Xanax Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and More

Xanax (alprazolam) is a short-acting benzodiazepine medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It works by slowing down the central nervous system. Xanax can be taken as needed or on a regular basis, depending on the individual’s needs.


Xanax is used to treat a variety of anxiety disorders, including:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Social anxiety disorder (social phobia)
  • Panic disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Xanax is also sometimes used to treat short-term insomnia and to reduce anxiety before surgery or other medical procedures.

Side effects

The most common side effects of Xanax include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Coordination problems
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Sexual problems

Xanax can also cause more serious side effects, such as:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Seizures
  • Allergic reactions
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors


Xanax can interact with a number of other medications, including:

  • Opioids
  • Sedatives
  • Hypnotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Antifungal medications
  • Antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Certain heart medications
  • Certain pain medications

It is important to tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking before starting Xanax to avoid any potential interactions.


The dosage of Xanax varies depending on the individual’s needs and the condition being treated. The starting dosage is typically 0.25 milligrams (mg) taken three or four times per day. The dosage can be increased gradually as needed, up to a maximum of 4 mg per day.


Xanax is a habit-forming medication and can be addictive. It is important to take Xanax as prescribed by your doctor and to avoid taking more than the recommended dosage.

Xanax should not be taken by people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or by people with a history of glaucoma, liver disease, or kidney disease.

If you are taking Xanax, it is important to avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Xanax can also impair your judgment and coordination.

Additional information

If you are experiencing anxiety or panic attacks, it is important to talk to your doctor. Xanax can be an effective medication for treating anxiety disorders, but it is important to be aware of the potential risks and side effects.

If you have any questions or concerns about Xanax, talk to your doctor.