Alprazolam is a common benzodiazepine. It regulates the production of the chemicals in the brain that are responsible for anxiety. Thus, alprazolam is a used to control symptoms of anxiety and panic that leads to depression.

People who have narrow-angle glaucoma or are taking certain medications such as itraconazole must avoid alprazolam. Some people who are allergic to alprazolam and similar medicines such as Ativan, Valium, Tranxene etc must also avoid Alprazolam.

Effectiveness and Safety of Alprazolam in Treating Anxiety

How Does Alprazolam Work?

Alprazolam is commonly used benzodiazepine that is used as sedative or to treat symptoms of anxiety. It regulates the production of the chemicals in brain that are responsible to causing anxiety.

How Effective is Alprazolam in Treating Anxiety?

Alprazolam works effectively well in treating signs and symptoms of anxiety and making a person feel calm and relaxed. It is also used as sedative to help a person to sleep at night without causing any sleepiness during day when taken in limited amount. It is an inexpensive tablet, thanks to its variety of generic forms. It is available in various forms including long-acting tablets, short-acting and orally-dissolving tablets.

Alprazolam's response and effectiveness is excellent. Usually, it takes 1-2 hours for immediate-release and orally disintegrating tablets to reach to peak concentrations. Extended release form of the tablet takes 5 to 11 hours to reach at consistent levels. However, these times can vary from person to person according to origin, weight and some other factors.

  • Since alprazolam is sedative in nature, you must avoid any activity that requires concentration and alertness such as driving a vehicle or operating machinery after intake of the medicine.
  • Alcohol must always be avoided with Alprazolam.
  • Alprazolam must be taken in recommended dosage strictly.
  • If you are taking extended-release tablets, you must swallow them whole instead or chewing them or crushing them.
  • Oral solution of Alprazolam can be mixed with liquid or semisolid food.
  • Orally-disintegrating tablets must not be held with wet hands.
  • If the intake of Alprazolam is stopped all of a sudden, it can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Take advice from your doctor on withdrawing from the intake of the medicine.
  • Avoid Alprazolam with ketoconazole (Nizoral) or itraconazole (Sporanox) or if you are prone to angle glaucoma.
  • Keep the medicine in a safe location.

What is the Recommended Dosage for Alprazolam?

General Adult Dosage for Anxiety

Immediate-release tablets/disintegrating tablets: Normal recommended dosage is 0.25 to 0.5 mg to be taken orally, 3 times a day. Maximum dosage must not exceed 4 mg per day and should be divided into multiple doses.

General Adult Dosage for Panic Disorder

Immediate-release tablets/disintegrating tablets: Normal recommended dosage is 0.5 mg to be taken orally, 3 times a day. Maximum dosage must not exceed 10 mg per day and should be divided into multiple doses.

General Geriatric Dosage for Anxiety

For debilitated or elderly patients, Immediate-release tablets/disintegrating tablets: Normal recommended dosage is 0.25 mg to be taken orally, 2- 3 times a day.

General Geriatric Dosage for Panic Disorder

For debilitated or elderly patients, extended release tablets: Normal recommended dosage is 0.5 mg to be taken orally, once per day.

How Safe is Alprazolam in Treating Anxiety?

The intake of Alprazolam is quite safe. Side effects you are more likely to experience include:

  • Low BP, heart palpitations, and dizziness while standing up.
  • Upset of stomach which includes nausea and constipation. Headache, dry mouth and a decrease in the sexual desire are also common.
  • It may cause physical and emotional dependence.

Other Side Effects of Alprazolam

Alprazolam must be avoided during pregnancy: Alprazolam is known to cause birth defects in the new born babies. In some cases, it can also lead to withdrawal symptoms.

Alprazolam is addictive in nature and its overdose can even lead to death. It must be kept at safe place away from the babies to avoid misuse. The intake of alcohol along with alprazolam must be avoided as it can magnify the effects of alcohol.

If you are taking alprazolam, there is always a risk of following side-effects:

  • Being forgetful
  • Discouragement
  • Drowsiness
  • Not feeling happy
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Experiencing light head
  • Feeling low or sad
  • Lacking physical energy
  • Unable to walk firmly
  • Feeling sleepy or drowsy
  • Slurred speech
  • Feeling of tiredness
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Unable to speak properly
  • Unable to perform routine tasks
  • Unable to sleep
  • Unable to control and coordinate body parts.

Conclusion

Alprazolam is effective in treating signs of anxiety but is addictive in nature. Thus, its overuse or misuse must can lead to severe consequences or even death.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 27, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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