GENERIC NAME: alprazolam
BRAND NAME: Xanax, Xanax XR, Niravam
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
USES: Alprazolam is used for the treatment of anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Anxiety disorders are characterized by:
- unrealistic worry and apprehension,
- symptoms of restlessness,
- shortness of breath,
- smothering sensation,
- cold clammy hands,
- exaggerated startle responses,
- problems concentrating, and
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
Other side effects include:
- 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.
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