Mental Health Home > What Is Alprazolam Used For?

What is alprazolam used for? Alprazolam is used for treating panic disorder and anxiety in adults. By enhancing the effects of a naturally calming chemical in the brain, the medication can relax muscles, stop seizures, reduce anxiety, and cause sleepiness. Occasionally, healthcare providers may also recommend "off-label" alprazolam uses, such as the treatment of agitation, insomnia, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

An Overview of Alprazolam Uses

Alprazolam (Xanax®) is a prescription medication that is used for the treatment of the following conditions:
Alprazolam and Anxiety
Alprazolam is approved to treat generalized anxiety disorder. Most people experience feelings of anxiety before an important event, such as a big exam, business presentation, or first date. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is much more than the normal anxiety people experience from day to day. It is chronic and fills one's day with exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke it. Having this disorder means always anticipating disaster, often worrying excessively about health, money, family, or work. Sometimes, however, the source of the worry is hard to pinpoint. Simply the thought of getting through the day provokes anxiety symptoms.
Anxiety symptoms can vary from person to person and often include:
  • Feeling shaky, jittery, or nervous
  • Feeling tense, fearful, or apprehensive
  • Avoiding certain places or activities because of fear
  • A pounding or racing heart or trouble catching your breath
  • Unexplained sweating or trembling
  • Fear of losing control, going crazy, or dying.
In addition to treating generalized anxiety disorder, alprazolam can also be used short-term to treat anxiety symptoms due to other causes, such as stressful events. Often, people dealing with the shock of an unexpected death of a loved one or other traumatic event experience the symptoms of anxiety. Alprazolam can help people get through such times.
In many people, depression and anxiety often come hand in hand. Alprazolam is also useful for treating anxiety associated with depression.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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