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Published on May 30, 2023

What to Discuss With Your Doctor Before Getting a Xanax Prescription

Xanax is among the most commonly prescribed medications when a patient needs to calm down anxiety symptoms, ease phobias, or deal with extensive anxiety from day-to-day pressure. Xanax is a controlled substance and has the potential to cause addiction and misuse, so it can only be obtained by prescription.

Although Xanax is a common option, you might need another treatment. Below are a few things that should be discussed with a doctor to get prescribed Xanax or determine a more helpful course of action.

What Is Xanax?

Xanax is a tranquilizer that is primarily prescribed for mental illnesses. It works by acting on the CNS (central nervous system) to relax the brain and slow down its activity. 

Xanax works by increasing the effects of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), that promotes calmness and relaxation. The effects of Xanax on GABA lead to a decrease in excitement, effectively treating anxiety and panic disorders. Xanax is also an effective sedative and muscle relaxant. However, it provides temporary relief and can’t be used as a permanent solution.

How to Get Xanax From a Doctor

As mentioned, Xanax is a controlled drug because of the increased cases of abuse. This means one can buy Xanax from the pharmacy only with a valid doctor’s . A doctor can evaluate all the aspects of a person’s health and make an informed decision on what medication can help best. Nevertheless, a patient can express preferences and discuss concerns, so here is what to say to get prescribed Xanax and what things should be taken into consideration.

The best place to begin is scheduling a consultation with the doctor to confirm that the medication best suits the health condition. The doctor can prescribe Xanax for the following conditions: anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is primarily characterized by persistent worry for various reasons. Individuals with the disorder often anticipate bad outcomes, especially for important events. They are constantly uneasy before the actual event. In severe situations, individuals can experience physical symptoms like difficulty breathing, chest pain, and trembling.

Some people develop anxiety disorders due to past emotional experiences. For instance, those who have been previously bullied or abused can experience anxiety every time they are in a social setting. Current life experiences can also cause anxiety disorder.

However, note that being anxious from time to time is normal. Therefore, taking a pill shouldn’t always be the first line of action. But, if your anxiety becomes more frequent and prolonged, you should consider seeing a mental health professional.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. It differs from GAD in several symptoms and their onset. One of the distinctive symptoms is panic attacks — sudden bursts of fear and panic accompanied by physical symptoms like sweating, trembling, dizziness, and others. Panic attacks can be triggered by external stressors, either obvious or indefinite, and often come without warning.

People with panic disorder may also have anxiety because of anticipating possible panic attacks. Fortunately, medications and psychotherapy can help manage the disorder.


Phobias are characterized by intense fears that are out of proportion to the actual trigger and are usually irrational. These fears are difficult to control, can interfere with professional life or relationships, and may cause constant distress when a person faces the triggering object or situation.

People can manage phobias using psychotherapy or medications like Xanax. Phobias can trigger anxiety and panic attacks. Common phobias include:

  • Agoraphobia — a fear of crowded spaces.
  • Acrophobia — a fear of heights.
  • Claustrophobia — a fear of enclosed spaces.
  • Aviophobia — a fear of flying on airplanes.

What Is the Correct Dosage of Xanax?

Like other drugs, the dosage of Xanax and other drugs primarily depends on the patient’s needs. First, the dosage depends on the diagnosis. For anxiety disorder, the initial dose is 0.25 or 0.5 mg three times a day. For panic disorder, a daily dose usually starts from 0.5 mg thrice daily. Second, the dosage may depend on a patient’s age, individual response to Xanax, and other factors. Typically, the doctor starts by prescribing the lowest beneficial dose and adjusts it gradually according to the patient’s response.

Potential Side Effects of Xanax

Xanax use can lead to mild or severe side effects. Common side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Weight changes
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Some people experience severe side effects. Also, irresponsible use may lead to addiction or dependence.

Precautions for Using Xanax

Knowing how to ask a doctor for Xanax is not always enough. Even knowing your preferences, the doctor may choose another treatment option if there are any precautions and contraindications for you for using Xanax. These include:

  • People with benzodiazepine hypersensitivity.
  • People taking other benzodiazepines at the same time.
  • Breastfeeding mothers.
  • Patients below 18 years of age.
  • People with kidney or liver problems.
  • People taking antifungal drugs, such as itraconazole and ketoconazole.

Patients should also avoid operating heavy machinery and driving when they start taking Xanax. They should also watch their steps when taking stairs because these drugs slow down reflexes. When taken in high doses or combined with sedatives, Xanax can impair breathing and coordination.

Those on Xanax should also stop or limit alcohol consumption and anticonvulsants and opiates use. Xanax interacts with several over-the-counter drugs too. Therefore, patients should disclose all medications they are currently taking to their doctor.

Signs of Addiction to Xanax

Long-term use of Xanax often leads to dependence or addiction. Patients should be wary of Xanax addiction if:

  • They’ve developed drug-seeking behavior.
  • They are consuming a higher dose than prescribed.
  • They take Xanax at unusual times such as during work hours or when they wake up.
  • They isolate themselves from family and friends to take Xanax.
  • There is a change in sleeping and eating patterns.
  • They can’t stop or slow down Xanax use.

What if One Can’t Get Xanax Prescription?

Those interested in using Xanax shouldn’t be upset if the doctor doesn’t find it suitable to prescribe this medication. Following the doctor’s advice is the right thing to do. As such, you shouldn’t fake your condition to get a Xanax prescription but discuss alternative treatments.

The Bottom Line

There’s no surety of getting a Xanax prescription because a healthcare provider makes the final decision. The doctor will evaluate individual symptoms and choose the best treatment for the presenting health needs. 

Obtaining Xanax from unauthorized sources or buying it illegally without a prescription is also not recommended, as it can be illegal and unsafe. Those already using Xanax should monitor their consumption to avoid the risk of dependence or addiction.

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