Alprazolam ( Xanax )

Xanax ( Alprazolam Intensol, Novo-Alprazol )
In Canada ( Apo-Alpzar, Nu-Alpraz )

XANAX (alprazolam tablets) is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Controlled clinical trials have demonstrated that XANAX is effective in the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, anxiety associated with depression, and Panic Disorder with or without agoraphobia.

XANAX XR is a prescription medicine for the treatment of panic disorder. XANAX XR is a once daily formulation of XANAX® (alprazolam tablets).

XANAX XR allows patients to take a single daily dose rather than 3 to 4 times per day with XANAX.

About Xanax | Alprazolam Intensol

Xanax (alprazolam) is an anti-panic and anti-anxiety medication. Xanax is in the group of drugs known as benzodiazepines, a class of antidepressants, anti-panic agents, and muscle relaxants. Xanax is only available by prescription.

Xanax is usually used as a short term treatment for major anxiety and certain phobias. Xanax is not usually necessary to relieve everyday stress or anxiety.

Store Xanax away from light and heat. Xanax Side Effects

Xanax side effects are usually temporary, and fade with continued treatment. Higher dosage also increases the risk of side effects. Operating automobiles or heavy machinery is not recommended while taking Xanax. Be aware of how this medication affects you before attempting any potentially dangerous activities.

Common Xanax side effects: drowsiness, fatigue, light-headedness, or speech problems.

Less common Xanax side effects: abdominal cramps, constipation, dry mouth, hyperventilation, blurred vision, nausea, chest pain, change in sex drive, confusion, headache, change in appetite, insomnia, unusual dreams, change in salivation, low blood pressure, racing heartbeat, fainting, nasal congestion, difficulty urinating, sweating, weight change, skin irritation, twitching or tremors, nervous or anxious state, sun sensitivity, respiratory infection, memory impairment, menstrual difficulties, and loss of coordination. Speak to your doctor about any of these effects; your dosage may need to be adjusted or treatment discontinued.

Rare Xanax side effects: difficulty concentrating, slurred or unusual speech, double vision, fear, altered sense of taste, lack of inhibition, muscle cramps or spasms, urination problems, tingling, incontinence, warmth, weakness, change in muscle tone, or yellow eyes and skin. Speak to your doctor if you experience any of these effects; your treatment may need to be discontinued.

Xanax treatment should be discontinued if any of the following occur: hyperexcitement, muscle spasm, anxiety, hallucinations, rage or other hostile behavior, tremors, insomnia, sleeping difficulties or overstimulation.

Cautions: Xanax has been known to interact undesirably with certain medical conditions. Tell your doctor if you have, or have a history of, any of the following conditions:

  • Alcohol or drug abuse - may increase likelihood of Xanax dependence
  • Allergic reaction to Xanax, or other benzodiazepine. Always tell your doctor about any allergies before starting a medication.
  • Borderline personality disorder or a history of violent behavior.
  • Brain disease - may increase likelihood of side effects from Xanax
  • Breathing difficulties such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or any other chronic lung disease - Xanax may worsen this condition.
  • Difficulty swallowing - This condition may become more pronounced in children.
  • Epilepsy or seizures - Abruptly starting or stopping treatment with Xanax may increase seizures. Although Xanax can be used as an aid to anti-tremor therapy, it should be used cautiously and strictly according to a doctor's instructions in these cases.
  • Glaucoma - Xanax should not be prescribed to patients with acute narrow-angle glaucoma. Patients receiving treatment for open angle glaucoma should consult their doctor, as Xanax may be an acceptable treatment for them.
  • Hyperactivity
  • Kidney or liver problems - In isolated cases, Xanax has been reported to cause jaundice. If you experience yellowing of the skin or eyes, seek medical treatment immediately. More Xanax may end up in your bloodstream if you have a pre-existing kidney or liver condition, increasing the likelihood of side effects.
  • Major Depression
  • Myasthenia gravis - This autoimmune disorder characterized by muscle weakness may be aggravated by Xanax treatment.
  • Porphyria - Xanax (alprazolam) is listed as an unsafe drug for porphyria, an enzyme deficiency that can cause fragile skin that is sensitive to sunlight, digestive difficulties, anxiety, and reddish-brown urine.
  • Psychosis or other serious mental illness - Xanax has not proved to be an effective treatment for these conditions, and is not recommended.
  • Sleep apnea (temporary suspension of breathing during sleep) - Xanax may worsen this condition. Individuals with sleep apnea should not generally use sedatives as sleep aids. (See Sleep Disorders)

Dependence: Xanax has been known to be habit-forming. Withdrawal symptoms may occur if treatment is discontinued abruptly. Follow your doctor's advice about how much, and how often, you should take Xanax. If you are considering stopping Xanax treatment, ask your doctor how to safely decrease and then stop Xanax. Xanax Interactions

Xanax slows the central nervous system, and should be taken with care with medications that do the same thing. When Xanax is taken with certain other medications, the rate of side effects may increase, and the action of either medication may be increased or altered. Certain medications can cause an undesirable build-up of Xanax in the body. Ask your doctor's advice about combining Xanax with any of the following:

  • Alcohol - Xanax should not be mixed with alcohol, it increases the risk of overdose and fatal toxicity.
  • Agenerase (amprenavir)
  • Any medication which may cause drowsiness
  • Antibiotics (esp. macrolide antibiotics) like azithromycin, biaxin, clarythromycin, or erythromycin
  • Antihistamines like Tavist or Benadryl
  • Adalat, Procardia (nifedipine)
  • Antabuse (disulfiram)
  • Antiseizure medication like Cerebyx (fosphenytoin), Dilantin (phenytoin), or Tegretol (carbamazepine).
  • Benzodiazepines of any other type, such as Valium (diazepam), Halcion (triazolam), Restoril (temazepam), Librium (chlordiazepoxide), Tranxene-SD (clorazepate), Paxipam (halazepam), ProSom (estazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • BuSpar (buspirone) - Can result in oversedation.
  • Cardene (nicardipine)
  • Cordarone (amiodarone)
  • Desyrel (trazodone) - Risk of additive CNS depression.
  • Diflucan (fluconazole)
  • Ergotamine derivatives
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Kava kava - Do not take this herb while taking Xanax.
  • Lanoxin (digoxin)
  • MAO inhibitors such as the antidepressants Nardil or Parnate.
  • Narcotic analgesics of any kind, like Darvon (propoxyphene), Darvocet (propoxyphene, acetaminophen), Demerol (meperidine), Codeine, Percocet (oxycodone, acetaminophen), Vicodin (hydrocodone, acetaminophen), Vicoprofen (hydrocodone and ibuprofen) or OxyContin (oxycodone) may accelerate central nervous system or respiratory depression when taken with Xanax. Also, Xanax may decrease the effectiveness of these medications as pain relievers.
  • Norflex (orphenadrine) - Risk of oversedation.
  • Neoral, Sandimmune (cyclosporine)
  • Nicotine - Heavy smoking may reduce the effectiveness of your treatment.
  • Nizoral (ketoconazole) - Xanax should not be mixed with this antifungal medication.
  • Oral contraceptives - May increase the effects of Xanax.
  • Prilosec (omeprazole) - May increase the effects of Xanax.
  • Rescriptor (delavirdine)
  • Rifamate (isoniazid), Rifater (rifampin), or Mycobutin (rifabutin)
  • Sedatives like Fioricet (butalbital, acetaminophen, and caffeine), Fiorinal (butalbital, aspirin, and caffeine), Phenobarbitol, Seconal, or other barbiturates
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Celexa (citalopram), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Luvox (fluvoxamine), or Zoloft (sertraline).
  • Serzone (nefazodone)
  • Skeletal muscle relaxants such as Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine), Skelaxin (metaxalone), Soma (carisoprodol), or Robaxin (methocarbamol) may cause oversedation in combination with this medication.
  • Sleep medication like Ambien (zolpidem), Sonata (zaleplon), or over the counter sleeping pills should be used with Xanax only as, and if, advised by your doctor.
  • Sporanox (itraconazole) - Xanax should not be mixed with this antifungal medication.
  • Street drugs - Marijuana may increase sedative effects from Xanax.
  • St. John's Wort - Do not take this herb while taking Xanax.
  • Tagamet (cimetidine)
  • Tranquilizers such as Haldol (haloperidol), Mellaril (thioridazine), or Thorazine (chlorpromazine) may cause oversedation.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants such as Elavil (amitriptyline), Asendin (amoxapine), Anafranil (clomipramine), Pertofrane or Norpramin (desipramine), Sinequan (doxepin), Tofranil (imipramine), Aventyl or Pamelor (nortriptyline), Vivactil (protriptyline), and Surmontil (trimipramine), may increase the risk of side effects from Xanax.
  • Valerian - Do not take this herb while taking Xanax.

Talk with your doctor if you are considering mixing an antidepressant and anxiety medication like Xanax with any other antidepressant, or any medication that may cause drowsiness. Anxiety medication can have increased, unexpected, or severe side effects when mixed with other medications that affect the central nervous system. Stimulants of any type may blunt the effectiveness of Xanax. Xanax Dosages

Xanax comes in doses of .25 mg (white oval tablet), .5 mg (pink oval tablet), 1 mg (blue oval tablet), and 2mg (white oblong tablet, scored). The usual starting dose is .25-.5 mg, 3-4 times per day, up to a maximum of 4-6 mg per day, divided among several doses.

Xanax should be taken exactly as your doctor recommends. Don't take more or less than prescribed, and don't double your doses if you should miss one. Take your doctor's advice about how quickly or slowly to ease off Xanax treatment if you plan to stop taking it. Xanax should not be started or stopped abruptly, as it strongly increases the likelihood of side effects. If you have a convulsive disorder, or experience severe muscle spasming, abruptly stopping or starting Xanax could increase these effects.

Xanax overdose symptoms can include confusion, poor coordination, sleepiness, or coma. Seek medical treatment immediately if you suspect an overdose. Xanax and Pregnancy

Xanax is not recommended for women who are breastfeeding, pregnant, or planning to become pregnant. Xanax could cause breathing problems or muscle weakness in an infant. Also, a newborn whose mother had been taking Xanax might experience withdrawal symptoms.

Other benzodiazepines, similar to Xanax, have been seen to cause an increase in birth defects. While Xanax has not been demonstrated to be a high risk factor for birth defects, the possibility exists that it could increase their likelihood. Xanax and Children

Xanax has not been studied for use in children. Xanax and Seniors

Older adults taking Xanax are usually encouraged to start with smaller doses (.25 mg 3-4 times per day) and limit intake to the smallest effective dose. Seniors are more likely to become too heavily sedated, or experience decreased muscle coordination. What Xanax Treats

Xanax has been prescribed as a treatment for:

  • Anxiety disorder characterized by unrealistic fears and excessive worries.
  • Panic Disorder, sometimes accompanied by fear of open spaces (agoraphobia).
  • Also for the temporary symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, depression, fear of strangers, irritable bowel, and premenstrual syndrome. Dosage varies.
  • Xanax may be prescribed in low doses to treat fibromyalgia.

Xanax is a trademark of Pharmacia & Upjohn

Do not take ketoconazole (Nizoral) or itraconazole (Sporanox) during treatment with alprazolam without first talking to your doctor. • Alprazolam may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), pain relievers, anxiety medicines, seizure medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine without first talking to your doctor. • Antacids may decrease the effects of alprazolam. Separate doses of an antacid and alprazolam by several hours whenever possible. • Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with alprazolam. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

Alternative Medication:

How it works:

Increases the action of GABA.

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