Generic Name: alprazolam
- What is alprazolam?
- What are the possible side effects of alprazolam?
- What is the most important information I should know about alprazolam?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking alprazolam?
- How should I take alprazolam?
- What happens if I miss a dose?
- What happens if I overdose?
- What should I avoid while taking alprazolam?
- What other drugs will affect alprazolam?
- Where can I get more information?
What is alprazolam?
Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen) that is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression.
It is dangerous to purchase alprazolam on the Internet or outside the United States. The sale and distribution of medicines outside the U.S. does not comply with safe-use regulations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These medications may contain dangerous ingredients, or may not be distributed by a licensed pharmacy.
Alprazolam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of alprazolam?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- a seizure;
- hallucinations, risk-taking behavior;
- increased energy, decreased need for sleep;
- racing thoughts, being agitated or talkative;
- double vision; or
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common side effects may include:
- drowsiness; or
- feeling light-headed.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is the most important information I should know about alprazolam?
Fatal side effects can occur if you take alprazolam with alcohol, opioid medicine, or other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.
Alprazolam may be habit-forming. Misuse can cause addiction, overdose, or death.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking alprazolam?
You should not take alprazolam if:
- you also take itraconazole or ketoconazole (antifungal medicines); or
- you have a history of allergic reaction to any benzodiazepine (diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Tranxene, Valium, Versed, Xanax, and others).
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- breathing problems such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or sleep apnea (breathing that stops during sleep);
- drug or alcohol addiction;
- depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior;
- a seizure; or
- kidney or liver disease (especially alcoholic liver disease).
Do not use alprazolam if you are pregnant. This medicine can cause birth defects, and your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks.
You should not breastfeed while using alprazolam.
Alprazolam is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take alprazolam?
Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Never use alprazolam in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to use more of this medicine.
Alprazolam may be habit-forming. Misuse can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.
Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
Swallow the extended-release tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.
Do not swallow the orally disintegrating tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.
Do not stop using alprazolam suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using alprazolam.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep track of your medicine. You should be aware if anyone is using it improperly or without a prescription.
Throw away any alprazolam liquid not used within 90 days.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of alprazolam can be fatal.
What should I avoid while taking alprazolam?
Avoid drinking alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.
Grapefruit may interact with alprazolam and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products.
What other drugs will affect alprazolam?
Taking alprazolam with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, prescription cough medicine, or medicine for depression or seizures.
Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:
- birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy;
- an antidepressant--fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, nefazodone;
- an antibiotic--clarithromycin, telithromycin;
- antifungal medicine--fluconazole, voriconazole; or
- antiviral medicine to treat HIV/AIDS--indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect alprazolam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about alprazolam.
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