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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Alprazolam

Why is this medication prescribed?

Alprazolam is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Alprazolam comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken two or three times a day and may be taken with or without food. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take alprazolam exactly as directed.

Alprazolam can be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or for a longer time than your doctor tells you to. Do not take alprazolam for more than 4 months or stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor. Stopping this drug suddenly can worsen your condition and cause withdrawal symptoms (anxiousness, sleeplessness, irritability, and seizure). Withdrawal symptoms may be worse if you take more than 4 mg of alprazolam every day. Your doctor probably will decrease your dose gradually.

Other uses for this medicine

Alprazolam also is used to treat anxiety from depression, phobias, premenstrual syndrome, and irritable bowel syndrome. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking alprazolam,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to alprazolam, chlordiazepoxide (Librium, Librax), clonazepam (Klonopin), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), estazolam (ProSom), flurazepam (Dalmane), lorazepam (Ativan), oxazepam (Serax), prazepam (Centrax), temazepam (Restoril), triazolam (Halcion), or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone); antihistamines; cimetidine (Tagamet); clarithromycin (Biaxin); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); digoxin (Lanoxin); diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac); disulfiram (Antabuse); ergotamine (Cafatine, Cafergot, Wigraine, others); erythromycin (Erythrocin); fluoxetine (Prozac); fluvoxamine (Luvox); isoniazid (INH, Laniazid, Nydrazid); itraconazole (Sporanox); ketoconazole (Nizoral); levodopa (Larodopa, Sinemet); medications for depression, seizures, Parkinson's disease, pain, asthma, colds, or allergies; metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL); muscle relaxants; nefazodone (Serzone); nicardipine (Cardene); nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia); oral contraceptives; phenytoin (Dilantin); probenecid (Benemid); propoxyphene (Darvon); propranolol (Inderal ); rifampin (Rifadin); sedatives; sleeping pills; theophylline (Theo-Dur); tranquilizers; valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote); and vitamins. These medications may add to the drowsiness caused by alprazolam.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had glaucoma; seizures; or lung, heart, or liver disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking alprazolam, call your doctor immediately.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking alprazolam.
  • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
  • tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking may decrease the effectiveness of this drug.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Do not drink grapefruit juice while taking alprazolam; it may change the effectiveness of this medication.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you take several doses per day and miss a dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Side effects from alprazolam are common and include:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • weakness
  • dry mouth
  • diarrhea
  • upset stomach
  • changes in appetite

Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • restlessness or excitement
  • constipation
  • difficulty urinating
  • frequent urination
  • blurred vision
  • changes in sex drive or ability

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • shuffling walk
  • persistent, fine tremor or inability to sit still
  • fever
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • severe skin rash
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • irregular heartbeat

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • problems with coordination
  • coma

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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