Xanax (alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine. Alprazolam affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety. It is use to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression.
Important Information Concerning Xanax
You should not use Xanax if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, if you also take itraconazole or ketoconazole, or if you are allergic to Xanax or similar medicines, such as chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), or oxazepam (Serax).
Do not use Xanax if you are pregnant. This medicine can cause birth defects or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in a newborn.
Alprazolam may be habit-forming. Misuse of habit-forming medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death.
Do not drink alcohol while taking Xanax. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol. Alprazolam may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. Do not take opioid medication (such as hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone or other similar medications) while taking Xanax, unless your doctor has specifically instructed you to do so. The combined use of opioids and Xanax can lead to excessive tiredness, difficulty or slowed breathing, coma, or death.
- narrow-angle glaucoma;
- if you are also taking itraconazole or ketoconazole; or
- if you are allergic to alprazolam or to other benzodiazepines, such as chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), or oxazepam (Serax).
To make sure Xanax is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- seizures or epilepsy;
- kidney or liver disease (especially alcoholic liver disease);
- asthma or other breathing disorder;
- open-angle glaucoma;
- a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior;
- a history of drug or alcohol addiction; or
- if you also use a narcotic (opioid) medication.
Do not use Xanax if you are pregnant. This medicine can cause birth defects. Your baby could also 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. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking Xanax.
Alprazolam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Xanax.
How Should I Take Xanax?
Take Xanax exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Never use alprazolam in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in treating your symptoms.
Alprazolam may be habit-forming. Never share Xanax with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
Misuse of habit-forming medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.
Do not crush, chew, or break a Xanax extended-release tablet. Swallow the tablet whole.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Xanax: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
- racing thoughts, increased energy, unusual risk-taking behavior;
- confusion, agitation, hostility, hallucinations;
- uncontrolled muscle movements, tremor, seizure (convulsions); or
- pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest.
Common Xanax side effects may include:
- drowsiness, feeling tired;
- slurred speech, lack of balance or coordination;
- memory problems; or
- feeling anxious early in the morning.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.