Alprazolam is a drug of choice for treating panic and anxiety disorders, which can be in the form of sudden attacks of fear. It is a class of drugs named benzodiazepines and works in the brain by reducing abnormal excitement.
A tablet of Alprazolam contains alprazolam, which is a triazole analog of 1,4-benzodiazepine class active ingredient for the central nervous system. It works by increasing the effect of GABA, which is a natural chemical in the body.
Applications of Alprazolam
As mentioned earlier, the drug is used for treating anxiety and panic disorders. Aside from those, you can also use it for treating fear of open spaces, depression, and fear.
How to use the drug
Alprazolam comes in various forms as highlighted below:
- Normal tablets
- Extended-release tablets
- Orally disintegrating tablets (tablets able to dissolve very fast in the mouth)
- Concentrated solution (liquid)
Conclusively, the drug is to be taken orally. You are required to take the tablet, concentrated solution, and orally disintegrating tablets 2 to 4 times daily. You are to take the extended-release tablets, on the other hand, once daily, preferably in the morning. Be that as it may, always follow the instructions you find on the prescription label when taking the drug.
In case you find any part of the instruction difficult to understand, do not hesitate to consult your pharmacist or doctor for clarification. You must only take the drug in line with a specific direction.
A dropper is included in the concentrated liquid form. You must only use this dropper for measuring the dosage. Only draw into the dropper the prescribed amount of the drug. You can do this by squeezing the dropper, dipping it into the bottle, and releasing it. Then gauge the content until it reaches the prescribed level.
You can release the content of the dropper directly into your mouth or add it to foods. You can add it directly to semisolid or liquid foods, like pudding, applesauce, soda, juice, or water. The drug will blend with the food and you can take the mixture.
- As for the orally separated tablets, remove them from the bottle and place the prescribed number of tablets on your tongue to dissolve.
- The extended-release tablet is to be swallowed. You should not make the mistake of breaking or chewing it.
- Doctors prefer to start the patients on a low dose to be increased gradually.
Bear in mind that the drug can be addictive and habit-forming. So, you should avoid taking a large dose or take it too often. Always carry your doctor along for proper dosing. You should let your doctor know if it is safe to stop taking the drug.
What are the withdrawal symptoms?
A sudden stoppage can lead to withdrawal symptoms, like the following:
- Increased sensitivity to light and noise
- Blurred vision
- Headache depression
- Aggressive behavior
- Weight loss
- And so on
Precautions to follow
- Let your doctor know if you are allergic to drugs like chlordiazepoxide, alprazolam, lorazepam, flurazepam, estazolam, and diazepam.
- Let your doctor know if you are taking ketoconazole or itraconazole.
- In fact, let your doctor know if you are taking any other drug for that matter, including herbal products.
- Let your doctor know if you have glaucoma or have ever had depression.
- You should also let a surgeon know before the procedure begins if you are already on Alprazolam.
- You should carry your doctor along if you are drinking grapefruit juice.
How to manage overdose of Alprazolam
If you miss any dose, take it as soon as possible. You should, however, only take the next dose if the time is close to the dose you have missed. You should avoid taking an overdose of the missed drug.
Some symptoms of overdose are:
- Loss of consciousness
- Problems with coordination
- You should avoid grapefruit and foods that contain grape juice while on the Alprazolam regimen since grapefruit can aggravate the side effects and increase the therapeutic effects.
- You should equally avoid taking caffeine or foods containing caffeine a few hours before bedtime since such foods can inhibit the therapeutic effect of the drug.
- You should equally avoid smoking or taking tobacco in any form since it can make the drug less effective. Sudden stoppage of tobacco ingestion can cause the effect of the drug to rise.
- Marijuana and benzodiazepines should also be avoided while on the Alprazolam regimen since this can increase the effect of the drug.
- Alcohol ingestion can cause severe side effects.
Alprazolam side effects
Some of the mild side effects you may have are:
- Increased salivation
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty concentrating
Some of the serious side effects that may come up are:
- Shortness of breath
- Problem with balance and coordination
- Suicidal thoughts
- Unusual change in mood or behavior
- Problem with speech
- Memory problems
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin
- Severe skin rash
- And so on
You should contact your doctor immediately if you notice any of the side effects above, be it mild or serious ones.