Xanax is a tranquilizer used in the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety or the treatment of anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorder is marked by unrealistic worry or excessive fears and concerns. Anxiety associated with depression is also responsive to Xanax.
Xanax and the extended-release formulation, Xanax XR, are also used in the treatment of panic disorder, which appears as unexpected panic attacks and may be accompanied by a fear of open or public places called agoraphobia. Only your doctor can diagnose panic disorder and best advise you about treatment.
For patients taking alprazolam oral disintegrating tablets:
Make sure your hands are dry. Just prior to taking the tablet, remove the tablet from the bottle. Immediately place the tablet on top of the tongue. The tablet will dissolve in seconds, and you may swallow it with your saliva. You do not need to drink water or other liquid to swallow the tablet. If you have split apart a tablet and only taken one half of the tablet, you should throw away the unused part of the tablet right away because it may not remain stable.
Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. If too much is taken, it may become habit-forming (causing mental or physical dependence).
The dose of benzodiazepines will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of benzodiazepines. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The number of capsules or tablets depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are taking benzodiazepines.
Adults — At first, 0.25 to 0.5 milligram (mg) three times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed. However, the dose usually is not more than 4 mg a day.
Children younger than 18 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
Older adults — At first, 0.25 mg two or three times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed.
For panic disorder:
Adults — At first, 0.5 mg three times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed. However, the dose usually is not more than 10 mg a day.
Children younger than 18 years of age — Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
Missed dose of Xanax:
If you are taking this medicine regularly (for example, every day as for epilepsy) and you miss a dose, take it right away if you remember within an hour or so of the missed dose. However, if you do not remember until later, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Storage - To store Xanax:
- Keep out of the reach of children. Overdose of benzodiazepines may be especially dangerous in children.
- Store away from heat and direct light.
- Do not store the tablet form of this medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
- Keep the oral disintegrating tablet form of this medicine in a tightly sealed bottle and discard any cotton that was included in the bottle.
- Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.
Xanax Side effects:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
Blurred vision; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; fatigue; headaches; in-coordination; short-term memory loss; or weakness.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); anxiety; chest pain; difficulty breathing; difficulty sleeping; difficulty speaking; hallucinations; inability to control urination; increased muscle spasms; interrupted breathing; involuntary eye movement; sleep disturbances; stimulation; sudden rage; or yellowing of the skin or eyes.