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Ma is 85 in nursing home prescribed xanax to ease nervousness... what are side effects for seniors ?

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LaurieShay 24 Mar 2011

Hey logical,

Depending on how healthy your mother is the literature points out the following for geriatric patients on Xanax (alprazolam):

Changes have also been demonstrated in geriatric patients. A mean half-life of alprazolam of 16.3 hours has been observed in healthy elderly subjects (range: 9.0–26.9 hours, n=16) compared to 11.0 hours (range: 6.3–15.8 hours, n=16) in healthy adult subjects.

What that means is that the medication stays in their bodies longer than younger patients probably because their metabolism is slower.

Some of the more common side effects for Xanax include:

Changes in appetite; changes in sexual desire; constipation; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; increased saliva production; lightheadedness; tiredness; trouble concentrating; unsteadiness; weight changes.

If she has any other extenuating conditions like renal or kidney problems the dosage may need to be adjusted. Otherwise, watch her closely for mental or mood changes such as depression or increased irritability. These need to be reported to the doctor as soon as possible.

Wishing you and your mom the very best,

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