Xanax or 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.
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.
Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- Restlessness or Excitement
- 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
- Difficulty Breathing or Swallowing
- Severe Skin Rash
- Yellowing of the Skin or Eyes
- Irregular Heartbeat
These are some of the side effects, if you have any side effects that are unusual or that become persistent you should talk to your doctor.