The most common side effects of alprazolam taken at lower doses are drowsiness or lightheadedness, which probably reflect the normal actions of the drug. Side effects of higher dosages (those used for panic attacks) include:
- memory problems,
- speech problems,
- constipation, and
- changes in appetite with resultant changes in weight.
Alprazolam can lead to addiction (dependency), especially at high doses over prolonged periods of time. Abrupt discontinuation of alprazolam after prolonged use can lead to symptoms of withdrawal such as insomnia, headaches, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, sweating, anxiety, and fatigue. Seizures can occur in more severe cases of withdrawal. Consequently, patients on alprazolam for extended periods of time should slowly taper the medication under a doctor's supervision rather than abruptly stopping the medication.