Alprazolam is the active ingredient in Xanax tablets which shares similar adverse reactions to other benzodiazepines. Side effects that are considered common only affect up to about 10% of people and they tend to be brief and can be managed with ease. They are usually mild and the benefits, such as relief from anxiety and panic attacks, far outweigh adverse reactions. Less common Xanax side effects are discussed further below.
Adverse events are more likely to happen at the beginning of treatment and they generally disappear with continued use. In the average patient, the most common adverse event is likely to be related to the pharmacological effect of this anti-anxiety medication, for example, sedation and sleepiness. The following are common adverse reactions that may affect about 1 in 10 people:
|Adverse reactions||How to cope with Xanax side effects|
|Dizziness or light-headedness||If you feel dizzy after taking a dose, make sure you change positions slowly to avoid vertigo. Sometimes, lying down until the dizzy feeling passes may be the best option.|
|Headaches||If you get a headache, a cold cloth on the forehead along with a suitable painkiller can relieve this adverse effect|
|Dry mouth||A dry mouth can be prevented by using a mouthwash that has a non-alcohol base. Keeping well hydrated by drinking enough liquid can also prevent this adverse effect.|
|Sleepiness||As your body gets used to this medication, this side effect tends to wear off. If you still experience daytime sleepiness after one or two weeks, try reducing the dose or increase it at a more gradual rate.|
|Nausea||If you feel sick after taking a tablet, rather take this medication with or immediately after food to prevent this adverse effect. It is advisable to avoid rich or spicy food if you experience nausea.|
The likelihood of adverse reactions tends to increase with higher doses and if this medication is not used as recommended. For this reason, it is highly advisable to carefully adhere to usage and dosage guidelines.
|Adverse reaction||How to manage this adverse effect|
|Muscle weakness||Try to sit down or rest if you experience muscle weakness. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if this side effect persists for longer than a week.|
|Weight changes||If you gain weight during treatment, try to follow a balanced diet and participate in regular exercise to keep your weight stable. Weight loss is also a potential side effect associated with the use of this medication. Increasing calories and protein in your diet can counteract weight loss.|
|Feeling agitated||If you feel agitated, limit the use of caffeine and try and avoid environmental stressors like noise, glare or background distractions. Simplifying tasks and routines may help as well as physical activity such as going for a walk.|
A very small percentage of people may be hypersensitive to this medication and develop an allergic reaction. The symptoms of an allergic reaction include swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face. Stop using alprazolam 1 mg and seek medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction.
The use of alcohol should be avoided when taking alprazolam as it can intensify the adverse effects of both substances. Furthermore, the combination of alcohol and alprazolam is associated with memory loss and an increased chance of unusual behaviour like sleep walking or sleep driving.
Some people with certain pre-existing conditions may be more vulnerable to Xanax side effects so extra caution is advised. Administering a lower dose, for example half the adult dose, is recommended for the following patients:
People with underlying health conditions are advised to avoid Xanax as treatment may be unsafe. Do not take this medication if you have a serious lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the two main forms of COPD. The use of this medication is also not recommended for people with sleep apnoea or myasthenia gravis.
Alprazolam or Xanax effects slow down the central nervous system and keeps the brain in a more balanced and tranquil state. As a result, many people who struggle with anxiety disorders in their daily lives can benefit from the calming effects of this anxiety medication. Controlling the symptoms of excessive anxiety can improve a person's work performance, social life and general well-being.
Soon after administration, alprazolam helps settle a racing mind, which can also be useful for treating insomnia. Insomnia is frequently associated with persistent and racing thoughts at night. People who lie awake ruminating about their worries often find themselves in a state of mental hyperarousal. Alprazolam can help soothe excessive thoughts and mental stimulation, making it possible to fall into a deep and relaxing sleep.
Updated: 23rd January 2021
Review Due: January 2022
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