Xanax XR

Generic Name: Alprazolam, extended-release

  • What is Xanax XR?

    Xanax XR is a medicine known as a benzodiazepine; it works by slowing down the movement of chemicals in the brain. Xanax XR is used to treat panic disorders.
  • What is the most important information I should know about Xanax XR?

    If you take more than 4 milligrams (mg) of Xanax XR per day, you are at risk of extreme physical or mental dependence. You may also experience more severe withdrawal symptoms (including seizures) if you stop taking Xanax XR or if you lower the dose.

    Even if you take Xanax XR for a short period of time, you may become mentally or physically dependent. Physical dependence could put you at risk for experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Xanax XR. Withdrawal symptoms include seizures or a worsening of anxiety and associated symptoms.

    Xanax XR binds to certain receptors in the brain that may cause you to become drowsy or sedated. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Xanax XR.

    You should not increase, decrease, or stop taking your Xanax XR 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 XR. This medication will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants.

    Do not smoke while using Xanax XR. Cigarette smoking decreases blood levels of Xanax XR. Tell your doctor if you smoke or if you have recently stopped smoking.

  • Who should not take Xanax XR?

    You should not take Xanax XR 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. (If you have open-angle glaucoma, Xanax XR may be used if you are receiving appropriate therapy.)

    Do not take Xanax XR 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 XR?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Xanax XR. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of 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.
  • 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.

    Adults: The recommended dose is 3-6 milligrams (mg) a day. Treatment may be started with a dose of 0.5-1 mg a day. Depending on your response, the dose may be increased at intervals of 3 to 4 days and in increments of no more than 1 mg per day.

  • How should I take Xanax XR?

    Take Xanax XR once a day, preferably in the morning. Take it exactly as prescribed. You should not take more or stop the medication altogether without first talking to your doctor.

    You can take Xanax XR with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take it with food to reduce stomach irritation. Swallow the tablets whole; do not break, crush, or chew them.

  • What should I avoid while taking Xanax XR?

    Do not increase, decrease, or stop taking Xanax XR without first talking to your doctor.

    You should not drink alcohol while taking Xanax XR. 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 XR.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Xanax XR?

    If Xanax XR 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 XR 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, oral contraceptives, propoxyphene, rifampin, and St. John's wort.
  • What are the possible side effects of Xanax XR?

    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, constipation, fatigue, impaired coordination, irritability, memory impairment, dizziness, lightheadedness, headache, joint pain, trouble sleeping (insomnia), anxiety, abnormal involuntary 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 XR if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    No. Xanax XR should not be taken if you are pregnant or breastfeeding due to the possible harm it may cause to an unborn or nursing infant. 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 XR?

    If you miss a dose of Xanax XR and you are using it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
  • How should I store Xanax XR?

    Store at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom.