Xanax will nearly always cause minor, common side effects. The intensity of these side effects is dependent on the dosage amount, age of the patient and overall health. Ask your doctor if you are concerned or have questions regarding the side effects you are experiencing.
Common side effects include:
- Loss or increase of appetite
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Decreased sexual ability or desire
- Dizziness, vertigo or light-headedness
- Fatigue or restlessness
- Dry mouth
- Sleepiness or insomnia
- Weight loss or gain
Of these, the two most common side effects are drowsiness or dizziness, which are direct side effects of alprazolam itself. Again, the above side effects are expected in most Xanax users to some degree but should cease within eight weeks as the body because accustomed to the presence of Xanax. Should these common side effects persist, worsen or become bothersome, your doctor may possibly lower your dosage or suggest another means of relief such as laxatives or a light sleeping pill.
In some, rarer cases, more severe side effects can occur. These effects should be reported without delay to your doctor, who may or may not take you immediately off of Xanax.
Severe side effects include:
- Confusion or memory loss of any kind
- Severe changes in mood or personality such as mania or aggression
- Depression or thoughts of harming oneself or suicide
- Any allergic reactions such as rash, swelling of the tongue or hives
- Cramping of the muscles
- Urine retention or difficulty with urination
- Changes in speech pattern
- Severe weakness, fatigue or dizziness
- Uncontrollable twitching or jerking
- Pounding or irregular heart rhythm
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
- Shortness of breath or respiratory distress
It should be noted that this list is generalized. If anything seems different or “wrong” after you begin taking Xanax, you should consult your doctor immediately. It is also necessary to keep in mind that your age, other drugs you may be taking, other medical issues you may have, cigarette smoking and alcohol ingestion can all have an effect on the type and intensity of your side effects. If for any reason you experience the above-mentioned severe side effects and are unable to contact your primary care provider. It is advised that you call 911 or go to the nearest emergency care facility for treatment, as some of these severe side effects can be life threatening if they are not treated immediately.