Alprazolam XR is commonly prescribed to treat panic disorder. The medicine belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. It works by enhancing the calming effects of a specific chemical in the brain. Alprazolam XR comes in tablet form and is usually taken once a day in the morning. Potential side effects include memory problems and drowsiness.
All of the medications in this category can have these effects to some degree, depending on the specific benzodiazepine that is being taken. They work in the brain by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a brain chemical that has a naturally calming effect. GABA can slow down or stop certain nerve signals in the brain. This is why alprazolam XR and other benzodiazepines are known as mild tranquilizers, sedatives, or central nervous system depressants (CNS depressants).
Effects of Alprazolam XR
A few studies have evaluated alprazolam XR for panic disorder treatment. In these studies, people taking the drug had fewer panic attacks, compared to those not taking alprazolam XR.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
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Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed June 8, 2007.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed June 8, 2007.
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