DrugLib.com — Drug Information Portal

Rx drug information, pharmaceutical research, clinical trials, news, and more

Active ingredient: Alprazolam - Brands, Medical Use, Clinical Data

Brands, Medical Use, Clinical Data

Drug Category

  • Anti-anxiety Agents
  • GABA Modulators
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Benzodiazepines

Dosage Forms

  • Tablets (0.25, 0.5, 1 or 2 mg)

Brands / Synonyms

Alplax; Alprazolam; Alpronax; Alviz; Bestrol; Cassadan; Constan; D 65MT; Esparon; Frontal; Intensol; Niravam; Restyl; Solanax; Tafil; Tranax; Trankimazin; Tranquinal; TUS-1; Xanax; Xanax XR; Xanor

Indications

For the management of anxiety disorder or the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety and for the treatment of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia.

Pharmacology

Alprazolam, a benzodiazepine, is used to treat panic disorder and anxiety disorder. Unlike chlordiazepoxide, clorazepate, and prazepam, alprazolam has a shorter half-life and metabolites with minimal activity. Like other triazolo benzodiazepines such as triazolam, alprazolam may have significant drug interactions involving the hepatic cytochrome P-450 3A4 isoenzyme. Clinically, all benzodiazepines cause a dose-related central nervous system depressant activity varying from mild impairment of task performance to hypnosis. Unlike other benzodiazepines, alprazolam may also have some antidepressant activity, although clinical evidence of this is lacking.

Mechanism of Action

Benzodiazepines bind nonspecifically to benzodiazepine receptors BNZ1, which mediates sleep, and BNZ2, which affects affects muscle relaxation, anticonvulsant activity, motor coordination, and memory. As benzodiazepine receptors are thought to be coupled to gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABAA) receptors, this enhances the effects of GABA by increasing GABA affinity for the GABA receptor. Binding of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA to the site opens the chloride channel, resulting in a hyperpolarized cell membrane that prevents further excitation of the cell.

Absorption

Readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Bioavailability is 80-90%.

Toxicity

Oral, mouse: LD50=1020 mg/kg. Symptoms of overdose include confusion, coma, impaired coordination, sleepiness, and slowed reaction time.

Biotrnasformation / Drug Metabolism

Hepatic. Hydroxylated in the liver to α-hydroxyalprazolam, which is also active. This and other metabolites are later excreted in urine as glucuronides.

Contraindications

Alprazolam tablets are contraindicated in patients with known sensitivity to this drug or
other benzodiazepines. Alprazolam may be used in patients with open angle glaucoma who
are receiving appropriate therapy, but is contraindicated in patients with acute narrow
angle glaucoma.
Alprazolam is contraindicated with ketaconazole and itraconzole, since these medications
significantly impair the oxidative metabolism mediated by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP 3A).

Drug Interactions

The benzodiazepines, including alprazolam, produce additive CNS depressant effects when co-administered with other psychotropic medications, anticonvulsants, antihistaminics, ethanol, and other drugs which themselves produce CNS depression.

The steady state plasma concentrations of imipramine and desipramine have been reported to be increased an average of 31% and 20%, respectively, by the concomitant administration of alprazolam tablets in doses up to 4 mg/day. The clinical significance of these changes is unknown.

Drugs That Inhibit Alprazolam Metabolism Via Cytochrome P450 3A: The initial step in alprazolam metabolism is hydroxylation catalyzed by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP 3A). Drugs which inhibit this metabolic pathway may have a profound effect on the clearance of alprazolam .

Drugs Demonstrated to be CYP 3A Inhibitors of Possible Clinical Significance on the Basis of Clinical Studies Involving Alprazolam (caution is recommended during coadministration with alprazolam):

Fluoxetine: Coadministration of fluoxetine with alprazolam increased the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam by 46%, decreased clearance by 21%, increased half-life by 17%, and decreased measured psychomotor performance.
Propoxyphene: Coadministration of propoxyphene decreased the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam by 6%, decreased clearance by 38%, and increased half-life by 58%.
Oral Contraceptives: Coadministration of oral contraceptives increased the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam by 18%, decreased clearance by 22%, and increased half-life by 29%.

Drugs and other substances demonstrated to be CYP 3A inhibitors on the basis of clinical studies involving benzodiazepines metabolized similarly to alprazolam or on the basis of in vitro studies with alprazolam or other benzodiazepines (caution is recommended during coadministration with alprazolam): Available data from clinical studies of benzodiazepines other than alprazolam suggest a possible drug interaction with alprazolam for the following: diltiazem, isoniazid, macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin and clarithromycin, and grapefruit juice. Data from in vitro studies of alprazolam suggest a possible drug interaction with alprazolam for the following: sertraline and paroxetine. Data from in vitro studies of benzodiazepines other than alprazolam suggest a possible drug interaction for the following: ergotamine, cyclosporine, amiodarone, nicardipine, and nifedipine. Caution is recommended during the coadministration of any of these with alprazolam.

-- advertisement -- The American Red Cross
 
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Site usage policy | Privacy policy

All Rights reserved - Copyright DrugLib.com, 2006-2014