This medication is used to treat certain anxiety and panic disorders. Alprazolam belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines. It acts on the brain and nerves to produce a calming effect and helps relieve panic and anxiety symptoms. It works by enhancing the effects of a certain natural chemical in the body (GABA).
Taking alprazolam with opioid medications (such as codeine, hydrocodone) may increase your risk of very serious side effects, including death. To lower your risk, your doctor should have you take the smallest dose of alprazolam that works, and take it for the shortest possible time. Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, unusual lightheadedness, severe drowsiness/dizziness, difficulty waking up.
How to Use This Medication
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking alprazolam and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. Your dose may be gradually increased until the drug starts working well. Follow your doctor's instructions closely to reduce the risk of side effects.
It is best not to take this medication with a high-fat meal because absorption may be slowed.
Make sure your hands are dry before you are ready to take this medication. Place the tablet on top of your tongue immediately after removing it from the bottle. The tablet will dissolve in your mouth. Although it is not necessary to take this medication with any liquid, you may take it with water.
If your dose is only half a tablet, be sure to throw away the unused portion of the tablet. Do not save it for future use because it may become inactive.
If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as seizures). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used alprazolam for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.