Xanax is a trademark of alprazolam, a prescription drug used to treat anxiety disorders.
Other uses include treatment of depression.
Xanax belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, and is available in several forms, including tablets, liquid, disintegrating tablets and sustained-release tablets.
Xanax was manufactured by Pfizer and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1981. It is also available as a common drug.
The FDA warns that there are serious risks associated with the use of Xanax or other benzodiazepines concomitantly with opioid analgesics, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, among others, or with opioid-containing cough products.
Taking opioids and benzodiazepines together can lead to extreme drowsiness, slowed or shortness of breath, coma and death.
You should talk with your doctor about alternative therapies, as well as the serious risks associated with the use of opioids and benzodiazepines, such as Xanax.
Do not take Xanax if you are allergic to alprazolam, any of the inactive ingredients in the medication or other benzodiazepines, such as librium, tranxen, valium, ativan, serax, and others.
Do not take Xanax if you have acute narrow-angle glaucoma.
Do not take Xanax if you are taking antifungal drugs Sporanox (itraconazole) or nizoral (ketoconazole).
Xanax can make you drowsy and reduce your ability to drive safely. You can become especially sleepy if Xanax is taken with other drugs that cause drowsiness.
Xanax can be addictive, so do not take higher doses of the medication or use it for a longer time than your doctor recommends.
Before taking Xanax, tell your doctor if you have:
- Suicidal thoughts
- Asthma or other breathing problems
- History of alcoholism or drug abuse
- Problems with the liver or kidneys
- Epilepsy or history of seizures
Tell your doctor what other prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins and supplements you take, because they can interact with Xanax. Also tell your doctor if you smoke.
Do not increase the dose without first talking to your doctor, even if you think that the treatment is no longer working.
Xanax and drug addiction
Xanax and other benzodiazepines are among the most widely used drugs available today.
According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse Control (NIDA), benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, were responsible for most visits to the emergency room.
Long-term abuse and dependence on Xanax is associated with depression, psychotic experience and aggressive or impulsive behavior.
Pregnancy and Xanax
Xanax can harm a developing fetus.
Before taking Xanax, tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Drugs such as Xanax can cause birth defects, especially if taken during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Xanax is not safe to use during breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding before taking Xanax.
Xanax has not been proven to be a safe and effective medicine for children under 18 years of age.
Termination of use
Do not stop taking Xanax without talking to your doctor. A sudden discontinuation of use of the medication may worsen the condition.
This is typical for many benzodiazepine drugs, including Ativan, Librium, Valium and others.
Symptoms of cancellation of Xanax may include:
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Problems with sleep
- Blurred vision
The discontinuation of use of the drug should be done under the supervision of a physician, who is likely to gradually reduce dosage to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol and Xanax
Do not drink alcohol while taking Xanax.
Alcohol can worsen the side effects of Xanax, such as drowsiness, confusion and instability.
Xanax Side Effects
Call your doctor right away if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Xanax:
- Labored breathing
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Common side effects of Xanax:
- Violation of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Problems with memory
Most side effects with Xanax occur when you take your medication for the first time, and they usually disappear.
However, you should talk to your doctor about any side effects that you have, especially if they are serious or do not go away.
Always tell your doctor about all the medications that you take, because they can interact with Xanax.
Before taking Xanax, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are using any of the following drugs that may interact and cause problems:
- Antifungal drugs Sporanox or Nizoral
- Other antifungal agents, such as Diflucan (fluconazole), Oravig, Noxafil and Vfend
- Other benzodiazepines, such as Librium, Librax, Klonopin, Tranxene, Valium, ProSom, Dalmane, Ativan, Versed, Serax, Restoril and Halcion
- Barbiturates, such as Amytal, Fioricet, Fiorinal, Butisol, Seconal, Nembutal, Luminal or Solfoton
- Antipsychotics such as Abilify, Saphris, Thorazine, Clozaril, Prolixin, Haldol, Fanapt, Adasuve, Loxitane, Latuda and others
- Medicinal products such as Lunesta, Unisom, Rozerem, Sonata and Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar or Zolpimist
- Drugs such as Stadol, codeine, Lortab, Vicodin, Levo-Dromoran, Demerol, Dolophine, Methadose, Kadian, MSContin, Oramorph, Narcan, OxyContin, Darvon and Darvocet
- Antidepressants, such as Elavil, Etrafon, Asendin, Celexa, Anafranil, Norpramin, Sinequan, Lexapro, Prozac, Zoloft and others
- Medications such as Carbatrol, Tegretol, Depakote or Depakote ER, Depakene, Felbatol, Trileptal, Dilantin and Mysoline
- Sedative preparations for the treatment of allergies, such as Chlor-Trimethon, Benadryl or Atarax
- Cordarone or Pacerone (amiodarone)
- Antibiotics such as biaxin, erythromycin, mycobutin, rifampin, prithine, and ketec
- Birth control pills
- Gengraf, Neoral or Sandimmune (cyclosporine)
- Cortastat, Dexasone, Solurex or DeexPak (dexamethasone)
- Cardizem, Dilacor or Tiazac (diltiazem)
- Ergotamines, such as Cafatine, Cafergot, Wigraine
- HIV and AIDS drugs, such as Rheetaz, Rescriptor, Sustiva, Atripla, Intelese, Crixivan, Viracept, Viramune, Invirase, NorvirChalletra
- Adalatil or Procardia (nifedipine)
- Theo-24 or Unifil (theophylline)
- St. John’s Wort
Xanax and grapefruit
Before taking Xanax, talk with your doctor about using grapefruit juice or the grapefruit itself, taking this medication, because grapefruit can alter the absorption of the drug by your body.
The dose of Xanax you take will depend on what state you are and how old you are, and what form of medication you are using.
Xanax should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
General recommendations for Xanax dosage:
- Your doctor can prescribe Xanax twice or four times a day.
- The dose may be lower if you are elderly, weakened or have liver disease.
- When you stop taking Xanax, your doctor can slowly reduce the dose before stopping the use completely.
- Keep all Xanax forms out of the reach of children.
- Store Xanax at room temperature and away from heat and moisture.
Xanax tablets are available in 0.25 mg (mg), 0.5 mg, 1 mg and 2 mg.
Take tablets with liquid. You can take them with or without food.
The tablets are clogged, and you can divide them.
The liquid AlprazolamIntensol is available in a bottle with a calibrated dropper labeled for different doses.
Mix the dose of the concentrated oral solution with a liquid or semi-solid food product, such as water, juice, apple sauce or pudding.
Niravam, alprazolam orally disintegrating tablets, have 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg or 2 mg.
Do not take this medication with a liquid. You can take it with water if you want.
Xanax XR, sustained release tablets, have 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg or 3 mg.
Take them once a day, usually in the morning with a liquid (for example, a glass of water).
Swallow the whole tablet; Do not chew, do not crush or break it.
If you think you use too much Xanax, call the Toxicology Center or call 03.
Overdose Xanax can be fatal.
Symptoms of overdose include severe drowsiness, confusion, impaired coordination, decreased reflexes, fainting or coma.
Missing dose of Xanax
Take the missed dose of Xanax, as soon as remember.
But if you take several doses per day and miss one, and this time for the next, skip it and continue the regular dosing schedule.
Do not take an extra dose to make up for the missed one.