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 (Valium, Ativan, Tranxene, and others).
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.
Before taking this medicine
It is dangerous to purchase Xanax on the Internet or from vendors outside the United States. Medications distributed from Internet sales may contain dangerous ingredients, or may not be distributed by a licensed pharmacy. The sale and distribution of Xanax outside the U.S. does not comply with the regulations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the safe use of this medication.
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), 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.
Do not use Xanax if you are pregnant. This medicine can cause birth defects. Your baby could also become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking Xanax.