Alprazolam is used to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorder like sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks.
Alprazolam is belongs to a class of medications called Benzodiazepines. It works by decreasing abnormal excitement in to the brain.
Alprazolam belongs to same class of Diazepam and may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Alprazolam Classification and General Details.
- Category : Benzodiazepines
- Schedule : Schedule “H”
- Prescription : Must Required
- Legal Status : Approved
- Available as : Tablets (0.125 mg, 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg) , Liquid (Oral Solution) ,
- Brand Names : Xanax , Alprax
Description of Alprazolam
It is recommended to start with a as small as possible dosage and increase it gradually.
Do not stop taking this medicine immediately as it may cause withdrawal symptoms like seizures, aggressive behavior, blurred vision, etc.
Alprazolam can increase the risk of serious life-threatening breathing problems, sedation, or coma if used along with certain medications.
Do not drink alcohol during your treatment.
Uses of Alprazolam
Why Alprazolam is prescribed for?
This medicine is used to manage insomnia, anxiety disorders or panic disorder. It may be used for the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety, or anxiety linked with depression. Anxiety or hyper tension caused by the stress of everyday life usually doesn’t need to be treated with this drug.
This drug may be used as part of a combination drug therapy. It means you may need to take it with other medications.
Alprazolam drug is used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. also used for difficulty in sleeping, Uneasiness, sweating of hands and feet are some of the symptoms of an anxiety disorder.
Alprazolam drug is used in the treatment of panic disorder. Sweating, weakness, breathing problem and numbness in hands are some of the symptoms of a panic disorder.
How to use Alprazolam?
Alprazolam comes in a form of tablet, extended-release tablet, orally disintegrating tablet, and a concentrated solution (liquid) to take by mouth.
The tablet, orally disintegrating tablet, and concentrated solution usually can be taken two to four times a day.
The extended-release tablet can be taken once daily, usually in the morning.
To take the concentrated liquid, use only the dropper comes with your prescription.
Obey the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor to explain any part you do not understand. Take Alprazolam exactly as directed by practitioners.
Swallow the extended-release tablets whole; please do not chew, crush, or break them.
Alprazolam is a habit-forming drug. Do not take a higher dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor
If you suddenly stop taking Alprazolam you may experience specific withdrawal symptoms such as..
- Shaking of a part of your body
- Head ache
- Blurred vision
- Sleep difficulty
- Light sensitivity
- Wight loss
Side effects / Adverse Effects
what are the Major & minor side effects for Alprazolam?
- Chest pain
- Changes in pattern of speech
- Weight loss
- Double vision
- Loss of coordination
- Blurred vision
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased appetite
- Sudden sweating
- Acid or sour stomach
- Difficult or painful urination
- Irregular menstrual periods
When not to use?
Contraindications of Alprazolam
This medicine is not recommended for use if you have a allergy to Alprazolam or other benzodiazepines like Diazepam.
Azole antifungal agents
Co-administration of Alprazolam and azole antifungal drugs like Ketoconazole and Itraconazole should be done with extreme caution. Azole antifungal drugs will increase the concentration of Alprazolam by increasing its availability in the body. This can be result in serious side effects.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking alprazolam ..
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or to other benzodiazepines liek diazepam, and lorazepam or if you have any other allergies.
Tell your doctor if you are taking Itraconazole or Ketoconazole.
This product may contain certain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
Before using this drug, tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, especially of:
- Severe lung/breathing problems such as COPD, sleep apnea,
- Liver disease,
- Kidney disease,
- Overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol
This mecdicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol consuption can make you more dizzy or drowsy.
Do not drive or operate machinery.
Alprazolam drug is not recommended for use during pregnancy due to the potential for harm to unborn baby.
Breast-feeding while using this Alprazolam is not recommended.
If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, report the doctor or dentist that you are taking Alprazolam.
Dosage and Administration of Alprazolam
The Dosage of Alprazolam will depend on:
- Patient Age ( Child / Adult / Infant etc)
- Depend on condition being treated
- Severity of condition
- Any other medical conditions if you have
- How your body reacts to the first dose
Adult dosage (Includes ages 18–64 years)
Starting dosage: 0.25–0.5 mg three times daily.
Dosage increases: Doctor may increase your dosage every 3–5 days until you reach the dosage that’s best for you.
Maximum dosage: 4 mg per day, given in divided doses.
Dosage reduction: When you’re stopping treatment, your dosage should be decreased slowly and gradually. Doctor may decrease dose by no more than 0.5 mg every 3 days.
Child dosage (Includes ages 0–17 years)
This medicine should not be used in people younger than 18 years until and unless your doctor prescribed.
Dosage for ages 65 years and older
0.25 mg, 2–3 times per day. its also depend on condition of patient with severity.
What Can i do if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember that you have missed dose.
Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for next dose. Do not take extra or double dose of medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose Alprazolam?
You may have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can be listed as below:
- slow reflexes
- poor coordination
Seek emergency medical help or call your doctor before condition goes to worst level.
Interaction of Alprazolam
Drug/Food and Alcohol interactions may change “how your medications work” or “increase the risk for severe side / Adverse effects”.
This drug may interact differently for person to person and condition to condition.
You should ask for all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting this medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol : MODERATE
Use of Alprazolam with alcohol will increase the central nervous system (CNS) and respiratory system depression.
Consumption of alcohol with this drug is not recommended as it increases the risk of severe respiratory depression and breathlessness.
It can also make you more drowsy or Dizzy.
Interaction with Medicine
Certain types of antifungals drugs such as itraconazole or ketoconazole When used with this medicine can cause increased drowsiness.
With other drugs like :
- Cetirizine : MODERATE
- Metoclopramide : MODERATE
- Opioids : SEVERE
- Azole antifungal agents : SEVERE
- Antihypertensives : MODERATE
With Oral contraceptives : birth control pills may increase drowsiness or other side effects.
List of Drugs which can increase the risk of side effects :
Sedatives or hypnotics
Glaucoma : SEVERE
Alprazolam is known to increase the fluid pressure inside the eye in few cases. Hence, it is contraindicated in patients having acute narrow-angle glaucoma which is an eye disorder.
Seizure disorders : SEVERE
This drug should be used with extreme caution in patients with a known history of seizure disorders. This drug may increase the risk of seizures. Also, suddenly stopping of Alprazolam may cause withdrawal effects and can precipitate seizures. Hence, the dose should be reduced slowly. Do not stop taking this medicine without consulting doctor.
Alprazolam During Pregnancy
Research in humans has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the pregnant women takes the drug.
Alprazolam is not recommended for use in pregnant women until and unless absolutely necessary and only under the supervision of the doctor.
This medicine should only be used during pregnancy in serious cases where it’s needed to treat a dangerous condition in the mother.
Alprazolam During Breast Feeding
This medicine may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Alprazolam is known to be excreted into human breast milk and may cause undesired effects in the breastfed infants.
Your child may become drowsy and can lose weight. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child and You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.
Alprazolam has the tendency to cause dependency and abuse, particularly after a long use or excessive dosages. Patient with a history of alcohol or substance abuse should be monitored closely when they are on Alprazolam. The dosage of this drug should be tapered off gradually to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
It may be due to the development of tolerance or insufficient dose to maintain the concentration of medicine in the body. In such situations, the same dose can be divided into multiple doses and administered more frequently.
Impaired kidney and liver function
This drug should be used with caution in individuals with impaired kidney function and liver function.
Use of alprazolam in depression conditions may increase the risk of suicide. hence, 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 this medicine is not recommended in individuals who are less than 18 years of age.
This medicine should be used with extreme caution in individuals who are 65 years old and above due to the increased risk of sedation and muscle weakness.
How Alprazolam works?
Alprazolam is a belongs to a class of benzodiazepine. It works by increasing the action of chemical messenger (GABA) which suppresses the abnormal and excessive activity of the nerve cells in to the brain.
Expert Advice for Alprazolam
If you are taking Alprazolam for the treatment of disorders like insomnia and anxiety, it should not be used more than 4 weeks.
It may become less effective over the time period.
It causes sleepiness, dizziness or drowsiness. If this happens to you, do not drive or operate machinery.
Avoid consuming alcohol when you are on Alprazolam, as it may cause excessive sleepiness or drowsiness.
Inform your doctor if you are pregnant women or planning to conceive or breastfeeding.
Inform your doctor if you have ever been diagnosed with conditions like kidney or liver problems.
The addiction tendency of Alprazolam is very high.
Other Important Details
Onset of action (duration of time it takes for a drug’s to come in effects)
The peak effect of this drug 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 drug lasts for an average duration of 44 hours for an immediate release tablet and 52 hours for an extended release tablet / disintegrating tablet.
Is it habit forming?
Yes, high Habit forming tendency has been reported.
Store this drug at a room temperature between 20°C and 25°C. and keep it out from reach of Children.