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Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Xanax

Alprazolam - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Alprazolam cause?

The mentioned side effects generally affect up to 10% of patients.
  • Nausea or stomach discomfort
    • Take this medication with or after food
    • Take simple meals and avoid rich or spicy foods
  • Constipation
    • Drink more water (if not on fluid-restricted diet), eat more high-fibre foods, and exercise regularly
    • Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you need a medication to help with your constipation
  • Light-headedness (especially during a sudden change in posture)
    • Get up slowly from a sitting or lying down position
  • Feeling tired or drowsy
    • Discuss with your doctor if you can take this medication at a different time of the day
    • Avoid driving or engaging in activities requiring concentration
  • Feeling clumsy or unsteady
    • Speak to your doctor if it bothers you
Most of the side effects listed here will improve with time. Speak to your doctor if they continue, get worse or are affecting your daily life.
Rarely this medication may cause:
  • Memory loss (amnesia)
  • Abnormal thinking, changes in behaviour, or hearing or seeing things that do not exist (hallucinations)
  • Unusual excitement, irritability, or agitation (disinhibition)
  • Unusual sleep-related activities such as walking, eating or cooking
  • Confusion
  • Fast, slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Blurred vision
  • Dark brown urine, light coloured stools (pale grey/clay-coloured), yellowing of skin and eyes (symptoms of liver problems)
The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
If you experience any of these side effects, you should stop your medication and inform your healthcare professional immediately.
 
Please also take note that not all possible side effects are listed above. If you have any concerns about your medication, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Before taking Alprazolam , what precautions must I follow?

​Inform your healthcare professional if: 

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. If you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding, your doctor would have discussed the potential benefits and side-effects with you. If you have further questions or concerns, do consult your doctor.
  • You are taking any other medications including over-the-counter medications, supplements, traditional Chinese medicine and herbal remedies. Some of them may affect how this medication works or cause serious drug interactions.
  • You have or have ever had:
    • Other drug allergies
    • Other mental health conditions such as depression
    • Medical conditions such as:
      • Lung, brain, kidney or liver disease
      • Previous drug or alcohol abuse
      • Glaucoma (high pressure in the eyes), seizures (fits), Myasthenia Gravis (an autoimmune condition that affects the nerves and muscles) or sleep apnea (temporary stopping of breathing during sleep)
This medication may be habit-forming when taken excessively or for a prolonged duration (especially at high doses). This may result in:
  • Unintentional, regular use of the medication
  • Dependence or over-reliance on the medication
  • Decreased effectiveness of the medication
 This can be prevented by taking the medication:
  • On a short-term basis (2 - 4 weeks)
  • At the lowest effective dose
  • Intermittently (for example, taking it once every 2 or 3 nights for the relief of sleep difficulty)
If you have been taking the medication on a long-term basis or at high doses, do not stop taking it abruptly as it may lead to withdrawal symptoms such as increased sweating, increased heart rate, tremors, trouble sleeping, increased agitation, hallucinations, increased anxiety, nausea or vomiting, and in severe cases, medical emergencies such as fits.
If you wish to cut down, discuss with your doctor to come up with a discontinuation plan. It is often best to reduce the dose gradually over a few weeks.
If you are prescribed this medication for other conditions, consult your doctor or specialist for further advice about the appropriate dose and duration.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Alprazolam ?

​Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication as it can cause excessive drowsiness.

Alprazolam - Additional Information

  • Updated on 10/31/2021 12:00:00 AM
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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