Xanax - History and Facts

Xanax or ALPRAZOLAM is an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication developed by Upjohn Laboratories of Kalamazoo, Michigan in the early 70's. Upjohn presented a New Drug application to the FDA for approval of XANAX as an antidepressant, and they produced about 50 double blind studies, proving that alprazolam was a better and less toxic antidepressant than the antidepressants available in the 70's (Tricyclic antidepressants). The FDA had in fact approved Xanax, but for some strange reasons, they "changed their minds" and decided that Upjohn could not launch XANAX as an antidepressant BUT AS AN ANTIANXIETY MEDICATION "THAT DOES NOT CAUSE DEPRESSION".This is possibly, because Upjohn had already spent millions of dollars in the many studies of Xanax as antidepressant, that the FDA did not required them to compare Xanax to placebos and to other anti-anxiety medications available at that time (Valium, Librium,clorazepateSerax,etc) so it happened, XANAX WAS LAUNCHED and later it was found to be the best treatment for many cases of generalized anxiety disorder, and particularly useful in the treatment of PANIC DISORDERS .

Xanax is a derivative of an antidepressant also from Upjohn and has also a benzodiazepine molecule. This group are called triazolobenzodiazepines (Xanax and Halcion ). For many years thousands of American Doctors and Doctors around the world have been prescribing Xanax for the treatment of several anxiety disorders and for panic disorders, for acute stress disorders. Many patients who suffer from anxiety and depression and are treated with Xanax for several weeks or months have experienced the antidepressant effects of Xanax .And when chronically depressed patients "feel good" they continue to take it, and most of the time NO TOLERANCE IS DEVELOPED. Whenever they discontinue the use of Xanax, these patients become depressed again. Patients treated for anxiety and panic attacks, also relapse once the Xanax or alprazolam is discontinued.It became over the years the most prescribed psychotropic in the World mostly prescribed as "Xanax", but most of the time sold as ALPRAZOLAM.

The name Xanax is used all over the World, except in Latin-American Countries where alprazolam is prescribed as "TAFIL"and other brand names are used in other Countries. The most common effective dose used is 0.25 mg three or four times per day. This medication is of short half life, and has to be taken several times a day. However many patients do very well with Xanax "taken as needed" in other words, is taken once or twice a day, only when the patients feel they need it.

A Swedish Company that acquired Upjohn (Pharmacia) continued the research on a long acting Xanax , and they developed the XANAX-XR that comes in 1, 2 or 3 mg , just one dose per day . Now, that Pfizer Pharmaceuticals acquired Pharmacia and Upjohn this product is made and marketed and sold by PFIZER.

In my opinion this medication in its new form (XR) should be now investigated as an ANTIDEPRESSANT, since originally Xanax was developed and initially approved by the FDA as an ANTIDEPRESSANT. It is safe at low doses and in its XR form is administered only once per day.



"Xanax Bars" - the illegal drug


BUT THERE IS A NEW STORY of XANAX, the one of the epidemic of XANAX BARS sold on the streets. These "bars" are possibly alprazolam, but since they are produced and distributed as illegal drugs, no one really knows what they are. They are abused by Drug addicts and taken in doses of 8 to 16 mg taken at once!!! It produces somnolence and confusion and
may cause motor vehicle accidents when conductors are intoxicated with these "BARS" alone or mixed with alcohol.

American Society has misidentified sometimes XANAX BARS , with the medication XANAX , and the fact is that "Xanax Bars " are ILLEGAL DRUGS and have nothing in common with the good medication Xanax or alprazolam, when prescribed by a physician and taken only when indicated : Panic Disorder, other Anxiety Disorders, Stress Disorders and in Depression. As I said before, the new form of ALPRAZOLAM or XANAX-XR should be also prescribed as an antidepressant that has many advantages over the ones we have now mainly that Xanax-XR has no side effects no toxicity and again has been proved effective many years ago in many double blind studies using Xanax and tricyclic antidepressants (NDA presented by Upjohn Pharmaceuticals to the FDA)in the 1970's.



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This article is for educational purposes and is also based on opinion by the doctor - pmmedia.com is not responsible for misinterpretation or abuse of said text in any way or form. You should consult a medical professional if you have further questions. We are not affiliated with Upjohn Pharmaceuticals or Pfuzer Pharmaceuticals. Please read disclaimer.