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Information about Xanax (Alprazolam)

Xanax - Alprazolam General Information

Xanax (alprazolam) belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. It works by slowing down the movement of chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced. This results in a reduction in nervous tension (anxiety).

Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression.

Xanax may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Do not use Xanax if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Do not use Xanax if you are allergic to alprazolam or to other benzodiazepines. Do not drink alcohol while taking Xanax. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol. Xanax may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed.

Xanax - Alprazolam Dosage and Administration

Take Xanax exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Do not crush, chew, or break a Xanax extended-release tablet. Swallow the tablet whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking the tablet would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

Contact your doctor if this medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your panic or anxiety symptoms.

You may have seizures or withdrawal symptoms when you stop using Xanax. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using Xanax.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Xanax is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

Store Xanax at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

For anxiety:

Adults — At first, 0.25 to 0.5 milligram (mg) three times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed. However, the dose usually is not more than 4 mg a day.

Children younger than 18 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Older adults — At first, 0.25 mg two or three times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed.

For panic disorder:

Adults — At first, 0.5 mg three times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed. However, the dose usually is not more than 10 mg a day.

Children younger than 18 years of age — Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Xanax- Alprazolam Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Xanax: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself, unusual risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger;

  • confusion, hyperactivity, agitation, hostility, hallucinations;

  • feeling like you might pass out;

  • urinating less than usual or not at all;

  • chest pain, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • uncontrolled muscle movements, tremor, seizure (convulsions); or

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious Xanax side effects may include:

  • drowsiness, dizziness, feeling tired or irritable;

  • blurred vision, headache, memory problems, trouble concentrating;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • swelling in your hands or feet;

  • muscle weakness, lack of balance or coordination, slurred speech;

  • upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea;

  • increased sweating, dry mouth, stuffy nose; or

  • appetite or weight changes, loss of interest in sex.