This medicine contains as active ingredient alprazolam, a benzodiazepine preparation. Benzodiazepines belong to the group of psychoactive medicines that influence the activity of the brain.
They can relax you and make you more tranquil or sleepier, or they can slow various system transmissions in such a way as to act as an anticonvulsant. Many doctors prefer benzodiazepines to other drugs that can be used in similar circumstances because they tend to be safer, have fewer side effects, and are usually as effective, if not more so.
This medicine is prescribed for:
• Anxiety disorder
• Anxiety associated with depression
• Panic disorder with or without agoraphobia
Before using this medicine
Before you use this medicine check with your doctor:
• if you ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to benzodiazepines.
• if you are on a low-salt, low-sugar, or any other special diet, or if you are allergic to any substance, such as sulfites or other preservatives or dyes.
• if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while using this medicine. Some benzodiazepines have been reported to increase the chance of birth defects when used during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
• if you are breast-feeding an infant. Benzodiazepines may pass into the breast milk and cause drowsiness, unusually slow heartbeat, shortness of breath, or troubled breathing in infants of mothers taking this medicine.
• if you have any of the following medical problems: asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or other chronic lung disease; epilepsy or history of convulsions; hyperactivity (in children); kidney or liver disease; mental depression or illness; myasthenia gravis, porphyria.
This medication is used to relieve or prevent the symptoms of your medical problem. Take the medicine as directed. Do not take more of them and do not take them more often than recommended on the label, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
• The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regime.
Anxiety disorder The usual dosage for adults amounts to 0.25-0.5 mg three times a day. The dosage must be tailored to your individual needs with a maximum dose of 4 mg a day. The medicine is not recommended for children under 18.
Panic disorderThe usual dosage for adults amounts to 1-10 mg a day. The dosage must be tailored to your individual need. The medicine is not recommended for children under 18.
• Benzodiazepine drugs can be abused if taken for long periods of time and it is possible to develop withdrawal symptoms if you discontinue the therapy abruptly. This medicine can cause drug withdrawal symptoms if suddenly discontinued. Withdrawal symptoms include:
• Muscle cramps
Cautions and Warnings
• Do not take this drug if you are allergic or sensitive to any of its ingredients.
• The drug has been associated with memory loss, especially when higher doses are taken. This effect, known as “traveller’s amnesia,” is most common among people who take this medicine to adjust to time zone changes during travel.
• If you abruptly stop taking this medicine, you may experience rebound sleeplessness, where sleeplessness is worse during the first 1-3 nights, after you stop the drug that it was before you started it.
• People with reparatory disease may experience sleep apnea (intermittent cessation of breathing during sleep) while taking this medicine.
• People with kidney or liver disease would be carefully monitored while taking this medicine. Take the lowest possible dose to help you sleep.
• Clinical depression may be increased by this medicine, which can depress the nervous system. Intentional overdose is more common among depressed people, who take sleeping pills that among those who do not.
Along with the needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects.
• Minor side effects are:
Bitter taste in the mouth
Loss of appetite
As your body adjusts to the medicine, these side effects should disappear.
• Tell your doctor about any side effects that are persistent or particularly bothersome. It is especially important to tell your doctor about:
Blurred or double vision
Difficulty in urinating
Fainting or falling
Fever or hallucinations
Shortness of breath
Yellowing of the skin
This medicine may interact with several other drugs. This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol, and CNS depressants.
• Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you are currently taking.
The most common symptoms of overdose are:
• Loss of muscle coordination
• Slurred speech
Overdose victims must be made to vomit, with ipecac syrup, to remove any remaining drug from the stomach. Call your doctor or a poison control center before doing this. If 30 minutes have passed since the overdose was taken or if symptoms have begun to develop, the victim must immediately be taken to a hospital emergency room.
Store at room temperature in tightly closed, light-resistant containers. Keep out of the reach of children since overdose may be especially dangerous in children.