Alprazolam, sold under the brand name Xanax, among others, is a fast-acting, potent tranquilizer of medium duration in the triazolobenzodiazepine (TBZD) class, which are benzodiazepines (BZDs) fused with a triazole ring. It is most commonly used in short-term management of anxiety disorders, specifically panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Other uses include the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea, together with other treatments. GAD improvement occurs generally within a week. Alprazolam is generally taken by mouth.
Common side effects include sleepiness, depression, headaches, feeling tired, dry mouth, and memory problems. Some of the sedation and tiredness may improve within a few days. Due to concerns about misuse, some do not recommend alprazolam as an initial treatment for panic disorder. Withdrawal or rebound symptoms may occur if use is suddenly decreased; gradually decreasing the dose over weeks or months may be required. Other rare risks include suicide and a twofold increased risk of all-cause mortality. Alprazolam, like other benzodiazepines, acts through the GABAA receptor.