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Xanax (Alprazolam) : Drug Information

Last updated on 11/22/2020

What is Xanax?

Xanax belongs to the class of benzodiazepine and is an anti-anxiety medication. Xanax’s common use is to treat depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. Xanax got approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in October 1981. It works by reducing the brain’s abnormal excitement as it Benzodiazepines acts on the brain and central nervous system (CNS) and produce calming signals.

Xanax lessens the movement of brain chemicals that have become imbalanced and help to reduce nervous tension and anxiety. Xanax works by improving a natural chemical made in the brain known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). You can avail of this medicinal drug only on the prescription of the doctors.

What to know before taking Xanax?

If you start with Xanax medication, you should consider the following points before taking Xanax.

  • You must tell your doctor if you ever had an allergic reaction or unusual reaction to any medicines and disclose your medical professional if you have an allergy to anything such as dust, flowers, animal, food, etc.
  • You can not take this medicine if you are on any antifungal medications.
  • You should inform the doctor if you have any breathing issues such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or sleep apnea (breathing stops during sleeping).
  • You must tell the doctor if you are experiencing depression, anxiety, mood swings, suicidal thoughts, etc.
  • You should say to the doctor if you are addicted to any drugs or alcohol.
  • You should inform your doctor if you are facing any kidney or liver issues.
  • Expecting women should not take Xanax as this may harm the baby and make the baby dependent on this drug.
  • Breastfeeding mothers should avoid taking Xanax.
  • You can not take Xanax if you are below 18 years of age.

How to take Xanax?

It would be best if you take Xanax as and when prescribed by the doctor. You must follow all the directions as provided on the prescription. You should not take Xanax in an extra amount or for more extended periods as prescribed by the doctors. Consult your doctor if you feel you are getting addicted to this medicine. This medicine can be habit-forming; misuse of Xanax can cause overdose, addiction, or even death.

You must be aware that selling this medicine without a proper prescription is an offense under the law. You should not take Xanax for more than four months to treat anxiety disorder and not more than ten months to treat panic attacks. Consult your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse. If you use this medicine long-term, you must take frequent tests. You can not stop using Xanax suddenly, or you could experience withdrawal symptoms. Consult your doctor before stop taking this medication.

Xanax dosage

The doses of Xanax do vary from patient to patient. You must follow your doctor’s advice or direction provided on the labels. The following information includes the average doses of Xanax. If your dose is slightly different, do not change it unless your doctor advises you to do so. The effect caused by the medicines entirely depends on the power of the medication, the number of doses, time gap between them.

There are different doses of Xanax for anxiety and panic disorder.

  • For panic attack

For oral dosage (tablets)

Adults:  0.5 to 1 milligram (mg) once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as required. However, the quantity should not increase by more than 10 mg/day.

Older adults: 0.5 mg in the morning once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as required.

Your doctor must determine children—Use and dose.

For oral dosage (solution, tablets, or orally disintegrating tablets)

Adults: 0.5 milligram (mg) 3 times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as required. However, the quantity should not increase by more than 10 mg/day.

Older adults: 0.25 mg, 2, or 3 times a day. The doctor can increase or decrease your dose as required.

Your doctor must determine children—Use and dose.

  • For anxiety attacks

For oral dosage (tablets, solution, or tablets)

Adults: doses of 0.25 to 0.5 milligram (mg) 3 times a day. the doctor may increase or decrease your dose as needed. However, the dose should not increase by more than 4 mg/day.

Older adults: 0.25 mg, 2, or 3 times a day. The doctor may increase or decrease your dose as needed.

Your doctor must determine children—Use and dose.

Overdose

Symptoms of overdose of Xanax can be confusion, impaired coordination, tiredness, diminishing reflexes, and coma. In some cases of Xanax, overdose leads to the death of the patient. If an overdose of this drug ever happens, Seek emergency medical attention, or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What to avoid while using Xanax?

It would be best if you avoid alcohol because it can cause a dangerous side effect. You should try not to drive or operate any heavy machinery, as it may call an unwanted and severe injury. Grapefruit can react with Xanax and lead to unpleasant side effects; therefore, you should Avoid using grapefruit products.

Xanax side effects

  • Dizziness
  • increase saliva production
  • Drowsiness

These are the common side effect of using Xanax. You should consult your doctor if any of the side effects persist or gets worsen.

To concur lightheadedness and dizziness, try to get up from lying or sitting position very slowly.

Tell your doctor right away if you experience severe side effects such as

  • trouble in speaking
  • memory issues
  • hallucinations
  • walking problems,
  • coordination loss

Try to get medical help right away if you experience yellowness in your eyes or skin.

Though any allergic reaction to this drug is rare, if you experience rashes, itching, swelling, troubled breathing, do seek medical help as soon as possible.

The symptoms mentioned above are not exhaustive; if you face any other symptoms, consult your doctor.

What drugs can interact with Xanax?

Doctors strictly prohibit to use certain medicines altogether at all. Therefore, while taking Xanax, you should tell the doctor about your current medication. The doctor will prescribe the drug accordingly.

The doctor will not treat you with Xanax if you are taking the following medication.

  • Delavirdine
  • Flumazenil
  • Itraconazole
  • ketoconazole

You must tell the doctor if you are having any of the following medicines, especially:

  • Anti-depressants- fluoxetine, nefazodone,fluvoxamine
  • Anti-biotic- clarithromycin, telithromycin
  • Antifungal- fluconazole, voriconazole.
  • Antiviral medication to treat HIV
  • Birth control pills.
  • Cimetidine
  • digoxin

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