What is Xanax?Xanax is an antianxiety medication, belonging to a drug class known as benzodiazepines. Xanax is used for the management of anxiety disorder, for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms, and panic disorder.
What is the most important information I should know about Xanax?If you take more than 4 milligrams (mg) of Xanax per day, you are at risk of extreme physical or emotional dependence. You may also experience more severe withdrawal symptoms (including seizures) if you stop taking Xanax or if you lower the dose.
Even if you take Xanax for a short period of time, you may become physically or emotionally dependent upon it. Physical dependence could put you at risk for experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Xanax. Withdrawal symptoms may include seizures or a worsening of anxiety and associated symptoms.
Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this drug affects you.
You should not increase, decrease, or stop taking your Xanax doses without first talking to your doctor.
Avoid drinking alcohol or taking other medications that cause drowsiness (such as sedatives and tranquilizers) while taking Xanax. This medication will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants.
Who should not take Xanax?You should not take Xanax if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
Do not use this medication if you have an eye condition called acute narrow-angle glaucoma (high pressure in the eye). (If you have open-angle glaucoma, Xanax may be used if you are receiving appropriate therapy.)
Do not take Xanax if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Also avoid this drug if you are currently taking the medications itraconazole or ketoconazole.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Xanax?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Xanax. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse; liver, lung, or kidney problems; glaucoma; muscle problems; depression or suicidal tendencies; or if you have ever been physically or mentally dependent on a benzodiazepine medication. In addition, tell your doctor if you smoke cigarettes, if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?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 regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Anxiety Disorders and Temporary Symptoms of Anxiety
Adults: The usual starting dose is 0.25-0.5 milligrams (mg), taken three times a day. If necessary, your doctor may increase your dose every 3-4 days, up to a maximum of 4 mg per day taken in divided doses. However, because the risk of dependence may increase with more frequent doses and longer length of treatment, your doctor will frequently assess if you are receiving the lowest possible effective dose of Xanax.
Adults: Treatment may be started with a dose of 0.5 mg taken three times a day. Depending on your response, your doctor may increase your dose every 3-4 days, up to a maximum of 10 mg per day taken in divided doses (three or four times a day).
How should I take Xanax?Xanax should be taken exactly as prescribed. You should not take more or stop the medication altogether without first talking to your doctor.
What should I avoid while taking Xanax?Do not increase, decrease, or stop taking Xanax without first talking to your doctor.
You should not drink alcohol while taking Xanax. You should also not drive a car or operate heavy machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while you are being treated with Xanax.
Avoid cigarette smoking while taking Xanax, because cigarette smoke significantly decreases the amount of Xanax in your blood.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Xanax?If Xanax is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Xanax with the following: alcohol, amiodarone, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, carbamazepine, cyclosporine, desipramine, diltiazem, ergotamine, fluoxetine, grapefruit juice, imipramine, isoniazid, itraconazole, ketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin and clarithromycin, nicardipine, nifedipine, birth control pills, and propoxyphene.
What are the possible side effects of Xanax?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: drowsiness, tiredness, fatigue, impaired coordination, irritability, memory impairment, dizziness, lightheadedness, headache, joint pain, trouble sleeping (insomnia), anxiety, abnormal movements, decreased or increased sexual drive, depression, confusion, muscle twitching, weakness, fainting, numbness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increased or decreased salivation, stomach pain, upper respiratory tract infection, ringing in the ears, fast heartbeat, chest pain, blurred vision, rash, sweating, increased rate of breathing, change in appetite, weight loss or gain, menstrual disorders, trouble urinating, sexual dysfunction, water retention
Can I receive Xanax if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?No. Xanax should not be taken if you are pregnant or breastfeeding due to the possible harm it may cause to an unborn or breastfeeding baby. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Xanax?If you miss a dose of Xanax, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Xanax?Store at room temperature.
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