Alprazolam (Xanax) Nursing Considerations

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Outline

Generic Name

Alprazolam

Trade Name

Xanax

Indication

Anxiety, panic disorder, manage symptoms of PMS, insomnia, mania, psychosis

Action

Works in CNS to produce anxiolytic effect causing CNS depression.

Therapeutic Class

Antianxiety agent

Pharmacologic Class

Benzodiazepine

Nursing Considerations

• Use caution with existing CNS depression, sleep apnea, renal dysfunction,
hepatic dysfunction.
• May cause CNS depression, drowsiness, lethargy
• May lead to physical dependence, may experience tolerance effect
• Assess anxiety and mental status
• Romazicon (flumazenil) is the antidote for overdose
• Grapefruit juice may increase blood levels

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Transcript

Hey guys, let’s talk about alprazolam also known as Xanax. This drug comes in a tablet or liquid form, and here you can see a picture of the pill form. Okay, guys, so for alprazolam, it’s therapeutic class, or how it works in the body, is it is an anti-anxiety agent. Its pharmacologic class, or its actual chemical effect, is it’s a benzodiazepine or benzo. Benzos act on specific receptors in the brain to make nerves less sensitive to simulation. So alprazolam works in this central nervous system by producing an anxiolytic effect or an anti-panic effect, which causes central nervous system depression. Alprazolam works on the GABA receptors in the nervous system. Alprazolam or Xanax is commonly used for anxiety and panic disorders, insomnia, mania, psychosis, or even symptoms of PMS.

So because alprazolam is a depressant, it makes sense that some of the most common side effects are CNS, depression, lethargy, sluggishness, and even drowsiness. Okay. Let’s take a look at some important nursing considerations for alprazolam. First, you’re going to want to assess and reassess your patient’s anxiety and mental status. Make sure you teach your patient not to drink grapefruit juice or alcohol while taking this medication. Use caution in patients who have existing CNS depression, sleep apnea, hepatic and renal dysfunction. Make sure your patient knows that this medication can create a tolerance and physical dependence. And in the event of an overdose, Romazicon is the antidote. So guys, benzos like alprazolam are highly addictive and I’ve had multiple patients not know this until a habit was formed. So if you are working in the ER and an overdose patient comes in, you need to remember this when trying to figure out what your patient may have ingested. That’s it for alprazolam also known as Xanax. Now go out and be your best self today and as always happy nursing.

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