the treatment of anxiety and panic disorder. It belongs to a family of drugs known as benzodiazepines. And is also available in a generic form known as alprazolam. 

Xanax is a central nervous system depressant. It blocks the excessive activity of the brain that is caused by anxiety. Xanax does that with the help of natural tranquilisers. Already present in the brain known as GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid).

When the GABA lowers the activity of the brain. It should also affect the person physically as the breathing rate also decreases. And the person feels very calm and relaxed. This sometimes makes you feel dizzy and lightheaded. It is more profound in older adults and increases the risk of fall or an accident. 

Xanax also comes under the Schedule IV category of controlled substances. Which means that it is regulated and controlled by the government. It is categorised because Xanax is known to create addiction and physical dependence in the user.

What are the adverse effects of using Xanax in older adults?

Xanax lowers the function of the body, thus it can create several side effects in the user. There are two types of side effects that can occur in the user depending upon the severity of the symptom.

Older adults are more sensitive to side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and lack of coordination. Thus you need to take special care if someone old in your family or you yourself is taking Xanax. Yet, there are other risky side effects that can appear in elderly people such:

Mild side effects

Mild side effects are the effects that occur at the beginning of the treatment. When your body is not adapted to the changes done by the medicine. These side effects do not need immediate medical attention and usually go within a day or most weeks.

  • Increased saliva production
  • Drowsiness
  • Change in sex drive
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache 

However, if any of the symptoms persist or get worse. Then you need to inform your doctor and take immediate medical help.

Severe side effects

  •  Mental or mood disorders such as hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts.
  • Trouble speaking 
  • Loss of coordination 
  • Memory problems 
  • Trouble walking 
  • Yellowing of eyes or skin 
  • Seizures

These are some of the severe side effects of using Xanax. It needs immediate medical help. These symptoms mean that there is a severe issue. And it can create life-threatening scenarios for the user.

Note: The list of mentioned symptoms is not complete and there are more possible side effects of this medicine. Thus inform your doctor immediately if you see any unusual effects of the drug.

How to use Xanax to lower the risk of side effects.

Xanax is strong medicine and you should use it as directed by the doctor. Follow the instructions mentioned below carefully. Before you start using the medicine,as it will help you to reduce the effects of Xanax and its side effects in elderly. It also helps you to get the result you want from the medicine.

  • Read the instructions given in your medical guide carefully. Because they can help you to take this medicine properly. 
  • Take Xanax as initiated by the doctor. As the dosage is based on several factors such as age, weight, metabolism, and medical condition.
  • Do not increase or decrease the amount of dosage. Because it can elevate the risk of addiction and physical dependence on the drug.
  • Avoid using Xanax if you have a history of substance use disorder. Because the chances of addiction increase.
  • Do not crush or chew Xanax while taking it because it can cause an overdose.
  • Inform your doctor if your condition remained the same or got worse after some time.

These are some general guidelines for using Xanax. These instructions also help you to get the desired results with lower the risk of side effects. 

Preventions for using Xanax 

Preventions are necessary steps that you need to take while having any treatment. It helps to lower the risk of side effects for the user. You should follow these instructions before starting to use the medicine. 

Avoid using Xanax if:

  • If you use antifungal medicines such as itraconazole and ketoconazole.
  • If you have an allergic reaction to benzodiazepines such as diazepam and clonazepam. Xanax also contains some inactive ingredients. Which can also create an allergic reaction in the user.

Medical conditions

There are some medical conditions that can get worse if you are using Xanax. Inform your doctor if you have any of the issues mentioned below:

  • Lungs or breathing problems such as sleep apnea and COPD.
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Personal and family history of substance use disorder.
  • Glaucoma 

Other precautions 

  • Avoid using alcohol and marijuana with the medicine. Because it can increase the dizziness of the medicine which makes it more prone to accidents. Ignore activities like driving and using heavy machinery when you are using this medicine.
  • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or have plans to be in the future. Because this medicine can travel to the unborn baby. And can cause several unwanted effects.
  • This medicine can also travel through breast milk. And causes harm to the nursing baby. Thus, take this medicine when you need it. Or consult your doctor before starting using this medicine.

These are some of the precautions that you need to take while using the medicine. It helps you to be safe from the adverse effects of the medicine. 


Xanax is a strong drug with benefits, but there are several bad effects of this medicine too that can make your experience very bad. You should only take this medicine as prescribed by the doctor. Some of the adverse effects are more prevalent in older adults such as drowsiness and loss of coordination. You need to take more care of them because they are more prone to fall and can hurt themselves. Laying in bed or getting up slowly can also help to reduce lightheadedness.

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