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Xanax XR Warnings and Precautions

Xanax XR warnings and precautions should be reviewed prior to taking it. For example, the drug can cause severe drowsiness and difficulty breathing, which may be life threatening. Xanax XR warnings and precautions also include potential drug interactions, the safety of taking the drug when pregnant or breastfeeding, and the possibility of the drug causing depression or making preexisting depression worse.

Xanax XR: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Xanax XR® (alprazolam XR) if you have:
  • Glaucoma
  • A history of drug or alcohol abuse (see Xanax and Alcohol)
  • Depression
  • Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
  • Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Lung problems or breathing problems
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Xanax XR Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Xanax XR include the following:
  • The medication is a controlled substance, which means that it has the potential to be abused. There are special rules and regulations for prescribing and dispensing Xanax XR. It is generally not recommended for people with a history of alcohol or drug abuse (see Xanax Addiction).
  • Xanax XR can cause psychological and physical dependence, and is often abused. The risk of abuse and dependence is greater for those taking higher Xanax XR doses for long periods of time (more than a few weeks). Because stopping the medication suddenly can produce dangerous withdrawal symptoms, you should not stop taking Xanax XR suddenly without first discussing it with your healthcare provider (see Xanax Withdrawal).
  • The medication can cause severe drowsiness and difficulty breathing, which may be life threatening. This risk is increased when Xanax XR is combined with alcohol, narcotics, or other medications or substances that cause drowsiness and sedation (see Xanax XR Drug Interactions). You should not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Xanax XR will affect you.
  • Xanax XR can cause depression or make preexisting depression worse. Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you are depressed or have a history of depression before taking Xanax XR.
  • Elderly people are more sensitive to the effects of Xanax XR and should be started with a low Xanax XR dosage. The medication may increase the risk of falling, which is especially dangerous in elderly people (who often have weak or brittle bones).
  • Sometimes, people react to Xanax XR in a way that is opposite of what is usually expected. In other words, they may become agitated, aggressive, and restless, and may have difficulty sleeping. Tell your healthcare provider if you experience these effects while taking the drug.
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you have liver or kidney disease, as your body may not handle Xanax XR as well as it should.
  • The medication can be dangerous in people with lung problems or breathing problems. Be sure to discuss any breathing or lung problems with your healthcare provider before taking Xanax XR.
  • Xanax XR is considered a pregnancy Category D medication. This means that it is probably not safe for use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of taking the drug while pregnant (see Xanax and Pregnancy).
  • Xanax XR passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Xanax and Breastfeeding).
  • Xanax XR can interact with certain medications (see Xanax XR Drug Interactions).
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