Alprazolam

Description

Alprazolam is used to treat panic disorders and anxiety, like unexpected extreme fear and tension due to stress. It is recommended to start with a small dosage and increase it gradually. Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly as it may cause withdrawal symptoms like seizures, aggressive behavior, blurred vision, etc.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Alprazolam

  • Changes in pattern of speech
  • Unsteadiness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Sleeplessness
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Double vision
  • Sudden sweating
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • Heartburn

Uses of Alprazolam

What is it prescribed for?

  • Anxiety
  • Panic disorder
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The peak effect of this medicine can be observed in 1 to 2 hours for an immediate release tablet, 1.5 to 2 hours for a disintegrating tablet, and 9 hours for an extended release tablet.
  • Duration of effect
    The effect of this medicine lasts for an average duration of 44 hours for an immediate release tablet and 52 hours for an extended release tablet / disintegrating tablet.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Consumption of alcohol with this medicine is not recommended as it increases the risk of severe respiratory depression and breathlessness.
  • Is it habit forming?
    Habit forming tendency has been reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary and only under the supervision of the doctor.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is known to be excreted into human breast milk and may cause undesired effects in the breastfed infants. Hence, it is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women.

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use if you have a known allergy to Alprazolam or other benzodiazepines.

Azole antifungal agents

Co-administration of Alprazolam and azole antifungal agents like Ketoconazole and Itraconazole should be done with extreme caution. Azole antifungal agents will increase the concentration of Alprazolam by increasing its availability in the body. This may result in serious side effects.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary and only under the supervision of the doctor.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is known to be excreted into human breast milk and may cause undesired effects in the breastfed infants. Hence, it is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women.
General warnings

Drug dependence

Alprazolam has the tendency to cause dependency and abuse, particularly after a prolonged use or excessive dosages. Individuals with a history of alcohol or substance abuse should be monitored closely when they are on Alprazolam. The dosage of this medicine should be tapered off gradually to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Interdose symptoms

The symptoms of early morning anxiety have been reported in patients who are on maintenance doses of Alprazolam. It could be due to the development of tolerance or insufficient dose to maintain the concentration of medicine in the body. In these situations, the same dose can be divided into multiple doses and administered more frequently.

Suicidal tendency

Use of benzodiazepines in depression conditions may increase the risk of suicide. Therefore, this medicine should be used with caution and prescription size should be limited in patients with depression or suicidal tendencies.

Age less than 18 years

Use of Alprazolam is not recommended in individuals who are less than 18 years of age.

Elderly population

This medicine should be used with extreme caution in individuals who are 60 years old and above due to the increased risk of sedation and muscle weakness.

Impaired kidney and liver function

This medicine should be used with caution in individuals with impaired kidney function and liver function.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of Alprazolam, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not double your dose to make up for the missed dose.

Overdose

Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Use of benzodiazepines with alcohol will increase the central nervous system and respiratory system depression.

Instructions

Consumption of alcohol with this medicine is not recommended as it increases the risk of severe respiratory depression and breathlessness.
Interaction with Medicine

Cetirizine

Metoclopramide

Opioids

Azole antifungal agents

Antihypertensives

Disease interactions

Glaucoma

Alprazolam is known to increase the fluid pressure inside the eye in some cases. Hence, it is contraindicated in patients with acute narrow-angle glaucoma which is an eye disorder.

Seizure disorders

This medicine should be used with extreme caution in patients with a known history of seizure disorders. This medicine may increase the risk of seizures. Also, suddenly stopping Alprazolam may cause withdrawal effects and can precipitate seizures. Hence, the dose should be reduced gradually. Do not stop taking this medicine without consulting your doctor.
Food interactions
Consumption of grapefruit juice with this medicine is not recommended as it may lead to serious side effects.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Take Alprazolam with or without food. Do not take in larger amounts than advised. Consult the doctor if you experience any undesirable effects. Do not stop taking the medicine without consulting your doctor as it may cause withdrawal symptoms.
Miscelleneous

Can be taken with or without food, as advised by your doctor

To be taken as instructed by doctor

Causes sleepiness

How it works
This medicine binds to the chloride channels and facilitates the influx of chloride ions, thus causes hyperpolarization and stabilization of the neuronal membrane, preventing further excitation of the cell.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Benzodiazepines

Schedule

Schedule H

DailyMed - ALPRAZOLAM- alprazolam tablet [Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 23 February 2017]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=2238e083-08f2-0aa8-59b7-16b6d68dbd48

Alprazolam: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Medlineplus.gov. 2017 [cited 23 February 2017]. Available from:

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a684001.html

[Internet]. 2017 [cited 23 February 2017]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/9659#PRODUCTINFO

Alprazolam: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects - Drugs.com [Internet]. Drugs.com. 2017 [cited 23 February 2017]. Available from:

https://www.drugs.com/alprazolam.html

Prescribing medicines in pregnancy database [Internet]. Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). 2017 [cited 23 February 2017]. Available from:

https://www.tga.gov.au/prescribing-medicines-pregnancy-database#searchname

Cite a Website - Cite This For Me [Internet]. Toxnet.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 23 February 2017]. Available from:

https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search2

Xanax, Niravam (alprazolam) dosing, indications, interactions, adverse effects, and more [Internet]. Reference.medscape.com. 2017 [cited 23 February 2017]. Available from:

http://reference.medscape.com/drug/xanax-niravam-alprazolam-342896#0

Alprazolam - DrugBank [Internet]. Drugbank.ca. 2017 [cited 27 June 2017]. Available from:

https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB00404

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Information on this page was last updated on 4 Jul 2017

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.