Xanax is the trade name of the prescription medication alprazolam, and is in a category of drugs known as benzodiazepines. The medication works by interacting with a receptor in the brain that in turn increases inhibitory brain activity, thus tempering any problematic excitement related to anxiety. As a fast-acting drug, the majority of the benefits are established within an hour after use, with the total duration of effect being at least 6 hours. Xanax is commonly abused by those seeking it for its sedative effects. Xanax is especially addictive when misused (taken recreationally or other than as directed).