Alprazolam is primarily used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. However, by taking the drug only the symptoms, but not the cause of the complaints are treated. Since alprazolam can sometimes have considerable side effects, the active ingredient should only be used if ingestion is absolutely necessary. Find out more about the effects, side effects and dosage of Alprazolam here.
Effect of alprazolam
Alprazolam belongs to the group of benzodiazepines, which also include active ingredients such as diazepam, lorazepam and tetrazepam. It affects certain messenger substances in the brain and thus has a calming, anxiolytic and relaxing effect. Therefore, alprazolam is used for the short-term treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. Due to its side effects, the active ingredient should only be used if the discomfort greatly affects the life of the person affected.
In part, alprazolam is also used as an adjunct in the treatment of depression. Here, however, the drug is controversial: In a short course of treatment, he has proven to be effective in some cases, with a longer intake, however, there is a risk that the depressive symptoms increase. Therefore, alprazolam should definitely not be used as sole treatment in depression.
Side effects of Alprazolam
There may be a number of side effects while taking Alprazolam. The most common complaints include drowsiness, drowsiness and dizziness. It can also cause fatigue, confusion, decreased attention, muscle weakness, movement and gait insecurity, headache, blurred vision and tremor. These symptoms occur especially at the beginning of treatment with alprazolam.
In addition, by taking side effects such as menstrual disorders, liver dysfunction, loss of appetite, coordination disorders, nausea, constipation, hyperprolactinemia, blurred vision, skin reactions and a change in libido can be triggered.
Aggressiveness, nightmares, hallucinations, irritability and restlessness can also occur with children or the elderly. If such symptoms appear, the treating physician should be consulted and treatment with Alprazolam should be stopped. For a full list of all side effects of Alprazolam, please have a look at the leaflet of your medication.
Danger of dependence
Like the other active ingredients in the benzodiazepine group, alprazolam can make you physically and mentally dependent after only a short period of use. The risk of becoming addicted is greater, the longer the intake lasts and the higher the dosage of the active ingredient. People who have ever been addicted to alcohol, drugs or pills are particularly at risk.
If there is a dependency, it can lead to side effects such as anxiety, restlessness, irritability as well as headache and muscle pain when discontinuing the drug abruptly. In extreme cases, more serious disorders such as loss of realism and personality or hypersensitivity reactions to light, noise or body contact may occur.
In addition to the above symptoms, it can also come to the so-called rebound phenomenon after discontinuation of this benzodiazepine. The symptoms that have led to the treatment with Alprazolam, briefly increased on. Side effects such as anxiety, restlessness and mood swings are possible during this time. To avoid the rebound phenomenon, the drug should not be discontinued abruptly, but slowly and gradually.
Taking no longer than 12 weeks
The duration of administration and the exact dosage of alprazolam depend on the disease and its severity, as well as the individual response to the drug. In general, the dose should always be kept as low as the duration of the intake to minimize the risk of dependency.
It is generally recommended that the active ingredient, including the leveling out period, should not be used for more than 12 weeks at a time. During this time, the treating physician should check again and again whether treatment is still necessary. At weaning, the dose must be slowly reduced step by step to prevent the onset of side effects.
Dosage of alprazolam
Alprazolam tablets are usually available in doses of 0.25, 0.5 or 1 milligram. The exact dosage should always be determined by the attending physician. At the beginning, 0.25 to 0.5 grams of alprazolam are often prescribed three times a day. If necessary, the dose can be increased up to 3 milligrams per day. As a general rule, you should take the tablets whole with plenty of fluid.
After administration of benzodiazepines, memory lapses may occur for the period immediately after application. Therefore, after taking a long enough sleep time of the patient should be respected.
Overdose of alprazolam
If you have taken too much alprazolam, you should immediately consult a doctor or the emergency room at the nearest hospital. Typical overdose symptoms include drowsiness, drowsiness, confusion and lethargy. Significant overdose may also cause blood pressure drop, muscle relaxation and impaired respiratory function. In the worst case, the central nervous system attenuation can be so strong that the affected person falls into a coma or even dies.
Alprazolam should not be used if it is hypersensitive to the active substance or to another benzodiazepine. In addition, alprazolam must not be taken in certain diseases. These include the following:
- Severe hepatic insufficiency
- Obstructive lung diseases
- Acute angle-closure glaucoma
- Sleep Apnea Syndrome
- Myasthenia gravis
Likewise, the drug should not be used in people who are manic depressive or suffer from endogenous depression or depression with psychotic features. Alzrazolam is also contraindicated in the case of a history of dependence on alcohol, drugs or medications. The same applies if there is an acute poisoning with alcohol, sedatives, sleeping pills or analgesics.
If you have certain pre-existing conditions, you should consult your doctor before taking. This is useful, among other things, if you have kidney dysfunction or have breathing problems. In such a case, the dose may have to be chosen slightly lower.
pregnancy and breast feeding period
Alprazolam should not be used during pregnancy. Women who intend to become pregnant should not take the medicine either. If the active ingredient has to be used anyway, a negative effect on the unborn child must be expected. Possible consequences may include dehydration, respiratory insufficiency, hypothermia and low blood pressure. Since alprazolam passes into breast milk, it should not be used during breast-feeding.
While taking Alprazolam, it can interact with a variety of other medications. Thus, when taking antidepressants, antiepileptics, antihistamines, anxiolytics, analgesics, narcotics or neuroleptics, the depressant effect on the central nervous system can be increased.
In addition, it can also interact with the following active ingredients:
- Fungicides such as ketoconazole or itraconazole
- Hormone-containing contraceptives like the anti-baby pill
- Medicines for the treatment of HIV
- Antihypertensive drugs
- Muscle relaxants
Under no circumstances should you take this medicine with alcohol, otherwise the effect of benzodiazepine may be altered.