Alprazolam can be effective in treating panic and anxiety disorders

Alprazolam is an anxiolytic drug that belongs to the class of benzodiazepine. The generic name is Alprazolam and brand name is Xanax XR, Niravam, and Xanax. Alprazolam influence certain chemicals present in brain that get unbalanced in people suffering from anxiety.

Alprazolam is used to treat panic and anxiety disorders and is helpful in treating anxiety that occurs as a result of depression.

Important information

Avoid using Alprazolam if you are suffering from narrow angle glaucoma, if you use ketoconazole, itraconazole or if you are allergic to Alprazolam or similar drugs like Tranxene, Valium or Ativan.

Avoid using Alprazolam if you are pregnant as this medication can lead to birth defects or fatal withdrawal symptoms in newborn baby.

Alprazolam can be addictive too. Misusing this medication can lead to overdose, addiction or even death.

Avoid drinking alcohol while you are on Alprazolam. This medication can enhance the effects of alcohol. Since the medication can be habit forming, it should be used by only the person whom it is being prescribed to. Store the medication in a place where others cannot access it.

Things to remember before taking Alprazolam

It is quite dangerous to buy Alprazolam through vendors outside U.S. or through internet.

To ensure Alprazolam is suitable for you, speak to your doctor if you have

  • epilepsy or seizures
  • liver or kidney disease
  • open angle glaucoma
  • breathing disorder or asthma
  • history of suicidal thoughts/behaviour or depression
  •  history of alcohol or drug addiction

Dosing Information

Normal Adult dose of Alprazolam- Anxiety

Immediate release tablets, oral concentrate, orally disintegrating tablets

Initial dose: 0.25-05mg to be taken orally- thrice a day

This dose can be increased gradually after every 3-4 days if required and depending upon patient’s tolerance to the medication.

Maintenance dose: Can increase up to daily dose of maximum 4mg in split doses

Normal Adult dose of Alprazolam- Panic disorder

Immediate release tablets, orally disintegrating tablets

Initial dose: 0.5mg to be taken orally- thrice a day

This dose can be increased gradually after every 3-4 days if required and depending upon patient’s tolerance to the medication.

Maintenance dose: 1-10mg/day in split doses

Alprazolam and pregnancy

Do not use Alprazolam when you are pregnant as it can lead to life threatening effects. Babies born to mothers who take Alprazolam require medication for many weeks post birth. You can see harmful withdrawal symptoms in new born baby so avoid using the medication during pregnancy.

Alprazolam and breastfeeding

Alprazolam secrets into breast milk and can harm a breastfeeding baby. Do not breastfeed your baby while you are using Alprazolam.

Alprazolam- Side effects

  • drowsiness
  • memory problems
  • feeling tired
  • lack of coordination, balance or slurred speech

Drug Interactions

Taking this medication with other drugs can make you feel drowsy so speak to your physician if you are using this medication with sleeping pill, muscle relaxer, pain medicine (narcotic), and medicine for depression, seizures or anxiety. Speak to your doctor if you are using the following medicines or stopped using them

  • nefazodone
  • digoxin;
  • fluvoxamine
  • cimetidine
  • ritonavir or other drugs to treat AIDS, HIV
  • antifungal medicine- voriconazole, fluconazole

Treating insomnia, headache and seizures with Barbiturates

Barbiturates are basically CNS depressants. They decrease the actions of nerves leading to muscle relaxation. They can also affect heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. All Barbiturates influence GABA a chemical that the nerves use to communicate with each other.

Barbiturates are available in the following forms of dosages

  • Capsule
  • Suspension
  • Solution
  • Tablet
  • Elixir
  • Suppository

Medical uses- Barbiturates

Barbiturates are drugs used to treat seizures, insomnia and headaches. Some of the Barbiturates available in the United States are

  • secobarbital
  • butabarbital
  • amobarbital
  • Phenobarbital
  • belladonna
  • butalbital
  • aspirin/cafffiene

Before using Barbiturates discuss with your doctor if you had any allergic reaction to similar medicine or medicines that belong to this class.  Also inform your doctor in case of any other type of allergies you have like to food dyes, animals or preservatives.

Common side effects- Barbiturates

Barbiturates can reduce your heart beat, slow breathing and can be habit forming too.

Drug Interactions- Barbiturates

Barbiturates must be used with extra caution while using it with some other drugs as it elevates the breakdown of these drugs resulting in decreased effectiveness. Some of the drugs that can interact with Barbiturates are

  • lurasidone
  • atazanavir
  • ranolazine
  • ritonavir
  • voriconazole
  • telaprevir
  • boceprevir

Using Barbiturates with some other CNS depressant drugs needs extra caution as using the combination of these drugs can result in lethargy, sedation and in severe cases coma and even death. examples are

  • alprazolam (Xanax),
  • zaleplon (Sonata).
  • diazepam (Valium),
  • zolpidem (Ambien),
  • clonazepam (Klonopin)

Are Barbiturates safe for use during pregnancy?

FDA has categorized amobarbital, secobarbital, Phenobarbital, pentobarbital in D category, which means Barbiturates are not safe for use during pregnancy. Since there is no evidence that supports the use of Barbiturates during pregnancy, it should be avoided in pregnant women. Using Barbiturates regularly during your pregnancy can lead to bleeding problems in unborn baby. It can also lead to withdrawal effects in baby post birth.

Using Barbiturates for anaesthesia during delivery and labour can prolong labour and also delay delivery and it reduces the force as well the frequency of uterus contractions.

Are Barbiturates safe for use during breastfeeding?

It is still not known whether Barbiturates secrete in breast milk, therefore Barbiturates should not be used in nursing mothers to ensure infant’s safety.

Important information

Barbiturates are sometimes used prior surgery to relieve tension and anxiety. Some Barbiturates are helpful as anticonvulsants to manage seizures in some disorders like epilepsy or other disorders. Barbiturates are used to treat sleeping problems (insomnia), but if you use Barbiturates regularly to treat insomnia, they are not effective for more than 2 weeks. Barbiturates are also used to relieve restlessness or nervousness during daytime. Barbiturates become habit forming when used in excess amounts.

Barbiturates are basically not recommended for use in managing tension or anxiety caused due to stress of everyday life.

Diazepam can treat muscle spasms and anxiety disorders

Diazepam is a benzodiazepine, which works by affecting certain chemicals present in the brain that are not balanced in people suffering from anxiety. Diazepam is basically useful in treating symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, anxiety disorders and muscles spasms. Sometimes it is also used in combination with other drugs to treat seizures.

Important Information

Avoid using Diazepam if you are allergic to the medicine or to similar drugs like Restoril, Ativan, Xanas,Klonopin or if you are suffering from myasthenia gravis, narrow angle glaucoma, serious liver disease, sleep apnea, seizures, history of drug abuse, mental illness, suicidal thoughts, depression or serious breathing problems. Speak to your doctor if you have any of these health ailments.

Diazepam can be habit forming too. Misuse of this medication can result in overdose, addiction or even death.  Avoid giving this medication to children less than 6 months.

To ensure the medication is safe for you or not, tell your health care provider if you have these health problems

  • emphysema, COPD, asthma, bronchitis or breathing problems
  • seizure disorder or epilepsy
  • history of alcohol or drug addiction
  • glaucoma
  • liver or kidney disease

 

Side effects

Seek emergency help in case you experience these symptoms

  • no or little urinating
  • aggression, agitation, hostility, hyperactivity
  • worsening or new seizures
  • unusual behaviour or thoughts, confusion or hallucinations
  • decreased inhibitions, unusual behaviour which provokes in taking risks
  • shallow or weak breathing
  • suicidal thoughts, depression or feel like hurting yourself
  • tremor, muscle twitching

Common side effects are

  • tired feeling
  • drowsiness
  • loss of coordination
  • muscle weakness

Drug Interactions

Using Diazepam with other medications can have adverse effects, therefore let your doctor know if you are using other medications or stopped using any. Some drugs that can interact with Diazepam are

  • omeprazole
  • cimetidine
  • disulfiram
  • phenytoin
  • fluoxetine
  • itraconazole
  • blood pressure or heart such as nicardipine,diltiazem, verapamil, quinidine

Diazepam and pregnancy

When you are on medication for controlling seizures do not stop or start using Diazepam during pregnancy without consulting your doctor. Diazepam can cause harm to the unborn baby, but getting seizures is more harmful to both the baby and the mother. Inform your doctor if you get pregnant while you are on Diazepam for treating seizures.

When treating muscles spasms, alcohol withdrawal or anxiety, if you use Diazepam while you are pregnant, there are chances that your baby becomes drug dependent. This can also lead to withdrawal symptoms in your baby, which can be fatal post birth. In such cases babies may need treatment for a many weeks, so inform your doctor if you are planning to conceive or become pregnant.

Diazepam and breastfeeding

Diazepam can secrete into breast milk and can harm your baby. Do not breastfeed your baby while taking this medication.

Misusing this medicine can be dangerous so avoid using the medicine in excess. Do not use the medicine in excess amounts than recommended by the doctor. Misuse can lead to overdose, addiction or death.

Clonazepam – An anti-epileptic drug helpful in treating some seizure disorders

Clonazepam is a type of benzodiazepine. It works by influencing certain chemicals present in the brain that are unbalanced. It is also a medicine used to treat seizures and also known as an anti-epileptic drug.  Clonazepam is helpful in treating certain types of seizure disorders in children and adults.

Important Information

Avoid using Clonazepam if you are suffering from narrow angle glaucoma, serious liver disease, or allergic to Valium or similar drugs. Contact your doctor if you experience any worsening or new symptoms of depression, unusual changes in thoughts or behaviour, suicidal thoughts or feeling of hurting yourself.

Do not drink alcohol while you are on this medication. Clonazepam can be habit forming. Do not share Clonazepam with any other person. Store the medicine in a place where others cannot access it.

Some people get suicidal thoughts while using this seizure medication. Your doctor can advise you to come for regular checkups to monitor your progress. Your family members or caregivers should be alert to check for signs of your mood changes.

Dosing Information

Normal Adult dose for Seizure Prophylaxis

1.5mg to be taken orally per day in split of 3 doses; this can be increased in amounts of 0.5mg – 1mg every three days until seizures are controlled satisfactorily or till the side effects are prevented before they increase.

Maximum dose: 20mg to be taken orally per day

Normal dose for panic disorder

Initial dose: 0.25mg to be taken orally – 2 times/day

Maintenance dose: 1mg to be taken orally/day

Maximum dose: 4mg to be taken orally/day

In case you miss a dose of Clonazepam, take it as soon as it strikes you. Do not take the missed dose if it is the time for your next dose. Do not use extra dose to make up for the dose you missed.

Overdose

In case you observe any symptoms of overdose like fainting, muscle weakness, drowsiness or coma, call poison control centre immediately as these symptoms of overdose if not treated in time can be fatal. So do not ignore these symptoms and ask for medical help immediately.

Side effects

  • severe drowsiness
  • worsening or new seizures
  • shallow or weak breathing
  • aggression, hallucinations or confusion
  • unusual changes in behaviour or mood
  • thoughts of hurting yourself or committing suicide
  • involuntary or unusual eye movements

Common side effects are

  • feeling depressed or tired
  • dizziness, drowsiness
  • memory problems
  • problems with coordination or balance

Clonazepam and pregnancy

If you are pregnant follow the directions of your doctor for using seizure medications. Do not stop or start using this medicine without your doctor’s consent. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant. Clonazepam can cause harm to your unborn baby and can lead to feeding and breathing problems in new born baby. Seizures can harm both mother and baby during pregnancy.

Clonazepam and breastfeeding

Clonazepam can secret into breast milk and harm nursing baby. Do not breastfed your baby while you are using this medication.

Benzodiazepines- psychoactive drugs that help treating insomnia and anxiety

Benzodiazepines belong to the class of psychoactive drugs that are helpful in treating insomnia and anxiety including a range of other health ailments. Benzodiazepines have hypnotic, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and anti-anxiety properties. They work by increasing the GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) effect which reduces the actions of neurons responsible for causing anxiety and stress.

Using these medicines for short term is turns out to be effective and safe. However using Benzodiazepines for a long term can lead to complications due to its dependence, possibilities of tolerance and other harmful effects.

Benzodiazepines – Medical uses

  • Insomnia

As Benzodiazepines can lead to addiction, they are generally used for short term for treating severe insomnia or on as needed/irregular basis.

The common Benzodiazepines recommended for alcohol withdrawal is chlodiazepoxide. chlodiazepoxide treatment is followed by another type of Benzodiazepine known as diazepam. The drugs aid detoxification in alcoholics thereby reducing the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms and its effects.

  • Panic Attacks

Due to the fast anti-anxiety effects, Benzodiazepines prove to be highly effective in treating anxiety related to panic disorder.

Different types of Benzodiazepines are

  • Alprazolam
  • Clorazepate
  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Estazolam
  • Oxazepam
  • Temazepam
  • Loprazolam
  • Triazolam

Side effects of Benzodiazepines

  • trembling
  • Grogginess
  • headache
  • confusion
  • drowsiness
  • depression
  • dizziness
  • impaired coordination
  • vision problems

Risks

Using Benzodiazepines for a long term in senior citizens above 65 years can lead to dementia. Using Benzodiazepines for a prolonged period can also lead to drug dependency. The withdrawal symptoms can be sweating, depression and sleeping problems.

If you have drug dependent then do not stop taking the drug suddenly as it can be dangerous. Stopping the treatment cold turkey can lead to tremors, muscle cramps, seizures which can be life threatening. therefore consult your doctor as he can help you stop using Benzodiazepines slowly so that you don’t have to face serious withdrawal symptoms.

Overdose

The overdose of Benzodiazepines is rare and cannot be fatal until and unless it is used in combination with alcohol, opioids, trycyclic antidepressants and barbiturates. The common Benzodiazepines overdose symptoms are CNS intoxication and depression, impaired movement control, impaired balance and slurred speech.

Drug Interactions- Benzodiazepines

Before you start with Benzodiazepines treatment, make sure you tell your physician about each and every medicine you are using currently. Some drugs, like oral contraceptives, antidepressants can lead to excess drug accumulation and enhance side effects of Benzodiazepines.

Also other drugs like carbamazepine or phenytoin when used in combination with Benzodiazepines can reduce the effect of Benzodiazepines. Patients should avoid using Benzodiazepines with opioids, alcohol as it can lead to life threatening interaction.

Abuse- Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines abuse is becoming a serious health issues among masses. The reason is misusing Benzodiazepines with other drugs and misusing this drug with other drugs can be deadly. To avoid the misuse of this drug one should lock up the mediation or disposing the unused drugs properly can help prevent life threatening cases.

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