XANAX or ALPRAZOLAM:
Brand name(s): Xanax
Why is this medication prescribed?
Alprazolam is used to treat anxiety and panic
This medication is sometimes prescribed for
other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Alprazolam comes as a tablet to take by mouth.
It usually is taken two or three times a day and may be taken with or without
food. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your
doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take alprazolam
exactly as directed.
Alprazolam can be habit-forming. Do not take a
larger dose, take it more often, or for a longer time than your doctor tells you
to. Do not take alprazolam for more than 4 months or stop taking this medication
without talking to your doctor. Stopping this drug suddenly can worsen your
condition and cause withdrawal symptoms (anxiousness, sleeplessness,
irritability, and seizure). Withdrawal symptoms may be worse if you take more
than 4 mg of alprazolam every day. Your doctor probably will decrease your dose
Other uses for this medicine
Alprazolam also is used to treat anxiety from
depression, phobias, premenstrual syndrome, and irritable bowel syndrome. Talk
to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking alprazolam,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are
allergic to alprazolam, chlordiazepoxide (Librium, Librax), clonazepam (Klonopin),
clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), estazolam (ProSom), flurazepam (Dalmane),
lorazepam (Ativan), oxazepam (Serax), prazepam (Centrax), temazepam (Restoril),
triazolam (Halcion), or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what
prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially
amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone); antihistamines; cimetidine (Tagamet);
clarithromycin (Biaxin); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); digoxin (Lanoxin);
diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac); disulfiram (Antabuse); ergotamine (Cafatine,
Cafergot, Wigraine, others); erythromycin (Erythrocin); fluoxetine (Prozac);
fluvoxamine (Luvox); isoniazid (INH, Laniazid, Nydrazid); itraconazole (Sporanox);
ketoconazole (Nizoral); levodopa (Larodopa, Sinemet); medications for
depression, seizures, Parkinson's disease, pain, asthma, colds, or allergies;
metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL); muscle relaxants; nefazodone (Serzone);
nicardipine (Cardene); nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia); oral contraceptives;
phenytoin (Dilantin); probenecid (Benemid); propoxyphene (Darvon); propranolol
(Inderal ); rifampin (Rifadin); sedatives; sleeping pills; theophylline (Theo-Dur);
tranquilizers; valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote); and vitamins. These
medications may add to the drowsiness caused by alprazolam.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had
glaucoma; seizures; or lung, heart, or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to
become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking
alprazolam, call your doctor immediately.
- if you are having surgery, including dental
surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking alprazolam.
- you should know that this drug may make you
drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug
- remember that alcohol can add to the
drowsiness caused by this drug.
- tell your doctor if you use tobacco products.
Cigarette smoking may decrease the effectiveness of this drug.
What special dietary instructions should I
Do not drink grapefruit juice while taking
alprazolam; it may change the effectiveness of this medication.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you take several doses per day and miss a
dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not
take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Side effects from alprazolam are common and
- dry mouth
- upset stomach
- changes in appetite
Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are
severe or do not go away:
- restlessness or excitement
- difficulty urinating
- frequent urination
- blurred vision
- changes in sex drive or ability
If you experience any of the following symptoms,
call your doctor immediately:
- shuffling walk
- persistent, fine tremor or inability to sit
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- severe skin rash
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- irregular heartbeat
What storage conditions are needed for this
Keep this medication in the container it came
in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature
and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any
medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about
the proper disposal of your medication.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask
your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
Last Revised - 09/24/2001