What is Xanax?
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Xanax (alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen). It is thought that alprazolam works by enhancing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.
Xanax is a prescription medicine used to treat anxiety disorders and anxiety caused by depression.
Xanax is also used to treat panic disorders with or without a fear of places and situations that might cause panic, helplessness, or embarrassment (agoraphobia).
Before taking this medicine
You should not take Xanax if:
- you also take itraconazole or ketoconazole (antifungal medicines); or
- you have a history of allergic reaction to any benzodiazepine (diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Tranxene, Valium, Versed, Xanax, and others).
To make sure Xanax is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- breathing problems such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or sleep apnea(breathing that stops during sleep);
- drug or alcohol addiction;
- depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior;
- a seizure; or
- kidney or liver disease (especially alcoholic liver disease).
Do not use Xanax if you are pregnant. This medicine can cause birth defects, and your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks.
You should not breastfeed while using Xanax.
Xanax is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take Xanax?
Take Xanax exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Never use Xanax in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to use more of this medicine.
Xanax may be habit-forming. Misuse can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.
Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
Swallow the extended-release tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.
Do not swallow the orally disintegrating tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing.
Xanax is usually taken for no longer than 4 months to treat anxiety disorder, and for no longer than 10 weeks to treat panic disorder. Follow your doctor’s dosing instructions very carefully.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.
Do not stop using Xanax suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using Xanax.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep track of your medicine. You should be aware if anyone is using it improperly or without a prescription.
What should I avoid while taking Xanax?
Avoid drinking alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.
Grapefruit may interact with alprazolam and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products.