alprazolam, Xanax, Xanax XR, Niravam

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

GENERIC NAME: alprazolam

BRAND NAME: Xanax, Xanax XR, Niravam



USES: Alprazolam is used for the treatment of anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Anxiety disorders are characterized by:

Panic attacks occur either unexpectedly or in certain situations (for example, driving), and can require higher dosages of alprazolam.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of alprazolam taken at lower doses are:

  • drowsiness and
  • fatigue.

Other side effects include:

  • fatigue,
  • memory problems,
  • speech problems,
  • constipation, and
  • changes in weight, and
  • addiction (dependency).

Addiction  is more likely to occur at high doses given over prolonged periods of time. Abrupt discontinuation of alprazolam after prolonged use can lead to symptoms of withdrawal such as:

Seizures can occur in more severe cases of withdrawal. Consequently, patients on alprazolam for extended periods of time should slowly taper the medication under a doctor's supervision rather than abruptly stopping the medication.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/29/2016
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