Xanax is the brand name of the drug alprazolam which is used to treat anxiety disorders. Doctors prescribe it for generalized anxiety disorder, anxiety linked to depression, and panic disorder. Xanax belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. These drugs act on the brain and nervous system to produce a calming effect. Xanax was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1981 and it is made by Pfizer. Like many brand-name drugs, Xanax is available in generic forms simply known as alprazolam. Manufacturers include Apotex Inc, Mylan, Sun Pharma Global, and others.
What Are Generic Drugs?
Generic drugs have the same intended use and effects as original drugs. They should have the same dosage, side effects, and risks of their brand-name counterparts. They should also be taken in the same way. Generic versions of drugs are cheaper and sometimes, your insurance won’t cover the brand names. Generic drugs are cheaper because their manufacturers have not had to spend time or money on research, development, and marketing.
Many patients who have never taken generic Xanax may wonder why it is so cheap and if it will work. Some patients who switch from Xanax to a generic drug find that they benefit in the same way. However, there are others who say generic alprazolam doesn’t work. According to the FDA, generic drugs must have the same amount of the active ingredient as brand-name drugs and they should work just as fast. However, many patients find that this isn’t the case. They may experience different side effects or find that their anxiety isn’t relieved.
Why Would the Effects of Generic Drugs Differ?
One explanation is that generic drugs contain different binders and fillers from brand name drugs. Fillers make up around 90% of the tablet. It is speculated that these chemicals affect the absorption of the active ingredients or increase inflammation in the nervous system. The latter leads to allergic reactions. Even though the active ingredients are the same, their interaction with the binders and fillers can cause different outcomes in patients. The FDA insists on generic drugs being bio-equivalent but it doesn’t test to see whether they actually work on patients.
There is, therefore, no way to determine what is the best generic form of Xanax. Since everyone’s body reacts differently, you simply need to find the one which works best for you. You may react badly to one manufacturer’s fillers while another’s may have no effect at all. Yet another one may work just as well as brand-name Xanax.
If your doctor prescribes generic alprazolam, don’t automatically assume it won’t work. Give it a chance and let your doctor know if it is ineffective. He may simply need to increase your dosage. If the drug causes adverse effects, let your doctor know immediately. He may prescribe another generic brand for you to try.
How Should Alprazolam Be Taken?
Alprazolam should be taken by mouth exactly as your doctor recommends. The dosage will be based on your particular medical condition, age, and how you respond to treatment. This means your doctor may start you out on a low dosage and gradually increase it until the desired effects are seen. Following your doctor’s recommendations can help to reduce side effects. If you notice that a generic form of alprazolam isn’t working, you should not increase your dosage without talking to your doctor. If you have a bad reaction, don’t stop taking it without informing your doctor.
As you can see, there is no way to tell what would be the best generic form of Xanax for you. You will need to work closely with your doctor to find the version of alprazolam which is effective and causes minimal side effects. It may take a little trial and error.