A part of living is experiencing anxiety from time to time. Unfortunately, some people must contend with more than occasional stress. Anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive and persistent worry.
As a result of anxiety disorders, people might find it difficult to perform daily tasks and have difficulty completing everyday tasks. According to the Mayo Clinic, panic attacks are episodes of sudden intense fear, anxiety, or terror that reach a peak within minutes.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million American adults aged 18 and over have anxiety disorders, which affect 18.1% of the population annually.
Despite anxiety being highly treatable, only 36.9% of those who suffer from it seek help. Those who do seek help may be prescribed powerful benzodiazepine medications, including Xanax.
A benzodiazepine called Xanax, also called alprazolam, is the most frequently prescribed benzodiazepine in the United States. There were 48 million Xanax prescriptions dispensed throughout the country in 2013. It is also the most widely prescribed psychotropic medication. People with blood pressure problems may wonder if Xanax affects blood pressure, even though it is one of the most widely used medicines. How can Xanax affect your blood pressure?
What Is Xanax?
In addition to treating anxiety disorders, Xanax can also treat depression associated with anxiety. It is marketed under the brand name Xanax because it is a prescription drug called alprazolam. Xanax has become one of the world’s most popular drugs since its introduction in the 1970s.
It is a central nervous system depressant, which is a broad category of psychoactive substances, that is used to treat anxiety disorders and sleep disorders.
In addition to its use for treating anxiety, Xanax can be misused recreationally, causing similar euphoria and disinhibition as alcohol. It may also promote relaxation, sleep, and anxiolysis (anti-anxiety).
In addition to using Xanax recreationally, drug dealers make fake Xanax pills that are difficult to distinguish from real Xanax pills. A counterfeit Xanax pill may contain alprazolam, but it may also contain dangerous substances, such as fentanyl.
How Does Xanax Work?
In the United States, Xanax is one of the most popular brands of benzodiazepines, and it’s been approved by the FDA since 1981. It is a prescription benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. As part of a broader class of drugs called central nervous system depressants, Xanax slows down activity in the nervous system to relax and sedate the body.
Depressants like Xanax work by relaxing the brain by increasing gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), a calming neurotransmitter. By binding to GABA receptors, it slows down nervous system activity, allowing anxiety to be released, sleep can be achieved, and muscles can be relaxed.
Xanax, like other benzodiazepines, works by binding to GABA receptors at a different binding site than GABA. People with anxiety disorders may have difficulty relaxing and resting when appropriate. As a result, GABA is more potent when slowing down the nervous system because it increases its efficacy.
As a result of its anti-anxiety and relaxing effects, Xanax can slow down activity in the central nervous system, but it can also slow down other important nervous system functions. Xanax is used to reduce anxiety, but it may also slow down some of these automatic functions. The brain controls unconscious functions such as breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate.
This is why depressants sometimes cause your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and even body temperature to drop. Although these effects are mild at normal doses, they can become more pronounced at higher doses and can be dangerous when overdosed.
Does Xanax Affect Your Blood Pressure?
Heart palpitations and even chest pains are common symptoms of anxiety disorders. People with anxiety disorders often report physical symptoms, such as heart palpitations.
There is no doubt that stress can significantly affect your physical and mental health, and chronic anxiety and stress issues can be contributing factors to serious health issues like heart disease. Knowing how to manage anxiety symptoms can help you avoid some stress-related health problems that may have an impact on your heart.
What are the effects of anxiety medication on your heart? Anxiety and panic attacks can elevate your heart rate and blood pressure, but how do anxiety medications affect your heart?
Oxford Academic published a study in 2018 that found benzodiazepine consumption is associated with lower blood pressure during ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. The effects of long-term benzodiazepine use on blood pressure have not been well documented, according to the same study. Their objective was to better understand how drugs like Xanax affect blood pressure.
According to a study published in 2019, people who experience insomnia and sleep disturbances have a higher risk of high blood pressure when they use benzodiazepines.
Anxiety causes the heart to beat faster and blood vessels to narrow. Regular use of Xanax may increase blood pressure. People who are stressed may turn to unhealthy ways of coping, such as overeating, drinking alcohol, or smoking.
There is a significant issue with Xanax dependency, and the associated symptoms can have lasting effects. It is not designed to be a long-term treatment for anxiety.
What If You Mix Xanax With Other Drugs?
The first thing you need to do before starting a new medication is to ask your doctor or pharmacist what other substances you should avoid. Your doctor should also be aware of the current medications you’re taking at the time of the first prescription for Xanax.
When combined with other drugs that have similar effects, benzodiazepines can cause a potentially dangerous overdose. During an overdose, your breathing and heart rate may slow down to a dangerous level.
Is it safe to take Xanax with high blood pressure medication?
If you’re taking blood pressure medications and you’re exploring Xanax as an option, you should talk to your doctor about potential interactions between the drugs. In some cases, Xanax may cause hypotension and affect the heart rate. When combined with a blood pressure-lowering drug, the substances can potentiate, resulting in a dangerous drop in blood pressure.
What If I Already Have High Blood Pressure or Heart Problems?
Some medications for heart or blood pressure can interact adversely with Xanax. However, you must inform your doctor if you take any prescription, over-the-counter, or supplement medications. When your doctor fully understands your medical history, he or she will take the appropriate precautions.
Xanax has many side effects, so pay attention to them. If possible, talk to your doctor about alternative treatments. If you encounter any common side effects, stop using the drug immediately.
- Weight changes
- Decreased blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Slurred speech
A drug’s side effects are rare, but they may not be expected, causing you to feel more anxious. This can result in a vicious cycle where the drug is used to treat a problem and instead makes you feel more anxious.
As Xanax may cause extreme sleepiness, you should avoid operating heavy machinery or driving when you are getting used to its effects.
If you are having problems with your heart, you should seek other medications to feel better and avoid the risks associated with taking benzodiazepines like Xanax. You may be able to address some of the same problems Xanax was designed to address through meditation, exercise, and healthy eating habits, but they are much safer. Find out what works for you by talking to your doctor.