Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Xanax (Alprazolam)

  • Sarah BolandEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_102098-1



Xanax, the brand name of Alprazolam, is a member of the benzodiazepine (BZD) family, a category of drugs commonly prescribed for conditions such as insomnia, anxiety, agitation, muscle spasticity, and epilepsy. Xanax is classified as a high-potency benzodiazepine and is known to have a short-lasting anxiolytic effect, meaning the drug reduces anxiety and has a half-life of approximately 6–27 h half life; it is consequently often prescribed for panic disorder and anxiety-related disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). To treat anxiety, Xanax is most commonly taken by mouth in 0.25–0.5 mg tablets up to three times per day. For panic disorder, it is recommended the drug be taken at a maximum of 6–10 mg per day.

Concerning the mechanism of action, Xanax binds to GABA-A receptors, ion channels that have an affinity towards chloride. When the compound binds at two transected subunits of the...

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References and Reading

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yale Child Study CenterNew HavenUSA