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What is Xanax?
Xanax is a benzodiazepine drug also available with the name alprazolam that usually works by enhancing the activity of specific neurotransmitters in the brain and helps treat anxiety disorders and anxiety due to depression.
Although, taking Xanax with alcohol, narcotic medicine, or any other drugs can cause fatal side effects, including drowsiness, and may slow down your breathing.
Xanax is also beneficial in treating panic disorders with or without a fear of situations and places that might cause helplessness, panic, or embarrassment (agoraphobia). Avoid using grapefruit products because the interaction of grapefruit with alprazolam may lead to fatal effects.
Xanax can make you feel drowsy or dizzy. Alcohol or cannabis can add more to dizziness or drowsiness. Do not use heavy machinery, driving, or do anything that requires you to stay alert until you know the effect of this medicine on you.
You should avoid using Xanax if you also take ketoconazole or itraconazole (antifungal drugs). Consult any medical healthcare providers if you have a past allergic reaction to benzodiazepine (Versed, Tranxene, Valium, Restoril, Ativan, Klonopin, diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, and others).
What to know before taking Xanax?
Before taking alprazolam, tell each of your medical healthcare providers if you are allergic to it or other benzodiazepine drugs such as lorazepam, diazepam, or if you have other allergies. Xanax may contain inactive ingredients, which can lead to allergic reactions.
Before taking Xanax, tell your medical healthcare provider about your medical history, especially of:
- Severe lung disease or breathing problems such as sleep apnea, COPD- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
- Kidney disease;
- Liver disease;
- An individual or family history of any substance use disorder such as abuse, misuse, or addiction of alcohol or drugs;
Before having surgery, tell the medical practitioner performing your surgery about the products you use, including herbs, prescription, and non-prescription drugs.
Older adults may be more sensitive to Xanax side effects, especially loss of coordination and drowsiness.
Consult your healthcare provider before taking this medicine during pregnancy. Alprazolam may harm an unborn baby so avoid taking it during the first trimester of your pregnancy. You should avoid breastfeeding while taking Xanax.
If you take Xanax during pregnancy, your newborn baby could become dependent on the drug. It may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the developing baby. Babies born dependent on habit-forming drugs like Xanax may need treatment for several weeks.
How to take Xanax?
Take Xanax precisely as per the doctor’s prescription. Read carefully and follow all the directions on the prescription label and medication guide. Occasionally, your doctor may change your dosage.
Never take Xanax in smaller or larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Consult your doctor or any other medical staff if you feel an increased desire to take this medicine. Never share this drug with someone else, especially someone with a past of drug abuse or addiction. Misuse of medication like Xanax can cause overdose, addiction, or death.
Swallow the whole Xanax XR (extended-release) tablet rather than crushing, chewing, or breaking it. The usual adult dosage of Xanax Immediate release pill for anxiety is between 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg orally thrice a day.
Doctors usually recommend taking Xanax for a maximum period of four months to treat anxiety disorder and for a full ten weeks to treat panic disorder. Store Xanax away from heat and moisture at room temperature. Would you mind keeping track of your drug and being aware of someone misusing it or taking it without a prescription?
Your dosage will depend upon your age, the medical condition you are taking Xanax, your initial response to the treatment with Xanax, other medical conditions you have, and other medications you are taking or planning to take.
Adult dosage for anxiety:
- IR tablets – 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg orally administered three times a day
- Maximum dose- 4 mg/day
Usual adult dose for panic disorder:
- IR tablets- 0.5 mg orally administered three times a day
- Maximum dose- 10 mg/day
- ER tablets- initial dose: 0.5 to 1 mg orally/day; maintenance dose: 3-6 mg orally/day, preferably in the morning; maximum dose: 10 mg/day
Usual geriatric dose for anxiety: Elderly or malnourished patients-
- IR tablets- 0.25 mg orally administered 2 or 3 times a day.
Usual geriatric dose for panic disorder: Elderly or malnourished patients-
- IR tablets- Initial dose: 0.25 mg orally administered 2 or 3 times a day
- ER tablets- initial dose: 0.5 mg orally once a day
Xanax is not under the recommendation for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
In case of an overdose of Xanax, instantly take medical help or call the Poison helpline at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of Xanax can be dangerous or fatal.
What to avoid while using Xanax?
Avoid using grapefruit products because the interaction of grapefruit with alprazolam may lead to fatal effects.
Avoid consumption of alcohol or alcoholic beverages. Alcohol or cannabis can add more to dizziness or drowsiness. Do not use heavy machinery, driving, or do anything that requires you to stay alert until you know the effect of this medicine on you.
Xanax side effects
The sedative effects of Xanax may last longer in older adults. Use caution to avoid accidental injury or falling. Common side effects of taking Xanax may include drowsiness or a low-headed feeling. It is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur.
Severe side effects of Xanax that may require immediate medical attention include:
- Mood swings or mental changes such as thoughts of suicide, hallucinations;
- Loss of coordination;
- Difficulty taking due to slurred speech;
- Memory problems;
- Trouble walking
Consult your medical healthcare professional regarding side effects—report the side effects of this drug to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. Avoid consuming alcohol, driving any vehicle, or operating any heavy machinery while using Xanax as dangerous side effects or death may occur.
What drugs can interact with Xanax?
Taking Xanax with other drugs that may cause sleepiness or slow down your breathing can be dangerous and fatal. Ask your medical healthcare professional before using a prescription cough medicine, muscle relaxer, sleeping pill, or medicine for seizure (or convulsions) or depression.
Sometimes it is unsafe to take certain medications at the same time. Some medicines can affect the blood levels of other drugs you take, making the medication less effective or increasing specific side effects.
Various drugs can interact with Xanax, including prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, herbal products, and vitamins.