Generic Name: Alprazolam
Brand Name: Xanax, Xanax XR
What is Alprazolam?
Alprazolam is useful in relieving symptoms of anxiety that include anxiety caused by depression and insomnia and anxiety disorders, in particular, generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder.
Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine, which belongs to the class of central nervous system depressants, drugs that slow down the nervous system. The medication is a schedule-IV controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration under the Controlled Substance Act, 1970 It means that alprazolam has a potential for abuse and misuse, although experts claim that it has a lower risk compared to other benzodiazepines. Alprazolam is available only on a doctor’s prescription.
Dr. Leo Sternbach discovered benzodiazepines. Upjohn Laboratories first released alprazolam in the year 1981. It is the first approved drug for panic attacks. Within two years of its release, alprazolam became one of the most popular drugs in the United States. For now, alprazolam is the most prescribed benzodiazepine in the country.
Uses of Alprazolam:
Alprazolam is primarily useful in the management of psychiatric disorders or anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. The medication also helps treat the short-term symptoms of anxiety-like depression and insomnia.
Take alprazolam only as administered by your doctor. Never take more doses, more frequent doses, or for longer than prescribed. Alprazolam comes with a medication guide. Follow all its instructions. If you have any uncertainties after reading the medication guide, contact a trusted pharmacist, or any healthcare professional.
For an extended-release tablet, swallow it one at a time with a glass of water. Never try to break, crush, or chew it. For orally disintegrating tablets, Pick the pill only with dry hands. Do not remove the medicine out of its bottle unless you are all set to take it. Immediately place the tablet on your tongue, and once it melts, swallow it with saliva.
For oral liquid, measure dose with only a marked measuring spoon, medicine cup, or an oral syringe. While on alprazolam medication, do not eat grapefruit or drink its juice.
The dose of alprazolam will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor’s directions for the use. The dosing instructions below are the average dosages for the general run. So, if you have a different dosing schedule, do not increase or decrease your dosages until the doctor tells you.
The amount of alprazolam, frequency of doses, and the time between doses depend upon your medical condition.
- Oral dosages (tablets, solution, and disintegrating tablets)
- Adults: start with 0.25-0.5 mg three times a day. A doctor may increase the dose as required. The usual maximum daily dosage is 4mg
- Geriatric patients: start with 0.25 mg two to three times a day. A doctor may increase the dosages as needed.
- Pediatric patients: Alprazolam tablets, solution, and orally disintegrating tablets are not for use in children below 18 years of age
- Extended-Release tablets
- Adults: begin with0.5 mg to 1mg given once every morning. Your doctor may titrate the dose as required. However, the maximum dose is 10 mg per day.
- Geriatric patients: begin with 0.5 mg given once every morning. Your doctor may titrate the dose as needed.
- Pediatric patients: Alprazolam extended-release tablets are not for use in children below 18 years of age
- Oral dosages (tablets, solution, and disintegrating tablets)
- Adults: initiate with 0.5 mg three times a day. The doctor will increase the doses accordingly. A maximum daily dose is 10 mg per day.
- Geriatric patients: initiate with 0.25 mg two to three times a day. The doctor will increase your doses accordingly.
- Pediatric patients: Alprazolam tablets, solutions, and orally disintegrating tablets are not for use in panic disorder patients below 18 years of age.
Precautions of Alprazolam
It is essential to weigh the risks associated with alprazolam against its therapeutic effects. Consider the following before you buy alprazolam online:
Inform a doctor if you have an allergy or any unusual reactions with alprazolam or other benzodiazepines. Also, inform the doctor about allergies you have, such as food allergy, allergic reactions from dyes and preservatives, and animal allergies. Read the label and ingredients carefully before taking alprazolam.
Some drugs have a dangerous interaction with alprazolam. These include:
Other medications may interact with alprazolam to decrease its effectiveness or increase the side effects. It is not recommendable to use two medications together that interact. However, in exceptional cases, a doctor may prescribe you to use two interacting drugs together with adjusted dosages. Some medicines that interact with alprazolam, but you can take them simultaneously only on a doctor’s prescription, include:
No clinical studies show a relationship of age to the therapeutic effects of alprazolam in the pediatric population. However, there is no establishment of its safety and efficacy for children.
Clinical studies have no demonstration of geriatric-related problems limiting the effectiveness of alprazolam in older adults. However, older patients will more likely have side effects such as severe dizziness or drowsiness, clumsiness, confusion, unsteadiness, kidney, lung, and liver problems. These conditions may require cautious adjustment in pediatric dosages.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Studies show that alprazolam has a risk to the fetus, and it also passes into human breast milk. Therefore, it is not recommendable to take alprazolam during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, if the benefits outweigh its potential risks, the doctor may prescribe alprazolam to a pregnant or nursing woman.
The presence of several health conditions can affect the use of alprazolam. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions before taking alprazolam:
- History of alcohol abuse
- Self or family history of depression
- History of drug abuse or dependence
- Breathing or lung problems
- History of mania or manic episodes
- Seizures disorder
- Acute narrow-angle glaucoma
- Kidney or liver diseases
Apart from its therapeutic effects, alprazolam may cause several unwanted effects too. Not all the side effects need to occur for a patient. Some patients may have a few side effects; some may have many, or some may have severe side effects.
Common side effects
- Unsteadiness or clumsiness
- Changed patterns or rhythms of speech
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of sex drive
- Unusual drowsiness
- Trouble sleeping
- Less frequent urination
- Dry mouth
- Ear congestion
- Joint pain
- Memory impairment
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
- Swollen joints
- Vomiting of blood
- The yellowness of skin or eyes
Severe side effects
- Loss of memory
- Chest pain
- Loss of hearing abilities
- Menstrual disorder
- Slow or shallow breathing
Adverse effects not listed above can also occur. It is advisable to check with your doctor if you have any unwanted effects following the treatment of alprazolam.