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Please review before taking this medication. Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine. It is approved for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder GAD and panic disorder with or without agoraphobia. However, benzodiazepines are also commonly used to treat difficulty sleeping and alcohol withdrawal. Generalized Anxiety Disorder GAD occurs when a person experiences excessive anxiety or worry for at least six months. Other symptoms include:.
Panic Disorder occurs when a person experiences unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear. These episodes have physical symptoms including chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sweating, dizziness, and nausea. Fear of future episodes is also part of panic disorder.
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Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you because you may notice that you feel tired or dizzy. Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam, are often used for short periods of time only. With input from you, your health care provider will assess how long you will need to take the medicine. Do not stop taking alprazolam or change your dose without talking to your health care provider first.
Stopping alprazolam abruptly may result in one or more of the following withdrawal symptoms: trouble sleeping, anxiety, irritability, nausea, tremor, dizziness, blood pressure changes, rapid heart rate, and seizures. Withdrawal reactions may occur when dosage reduction occurs for any reason.
The use of alprazolam with drugs like opioid medications has led to serious side effects including slowed and difficulty breathing and death. Opioid drugs are medications used to treat pain and include medications such as: codeine, oxycodone, morphine, and illegal drugs like heroin. Some opioid medications are also in cough syrup. If you are taking alprazolam with an opioid medication, get medical assistance immediately if you feel dizziness or sleepiness, if you have slow or troubled breathing, or if you pass out.
Caregivers must get medical help right away if a patient does not respond and does not wake up. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, notify your health care provider to best manage your medications.
People living with anxiety disorders who wish to become pregnant face important decisions regarding risk versus benefit of benzodiazepine use in pregnancy. Alprazolam can increase the risk of premature birth and low birth weight. It is important to discuss this with your doctor and caregivers. Typically, your healthcare provider will limit the of doses you should take in one day. Your healthcare provider will determine the dose and method of taking the medication that is right for you based upon your response.
Alprazolam orally disintegrating tablets must remain in their original packaging. Open the package with clean dry hands before each dose. Do not try to put tablets in a pillbox if you take the orally disintegrating tablets.
Take the tablets right away, do not store for later use. Alprazolam orally disintegrating tablets will dissolve in your mouth within seconds and can be swallowed with or without liquid. Alprazolam liquid: Measure with a dosing spoon or oral syringe, which you can get from your pharmacy. You may also ask a family member or a friend to remind you or check in with you to be sure you are taking your medication.
If you miss a dose of alprazolam, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is closer to the time of your next dose. Discuss this with your health care provider. Do not double your next dose or take more than what is prescribed. Avoid drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs while you are taking alprazolam. They may decrease the benefits e. Alcohol increases the risk of accidental overdose with medications like alprazolam.
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If an overdose occurs call your doctor or You may need urgent medical care. You may also contact the poison control center at A specific treatment to reverse the effects of alprazolam does exist. This medicine, called flumazenil, can reverse the effects of alprazolam but must be given through an IV at a hospital. Only a doctor can decide if you need this medication.
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If you experience these side effects after starting clonazepam they will often improve over the first week or two as you continue to take the medication. If side effects do not improve or become problematic, consult your health care provider. Alprazolam is a safe and effective medication when used as directed.
Physical dependence may develop after 2 or more weeks of daily use. The risk of withdrawal reactions when stopping therapy with alprazolam is increased with prolonged use of the medication.
Alprazolam may cause drowsiness, so caution should be used when combining it with other medications that cause drowsiness. These could include:. When starting alprazolam, anxiety or insomnia may improve rapidly or over a period of days or within hours of the first dose of medication.
The FDA has found that benzodiazepine drugs, such as alprazolam, when used in combination with opioid medications or other sedating medications can result in serious adverse reactions including slowed or difficult breathing and death. Patients taking opioids with benzodiazepines, other sedating medications, or alcohol, and caregivers of these patients, should seek immediate medical attention if that start to experience unusual dizziness or lightheadedness, extreme sleepiness, slow or difficulty breathing, or unresponsiveness.
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As a benzodiazepine, alprazolam comes with the risk of abuse, misuse, and addiction to the medication. Physical dependence to alprazolam can occur with prolonged use of the medication. A withdrawal reaction may occur when stopping alprazolam, but this risk can be reduced by slowly reducing the dose of alprazolam pill stopping. Do not stop taking alprazolam abruptly, and do not make any changes to therapy without consulting your health care provider.
Last Updated: January This information is being provided as a community outreach effort of the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists. This information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not medical advice. This information contains a summary of important points and is not an exhaustive review of information about the medication. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified medical professional with any questions you may have regarding medications or medical conditions.
Never delay seeking professional medical advice or disregard medical professional advice as a result of any information provided herein. The College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists disclaims any and all liability alleged as a result of the information provided herein.
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Advocacy Public Policy Reports. Alprazolam Xanax. Know the warning s Learn the common s of mental illness in adults and adolescents. Mental health conditions Learn more about common mental health conditions that affect millions. Other symptoms include: Restlessness Fatigue low energy, feeling tired all the time Difficulty concentrating Irritability Muscle tension Sleep disturbance difficulty falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night Panic Disorder occurs when a person experiences unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear.
When starting alprazolam, anxiety or insomnia may improve rapidly or over a period of days. Avoid alcohol while taking this medication. Regarding breastfeeding, caution is advised since alprazolam does pass into breast milk. Symptoms of your condition that bother you the most If you have thoughts of suicide or harming yourself Medications you have taken in the past for your condition, whether they pill effective or caused any adverse effects If you experience side effects from your medications, discuss them with your healthcare provider.
Some side effects may pass with time, but others may require changes in the medication. Any other psychiatric or medical problems you have including obstructive sleep apnea All other medications you are currently taking including over the counter products and herbal and nutritional supplements and any medication allergies you have Other non-medication treatment you are receiving such as talk therapy or substance abuse treatment.
Your provider can explain how these different treatments work with the medication If you are elderly or are prone to falls If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding If you have liver disease If you drink alcohol or use drugs How Should I Take Alprazolam?
Alprazolam may be taken with or without food.