Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • John C. Courtney
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79948-3_1624

Generic Name


Brand Name

Xanax, Xanax XR



Proposed Mechanism(s) of Action

Binds to benzodiazepine receptors at the GABA-A ligand-gated channel, thus allowing for neuronal hyperpolarization. Benzodiazepines enhance the inhibitory action of GABA via boosted chloride conductance.


Generalized Anxiety and Panic Disorders

Off Label Use

Other anxiety disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, adjunctive treatment in mania and psychosis, premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Side Effects


Respiratory depression, hepatic dysfunction (rare), renal dysfunction and blood dyscrasias, grand mal seizures


Sedation, fatigue, depression, dizziness, memory problems, disinhibition, confusion, ataxia, slurred speech

References and Readings

  1. Physicians’ Desk Reference (62nd ed.). (2007). Montvale, NJ: Thomson PDR.Google Scholar
  2. Stahl, S. M. (2007). Essential psychopharmacology: The prescriber’s guide (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Additional Information

  1. Free Drug Online and PDA Software: www.epocrates.com

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Courtney
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyChildren's Hospital of New OrleansNew OrleansUSA