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Components:
Alprazolam
Method of action:
Antianxiety, Anticonvulsant, Antidepressant, Anxiolytic, Hypnotic, Muscle Relaxant, Psycholeptics, Tranquilizing
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Medically reviewed by Kovalenko Svetlana Olegovna, PharmD. Last updated on 2019.10.20

Name of the medicinal product

Actazolam

Qualitative and quantitative composition

Alprazolam

Therapeutic indications

The information provided in Therapeutic indications of Actazolam is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Actazolam of the medicine (Alprazolam). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Therapeutic indications in the instructions to the drug Actazolam directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Solution; Tablet, Disintegrating; Tablet, Extended Release
Extended release; Modified-release tablet
Pills
Tablet, Orally Disintegrating

Xanax is indicated for the short-term treatment of moderate or severe anxiety states and anxiety associated with depression. It is only indicated when the disorder is severe, disabling or subjecting the individual to extreme distress.

Xanax should not be used to treat short-term mild anxiety, such as anxiety or tension associated with the stress of everyday life. As the efficacy of Xanax in depression and in phobic or obsessional states has yet to be established, specific treatment may have to be considered.

Actazolam Tablets are indicated for the treatment of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia.

This claim is supported on the basis of two positive studies with Actazolam conducted in patients whose diagnoses corresponded closely to the DSM-III-R/IV criteria for panic disorder (see Clinical Efficacy Trails).

Panic disorder (DSM-IV) is characterized by recurrent unexpected panic attacks, ie, a discrete period of intense fear or discomfort in which four (or more) of the following symptoms develop abruptly and reach a peak within 10 minutes: (1) palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate; (2) sweating; (3) trembling or shaking; (4) sensations of shortness of breath or smothering; (5) feeling of choking; (6) chest pain or discomfort; (7) nausea or abdominal distress; (8) feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint; (9) derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself); (10) fear of losing control; (11) fear of dying; (12) paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations); (13) chills or hot flushes.

The longer-term efficacy of Actazolam has not been systematically evaluated. Thus, the physician who elects to use this drug for periods longer than 8 weeks should periodically reassess the usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.

Actazolam is indicated for the short-term treatment of moderate or severe anxiety states and anxiety associated with depression. It is only indicated when the disorder is severe, disabling or subjecting the individual to extreme distress.

Actazolam should not be used to treat short-term mild anxiety, such as anxiety or tension associated with the stress of everyday life. As the efficacy of Actazolam in depression and in phobic or obsessional states has yet to be established, specific treatment may have to be considered.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Actazolam® is indicated for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder.

The efficacy of alprazolam in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder was demonstrated in 5 short-term, placebo-controlled trials..

Panic Disorder

Actazolam is also indicated for the treatment of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia.

The efficacy of alprazolam in the treatment of panic disorder was established in 2 short-term, placebo-controlled trials..

Demonstrations of the effectiveness of Actazolam by systematic clinical study are limited to 4 months in duration for generalized anxiety disorder and 4 to 10 weeks duration for panic disorder; however, patients with panic disorder have been treated on an open basis for up to 8 months without apparent loss of benefit. The physician should periodically reassess the usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.

Dosage (Posology) and method of administration

The information provided in Dosage (Posology) and method of administration of Actazolam is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Actazolam of the medicine (Alprazolam). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Dosage (Posology) and method of administration in the instructions to the drug Actazolam directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Solution; Tablet, Disintegrating; Tablet, Extended Release
Extended release; Modified-release tablet
Pills
Tablet, Orally Disintegrating

Posology

Anxiety

250 micrograms (0.25 mg) to 500 micrograms (0.5 mg) three times daily, increasing if required to a total of 3 mg daily.

The elderly or in the presence of debilitating disease

250 micrograms (0.25 mg) two to three times daily to be gradually increased if needed and tolerated.

If side-effects occur, the dose should be lowered. It is advisable to review treatment regularly and to discontinue use as soon as possible. Should longer term treatment be necessary, then intermittent treatment may be considered to minimize the risk of dependence.

Paediatric population

The safety and efficacy of alprazolam in children and adolescents below the age of 18 years have not been established. No data are available.

Method of administration

For oral use.

Treatment should be as short as possible. It is recommended that the patient be reassessed at the end of no longer than 4 weeks of treatment and the need for continued treatment established, especially in case the patient is symptom free. The overall duration of treatment should not be more than 8-12 weeks, including a tapering off process.

In certain cases extension beyond the maximum treatment period may be necessary; if so, it should not take place without re-evaluation of the patient's status with special expertise. As with all benzodiazepines, physicians should be aware that long-term use might lead to dependence in certain patients.

The optimum dosage of Xanax should be based upon the severity of the symptoms and individual patient response. The lowest dose which can control symptoms should be used. Dosage should be reassessed at intervals of no more than 4 weeks. The usual dosage is stated below; in the few patients who require higher doses, the dosage should be increased cautiously to avoid adverse effects. When higher dosage is required, the evening dose should be increased before the daytime doses. In general, patients who have not previously received psychotropic medications will require lower doses than those so treated, or those with a history of chronic alcoholism.

Treatment should always be tapered off gradually. During discontinuation of alprazolam treatment, the dosage should be reduced slowly in keeping with good medical practice. It is suggested that the daily dosage of alprazolam be decreased by no more than 0.5 mg every three days. Some patients may require an even slower dosage reduction.

Elderly patients

There is a reduced clearance of the drug and, as with other benzodiazepines, an increased sensitivity to the drug in elderly patients.

Actazolam 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 Actazolam 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 Actazolam 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 Actazolam.

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 21 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 Actazolam 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 Actazolam 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.

Dose Reduction

Because of the danger of withdrawal, abrupt discontinuation of treatment should be avoided (see WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, Drug Abuse And Dependence).

In all patients, dosage should be reduced gradually when discontinuing therapy or when decreasing the daily dosage. Although there are no systematically collected data to support a specific discontinuation schedule, it is suggested that the daily dosage be decreased by no more than 0.5 mg every three days. Some patients may require an even slower dosage reduction.

In any case, reduction of dose must be undertaken under close supervision and must be gradual. If significant withdrawal symptoms develop, the previous dosing schedule should be reinstituted and, only after stabilization, should a less rapid schedule of discontinuation be attempted. 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. It is suggested that the dose be reduced by no more than 0.5 mg every three days, with the understanding that 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 Actazolam (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 Actazolam 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.

Posology

Anxiety

250 micrograms (0.25 mg) to 500 micrograms (0.5 mg) three times daily, increasing if required to a total of 3 mg daily.

The elderly or in the presence of debilitating disease

250 micrograms (0.25 mg) two to three times daily to be gradually increased if needed and tolerated.

If side-effects occur, the dose should be lowered. It is advisable to review treatment regularly and to discontinue use as soon as possible. Should longer term treatment be necessary, then intermittent treatment may be considered to minimize the risk of dependence.

Paediatric population

The safety and efficacy of alprazolam in children and adolescents below the age of 18 years have not been established. No data are available.

Method of administration

For oral use.

Treatment should be as short as possible. It is recommended that the patient be reassessed at the end of no longer than 4 weeks of treatment and the need for continued treatment established, especially in case the patient is symptom free. The overall duration of treatment should not be more than 8-12 weeks, including a tapering off process.

In certain cases extension beyond the maximum treatment period may be necessary; if so, it should not take place without re-evaluation of the patient's status with special expertise. As with all benzodiazepines, physicians should be aware that long-term use might lead to dependence in certain patients.

The optimum dosage of Actazolam should be based upon the severity of the symptoms and individual patient response. The lowest dose which can control symptoms should be used. Dosage should be reassessed at intervals of no more than 4 weeks. The usual dosage is stated below; in the few patients who require higher doses, the dosage should be increased cautiously to avoid adverse effects. When higher dosage is required, the evening dose should be increased before the daytime doses. In general, patients who have not previously received psychotropic medications will require lower doses than those so treated, or those with a history of chronic alcoholism.

Treatment should always be tapered off gradually. During discontinuation of alprazolam treatment, the dosage should be reduced slowly in keeping with good medical practice. It is suggested that the daily dosage of alprazolam be decreased by no more than 0.5 mg every three days. Some patients may require an even slower dosage reduction.

Elderly patients

There is a reduced clearance of the drug and, as with other benzodiazepines, an increased sensitivity to the drug in elderly patients.

Dosage should be individualized for maximum beneficial effect. While the usual daily dosages given below will meet the needs of most patients, there will be some who require doses greater than 4 mg per day. In such cases, the dosage should be increased cautiously to avoid adverse reactions. In general, benzodiazepines should be prescribed for short periods. Reevaluate the need for continued therapy before extending the treatment period.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Initiate treatment with a dose of 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg three times daily. The dose may be increased to achieve a maximum therapeutic effect, at intervals of 3 to 4 days, to a maximum daily dose of 4 mg, given in divided doses. Use the lowest possible effective dose, and periodically reassess the need for continued treatment.. The risk of dependence can increase with dose and duration of treatment.

The dosage should be reduced gradually when discontinuing therapy or when decreasing the daily dosage. Although there are no systematically collected data to support a specific discontinuation schedule, it is suggested that the daily dosage be decreased by no more than 0.5 mg every 3 days. Some patients may require an even slower dosage reduction.

Panic Disorder

The successful treatment of many panic disorder patients has required the use of alprazolam at doses greater than 4 mg daily. In controlled trials conducted to establish the efficacy of alprazolam in panic disorder, doses in the range of 1 mg to 10 mg daily were used. The mean dosage employed was approximately 5 mg to 6 mg daily. Among the approximately 1700 patients participating in the panic disorder development program, about 300 received alprazolam in dosages of greater than 7 mg per day, including approximately 100 patients who received maximum dosages of greater than 9 mg per day. Occasional patients required as much as 10 mg a day to achieve a successful response.

Dose Titration

Initiate treatment with a dose of 0.5 mg three times 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 per day. Slower titration to the dose levels greater than 4 mg per day may be advisable to allow full expression of the pharmacodynamic effect of Actazolam. To lessen the possibility of interdose symptoms, the times of administration should be distributed as evenly as possible throughout the waking hours, (i.e., administered three or four times daily).

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

Dose Maintenance

For patients receiving doses greater than 4 mg per day, periodically reassess treatment and consider a reduction of dosage. In a controlled postmarketing dose-response study, patients treated with doses of alprazolam greater than 4 mg per day for 3 months were able to taper to 50% of their total daily maintenance dose without apparent loss of clinical benefit. Because of the danger of withdrawal, avoid abrupt discontinuation of treatment..

The necessary duration of treatment for panic disorder patients responding to Actazolam is unknown. 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.

Dose Reduction

Because of the danger of withdrawal, abrupt discontinuation of treatment should be avoided.

In all patients, dosage should be reduced gradually when discontinuing therapy or when decreasing the daily dosage. Although there are no systematically collected data to support a specific discontinuation schedule, it is suggested that the daily dosage be decreased by no more than 0.5 mg every three days. Some patients may require an even slower dosage reduction.

In any case, reduction of dose must be undertaken under close supervision and must be gradual. If significant withdrawal symptoms develop, reinstitute the previous stable dosing schedule. After stabilization, consider using a less rapid schedule of discontinuation. In a controlled postmarketing discontinuation study of panic disorder patients which compared this recommended taper schedule with a slower taper schedule, there was no difference between the groups in the proportion of patients who tapered and completely discontinued treatment with alprazolam; however, the slower schedule was associated with a reduction in symptoms associated with a withdrawal syndrome. Reduce the dose by no more than 0.5 mg every 3 days. Some patients may benefit from an even more gradual discontinuation. Some patients may prove resistant to all discontinuation regimens.

Dosing in Special Populations

In elderly patients, in patients with advanced liver disease, or in patients with debilitating disease (e.g., severe pulmonary disease), the usual starting dose is 0.25 mg, given two or three times daily. This may be gradually increased if needed and tolerated. The elderly may be especially sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines. If adverse reactions occur at the recommended starting dose, the dose may be lowered.

Instructions to be Given to Patients for Use/Handling Actazolam Tablets

Just prior to administration, with dry hands, remove the tablet from the bottle. Immediately place the Actazolam tablet on top of the tongue where it will disintegrate and be swallowed with saliva. Administration with liquid is not necessary.

Discard any cotton that was included in the bottle and reseal the bottle tightly to prevent introducing moisture that might cause the tablets to disintegrate.

Contraindications

The information provided in Contraindications of Actazolam is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Actazolam of the medicine (Alprazolam). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Contraindications in the instructions to the drug Actazolam directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Actazolam is contraindicated in patients with acute narrow angle glaucoma. Actazolam can exacerbate narrow angle closure. Actazolam may be used in patients with open angle glaucoma who are receiving appropriate therapy

Actazolam is contraindicated in patients treated with potent CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., ketoconazole and itraconazole), because these medications significantly impair the oxidative metabolism mediated by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) and can increase alprazolam exposures.

Special warnings and precautions for use

The information provided in Special warnings and precautions for use of Actazolam is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Actazolam of the medicine (Alprazolam). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Special warnings and precautions for use in the instructions to the drug Actazolam directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Solution; Tablet, Disintegrating; Tablet, Extended Release
Extended release; Modified-release tablet
Pills
Tablet, Orally Disintegrating

Renal and hepatic impairment

Caution is recommended when treating patients with impaired renal function or mild to moderate hepatic insufficiency.

Depression/anxiety

In patients presenting with major depression or anxiety associated with depression benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine-like agents should not be prescribed alone to treat depression as they may precipitate or increase the risk of suicide. Therefore alprazolam should be used with caution and the prescription size should be limited in patients with signs and symptoms of a depressive disorder or suicidal tendencies.

Paediatric population

Safety and efficacy of alprazolam have not been established in children and adolescents below the age of 18 years; therefore use of alprazolam is not recommended.

Elderly patients

Benzodiazepines and related products should be used with caution in elderly, due to the risk of sedation and / or musculoskeletal weakness that can promote falls, often with serious consequences in this population.

It is recommended that general principle of using the lowest effective dose to be followed in elderly and /or debilitated patients to preclude development of ataxia or over-sedation. A lower dose is also recommended for patients with chronic respiratory insufficiency due to risk of respiratory depression.

Benzodiazepines should be used with extreme caution in patients with a history of alcohol or drug abuse.

Risk from concomitant use of opioids

Concomitant use of Xanax and opioids may result in sedation, respiratory depression, coma and death. Because of these risks, concomitant prescribing of sedative medicines such as benzodiazepines or related drugs such as Xanax with opioids should be reserved for patients for whom alternative treatment options are not possible.

The patients should be followed closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation. In this respect, it is strongly recommended to inform patients and their environment to be aware of these symptoms.

Dependence

Use of benzodiazepines may lead to the development of physical and psychic dependence upon these products. The risk of dependence increases with dose and duration of treatment; it is also greater in patients with a history of alcohol and drug abuse. Pharmacodependency may occur at therapeutic doses and/or in patients with no individualised risk factor. There is an increased risk of pharmacodependency with the combined use of several benzodiazepines regardless of the anxiolytic or hypnotic indication. Cases of abuse have also been reported.

Withdrawal symptoms: Once physical dependence has developed, abrupt termination of treatment will be accompanied by withdrawal symptoms. These may consist of headaches, muscle pain, extreme anxiety, tension, restlessness, confusion, irritability and insomnia. In severe cases the following symptoms may occur: derealisation, depersonalisation, hyperacusis, numbness and tingling of the extremities, hypersensitivity to light, noise and physical contact, hallucinations or epileptic seizures.

During discontinuation of alprazolam treatment, the dosage should be reduced slowly in keeping with good medical practice. It is suggested that the daily dosage of alprazolam be decreased by no more than 0.5 mg every three days. Some patients may require even slower dosage reduction.

Rebound insomnia and anxiety: a transient syndrome whereby the symptoms that led to treatment with a benzodiazepine recur in an enhanced form may occur on withdrawal of treatment. It may be accompanied by other reactions including mood changes, anxiety or sleep disturbances and restlessness. Since the risk of withdrawal phenomena/rebound phenomena is greater after abrupt discontinuation of treatment, it is recommended that the dosage be decreased gradually by no more than 0.5 mg every three days. Some patients may require an even slower dose reduction.

Duration of treatment

The duration of treatment should be as short as possible depending on the indication, but should not exceed eight to twelve weeks including tapering off process. Extension beyond these periods should not take place without re-evaluation of the situation.

It may be useful to inform the patient when treatment is started that it will be of limited duration and to explain precisely how the dosage will be progressively decreased. Moreover it is important that the patient should be aware of the possibility of rebound phenomena, thereby minimising anxiety over such symptoms should they occur while the medicinal product is being discontinued. There are indications, that in the case of benzodiazepines with a short duration of action, withdrawal phenomena can become manifest within the dosage interval, especially when the dosage is high. When benzodiazepines with a long duration of action are being used it is important to warn against changing to a benzodiazepine with a short duration of action, as withdrawal symptoms may develop.

Amnesia

Benzodiazepines may induce anterograde amnesia. The condition occurs most often several hours after ingesting the product and therefore to reduce the risk patients should ensure that they will be able to have uninterrupted sleep of 7-8 hours.

Psychiatric and paradoxical reactions

Reactions like restlessness, agitation, irritability, aggressiveness, delusion, rages, nightmares, hallucinations, psychoses, inappropriate behaviour and other adverse behavioural effects are known to occur when using benzodiazepines. Should this occur, use of the medicinal product should be discontinued. They are more likely to occur in children and the elderly.

Tolerance

Some loss of efficacy to the hypnotic effects of benzodiazepines may develop after repeated use for a few weeks.

Episodes of hypomania and mania have been reported in association with the use of alprazolam in patients with depression.

Benzodiazepines are not recommended for the primary treatment of psychotic illness.

Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, total lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medicine.

WARNINGS

Dependence And Withdrawal Reactions , Including Seizures

Certain adverse clinical events, some life-threatening, are a direct consequence of physical dependence to alprazolam. These include a spectrum of withdrawal symptoms; the most important is seizure (see Drug Abuse And Dependence). Even after relatively short-term use at doses of ≤ 4 mg/day, there is some risk of dependence. Spontaneous reporting system data suggest that the risk of dependence and its severity appear to be greater in 6 patients treated with doses greater than 4 mg/day and for long periods (more than 12 weeks). However, in a controlled postmarketing discontinuation study of panic disorder patients who received XANAX Tablets, the duration of treatment (3 months compared to 6 months) had no effect on the ability of patients to taper to zero dose. In contrast, patients treated with doses of XANAX Tablets greater than 4 mg/day had more difficulty tapering to zero dose than those treated with less than 4 mg/day.

Relapse or return of illness was defined as a return of symptoms characteristic of panic disorder (primarily panic attacks) to levels approximately equal to those seen at baseline before active treatment was initiated. Rebound refers to a return of symptoms of panic disorder to a level substantially greater in frequency, or more severe in intensity than seen at baseline. Withdrawal symptoms were identified as those which were generally not characteristic of panic disorder and which occurred for the first time more frequently during discontinuation than at baseline.

The rate of relapse, rebound, and withdrawal in patients with panic disorder who received Actazolam Tablets has not been systematically studied. Experience in randomized placebo-controlled discontinuation studies of patients with panic disorder who received XANAX Tablets showed a high rate of rebound and withdrawal symptoms compared to placebo treated patients.

In a controlled clinical trial in which 63 patients were randomized to XANAX Tablets and where withdrawal symptoms were specifically sought, the following were identified as symptoms of withdrawal: heightened sensory perception, impaired concentration, dysosmia, clouded sensorium, paresthesias, muscle cramps, muscle twitch, diarrhea, blurred vision, appetite decrease, and weight loss. Other symptoms, such as anxiety and insomnia, were frequently seen during discontinuation, but it could not be determined if they were due to return of illness, rebound, or withdrawal.

In two controlled trials of 6 to 8 weeks duration where the ability of patients to discontinue medication was measured, 71%–93% of patients treated with XANAX Tablets tapered completely off therapy compared to 89%–96% of placebo treated patients. In a controlled postmarketing discontinuation study of panic disorder patients treated with XANAX Tablets, the duration of treatment (3 months compared to 6 months) had no effect on the ability of patients to taper to zero dose.

Seizures were reported for three patients in panic disorder clinical trials with Actazolam. In two cases, the patients had completed 6 weeks of treatment with Actazolam 6 mg/day before experiencing a single seizure. In one case, the patient abruptly discontinued Actazolam, and in both cases, alcohol intake was implicated. The third case involved multiple seizures after the patient completed treatment with Actazolam 4 mg/day and missed taking the medication on the first day of taper. All three patients recovered without sequelae.

Seizures have also been observed in association with dose reduction or discontinuation of XANAX Tablets, the immediate release form of alprazolam. Seizures attributable to 7 XANAX were seen after drug discontinuance or dose reduction in 8 of 1980 patients with panic disorder or in patients participating in clinical trials where doses of XANAX greater than 4 mg/day for over 3 months were permitted. Five of these cases clearly occurred during abrupt dose reduction, or discontinuation from daily doses of 2 to 10 mg. Three cases occurred in situations where there was not a clear relationship to abrupt dose reduction or discontinuation. In one instance, seizure occurred after discontinuation from a single dose of 1 mg after tapering at a rate of 1 mg every three days from 6 mg daily. In two other instances, the relationship to taper is indeterminate; in both of these cases the patients had been receiving doses of 3 mg daily prior to seizure. The duration of use in the above 8 cases ranged from 4 to 22 weeks. There have been occasional voluntary reports of patients developing seizures while apparently tapering gradually from XANAX. The risk of seizure seems to be greatest 24–72 hours after discontinuation (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION for recommended tapering and discontinuation schedule).

Status Epilepticus

The medical event voluntary reporting system shows that withdrawal seizures have been reported in association with the discontinuation of XANAX Tablets. In most cases, only a single seizure was reported; however, multiple seizures and status epilepticus were reported as well.

Interdose Symptoms

Early morning anxiety and emergence of anxiety symptoms between doses of XANAX Tablets have been reported in patients with panic disorder taking prescribed maintenance doses. These symptoms may reflect the development of tolerance or a time interval between doses which is longer than the duration of clinical action of the administered dose. In either case, it is presumed that the prescribed dose is not sufficient to maintain plasma levels above those needed to prevent relapse, rebound, or withdrawal symptoms over the entire course of the interdosing interval.

Risk Of Dose Reduction

Withdrawal reactions may occur when dosage reduction occurs for any reason. This includes purposeful tapering, but also inadvertent reduction of dose (eg, the patient forgets, the patient is admitted to a hospital). Therefore, the dosage of Actazolam should be reduced or discontinued gradually (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

CNS Depression And Impaired Performance

Because of its CNS depressant effects, patients receiving Actazolam should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous occupations or activities requiring complete mental alertness such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle. For the same reason, patients should be cautioned about the simultaneous ingestion of alcohol and other CNS depressant drugs during treatment with Actazolam.

Risk Of Fetal Harm

Benzodiazepines can potentially cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women. If alprazolam is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this 8 drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Because of experience with other members of the benzodiazepine class, alprazolam is assumed to be capable of causing an increased risk of congenital abnormalities when administered to a pregnant woman during the first trimester. Because use of these drugs is rarely a matter of urgency, their use during the first trimester should almost always be avoided. The possibility that a woman of childbearing potential may be pregnant at the time of institution of therapy should be considered. Patients should be advised that if they become pregnant during therapy or intend to become pregnant they should communicate with their physicians about the desirability of discontinuing the drug.

Alprazolam Interaction With Drugs That Inhibit Metabolism Via Cytochrome P450 3A

The initial step in alprazolam metabolism is hydroxylation catalyzed by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A). Drugs that inhibit this metabolic pathway may have a profound effect on the clearance of alprazolam. Consequently, alprazolam should be avoided in patients receiving very potent inhibitors of CYP3A. With drugs inhibiting CYP3A to a lesser but still significant degree, alprazolam should be used only with caution and consideration of appropriate dosage reduction. For some drugs, an interaction with alprazolam has been quantified with clinical data; for other drugs, interactions are predicted from in vitro data and/or experience with similar drugs in the same pharmacologic class.

The following are examples of drugs known to inhibit the metabolism of alprazolam and/or related benzodiazepines, presumably through inhibition of CYP3A.

Potent CYP3A Inhibitors

Azole Antifungal Agents

Ketoconazole and itraconazole are potent CYP3A inhibitors and have been shown in vivo to increase plasma alprazolam concentrations 3.98 fold and 2.70 fold, respectively. The coadministration of alprazolam with these agents is not recommended. Other azole-type antifungal agents should also be considered potent CYP3A inhibitors and the coadministration of alprazolam with them is not recommended (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

Drugs demonstrated to be CYP3A inhibitors on the basis of clinical studies involving alprazolam (caution and consideration of appropriate alprazolam dose reduction are recommended during coadministration with the following drugs)

Nefazodone

Coadministration of nefazodone increased alprazolam concentration two-fold.

Fluvoxamine

Coadministration of fluvoxamine approximately doubled the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam, decreased clearance by 49%, increased half-life by 71%, and decreased measured psychomotor performance.

Cimetidine

Coadministration of cimetidine increased the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam by 86%, decreased clearance by 42%, and increased half-life by 16%.

HIV Protease Inhibitors

Interactions involving HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir) and alprazolam are complex and time dependent. Low doses of ritonavir resulted in a large impairment of alprazolam clearance, prolonged its elimination half-life and enhanced clinical effects. However, upon extended exposure to ritonavir, CYP3A induction offset this inhibition. This interaction will require a dose-adjustment or discontinuation of alprazolam.

Other Drugs Possibly Affecting Alprazolam Metabolism

Other drugs possibly affecting alprazolam metabolism by inhibition of CYP3A are discussed in the PRECAUTIONS section (see DRUG INTERACTIONS).

PRECAUTIONS

General

Suicide

As with other psychotropic medications, the usual precautions with respect to administration of the drug and size of the prescription are indicated for severely depressed patients or those in whom there is reason to expect concealed suicidal ideation or plans. Panic disorder has been associated with primary and secondary major depressive disorders and increased reports of suicide among untreated patients.

Mania

Episodes of hypomania and mania have been reported in association with the use of XANAX Tablets in patients with depression.

Uricosuric Effect

Alprazolam has a weak uricosuric effect. Although other medications with weak uricosuric effect have been reported to cause acute renal failure, there have been no reported instances of acute renal failure attributable to therapy with alprazolam.

Use In Patients With Concomitant Illness

It is recommended that the dosage be limited to the smallest effective dose to preclude the development of ataxia or oversedation which may be a particular problem in elderly or debilitated patients (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). The usual precautions in treating patients with impaired renal, hepatic, or pulmonary function should be observed. There have been rare reports of death in patients with severe pulmonary disease shortly after the initiation of treatment with XANAX Tablets. A decreased systemic alprazolam elimination rate (eg, increased plasma half-life) has been observed in both alcoholic liver disease patients and obese patients receiving XANAX Tablets (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).

Laboratory Tests

Laboratory tests are not ordinarily required in otherwise healthy patients. However, when treatment is protracted, periodic blood counts, urinalysis, and blood chemistry analyses are advisable in keeping with good medical practice.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

No evidence of carcinogenic potential was observed during 2-year bioassay studies of alprazolam in rats at doses up to 30 mg/kg/day (150 times the maximum recommended daily human dose of 10 mg/day) and in mice at doses up to 10 mg/kg/day (50 times the maximum recommended daily human dose).

Alprazolam was not mutagenic in the rat micronucleus test at doses up to 100 mg/kg, which is 500 times the maximum recommended daily human dose of 10 mg/day. Alprazolam also was not mutagenic in vitro in the DNA Damage/Alkaline Elution Assay or the Ames Assay.

Alprazolam produced no impairment of fertility in rats at doses up to 5 mg/kg/day, which is 25 times the maximum recommended daily human dose of 10 mg/day.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects

Pregnancy Category D

(see WARNINGS section).

Nonteratogenic Effects

It should be considered that the child born of a mother who is receiving benzodiazepines may be at some risk for withdrawal symptoms from the drug during the postnatal period. Also, neonatal flaccidity and respiratory problems have been reported in children born of mothers who have been receiving benzodiazepines.

Labor and Delivery

Alprazolam has no established use in labor or delivery.

Nursing Mothers

Benzodiazepines are known to be excreted in human milk. It should be assumed that alprazolam is as well. Chronic administration of diazepam to nursing mothers has been reported to cause their infants to become lethargic and to lose weight. As a general rule, nursing should not be undertaken by mothers who must use alprazolam.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of alprazolam in individuals below 18 years of age have not been established.

Geriatric Use

The elderly may be more sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines. They exhibit higher plasma alprazolam concentrations due to reduced clearance of the drug as compared with a younger population receiving the same doses. The smallest effective dose of alprazolam should be used in the elderly to preclude the development of ataxia and oversedation (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Renal and hepatic impairment

Caution is recommended when treating patients with impaired renal function or mild to moderate hepatic insufficiency.

Depression/anxiety

In patients presenting with major depression or anxiety associated with depression benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine-like agents should not be prescribed alone to treat depression as they may precipitate or increase the risk of suicide. Therefore alprazolam should be used with caution and the prescription size should be limited in patients with signs and symptoms of a depressive disorder or suicidal tendencies.

Paediatric population

Safety and efficacy of alprazolam have not been established in children and adolescents below the age of 18 years; therefore use of alprazolam is not recommended.

Elderly patients

Benzodiazepines and related products should be used with caution in elderly, due to the risk of sedation and / or musculoskeletal weakness that can promote falls, often with serious consequences in this population.

It is recommended that general principle of using the lowest effective dose to be followed in elderly and /or debilitated patients to preclude development of ataxia or over-sedation. A lower dose is also recommended for patients with chronic respiratory insufficiency due to risk of respiratory depression.

Benzodiazepines should be used with extreme caution in patients with a history of alcohol or drug abuse.

Risk from concomitant use of opioids

Concomitant use of Actazolam and opioids may result in sedation, respiratory depression, coma and death. Because of these risks, concomitant prescribing of sedative medicines such as benzodiazepines or related drugs such as Actazolam with opioids should be reserved for patients for whom alternative treatment options are not possible.

The patients should be followed closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation. In this respect, it is strongly recommended to inform patients and their environment to be aware of these symptoms.

Dependence

Use of benzodiazepines may lead to the development of physical and psychic dependence upon these products. The risk of dependence increases with dose and duration of treatment; it is also greater in patients with a history of alcohol and drug abuse. Pharmacodependency may occur at therapeutic doses and/or in patients with no individualised risk factor. There is an increased risk of pharmacodependency with the combined use of several benzodiazepines regardless of the anxiolytic or hypnotic indication. Cases of abuse have also been reported.

Withdrawal symptoms: Once physical dependence has developed, abrupt termination of treatment will be accompanied by withdrawal symptoms. These may consist of headaches, muscle pain, extreme anxiety, tension, restlessness, confusion, irritability and insomnia. In severe cases the following symptoms may occur: derealisation, depersonalisation, hyperacusis, numbness and tingling of the extremities, hypersensitivity to light, noise and physical contact, hallucinations or epileptic seizures.

During discontinuation of alprazolam treatment, the dosage should be reduced slowly in keeping with good medical practice. It is suggested that the daily dosage of alprazolam be decreased by no more than 0.5 mg every three days. Some patients may require even slower dosage reduction.

Rebound insomnia and anxiety: a transient syndrome whereby the symptoms that led to treatment with a benzodiazepine recur in an enhanced form may occur on withdrawal of treatment. It may be accompanied by other reactions including mood changes, anxiety or sleep disturbances and restlessness. Since the risk of withdrawal phenomena/rebound phenomena is greater after abrupt discontinuation of treatment, it is recommended that the dosage be decreased gradually by no more than 0.5 mg every three days. Some patients may require an even slower dose reduction.

Duration of treatment

The duration of treatment should be as short as possible depending on the indication, but should not exceed eight to twelve weeks including tapering off process. Extension beyond these periods should not take place without re-evaluation of the situation.

It may be useful to inform the patient when treatment is started that it will be of limited duration and to explain precisely how the dosage will be progressively decreased. Moreover it is important that the patient should be aware of the possibility of rebound phenomena, thereby minimising anxiety over such symptoms should they occur while the medicinal product is being discontinued. There are indications, that in the case of benzodiazepines with a short duration of action, withdrawal phenomena can become manifest within the dosage interval, especially when the dosage is high. When benzodiazepines with a long duration of action are being used it is important to warn against changing to a benzodiazepine with a short duration of action, as withdrawal symptoms may develop.

Amnesia

Benzodiazepines may induce anterograde amnesia. The condition occurs most often several hours after ingesting the product and therefore to reduce the risk patients should ensure that they will be able to have uninterrupted sleep of 7-8 hours.

Psychiatric and paradoxical reactions

Reactions like restlessness, agitation, irritability, aggressiveness, delusion, rages, nightmares, hallucinations, psychoses, inappropriate behaviour and other adverse behavioural effects are known to occur when using benzodiazepines. Should this occur, use of the medicinal product should be discontinued. They are more likely to occur in children and the elderly.

Tolerance

Some loss of efficacy to the hypnotic effects of benzodiazepines may develop after repeated use for a few weeks.

Episodes of hypomania and mania have been reported in association with the use of alprazolam in patients with depression.

Benzodiazepines are not recommended for the primary treatment of psychotic illness.

Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, total lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medicine.

WARNINGS

Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.

PRECAUTIONS

Suicide and Overdose

As with other psychotropic medications, the usual precautions with respect to administration of the drug and size of the prescription are indicated for severely depressed patients or those in whom there is reason to expect concealed suicidal ideation or plans. Panic disorder has been associated with primary and secondary major depressive disorders and increased reports of suicide among untreated patients.

Status Epilepticus

Withdrawal seizures have been reported in association with the discontinuation of alprazolam. In most cases, only a single seizure was reported; however, multiple seizures and status epilepticus were reported as well.

Dependence and Withdrawal Reactions, Including Seizures

Actazolam is a Schedule IV controlled substance. The use of benzodiazepines, including Actazolam, may lead to physical and psychological dependence. In general, benzodiazepines should be prescribed for short periods. Even after relatively short-term use at the recommended doses, there is some risk of dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

Certain adverse clinical events, some life-threatening, are a direct consequence of physical dependence to Actazolam. These include a spectrum of withdrawal symptoms; the most important is seizure. Spontaneous reporting system data suggest that the risk of dependence and its severity appear to be greater in patients treated with doses greater than 4 mg per day and for long periods (more than 12 weeks). However, in a controlled postmarketing discontinuation study of panic disorder patients, the duration of treatment (3 months compared to 6 months) had no effect on the ability of patients to taper to zero dose. In contrast, patients treated with doses of alprazolam greater than 4 mg per day had more difficulty tapering to zero dose than those treated with less than 4 mg per day.

The importance of dose and the risks of Actazolam as a treatment for panic disorder

Because the management of panic disorder often requires the use of average daily doses of Actazolam above 4 mg, the risk of dependence among panic disorder patients may be higher than that among those treated for less severe anxiety. Experience in randomized placebo-controlled discontinuation studies of patients with panic disorder showed a high rate of rebound and withdrawal symptoms in patients treated with alprazolam compared to placebo-treated patients.

Relapse or return of illness was defined as a return of symptoms characteristic of panic disorder (primarily panic attacks) to levels approximately equal to those seen at baseline before active treatment was initiated. Rebound refers to a return of symptoms of panic disorder to a level substantially greater in frequency, or more severe in intensity than seen at baseline. Withdrawal symptoms were identified as those which were generally not characteristic of panic disorder and which occurred for the first time more frequently during discontinuation than at baseline.

In a controlled clinical trial in which 63 patients were randomized to alprazolam and where withdrawal symptoms were specifically sought, the following were identified as symptoms of withdrawal: heightened sensory perception, impaired concentration, dysosmia, clouded sensorium, paresthesias, muscle cramps, muscle twitch, diarrhea, blurred vision, appetite decrease, and weight loss. Other symptoms, such as anxiety and insomnia, were frequently seen during discontinuation, but it could not be determined if they were due to return of illness, rebound, or withdrawal.

In two controlled trials of 6 to 8 weeks duration where the ability of patients to discontinue medication was measured, 71% - 93% of patients treated with alprazolam tapered completely off therapy compared to 89% - 96% of placebo-treated patients. In a controlled postmarketing discontinuation study of panic disorder patients, the duration of treatment (3 months compared to 6 months) had no effect on the ability of patients to taper to zero dose.

Seizures attributable to alprazolam were seen after drug discontinuance or dose reduction in 8 of 1980 patients with panic disorder or in patients participating in clinical trials where doses of alprazolam greater than 4 mg/day for over 3 months were permitted. Five of these cases clearly occurred during abrupt dose reduction, or discontinuation from daily doses of 2 mg to 10 mg. Three cases occurred in situations where there was not a clear relationship to abrupt dose reduction or discontinuation. In one instance, seizure occurred after discontinuation from a single dose of 1 mg after tapering at a rate of 1 mg every 3 days from 6 mg daily. In two other instances, the relationship to taper is indeterminate; in both of these cases the patients had been receiving doses of 3 mg daily prior to seizure. The duration of use in the above 8 cases ranged from 4 to 22 weeks. There have been occasional voluntary reports of patients developing seizures while apparently tapering gradually from alprazolam. The risk of seizure seems to be greatest 24 - 72 hours after discontinuation.

To discontinue treatment in patients taking Actazolam, the dosage should be reduced gradually. Decrease the daily dosage of Actazolam by no more than 0.5 mg every three days. Some patients may benefit from an even slower dosage reduction. 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.

Risk of Fetal Harm

Benzodiazepines can potentially cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women. If Actazolam is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Because of experience with other members of the benzodiazepine class, Actazolam is assumed to be capable of causing an increased risk of congenital abnormalities when administered to a pregnant woman during the first trimester. Because use of these drugs is rarely a matter of urgency, their use during the first trimester should almost always be avoided. The possibility that a woman of childbearing potential may be pregnant at the time of institution of therapy should be considered. Patients should be advised that if they become pregnant during therapy or intend to become pregnant they should communicate with their physicians about the desirability of discontinuing the drug.

CNS Depression and Impaired Performance

Because Actazolam has CNS depressant effects and has the potential to impair judgment, cognition, and motor performance, caution patients against engaging in hazardous occupations or activities requiring complete mental alertness such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle, until they are reasonably certain that Actazolam treatment does not affect them adversely. Caution patients about the simultaneous ingestion of alcohol and other CNS depressant drugs during treatment with Actazolam.

Mania

Episodes of hypomania and mania have been reported in association with the use of alprazolam in patients with depression.

Actazolam Interaction with Drugs that Inhibit Metabolism via Cytochrome P450 3A

The initial step in Actazolam metabolism is hydroxylation catalyzed by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A). Drugs that inhibit this metabolic pathway may have a profound effect on the clearance of Actazolam. Consequently, Actazolam should be avoided in patients receiving potent inhibitors of CYP3A. With drugs inhibiting CYP3A to a lesser but still significant degree, Actazolam should be used only with caution and consideration of appropriate dosage reduction. For some drugs, an interaction with Actazolam has been quantified with clinical data; for other drugs, interactions are predicted from in vitro data and/or experience with similar drugs in the same pharmacologic class.

The following are examples of drugs known to inhibit the metabolism of Actazolam and/or related benzodiazepines, presumably through inhibition of CYP3A.

Potent CYP3A Inhibitors

Azole antifungal agents— Ketoconazole and itraconazole are potent CYP3A inhibitors and have been shown in vivo to increase plasma alprazolam concentrations 3.98 fold and 2.70 fold, respectively. The coadministration of alprazolam with these agents is not recommended. Other azole-type antifungal agents should also be considered potent CYP3A inhibitors and the coadministration of alprazolam with them is not recommended.

Drugs demonstrated to be CYP3A inhibitors on the basis of clinical studies involving alprazolam

Consider dose reduction of Actazolam during coadministration with the following drugs:

  • Nefazodone — Coadministration of nefazodone increased alprazolam concentration two-fold.
  • Fluvoxamine — Coadministration of fluvoxamine approximately doubled the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam, decreased clearance by 49%, increased half-life by 71%, and decreased measured psychomotor performance.
  • Cimetidine — Coadministration of cimetidine increased the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam by 86%, decreased clearance by 42%, and increased half-life by 16%.
Other drugs possibly affecting alprazolam metabolism

Other drugs possibly affect alprazolam metabolism by inhibition of CYP3A.

Interdose Symptoms

Early morning anxiety and emergence of anxiety symptoms between doses of alprazolam have been reported in patients with panic disorder taking prescribed maintenance doses of alprazolam. These symptoms may reflect the development of tolerance or a time interval between doses which is longer than the duration of clinical action of the administered dose. In either case, it is presumed that the prescribed dose is not sufficient to maintain plasma levels above those needed to prevent relapse, rebound or withdrawal symptoms over the entire course of the interdosing interval. In these situations, it is recommended that the same total daily dose be given divided as more frequent administrations.

Risk of Dose Reduction

Withdrawal reactions may occur when dosage reduction occurs for any reason. This includes purposeful tapering, but also inadvertent reduction of dose (e.g., the patient forgets, the patient is admitted to a hospital). Therefore, the dosage of Actazolam should be reduced or discontinued gradually.

Uricosuric Effect

Alprazolam has a weak uricosuric effect. Although other medications with weak uricosuric effect have been reported to cause acute renal failure, there have been no reported instances of acute renal failure attributable to therapy with alprazolam.

Use in Patients with Concomitant Illness

It is recommended that the dosage be limited to the smallest effective dose to preclude the development of ataxia or oversedation which may be a particular problem in elderly or debilitated patients.. The usual precautions in treating patients with impaired renal, hepatic or pulmonary function should be observed. There have been rare reports of death in patients with severe pulmonary disease shortly after the initiation of treatment with alprazolam. A decreased systemic alprazolam elimination rate (eg, increased plasma half-life) has been observed in both alcoholic liver disease patients and obese patients receiving alprazolam.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No evidence of carcinogenic potential was observed during 2-year bioassay studies of alprazolam in rats at doses up to 30 mg/kg per day (30 times the maximum recommended human dose of 10 mg per day on a mg/m² basis) and in mice at doses up to 10 mg/kg per day (5 times the maximum recommended human dose on a mg/m²).

Alprazolam also was not mutagenic in vitro in the DNA Damage/Alkaline Elution Assay or the Ames Assay, and was negative in the rat micronucleus test.

Alprazolam produced no impairment of fertility in rats at doses up to 5 mg/kg per day, which is 5 times the maximum recommended human dose of 10 mg per day on a mg/m² basis.

Use In Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects - Pregnancy Category D.

Benzodiazepines can potentially cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. The possibility that a woman of childbearing potential may be pregnant at the time of institution of therapy should be considered. If Actazolam is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Because of experience with other members of the benzodiazepine class, Actazolam is assumed to be capable of causing an increased risk of congenital abnormalities when administered to a pregnant woman during the first trimester. Because use of these drugs is rarely a matter of urgency, their use during the first trimester should almost always be avoided.

Nonteratogenic Effects

It should be considered that the child born of a mother who is receiving benzodiazepines may be at some risk for withdrawal symptoms from the drug during the postnatal period. Also, neonatal flaccidity and respiratory problems have been reported in children born of mothers who have been receiving benzodiazepines.

Labor and Delivery

The potential effect of Actazolam in labor and delivery in humans has not been studied. However, perinatal complications have been reported in neonates exposed to benzodiazepines late in pregnancy. The findings are suggestive of excess benzodiazepine exposure or withdrawal phenomena.

Nursing Mothers

Benzodiazepines are excreted in human milk. It should be assumed that Actazolam is excreted in human milk. Chronic administration of diazepam to nursing mothers has been reported to cause their infants to become lethargic and to lose weight. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from Actazolam, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. As a general rule, nursing should not be undertaken by mothers who must use Actazolam.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of Actazolam in individuals below 18 years of age have not been studied.

Geriatric Use

The elderly may be more sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines. They exhibit higher plasma alprazolam concentrations due to reduced clearance of the drug, compared with a younger population receiving the same doses. The smallest effective dose of Actazolam should be used in the elderly to preclude the development of ataxia and oversedation.

Changes in the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of benzodiazepines have been demonstrated in geriatric patients. A mean half-life of Actazolam 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.

Effects on ability to drive and use machines

The information provided in Effects on ability to drive and use machines of Actazolam is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Actazolam of the medicine (Alprazolam). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Effects on ability to drive and use machines in the instructions to the drug Actazolam directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Solution; Tablet, Disintegrating; Tablet, Extended Release
Pills

Sedation, amnesia, impaired concentration and impaired muscle function may adversely affect the ability to drive and use machines. If insufficient sleep occurs, the likelihood of impaired alertness may be increased.

These effects are potentiated by alcohol.

Patients should be cautioned about operating motor vehicles or engaging in other dangerous activities while taking Xanax.

This medicine can impair cognitive function and can affect a patient's ability to drive safely. This class of medicine is in the list of drugs included in regulations under 5a of the Road Traffic Act 1988. When prescribing this medicine, patients should be told:

- The medicine is likely to affect your ability to drive

- Do not drive until you know how the medicine affects you

- It is an offence to drive while under the influence of this medicine

- However, you would not be committing an offence (called 'statutory defence') if:

o The medicine has been prescribed to treat a medical or dental problem and

o You have taken it according to the instructions given by the prescriber and in the information provided with the medicine and

o It was not affecting your ability to drive safely

Sedation, amnesia, impaired concentration and impaired muscle function may adversely affect the ability to drive and use machines. If insufficient sleep occurs, the likelihood of impaired alertness may be increased.

These effects are potentiated by alcohol.

Patients should be cautioned about operating motor vehicles or engaging in other dangerous activities while taking Actazolam.

This medicine can impair cognitive function and can affect a patient's ability to drive safely. This class of medicine is in the list of drugs included in regulations under 5a of the Road Traffic Act 1988. When prescribing this medicine, patients should be told:

- The medicine is likely to affect your ability to drive

- Do not drive until you know how the medicine affects you

- It is an offence to drive while under the influence of this medicine

- However, you would not be committing an offence (called 'statutory defence') if:

o The medicine has been prescribed to treat a medical or dental problem and

o You have taken it according to the instructions given by the prescriber and in the information provided with the medicine and

o It was not affecting your ability to drive safely

Undesirable effects

The information provided in Undesirable effects of Actazolam is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Actazolam of the medicine (Alprazolam). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Undesirable effects in the instructions to the drug Actazolam directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Solution; Tablet, Disintegrating; Tablet, Extended Release
Extended release; Modified-release tablet
Pills
Tablet, Orally Disintegrating

Adverse events, if they occur, are generally observed at the beginning of therapy and usually disappear upon continued medication or decreased dosage.

The following undesirable effects have been observed and reported during treatment with alprazolam with the following frequencies: Very common (>1/10); common (>1/100 to <1/10); uncommon (>1/1,000 to <1/100); rare (>1/10,000 to <1/1,000); very rare (<1/10,000), not known (cannot be estimated from the available data).

MedDRA

System Organ Class

Frequency

Undesirable Effects

Endocrine disorders

Not known

Hyperprolactinaemia*

Metabolism and nutrition disorders

Common

Decreased appetite

Psychiatric disorders

Very common

Depression

Common

Confusional state, disorientation, libido decreased, anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, libido increased*

Uncommon

Mania* , hallucination*, anger*, agitation*

Not known

Hypomania*, aggression*, hostility*, thinking abnormal*, psychomotor hyperactivity*

Nervous system disorders

Very common

Sedation, somnolence, ataxia, memory impairment, dysarthria, dizziness, headache

Common

Balance disorder, coordination abnormal, disturbance in attention, hypersomnia, lethargy, tremor

Uncommon

Amnesia

Not Known

Autonomic nervous system imbalance*, dystonia*

Eye disorders

Common

Vision blurred

Gastrointestinal disorders

Very common

Constipation, dry mouth

Common

Nausea

Not known

Gastrointestinal disorder*

Hepatobiliary disorders

Not known

Hepatitis*, hepatic function abnormal*, jaundice*

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders

Common

Dermatitis*

Not Known

Angioedema*, photosensitivity reaction*

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders

Uncommon

Muscular weakness

Renal and urinary disorders

Uncommon

Incontinence*

Not known

Urinary retention*

Reproductive system and breast disorders

Common

Sexual dysfunction*

Uncommon

Menstruation irregular*

General disorders and administration site conditions

Very common

Fatigue, irritability

Not Known

Oedema peripheral*

Investigations

Common

Weight decreased, weight increased

Not known

Intraocular pressure increased*

* ADR identified post-marketing

Withdrawal symptoms have occurred following rapid decrease or abrupt discontinuance of benzodiazepines including alprazolam. These can range from mild dysphoria and insomnia to a major syndrome, which may include abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, tremor and convulsions. In addition, withdrawal seizures have occurred upon rapid decrease or abrupt discontinuation of therapy with alprazolam.

Amnesia

Anterograde amnesia may occur at therapeutic dosages, the risk increasing at higher dosages. Amnesic effects may be associated with inappropriate behaviour.

Depression

Pre-existing depression may be unmasked during benzodiazepine use.

Psychiatric and paradoxical reactions

Reactions like restlessness, agitation, irritability, aggressiveness, delusion, rages, nightmares, hallucinations, psychoses, inappropriate behaviour and other adverse behavioural effects are known to occur when using benzodiazepines or benzodiazepine-like agents. They may be quite severe with this product. They are more likely to occur in children and the elderly.

In many of the spontaneous case reports of adverse behavioural effects, patients were receiving other CNS drugs concomitantly and/or were described as having underlying psychiatric conditions. Patients who have borderline personality disorder, a prior history of violent or aggressive behaviour, or alcohol or substance abuse may be at risk of such events. Instances of irritability, hostility and intrusive thoughts have been reported during discontinuance of alprazolam in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dependence

Use (even at therapeutic doses) may lead to the development of physical dependence: discontinuation of the therapy may result in withdrawal or rebound phenomena. Psychic dependence may occur. Abuse of benzodiazepines has been reported.

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.

The information included in the subsection on Adverse Events Observed in Short-Term, Placebo- Controlled Trials with Actazolam Tablets is based on pooled data of five 6- and 8-week placebocontrolled clinical studies in panic disorder.

Adverse event reports were elicited either by general inquiry or by checklist, and were recorded by clinical investigators using terminology of their own choosing. The stated frequencies of adverse events represent the proportion of individuals who experienced, at least once, a treatment-emergent adverse event of the type listed. An event was considered treatment emergent if it occurred for the first time or worsened during therapy following baseline evaluation. In the tables and tabulations that follow, standard MedDRA terminology (version 4.0) was used to classify reported adverse events.

Adverse Events Observed In Short-Term, Placebo-Controlled Trials Of Actazolam

Adverse Events Reported as Reasons for Discontinuation of Treatment in Placebo-Controlled Trials

Approximately 17% of the 531 patients who received Actazolam in placebo-controlled clinical trials for panic disorder had at least one adverse event that led to discontinuation compared to 8% of 349 placebo-treated patients. The most common events leading to discontinuation and considered to be drugrelated (ie, leading to discontinuation in at least 1% of the patients treated with Actazolam at a rate at least twice that of placebo) are shown in the following table.

Common Advers e Events Leading to Dis continuation of Treatment in Placebo- Controlled Trials

System Organ Class /
Adverse Event
Percentage of Patients
Discontinuing Due to Adverse
Events
Actazolam
(n=531)
Placebo
(n=349)
Nervous system disorders    
  Sedation 7.5 0.6
  Somnolence 3.2 0.3
  Dysarthria 2.1 0
  Coordination abnormal 1.9 0.3
  Memory impairment 1.5 0.3
General disorders /administration site conditions    
  Fatigue 1.7 0.6
Psychiatric disorders    
  Depression 2.5 1.2

Adverse Events Occurring at an Incidence of 1% or More Among Patients Treated with Actazolam

The prescriber should be aware that adverse event incidence cannot be used to predict the incidence of adverse events in the course of usual medical practice where patient characteristics and other factors differ from those which prevailed in the clinical trials. Similarly, the cited frequencies cannot be compared with event incidence obtained from other clinical investigations involving different treatments, uses, and investigators. The cited values, however, do provide the prescribing physician with some basis for estimating the relative contribution of drug and non-drug factors to the adverse event incidence rate in the population studied.

The following table shows the incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events that occurred during 6- to 8-week placebo-controlled trials in 1% or more of patients treated with Actazolam where the incidence in patients treated with Actazolam was greater than the incidence in placebo-treated patients. The most commonly observed adverse events in panic disorder patients treated with XANAX XR (incidence of 5% or greater and at least twice the incidence in placebo patients) were: sedation, somnolence, memory impairment, dysarthria, coordination abnormal, ataxia, libido decreased (see table).

Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events : Incidence in Short-Term, PlaceboControlled Clinical Trials with Actazolam

System Organ Class /
Adverse Event
Percentage of Patients
Reporting Adverse Event
Actazolam
(n=531)
Placebo
(n=349)
Nervous system disorders    
  Sedation 45.2 22.6
  Somnolence 23.0 0.3
  Memory impairment 15.4 6.9
  Dysarthria 10.9 2.6
  Coordination abnormal 9.4 0.9
  Mental impairment 7.2 5.7
  Ataxia 7.2 3.2
  Disturbance in attention 3.2 0.6
  Balance impaired 3.2 0.6
  Paresthesia 2.4 1.7
  Dyskinesia 1.7 1.4
  Hypoesthesia 1.3 0.3
  Hypersomnia 1.3 0
General disorders /administration site conditions    
  Fatigue 13.9 9.2
  Lethargy 1.7 0.6
Infections and infestations    
  Influenza 2.4 2.3
  Upper respiratory tract infections 1.9 1.7
Psychiatric disorders    
  Depression 12.1 9.2
  Libido decreased 6.0 2.3
  Disorientation 1.5 0
  Confusion 1.5 0.9
  Depressed mood 1.3 0.3
  Anxiety 1.1 0.6
Metabolism and nutrition disorders    
  Appetite decreased 7.3 7.2
  Appetite increased 7.0 6.0
  Anorexia 1.5 0
Gastrointestinal disorders    
  Dry mouth 10.2 9.7
  Constipation 8.1 4.3
  Nausea 6.0 3.2
  Pharyngolaryngeal pain 3.2 2.6
Investigations    
  Weight increased 5.1 4.3
  Weight decreased 4.3 3.7
Injury, poisoning, and procedural complications    
  Road traffic accident 1.5 0
Reproductive system and breast disorders    
  Dysmenorrhea 3.6 2.9
  Sexual dysfunction 2.4 1.1
  Premenstrual syndrome 1.7 0.6
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders    
  Arthralgia 2.4 0.6
  Myalgia 1.5 1.1
  Pain in limb 1.1 0.3
Vascular disorders    
  Hot flushes 1.5 1.4
Respiratory, thoracic, and mediastinal disorders    
  Dyspnea 1.5 0.3
  Rhinitis allergic 1.1 0.6
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders    
  Pruritis 1.1 0.9

Other Adverse Events Observed During the Premarketing Evaluation of Actazolam Tablets

Following is a list of MedDRA terms that reflect treatment-emergent adverse events reported by 531 patients with panic disorder treated with Actazolam. All potentially important reported events are included except those already listed in the above table or elsewhere in labeling, those events for which a drug cause was remote, those event terms that were so general as to be uninformative, and those events that occurred at rates similar to background rates in the general population. It is important to emphasize that, although the events reported occurred during treatment with Actazolam, they were not necessarily caused by the drug. Events are further categorized by body system and listed in order of decreasing frequency according to the following definitions: frequent adverse events are those occurring on 1 or more occasions in at least l/l00 patients; infrequent adverse events are those occurring in less 16 than l/100 patients but at least l/1000 patients; rare events are those occurring in fewer than l/1000 patients.

Cardiac disorders: Frequent: palpitation; Infrequent: sinus tachycardia

Ear and Labyrinth disorders: Frequent: Vertigo; Infrequent: tinnitus, ear pain

Eye disorders: Frequent: blurred vision; Infrequent: mydriasis, photophobia

Gastrointestinal disorders: Frequent: diarrhea, vomiting, dyspepsia, abdominal pain; Infrequent: dysphagia, salivary hypersecretion

General disorders and administration site conditions: Frequent: malaise, weakness, chest pains; Infrequent: fall, pyrexia, thirst, feeling hot and cold, edema, feeling jittery, sluggishness, asthenia, feeling drunk, chest tightness, increased energy, feeling of relaxation, hangover, loss of control of legs, rigors

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: Frequent: back pain, muscle cramps, muscle twitching

Nervous system disorders: Frequent: headache, dizziness, tremor; Infrequent: amnesia, clumsiness, syncope, hypotonia, seizures, depressed level of consciousness, sleep apnea syndrome, sleep talking, stupor

Psychiatric system disorders: Frequent: irritability, insomnia, nervousness, derealization, libido increased, restlessness, agitation, depersonalization, nightmare; Infrequent: abnormal dreams, apathy, aggression, anger, bradyphrenia, euphoric mood, logorrhea, mood swings, dysphonia, hallucination, homicidal ideation, mania, hypomania, impulse control, psychomotor retardation, suicidal ideation

Renal and urinary disorders: Frequent: difficulty in micturition; Infrequent: urinary frequency, urinary incontinence

Respiratory, thoracic, and mediastinal disorders: Frequent: nasal congestion, hyperventilation; Infrequent: choking sensation, epistaxis, rhinorrhea

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: Frequent: sweating increased; Infrequent: clamminess, rash, urticaria

Vascular disorders: Infrequent: hypotension

The categories of adverse events reported in the clinical development program for XANAX Tablets in the treatment of panic disorder differ somewhat from those reported for Actazolam Tablets because the clinical trials with XANAX Tablets and Actazolam Tablets used different standard medical nomenclature for reporting the adverse events. Nevertheless, the types of adverse events reported in the clinical trials with XANAX Tablets were generally the same as those reported in the clinical trials with Actazolam Tablets.

Discontinuation-Emergent Adverse Events Occurring at an Incidence of 5% or More Among Patients Treated with Actazolam

The following table shows the incidence of discontinuation-emergent adverse events that occurred during short-term, placebo-controlled trials in 5% or more of patients treated with Actazolam where the incidence in patients treated with Actazolam was two times greater than the incidence in placebotreated patients.

Discontinuation-Emergent Symptoms : Incidence in Short-Term, Placebo- Controlled Trials with Actazolam

System Organ Class /
Adverse Event
Percentage of Patients
Reporting Advers e Event
Actazolam
(n=422)
Placebo
(n=261)
Nervous system disorders    
  Tremor 28.2 10.7
  Headache 26.5 12.6
  Hypoesthesia 7.8 2.3
  Paraesthesia 7.1 2.7
Psychiatric disorders    
  Insomnia 24.2 9.6
  Nervousness 21.8 8.8
  Depression 10.9 5.0
  Derealization 8.0 3.8
  Anxiety 7.8 2.7
  Depersonalization 5.7 1.9
Gastrointes tinal disorders    
  Diarrhea 12.1 3.1
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders    
  Hyperventilation 8.5 2.7
  Metabolism and nutrition disorders    
  Appetite decreased 9.5 3.8
Musculosketal and connective tissue disorders    
  Muscle twitching 7.4 2.7
Vascular disorders    
  Hot flushes 5.9 2.7

There have also been reports of withdrawal seizures upon rapid decrease or abrupt discontinuation of alprazolam (see WARNINGS).

To discontinue treatment in patients taking Actazolam Tablets, the dosage should be reduced slowly in keeping with good medical practice. It is suggested that the daily dosage of Actazolam Tablets be decreased by no more than 0.5 mg every three days (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Some patients may benefit from an even slower dosage reduction. 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.

As with all benzodiazepines, paradoxical reactions such as stimulation, increased muscle spasticity, sleep disturbances, hallucinations, and other adverse behavioral effects such as agitation, rage, irritability, and aggressive or hostile behavior have been reported rarely. In many of the spontaneous case reports of adverse behavioral effects, patients were receiving 18 other CNS drugs concomitantly and/or were described as having underlying psychiatric conditions. Should any of the above events occur, alprazolam should be discontinued. Isolated published reports involving small numbers of patients have suggested that patients who have borderline personality disorder, a prior history of violent or aggressive behavior, or alcohol or substance abuse may be at risk for such events. Instances of irritability, hostility, and intrusive thoughts have been reported during discontinuation of alprazolam in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder.

Post Introduction Reports

Various adverse drug reactions have been reported in association with the use of XANAX Tablets since market introduction. The majority of these reactions were reported through the medical event voluntary reporting system. Because of the spontaneous nature of the reporting of medical events and the lack of controls, a causal relationship to the use of XANAX Tablets cannot be readily determined. Reported events include: gastrointestinal disorder, hypomania, mania, liver enzyme elevations, hepatitis, jaundice, hepatic failure, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, photosensitivity reaction, angioedema, peripheral edema, menstruation irregular, hyperprolactinemia, gynecomastia, and galactorrhea (see PRECAUTIONS).

Adverse events, if they occur, are generally observed at the beginning of therapy and usually disappear upon continued medication or decreased dosage.

The following undesirable effects have been observed and reported during treatment with alprazolam with the following frequencies: Very common (>1/10); common (>1/100 to <1/10); uncommon (>1/1,000 to <1/100); rare (>1/10,000 to <1/1,000); very rare (<1/10,000), not known (cannot be estimated from the available data).

MedDRA

System Organ Class

Frequency

Undesirable Effects

Endocrine disorders

Not known

Hyperprolactinaemia*

Metabolism and nutrition disorders

Common

Decreased appetite

Psychiatric disorders

Very common

Depression

Common

Confusional state, disorientation, libido decreased, anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, libido increased*

Uncommon

Mania* , hallucination*, anger*, agitation*

Not known

Hypomania*, aggression*, hostility*, thinking abnormal*, psychomotor hyperactivity*

Nervous system disorders

Very common

Sedation, somnolence, ataxia, memory impairment, dysarthria, dizziness, headache

Common

Balance disorder, coordination abnormal, disturbance in attention, hypersomnia, lethargy, tremor

Uncommon

Amnesia

Not Known

Autonomic nervous system imbalance*, dystonia*

Eye disorders

Common

Vision blurred

Gastrointestinal disorders

Very common

Constipation, dry mouth

Common

Nausea

Not known

Gastrointestinal disorder*

Hepatobiliary disorders

Not known

Hepatitis*, hepatic function abnormal*, jaundice*

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders

Common

Dermatitis*

Not Known

Angioedema*, photosensitivity reaction*

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders

Uncommon

Muscular weakness

Renal and urinary disorders

Uncommon

Incontinence*

Not known

Urinary retention*

Reproductive system and breast disorders

Common

Sexual dysfunction*

Uncommon

Menstruation irregular*

General disorders and administration site conditions

Very common

Fatigue, irritability

Not Known

Oedema peripheral*

Investigations

Common

Weight increased, weight decreased

Not known

Intraocular pressure increased*

* ADR identified post-marketing

Withdrawal symptoms have occurred following rapid decrease or abrupt discontinuance of benzodiazepines including alprazolam. These can range from mild dysphoria and insomnia to a major syndrome, which may include abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, tremor and convulsions. In addition, withdrawal seizures have occurred upon rapid decrease or abrupt discontinuation of therapy with alprazolam.

Amnesia

Anterograde amnesia may occur at therapeutic dosages, the risk increasing at higher dosages. Amnesic effects may be associated with inappropriate behaviour.

Depression

Pre-existing depression may be unmasked during benzodiazepine use.

Psychiatric and paradoxical reactions

Reactions like restlessness, agitation, irritability, aggressiveness, delusion, rages, nightmares, hallucinations, psychoses, inappropriate behaviour and other adverse behavioural effects are known to occur when using benzodiazepines or benzodiazepine-like agents. They may be quite severe with this product. They are more likely to occur in children and the elderly.

In many of the spontaneous case reports of adverse behavioural effects, patients were receiving other CNS drugs concomitantly and/or were described as having underlying psychiatric conditions. Patients who have borderline personality disorder, a prior history of violent or aggressive behaviour, or alcohol or substance abuse may be at risk of such events. Instances of irritability, hostility and intrusive thoughts have been reported during discontinuance of alprazolam in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dependence

Use (even at therapeutic doses) may lead to the development of physical dependence: discontinuation of the therapy may result in withdrawal or rebound phenomena. Psychic dependence may occur. Abuse of benzodiazepines has been reported.

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.

Clinical Trial Experience

The most commonly reported ( ≥ 5% and ~ twice the rate of placebo) adverse reactions with Actazolam treatment are: sedation, impaired coordination, dysarthria, and increased libido.

The data cited in the two tables below are estimates of adverse reactions occurring in patients who participated in clinical trials under the following conditions: relatively short duration (four weeks) placebo-controlled clinical studies with dosages up to 4 mg per day of (for the management of anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety) and short-term (up to ten weeks) placebo-controlled clinical studies with dosages up to 10 mg per day of in patients with panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia.

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Comparison of the cited figures, however, can provide the prescriber with some basis for estimating the relative contributions of drug and non-drug factors to the adverse reaction incidence in the population studied. Even this use must be approached cautiously, as a drug may relieve a symptom in one patient but induce it in others. (For example, an anxiolytic drug may relieve dry mouth [a symptom of anxiety] in some subjects but induce dry mouth in others.)

Table 1: Adverse Reactions Reported in Placebo-Controlled Trials of Alprazolam in Generalized Anxiety Disorder ( > 2% and at a rate greater than placebo)

GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER
Body System/Adverse Reaction Treatment-Emergent Symptom Incidencea
ALPRAZOLAM (%)
N = 565
PLACEBO (%)
N = 505
Central Nervous System
  Sedation 41 22
  Lightheadedness 21 19
  Dizziness 2 1
  Akathisia 2 1
Gastrointestinal
  Dry Mouth 15 13
  Increased Salivation 4 2
Cardiovascular
  Hypotension 5 2
Cutaneous
  Dermatitis/Allergy 4 3
a) Events reported by 1% or more of alprazolam patients are included.
b) None reported

In addition to the relatively common (i.e., greater than 1%) adverse reactions described in the table above, the following adverse reactions have been reported in association with the use of benzodiazepines: dystonia, irritability, concentration difficulties, anorexia, transient amnesia or memory impairment, loss of coordination, fatigue, seizures, sedation, slurred speech, jaundice, musculoskeletal weakness, pruritus, diplopia, dysarthria, changes in libido, menstrual irregularities, incontinence and urinary retention.

Table 2: Adverse Reactions Reported in Placebo-Controlled Trials of Alprazolam in Panic Disorder ( > 2% and greater than placebo)

PANIC DISORDER
Body System/Adverse Reaction Treatment-Emergent Symptom Incidencea
ALPRAZOLAM (%)
N = 1388
PLACEBO (%)
N = 1231
Central Nervous System
  Sedation 77 43
  Fatigue and Tiredness 49 42
  Impaired Coordination 40 18
  Irritability 33 30
  Memory Impairment 33 22
  Cognitive Disorder 29 21
  Dysarthria 23 6
  Decreased Libido 14 8
  Confusional State 10 8
  Increased Libido 8 4
  Change in Libido (Not Specified) 7 6
  Disinhibition 3 2
  Talkativeness 2 1
  Derealization 2 1
Gastrointestinal
  Constipation 26 15
  Increased Salivation 6 4
Cutaneous
  Rash 11 8
Other
  Increased Appetite 33 23
  Decreased Appetite 28 24
  Weight Gain 27 18
  Weight Loss 23 17
  Micturition Difficulties 12 9
  Menstrual Disorders 10 9
  Sexual Dysfunction 7 4
  Incontinence 2 1
a) Events reported by 1% or more of alprazolam patients are included.

In addition to the relatively common (i.e., greater than 1%) adverse reactions described in the table above, the following adverse reactions have been reported in association with the use of alprazolam: seizures, hallucinations, depersonalization, taste alterations, diplopia, elevated bilirubin, elevated hepatic enzymes, and jaundice.

Panic disorder has been associated with primary and secondary major depressive disorders and increased reports of suicide among untreated patients.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postmarketing use of NIVARAM. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. Reported events include: liver enzyme elevations, hepatitis, hepatic failure, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, hyperprolactinemia, gynecomastia, and galactorrhea.

Overdose

The information provided in Overdose of Actazolam is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Actazolam of the medicine (Alprazolam). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Overdose in the instructions to the drug Actazolam directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Human Clinical Experience

Manifestations of alprazolam overdosage include somnolence, confusion, impaired coordination, diminished reflexes and coma. Death has been reported in association with overdoses of alprazolam by itself, as it has with other benzodiazepines. In addition, fatalities have been reported in patients who have overdosed with a combination of a single benzodiazepine, including alprazolam, and alcohol; alcohol levels seen in some of these patients have been lower than those usually associated with alcohol-induced fatality.

Management of Overdose

For the most up to date information on management of alprazolam overdose, contact a certified poison center in your area (1-800-222-1222 or www.poison.org). In case of an overdose, provide supportive care, including close medical supervision and monitoring. Treatment should consist of those general measures employed in the management of overdosage with any drug. Consider the possibility of multiple drug overdose. Ensure an adequate airway, oxygenation, and ventilation. Monitor cardiac rhythm and vital signs. Use supportive and symptomatic measures.

Flumazenil, a specific benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, is indicated for the complete or partial reversal of the sedative effects of benzodiazepines and may be used in situations when an overdose with a benzodiazepine is known or suspected. Prior to the administration of flumazenil, necessary measures should be instituted to secure airway, ventilation and intravenous access. Flumazenil is intended as an adjunct to, not as a substitute for, proper management of benzodiazepine overdose. Patients treated with flumazenil should be monitored for re-sedation, respiratory depression, and other residual benzodiazepine effects for an appropriate period after treatment. The prescriber should be aware of a risk of seizure in association with flumazenil treatment, particularly in long-term benzodiazepine users and in cyclic antidepressant overdose. The complete flumazenil package insert including

Pharmacodynamic properties

The information provided in Pharmacodynamic properties of Actazolam is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Actazolam of the medicine (Alprazolam). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Pharmacodynamic properties in the instructions to the drug Actazolam directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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CNS agents of the 1,4 benzodiazepine class presumably exert their effects by binding at stereospecific receptors at several sites within the central nervous system. Their exact mechanism of action is unknown. Clinically, all benzodiazepines cause a dose-related central nervous system depressant activity varying from mild impairment of task performance to hypnosis.

Pharmacokinetic properties

The information provided in Pharmacokinetic properties of Actazolam is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Actazolam of the medicine (Alprazolam). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Pharmacokinetic properties in the instructions to the drug Actazolam directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Absorption

Following oral administration, alprazolam is readily absorbed. The peak plasma concentration is reached about 1.5 to 2 hours after administration of Actazolam given with or without water. When taken with water, mean Tmax occurs about 15 minutes earlier than when taken without water with no change in Cmax or AUC. Plasma levels are proportional to the dose given; over the dose range of 0.5 mg to 3.0 mg, peak levels of 8.0 to 37 ng/mL are observed. The elimination half-life of alprazolam is approximately 12.5 hours (range 7.9 - 19.2 hours) after administration of Actazolam in healthy adults.

Food decreased the mean Cmax by about 25% and increased the mean Tmax by 2 hours from 2.2 hours to 4.4 hours after the ingestion of a high-fat meal. Food did not affect the extent of absorption (AUC) or the elimination half-life.

Distribution

In vitro, alprazolam is bound (80 percent) to human serum protein. Serum albumin accounts for the majority of the binding.

Metabolism/Elimination

Alprazolam is extensively metabolized in humans, primarily by cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), to two major metabolites in the plasma: 4-hydroxyalprazolam and α-hydroxyalprazolam. A benzophenone derived from alprazolam is also found in humans. Their half-lives appear to be similar to that of alprazolam. The plasma concentrations of 4-hydroxyalprazolam and α-hydroxyalprazolam relative to unchanged alprazolam concentration were always less than 4%. The reported relative potencies in benzodiazepine receptor binding experiments and in animal models of induced seizure inhibition are 0.20 and 0.66, respectively, for 4hydroxyalprazolam and α-hydroxyalprazolam. Such low concentrations and the lesser potencies of 4hydroxyalprazolam and α-hydroxyalprazolam suggest that they are unlikely to contribute much to the pharmacological effects of alprazolam. The benzophenone metabolite is essentially inactive.

Alprazolam and its metabolites are excreted primarily in the urine.

Pharmacotherapeutic group

The information provided in Pharmacotherapeutic group of Actazolam is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Actazolam of the medicine (Alprazolam). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Pharmacotherapeutic group in the instructions to the drug Actazolam directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Benzodiazepine derivatives, ATC code: N05BA12

Preclinical safety data

The information provided in Preclinical safety data of Actazolam is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Actazolam of the medicine (Alprazolam). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Preclinical safety data in the instructions to the drug Actazolam directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Non-clinical data reveal no special hazard for humans based on conventional studies of genotoxicity and carcinogenic potential.

When rats were treated orally with alprazolam for 2 years, a tendency for a dose related increase in the number of cataracts (females) and corneal vascularization (males) was observed. These lesions did not appear until after 11 months of treatment.

In reproductive toxicity studies administration of alprazolam in rats and rabbits is associated at very high doses with developmental delay and an increased incidence of fetal death and skeletal malformations. In fertility studies, treatment of male rats at high doses prior to mating resulted in a decrease in the percentage of dams conceiving.

Incompatibilities

The information provided in Incompatibilities of Actazolam is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Actazolam of the medicine (Alprazolam). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Incompatibilities in the instructions to the drug Actazolam directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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Not applicable.

Special precautions for disposal and other handling

The information provided in Special precautions for disposal and other handling of Actazolam is based on data of another medicine with exactly the same composition as the Actazolam of the medicine (Alprazolam). Be careful and be sure to specify the information on the section Special precautions for disposal and other handling in the instructions to the drug Actazolam directly from the package or from the pharmacist at the pharmacy.
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No special requirements for disposal.

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