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Complementary Medicine - Cam

Alprazolam

Topic Contents

Alprazolam

Drug Information

Alprazolam is used to treat anxiety and panic disorder, and is in a family of drugs known as benzodiazepines.

Common brand names:

Niravam, Xanax, Xanax XR

Summary of Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, & Foods

Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

Replenish Depleted Nutrients

  • none

Reduce Side Effects

  • none

Support Medicine

  • Vinpocetine

    In a preliminary trial, an extract of periwinkle called vinpocetine was shown to produce minor improvements in short-term memory among people taking flunitrazepam, a benzodiazepine.1 Further study is needed to determine if vinpocetine would be a helpful adjunct to use of benzodiazepines, or alprazolam specifically.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Reduces Effectiveness

  • none

Potential Negative Interaction

  • St. John’s Wort
    St. John's wort increases the activity of an enzyme in the body that metabolizes alprazolam2. Consequently, supplementation with St. John's wort may increase the metabolism of, and therefore reduce the activity of, alprazolam.
  • Kava

    Kava (Piper methysticum) is an herb used to treat anxiety disorder. One individual who took alprazolam and kava together, along with two other medications ( cimetidine and terazosin ) was hospitalized in a lethargic and disoriented condition.3 Further research is needed to determine whether the combination of kava and alprazolam produces an adverse interaction. However, individuals should not take alprazolam and kava together unless supervised by a doctor.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Explanation Required 

  • none

The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

References

1. Bhatti JZ, Hindmarch I. Vinpocetine effects on cognitive impairments produced by flunitrazepam. Int Clin Psychopharmacol 1987;2:325–31.

2. Roby CA, Anderson GD, Kantor E, et al. St John's Wort: effect on CYP3A4 activity. Clin Pharmacol Ther 2000;67:451–7

3. Almeida JC. Coma from the health food store: Interaction between kava and alprazolam. Ann Intern Med 1996;125:940–1.

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