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Xanax Side Effects Too Risky Says Doc
Xanax side effects are much more dangerous than doctors and patients think, says noted doctor
A Duke University professor says that Xanax is much more dangerous than it’s perceived to be. He says that Xanax side effects are so bad that “a careful review of its risks and benefits” might see it taken off the market.
Professor Emeritus Dr. Allen Frances told MedPage Today recently that the side effects of Xanax are “much more subtle and dangerous” than most doctors and patients think. “In combination it can be deadly, and for many people it creates an addiction problem that’s worse than the original condition.”
Dr. Frances added, “I think if there was a careful review of its risks and benefits, it would be taken off the market or it would at least have much more restricted use. If the FDA were to conduct a thorough review of Xanax, it might not be so widely prescribed.”
The side effects of Xanax are too many to list here. But they range from minor discomforts up to slurred speech, loss of coordination, memory problems and hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, liver failure, seizures and potentially fatal allergic reactions. It’s also seriously addictive and requires specialized detox protocols to get off, such as those offered by Novus.
Xanax is a member of the benzodiazepine family of drugs. Benzos, as they’re often called, are enormously popular. And Xanax tops the list in prescriptions, abuse and addiction, trips to the ER, and deaths from opioids-and-Xanax combinations:
- PRESCRIPTIONS: Last year, there were more than 50 million prescriptions written for the alprazolam, the generic version of Xanax. This is more than half the 94 million total prescriptions written for the entire family of more than three dozen benzodiazepines.
- ABUSE AND ADDICTION: Xanax now parallels the abuse levels of opioids – illegal street opioids like heroin, methadone and morphine, and all the prescription painkillers like OxyContin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, Percocet, Vicodin and dozens of others. Here at Novus Medical Detox Center we’ve also noticed the up-tick in benzodiazepine abuse and addiction, as more and more patients arrive needing Xanax detox or detox from one of the more than 40 other benzos.
- TRIPS TO THE ER: Researchers at the University of North Texas (UNT) said the number of trips to ERs that involved Xanax rose 170 percent from 2004 to 2008. And in 2010, Xanax emergencies accounted for roughly twice as many as the next most common benzo, Klonopin (clonazepam). There were 152,000 Xanax emergencies, compared with 73,000 for Klonopin. As mentioned above, Xanax side effects can be severe.
- OVERDOSE COMBINATION DEATHS: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a third of all opioid overdose deaths involve benzodiazepines. The latest statistics reveal that adding benzos to opioids increases the risk of death more than 30 percent. And the UNT researchers say that more often than not, the benzodiazepine is Xanax.
Benzos are being combined with opioids for a reason. Opioid addicts and abusers often take Xanax to boost the high from the opioid they are taking. This dangerous practice has trickled down to recreational abusers across the country. And from there, it’s spread to legitimate users of prescription painkillers, who also take Xanax trying to boost the painkilling effect.
In the overdose death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman last month, the New York medical examiner reported that it was much more complex than the simple heroin overdose that everyone was talking about in the media. Hoffman also had benzodiazepines in his system along with the heroin. A quick review of celebrities who have overdosed on opioids show almost all of them also taking benzos, and almost always it’s Xanax.
Xanax is America’s favorite pop-it-any-time-you’re-feelin’-down drug. And almost all prescriptions are coming from the family doctor, not high-priced specialists. Someone better tell these doctors soon what they’re really dealing with, or should we just say dealing – as in, drug dealing. Family and primary care physicians are contributing to a very serious situation, something they should and could do something about.
You can do something about the risks of opioids and benzos too. You can forward this blog to your family and friends, and warn them to avoid Xanax and, if they’re in trouble, get to Novus right away for a benzodiazepine detox.
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