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Alprazolam

Uses

This medication is used to treat anxiety and panic disorder. 

IUPAC name: 8-chloro-1-methyl-6-phenyl-4H-[1,2,4]triazolo[4,3-a][1,4]benzodiazepine

Drug class: Sedative-hypnotics, benzodiazepines

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Route of administration: Oral

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO 

Mechanism of action

It acts by elevating GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter), at the GABA A receptor, which has a calming effect on the brain and nerves (central nervous system).

 Side effects

There is a possibility that alprazolam may cause dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, constipation, nausea, headache, fatigue, increased saliva production, changes in sexual drive, rash/itching, and shortness of breath.  

Precautions

Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

If you are allergic to benzodiazepines (such as lorazepam, oxazepam, or nitrazepam), or if you have other allergies,

If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),

When you have a history of liver disease, kidney disease, myasthenia gravis (a type of muscle disease), obstructive sleep apnea, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), glaucoma, mental disorders,

If you have undergone any type of surgery,

Limit your alcohol usage since it increases your chances of developing blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. It may also cause a loss of alertness.

Sometimes, older adults and children may be more sensitive to this medication.

Use of this medication is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

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