Generic Name: Alprazolam
Indications: Treatment of anxiety
FDA Drug Category: D
Summary Recommendations: Xanax works to reduce anxiety associated with panic disorder, depression and other mental conditions. Xanax is associated with fetal malformations and withdrawal. If you are taking Xanax and find out you are pregnant, contact your physician immediately.
Brand names may include Xanax XR, Xanax and Niravam.
General Precautions: Xanax is a medication prescribed to treat anxiety. As such, the medication should be taken as prescribed and only by the patient to which the prescription was written. It is never safe to share prescription medications with others. If you have glaucoma, a history of suicidal thoughts or tendencies, depression, asthma or any chronic disease, inform your doctor before taking Xanax.
Common side effects associated with Xanax include insomnia, swelling of extremities, nausea, sweating, changes in appetite, loss of libido, changes in vision and headache. More severe side effects may include depression, thoughts of suicide, difficulty urinating, jaundice and chest pain. All side effects should be reported to the prescribing physician.
It is important to tell your doctor all medications you are taking before taking Xanax. Xanax may not be safe if you are taking birth control pills, antibiotics, antifungals, antidepressants, barbiturates, blood pressure medications, HIV medications or seizure medications. Certain supplements like St. Johns Wort may also cause negative side effects.
Effect While Trying to Conceive: No effects on fertility were noted in an animal study where rats were given 25 times the human dose of Xanax. However, Xanax may cause loss of libido. If you suffer sexual side effects, including loss of sex drive or erectile dysfunction, talk to your physician.
Effects on Pregnancy: Xanax is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines have been associated with fetal malformations. Withdrawal symptoms in infants born to mothers taking drugs in the Xanax family have been reported. Due to potential side effects, the Food and Drug Administration has placed Xanax in pregnancy category D. This drug is contraindicated during pregnancy. Contact your physician as soon as you find out you are pregnant so another, safer medication can be prescribed.
Safe While Breastfeeding: Xanax is excreted in small amounts in breast milk. Negative side effects, including weight loss and lethargy have been reported in breastfeeding infants when the breastfeeding mother is taking Xanax or drugs in the Xanax family. There have also been reports of infants suffering withdrawal symptoms when taken off breast milk.