Alprazolam for PMS-Related Anxiety
How It Works
Alprazolam is a high-potency
benzodiazepine that depresses the
central nervous system, causing a mood-elevating and
sedative effect and relieving feelings of anxiety. This medicine can be
Why It Is Used
Alprazolam is occasionally
prescribed for women with
premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or
premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) when anxiety is
the main symptom and other treatments have not been effective. It is only
recommended for a few days' use (no longer than the premenstrual part of the
cycle) because it loses effectiveness over time and may become addictive if
How Well It Works
Alprazolam is considered to be
somewhat effective for PMS-related anxiety and irritability.1 But it can dull the mind and become addictive.
Possible side effects of benzodiazepine
If you are taking alprazolam, use caution when driving or
operating machinery. This medicine may cause drowsiness, which may make it
harder to concentrate.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side
effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
For some women, anxiety is linked
to other PMS symptoms. Physical symptoms like weight gain or emotional symptoms
like feeling out of control may cause anxiety. Reducing these symptoms often
relieves anxiety without the need for antianxiety medicines.
used continuously, alprazolam can become addictive after a few weeks and often
must be tapered gradually to avoid symptoms of withdrawal, which can be
The benefits and effectiveness of antianxiety
medicines need to be compared with the side effects and costs of treatment. You
can discuss this with your health professional.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Kwan I, Onwude JL (2009). Premenstrual syndrome, search date July 2009. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: