Really nervous - switching from 1mg Xanax XR and 2 .5 regulars to 2 .5mg Klonopin
So I've been on Xanax for years... I think the first time it was prescribed to me was in 2004 and I started taking it full-time after having a collapsed lung last year.
I'm currently on 1mg of Xanax XR in the morning... then two .5mg doses as needed... Lately, my anxiety has gotten out of control. I've been on this regimen for roughly 2 months and it was working... but now... I've missed almost the entire work week (Monday and Tuesday entirely, 3 hours on Wednesday, 4 hours Thursday) because I've started having nasty panic attacks.
I had one the other night that was so severe, I took two .5mg tablets and dissolved them under my tongue and still had tachycardia for another hour or so before I finally passed out for 10 hours.
I saw my doctor today and we discussed options. I suggested moving to klonopin or valium as I've read that they're both much better at controlling anxiety in the long term and don't develop tolerance as fast, not to mention that they work longer.
This is what he did. He prescribed me 60 .5mg Klonopins and 60 .5mg Xanax.
I am aware of the delayed onset of Klonopin and its a bit concerning... I've noticed that with Xanax, I get a lot of tachycardia for about 15-20 minutes after I take it when its starting to settle in before everything calms down. Reading online, it seems like Klonopin is not known for causing tachycardia as a common side effect, while Xanax, Ativan, and Valium are.
What has me concerned though is that I'm going from 2mg of Xanax straight to 1mg of Klonopin. The things I've read online seem to differ in opinion as to whether Klonopin is stronger than Xanax, the same, or weaker.
My doc is a family doctor and he doesn't have a lot of experience with Klonopin but he says that if I need to, adding Xanax to my Klonopin shouldn't be a problem if I need the extra boost.
I'm wondering if it would be smart for me to take a regular .5mg Xanax tomorrow morning and half of a klonopin once that has kicked in to try and slowly get my body adjusted to it? I've had some rather nasty reactions to medications in the past. To give you all a history:
Paxil - blacked out and had extreme panic attacks third day of dosing
Lexapro - felt like a tweaker for the week that I took it and had a racing heart, chills, felt like I was high, and always felt on the verge of a panic attack
Lyrica - was FANTASTIC for the first few days then I had a panic attack so bad that I was stuck in the bathroom at work for over 45 minutes just wishing I would die.
5-HTP - lots of anxiety, mild visual distortions (gel-like colored patterns all over the place), shaking, extreme nausea
Vicodin - triggers panic attacks as soon as it hits, which have to be countered with Xanax.
As you can see, I don't have the best track record with meds. My body absolutely hates them. Xanax is the only med that has never triggered something nasty in me. I won't even take antibiotics because of how horribly poisoned they make me feel.
I have read that Klonopin is better-tolerated than Xanax and has fewer side effects. Is this true?
If I don't get this under control, I could lose my job... and if I lose my job, that's pretty much the end of my rope.
So what do you all suggest? I need some encouragement and some answers here. I have a feeling my body isn't just going to be like "oh hello Klonopin, come on in!" - I think I'm going to have to mix the two until I can slowly taper off the Xanax and move over to Klonopin.
To be honest, I think the problems all started when I took the XR. The XR doesn't really seem to do what they say it should. At the most, I got effects from it for 6 hours... Even taking two of them, I still didn't feel anywhere near as calm and collected as a .5mg Xanax made me feel. It feels like all it did was increase my tolerance to Xanax - after the first few weeks, I had to take the 1mg with a .5mg Xanax about 2 hours later in order to avoid hitting full on panic mode.
To top it all off, I'm an insomniac... I take a .5mg Xanax at 3AM... but can't fall asleep til 6... so it starts wearing off before I even fall asleep and has triggered some really nasty episodes there too.
Please someone give me good news. I really need some support right now because I am so scared of trying something new - especially at half the dose that I was taking with my Xanax!!
Last edited by ms_mod; 11-21-2008 at 08:59 AM.
Reason: Please read the posting rules as to why part of your post were removed. Ms_Mod