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Alprazolam, available under the trade name Xanax is a potent, short-acting benzodiazepine anxiolytic—a minor tranquilizer. It is commonly used for the treatment of anxiety disorders, especially of panic disorder, but also in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or social anxiety disorder. It was the 12th most prescribed medicine in the United States in 2010. Alprazolam, like other benzodiazepines, binds to specific sites on the GABAA receptor. It possesses anxiolytic, sedative, hypnotic, skeletal muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant, amnestic, and antidepressant properties. Alprazolam is available for oral administration as compressed tablets (CT), orally disintegrating tablet (ODT) and extended-release tablets(XR).

Greatest alleviation of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) may take up to a week. It has been suggested that there is tolerance to the anxiolytic and antipanic effects of the drug, but not all authorities agree; tolerance will, however, develop to the sedative and hypnotic effects within a couple of days. Withdrawal symptoms or rebound symptoms may occur after ceasing treatment abruptly following a few weeks or longer of steady dosing

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