Xanax (alprazolam) is a type of medication that is primarily used for the acute management of panic disorder and other types of anxiety disorders. When Xanax is administered, it crosses the brain-blood-barrier and modulates GABAA receptor alpha-1 subunit activation. Neurons are hyperpolarized by the GABAergic modulation via an influx of chloride ions, which results in negative membrane potentials being induced.
When negative membrane potentials are induced, it makes it less likely that neurons will secrete or fire neurotransmitters throughout the brain. It basically reduces neuronal activation from Xanax action to decrease activity inside of the central nervous system, which produces effects such as drowsiness, cognitive impairment, myorelaxation, slowed thought speed, and/or psychological relaxation.
Also, since Xanax is a type of rapid-acting medication, many people consider Xanax to be among the most drugs for treating unexpected panic. Although Xanax is highly effective at managing many people’s anxiety disorder, there are some prospective users who might be concerns about the possible side effect of changing their weight.
Xanax (Alprazolam) and Weight Loss vs. Weight Gain (Potential Causes)
Randomized controlled trials have produced data that indicates that it is unlikely that Xanax will cause weight gain that is clinically significant (characterized to be a 7% increase in body weight from the baseline). However, the results from 8-week multiple randomized trials indicated that the ongoing administration of Xanax (at moderate doses) might cause modest levels of weight loss in some recipients.
It is important to understand that despite the fact that clinical trials have reported average incident rates for side effects (such as weight change) what you experience could be inconsistent with findings from the research. There is a chance you could be an abnormal responder or outlier so that you end up losing or gaining a lot more weight than other users of Xanax.
Potential reasons why someone may experience weight change when taking Xanax include the following: changes in their metabolic rate; fluctuation in energy level; body composition change; and/or appetite change. It is also necessary to emphasize the fact that the underlying cause(s) of any weight changes among users of Xanax can be subject to significant levels of variation between individuals; what might case one use to experience weight change might not explain another person’s weight change.
Appetite change: It has been suggested by several studies that one side effect of Xanax might be appetite change. The British Medical Journal published a study done by O’Sullivan et al. (1994) that reported a loss in appetite due to taking Xanax. Noyes et al. (1988) conducted a study that showed increased appetite as a Xanax side effect.
However, in the study, an increase in appetite was accompanied by weight loss, which is counterintuitive. Other studies by Haney et al. (1997) and Evans et al. (1999) reported increased appetite from taking Xanax. If you experience either a slight decrease or increase in appetite while you are taking Xanax to be aware, that could respectively lead to weight loss or weight gain.
Food cravings: For certain users, induced food cravings could be one reason why taking Xana could cause weight gain. It was discovered in a study that involved women who had a premenstrual syndrome that when Xanax was administered at an acute level (0.75 mg), it caused food cravings – for fatty foods specifically, which result in the taking of increased calories.
Although food carvings have not been reported in men or non-PMS women, Xanax might possibly induce food cravings by modulating activity in certain regions of the brain such as the ventral tegmental area and hypothalamus.