"What are benzodiazepines, and how do they work?
Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs primarily used for treating anxiety, but they also are effective in treating several other conditions. The exact mechanism of action of benzodiazepin"...
Xanax Patient Information including How Should I Take
In this Article
- What is alprazolam (Xanax)?
- What are the possible side effects of alprazolam (Xanax)?
- What is the most important information I should know about alprazolam (Xanax)?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking alprazolam (Xanax)?
- How should I take alprazolam (Xanax)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Xanax)?
- What happens if I overdose (Xanax)?
- What should I avoid while taking alprazolam (Xanax)?
- What other drugs will affect alprazolam (Xanax)?
- Where can I get more information?
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking alprazolam (Xanax)?
It is dangerous to try and purchase alprazolam on the Internet or from vendors outside of the United States. Medications distributed from Internet sales may contain dangerous ingredients, or may not be distributed by a licensed pharmacy. Samples of alprazolam purchased on the Internet have been found to contain haloperidol (Haldol), a potent antipsychotic drug with dangerous side effects. For more information, contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or visit www.fda.gov/buyonlineguide.
You should not take alprazolam if you have:
- narrow-angle glaucoma;
- if you are also taking itraconazole (Sporanox) or ketoconazole (Nizoral); or
- if you are allergic to alprazolam or to other benzodiazepines, such as chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), or oxazepam (Serax).
To make sure alprazolam is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions:
- asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), or other breathing problems;
- kidney or liver disease (especially alcoholic liver disease);
- a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior; or
- a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
Alprazolam may be habit forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. Never share alprazolam with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use alprazolam if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Alprazolam may also cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
Alprazolam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using alprazolam.
The sedative effects of alprazolam may last longer in older adults. Accidental falls are common in elderly patients who take benzodiazepines. Use caution to avoid falling or accidental injury while you are taking alprazolam.
Do not give this medication to anyone under 18 years old.
How should I take alprazolam (Xanax)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.
Measure the liquid form of alprazolam with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Do not swallow the orally disintegrating tablets whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing.
Contact your doctor if this medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your panic or anxiety symptoms.
You may have seizures or withdrawal symptoms when you stop using alprazolam. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using alprazolam.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Alprazolam is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Additional Xanax Information
- Xanax Drug Interactions Center: alprazolam oral
- Xanax Side Effects Center
- Xanax Overview including Precautions
- Xanax FDA Approved Prescribing Information including Dosage
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