Xanax XR

Xanax XR treats panic disorder. This medication can cause drowsiness. Do not suddenly stop taking Xanax XR without talking to your doctor because you may experience harmful withdrawal symptoms.

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Xanax XR Overview

Reviewed: February 5, 2015
Updated: 

Xanax XR is a prescription medication used to treat panic disorder.

Xanax belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. It works by lowering abnormal excitement in the brain.

Xanax XR comes in an extended release tablet and is usually taken once daily, preferably in the morning.

Do not chew, crush, or break tablets. Swallow Xanax XR tablets whole.
 
Common side effects of Xanax XR include sleepiness, lightheadedness, tiredness, and coordination problems. Xanax XR can also cause drowsiness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Xanax XR affects you.

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Xanax XR Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Xanax XR

Xanax XR is a prescription medicine used to treat panic disorder (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear).

This medication may be prescribed for other uses.  Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Xanax XR Drug Class

Xanax XR is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Xanax XR

Serious side effects have been reported with Xanax XR. See “Drug Precautions” section.

Common side effects of Xanax XR include:

  • tiredness or sleepiness
  • fatigue
  • memory impairment
  • light-headedness
  • depression
  • dry mouth
  • constipation

Xanax XR may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Xanax XR Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • alcohol
  • chlordiazepoxide (Librium, Librax), clonazepam (Klonopin), clorazepate (Tranxene), diazepam (Valium), estazolam (ProSom), flurazepam (Dalmane), halazepam (Paxipam), lorazepam (Ativan), oxazepam (Serax), prazepam (Centrax), quazepam (Doral), temazepam (Restoril), triazolam (Halcion), or any other medications
  • amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)
  • antidepressants ('mood elevators') such as desipramine (Norpramin), imipramine (Tofranil), and nefazodone
  • antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan), posaconazole (Noxafil), voriconazole (Vfend), itraconazole (Sporanox), and ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • antihistamines such as cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • clarithromycin (Biaxin) and erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin)
  • cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)
  • diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac)
  • ergotamine (Cafatine, Cafergot, Wigraine, others)
  • isoniazid (INH, Nydrazid)
  • nicardipine (Cardene) and nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia)
  • oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
  • propoxyphene (Darvon)
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft)
  • sedatives, sleeping pills,  and tranquilizers
  • St. John's wort

This is not a complete list of Xanax XR drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Xanax XR Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Xanax XR including:

  • shortness of breath
  • seizures
  • seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist (hallucinating)
  • severe skin rash
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • depression
  • memory problems
  • confusion
  • problems with speech
  • unusual changes in behavior or mood
  • thinking about harming or killing yourself or trying to do so
  • problems with coordination or balance

Xanax XR can cause serious withdrawal side effects. To avoid these side effects (such as seizures, headaches, blurry vision, or irritability), do not suddenly stop taking Xanax XR. Discuss with your doctor about slowly decreasing the dose before stopping use of this medication altogether.

Xanax XR can be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor.

Do not use Xanax XR if you:

  • have a known sensitivity or allergy to this drug or other benzodiazepines.
  • develop acute narrow angle glaucoma. Xanax XR may be used in those with open angle glaucoma who are taking appropriate therapy.
  • are taking ketoconazole and itraconazole

Xanax XR Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. Talk to your doctor about drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.

Inform MD

Before taking Xanax XR, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • have glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye that may cause loss of sight).
  • have or have ever had depression; if you have had thoughts of suicide or harming yourself.
  • have alcoholism or if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol.
  • use or have ever used street drugs or have overused prescription medications.
  • smoke.
  • have had seizures.
  • have or have ever had lung, kidney, or liver disease.
  • are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Xanax XR may harm the fetus. If you become pregnant while taking alprazolam, call your doctor.
  • are having surgery, including dental surgery. Tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking Xanax XR.

Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking Xanax XR if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should receive lower doses of Xanax XR because higher doses may not work better and may actually cause serious side effects.

Xanax XR may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.

Talk to your doctor about the use of alcohol while you are taking Xanax XR. Alcohol can worsen the side effects.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Xanax XR and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Xanax XR falls into category D. Xanax XR passes to the baby and may cause harm to the unborn baby. In addition, the baby may be born with respiratory and other problems if the mother uses Xanax XR while pregnant. However, this medication may sometimes still help human mothers and their babies more than it might cause harm.

Xanax XR and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Benzodiazepines are known to be excreted in human milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from Xanax XR, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of Xanax XR. Determining the importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.

Xanax XR Usage

Take Xanax XR exactly as prescribed.

Xanax XR comes in an extended release tablet and is usually taken once daily, preferably in the morning.

Do not chew, crush, or break tablets. Swallow Xanax XR tablets whole.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Xanax XR at the same time.

Xanax XR Dosage

Take Xanax XR exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Your doctor will determine the best dose for you. The dosage of Xanax XR must be individualized.

Panic Disorder:

The recommended dose of range of Xanax XR is 3 to 6 mg a day.

Dosing in special populations:

In elderly patients, in patients with advanced liver disease or in patients with debilitating disease, the usual starting dose of Xanax XR is 0.5 mg once daily. The dose may be gradually increased if needed and tolerated. The elderly may be especially sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines.

Xanax XR Overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • problems with coordination
  • loss of consciousness

Other Requirements

  • Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children.
  • Store at 25°C (77°F).
  • Store away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).