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Old 12-30-2010, 02:42 PM   #1
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I hate Xanax!!!!

Hi all, I posted last week about my hubby being on OC and lying to me about it for a year. Update: he is slowly tapering and once he is off(in about 2 weeks), he will be going to meetings.

Anxiety/depression/other mental illness runs in my family(both sides). In college, I began having panic/anxiety attacks. I didn't know what was going on with me and was at the dr once a month, still undiagnosed. Then a friend offered me xanax 12yrs ago. OMG, I could eat, sleep, and not feel like I was going to die!!!

I finally got prescribed Xanax by my psych about 10yrs ago. I've been on 1 mg 4x/day for 10yrs, without needing increase my dosage. My biggest fear in life is that my dr will retire and I won't get my meds. My grams has been on Xanax for like 30yrs, and probably will be all her life.

So my question is, is it really so bad to be on this type of med forever? Thanks in advance for any input. Btw, I don't use any other drugs, but I take 20mg Prozac/day.

Much love to those suffering.

 
Old 12-30-2010, 04:56 PM   #2
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Re: I hate Xanax!!!!

I think that's a really good question.

The fact that you hate xanax probably answers your own personal question.

Now my opinion: I see many people posting here about how horrible xanax is. I, like you, began using it many years ago and it has given me a life. I've seen Paris. I mean the one in France. And trust me, if not for xanax that would never have happened. I have had issues with panic attacks since I was a little kid. And no one treated them and I just suffered. Xanax is a life saver for me. But it was given to me and explained to me in a responsible way. If you are truly suffering with anxiety and panic, sometimes a drug like xanax is the only thing that can give you peace and strength to cope with life. But it's also dangerous. And you should always use the drug consciously. Think about each situation and decide whether you need the drug or want the drug. Most importantly, take the lowest possible doses to get you through the anxiety or panic.

That's where our stories are very different. My 3x a day was the .25 dosage. And I used it at that level for only about 6 months. Maybe I was lucky, I don't know. But when I stopped the 3x a day and moved to only as needed, I had no issues at all. Xanas saved my life and gave me a life. But I think I had a very good doctor who made sure I was taking the smallest possible dose and then, with that little bit of help, learned how to cope and work with my panic issues.

With doing my healthcare reimbursement fund this week, I decided to check my annual usage. It average 1.5 mg per week. Some weeks I take none. Some weeks I take 1 mg. per day, almost always .5 at a time. Recently a good friend died and I would have to take 1 mg. before each visit to her in ICU. But I don't think, aside from the long plane trips, I have ever taken any where near 4 mg a day.

I can understand your fear. I can't imagine why your doctor ever gave you that high of a dose to begin with. I really don't think you will be able to find another doctor who will prescribe at that level. And after all these years you are going to have some difficult times.

Are you impaired by taking that much each day? Are you able to drive?

You can read here about people who taper off the drug. I really think you ought to consider starting to taper, even if the goal is only to get down to 3 mg. a day. I honestly don't mean this to be hurtful but 4 mg. a day is a huge dosage. So to say you never exceed that amount, well that's like saying you never eat more than 10 Big Macs in a day.

Good luck, which ever way it goes for you. But I'd recommend you try to at least taper down. I've been wrong before but while I believe you can use xanax as a tool for your entire life, I just don't think you can be living a full and healthy life taking that much xanax each day.

 
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:16 PM   #3
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Re: I hate Xanax!!!!

I hate Xanax too...I am sitting here...today 12/31/10....on my couch at home weaning myself off Xanax bars as we speak. I have adhd and have had it my whole life. I take an adhd med everyday for it and have responded very well. After taking the adhd med, I finally felt motivated and wanted to make a life for myself. The one huge mistake I made was I had trouble sleeping from the adhd drug at night and a friend offered me a xanax bar. At first it was great, I could finally sleep and had the life I always wanted. I felt smart, had a great career and things were going well. I always take my adhd meds when I am supposed to, but I increased the xanax to the point that I started self-medicating with it. If I needed a nap, I would take a half of bar first. I increased the dosage on my own at night and would just pop a pill any time I felt the slightest anxiety. My life has done a complete 360. I don't work out anymore, lost my job because of depression and severe fatigue. I am going through peri menopause and am having severe issues dealing with that, but the one thing that stays constant is how xanax makes you feel after years of use. Depression, loss of energy, groggy, severe fatigue... I hate it. I was taking 2 bars a day and started weaning myself off on my own 5 days ago. I am taking a bar and one piece a day now and am going to continue doing that for 2 weeks. Then I am going to lower the dosage again, then again and again until I am off. If I am unable to do this, I am going to try an out patient program and if that doesn't work I will have to go inside. I need to do whatever it takes to get off. I chose to take this route because I didn't want to upset my daughter, as she has had a very rough life and the last thing she needed is for me to go inside and not be around for her. I know that I am rambling on and on, but I have to say that it's only been 5 days, but I feel a lot less spacey, less fatigue and feel more motivated than I have in years. I'm handling it. I am breathing through the rough spots and have an extremely supportive boyfriend. The one thing that I know is that you cannot go cold turkey off this stuff. You can get a seizure if you go cold turkey. My opinion would be run don't walk to the nearest rehab. I would have done it that way if it weren't for my daughter. Please let me know how you are doing. I would love to hear how other people go about this, how strong the urges are after you are off completely and how they are coping. Hey, I hate xanax too.
Be well,
Kare





Quote:
Originally Posted by resolution09 View Post
I think that's a really good question.

The fact that you hate xanax probably answers your own personal question.

Now my opinion: I see many people posting here about how horrible xanax is. I, like you, began using it many years ago and it has given me a life. I've seen Paris. I mean the one in France. And trust me, if not for xanax that would never have happened. I have had issues with panic attacks since I was a little kid. And no one treated them and I just suffered. Xanax is a life saver for me. But it was given to me and explained to me in a responsible way. If you are truly suffering with anxiety and panic, sometimes a drug like xanax is the only thing that can give you peace and strength to cope with life. But it's also dangerous. And you should always use the drug consciously. Think about each situation and decide whether you need the drug or want the drug. Most importantly, take the lowest possible doses to get you through the anxiety or panic.

That's where our stories are very different. My 3x a day was the .25 dosage. And I used it at that level for only about 6 months. Maybe I was lucky, I don't know. But when I stopped the 3x a day and moved to only as needed, I had no issues at all. Xanas saved my life and gave me a life. But I think I had a very good doctor who made sure I was taking the smallest possible dose and then, with that little bit of help, learned how to cope and work with my panic issues.

With doing my healthcare reimbursement fund this week, I decided to check my annual usage. It average 1.5 mg per week. Some weeks I take none. Some weeks I take 1 mg. per day, almost always .5 at a time. Recently a good friend died and I would have to take 1 mg. before each visit to her in ICU. But I don't think, aside from the long plane trips, I have ever taken any where near 4 mg a day.

I can understand your fear. I can't imagine why your doctor ever gave you that high of a dose to begin with. I really don't think you will be able to find another doctor who will prescribe at that level. And after all these years you are going to have some difficult times.

Are you impaired by taking that much each day? Are you able to drive?

You can read here about people who taper off the drug. I really think you ought to consider starting to taper, even if the goal is only to get down to 3 mg. a day. I honestly don't mean this to be hurtful but 4 mg. a day is a huge dosage. So to say you never exceed that amount, well that's like saying you never eat more than 10 Big Macs in a day.

Good luck, which ever way it goes for you. But I'd recommend you try to at least taper down. I've been wrong before but while I believe you can use xanax as a tool for your entire life, I just don't think you can be living a full and healthy life taking that much xanax each day.

 
Old 12-31-2010, 01:20 PM   #4
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Re: I hate Xanax!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by resolution09 View Post
I think that's a really good question.

The fact that you hate xanax probably answers your own personal question.

Now my opinion: I see many people posting here about how horrible xanax is. I, like you, began using it many years ago and it has given me a life. I've seen Paris. I mean the one in France. And trust me, if not for xanax that would never have happened. I have had issues with panic attacks since I was a little kid. And no one treated them and I just suffered. Xanax is a life saver for me. But it was given to me and explained to me in a responsible way. If you are truly suffering with anxiety and panic, sometimes a drug like xanax is the only thing that can give you peace and strength to cope with life. But it's also dangerous. And you should always use the drug consciously. Think about each situation and decide whether you need the drug or want the drug. Most importantly, take the lowest possible doses to get you through the anxiety or panic.

That's where our stories are very different. My 3x a day was the .25 dosage. And I used it at that level for only about 6 months. Maybe I was lucky, I don't know. But when I stopped the 3x a day and moved to only as needed, I had no issues at all. Xanas saved my life and gave me a life. But I think I had a very good doctor who made sure I was taking the smallest possible dose and then, with that little bit of help, learned how to cope and work with my panic issues.

With doing my healthcare reimbursement fund this week, I decided to check my annual usage. It average 1.5 mg per week. Some weeks I take none. Some weeks I take 1 mg. per day, almost always .5 at a time. Recently a good friend died and I would have to take 1 mg. before each visit to her in ICU. But I don't think, aside from the long plane trips, I have ever taken any where near 4 mg a day.

I can understand your fear. I can't imagine why your doctor ever gave you that high of a dose to begin with. I really don't think you will be able to find another doctor who will prescribe at that level. And after all these years you are going to have some difficult times.

Are you impaired by taking that much each day? Are you able to drive?

You can read here about people who taper off the drug. I really think you ought to consider starting to taper, even if the goal is only to get down to 3 mg. a day. I honestly don't mean this to be hurtful but 4 mg. a day is a huge dosage. So to say you never exceed that amount, well that's like saying you never eat more than 10 Big Macs in a day.

Good luck, which ever way it goes for you. But I'd recommend you try to at least taper down. I've been wrong before but while I believe you can use xanax as a tool for your entire life, I just don't think you can be living a full and healthy life taking that much xanax each day.

 
Old 01-01-2011, 12:22 AM   #5
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Re: I hate Xanax!!!!

It is my 6th day without xanax, side effects are horrid but I wanted to know if Pristiq worked, if it works then no need for this crap if it doesn't work I'd soon find out. If you have anxiety how can you tell if your SSRI or SNRI actually working for you if you POP xanax every day?????? I now reckon that psychologists are nothing more than agents of different pharmaceutical companies!!!!

 
Old 01-01-2011, 12:50 AM   #6
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Re: I hate Xanax!!!!

Thanks for the responses. I am prescribed 1mg 4x/day, but often I only take 1-2. Just depends on how panicky I feel. And, my dr didn't start me at this dose ten years ago, at first it was like .25 3x/day. But I've been on the same dose for like 6-7 years.

I say I hate Xanax cuz I know I need to depend on a pill to feel normal. Even tho it's a 'drug' I don't take it like that, and I never have. But just like diabetics need insulin, I need Xanax. My dr knows I don't misuse them, cuz I don't ask for an increase in my dose and I don't even take what I'm prescribed.

Sometimes, if it's been a while since I took one(more than 15 hours), I'll take one simply to avoid a SEIZURE. And benzos are the hardest to get off, hands down. You don't feel normal for up to a year or MORE. Yikes!!!!

 
Old 01-01-2011, 12:59 AM   #7
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Re: I hate Xanax!!!!

Resolution, you sound like my mom. She still has klonopin but rarely takes it. But, I don't think her anxiety was ever as bad as mine.

Kare, good luck tapering, but be very careful!!!

I'm going to just continue what I do, taking it only when I really am freaking out or when it's been long enough to have a seizure.

To the other poster(sorry), I don't know about pristiq. But since I've been on Prozac, I've noticed it has helped a little with anxiety. But it made it much worse until my body got used to it.

 
Old 01-01-2011, 07:11 AM   #8
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Re: I hate Xanax!!!!

anyone here tapering or considering tapering from Xanax needs to be aware this is likely the most serious undertaking of your lifetime. The doses spoken of in this thread are very very high and may take a very long time to taper.
You need to read the The Ashton Manual and you need to google "benzo withdrawal" and find a message board dedicated to benzo withdrawal.
Stay away, far away from clinics in or out patient. Anyone that takes you off this drug quickly is a fool no matter what their title. These clinics are designed to get you off the drugs in a time frame that fits your insurance and not a time frame that is healthy or wise. At these doses and length of use it will take years to successfully get though taper, acute withdrawal, post acute withdrawal and protracted withdrawal.
You first need to determine if your doctor has any clue as to a proper taper or the dramatic withdrawal effects you will encounter. In order to find this out you will need to know this, so start researching the places I said above. Finding a doctor that understands the syndrome can be very difficult but there are lists available. What you don't want (and what typically happens) is the doctor to blame other sicknesses or a rebound of your original condition for the withdrawal syndrome mistakenly.
good luck with this, you are about to learn more than you ever wanted to know about drugs, doctors and their considerable shortcomings, the unethical relationships between big pharma and doctors and corporations legal but immoral practices.
You will not only hate Xanax but doctors and big pharma as well by the time you are done with this.
Eventually you will want to sue them but find that they have insulated themselves from suits by teams of lawyers and fine print.
do your research now.

 
Old 01-12-2011, 07:19 PM   #9
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Re: I hate Xanax!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 813roxy View Post
Hi all, I posted last week about my hubby being on OC and lying to me about it for a year. Update: he is slowly tapering and once he is off(in about 2 weeks), he will be going to meetings.

Anxiety/depression/other mental illness runs in my family(both sides). In college, I began having panic/anxiety attacks. I didn't know what was going on with me and was at the dr once a month, still undiagnosed. Then a friend offered me xanax 12yrs ago. OMG, I could eat, sleep, and not feel like I was going to die!!!

I finally got prescribed Xanax by my psych about 10yrs ago. I've been on 1 mg 4x/day for 10yrs, without needing increase my dosage. My biggest fear in life is that my dr will retire and I won't get my meds. My grams has been on Xanax for like 30yrs, and probably will be all her life.

So my question is, is it really so bad to be on this type of med forever? Thanks in advance for any input. Btw, I don't use any other drugs, but I take 20mg Prozac/day.

Much love to those suffering.
I've taken Xanax for 15 years (as prescribed by my physician) and while it freed me from severe panic attacks and life-altering anxiety, it rebelled on me overnight, out of the blue. It was working great, I had no warning. I now found myself in tolerance w/d.
Never did I anticipate that this life saving drug for panic/anxiety could do that overnight. I found myself a good physician that deals with chemical addiction and he said this happens "all the time." He initially (following the Ashton Manual) tried to cross me over to a longer acting benzo (Valium) and my body/mind couldn't take it. I became suicidal. One has to remember that 1 mg of Xanax equates to 20 mgs of Valium. I was on 4 mgs of Xanax. He quickly stopped the Valium and reinstated the Xanax. (He also stated that he rarely sees a crossover to a benzo with a longer half life at such high doses successful)
With that being said, my whole life came crashing down around me. Physicians/Big Pharma don't tell you exactly what w/d from benzos are like. The panic/anxiety increase about a thousand-fold. You begin to feel that whatever panic or anxiety you began taking this med for would be a walk in the park compared to what you now feel. Look up the symptoms of Xanax w/d. I have most of them. Some days, I lay in bed shaking. No meds will make this process easier, either. You can't escape it.
My doctor had me begin a "water titration" program about a year and a half ago. I've managed to wean off of 2 mgs in that time. I expect that it'll likely take another year and a half to completely be off, while hoping that I don't have "protracted withdrawal."
I spend my days laying in bed shaking, having panic attacks, nervousness that I never dreamed of, derealization and a host of other awful symptoms.

My post isn't meant to preach, but to warn you of what could hit you one day. I thought I was invincible myself, when others tried to warn me of what would likely "hit" me one day. I wish that I had listened. Maybe I wouldn't be wasting years of my life in this condition.

Take Care~

 
Old 01-13-2011, 04:16 AM   #10
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Re: I hate Xanax!!!!

im glad im reading a lot of benzo posts i see here. I got some a couple weeks ago valium and clonazepam) hoping that I could have a small opiate dose in the am, but take a benzo in the afternoon, so that there isnt that constant daily opiate in my body.

But reading the benzo withdrawal nightmares, i might just throw these away, it really sounds difficult to get off of.

Will it be hard to kick, even if I do say a clonazepam on tuesday and friday (i.e. space them out and take small doses?) I dont feel that im addicted to them yet. I guess heres where you guys say "then dont touch them anymore".

advice? like i said I thought it would help a bit with my opiate withdrawals and anxiety

 
Old 01-20-2011, 10:02 PM   #11
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Re: I hate Xanax!!!!

I want to thank you all for your responses. They have helped me a great deal. I am not going to taper off. I have cut back a bit since I have written the post, but I know there is no way I can do this on my own.
Not sure how I am going to handle this with work. My boss is not the most understanding person. I have to figure it out. I cannot stay on this stuff and I cannot afford it. For my health and financially.
Thank you once again. I appreciate your time.

Sincerely,

Kare

 
Old 01-21-2011, 12:13 AM   #12
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Re: I hate Xanax!!!!

about your boss. You might be surprised how 'understanding' people are when it comes to something this serious. Bosses often put on a tough exterior because they have to in order to have their workers in line, but they are human too, im sure if you sat down w him, and told him you needed a week to get your life back on track he'd be accomodating.

 
Old 01-21-2011, 11:48 PM   #13
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Re: I hate Xanax!!!!

lol second go, your boss had you popping just in anticipation of his presence. I am not being mean mainly just trying to be humorous! you are right about that though some do have to be tough on the outside and some are just complete a holes!

I didn't read this whole thread but my advice to the lady who is afraid of her dr. dying or retiring is to go to a mental health clinic with several doctors and if the docs retire or whatever, they will just hand off her chart to another one and the docs more than likely stay with their collegue's plan of care unless there is a major problem with it. Most drs. stay united even in wrong doing unfortunately!

 
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