Alprazolam is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines which act on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect. It works by enhancing the effects of a certain natural chemical in the body (GABA).
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
How To Use
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as seizures) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately. Though it is very unlikely to occur, this medication can also result in abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction/habit-forming). Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or use it for a longer period of time than prescribed. Properly stop this medication when so directed. This will lessen the chances of becoming addicted. When used for an extended period, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well. Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
See also the How to Use section. Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first. This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: certain azole antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole), delavirdine, indinavir, sodium oxybate. If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting alprazolam. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: clozapine, digoxin, disulfiram, kava. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take drugs that affect the removal of alprazolam from your system (CYP 3A4 substrates, inhibitors and inducers) such as: other azole antifungals (e.g., fluconazole, voriconazole), certain anti-depressants (e.g., fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, nefazodone), certain anti-seizure medications (e.g., phenytoin, phenobarbital), cimetidine, macrolide antibiotics (e.g., erythromycin, clarithromycin), rifamycins (e.g., rifampin), ritonavir, St John's wort. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: antihistamines that cause drowsiness (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep (e.g., sedatives), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine, tricyclic anti-depressants such as amitriptyline), tranquilizers. Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients which cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products. Cigarette smoking decreases blood levels of this medication (through liver enzyme induction). Tell your doctor if you smoke or if you have recently stopped smoking because your dose may need to be adjusted. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval. This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
Do not share this medication with others. It is against the law. If this drug is used for an extended period of time, laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., liver function tests, complete blood count) may be performed periodically to check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness, slowed/reduced reflexes, slowed breathing, loss of consciousness.
Before taking alprazolam, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam, lorazepam); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, severe lung/breathing problems (e.g., COPD, sleep apnea), drug or alcohol abuse. This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its side effects, especially loss of coordination and drowsiness. Alprazolam is not recommended for use during pregnancy due to the potential for harm to an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details. This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Drowsiness or dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes, slurred speech, clumsiness, trouble walking, decreased/increased interest in sex. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these highly unlikely but very serious side effects occur: yellowing eyes or skin, signs of infection (e.g., persistent sore throat, fever). A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
The information contained in the First DataBank databases is intended to supplement the knowledge of physicians, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals regarding drug therapy problems and patient counselling information. This information is advisory only and is not intended to replace sound clinical judgment in the delivery of healthcare services. First DataBank disclaims all warranties, whether expressed or implied, including any warranty as to the quality, accuracy, and suitability of this information for any purpose.
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