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Drug


alprazolam
generic
 



Generic Name:alprazolam
Pronounced:al PRAH zoe lam
Brand Names:Niravam, Xanax, Xanax XR

What is the most important information I should know about alprazolam?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Alprazolam will cause drowsiness and may cause dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities.
Avoid alcohol while taking alprazolam. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness caused by alprazolam.
Do not crush, chew, or break the extended-release form alprazolam (Xanax XR). Swallow them whole. These tablets are specially formulated to release the medication slowly in the body.
Alprazolam is habit forming. You can become physically and psychologically dependent on the medication. Do not take more than the prescribed amount of medication or take it for longer than is directed by your doctor. Withdrawal effects may occur if alprazolam is stopped suddenly after several weeks of continuous use. Seizures may be a side effect of sudden discontinuation of the medication. Your doctor may recommend a gradual reduction in dose.

What is alprazolam?
Alprazolam is in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Alprazolam affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety.
Alprazolam is used to relieve anxiety, nervousness, and tension associated with anxiety disorders. Alprazolam is also used to treat panic disorders.
Alprazolam may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking alprazolam?
Do not take alprazolam if you have narrow-angle glaucoma. Alprazolam may worsen this condition.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you
  • have kidney disease;
  • have liver disease;
  • have a history of alcohol or drug abuse;
  • have asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or another respiratory disease;
  • are depressed or have suicidal thoughts; or
  • have mania, bipolar disorder, or another psychiatric condition (other than anxiety or panic disorder).
You may not be able to take alprazolam, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.
Alprazolam is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that alprazolam is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether alprazolam passes into breast milk. Do not take alprazolam without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
If you are over 65 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from alprazolam. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of the medication.

How should I take alprazolam?

Take alprazolam exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
Take each dose with a full glass of water.
Do not crush, chew, or break the extended-release form alprazolam (Xanax XR). Swallow them whole. These tablets are specially formulated to release the medication slowly in the body.
Do not take more of the medication than is prescribed for you.
Alprazolam is habit forming. You can become physically and psychologically dependent on the medication. Do not take more than the prescribed amount of medication or take it for longer than is directed by your doctor. Withdrawal effects may occur if alprazolam is stopped suddenly after several weeks of continuous use. Seizures may be a side effect of sudden discontinuation of the medication. Your doctor may recommend a gradual reduction in dose.
Store alprazolam at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication. A double dose could be dangerous.

What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.
Symptoms of an alprazolam overdose include sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, a slow heart beat, difficulty breathing, difficulty walking and talking, an appearance of being drunk, and unconsciousness.

What should I avoid while taking alprazolam?
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Alprazolam will cause drowsiness and may cause dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities.
Avoid alcohol while taking alprazolam. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness caused by alprazolam.
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 other medicine without first talking to your doctor.

What are the possible side effects of alprazolam?

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking alprazolam and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, face, or tongue; or hives);
  • sores in the mouth or throat;
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes;
  • a rash;
  • hallucinations or severe confusion; or
  • changes in vision.
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take alprazolam and talk to your doctor if you experience
  • drowsiness, dizziness, or clumsiness;
  • depression;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation;
  • difficulty urinating;
  • vivid dreams;
  • headache;
  • dry mouth;
  • decreased sex drive; or
  • changes in behavior.
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect alprazolam?
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.

Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist has additional information about alprazolam written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?
Alprazolam is available with a prescription under the brand names Xanax and Niravam. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise.

Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides.

The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.


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