What is Xanax?
Xanax is the brand name of Alprazolam. This oral medication is used to treat the symptoms of anxiety, panic disorders, and anxiety associated with depression in patients aged 18 years and older.
|Drug Name:||Xanax (Alprazolam)|
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Active Ingredient: Alprazolam
Inactive Ingredients: Cellulose, sodium benzoate, corn starch, silicon dioxide, docusate sodium, lactose, and magnesium stearate
Xanax is classified as a benzodiazepine drug, which means it produces a calming effect on the brain and the body’s central nervous system. Xanax decreases abnormal excitement activity in the brain by slowing down the movement of chemicals that may have become unbalanced. This reaction results in a reduction of nervous tension and anxiety.
Common Forms of Xanax
Xanax comes as a tablet, an extended-release tablet, an orally-disintegrating tablet (a tablet that dissolves quickly in the mouth), and a concentrated liquid solution. All of these medication forms should be administered orally following the directions printed on the prescription medication label.
How to Use Xanax
The lowest possible effective dose of Xanax should be administered and the need for continued treatment reassessed frequently while on this medication. Any changes in dosage should be made by a licensed medical professional and patients on this medication should be monitored closely.
Xanax tablets are available as:
● 0.25mg (white, oval, scored)
● 0.50mg (peach, oval, scored)
● 1mg (blue, oval, scored)
● 2mg (white, oblong, multiscored)
Extended-release Xanax tablets are available in 0.5mg-3mg dosage tablets.
Liquid Xanax is available in a 1 mg/mL oral concentrate.
The following guidelines are generalized; All decisions regarding medication dosage should be individualized and tailored to specific patient needs.
When Xanax is taken in pill form through the mouth for the lessening of symptoms amongst patients with a generalized anxiety disorder is 0.25mg-0.5mg taken three times during waking hours. Dosage may be changed based on effectiveness and the dosage may be adjusted by the prescriber every few days as recommended by a doctor without adding more than an additional 1mg at a time.. The maximum recommended dosage is 4mg daily taken on individual doses.
For patients being treated for panic disorders, the recommended starting dosage via the mouth of Xanax is 0.5mg taken three separate times per day. Depending on symptom response, the dosage may be adjusted by the prescriber every 3 to 4 days in increments of no more than 1mg per day.
Elderly patients (aged 65+) may be especially sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepine medications. As a result, the recommended starting oral dosage of Xanax in elderly patients is 0.25 mg, given 2 or 3 times daily. This may be gradually increased by the prescriber if needed and tolerated.
Xanax tablets, orally-disintegrating tablets, and concentrated liquid solution doses are usually taken two to four times a day. The extended-release tablets are taken once daily, most often in the morning.
To take Xanax orally-disintegrating tablets:
● Remove the tablet from the bottle just prior to administration with completely dry hands.
● Immediately place the tablet on your tongue.
● The tablet should immediately begin to dissolve and can be swallowed with saliva.
● This can be taken with or without accompanying water.
To take Xanax concentrated liquid solution:
● Draw the amount prescribed for one dose into the dropper.
● Squeeze the entire dropper contents into a liquid or semisolid food, such as water, juice, yogurt, or pudding.
● Stir the liquid or mix the food gently. The concentrated liquid should blend completely with the food.
● Drink or eat the entire mixture immediately.
Do not crush or cut Xanax extended-release tablets in half; Xanax extended-release tablets should be swallowed whole.
Ask your prescribing doctor before decreasing your dose of Xanax or stop taking the drug. Suddenly stopping this medication may cause mood changes or other unsettling physical problems, and you may experience issues related to dependency, such as seizures, body tremors, headaches, blurred vision, increased sensitivity to noise or light, changes in sense of smell, sweating, a hard time resting or falling/staying asleep, difficulty concentrating, nervousness, depression, irritability, aggressive behavior, muscle twitching or cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet, a decrease in appetite, or weight loss.
Xanax may be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose of Xanax, take it more frequently (additional doses), or take it for a longer time than prescribed by your doctor.
Take any missed dose of Xanax as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose, in which case you should skip any doses missed and then resume the regular schedule. Do not double up on your medication to make up for the missed dose.
Special Precautions to Follow with Xanax
Before taking Xanax:
● Explain to your physician and pharmacist about any other prescription and over the country medications, herbs or nutritional dietary supplements (St. John’s Wort) and vitamins that you are currently taking. You need to communicate if you are taking any of the following:
○ antidepressants, including imipramine (Tofranil) and sertraline (Zoloft) and ;
○ ketoconazole (Nizoral)
○ itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox); ;
○ medications for mental illness pr anxiety;
○ allergy or cold medicines;
○ medications for pain or seizures;
○ rifampin (in Rifamate, in Rifater, Rimactane, Rifadin);
○ sleeping pills;
○ or tranquilizers.
Complimentary use of any of these medications in addition to Ambien may result in the need for your doctor to make changes to the doses of your medications or to monitor you closely for side effects.
Communicate with your prescribing doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding during your treatment with Xanax. Discuss with your doctor any oral contraceptives that you are on.
Tell your doctor if you have glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye that may cause loss of sight), as this may result in a change to your Alprazolam prescription.
Additionally, tell your doctor if you’ve ever had:
● Breathing and lung related issues such as COPD or sleep apnea;
● drug or alcohol addiction;
● depression, mood problems, or suicidal thoughts or behavior;
● or liver or kidney disease (especially related to alcohol abuse)
While taking Xanax:
● If you become pregnant while prescribed with Xanax, call your doctor immediately, as Xanax may harm the fetus. Babies born to mothers on Xanax may develop a drug dependency. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born and may require significant medical treatment for the baby.
● Grapefruit may interact with Xanax and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products while being treated with alprazolam medications.
● Alcohol and Xanax when taken together will have a bad effect which can involve acting severe intoxication and changes in behavior. Don’t try to test how much alcohol to drink with Xanax are drinking more makes the problem worse.. Talk to your doctor about your alcohol consumption while on Xanax.
● Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen during treatment.
Possible Side Effects of Xanax
The most common side effect of Xanax use is:
Serious side effects of Xanax use include:
v● Weak, shallow breathing
● Risk-taking behaviors
● Decreased sleep and increased energy
● Falls (more common in elderly patients taking Xanax)
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these side effects.
Taking Xanax in combination with other drugs, such as opioids, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and prescription cough medications can lead to drowsiness and shallow breathing, with the onset of other potential adverse side effects. Talk to your doctor about any use of these types of medications while on Xanax.
Xanax is contraindicated in patients who:
● are under the age of 18
● have a known sensitivity to Alprazolam and its ingredients.
● experience acute angle glaucoma
● are taking itraconazole and ketoconazole
Signs and symptoms of a Xanax overdose include:
● Issues with coordination
● Loss of consciousness
Call your doctor and Poison Control immediately If you take too much Xanax or overdose. An overdose of Xanax can be fatal.
Store Xanax at room temperature and away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep out of reach of children.