Alprazolam, sold under the brand name Xanax, belongs to the class of medicines called benzodiazepines. It is used for the short-term symptomatic relief of excessive anxiety. It is also used to treat generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. Alprazolam works by slowing down the brain (central nervous system).
The recommended dose of alprazolam for adults varies depending on its use. The starting dose for excessive anxiety is 0.25 mg taken 2 or 3 times a day. This is gradually increased until anxiety is controlled and side effects are minimized. Seniors may be started at a lower dose of 0.125 mg taken 2 or 3 times a day. The usual maximum dose is 3 mg daily.
The starting dose for panic attacks is 0.5 mg to 1 mg at bedtime or 0.5 mg taken 3 times daily. The dose is then gradually increased until there are no more panic attacks.