name: alprazolam (al PRAY zoe lam)
class: benzodiazepine, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety)
is XANAX® and what does it treat?
is a benzodiazepine. It is approved for the treatment of generalized
anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder with or without
agoraphobia. However, benzodiazepines are also commonly used to
treat difficulty sleeping and alcohol withdrawal.
Anxiety Disorder (GAD) occurs
when a person experiences excessive anxiety or worry for at least six
months. Other symptoms include
(low energy, feeling tired all the time)
disturbance (difficulty falling asleep or waking up in the middle of
Disorder occurs when a person experiences unexpected and repeated
episodes of intense fear. These episodes have physical symptoms
including chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations,
sweating, dizziness, and nausea. Fear of future episodes is also part
of panic disorder.
is the most important information I should know about XANAX®?
not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this
medication affects you because you may notice that you feel tired or
such as alprazolam, are often used for short periods of time only.
They may produce emotional and/or physical dependence (addiction)
even when used as recommended. Only your healthcare provider can
determine the length of treatment that is right for you.
not stop taking alprazolam without talking to your healthcare
provider first. Stopping alprazolam abruptly may result in one or
more of the following withdrawal symptoms: irritability, nausea,
tremor, dizziness, blood pressure changes, rapid heart rate, and
there specific concerns about XANAX® and
you are planning on becoming pregnant, notify your healthcare
provider to best manage your medications. People living with anxiety
disorders who wish to become pregnant face important decisions. It
is important to discuss this with your doctor and caregivers.
breastfeeding, caution is advised since alprazolam does pass into
should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking XANAX®?
of your condition that bother you the most
you have thoughts of suicide or harming yourself
you have taken in the past for your condition, whether they were
effective or caused any adverse effects
you experience side effects from your medications, discuss them with
your healthcare provider. Some side effects may pass with time, but
others may require changes in the medication.
other psychiatric or medical problems you have including obstructive
other medications you are currently taking (including over the
counter products and herbal and nutritional supplements) and any
medication allergies you have
non-medication treatment you are receiving such as talk therapy or
substance abuse treatment. Your provider can explain how these
different treatments work with the medication.
you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
you drink alcohol or use drugs
should I take XANAX®?
may be taken with or without food.
may be taken every day at regular times or on an as needed (‚ÄúPRN‚ÄĚ)
basis. Typically, your healthcare provider will limit the number of
doses you should take in one day.
healthcare provider will determine the dose and method of taking the
medication that is right for you based upon your response.
orally disintegrating tablets must remain in their original
packaging. Open the package with clean dry hands before each dose.
Do not try to put tablets in a pillbox if you take the orally
orally disintegrating tablets will dissolve in your mouth within
seconds and can be swallowed with or without liquid.
release tablets: Swallow whole. Do not chew, crush or split tablet.
liquid: Measure with a dosing spoon or oral syringe, which you can
get from your pharmacy.
you take the medication everyday (instead of ‚Äėas needed’), use a
calendar, pillbox, alarm clock, or cell phone alert to help you
remember to take it. You may also ask a family member or friend to
remind you or check in with you to be sure you are taking your
happens if I miss a dose of XANAX®?
you miss a dose of alprazolam, take it as soon as you remember,
unless it is closer to the time of your next dose. Discuss this with
your healthcare provider. Do not double your next dose or take more
than what is prescribed.
should I avoid while taking XANAX®?
drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs while you are taking
alprazolam. They may decrease the benefits (e.g., worsen your
condition) and increase the adverse effects (e.g., sedation) of the
medication. Alcohol increases the risk of accidental overdose with
medications like alprazolam.
happens if I overdose with XANAX®?
an overdose occurs call your doctor or 911. You may need urgent
medical care. You may also contact the poison control center at
of overdose include confusion, impaired coordination, slow reflexes,
coma, and death.
specific treatment to reverse the effects of alprazolam does exist.
This medicine, called flumazenil, can reverse the effects of
alprazolam but must be given through an IV at a hospital. Only a
doctor can decide if you need this medication.
are the possible side effects of XANAX®?
dizzy, drowsy, fatigued, or lightheaded
coordination, decreased ability to concentrate
you experience these side effects after starting clonazepam they will
often improve over the first week or two as you continue to take the
heart rate, headache, memory impairment, irritability, restlessness
people taking benzodiazepines develop a severe allergic reaction and
swelling of the face. This can occur as early as with the first
people taking benzodiazepines for sleep have experienced various
behaviors while they were asleep/not fully awake, such as sleep
driving, making phone calls, and preparing or eating food. The
individuals have no memory of the events when they awaken.
there any risks for taking XANAX® for long periods of time?
is a safe and effective medication when used as directed.
Benzodiazepines may produce emotional and/or physical dependence
(addiction) even when used as recommended. Physical dependence may
develop after 2 or more weeks of daily use.
other medications may interact with XANAX®?
following medications may increase the levels and effects of alprazolam:
and cimetidine (Tagamet®)
following medications may decrease the levels and effects of alprazolam:
should not be taken with other benzodiazepine medications.
may cause drowsiness, so caution should be used when combining it
with other medications that cause drowsiness. These could include:
such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl®)
pain medication such as morphine, oxycodone (OxyContin®),
and hydrocodone (Vicodin® and Lortab®),
medications such as zolpidem (Ambien®)
anti-anxiety medications, antipsychotic medications, certain
anticonvulsant medications, and tricyclic antidepressant medications
(such as amitriptyline)
long does it take for XANAX® to
starting alprazolam, anxiety or insomnia may improve rapidly or over
a period of days or within hours of the first dose of medication.
by the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists