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Old 05-12-2005, 02:06 PM   #1
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Is Xanax Dangerous?

My Psych gave me .25mg xanax to take 3x a day for anxiety along with zoloft which ive started slowly.

Is Xanax bad? I dont want to become an addict or anything, or is my dose small enough not to worry?

Adam

 
Old 05-12-2005, 02:53 PM   #2
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Re: Is Xanax Dangerous?

I take .25 mg in the morning and 1mg at night of xanax and 300mg of wellbutrin a day. I don't think xanax is bad for you if you need it. If someone was to take it that didn't need it they might have a bad reaction to it.

 
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Old 05-12-2005, 03:00 PM   #3
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Re: Is Xanax Dangerous?

Well Adam you're going to get to very different points of view on this.
There isn't going to be any in between.
You'll get people who have had trouble with Benzo's tell you that the devil himself created Xanax...then you'll have people who never had trouble with it tell you that it's a miracle drug.
I fall somewhere in between.
I know for a fact that not everyone who takes a benzo becomes dependent on or tolorant to them.
I took a very low dose of Xanax for a long time, and not once in all that time did I ever feel like I HAD to have it, nor did I ever up my dose.
It helped me get my life back, but I don't think it's the be all and end all for panic or anxiety problems...in my opinion there is no such thing...nothing works the same for everyone and not everyone will react the same to every drug or every form of therapy for that matter.

I was ALLOWED to take one half MG. twice a day, but I never took that much.
In fact I took half that much.
My Doctor told me something that I took to heart and I believe that's one of the main reasons why I never had any trouble with the Xanax.
He told me if I could take less and feel okay then that's what I should do...but to never, ever under any circumstances take more.
He said just because the bottle said I COULD take up to 1 mg. a day, didn't mean I had to.

I'm no Doctor but I have a feeling that your Doctor gave you the Xanax to counter act the startup side effects of the Zoloft and once you get used to the Zoloft you won't need the Xanax any more.

Like I said, I'm not a Doctor but if you have concerns you should talk to your Doctor about them and maybe ask her opinion of taking only what you need to counter act the Zoloft start up side effects...instead of taking it three times a day regardless.

I'm by no means and expert, this is just my experiance with Xanax and my opinion.

I hope everything works out okay for you and that the Zoloft is the answer for you....Good Luck

 
Old 05-12-2005, 03:59 PM   #4
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Re: Is Xanax Dangerous?

Wow thanks for the replies, I completely understand. I will talk to her about it when i see her on monday. I switched anti's and had some very bad anxiety. She mentioned she wanted my body to remember how to be relaxed (thats how bad i am) and gave me the xanax to curb withdrawal and startup of a new drug. So that sounds resonable. I guess i wont have to be on it forever, and thats good...im just thinking ahead. Appreciate the info!

Adam

 
Old 05-12-2005, 09:12 PM   #5
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Re: Is Xanax Dangerous?

Hi Adam, a lot of folks know that I am a big fan of the Xanax XR (extended release) version. I take 1MG in the morning and it lasts all day until the next morning. It also comes in a 1/2 MG tablet and is supposed to be less habit forming due to it's long half life. I have never had to up the dose and take it in conjunction with a small dose of Prozac (5MG) for anxiety not so much depression. It's worked wonders and once I have stabilized on the Prozac for 4 weeks (It took me almost 12 weeks to get to 5MG of Prozac because I am so med sensitive...no joke) then I will slowly taper off the Xanax XR. Good luck to you and if you start feeling breakthrough anxiety during the day, give the XR a shot...it's been miraculous. Graciecat was right...I'm one of the ones that think Xanax is a lifesaver.

 
Old 05-13-2005, 03:26 PM   #6
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Re: Is Xanax Dangerous?

I started taking Xanax about a month ago. I was prescribed .5mg three times a day but so far all I am doing is taking one pill(.5mg) splitting it and taking one half in morning and the other early evening and I would say that it has helped me get things back under control, to a point that is.

I just feel that there is no need to get into taking any higher doses to avoid addiction issues.

Good Luck!!

Bob

 
Old 05-13-2005, 04:46 PM   #7
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Re: Is Xanax Dangerous?

That works...Im going to stick with the .25 3x a day for a while, once my zolft kicks in i hopefully wont need it anymore. Appreciate all the good info everyone!!!!

 
Old 05-14-2005, 11:24 AM   #8
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Re: Is Xanax Dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam2000
My Psych gave me .25mg xanax to take 3x a day for anxiety along with zoloft which ive started slowly.

Is Xanax bad? I dont want to become an addict or anything, or is my dose small enough not to worry?

Adam
Read the online free Ashton Manual. It is very informative concerning benzodiazepines. Benzos affect GABA, which in dependancy/tolerance situations the brain can literally become lazy and not produce it's own anymore due to drug taking over the function. Also, the brain can build up a "defense" if you will, which creates more excitatory neuros and imbalancing the receptor system.....this is tolerance. No way to know how long it takes to build tolerance.

Deregulation is another thing....continued exposure to psychoactive drugs can cause brain receptors to become desensitized and even eventually die off. This is proven science which seems to escape most prescribing habits these days.

But such damage is reversable with time.

However, if you stick with the low dosage and use a benzo short term, you will no doubt not run into all that trouble!

But Zoloft, which effects the excitatory neurotransmitter serotonin, could create overstimulation thus the need for continued use of the benzo to control that. Whereas discontinuing the Zoloft would fix that in itself, most physicans want to continue the use of benzos.

You can wait it out and hopefully not need the benzo when the Zoloft takes effect....because people do have different drug reactions to all this. But then be aware SSRi's have shown some deregulation of serotonin receptors in rats from long term use.

But none of this is dangerous. You won't die. You might even be able to tolerate the side effects or health effects down the line just fine. You may not even need the drugs long term at all, and they could be helpful to you in the short term.

You just must be vigilant on whether or not the drug benefits outweigh the risks; then you can decide what is best for your individual needs.

Last edited by Jennita; 05-14-2005 at 11:35 AM.

 
Old 05-14-2005, 01:28 PM   #9
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Re: Is Xanax Dangerous?

if xanax is properly prescribed, its rare for an anxiety sufferer to become addicted to it, most anxiety sufferers are far too sensible to become addicted

those with addictive type personalitys can and do become addicted though

some anxiety and panic attack sufferers do rely entirely on large doses of xanax, sometimes taken daily for many years, they never show any mental or physical harm from the xanax......

 
Old 05-15-2005, 10:54 AM   #10
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Re: Is Xanax Dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hry33
if xanax is properly prescribed, its rare for an anxiety sufferer to become addicted to it, most anxiety sufferers are far too sensible to become addicted

those with addictive type personalitys can and do become addicted though

some anxiety and panic attack sufferers do rely entirely on large doses of xanax, sometimes taken daily for many years, they never show any mental or physical harm from the xanax......
Sensibility doesn't play into physical dependancy. It does play into actual addiction. Addiction is actually considered different than physical dependancy(physical addiction) although many people think they are the same thing. But addiction specialists know the difference as I explain below.

It is important not to confuse physical dependence as evidenced by benzodiazepine withdrawal syndromes with addiction or drug dependence (DSM-IV). The majority of people suffering with prolonged withdrawal syndromes from benzodiazepines do not meet sufficient criteria to make the diagnosis of addiction. They are NOT addicts.

Addiction is a biopsychosocial syndrome. Less than ten percent of the population is at risk. Although there are eight diagnostic criteria, three of which must be present for a year; the syndrome can best be described by "the 3 Cs".

Control: when the addicted person starts using their drug they episodically lose control over their ingestion.

Compulsion: getting and using the drug takes on more and more importance or salience in the person's life, crowding out relationships and activities that were once important to them.

Consequences: they continue using the drug despite the drug causing problems at home, problems in relationships, medical problems, legal problems, emotional and psychiatric problems and finally vocational problems.

Physical dependence is simply a neurobiological phenomenon due to continued exposure to a drug. It happens to all human brains exposed to drugs such as benzodiazepines and opioids. It is not addiction.

Last edited by Jennita; 05-15-2005 at 10:55 AM.

 
Old 05-15-2005, 01:00 PM   #11
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Re: Is Xanax Dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennita
Sensibility doesn't play into physical dependancy. It does play into actual addiction. Addiction is actually considered different than physical dependancy(physical addiction) although many people think they are the same thing. But addiction specialists know the difference as I explain below.

It is important not to confuse physical dependence as evidenced by benzodiazepine withdrawal syndromes with addiction or drug dependence (DSM-IV). The majority of people suffering with prolonged withdrawal syndromes from benzodiazepines do not meet sufficient criteria to make the diagnosis of addiction. They are NOT addicts.

Addiction is a biopsychosocial syndrome. Less than ten percent of the population is at risk. Although there are eight diagnostic criteria, three of which must be present for a year; the syndrome can best be described by "the 3 Cs".

Control: when the addicted person starts using their drug they episodically lose control over their ingestion.

Compulsion: getting and using the drug takes on more and more importance or salience in the person's life, crowding out relationships and activities that were once important to them.

Consequences: they continue using the drug despite the drug causing problems at home, problems in relationships, medical problems, legal problems, emotional and psychiatric problems and finally vocational problems.

Physical dependence is simply a neurobiological phenomenon due to continued exposure to a drug. It happens to all human brains exposed to drugs such as benzodiazepines and opioids. It is not addiction.

I was addicted to xanax 22 years ago. Yes, I became dependent very quickly and at that time, the doctor's didn't think the benzo's were addictive. I was not tapered down but abruptly halted which caused god awful withdrawls. I would not want my worst enemy to go through a benzo withdrawal.

Having said that, I still use xanax these days VERY SPARINGLY. Maybe I'll take a .25 once every 4 or 5 months. The benzo's are very effective in knocking out PA's or reducing anxiety within 20 minutes. I recommend benzo's for PA's and anxiety over SSRI's any day. The SSRI's have side effects (like worsening panic attacks in the beginning of drug therapy)that are simply intolerable for most anxiety ridden folks. The long term effects like sexual dysfunction, weight gain was something I chose to do without. Yes, I was on SSRI's for 5 years, gained 30lbs and the withdrawal was equally, if not worse than the xanax withdrawal, IMHO.

People with panic and anxiety just need to make informed decisions on which drug therapy is the best. Benzo's have their place in the world after 40 years. If they didn't, they would be long gone.

 
Old 05-15-2005, 02:26 PM   #12
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Re: Is Xanax Dangerous?

I thought I would throw in my two cents also. I have been taking valium for some 30+ years for chronix anxiety. Valium is another benzo, just older than xanax. About 10 years ago, I started taking paxil as my dr thought this would help. Unfortunately, it did not really help, and paxil is very hard to quit taking (lots of side affects), not to mention the sexual side affects of taking paxil.

IMHO, I agree with redherring. Benzos work better for PA and anxiety than anything else, especially if you have bad anxiety and frequent PA.

As for addiction, I would say I'm addicted to valium, but if I didn't suffer from chronic PA and anxiety, I know I could quit taking it. I've done it before.

Adam, I read the two long threads from beginning to end about Lexipro and your bout with anxiety. I wish you well, and hope zoloft works for you. Your anxiety sounds much like mine started some 35 years ago.

 
Old 05-16-2005, 10:59 AM   #13
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Re: Is Xanax Dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redherring
I was addicted to xanax 22 years ago. Yes, I became dependent very quickly and at that time, the doctor's didn't think the benzo's were addictive. I was not tapered down but abruptly halted which caused god awful withdrawls. I would not want my worst enemy to go through a benzo withdrawal.

Having said that, I still use xanax these days VERY SPARINGLY. Maybe I'll take a .25 once every 4 or 5 months. The benzo's are very effective in knocking out PA's or reducing anxiety within 20 minutes. I recommend benzo's for PA's and anxiety over SSRI's any day. The SSRI's have side effects (like worsening panic attacks in the beginning of drug therapy)that are simply intolerable for most anxiety ridden folks. The long term effects like sexual dysfunction, weight gain was something I chose to do without. Yes, I was on SSRI's for 5 years, gained 30lbs and the withdrawal was equally, if not worse than the xanax withdrawal, IMHO.

People with panic and anxiety just need to make informed decisions on which drug therapy is the best. Benzo's have their place in the world after 40 years. If they didn't, they would be long gone.
Yes, I know they have their place, they are a form of anesthesia first used in surgery. They are good when someone is in shock. They are excellent for PA's, no doubt about that. But they have no place in each day of our lives.

But using them for your PA's in such a sparing manner is actually very wise!

Too bad some doctors are not as wise as you are and push the daily use thing which is what leads to trouble.

"As needed" basis is best to avoid those withdrawals and other problems of dependancy.

IMHO, SSRi's are the dumbest thing for PA's since serotonin is excitartory and a precursor to adrenaline which is a panic person's worst nightmare! I guess in some people the SSRi's work in a paradoxial manner at times but benzos like Xanax and Valium are definately more appropriate drugs for anxiety and panic.

 
Old 05-16-2005, 11:12 AM   #14
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Re: Is Xanax Dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennita
Yes, I know they have their place, they are a form of anesthesia first used in surgery. They are good when someone is in shock. They are excellent for PA's, no doubt about that. But they have no place in each day of our lives.
Jennita, you seem pretty adamant that benzos should not be used long term and should not be used as a daily med, but you also say you don't think SSRI's are a good treatment for PA and anxiety. My experiences with SSRIs make me tend to agree with you there, didn't help me much.

Well, that may be good advice for someone that suffers occasionally or is going through a temporary bout of anxiety, But what do you say to people who suffer from high anxiety and/or panic attacks daily, chronically? While i do try to keep my Xanax usage to an as needed basis and never take it when i truly do not need it, I find that most days I do need it. I have constant anxiety, CONSTANT. Xanax is the only thing that gets me through my day sometimes. My doctor has been very good about trying lots of diffferent meds and even CBT therapy, none of which has worked. We will continue to try new things, but for the time being we have both come to the conclusion that i need the Xanax, usually daily.

So I guess what I'm saying is for me, they do have a place in most days of my life.

 
Old 05-16-2005, 11:13 AM   #15
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Re: Is Xanax Dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by allen_dave
I thought I would throw in my two cents also. I have been taking valium for some 30+ years for chronix anxiety. Valium is another benzo, just older than xanax. About 10 years ago, I started taking paxil as my dr thought this would help. Unfortunately, it did not really help, and paxil is very hard to quit taking (lots of side affects), not to mention the sexual side affects of taking paxil.

IMHO, I agree with redherring. Benzos work better for PA and anxiety than anything else, especially if you have bad anxiety and frequent PA.

As for addiction, I would say I'm addicted to valium, but if I didn't suffer from chronic PA and anxiety, I know I could quit taking it. I've done it before.

Adam, I read the two long threads from beginning to end about Lexipro and your bout with anxiety. I wish you well, and hope zoloft works for you. Your anxiety sounds much like mine started some 35 years ago.
Actually, Valium is also less potent and easier to get off of because of it's long half life; Prof. Ashton who wrote the free online Ashton Manual actually recommends people on other benzos switch to Valium for their taper. It also comes in very small dosages which aids in tapering greatly.

1mg. Xanax is equivalent to around 20 mgs. Valium so that shows you how much of a difference there is. But Valium got a bad rep in the 1960's as mother's little helper when it was highly abused so docs shy away from it.

 
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