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What does it do?

Alprazolam is used to treat anxiety. It is also sometimes used for other conditions.

How should you take it?

Take alprazolam as directed with a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose if you remember on the same day. If not, skip the dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with alprazolam including:

  • some antihistamines (may be in anti-allergy, anti-nausea and cough/cold medicines)
  • fluconazole (e.g. Diflucan®) or miconazole (e.g. Daktarin Oral Gel®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. St John's wort, valerian) or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Slow or shallow breathing, hard to wake up

Trouble with speech or swallowing

Tell your doctor immediately

Mood changes, agitation, unusual behaviour or thinking, loss of coordination, confusion, memory loss, trouble concentrating

Muscle weakness

Tell your doctor

Drowsiness, tiredness, dizziness, headache, changes in vision

Dry mouth, stomach upset

Less interest in sex, trouble peeing

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have liver problems, a chronic muscle condition (e.g. myasthenia gravis), sleep apnoea or a head injury.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Alprazolam may make you dizzy or sleepy and make it dangerous to drive, operate machinery or do other activities that require you to be alert. Limit alcohol intake because it can increase these effects.
  • If you still feel sleepy the next day, do not drive or operate machinery.
  • Alprazolam may be addictive with long-term use.
  • If you have been taking alprazolam regularly for a long time, do not stop taking it suddenly without talking to your doctor.
  • Sleep problems commonly occur when alprazolam is stopped. It may take several weeks for these to improve.
  • Caffeine-containing drinks (e.g. coffee, cola, tea) may reduce the effect of alprazolam. Discuss with your doctor.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. January 2018

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed