Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Xanax

(Alprazolam)

  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
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Helps you relax.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Xanax (Alprazolam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety, and longer-term for panic attacks. More likely to cause withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.

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  • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety.
  • Effective longer-term for panic attacks.
  • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Compared to other benzodiazepines, more likely to cause withdrawal if you take it for a long time and then stop suddenly.

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Side effects for Xanax (Alprazolam)

From clinical trials of Xanax / Anxiety ( 1070)

  • DrowsinessDrowsiness41% for Xanax vs.22% for placebo
  • Light-headednessLight-headedness21% for Xanax vs.19% for placebo
  • Dry mouthDry mouth15% for Xanax vs.13% for placebo
  • Low mood disorderLow mood disorder14% for Xanax vs.18% for placebo
  • HeadacheHeadache13% for Xanax vs.20% for placebo
  • ConfusionConfusion10% for Xanax vs.10% for placebo
  • ConstipationConstipation10% for Xanax vs.11% for placebo
  • Nausea/vomitingNausea/vomiting10% for Xanax vs.13% for placebo
  • DiarrheaDiarrhea10% for Xanax vs.10% for placebo
  • Sleep difficultySleep difficulty9% for Xanax vs.18% for placebo

What to expect when you take Xanax (Alprazolam) for Anxiety

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
  • Starts working in 45 minutes when swallowed.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.

Risks and Warnings for Xanax (Alprazolam)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • History of drug abuse
    • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    • Taking more than 4 mg/day or longer than 12 weeks
    • Stopping Xanax (Alprazolam) suddenly

    Xanax (Alprazolam) has a risk of physical and psychological dependence. The risk is greater if you take more than 4 mg per day or use it longer than 12 weeks. Decreasing the dose or stopping the medication can make panic attacks and anxiety come back just as bad or worse than before starting treatment, or cause withdrawal symptoms including seizures, confusion, muscle cramps and twitching, diarrhea, and blurred vision. The risk of seizures is greatest 24 to 72 hours after the last dose. Get help from a doctor to increase your dose or discontinue treatment; it's dangerous to do so on your own. Don't use alcohol or drugs while taking Xanax (Alprazolam).

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Xanax (Alprazolam)

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The FDA category for this medication is D. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Xanax (Alprazolam) has a risk of physical and psychological dependence. The risk is greater if you take more than 4 mg per day or use it longer than 12 weeks. Decreasing the dose or stopping the medication can make panic attacks and anxiety come back just as bad or worse than before starting treatment, or cause withdrawal symptoms including seizures, confusion, muscle cramps and twitching, diarrhea, and blurred vision. The risk of seizures is greatest 24 to 72 hours after the last dose. Get help from a doctor to increase your dose or discontinue treatment; it's dangerous to do so on your own. Don't use alcohol or drugs while taking Xanax (Alprazolam).
  • To everyone who criticizes the overprescription of Xanax: don't judge. You'll never know what it's like to be in the grips of the terror that is a panic attack. When all other natural methods fail, this med works and I function well. Yes, it does cause tolerance/dependence. Don't take it if you think you can manage. Avoid alcohol completely. Bonus: helps me sleep.
    Age: 35
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Anxiety
  • the only thing that works when you just can't pull yourself out of a frightening panic attack or can't sleep. To those people who criticize the overprescription of xanax: don't judge unless you've been so far in the hole of overbearing anxiety. Avoid all alcohol. Don't take if you think you can manage - it can cause tolerance/dependence in the long run.
    Age: 35
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Panic disorder
  • Xanax gets a bad rap for being over prescribed, but it is a lifesaver for when you. just. can't. calm. down. When you are so far down in the hole & the old reliable methods fail, you need something like this to pull you out of it. impossible to describe the depths of extreme anxiety unless you've been there yourself. It can cause tolerance - don't take it if you feel you can push on though. the XR works better for me than short acting. Abstain from alcohol totally.
    Age: 35
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Panic disorder
Sex
  • I have been taking the same dosage for 30 years, .5 mg, pm only. It allowed me to complete college, hold a job and live a normal life. It never affected my sex drive, no weight gain. I've had no side effects from this drug.
    Taken for: Classic Hereditary Hormona Imbalance/Anxiety Disorder
    Duration taken: Two years or more
Sleep
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • This can become habit forming and is not for ongoing use. I had some friends that were taking it daily, I only as needed. Also not really for sleep, it is not long lasting to sustain.
    Taken for: Panic disorder
    Duration taken: Just as needed
  • Worth the drowsiness and zombie-like affect it gives me when I'm suffering from a full-blown panic attack or have had a few days of insomnia. Must be careful not to use it regularly because it's very addictive.
    Age: 35
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Anxiety
    Duration taken: Two years or more
  • drowsiness
    Age: 27
    Taken for: Anxiety
    Duration taken: A few months
Weight gain or loss
  • Works well for my anxiety. Can be habit forming and I gained weight in between the weeks that I didn't take.
    Age: 46
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Anxiety
  • I have been taking the same dosage for 30 years, .5 mg, pm only. It allowed me to complete college, hold a job and live a normal life. It never affected my sex drive, no weight gain. I've had no side effects from this drug.
    Taken for: Classic Hereditary Hormona Imbalance/Anxiety Disorder
    Duration taken: Two years or more