I have been taking benzodiazapine's for 15 years now for severe panic disorder. The first 8 years I took Ativan. At that point the Ativan became ineffective for me and my Dr. switched me to Xanax. I am now taking 2mg, 3 times a day but I am no longer getting any relief from my panic. Could my body have acclimated to this high of a dose of Xanax. I am otherwise drug free and have never even had a drink of alcohol in my life. Any input or similar experiences would be much appreciated!
I would have to say that you can definitely develop a tolerance for this. I take xanax as needed and have to say it does not work like it used to. But, I do not take them everyday; I did for a while and it gave me some sort of amnesia side affect--I sure do not need something else hindering my memory or concentration.
I would ask doc about this--there may be other medications that are just as effective.
I know there's a safer and better drug for your anxiety. Xanax should be taken off market. It's highly addictive, short life drug, whihc means it's out of your system quickly, and you will know it if you miss a dose!! Please get to your doc and get off that stuff.
The only way to reduce that tolorance is to cut down the dose. It is easiest to do thsi by substituting a long acting benzo (such as diazepam/Valium) and slowly cutting the dose back. You might start off taking 60mg per day, and reduce it by 5mg per week until you were down to 20mg for example. If you need a benzo long term, a long acting drug live Valium or Klonopin is going to be less problematic for you than Xanax.
Have you tried taking an antidepressant for your panic attacks? SSRI's are very usefull, and arnt addictive.... you can take them every day, and have Xanax or Valium on hand for bad days.
Speak to your doctor!
The desire to take medicines is what seperates man from the lower animals - William Ostler
I really and truly did not know that your body could be so addicted to a drug, as living my life competely drug free. it bothers me that so many other people will suffer as I have.If I could tell anyone do not start these kind of pills!!!!! you may think it helps and it does until you need more and more. Panic attacks are the most terrifying thing in the world, but try missing your little pill, then you will know fear!!! cope, tell yourself you are not going to die, panic can not kill you, get mad at your panic, clean. run, even scream if you feel a panic coming on, please do not reach for the little pill. then we are no better than anyone who takes drugs, docs do not tell you that, or that if you get really sick and they see you take ativan or xanax it is always your nerves, to them your never sick only anxious!!!!!!!
Last edited by hb-mod; 06-06-2010 at 02:24 AM.
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1st step wouldbe to start taking an SSRI to help control your panic disorder (eg Zoloft)
Second would be to gradualy reduce your xanax dose slowly over time.
It is often easier to transfer from a short acting drug (Xanax) to a long acting drug (Valium) and then slowly withdraw the Valium - because its long acting, your body doesnt notice a sudden drop in the blood leval when you make a dose reduction.
The Xanax dose you are on is roughly equal to 60mg of Valium per day.
Some peole find it quite easy to withdraw from benzos, others find it rather difficult. If you find it easy, you could complete the withdrawl process in 4-6 weeks. If you are one of those who finds it difficult, then it could take 4-6 months. Just plod away slowly making reductions, even if it is only 2mg of Valium per week - you have plenty of time.
Dont be dishartend if you cant totaly give up benzos, you might still find you need to keep a few pills on hand and take one now and then on bad days - there isnt anything wrong with this, and it doesnt mean that you have failed - it just means that you still have a medical need for the drug sometimes, however, daily use of Zoloft or another SSRI should reduce this need.