Anxiety Home > Alprazolam XR

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.

What Is Alprazolam XR?

Alprazolam XR (Xanax XR®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat panic disorder. It is a long-acting version of alprazolam.
(Click What Is Alprazolam XR Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Alprazolam XR?

Alprazolam XR is made by Pfizer, Inc. Generic alprazolam XR is made by several different manufacturers.

How Does Alprazolam XR Work?

Alprazolam XR is part of a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepine medications have various effects on the body, including:
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Causing sleepiness
  • Relaxing muscles
  • Stopping seizures
  • Impairing short-term memory.
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:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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