Mental Health Home > What Is Orally Disintegrating Alprazolam Used For?

A healthcare provider may prescribe orally disintegrating alprazolam for the treatment of panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This medicine works to treat these conditions by enhancing the action of certain chemicals in the brain to produce a calming effect. On occasion, orally disintegrating alprazolam may be used for off-label purposes, such as treating insomnia, agitation, and alcohol withdrawal.

An Overview of Uses for Orally Disintegrating Alprazolam

Orally disintegrating alprazolam (Niravam®) is a prescription medication approved to treat the following conditions:
It comes as an orally disintegrating tablet, which is placed on the tongue to dissolve. Orally disintegrating tablets, sometimes abbreviated ODT, are special dosage forms that are made to rapidly dissolve in saliva. This means they can be taken without water.
Alprazolam, the active ingredient in the medication, is also available in regular tablet form as Xanax® and Xanax XR®. Xanax and Xanax XR are available in brand-name and generic versions.

Orally Disintegrating Alprazolam Use for Anxiety Disorder

Orally disintegrating alprazolam is approved to treat a specific type of anxiety disorder called generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Occasionally, many people may feel anxiety or worry from the stress of everyday life or before a big event, such as an exam, an interview, or a first date. This type of worrying is normal, and may even be helpful.
Generalized anxiety disorder is much more than this normal worrying. It is unrealistic and excessive anxiety and worry about many problems, activities, or events. To be considered GAD, this worrying must occur for the majority of days over a six-month period.
People with GAD often worry excessively about their health, money, family, work, or many other things. Sometimes, it is even difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the anxiety. These feelings, and the accompanying symptoms, can make it difficult to function and get through the day.
The main symptom of GAD is the presence of constant worrying. Other symptoms include:
  • Shakiness or trembling
  • Muscle tension and soreness
  • Restlessness
  • Tiring easily
  • Shortness of breath
  • A fast or forcefully beating heart
  • Sweating or cold, clammy hands
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Abdominal (stomach) distress, such as nausea or diarrhea
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Feeling like there is a lump in your throat
  • Problems concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Feeling "on edge"
  • Irritability.
GAD is a treatable medical condition. The main treatments are cognitive-behavioral therapy and medications. Orally disintegrating alprazolam is just one of many medications used to treat generalized anxiety disorder. Some antidepressant medications, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are also used to treat GAD.
In addition to treating GAD, orally disintegrating alprazolam can be used for the short-term treatment of anxiety symptoms that do not necessarily meet the criteria for generalized anxiety disorder. It may also be helpful for anxiety associated with depression.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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