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Xanax XR Dosage

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 23, 2021.

Generic name: ALPRAZOLAM 0.5mg
Dosage form: tablet, extended release

XANAX XR Tablets may be administered once daily, preferably in the morning. The tablets should be taken intact; they should not be chewed, crushed, or broken.

The suggested total daily dose ranges between 3 to 6 mg/day. Dosage should be individualized for maximum beneficial effect. While the suggested total daily dosages given will meet the needs of most patients, there will be some patients who require doses greater than 6 mg/day. In such cases, dosage should be increased cautiously to avoid adverse effects.

Dosing in Special Populations

In elderly patients, in patients with advanced liver disease, or in patients with debilitating disease, the usual starting dose of XANAX XR is 0.5 mg once daily. This may be gradually increased if needed and tolerated (see Dose Titration). The elderly may be especially sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines.

Dose Titration

Treatment with XANAX XR may be initiated with a dose of 0.5 mg to 1 mg once daily. Depending on the response, the dose may be increased at intervals of 3 to 4 days in increments of no more than 1 mg/day. Slower titration to the dose levels may be advisable to allow full expression of the pharmacodynamic effect of XANAX XR.

Generally, therapy should be initiated at a low dose to minimize the risk of adverse responses in patients especially sensitive to the drug. Dose should be advanced until an acceptable therapeutic response (ie, a substantial reduction in or total elimination of panic attacks) is achieved, intolerance occurs, or the maximum recommended dose is attained.

Dose Maintenance

In controlled trials conducted to establish the efficacy of XANAX XR Tablets in panic disorder, doses in the range of 1 to 10 mg/day were used. Most patients showed efficacy in the dose range of 3 to 6 mg/day. Occasional patients required as much as 10 mg/day to achieve a successful response.

The necessary duration of treatment for panic disorder patients responding to XANAX XR is unknown. However, periodic reassessment is advised. After a period of extended freedom from attacks, a carefully supervised tapered discontinuation may be attempted, but there is evidence that this may often be difficult to accomplish without recurrence of symptoms and/or the manifestation of withdrawal phenomena.

Discontinuation or Dosage Reduction of XANAX XR

To reduce the risk of withdrawal reactions, use a gradual taper to discontinue XANAX XR or reduce the dosage. If a patient develops withdrawal reactions, consider pausing the taper or increasing the dosage to the previous tapered dosage level. Subsequently decrease the dosage more slowly (see WARNINGS – Dependence and Withdrawal Reactions and DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE – Dependence).

In a controlled postmarketing discontinuation study of panic disorder patients which compared this recommended taper schedule with a slower taper schedule, no difference was observed between the groups in the proportion of patients who tapered to zero dose; however, the slower schedule was associated with a reduction in symptoms associated with a withdrawal syndrome.

Reduce the dosage by no more than 0.5 mg every three days. Some patients may benefit from an even more gradual discontinuation. Some patients may prove resistant to all discontinuation regimens.

Switch from XANAX (immediate-release) Tablets to XANAX XR (extended-release) Tablets

Patients who are currently being treated with divided doses of XANAX (immediate-release) Tablets, for example 3 to 4 times a day, may be switched to XANAX XR Tablets at the same total daily dose taken once daily. If the therapeutic response after switching is inadequate, the dosage may be titrated as outlined above.

Frequently asked questions

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.