By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com
A batch of Xanax has been recalled by Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., for possible contamination with a foreign substance. The anti-anxiety medication was distributed between July and August of 2019 in 500-pill bottles with a lot number of 8082708 and an expiration date of September 2020. While no adverse health effects have been reported, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s statement reads, “Clinical impact from the foreign material, if present, is expected to be rare, but the remote risk of infection to a patient cannot be ruled out.”
Over 100 million people have prescribed drugs known as benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Ativan, etc.) for anxiety and insomnia each year. Despite the fact that these drugs are only meant to be used for short periods, up to a few weeks, many use them for years, and research suggests doing so may raise your risk of dementia. Studies have also shown that people who take such medications are not only at a higher risk for certain cancers but nearly four times more likely to die than people who don’t take them. There are other serious risks too, like addiction.
Drugs like Xanax exert a calming effect by boosting the action of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the same way as opioids (heroin) and some cannabinoids (cannabis) do. This, in turn, activates the gratification hormone, dopamine, in your brain. Since the identical brain “reward pathways” are used by both types of drugs, they can be equally addictive.
Over time, these drugs can accumulate in your body, which will increase your risk of an accidental overdose. Even at regular doses, these are mind-altering drugs, and as such have been linked to a seriously increased risk of getting into a car accident if you attempt to drive while taking them. Other common side effects of this class of drugs, regardless of age, include:
- Unsteady gait, and falling
- Hip fractures
- Drug-induced or drug-worsened impairment of thinking, memory loss
- Cancer and premature death
Feeling anxious is never pleasant, and you naturally want to escape it as quickly as possible. But remember, drugs should typically be your last choice. Learn about natural approaches for relieving anxiety here.
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