Alprazolam is a sedative to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorders. This drug is usually used for short-term treatment. Alprazolam should only be used as prescribed by a doctor.

Alprazolam works by increasing the activity of the natural chemical GABA ( gamma-aminobutyric acid ) in the central nervous system. GABA itself has a function to suppress brain activity. That way, alprazolam can produce a calming effect so that the symptoms of anxiety disorders and panic disorders can subside.

Alprazolam trademarks: Alganax, Alprazolam, Apazol, Atarax, Calmlet, Frixitas, Nuzolam, Opizolam, Xanax, Zolastin, Zolysan, Zypraz

What is Alprazolam

Group Prescription medication
Category Benzodiazepine
Benefit Overcoming anxiety disorders and panic disorders
Consumed by Mature
Alprazolam for pregnant and breastfeeding women Category :  There is evidence that the drug contains a risk to the human fetus, but the benefits may outweigh the risks, for example to treat life-threatening situations.
Alprazolam is absorbed into breast milk and should not be used during breastfeeding.
Medicinal form Tablets, extended-release tablets, fast-dissolving tablets

Warnings Before Taking Alprazolam

Alprazolam should not be used carelessly. The following are important things that need to be considered before undergoing treatment with alprazolam, including:

  • Tell your doctor about your history of allergies. Alprazolam should not be given to patients who are allergic to this drug or other benzodiazepine drugs, such as lorazepam or diazepam.
  • Tell your doctor if you have had or are currently suffering from glaucoma, myasthenia gravis , liver failure, kidney failure, or sleep apnea . Alprazolam should not be given to patients with these conditions.
  • Discuss with your doctor about using alprazolam if you have had or are experiencing alcoholism, drug abuse , or mental disorders, such as depression or thoughts of suicide .
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease , kidney disease, seizures, or breathing problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD ).
  • Do not consume alcoholic drinks while undergoing treatment with alprazolam, because this can increase the risk of side effects.
  • Do not drive or do other activities that require alertness after taking alprazolam, because this drug can cause dizziness and drowsiness .
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or want to plan a pregnancy. Use effective contraception while undergoing treatment with alprazolam.
  • Tell your doctor if you are using opioid drugs , antifungal drugs, ritonavir, or the herbal supplement St. John's wort. John's wort . Also inform about other medications or supplements to anticipate drug interactions.
  • Tell your doctor that you are taking alprazolam before having surgery or any medical procedure, including dental surgery.
  • See a doctor immediately if you experience an allergic drug reaction , overdose, addiction, or serious side effects after using alprazolam.

Alprazolam Dosage and Rules for Use

The following is the dose of alprazolam based on the condition being treated and the type of tablet used:

Condition: Anxiety disorder

Tablet preparations and fast dissolving tablets

  • Adults: Dose 0.25 –0.5 mg, 3 times a day, can be increased every 3–4 days to reach a dose of 3–4 mg per day, based on the patient's response and condition. The duration of treatment should not exceed 12 weeks.
  • Elderly: 0.25 mg, 2–3 times a day. If necessary, the dose can be increased gradually based on the patient's condition and body response.

Condition: Panic disorder with or without agoraphobia

Tablet preparations and fast dissolving tablets

  • Adults: Initial dose 0.5 mg, 3 times a day, can be increased to a maximum of 1 mg per day every 3-4 days. The maximum dose is 10 mg per day.
  • Elderly: Initial dose 0.25 mg, 2–3 times a day. If necessary, the dose can be increased based on the patient's condition and body response.

Sustained release tablet preparation

  • Adults: Initial dose 0.5–1 mg, once daily. If necessary, the dose can be increased to a maximum of 1 mg per day every 3-4 days, depending on the patient's condition and body response.
  • Elderly: Initial dose 0.5 mg, once a day. If necessary, the dose can be increased based on the patient's condition and body response.

How to Take Alprazolam Correctly

Follow the doctor's instructions and read the information on the medicine packaging before taking alprazolam. Do not increase or decrease the dose given without the doctor's permission.

Use of alprazolam that is not in accordance with a doctor's prescription can cause addiction, overdose, and even death. Call your doctor immediately if you think you are addicted to alprazolam.

Alprazolam can be taken before or after meals. Drowsiness due to using alprazolam can be reduced if this drug is taken immediately after eating.

Alprazolam preparations consist of conventional tablets, fast-dissolving tablets, and extended-release tablets. Even though they are both tablets, the way to consume each preparation is different.

Alprazolam tablets are consumed whole with water. For slow-release tablets, swallow the medicine whole, without splitting, chewing or crushing it first. Meanwhile, for fast-dissolving tablets, place the medicine on your tongue and leave it until the medicine dissolves in your mouth.

If you forget to take alprazolam, take this medicine as soon as you remember. However, if the next scheduled dose of medication is approaching, ignore the missed dose and do not double the next dose.

If using alprazolam as a long-term treatment, you may need to have regular check-ups. This is so the doctor can monitor your condition and the results of your therapy. Adhere to the control schedule given by the doctor.

Do not stop using alprazolam suddenly because there is a risk of worsening the condition and causing withdrawal symptoms, such as difficulty sleeping, hallucinations, tremors or seizures. To prevent this, the doctor will reduce the dose gradually if treatment needs to be stopped.

Store alprazolam in a cool place and away from direct sunlight. Keep this medicine out of reach of children.

Alprazolam Interaction with Other Drugs

Some interaction effects that can occur if alprazolam is used with other drugs are:

  • Increased risk of fatal side effects if used with antifungal drugs, such as ketoconazole or itraconazole
  • Increased risk of side effects in the form of severe respiratory problems or even coma, if used with opioid drugs, such as hydrocodone or tramadol
  • Increased risk of alprazolam side effects if used together with fluvoxamine, cimetidine , fluoxetine , birth control pills, diltiazem, or macrolide antibiotics, such as erythromycin or clarithromycin
  • Increased effect of the drug aplrazolam if used with other groups of antianxiety drugs, sedatives, antipsychotics , antidepressants, anesthetics , or antihistamines
  • Increased risk of side effects from alprazolam, in the form of severe drowsiness and difficulty breathing, if used with ritonavir
  • Decreased effectiveness of alprazolam when used with phenytoin or carbamazepine
  • Increased risk of digoxin side effects

Alprazolam can also interact with food or drink. Avoid consuming alprazolam with grape fruit , or foods and drinks that contain this fruit, because this risks causing alprazolam side effects.

Side Effects and Dangers of Alprazolam

There are several side effects that can occur after consuming alprazolam, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizzy
  • Drooling or dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Weak
  • Appetite is lost
  • Sexual desire increases or decreases

Check with your doctor if these side effects do not improve or get worse. Immediately go to the doctor or ask someone close to you to take you to the hospital if you have an allergic reaction to the drug, symptoms of an overdose, or the following serious side effects:

  • Severe sleepiness or difficulty waking up from sleep
  • Hallucinations
  • Dizzy like I'm going to faint
  • Breathing slows
  • Thoughts of suicide arise
  • Seizures
  • Bewildered
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Impaired coordination of movements or balance disorders
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty remembering or being forgetful
  • Jaundice