Xanax

1 Alprazolam: A Summary

Brand name:

Xanax, Xanax XR, Niravam

Alprazolam tablet is an oral drug for treating anxiety disorders. Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by unrealistic or excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation) about two or more life circumstances, for a period of six months or longer, during which the person has been bothered more days than not by these concerns. Alprazolam tablets are also used for the treatment of panic disorders.

Alprazolam is available in 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1mg and 2 mg tablets.

Instructions

You should read the product information leaflet before using this medication. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

This medication should be taken by mouth as instructed by your doctor. Do not crush or chew the drug because it may diminish its effects. This medication should be taken with a full glass of water unless your doctor tells you otherwise. You should swallow the drug whole.Your dosage is based on your medical condition and the way you will respond to treatment. Take this drug regularly to experience the most benefits. You should also take this drug at the same time each day.

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. Continue to use it as prescribed by your doctor or as stated on the package label.

Interactions

Alprazolam may interact with medications and supplements such as:

  • Kava
  • Sodium oxybate
  • Azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole)
  • Cimetidine
  • Certain anti-depressants (such as fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, nefazodone)
  • Drugs to treat HIV (delavirdine, protease inhibitors such as indinavir)
  • Macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin)
  • Rifamycins (such as rifabutin)
  • St. John's wort
  • Drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin)
  • Certain antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine)
  • Medicine for sleep or anxiety (such as diazepam, zolpidem)
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine)
  • Psychiatric medicines (such as chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone)

Side Effects

There are no side effects known aside from a possible allergic reaction in people who have previous or unknown hypersensitivity to the drug.

Watch out for signs of allergic reactions such as:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling

Warnings

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have the following:

  • Allergy to alprazolam or to other benzodiazepines (such as diazepam, lorazepam)
  • Severe lung/breathing problems (such as COPD, sleep apnea)
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Glaucoma
  • Pregnancy or lactation

2 Xanax interactions

Xanax may interact with medications and supplements such as:

  • Kava
  • Sodium oxybate
  • Azole antifungal (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole)
  • Cimetidine
  • Certain antidepressants (such as fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, nefazodone)
  • Drugs to treat HIV (delavirdine, protease inhibitors such as indinavir)
  • Macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin)
  • Rifamycins (such as rifabutin)
  • St. John's wort
  • Drugs used to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin)
  • Certain antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine)
  • Medicine for sleep or anxiety (such as diazepam, zolpidem)
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine)
  • Psychiatric medicines (such as chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone)

3 Xanax side effects

Mild side effects of Xanax include dizziness and drowsiness.

Watch out for signs of allergic reactions such as:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling

Xanax

4 Before using Xanax

Before starting Xanax, notify your doctor of the following:

  • Allergy to alprazolam or to other benzodiazepines (such as diazepam, lorazepam)
  • Severe lung/breathing problems (such as COPD, sleep apnea)
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Glaucoma
  • Pregnancy or lactation

Xanax should be consumed orally as per the instructions of your doctor. The dosage of the medication depends upon the overall health and the medical condition of the patient, age, and their response to treatment. The dosage may be revised and slowly increased until the drug starts to work. Your dose may be gradually increased until the drug starts working well. It is important to take the drug exactly as recommended by the doctor to reduce any risk of any side effects following the medication.

The Xanax drug is known to cause withdrawal symptoms in people, especially when the medicine is consumed for a long period of time and in a higher dosage. In such circumstances, there could be certain withdrawal symptoms such as seizures which could occur when the medication is stopped. To prevent any form of withdrawal reactions, the doctor may reduce the dosage of this drug very slowly. In case you do face any form of withdrawal symptoms, immediately inform you doctor.

Although the benefits of the medicine are meant to outweigh the risks, there could be abnormal addiction behavior induced by this medicine. The risk factor automatically increases along with a case of alcohol abuse or drug abuse. The medicine should be consumed exactly as prescribed to reduce any risks of addictions and abuse associated with it.

If this medicine is consumed for a long time, it may tend to lose its effectiveness. Speak to your doctor in case you think the medicine is not giving you the desired effect or benefits. Speak to your doctor immediately if the condition worsens or continues for a long time.

5 Xanax withdrawal symptoms

While there are many advantages of using Xanax for treating anxiety disorders, it is slowly becoming a cause of concern among doctors. Most people who are recommended this drug are often using it for a long period of time that goes from 5-10 years.

Benzos like Xanax, Ativan, and Valium are known to be used for short-term relief. However, when the medicines are taken as prescribed, people can become dependent on the medication. Becoming dependent on benzos can eventually turn into a long-term problem, causing serious withdrawal symptoms.

Some of the commonly faced withdrawal symptoms of Xanax include:

  • Increased irritation and outbursts: Benzos fall under the depressant category and they slow down the natural functions and responses of the body. Once benzo consumption is stopped, the calming functions that were being performed by the medication automatically stop, which results in the withdrawal symptoms of the medicine.
  • Inability to focus: Benzos like Xanax are known to slow down the functioning of the body including the transmitters which are important for coordination, problem solving, and memory functions. When medication consumption stops, these functions are affected.
  • Disturbed sleep: People who are on medications like Xanax often sleep a lot. However, this is not normal sleep, but sleep induced by the medicine. When benzo consumption stops, people are unable to get their natural sleep cycle back which could result in insomnia.
  • Anxiety: Yes, benzos are taken to control symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, once the medication is stopped, there are very good chances of the condition returning back causing disturbances in the mental behavior of a person.

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