17 PATIENT COUNSELING INFORMATION
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide).
Risks from Concomitant Use with Opioids
Advise both patients and caregivers about the risks of potentially fatal respiratory depression and sedation when XANAX is used with opioids and not to use such drugs concomitantly unless supervised by a healthcare provider. Advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery until the effects of concomitant use with the opioid have been determined [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1), Drug Interactions (7.1)].
Abuse, Misuse, and Addiction
Inform patients that the use of XANAX, even at recommended dosages, exposes users to risks of abuse, misuse, and addiction, which can lead to overdose and death, especially when used in combination with other medications (e.g., opioid analgesics), alcohol, and/or illicit substances. Inform patients about the signs and symptoms of benzodiazepine abuse, misuse, and addiction; to seek medical help if they develop these signs and/or symptoms; and on the proper disposal of unused drug [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2), Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.2)].
Inform patients that the continued use of XANAX may lead to clinically significant physical dependence and that abrupt discontinuation or rapid dosage reduction of XANAX may precipitate acute withdrawal reactions, which can be life-threatening. Inform patients that in some cases, patients taking benzodiazepines have developed a protracted withdrawal syndrome with withdrawal symptoms lasting weeks to more than 12 months. Instruct patients that discontinuation or dosage reduction of XANAX may require a slow taper [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)].
Effects on Driving and Operating Machinery
Advise patients not to drive a motor vehicle or operate heavy machinery while taking XANAX due to its CNS depressant effects. Also advise patients to avoid use of alcohol or other CNS depressants while taking XANAX [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
Patients with Depression
Advise patients, their families, and caregivers to look for signs of suicidality or worsening depression, and to inform the patient's healthcare provider immediately [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].
Advise patients to inform their healthcare provider of all medicines they take, including prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins and herbal supplements [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Benzodiazepines cross the placenta and may produce respiratory depression and sedation in neonates. Advise mothers using XANAX to monitor neonates for signs of sedation, respiratory depression, withdrawal symptoms, and feeding problems. Instruct patients to inform their healthcare provider if they are pregnant or intend to become pregnant during treatment with XANAX [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4). Advise patients that there is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to XANAX during pregnancy [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].
Advise women not to breastfeed during treatment with XANAX [see Use in Specific Populations (8.2)].