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Information about Xanax

Brand Name(s): Xanax

Generic Name Alprazolam

What are alprazolam tablets?

ALPRAZOLAM (Xanax®, Niravam™) is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines belong to a group of medicines that slow down the central nervous system. Alprazolam relieves anxiety and nervousness and helps to treat panic attacks. Federal law prohibits the transfer of alprazolam to any person other than the patient for whom it was prescribed. Do not share this medicine with anyone else. Generic alprazolam tablets are available. Generic orally-disintegrating tablets are not yet available.

What should my health care professional know before I take alprazolam?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • alcohol or drug abuse problems
  • bipolar disorder, depression, psychosis or other mental health conditions
  • glaucoma
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea or other breathing difficulties
  • myasthenia gravis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • porphyria
  • seizures or a history of seizures
  • shortness of breath
  • snoring
  • suicidal thoughts
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to alprazolam, other benzodiazepines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I take this medicine?

Take alprazolam tablets by mouth. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

If you are taking Niravam™ tablets: These tablets are made to dissolve in the mouth without having to take them with water. Just before taking the tablet, remove the tablet from the bottle with dry hands. Place the tablet in the mouth and allow it to dissolve, then swallow. You may take these tablets with water, but it is not necessary to do so. If only one-half of the tablet is used, the unused portion of the tablet should be safely discarded because it may not remain stable. Do not reuse this portion of the tablet. Discard unused tablets in a safe manner away from children and pets.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with alprazolam?

Do not take Alprazolam with any of the following:

  • alcohol
  • grapefruit juice
  • ketoconazole
  • itraconazole
  • some medicines for HIV infection or AIDS

Alprazolam may also interact with the following medications:

  • bosentan
  • caffeine
  • cimetidine
  • cyclosporine
  • disulfiram
  • ergotamine
  • female hormones, including contraceptive or birth control pills
  • herbal or dietary supplements such as kava kava, melatonin, dehydroepiandrosterone, DHEA, St. John's Wort or valerian
  • imatinib, STI-571
  • isoniazid
  • levodopa
  • medicines for anxiety or sleeping problems, such as diazepam, lorazepam or triazolam
  • medicines for depression, mental problems or psychiatric disturbances
  • medicines for fungal infections (fluconazole, voriconazole)
  • mifepristone, RU-486
  • prescription pain medicines
  • probenecid
  • rifampin, rifapentine, or rifabutin
  • some antibiotics (clarithromycin, erythromycin, troleandomycin)
  • some medicines for colds, hay fever or other allergies
  • some medicines for high blood pressure or heart problems (amiodarone, digoxin, diltiazem, nicardipine, verapamil)
  • some medicines for seizures (carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone)
  • theophylline
  • troglitazone
  • zafirlukast
  • zileuton

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from taking alprazolam?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • confusion, forgetfulness
  • depression
  • difficulty passing urine
  • difficulty sleeping
  • difficulty speaking
  • lightheadedness or fainting spells
  • mood changes, excitability or aggressive behavior
  • muscle cramps
  • staggering or jerky movements, tremors
  • weakness or tiredness

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation or diarrhea
  • drowsiness, dizziness
  • dry mouth, decrease or increase in amount of saliva
  • increase or decrease in appetite
  • menstrual changes
  • sexual dysfunction
  • weight changes

What should I watch for while taking alprazolam?

Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Your body can become dependent on alprazolam, ask your prescriber or health care professional if you still need to take it. However, if you have been taking alprazolam regularly for some time, do not suddenly stop taking it. You must gradually reduce the dose or you may get severe side effects. Ask your prescriber or health care professional for advice. Even after you stop taking alprazolam it can still affect your body for several days.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how alprazolam affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy and fainting spells, do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol may increase dizziness and drowsiness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds or allergies without asking your prescriber or health care professional for advice. Some ingredients can increase possible side effects.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking alprazolam.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 °C (59 and 86 °F). Throw away any cotton that was in the bottle and reseal the bottle tightly with the cap to help keep moisture out. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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