Alprazolam, sold under the brand name Xanax, among others, is a short-acting tranquilizer of the triazolobenzodiazepine class, which are benzodiazepines fused with a triazole ring. It is most commonly used in short-term management of anxiety disorders, specifically panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. Other uses include the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea, together with other treatments. GAD improvement occurs generally within a week. Alprazolam is generally taken by mouth.
As a result, most Xanax users will experience physical and mental relaxation – accompanied by fatigue, lethargy, and drowsiness. If you experience even a modest amount of fatigue during treatment, this fatigue might result in lower physical activity (compared to pre-treatment), which could cause weight gain.
Alprazolam and Weight Gain
It’s bad news for those worried about gaining weight after taking Alprazolam. Weight gain is a common side effect of Alprazolam (Xanax) for both men and women. Medical studies suggest that people taking Alprazolam for panic may be at a higher risk of gaining weight than anyone taking the medicine to combat anxiety.
Understanding What Makes Alprazolam Work
Before any medication is approved, it has to go through several clinical studies. Under surveillance, thousands of people are given a particular medicine, like Alprazolam, to check for side-effects. Studies specifically done on Alprazolam show side-effects, like weight gain, are always documented carefully. This way, it is possible to see if weight gain occurs as one of Alprazolam’s side-effects, how often it appears, and how much weight is gained in comparison to the group not taking the medicine.
In previous studies, up to 27.2 percent of people taking Alprazolam for panic disorders experienced weight gain, compared to just 17.9 percent of those not taking the medication. This risk of weight gain appears to be smaller for people taking Alprazolam to combat anxiety. Higher dosages of Alprazolam are often required to treat panic disorders, explaining why people with panic disorder have a higher risk of side-effects, such as weight gain.
You Don’t Have to Gain Weight from Alprazolam
If Alprazolam is causing you unwanted and unexplained weight gain, there are some different methods to help you, like participating in regular physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day. Folks can also eat a heart-healthy diet. This diet should include:
- Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
- Lots of fruits, vegetables, grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
- Foods with little or no saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium (salt) and added sugars
If Alprazolam is causing you to gain weight, talk with your healthcare provider. He or she can give you other suggestions for dealing with weight gain, whether or not it’s caused by Alprazolam. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes or switch you to a different anxiety medication. Remember, you don’t have to gain weight just from taking Alprazolam.