Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine drug introduced in 1981. It is marketed under many brand names, including Xanax. Abuse of the drug has increased steadily over the years and is a significant public health concern. There are 776 drugs known to interact with alprazolam. Of these, 15 are considered major risks.
These include drugs of various types, including protease inhibitors, barbiturates, painkillers and certain antibiotics.
Mechanisms of Alprazolam Drug Interactions
Drugs interact with alprazolam in varying ways. Some inhibit a metabolic pathway that is needed to metabolize alprazolam. When this pathway is blocked, alprazolam can build up in the body to dangerous levels. A number of antifungal drugs fall into this category, as do certain antidepressants and oral contraceptives.
Alprazolam depresses the central nervous system and interacts with other drugs which have the same effect. These include antihistamines, anti-convulsants, anti-anxiety drugs and sleep medications. Alcohol is also a central nervous system depressant and can be very dangerous to combine with alprazolam.
Alprazolam Abuse Risks
Although anyone using alprazolam can experience drug interactions, problems become more likely when people abuse the drug. Because of increasing tolerance, alprazolam abusers tend to take larger and larger amounts to feel the effects which increases the risk of negative health effects of all types.
Those who abuse alprazolam commonly abuse other substances. Sometimes people use alprazolam to counteract the unwanted effects of other drugs; they may use it to relieve the anxiety or insomnia associated with stimulants or hallucinogens. Conversely, some users combine alprazolam with other sedatives or depressants to compound the desired effect.
Polydrug abuse involving alprazolam can be very dangerous. In a 2004 report, the Drug Abuse Warning Network noted that alprazolam was one of the two benzodiazepine medications involved most often in drug-abuse related visits to the emergency room. They found that 78 percent of emergency room visits involving benzodiazepines had more than one substance and that alcohol was the substance most often reported in conjunction with them. Marijuana, cocaine and prescription painkillers were also commonly involved.
Alprazolam Abuse Help
If you are addicted to alprazolam, call our toll-free helpline and let us help you find your path to recovery. We can help you understand your treatment options and check your health insurance for addiction treatment coverage if you wish. We are available 24 hour a day and understand the issues you are facing, so call today and begin a sober lifestyle today.