What is Xanax?
Xanax is prescribed only for short-term treatment, for a duration not more than 12 weeks. The dose should be gradually reduced before stopping the drug by following a tapering plan.
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Xanax dosage is different for different patients. Follow the label’s instructions or the doctor’s orders. Don’t change Xanax dosage unless your healthcare provider advises you to do so.
Xanax dosage depends on the number of doses taken daily, the duration between doses and how long will you take the medicine.
- Xanax dosage for anxiety:
- For adults:
0.25 to 0.5 mg 3 times a day. This dose may be increased when needed. Never take more than 4 mg per day.
- For elderly:
0.25 mg 2 or 3 times daily. This dose can be increased if needed.
- For children:
The safety of Xanax in children is not clear. A doctor must decide Xanax and dosing in children according to the severity and importance of the case.
- Xanax dosage for panic disorder:
- For adults:
0.5 mg to 1 mg once daily in the morning. The doctor or a pharmacist may increase the dose when needed. However, the dose must not exceed 10 mg per day.
- For elderly:
0.5 mg once daily in the morning. The dosage can be increased when needed.
- For children:
The safety and efficacy of Xanax in children are not yet established.
Xanax dosage in geriatrics:
Elderly patients are more subjected to develop adverse effects of the drug like drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and kidney, liver, or lung problems.
Dosage adjustment by a doctor is a must in patients receiving this medicine.
Xanax dosage in breastfeeding women:
Studies have shown harmful effects in the newborn as Xanax is found to pass the breast milk causing dependency and fatal withdrawal symptoms in infants.
Consult your doctor to recommend another drug safe during lactation.
What is meant by drug interactions?
It is the interaction between a drug and certain substances that cause an increase or decrease in the drug efficacy.
Types of drug interaction:
- Drug-drug interaction: a drug interacts with another drug.
- Drug-food interaction: a drug interacts with food.
- Drug-disease interaction: drug interacts with a certain disease condition.
These drugs interactions should be carefully monitored and followed to avoid serious adverse reactions.
- Drug-drug interaction:
This happens when two or more drugs interact with each other.
These drugs may be a combination of a prescribed drug with an over-the-counter (OTC) drug.
- Most antibiotics decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptive pills.
- Antibiotics like clarithromycin and erythromycin increase the toxicity of digoxin because they slow down the metabolism of digoxin.
- Taking two drugs that have the same effect will intensify the side effects, for example, codeine (pain killer) increase the sedative effect of procodin (cough syrup), also aspirin (anti-platelet) increases the bleeding risk if taken with heparin, warfarin, or antidepressants.
- Drug-food interaction:
This happens when a drug reacts with a food component.
Certain food or herbs can increase or decrease the effect of s drug.
- Drinking alcohol while using the antibiotic metronidazole will cause skin flushing, nausea, and palpitations.
- Alcohol increases the hypoglycaemic effect of anti-diabetic medications and increases the hypotensive effect of blood pressure drugs.
- Tobacco in cigarettes highly decreases the efficacy of some medications by increasing their metabolism.
- Caffeine in tea, coffee, and chocolates increases the risk of toxicity of theophylline (a drug used to treat asthma).
- Patients using warfarin are advised to avoid eating green leafy vegetables like spinach because the high vitamin K content in these foods counters the effect of warfarin.
- Grapefruit juice should be avoided with most drugs of the benzodiazepines family.
- Drug-disease interactions:
This happens when a drug worsens an already existing medical issue.
- Nasal decongestants containing pseudoephedrine should be avoided by people with high blood pressure (hypertensive patients) because pseudoephedrine increases blood pressure.
- Using over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs as ibuprofen is not recommended for asthmatic patients, as they may lead to airway constriction.
Patients should always inform the doctor about any medical condition or disease before the doctor prescribes a new medicine.
Some health conditions of higher risk for drug interactions include kidney or liver diseases, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, low or high blood pressure, or heart problems.
Drug-disease interactions are more likely to happen in elderly patients as they tend to have more diseases.
Never stop Xanax dosage without telling your doctor or you will be subjected to withdrawal symptoms such as headache, muscle pain, anxiety, tension, confusion, mood changes, and irritability.