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Thursday, 4 July 2013

Alprazolam

Alprazolam is a short-acting anxiolytic of the benzodiazepine class of psychoactive drugs. Alprazolam, like other benzodiazepines, binds to specific sites on the GABAA gamma-amino-butyric acid receptor. Alprazolam is commonly used and FDA approved for the medical treatment of panic disorder, and anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or social anxiety disorder (SAD). Alprazolam is available for oral administration in compressed tablet (CT) and extended-release capsule (XR) formulations. Alprazolam possesses anxiolytic, sedative, hypnotic, skeletal muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant, and amnestic properties.
  

Medical uses

Panic disorder

Alprazolam is effective in the relief of moderate to severe anxiety and panic attacks. It however is not a first line treatment, since the development of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and alprazolam is no longer recommended for the treatment of panic disorder (in Australia) due to concerns regarding tolerance, dependence and abuse. Evidence supporting the effectiveness of alprazolam in treating panic disorder has been limited to 4 to 10 weeks. However, people with panic disorder have been treated on an open basis for up to 8 months without apparent loss of benefit.

In the US alprazolam is FDA-approved for the treatment of panic disorder with or without agoraphobia. Alprazolam is recommended by the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) for treatment-resistant cases of panic disorder where there is no history of tolerance or dependence, as of 2002.

Anxiety disorders

In the US alprazolam is FDA-approved for the management of anxiety disorders (a condition corresponding most closely to the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder) or the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety associated with depression is responsive to alprazolam. Demonstrations of the effectiveness by systematic clinical study are limited to 4 months duration for anxiety disorder. However, the research into antidepressant properties of alprazolam is of poor quality and only assessed the short-term effects of alprazolam against depression. In one study, some long term, high-dosage users of alprazolam developed reversible depression. In the UK, alprazolam is recommended for the short-term treatment (2–4 weeks) of severe acute anxiety.

Nausea due to chemotherapy

 Alprazolam may be used in combination with other medications for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.



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