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Old 02-05-2004, 06:38 PM   #1
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How much Xanax is too much?

I was just recently put on Xanax for anxiety attacks. I was first given .5 mg, which didn't help much. The doc went ahead and uped it to 1mg, but that still seems to wear off very fast, and leave me just as frazzled as before I took it. My dosage is to be 1 tab 3 X day, as needed, but I find myself having to take 3 1mg and 2-3 .5 mg a day... not all at once, it's spread out through out the day. I know that Xanax can be addicting, so I was just wondering if anyone knew how much is too much- I don't want to get hooked. I'm female, and weigh 140lbs...if that helps. I really don't want to take more than my body can handle. Hope someone can help me out, thanks!

 
Old 02-05-2004, 07:01 PM   #2
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Re: How much Xanax is too much?

I'm probably not going to be much help but I'll throw in my two cents.
Xanax was the only thing that ever worked for me.
But what works well for one person may not work well for someone else.
I tried Paxil and Zoloft and had allergic reactions to both, I also tried a different benzo..Klonopin, which made me feel like a zombie.
I only took 1/2MG. of Xanax a day 1/4MG. at a time.
My Doctor told me to never take more than that 1/2MG a day and I never did.

I'm not trying to put you down in anyway, but if your Doctor told you to only take 1MG up to three times a day as needed and you're taking more, then IMO you're already taking to much and you should talk to your Doctor.
If you're taking that much and it's not helping you then I'd say that Xanax may not be the drug for you.

Good luck to you and I hope you find something that works well for you.

Last edited by Graciecat; 02-05-2004 at 07:01 PM.

 
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Old 02-05-2004, 07:07 PM   #3
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Re: How much Xanax is too much?

Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I go back to the doctor in 2 weeks... so, I'll talk to him about it. He did mention Klonopin, but my brother used to be on it, and he was just totally out of it all the time. My son was put on it when he was 6 for seizures, and it did the same thing to him. I've always had a high tolerance to meds, for some odd reason... but I really don't want to take so much xanax. Hopefully the doc can find a better drug to suit me better. Thanks again for the reply!

 
Old 02-05-2004, 09:29 PM   #4
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Unhappy Re: How much Xanax is too much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by *exhausted*
I was just recently put on Xanax for anxiety attacks. I was first given .5 mg, which didn't help much. The doc went ahead and uped it to 1mg, but that still seems to wear off very fast, and leave me just as frazzled as before I took it. My dosage is to be 1 tab 3 X day, as needed, but I find myself having to take 3 1mg and 2-3 .5 mg a day... not all at once, it's spread out through out the day. I know that Xanax can be addicting, so I was just wondering if anyone knew how much is too much- I don't want to get hooked. I'm female, and weigh 140lbs...if that helps. I really don't want to take more than my body can handle. Hope someone can help me out, thanks!
Dear exhausted,
Long term usage would be Klonopin but I have been on xanax for years on a constant dosage. The general rule is 1mg to 3mg for anxiety and 4mg and up for panic attack. One thing is, you can't take this medication as needed. Some can, but I can tell you that you can't by what is happening to you. I really disagree with the taking it as needed to begin with but for some it works for them so they are lucky I guess. You need to take the medication on a regular basis. 1mg morning, 1mg afternoon and 1mg at night. If that does not stop panic attacks, then 1mg every 5 hours from morning until bedtime for no more then a total of 4mg in 24 hours. This should carry you though the night. If this does not work, then you need to switch to Klonopin that lasts longer and is actually better for you over a long period of time. Everyone gets hung up on this addiction subject. Every mental medication is addicting, PERIOD! You need to stop the attacks and that requires you to do it right. Doing what you are, is just abusing the medications and you will get worse doing this and be taking even more. Get on a schedule and take the medication as it was intended. Not as needed but on a regulated spread. If you can not handle this then tell the doctor what you are doing. He can not help you if you are not honest with Him or Her. The problem is not addiction but eventual abuse. Think about it. Have a very nice day and just to let you know I take 1mg at 7:30am, 12:30pm, 5:30pm and 10:30pm and I have severe panic disorder so you should not be on anymore then 3mg or 4mg in a 24 hour period. It only lasts 5-7 hours so taking it as needed will not work for you. Have a nice day and be careful with this.

Sincerely,

Sickman

 
Old 02-06-2004, 06:38 AM   #5
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Aries872 HB User
Re: How much Xanax is too much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sickman
Dear exhausted,
Long term usage would be Klonopin but I have been on xanax for years on a constant dosage. The general rule is 1mg to 3mg for anxiety and 4mg and up for panic attack. One thing is, you can't take this medication as needed. Some can, but I can tell you that you can't by what is happening to you. I really disagree with the taking it as needed to begin with but for some it works for them so they are lucky I guess. You need to take the medication on a regular basis. 1mg morning, 1mg afternoon and 1mg at night. If that does not stop panic attacks, then 1mg every 5 hours from morning until bedtime for no more then a total of 4mg in 24 hours. This should carry you though the night. If this does not work, then you need to switch to Klonopin that lasts longer and is actually better for you over a long period of time. Everyone gets hung up on this addiction subject. Every mental medication is addicting, PERIOD! You need to stop the attacks and that requires you to do it right. Doing what you are, is just abusing the medications and you will get worse doing this and be taking even more. Get on a schedule and take the medication as it was intended. Not as needed but on a regulated spread. If you can not handle this then tell the doctor what you are doing. He can not help you if you are not honest with Him or Her. The problem is not addiction but eventual abuse. Think about it. Have a very nice day and just to let you know I take 1mg at 7:30am, 12:30pm, 5:30pm and 10:30pm and I have severe panic disorder so you should not be on anymore then 3mg or 4mg in a 24 hour period. It only lasts 5-7 hours so taking it as needed will not work for you. Have a nice day and be careful with this.

Sincerely,

Sickman
I am wondering how it is that some doc's will prescribe xanax on a long term basis, as in your case, and others just want it short term and put you on an AD???? Just wondering...

 
Old 02-06-2004, 08:21 AM   #6
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Re: How much Xanax is too much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sickman
Dear exhausted,
Long term usage would be Klonopin but I have been on xanax for years on a constant dosage. The general rule is 1mg to 3mg for anxiety and 4mg and up for panic attack. One thing is, you can't take this medication as needed. Some can, but I can tell you that you can't by what is happening to you. I really disagree with the taking it as needed to begin with but for some it works for them so they are lucky I guess. You need to take the medication on a regular basis. 1mg morning, 1mg afternoon and 1mg at night. If that does not stop panic attacks, then 1mg every 5 hours from morning until bedtime for no more then a total of 4mg in 24 hours. This should carry you though the night. If this does not work, then you need to switch to Klonopin that lasts longer and is actually better for you over a long period of time. Everyone gets hung up on this addiction subject. Every mental medication is addicting, PERIOD! You need to stop the attacks and that requires you to do it right. Doing what you are, is just abusing the medications and you will get worse doing this and be taking even more. Get on a schedule and take the medication as it was intended. Not as needed but on a regulated spread. If you can not handle this then tell the doctor what you are doing. He can not help you if you are not honest with Him or Her. The problem is not addiction but eventual abuse. Think about it. Have a very nice day and just to let you know I take 1mg at 7:30am, 12:30pm, 5:30pm and 10:30pm and I have severe panic disorder so you should not be on anymore then 3mg or 4mg in a 24 hour period. It only lasts 5-7 hours so taking it as needed will not work for you. Have a nice day and be careful with this.

Sincerely,

Sickman
Firstly, thank you for the reply. The most I've ever taken in a 24 hour period is 4.5 mg, I really don't feel that I'm abusing the med at all. I also do not take it on a daily basis, just 'as needed' as my doctor perscribed... days that I feel very on edge. I was nervous when about taking it in the first place because of all I had heard about addiction. I will, however, take your advice and not go over 4 mg a day. I'm going to speak to my doctor about other options as well. I think it may do me good to go on a anti-depressant, and only take the Xanax when I have an actual anxiety attack. My doctor had told me that Xanax is mostly used 'as needed' on a short-term basis. I don't think I would benefit from taking in on a schedule each and everyday, as that was what my doctor had said not to do because it will cause addiction/dependency... which I really don't want! Its odd how different docs have different opinions on all of these meds. I guess it just depends on the doc and the individule. Good luck to you... I hope things stay well for you! As for me, I'll chat with the doc and see what happens. Have a great day!

 
Old 02-06-2004, 09:07 AM   #7
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Re: How much Xanax is too much?

I know I'm not Sickman, but I can tell you why I was put on it long term.
Simply, nothing else worked for me.
At one point I took it upon myself to ask my Doctor about an SSRI...they work for some, but they sure weren't for me...I tired two different ones and ended up having allergic reactions to both.
At one point I also tried a different benzo...one that is supposed to last longer and be more for long term use...it made me feel like a zombie.

Another reason some Doctors push the AD's is because of the drug companies.
The Reps go into the office and push the "benefits" of these drugs and sadly some Doctor's buy into it.

IMO every person is different and needs to be evaluated, just because the drug company rep's push the AD's doesn't mean they are going to work for everyone...don't get me wrong, for some they do...for others like me, they don't.
That's why a good Doctor will listen to each person and do what's right for them, not just prescribe something because it's what he prefers.

Last edited by Graciecat; 02-06-2004 at 09:08 AM.

 
Old 02-06-2004, 09:15 AM   #8
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Re: How much Xanax is too much?

I'm new to all of this (sorry!), what is a SSRI ? Thanks!

 
Old 02-06-2004, 09:24 AM   #9
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Re: How much Xanax is too much?

I'm sorry, SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors.
Paxil and Zoloft are the two I tried.

 
Old 02-06-2004, 09:26 AM   #10
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Re: How much Xanax is too much?

Oh, ok...thanks!

 
Old 02-06-2004, 09:58 AM   #11
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mouse62 HB User
Re: How much Xanax is too much?

You should not become physically dependent on Xanax if you do not take it every day or every other day. If you feel fine on the days "between," when you don't use any, then you are obviously not physically dependent on it yet.

Taking 4.5 instead of 3 won't kill you, but I would advise getting the dr.'s permission first. Because it is a controlled substance so you have to be careful to not take more than the prescribed dosage. (I'm down to .25 in morning and .25 in evening, but I am a long-term user (since Aug. 2002) and am just not ready to quit yet. Occasionally I get stressed out and I'll take an extra .5 in a day, which is still within the range of what my dr. prescribed.)

 
Old 02-06-2004, 01:38 PM   #12
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Cool Re: How much Xanax is too much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aries872
I am wondering how it is that some doc's will prescribe xanax on a long term basis, as in your case, and others just want it short term and put you on an AD???? Just wondering...
Dear Aries872,
Well, I am also on it because I have been on it for so long that I would not be able to change to something else. I did not start on 4mg. I was on 0.25mg three times a day and it was all that would work for me. Panic disorder caused from ptsd and illnesses from a period in my young adulthood started me on xanax from a very severe panic attack. A couple of years later I was on 0.5mg 3 times a day after losing a couple of professional jobs being a top manager for 20 years. I then lost a couple more jobs and then went into my own business trying to stay in the work force and I finally could no longer work. I had been taking an ssri during all of this time so my new Psychratrist decided to take me off of it and I trusted him, went off to fast and was asleep for 8 days. It took 4mg xanax a day, 1200mg neurontin a day and 20mg celexa to halfway straighten me out along with firing my Psychratrist. I have more then panic disorder, I have an un-diagnosible muscular skeletal disorder of siezures and spasms everyday. I get hard electric shocks from my waist to the top of my head quite often. When I have panic attacks I heat up like I am on fire and the left side of my body is 1 degree colder then the right. I also have ocd and some depression that I try to keep down. I now have found out that I have diastasis recti in the abdomen which means my outer vertical stomach muscles are spreading apart like when a woman is pregnant from the muscle spasms and I have a hernia in my belly button. So you see the closest thing that they can relate to me is two cases of people that had similiar symptoms but not as many. Both people were struck by lighting. Since they can not do anything for me and this is my future, they really don't care about me taking 4mg of xanax or more for the rest of my life. I have had so many panic attacks and different symptoms that this is old hat. The xanax is more of a muscle relaxer then anything now, and it works. I do not recomemd xanax unless it is the only thing to stop panic attacks. Klonopin is the best choice if the answer is a benzo. Addiction is not the problem unless you abuse it. Stopping the attacks is what is important because the longer you mess around trying things that don't work the worse it will get and you will aquire a fear of the medications and have attacks. It a war zone isn't it? Man, sorry to ramble on so. This is such a hard disorder for anyone to deal with and everyone reacts different to everything. Well, thats why I am on xanax in a short version. I hope I made some sort of sence about this. Have a very nice day my Friend.

Sincerely,

Sickman

 
Old 02-09-2004, 07:05 AM   #13
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Unhappy Re: How much Xanax is too much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sickman
Dear Aries872,
Well, I am also on it because I have been on it for so long that I would not be able to change to something else. I did not start on 4mg. I was on 0.25mg three times a day and it was all that would work for me. Panic disorder caused from ptsd and illnesses from a period in my young adulthood started me on xanax from a very severe panic attack. A couple of years later I was on 0.5mg 3 times a day after losing a couple of professional jobs being a top manager for 20 years. I then lost a couple more jobs and then went into my own business trying to stay in the work force and I finally could no longer work. I had been taking an ssri during all of this time so my new Psychratrist decided to take me off of it and I trusted him, went off to fast and was asleep for 8 days. It took 4mg xanax a day, 1200mg neurontin a day and 20mg celexa to halfway straighten me out along with firing my Psychratrist. I have more then panic disorder, I have an un-diagnosible muscular skeletal disorder of siezures and spasms everyday. I get hard electric shocks from my waist to the top of my head quite often. When I have panic attacks I heat up like I am on fire and the left side of my body is 1 degree colder then the right. I also have ocd and some depression that I try to keep down. I now have found out that I have diastasis recti in the abdomen which means my outer vertical stomach muscles are spreading apart like when a woman is pregnant from the muscle spasms and I have a hernia in my belly button. So you see the closest thing that they can relate to me is two cases of people that had similiar symptoms but not as many. Both people were struck by lighting. Since they can not do anything for me and this is my future, they really don't care about me taking 4mg of xanax or more for the rest of my life. I have had so many panic attacks and different symptoms that this is old hat. The xanax is more of a muscle relaxer then anything now, and it works. I do not recomemd xanax unless it is the only thing to stop panic attacks. Klonopin is the best choice if the answer is a benzo. Addiction is not the problem unless you abuse it. Stopping the attacks is what is important because the longer you mess around trying things that don't work the worse it will get and you will aquire a fear of the medications and have attacks. It a war zone isn't it? Man, sorry to ramble on so. This is such a hard disorder for anyone to deal with and everyone reacts different to everything. Well, thats why I am on xanax in a short version. I hope I made some sort of sence about this. Have a very nice day my Friend.

Sincerely,

Sickman
Thanks for sharing that with me. Helps me understand a little bit of your situation. I am starting to have doubts about xanax. I feel on the verge of an anxiety attack for the past 3 days and the xanax doesnt seem to be helping like it used to. I am convinced that I have heart problems now. I started lexapro too, last week, and I am on 5mg to start. I am so tired of being scared all the time. I am convinced that I am gonna drop at any time. I have had tests, ekg, thyroid, liver, kidney, etc, but I am still worried. My Dad just had an angioplasty last week for 3 blockages in his heart. I am not well and I dont know what to do anymore. These thoughts are consuming my life.

Aries872

 
Old 02-09-2004, 01:55 PM   #14
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Re: How much Xanax is too much?

Hey everyone. I just wanted to thank *exhausted* for posting this question. I come to this board ever so often and I always like to read the questions on Xanax, because that is what my doctor prescribed to me. My tablets are .5 mg, but usually I will break them in half and only take .25 at a time, unless I know I'm going somewhere for a long time and will cause myself to be under a lot of stress...then I'll take the whole thing. For the most part I try to only take .25 mg when I have to drive to my second job...luckily that is only usually 2 days a week and unfortunitly at the time I'm usually schedualed is when there is more traffic because people are getting off of work (around 3:30 or so). To make the situation better for myself, I usually leave about 15-20 minutes earlier from my house and just get to work early...however my anxiety does increase dramatically on the days when my schedual is changed and I worry about having to either sit in traffic or get to work 2 hours early. I feel like a lot of people have said they feel....sometimes the anxiety is just SO exausting....just worrying about worrying. Emotional exaustion has got to be as bad, if not worse than physical exaustion. Anyway, I try to take the Xanax as sparingly as possible, for 2 reasons, 1: I was afraid of addiction and I didn't like thinking that it was only a temporary fix to my problem and that it would all go back to normal once the medication wore off and 2: I was only given 30 tablets from my doctor and I want to make them last as long as possible. I also wanted to thank Sickman for all the help he gives everyone. Thank you so much for all your advice. I know you really do make people feel less alone and anyone who has this disease or one like it knows how lonely and scarey it can be. If anyone has any comments or helpful words of advice please send them my way. Do you guys believe that this is something that can be gotten over, cured? I know it's something that has to be dealt with on a constant basis, but do you think there's a point where you get to feel "normal" again? Well, please let me know your opinions. Thank you all in advance to anyone who reads this.

 
Old 02-09-2004, 02:02 PM   #15
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Re: How much Xanax is too much?

One last question....have any of you gone to therapy for anxiety? Well, maybe more so what I mean is have you found that your anxiety has developed into phobias...because I believe that mine has. For some reason I get terrified to drive. I'm usually "Ok" to be going somewhere if someone else is driving, but put me in a car alone and I totally freak out. I don't know what caused these feelings, other than the fear of being alone and worrying that "something might happen". I also get these feelings sometimes if I plan to go the the store alone or if I go out to dinner w/my boyfriend, family ect....it's the feeling of being trapped and helpless if anything "were to happen". Sorry for the long posts, but any help would really be greatly appriciated. Thank you all again very much.

Last edited by GirlyGoddess; 02-09-2004 at 02:03 PM. Reason: misspell

 
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