Xanax (alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine (ben-zoe-dye-AZE-eh-peen). Alprazolam affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety.
Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression.
Xanax may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use Xanax if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, if you also take itraconazole or ketoconazole, or if you are allergic to Xanax or similar medicines, such as chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), or oxazepam (Serax).
Do not use Xanax if you are pregnant. This medicine can cause birth defects or life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in a newborn.
Alprazolam may be habit-forming. Misuse of habit-forming medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death.
Do not drink alcohol while taking Xanax. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol. Alprazolam may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. Do not take opioid medication (such as hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone or other similar medications) while taking Xanax, unless your doctor has specifically instructed you to do so. The combined use of opioids and Xanax can lead to excessive tiredness, difficulty or slowed breathing, coma, or death.
You should not take Xanax if you have:
• narrow-angle glaucoma;
• if you are also taking itraconazole or ketoconazole; or
• if you are allergic to alprazolam or to other benzodiazepines, such as chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), or oxazepam (Serax).
To make sure Xanax is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
• seizures or epilepsy;
• kidney or liver disease (especially alcoholic liver disease);
• asthma or other breathing disorder;
• open-angle glaucoma;
• a history of depression or suicidal thoughts or behavior;
• a history of drug or alcohol addiction; or
• if you also use a narcotic (opioid) medication.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
• depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
• racing thoughts, increased energy, unusual risk-taking behavior;
• confusion, agitation, hostility, hallucinations;
• uncontrolled muscle movements, tremor, seizure (convulsions); or
• pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest.
Common Xanax side effects may include:
• drowsiness, feeling tired;
• slurred speech, lack of balance or coordination;
• memory problems; or
• feeling anxious early in the morning.