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Table of Contents > Drugs >  Alprazolam
Alprazolam
Pronunciation
Brand Names
Foreign Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
Reasons not to take this medicine
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

Pronunciation
(al PRAY zoe lam)

Brand Names
Xanax®

Foreign Brand Names
Apo-Alpraz® (Canada); Novo-Aloprazol® (Canada); Nu-Alprax® (Canada); Tafil (Mexico)

Therapeutic Categories
Benzodiazepine

Reasons not to take this medicine

  • If you have an allergy to alprazolam or any other part of the medicine. If you are allergic to another benzodiazepine, talk with healthcare provider.
  • If you have narrow angle glaucoma
  • If you are taking ketoconazole or itraconazole.
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.


What is this medicine used for?

  • This medicine is used in the treatment of anxiety (nerves), panic attacks, and anxiety connected with depression.


How does it work?

  • Alprazolam works in the brain to calm you down.


How is it best taken?

  • Take with or without food. Take with food if this medicine causes an upset stomach.
  • Tablet may be crushed and mixed with food or liquid.
  • Do not suddenly stop using this medicine if you have been taking it for a long time. Medicine should be slowly decreased.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
  • Since this medicine is frequently taken on an as needed basis, separate dose by 8-12 hours.


What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines.
  • This medicine may be habit-forming with long-term use.
  • If you are 65 or older, you may have more side effects. You could feel sleepy and shaky.
  • You may not be alert. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities until you see how this medicine affects you.
  • Avoid alcohol (includes wine, beer, and liquor) and other medicines and herbs that slow your actions and reactions. This includes sedatives, tranquilizers, mood stabilizers, or pain medicine. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you have lung disease. You may be more sensitive to this medicine.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Do not use in pregnancy and do not get pregnant. Use birth control that you can trust while taking this medicine.
  • Do not use if you are breast-feeding.


What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Feeling sleepy, lightheaded, or unable to think clearly. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities that require you to be alert until you see how this medicine affects you.
  • Dry mouth. Frequent mouth care, sucking hard candy, or chewing gum may help.
  • Changes in memory.
  • Change in sexual ability or desire. This can return to normal after medicine is stopped. Talk with healthcare provider about other medicines without this side effect.


What should I monitor?

  • Watch for change in symptoms. Is condition better, worse, or about the same?


Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Changes in balance, feeling shaky or unsteady.
  • Too tired or sleepy.
  • Any rash.


How should I store this medicine?

  • Store in a tight container at room temperature.


General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).


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