Xanax (Alprazolam): Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Warnings
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Anxiety and panic disorders can both be treated effectively with alprazolam. It is classified as a benzodiazepine, which is a type of tranquilizing medicine that works by affecting the brain and nerves (the central nervous system) to provide a relaxing effect. It does this by boosting the effects of a particular chemical that occurs naturally in the body (GABA).
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How to use Xanax
Please also see the section labeled Warning.
Before beginning treatment with alprazolam and whenever you acquire a refill for an existing prescription, it is important for you to read the Medication Guide that was provided by your pharmacist. If you have any questions, you should consult with either your physician or your pharmacist.
Consume this drug by mouth and follow your physician’s instructions. Your medical condition, age, and how well you respond to treatment all play a role in determining the appropriate dosage for you. It’s possible that your dose will be gradually increased until the drug begins to operate effectively. To lessen the likelihood of experiencing unwanted effects, it is important to carefully adhere to your physician’s instructions.
This prescription, despite the fact that it helps a large number of people, can sometimes lead to addiction. If you have a substance use disorder, such as excessive drug or alcohol use or addiction, your risk may be significantly increased for this condition. To reduce the likelihood of becoming addicted to this drug, it should be taken precisely as directed. Inquire with your primary care physician or your pharmacist for further information.
It is possible that the effectiveness of this drug will diminish after prolonged use. Talk to your healthcare provider if you notice that this drug is no longer functioning well.
If your situation does not improve or if it gets worse, you should consult your doctor.
It’s possible that you’ll experience drowsiness, dizziness, increased saliva production, or a shift in your sexual drive or ability. Notify your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if any of these side effects continue or become worse.
When rising from a seated or sleeping position, do so slowly to reduce the likelihood of experiencing symptoms of lightheadedness and dizziness.
Keep in mind that the reason your doctor has recommended that you take this medication is that he or she believes that the potential benefits to you outweigh the potential risks of doing so. The majority of persons who take this medicine do not report experiencing any severe adverse effects.
Notify your physician as soon as possible if you have any of the following uncommon but serious adverse effects: changes in your mental or emotional state (such as hallucinations or thoughts of suicide), difficulty speaking, loss of coordination, difficulty walking, or memory issues.
If you experience any of the following uncommon but life-threatening adverse effects, get immediate medical attention: yellowing of the eyes or skin, seizures.
It is quite unusual for this medicine to cause an extremely severe allergic reaction. However, you should seek immediate medical attention if you observe any symptoms of a major allergic response, such as a rash, itching/swelling (particularly of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing. These symptoms include:
This list of potential adverse effects is not exhaustive in any way. Please consult your physician or pharmacist if you have any side effects that are not listed above.
In the United States, if you are experiencing any adverse effects, please consult your primary care physician. You can call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or visit their website at www.fda.gov/medwatch to report any adverse effects.
In Canada, if you are experiencing any adverse effects, please consult your primary care physician. You can call Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345 to report any adverse effects you experience.
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Inform your physician or pharmacist that you are allergic to alprazolam, as well as to any other benzodiazepines (such as diazepam or lorazepam), or if you have any additional allergies before beginning treatment with alprazolam. There is a possibility that this product contains inactive substances, which, if present, could result in allergic responses or other complications. Discuss the matter further with your pharmacist for further information.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist of your complete medical history before beginning treatment with this medication. In particular, make sure to mention any of the following conditions: severe lung or breathing problems (such as COPD or sleep apnea), liver disease, kidney disease, personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as excessive use of drugs or alcohol, or addiction to drugs or alcohol), glaucoma.
This medication could cause you to feel lightheaded or sleepy. Drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana (also known as cannabis) can make you feel more lightheaded and sleepy. Do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle, operate any machinery, or engage in any activity that requires attentiveness until you are able to do it safely. Steer clear of beverages containing alcohol. If you are a marijuana user, you should consult your primary care physician (cannabis).
Before undergoing surgery, it is important to discuss all of the products you use with your dentist or doctor (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
It’s possible that elderly people are more vulnerable to the negative effects of this medication, particularly the lack of coordination and drowsiness it causes. These adverse effects can increase the likelihood of experiencing a fall.
During pregnancy, it is important to only use this drug when it is absolutely necessary. It could cause harm to an unborn child. Talk to your healthcare provider about the potential drawbacks and advantages. Babies who are born to women who have used this medicine in the later stages of pregnancy (the third trimester or later) may display symptoms such as unusual drowsiness, trouble feeding or breathing, trembling muscles, or continual wailing. Talk to the pediatrician as soon as possible if you discover that your newborn is exhibiting any strange symptoms.
This medication is excreted into breast milk and may have unintended consequences for an infant who is being breastfed. It is not recommended to continue breastfeeding while taking this medication. Before starting to breastfeed, you should talk to your healthcare provider.
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Drug interactions can alter the way in which your prescriptions work or raise the likelihood that you will have major adverse effects. This document does not contain all possible medication interactions. Maintain a list of all the goods you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as herbal remedies, and give it to both your primary care physician and your pharmacist. Without first consulting your physician, you should never alter the dosage of any medication, stop taking any medication, or start taking any new medication.
Kava and sodium oxybate are two examples of dietary supplements that might have an effect when combined with this medication.
The elimination of alprazolam from your body can be impacted by the use of other drugs, which in turn can have an effect on how well alprazolam functions. Cimetidine, certain antidepressants (such as fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, and nefazodone), drugs to treat HIV (delavirdine, protease inhibitors such as indinavir), macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), rifamycins (such as rifabutin), St. John’s wort, and drugs used to treat seizures (such as phenytoin) are some examples of medications.
If this drug is taken with other products that may also cause drowsiness or breathing issues, the chance of serious side effects (such as slow or shallow breathing, and severe drowsiness/dizziness) may be increased. These adverse effects include slow or shallow breathing, and severe drowsiness/dizziness. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medications, including opioid pain relievers or cough relievers (such as codeine or hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), other drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as diazepam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol or cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines. These medications can interact with the effects of this medication and cause (such as cetirizine, and diphenhydramine).
You should read the labels on all of your medications (such as those meant to treat allergies or coughs and colds) since some of them may contain substances that make you feel sleepy. Talk to your local pharmacist about the proper way to use those products.
The levels of this drug in the blood are reduced when cigarettes are smoked. If you smoke cigarettes or have just recently given up smoking, you should let your doctor know.
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Dial 911 if you suspect that someone has overdosed and they are exhibiting serious symptoms such as passing out or having problems breathing. In any other case, you should immediately contact a poison control center. To reach the poison control center for your area in the United States, dial 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents can call a provincial poison control center. Extreme sleepiness is one of the possible symptoms of an overdose, along with slower or diminished reflexes, sluggish breathing, and loss of consciousness.
This drug should not be given to anyone else. It is against the law to give it away.
Tests in the laboratory and/or examinations by a doctor (such as liver function tests) should be carried out on a regular basis in order to track your improvement and identify any potential adverse reactions. Consult your doctor for additional details.
If you forget to take a dose, you should take it as soon as you realize you forgot. If it is getting close to the time of the next dose, you should forgo the dose that you missed. Your next dose should be taken at the typical time. It is not necessary to double the dose in order to catch up.
Keep at room temperature and away from light and moisture. Store at room temperature. Keep away from the bathroom at all costs. Always make sure that children and animals are kept well away from any medications.
Unless you have been specifically told to do so, you should not flush drugs down the toilet or pour them down a drain. When it is no longer needed or has passed its expiration date, dispose of this product in the appropriate manner. For further information, please speak with your neighborhood pharmacist or the waste management firm in your area.