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Is it safe to take Alprazolam for a long time?

Q: I am 43 years old. For the last four years, I have been taking 0.25 mg Alprazolam once a month or so. It relieves me of panic situation, day long stress and anxiety, etc. While I have quite a workload, I can do all the jobs with ease and without any anxiety. Will I experience any damaging side effects on my nervous system at a later age due to using this medicine?

A:Alprazolam is approved for short-term use (usually a maximum of seven days) for anxiety. If used for prolonged periods it can cause many side effects, some of them being quite serious. Adverse effects include: Central Nervous System disturbances including impaired alertness, low BP, GIT upset, loss of memory, loss of coordination or attention, difficulty in walking, joint pains, breathlessness, increased salivation, paradoxical excitement, withdrawal fits (seizures), tremors, decreased libido, sexual dysfunction, etc. It will be in your own interest to gradually stop the use.

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