General Information on Xanax
Xanax, with active ingredient alprazolam, is a prescription drug which belongs to the group of drugs known as benzodiazepines. The drug is used for treating anxiety and panic disorders. The drug works by increasing the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is known to have a calming effect and thus helps in treating anxiety, panic disorders as well as stop seizures.
Precautions/side effects of Xanax
Patients allergic to benzodiazepines such as diazepam, lorazepam, oxazepam etc. should refrain from using Xanax. Other than that, patients with glaucoma or the ones taking ketoconazole should refrain from using this drug. Patients with kidney disease, liver disease, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should take this drug only after due consultation with a doctor.
Xanax is also known to react with certain medications such as contraceptive medications, antifungal drugs such as ketoconazole, antidepressants such as desipramine and propoxyphene etc. Patients on any of these drugs should take Xanax only after consultation with a doctor.
Xanax is a Category D pregnancy drug. Thus, it can have adverse effects on the fetus as well as the newborn. Hence, pregnant women as well women who are breastfeeding should not use this drug.
The drug is also known to have certain side effects such as dizziness, troubled sleeping patterns, blurred vision, nausea, dryness in the mouth and forgetfulness. However, in certain cases, serious side effects may show up to the drug such as jaundice, seizures, tremor, hallucination, unexplained agitation etc. If any of these symptoms show up after taking Xanax, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
Important safety information
- Alcohol should be avoided while taking Xanax.
- Xanax can cause dizziness. Hence, tasks which require concentration such as driving or working on heavy machinery should be avoided after taking the drug.
- Grapefruit is known to react with Xanax. Hence, products containing grapefruit such as grapefruit juice should be avoided while taking Xanax.
- Xanax should not be taken by patients who have a history of drug abuse. Xanax is addictive in nature and can lead to serious addiction to it.
Dosage of Xanax
Xanax is available as 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg and 2 mg tablets. The usual dosage of the drug for treating anxiety is 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg thrice daily. For treating panic disorders, the dosage of the drug may go upto 4 mg daily in divided doses. The exact dosage of the drug depends on the response of the patient.
The drug can be taken with or without food. However, overdose of the drug should be avoided at all costs. If a dose is missed, it should be had as soon as possible. However, the missed dose should be clubbed with the next dose. Overdose of the drug may lead to seizures, tremors, fainting or other serious conditions which require immediate medical attention.
Storage of Xanax
Xanax should be stored at room temperature not exceeding 30 degree Celsius. It should be stored in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. It should be kept away from reach of children and pets at all times. An account of the pills had should be kept to avoid unauthorized use of the drug, as the drug is known to have strong addictive properties.