Commonly used brand name(s):
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antianxiety
Pharmacologic Class: Benzodiazepine, Short or Intermediate Acting
Alprazolam is used to relieve symptoms of anxiety, including anxiety caused by depression. It is also used to treat panic disorder in some patients.
Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines belong to the group of medicines called central nervous system (CNS) depressants, which are medicines that slow down the nervous system.
alprazolam is available only with your doctor's prescription.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For alprazolam, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to alprazolam or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of alprazolam in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of alprazolam in the elderly. However, severe drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, clumsiness, or unsteadiness are more likely to occur in the elderly, who are usually more sensitive than younger adults to the effects of alprazolam. Elderly patients may require a lower dose to help reduce unwanted effects.
|All Trimesters||D||Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.|
Studies in women breastfeeding have demonstrated harmful infant effects. An alternative to this medication should be prescribed or you should stop breastfeeding while using alprazolam.
Using alprazolam with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using alprazolam with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using alprazolam with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of alprazolam. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Take alprazolam only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
Swallow the extended-release tablet whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, crush, or chew it.
If you are using the orally disintegrating tablet, make sure your hands are dry before you handle the tablet. Do not remove the tablets from the bottle until you are ready to take it. Place the tablet immediately on the top of your tongue. It should melt quickly and be swallowed with saliva.
If you are using the oral solution, measure the oral liquid with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
The dose of alprazolam will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of alprazolam. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If you miss a dose of alprazolam, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
It is very important to protect the orally disintegrating tablets from moisture. Remove and throw away any cotton packaging from the medicine bottle when you first use the medicine.
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure alprazolam is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.
Using alprazolam while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Do not take itraconazole (Sporanox®) or ketoconazole (Nizoral®) while you are using alprazolam. Using any of them together with alprazolam may increase the chance of serious side effects.
If you develop any unusual and strange thoughts or behavior while you are taking alprazolam, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. Some changes that have occurred in people taking alprazolam are like those seen in people who drink alcohol and then act in a manner that is not normal. Other changes may be more unusual and extreme, such as confusion, worsening of depression, hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there), suicidal thoughts, and unusual excitement, nervousness, or irritability.
Alprazolam may cause some people, especially older persons, to become drowsy, dizzy or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to alprazolam before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy, or are not alert or able to see well.
Do not stop taking alprazolam without checking with your doctor first. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping it completely. This may help prevent a worsening of your condition and reduce the possibility of withdrawal symptoms, such as convulsions (seizures), stomach or muscle cramps, sweating, tremors, vomiting, or unusual behavior.
alprazolam will add to the effects of alcohol and other central nervous system (CNS) depressants. CNS depressants are medicines that slow down the nervous system, which may cause drowsiness or make you less alert. Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates (used for seizures); muscle relaxants; or anesthetics (numbing medicines), including some dental anesthetics. This effect may last for a few days after you stop taking alprazolam. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are using alprazolam.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:More common
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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