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Xanax Side Effects

Generic Name: alprazolam

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug alprazolam. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Xanax.

It is possible that some side effects of Xanax may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

For the Consumer

Applies to alprazolam: oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet disintegrating, oral tablet extended release

As well as its needed effects, alprazolam (the active ingredient contained in Xanax) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking alprazolam, check with your doctor immediately:

More common
  • Being forgetful
  • changes in patterns and rhythms of speech
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • difficulty with coordination
  • discouragement
  • drowsiness
  • feeling sad or empty
  • irritability
  • lack of appetite
  • lightheadedness
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • relaxed and calm
  • shakiness and unsteady walk
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • slurred speech
  • tiredness
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble in speaking
  • trouble performing routine tasks
  • trouble sleeping
  • unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Less common
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • blurred vision
  • body aches or pain
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles, or tingling feelings
  • changes in behavior
  • chills
  • clay-colored stools
  • confusion about identity, place, and time
  • cough
  • dark urine
  • decrease in frequency of urination
  • decrease in urine volume
  • diarrhea
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • difficulty in moving
  • difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
  • difficulty with concentration
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • dry mouth
  • ear congestion
  • environment seems unreal
  • fainting
  • fear or nervousness
  • feeling of unreality
  • feeling warm
  • fever
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • headache
  • hyperventilation
  • inability to move eyes
  • inability to sit still
  • increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid
  • irregular heartbeats
  • itching
  • joint pain
  • lack or loss of self-control
  • loss of bladder control
  • loss of coordination
  • loss of memory
  • loss of voice
  • mood or mental changes
  • muscle aching or cramping
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • muscle weakness
  • nasal congestion
  • nausea
  • need to keep moving
  • painful urination
  • problems with memory
  • rash
  • restlessness
  • runny nose
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • seizures
  • sense of detachment from self or body
  • shaking
  • shivering
  • shortness of breath
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • sticking out of the tongue
  • sweating
  • swollen joints
  • talkativeness
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble in breathing, speaking, or swallowing
  • trouble with balance
  • twitching, twisting, or uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
  • uncontrolled twisting movements of the neck, trunk, arms, or legs
  • unpleasant breath odor
  • unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
  • unusual facial expressions
  • unusually deep sleep
  • unusually long duration of sleep
  • vomiting of blood
  • wheezing
  • yellow eyes or skin
  • Actions that are out of control
  • attack, assault, or force
  • chest pain
  • continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in ears
  • decreased awareness or responsiveness
  • deep or fast breathing with dizziness
  • ear pain
  • false or unusual sense of well-being
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • feeling jittery
  • feeling unusually cold
  • generalized slowing of mental and physical activity
  • hearing loss
  • hoarseness
  • lack of feeling or emotion
  • loss of control of the legs
  • loss of strength or energy
  • nightmares
  • numbness of the feet, hands, and around mouth
  • severe sleepiness
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • sleep talking
  • sleeplessness
  • swelling
  • talking, feeling, and acting with excitement
  • thoughts of killing oneself
  • unable to sleep
  • uncaring
  • unusual weak feeling
  • voice changes
Incidence not known
  • General tiredness and weakness
  • light-colored stools
  • stomach pain, continuing
  • upper right abdominal pain

Some alprazolam side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

More common
  • Absent, missed, or irregular menstrual periods
  • decreased appetite
  • decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • decreased sexual performance or desire abnormal ejaculation
  • difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • increased appetite
  • increased in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • increased interest in sexual intercourse
  • increased weight
  • loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • stopping of menstrual bleeding
  • watering of mouth
  • weight loss
Less common
  • Abdominal bloating and cramping
  • blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
  • change in taste bad unusual or unpleasant (after) taste
  • cracked, dry, or scaly skin
  • cramps
  • double vision
  • feeling of warmth
  • heavy bleeding
  • menstrual changes
  • pain
  • pelvic pain
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • seeing double
  • sudden sweating
  • unexplained runny nose or sneezing
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • bigger, dilated, or enlarged pupils (black part of eye)
  • change in color vision
  • difficulty seeing at night
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • feeling of relaxation
  • heartburn
  • hives or welts
  • increased sensitivity of eyes to sunlight
  • indigestion
  • redness of skin
  • runny nose
  • sensation of spinning
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • stuffy nose
Incidence not known
  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • red, irritated eyes
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • swelling of the breasts or breast soreness in both females and males
  • unexpected or excess milk flow from breasts

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to alprazolam: compounding powder, oral concentrate, oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet disintegrating, oral tablet extended release


The most commonly reported side effects were fatigue, tiredness, drowsiness, impaired coordination, and memory impairment.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Irritability (33.1%), anxiety (19.2%), depression (13.9%), confusional state (10.4%),
Common (1% to 10%): Disinhibition, talkativeness, derealization, dream abnormalities, fear
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anger
Frequency not reported: Hallucinations, depersonalization, aggression, hostility, abnormal thinking, withdrawal symptoms
Postmarketing reports: Hypomania, mania[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Drowsiness (up to 76.8%), impaired coordination (40.1%), memory impairment (33.1%), light-headedness/dizziness (29.8%), insomnia (29.5%). headache (29.2%), cognitive disorder (28.8%), dysarthria (23.3%), abnormal involuntary movement (17.3%), somnolence, ataxia, balance disorder
Common (1% to 10%): Nervousness, syncope, akathisia, agitation, paresthesia, tinnitus, disturbance in attention, hypersomnia, lethargy
Frequency not reported: Dystonia, transient amnesia, loss of coordination, seizures, sedation, slurred speech, taste alterations, psychomotor hyperactivity, autonomic nervous system imbalance, autonomic manifestations, concentration difficulties[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Jaundice, elevated bilirubin, elevated hepatic enzymes, abnormal hepatic function
Postmarketing reports: Hepatitis, hepatic failure[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nasal congestion (17.4%)
Common (1% to 10%): Hyperventilation, upper respiratory infection[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue/tiredness (48.6%)
Common (1% to 10%): Weakness, felling warm, edema
Frequency not reported: Sleepiness, peripheral edema[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Blurred vision (21%)
Frequency not reported: Diplopia, increased intraocular pressure[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Decreased libido (14.4%), micturition difficulties (12.2%), menstrual disorders (10.4%)
Common (1% to 10%): Increased libido, change in libido, sexual dysfunction, incontinence
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Irregular menstruation
Frequency not reported: Urinary retention[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Decreased salivation (32.8%), constipation (26.2%), nausea/vomiting (22%), diarrhea (20.6%), abdominal distress (18.3%), dry mouth (14.7%)
Common (1% to 10%): Increased salivation
Frequency not reported: Gastrointestinal disorder[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Sweating (15.1%), rash (10.8%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dermatitis/allergy
Frequency not reported: Pruritus, photosensitivity reaction
Postmarketing reports: Stevens-Johnson syndrome, angioedema[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Hyperprolactinemia, gynecomastia, galactorrhea[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Tachycardia (15.4%), chest pain (10.6%)
Common (1% to 10%): Palpitations, hypotension[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Rigidity, tremor, muscular twitching, muscle tone disorders, vasomotor disturbances, muscular cramps, muscular stiffness
Frequency not reported: Musculoskeletal weakness[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Increased appetite (32.7%), decreased appetite (27.8%), weight gain (27.2%), weight loss (22.6%)
Frequency not reported: Anorexia[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Niravam (alprazolam)." Schwarz Pharma, Mequon, WI.

2. "Product Information. Xanax (alprazolam)." Pharmacia and Upjohn, Kalamazoo, MI.

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

4. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

5. "Product Information. Xanax XR (alprazolam)." Pfizer U.S. Pharmaceuticals Group, New York, NY.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.