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Prescribed the medication alprazolam 0.5 mg for anti-anxiety. Any side effects ?

I have been prescribed the medication alprazolam 0.5 mg 1 or 2 a day at night for anti- anxiety . I lost my husband 2 weeks ago and needed something. I took 1 of these medications at night and it really helped me sleep. I understand that it is a derivative of valium and I am afraid to take it for that reason. Pls give me your thoughts.
Asked On : Mon, 11 Feb 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  84
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Alprazolam is a psychoactive drug which is FDA approved for the treatment of panic disorders and anxiety disorders. Like all drugs and particularly psychoactive drugs they are side effects. However, drugs are prescribed only when it is judged that the benefits at that point in time out weigh the potential side effects. This is certainly true with your case
The question rather is what should be done to reduce possible side effects which include; drowsiness, headache, reduce sexual drive, disorientation, hallucinations (rare), jaundice (rare), suicidal tendency (rare), mania ( exaggerated excitedness), fatigue, constipation, nervousness, addiction etc.
Such adverse effects could be reduced or limited if the following are done;
Taking the prescribed dosage and immediately reporting any side effects to your doctor, not exceeding the prescribed duration of the drug, avoiding certain drugs such as fluconazole, amiodarone, antidepressants ('mood elevators') such as desipramine and imipramine, ergotamine, nifedipine, oral contraceptives (birth control pills), fluoxetine sedatives, sleeping pills etc. You need to let your doctor know any drug you are taking. smoking, alcohol consumption, liver diseases, history of depression etc should be contraindications. Thanks
Answered: Tue, 12 Feb 2013
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