Alprazolam is classified as a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are sedative-hypnotic drugs that help to relieve nervousness, tension, and other anxiety symptoms by slowing the central nervous system. To do this, they block the effects of a specific chemical involved in the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain, decreasing the excitement level of the nerve cells.
All benzodiazepines cause sedation, including drowsiness and reduced mental alertness. However, one benefit of alprazolam is that it causes somewhat less drowsiness than many other benzodiazepine drugs.
Alprazolam comes in 0.25-mg, 0.5-mg, 1-mg and 2-mg tablets, and 1-mg/ml solution.
The recommended initial adult dose for anxiety is 0.25–0.5 milligrams (mg) taken three times daily. This dosage may be increased every three to four days to a maximum total of 4 mg daily. Dosage for alcohol withdrawal usually totals from 2–2.5 mg daily given in several small doses throughout the day.
The starting dose for treating panic disorder is 0.5 mg three times daily. This dosage may be increased every three to four days until the total daily dosage ranges from 2–10 mg. The total amount should be divided in at least three even daily doses. Average doses for anxiety associated with depression range from 2.5–3 mg daily divided into even doses.
Ajna Hamidovic Pharm.D., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,