Alprazolam is a triazolobenzodiazepine compound with antianxiety and sedative-hypnotic actions, that is efficacious in the treatment of panic disorders, with or without agoraphobia, and in generalized anxiety disorders. (From AMA Drug Evaluations Annual, 1994, p238)
It affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety.
Alprazolam is used for the management of anxiety disorder or the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety caused by depression and anxiety, for the treatment of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia.
Alprazolam may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Alprazolam, a benzodiazepine, is used to treat panic disorder and anxiety disorder. Unlike chlordiazepoxide, clorazepate, and prazepam, alprazolam has a shorter half-life and metabolites with minimal activity.
Like other triazolo benzodiazepines such as triazolam, alprazolam may have significant drug interactions involving the hepatic cytochrome P-450 3A4 isoenzyme. Clinically, all benzodiazepines cause a dose-related central nervous system depressant activity varying from mild impairment of task performance to hypnosis.
Unlike other benzodiazepines, alprazolam may also have some antidepressant activity, although clinical evidence of this is lacking.
Benzodiazepines bind nonspecifically to benzodiazepine receptors BNZ1, which mediates sleep, and BNZ2, which affects muscle relaxation, anticonvulsant activity, motor coordination, and memory.
As benzodiazepine receptors are thought to be coupled to gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABAA) receptors, this enhances the effects of GABA by increasing GABA affinity for the GABA receptor. Binding of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA to the site opens the chloride channel, resulting in a hyperpolarized cell membrane that prevents further excitation of the cell.
Metabolism: Hepatic. Hydroxylated in the liver to α-hydroxyalprazolam, which is also active. This and other metabolites are later excreted in urine as glucuronides.
Absorption: Readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Bioavailability is 80-90%.
Route of elimination: Alprazolam and its metabolites are excreted primarily in the urine.
Half life: 6.3-26.9 hours
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects.Some medical conditions may interact with Alprazolam.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions.
Common alprazolam side effects may include: drowsiness, feeling tired, slurred speech, lack of balance or coordination, memory problems or feeling anxious early in the morning.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.