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Xanax and protease inhibitors
Jan 17, 2001

I was diagnosed several years ago with panic disorder and have managed well to keep it under control with the use of xanax from time to time when stress gets really bad. But I understand that there is a concern about using xanax when using a protease inhibitor. I am now on kaletra and would like to know if there is any problem with me using xanax when needed? Can you help?

Response from Dr. Bartlett

The issue with Xanax and protease inhibitors is the prolongation of the Xanax drug levels (and effects). Both drugs are metabolized by the same pathway in the liver, so that your Xanax will stay with you longer when you are taking a PI. The same is true with Kaletra, since ritonavir is part of this drug formulation. I'd be cautious about taking Xanax with Kaletra, but we have several patients that are able to take the two without significant problems.

John A. Bartlett, M.D.

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