Table of contents


15 min read

How to get prescribed Xanax for anxiety

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: Apr 26, 2024

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zoe Russell

Table of contents

If you’re struggling with anxiety symptoms or a panic disorder and looking for information on how to get prescribed Xanax, this guide takes you through what Xanax treats, how to get a prescription, and more so you can make an informed decision with a healthcare provider.

If you’re seeking professional help to treat an anxiety disorder and want to understand whether Xanax is right for you, find a provider for an online or in-person appointment on Klarity today.

Start the conversation about the right anxiety medication and treatment
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What does Xanax treat?

Xanax (alprazolam) is a prescription medication primarily used to treat anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder. It’s a part of the benzodiazepine family and works as a sedative to calm the brain and nerves.

If you’re wondering how to get a Xanax prescription, it’s important to understand its applications and whether it’s right for your symptoms. Besides treating GAD, Xanax can also be effective for social anxiety and other related mental health conditions.

5 steps for how to get prescribed Xanax

The 5 essential steps for getting prescribed Xanax are outlined below.

1 — Schedule an appointment with a medical provider

Start your journey by scheduling an appointment with a licensed medical provider authorized to handle controlled substances, such as Xanax. Whether the appointment is through a traditional, in-person consultation or a more modern telehealth service online, it’s important to engage with a qualified provider who can appropriately assess your condition.

2 — Talk about the symptoms you’ve been dealing with

Engage in a transparent conversation about the anxiety symptoms you’re facing. Share information about the nature of your anxiety disorder or panic attacks, the intensity and frequency of symptoms, and any previous interventions you’ve undergone. This insight can help your provider accurately evaluate your needs.

3 — Get treatment recommendations

Your healthcare provider may recommend different treatment options, including therapy or medication. Getting prescribed Xanax involves considering various factors and opting for a treatment that best suits your individual needs. Your provider will recommend Xanax if it’s right for you.

4 — Receive a prescription from a licensed provider

If your medical provider determines that Xanax is an appropriate treatment, they’ll write you a prescription or send it to your preferred pharmacy for you. Your medical provider will discuss specific details about your prescription with you, including information on your dose, how often to take it, and how long you might need to take it.

5 — Get your prescription filled at a local pharmacy

The final step in the process is getting your Xanax prescription filled at a local or online pharmacy. Always opt for reputable pharmacies that comply with legal regulations and preferably accept your health insurance. With your prescription in hand, you can get your Xanax and begin treatment under the guidance of your healthcare provider.

Can you get Xanax over the counter?

No, you can’t get Xanax or other prescription drugs over the counter. Xanax is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance by the DEA, and obtaining it without a valid prescription is illegal. Being classified as a Schedule IV drug means it has a low potential for abuse and a low likelihood of addiction, but both are still possible to occur. If this is a concern, talk with a healthcare provider about non-addictive anxiety medications.

It’s important to note that going through unauthorized channels to obtain a prescription for Xanax can lead to potential health risks and even legal action.

Can you get prescribed Xanax online?

The providers on Klarity and other online platforms make it possible to get online prescriptions for Xanax. By connecting with a licensed medical professional on telehealth platforms, you can discuss your symptoms and get evaluated. If a licensed medical provider determines that a Xanax prescription is the best treatment plan for you, they’ll give a prescription.

How to talk to your doctor about getting a Xanax prescription

Talking to your provider about getting a Xanax prescription is an essential step in how to get prescribed Xanax.

Open communication, clear expression of your symptoms, and honesty about your condition are key components in this process. Your healthcare provider will assess your situation and, if deemed appropriate, prescribe Xanax as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Patient-provider trust is at the heart of successful treatment, so maintain an open and honest relationship with your healthcare provider.

Who’s eligible to get a Xanax prescription?

Determining whether you’re a candidate for a Xanax prescription requires a thorough evaluation by a licensed medical provider. Typically, if you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety disorders, panic attacks, or related mental health conditions, Xanax may be a good choice for you.

Your detailed medical history, ongoing medications, and lifestyle factors will be assessed to ensure that Xanax is an appropriate treatment option for you. It’s important to note that if you have a history of substance abuse disorders, you’re not a good candidate for a Xanax prescription and should be closely monitored due to the risk of severe interactions and exacerbation of mental health conditions.

Additionally, if you suffer from respiratory issues, liver or kidney diseases, or a history of depression, you may face increased risks with Xanax. If you’re elderly, pregnant, or breastfeeding, you may also be advised caution due to heightened sensitivity or adverse effects on your child.

Xanax side effects

Xanax can cause common and severe side effects. Common side effects include drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, and headaches. Less common but more serious side effects may include difficulty breathing, severe drowsiness, or mood changes.

Long-term use of Xanax may also lead to dependence or addiction. Any side effects should be reported to a healthcare provider, as they may require adjustments to your dosage or a change in medication.

Symptoms of Xanax misuse

Xanax addiction is a concern. Symptoms can include a preoccupation with obtaining the drug, using it in higher doses than prescribed, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you’re not taking it, and continued use despite negative consequences.

Addiction can affect your daily functioning and relationships and often requires professional intervention and treatment to overcome.

Xanax withdrawal signs

Withdrawal from Xanax can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. Symptoms may include anxiety, insomnia, sweating, nausea, seizures, or even death in severe cases. Withdrawal should always be managed under medical supervision. Stopping Xanax usually involves a gradual reduction in dosage over time to minimize these risks.

Xanax warnings

Xanax, like other prescription medications, comes with specific warnings and precautions.

Medication and drug interactions

Xanax may interact with various other medications and substances, leading to undesirable effects and consequences. Some specific interactions to be aware of include:

  • Alcohol: Combining Xanax with alcohol can increase the sedative effects of both substances, leading to enhanced drowsiness, impaired judgment, and potential respiratory depression.
  • Opioids: Concurrent use with opioid medications may increase your risk of sedation, respiratory problems, or even a fatal overdose.
  • Antifungals: Certain antifungal medications, such as ketoconazole, can affect the metabolism of Xanax, leading to increased levels of the drug in your body.
  • Antidepressants: Some antidepressants may interact with Xanax, either enhancing or diminishing its effects.
  • Herbal supplements: Certain herbal supplements, like St. John’s Wort, may interact with Xanax, affecting its efficacy.
  • Grapefruit juice: Consumption of grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking Xanax can increase the concentration of Xanax in your bloodstream and lead to potentially adverse effects.

It’s important to tell your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs you take to prevent harmful interactions when taking prescribed Xanax.

What if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding?

Xanax is classified as a Category D drug by the FDA, meaning there’s evidence of potential risk to a fetus.

  • Pregnancy: Xanax may cause congenital disabilities or withdrawal symptoms in your child if taken during pregnancy. It may also contribute to respiratory problems or sedation in your newborn if used during labor.
  • Breastfeeding: Xanax is excreted into breast milk and may affect a nursing infant. The use of Xanax while breastfeeding may lead to drowsiness or other side effects in your baby.

If you’re pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, it’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider. Alternatives to Xanax or adjustments to your dosage may be needed to ensure the safety of both you and your child. Regular monitoring and open communication with your healthcare provider are key to ensuring safety.

Prescription cost of Xanax

The cost of Xanax varies depending on your prescribed dose, quantity, geographic location, and whether you choose the brand name or generic version (alprazolam). Prices can range from $10 to over $100 for a month’s supply. Many insurance plans cover part or all of the cost, and pharmacies may offer discount programs.

Get prescribed Xanax today

Navigating the world of anxiety treatments can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. On Klarity, you can find a licensed medical provider who understands your unique needs and can guide you through the process of getting the right prescription, including Xanax, if appropriate.

Book an appointment with a mental health expert on Klarity today.

Prescription Xanax FAQs

Who is a good candidate for Xanax?

Xanax may be right for you if you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety or panic disorders and haven’t found relief through first-line treatments, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or psychotherapy. Ideally, you’re seeking short-term relief without a history of substance misuse and don’t have contraindicating conditions, such as severe respiratory issues, sleep apnea, or severe liver impairment.

Careful consideration by healthcare professionals is necessary to balance the benefits of alleviating your anxiety symptoms against risks like dependence, withdrawal, and potential interactions with other medications. Xanax isn’t recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding due to risks to your infant.

Who can prescribe Xanax?

Xanax must be prescribed by a licensed healthcare professional who’s authorized to prescribe controlled substances. This includes psychiatrists, general practitioners, and other licensed medical specialists.

It’s vital to consult with an experienced healthcare provider who can evaluate your specific situation and symptoms to determine if being prescribed Xanax is an appropriate treatment option for you.

What’s the recommended Xanax dosage and administration?

Your recommended dose and administration of Xanax depends on the specific condition being treated, your age, existing medical conditions, and your response to other types of treatment or therapy.

As an adult with anxiety, your starting dose may be 0.25 to 0.5 milligrams and is typically prescribed on an as-needed basis. Therefore, it can be taken up to 3 times a day, but shouldn’t be taken every day unless necessary, for example, to treat a panic attack or acute episode of anxiety.

Your dose may be gradually increased to a maximum of 4.0 milligrams daily. If you have a panic disorder, the starting dose may be between 0.5 and 1.0 milligrams, taken once or several times daily. It can be increased gradually, with the typical therapeutic dosage ranging from 1.0 to 10 milligrams daily, depending on your tolerance.

Xanax is available in tablet form and should be taken exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Youcan be taken with or without food, but consistency helps maintain the medicine’s effects.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

Missing a dose of Xanax may cause temporary anxiety or discomfort. If you realize you’ve missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it’s close to the time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Avoid doubling up on the dose to make up for the missed one, as this can lead to your being overmedicated. You should take Xanax on an as-needed basis, so, “skipping a dose” shouldn’t be a problem.

Keeping a medication journal or setting reminders can help you stay on track, but consult with your healthcare provider for specific instructions for your situation.

Can you overdose on Xanax?

Yes, overdosing on Xanax is a serious problem and can be fatal. Symptoms of an overdose can include extreme drowsiness, confusion, lack of coordination, slow reflexes, or even coma. Overdose risk is higher if Xanax is taken in combination with other substances like alcohol or opioids.

If you suspect you’ve overdosed, seek emergency medical help immediately. Treatment for Xanax overdose typically involves supportive care, including monitoring vital signs and possibly administering medications to counteract the effects.

Do you need insurance to get a Xanax prescription?

Insurance isn’t a requirement for obtaining a prescription for Xanax. However, having insurance can reduce the financial burden of the medication and accompanying doctor visits.

Without insurance, assistance programs and generic versions may make the treatment more affordable for you. Always discuss financial considerations with your healthcare provider or pharmacist to find the best option for your situation.

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