Alprazolam is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines which act on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect. It works by enhancing the effects of a certain natural chemical in the body (GABA).
How to use Xanax
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking alprazolam and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. Your dose may be gradually increased until the drug starts working well. Follow your doctor’s instructions closely to reduce the risk of side effects.
If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as seizures). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used alprazolam for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
See also Warning section.
Drowsiness, dizziness, increased saliva production, or change in sex drive/ability may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To minimize dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (such as hallucinations, thoughts of suicide), slurred speech or difficulty talking, loss of coordination, trouble walking, memory problems.
Get medical help right away if these rare but very serious side effects occur: yellowing eyes or skin, seizures.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US –
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking alprazolam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other benzodiazepines (such as diazepam, lorazepam); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: severe lung/breathing problems (such as COPD, sleep apnea), liver disease, kidney disease, personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol), glaucoma.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially loss of coordination and drowsiness. These side effects can increase the risk of falling.
Alprazolam is not recommended for use during pregnancy due to the potential for harm to an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details.
This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.