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Xanax (Alprazolam) belongs to the class of medicines called benzodiazepines. It is used for the short-term symptomatic relief of excessive anxiety.
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Xanax (Alprazolam) belongs to the class of medicines called benzodiazepines. It is used for the short-term symptomatic relief of excessive anxiety. It is also used to treat generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. Xanax (Alprazolam) works by slowing down the brain (central nervous system).
Xanax (Alprazolam) may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of Xanax (Alprazolam) may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of Xanax (Alprazolam) may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested Xanax (Alprazolam) for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking Xanax (Alprazolam), speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking Xanax (Alprazolam) without consulting your doctor.
Do not give Xanax (Alprazolam) to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take Xanax (Alprazolam) if their doctor has not prescribed it.
The recommended dose of Xanax (Alprazolam) for adults varies depending on its use. The starting dose for excessive anxiety is 0.25 mg taken 2 or 3 times a day. This is gradually increased until anxiety is controlled and side effects are minimized. Elderly patients may be started at a lower dose of 0.125 mg taken 2 or 3 times a day. The usual maximum dose is 3 mg daily.
The starting dose for panic attacks is 0.5 mg to 1 mg at bedtime or 0.5 mg taken 3 times daily. The dose is then gradually increased until there are no more panic attacks.
The dose is usually started low and increased if necessary, as prescribed by your doctor. It is important that the dose be individualized to your specific needs to avoid excessive sedation or motor impairment.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
Xanax (Alprazolam) may be habit-forming when taken for long periods of time. If you have been taking Xanax (Alprazolam) regularly for a long period of time (i.e., more than one month), do not stop taking the medication without speaking with your doctor. A gradual reduction in dose is recommended when stopping Xanax (Alprazolam) to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
It is important to take Xanax (Alprazolam) exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store at room temperature in a dry place and keep it out of reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes Xanax (Alprazolam). If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of Xanax (Alprazolam) with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking Xanax (Alprazolam). Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking Xanax (Alprazolam).
Each white, single score tablet, embossed with "Upjohn 29", contains 0.25 mg of Xanax (Alprazolam). Nonmedicinal ingredients: cornstarch, Docusate Sodium, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and silicon dioxide.
Each peach, single score tablet, embossed with "Upjohn 55", contains 0.5 mg of Xanax (Alprazolam). Nonmedicinal ingredients: cornstarch, docusate sodium, FD&C Yellow No. 6, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and silicon dioxide.
Each lavender, single score tablet, embossed with "Upjohn 90", contains 1 mg of Xanax (Alprazolam). Nonmedicinal ingredients: cornstarch, docusate sodium, erythrosin sodium, FD&C Blue No. 2, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and silicon dioxide.
Do not take Xanax (Alprazolam) if you:
There may be an interaction between Xanax (Alprazolam) and any of the following:
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with Xanax (Alprazolam). Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the Nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or Allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use Xanax (Alprazolam).
HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY
October 30, 2020
Health Canada has issued new restrictions concerning the use of benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine-like prescription drugs. To read the full Health Canada Advisory, visit Health Canada's web site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Alcohol and other medications that cause drowsiness: People taking Xanax (Alprazolam) should not combine it with alcohol and avoid combining it with other medications, such as narcotic pain relievers, that cause drowsiness. Doing so can cause additive drowsiness and reduced breathing as well as other side effects, which can be dangerous and possibly fatal.
Dependence and withdrawal: Physical dependence (a need to take regular doses to prevent physical symptoms) has been associated with benzodiazepines such as Xanax (Alprazolam). Severe withdrawal symptoms may be experienced if the dose is significantly reduced or suddenly discontinued. These symptoms include seizures, irritability, nervousness, sleep problems, agitation, tremors, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, memory impairment, headache, muscle pain, extreme anxiety, tension, restlessness, and confusion. Reducing the dose gradually, under medical supervision, can help prevent or decrease these withdrawal symptoms.
Because the treatment of panic disorder often requires the use of average daily doses of Xanax (Alprazolam) above 3 mg, the risk of dependence among people with panic disorder may be higher than that among those treated for less severe anxiety.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Xanax (Alprazolam) may affect the mental or physical abilities needed to drive or operate machinery. Do not engage in activities requiring mental alertness, judgment, and physical coordination until you have established how Xanax (Alprazolam) affects you. Alcohol can increase the drowsiness effects of Xanax (Alprazolam) and should be avoided.
Kidney function: Kidney Disease or reduced kidney function may cause Xanax (Alprazolam) to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have kidney problems, discuss with your doctor how Xanax (Alprazolam) may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of Xanax (Alprazolam), and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause Xanax (Alprazolam) to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how Xanax (Alprazolam) may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of Xanax (Alprazolam), and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Mood changes: Anxiety Disorders are often associated with mood changes, such as depression, mania, or ideas of suicide or self-harm. If you have depression or a history of depression, discuss with your doctor how Xanax (Alprazolam) may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of Xanax (Alprazolam), and whether any special monitoring is needed.
If you experience symptoms of depression such as poor concentration, changes in weight, changes in sleep, decreased interest in activities, or notice them in a family member who is taking Xanax (Alprazolam) contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Pregnancy: Other benzodiazepine medications similar to Xanax (Alprazolam) are known to increase the risk of birth defects when taken by a woman who is pregnant. The safety of Xanax (Alprazolam) during pregnancy has not been established. It is not recommended for use by pregnant women.
Breast-feeding: Xanax (Alprazolam) may pass into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking Xanax (Alprazolam), it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children and adolescents: The safety and efficacy of Xanax (Alprazolam) for children and adolescents under 18 years of age have not been established.
Seniors: Seniors may be at increased risk of experiencing side effects such as sedation, reduced coordination, and dizziness. Use extra caution when rising from a sitting or lying position to reduce the risk of severe dizziness and falls.
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