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Alprazolam Dependence – The Sting in the Tail: A Case Report

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This is a case report of a 38-year old female seen in the emergency department after ingesting a total of 99 alprazolam tablets amounting to approximately 50 mg of alprazolam over the previous two days.  The patient admitted to taking between 7.5 mg and 15 mg of alprazolam on a daily basis over the last three months. Though formally diagnosed with bipolar I disorder in her early twenties, she had never consistently taken the mood stabilizers prescribed for her condition as the associated weight gain made her feel fat and unattractive. Alprazolam in increasing doses was needed by the patient to quieten her symptoms, and in an effort to accumulate large numbers of same, she obtained the drug by visiting numerous physicians or by purchasing it illegally. The patient has a strong family history of both suicide and bipolar I disorder. The patient admitted to three suicide attempts, two of which involved the drug alprazolam. 

October 27, 2014
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