Xanax® is one of the brand names for a powerful anti-anxiety drug called alprazolam. It is considered a schedule IV controlled substance in the United States, and is only available by prescription. The usual Xanax® dosage actually varies from patient to patient, and also depends on the issue being addressed. A patient suffering from a mild to moderate anxiety disorder often requires a lower dosage of Xanax® than a patient suffering from a more serious panic disorder or depression. Mental health professionals generally start patients on a very low dosage, perhaps .25 to .5 mg three times a day, then slowly ramp up the dosage to a maximum of 4 mg per day for mild to moderate anxiety disorders.
The usual Xanax® dosage for treatment of panic disorders may be significantly higher, however. The patient may start with .5 mg three times a day, then ramp up over time to as much as 10 mgs a day for severe panic attacks or anxiety-related depression. The usual Xanax® dosage for most panic disorder sufferers is around 5 to 6 mgs per day, since addiction to the medication is always a concern for caregivers. The treating psychiatrist or physician should check on their patients' progress and adjust the daily dosage accordingly. Xanax® for anxiety or panic disorders is usually taken several times a day in small doses, not all at once before bedtime or after a panic attack has already occurred.
There is no usual Xanax® dosage for children under the age of 18, primarily because Xanax® is rarely prescribed to minors. There are other drugs available which address anxiety or panic issues in adolescents and children, and Xanax® can be extremely addictive. For senior citizens, the usual Xanax® dosage is typically lower than that of a younger adult. Dosages of .25 mg two or three times a day have been proven to be very effective in older patients. Many senior citizens who suffer from general anxiety or an inability to block intrusive thoughts are prescribed low doses of Xanax® as a form of sedative, since Xanax® depresses the central nervous system and affects the area of the brain which control emotions.
It is possible to overdose on Xanax®, and there are often severe side effects during any withdrawal period. Xanax® should never be combined with alcohol, and it should not be ordered online or through foreign or unfamiliar pharmacies. The pills should be taken at regularly timed intervals, not all at once or crushed into a liquid or soft food. There are forms of alprazolam available which dissolve on the patient's tongue if swallowing becomes an issue.