Alprazolam (also known as Xanax) is a depressant substance of the benzodiazepine class. Its characteristic effects include anxiety suppression, sedation, disinhibition, and muscle relaxation.
Like other benzodiazepines, alprazolam binds to specific sites on the GABAA receptor. It is commonly used for the medical treatment of panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), or social anxiety disorder (SAD).
Alprazolam has a fast onset of action and symptomatic relief. Ninety percent of peak effects are achieved within the first hour of using in preparation for panic disorder and full peak effects are achieved in 1.5 and 1.6 hours respectively. Peak benefits achieved for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) may take up to a week.