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  • Another Xanax ?



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    Old 11-26-2002, 10:04 AM   #1
    sam061
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    Post Another Xanax ?

    HI,
    Two weeks ago I woke up early in the am and went into muscle spasms and my BH was much higher than normal with a high pulse rate. I have atrial fib and am pacemaker dependent. I have been on xanax for at least 25 years. The dosage was increased one time about eight years ago to 3mg/day. I was told at the ER I had xanax intolerance. I saw my doctor two days later and he wanted to put me on Wellbutrin with the xanax. I think his thoughts were to get me totally on the Wellbutin and off of the xanax. He also suggested Efflexor and one other that began with an R. I asked him if I could remain on the 3mg/day and take an extra one only when was necessary. Two weeks have passed and I have had no more problems.(knock on wood). I just want to get some suggestions as to what should be done. My wife told me I had been on Wellbutrin six years ago and couldn't tolorate it. I am approaching sixty. I could use some suggestions. I will not increase the xanax on a full time basis, so that is out.-I read a site where a doctor Steve from the UK uses a method where the xanax is decreased by .25mg every three weeks and has no problem. If I get off of this medication my panic attacks will return I am sure. My mother has them. I will not go into a detox clinic for I can't afford it. I am also concerned about what the withdrawl symptoms would do to my heart condition. I have read just about everything on durgs used for mental conditon and they are all addictive. I have tried Buspar and it did nothing. Am I at the end of the road or am I not?-gle

     
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    Old 12-08-2002, 08:50 PM   #2
    Sarah Norris
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    I'm sorry you are having problems with panic attacks and other health problems. If you have been on Xanax for 25 yrs., why would you want to get off this med. now? Is it not working at all? The Dr. placed me on Xanax, 0.05mg. 3x a day for stress and help keep my B.P. under control.
    Wellbutrin, I have been told, has a lot of bad side effects and if you have tried it before, I would hesitate to try it again. I would not want to change meds. if one is working......it is so hard sometimes to get the right combination. Is Xanax used only for BP and panic attacks? Good Luck.......SARAH
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    Old 12-09-2002, 07:38 PM   #3
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    I'm very sorry for your situation. 1st I think it might be a good idea to find a new dr. I can't understand why he would keep you on xanax for 25 years. I don't know too much about xanax and heart conditions, but I would assume that you should get off very gradually considering it is dangerous to stop, especially after such long term use. My husband was addicted to xanax and got off by trying other things to replace it. He tried valium which worked well b/c its similar to xanax. I also have a close friend who has problems with panic attacks and he takes zoloft which works very well for him. Of course talk to a doctor about the combinations of med you should take. Preferably someone other than your usual doctor. I would try gradually switching to valium, take half your dosage in Xanax and half in valium until you can eventually quit. And try Zoloft, its much better than Wellbutrin and safer.

     
    Old 12-09-2002, 08:00 PM   #4
    Euphoria
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    Why would you want to stop taking it at this point? Has it began to make your life unmanagable in some way? If not, I would just continue with it. I do think that if you have consistantly taken 3 per day for some time that your body would simply need more to get the same effect? Meaning that since the drug does cause dependency it is only natural that you would obtain a tolerance to it. As long as it isn't ruining your life in any way I would just see about going to 4 per day. I know that it is a big NO NO to addicts such as myself to encourage someone to continue on an addictive drug but I have my reasons for this opinion. Being that my 63 year old father stopped drinking in 1983. When he did the Dr. put him on xanax (I know they wouldn't do that with what they know about it now but they did it then.) My dad only takes it on as as needed basis and has never abused xanax. Whenever he has went to the Dr. they have always told him that at his age they don't even recommend him stopping it. He also has a bad heart. They basically think it would do more harm to have him discontinue it at this point in his life. BUT and a big BUT here, if it is in some way causing you trouble or you are feeling that you just don't want to be dependent on it I would try to cut down on it very very slowly.

     
    Old 12-11-2002, 09:43 PM   #5
    Sarah Norris
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    Euphoria....I agree with you on your advice to gle concerning Xanax. Especially, when we are older, and something seems to be working for our condition, why change it! The Dr. put me on 0.05 3x day for my B.P. and I usually only take 1 at night and it works pretty good....sometimes I take one during the day, but, they make me so sleepy.
    I came to these boards because of Alzheimers disease and wandered to this board and it is so sad to hear of people's demons that torture them.
    We all fall, but that doesn't make us a failure, only if we choose to stay down does it make us a failure.
    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE.....SARAH
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    Old 12-12-2002, 04:00 PM   #6
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    First I want to tell you is that stopping xanax cold turkey can lead to seizures. Taking 3 mg. a day for 25 years is a lot and a long time. If you can't afford to be inpatient to get off of it, decreasing it by .5 mg. every 3 weeks sound reasonably safe. Second I think the med you referred to that started with R was Remeron. It is an antidepressent that has anti-anxiety med in it, it also is taken at night and helps one to sleep. I am an addict in recovery (just celebrated 4 years clean Dec. 1!!!!!) But I have been experiencing terrible anxiety and panic attacks since being in a car accident last spring. My doctor added Paxil to my Remeron and it is showing some improvement, but I also have a script for Klonopin (which is a habit forming drug) but in a low dose of .5 mg, which I cut in half and take only as needed. If I don't have to drive, I don't take it. I am in therapy, I attend NA meetings, and I see a psychiatrist once a month. I am very aware that even being in possession of the klonopin could jeopardize my recovery, but I talk about it with my sponsor and other friends in the program and I feel with confidence that this is just a temporary fix until my panic/anxiety gets under control. I hope I was helpful, I think I just started rambling, sorry.

    Good luck and God Bless every on a healthy and happy holiday season.

    Lilly

     
    Old 12-13-2002, 11:39 AM   #7
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    My 82 year old Grandmother died addicted to Xanex. As a good Baptist, she wouldn't drink a glass of wine to help her sleep but she would pop those Xanex's like candy.

    She carried them in her housecoat pocket at all times and would panic if we left the house without them. Her doctor gave up trying to get her off of them (she was dying of heart disease) and said to just let her have them. It was very sad.

    Don't go cold turkey on these, get help.

    Jeannie

    P.S. Congratulations Lilly on your sobriety!!!

    [This message has been edited by Jemah (edited 12-13-2002).]

     
    Old 12-16-2002, 05:38 PM   #8
    Euphoria
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    Jemah,

    I'm sorry about your grandma. I used to justify my pill addiction by saying it was a RX but I was just lying to myself. A lot of people really need xanax to survive horrible anxiety and never abuse it. I'm sure your grandma was one of those.

     
    Old 12-17-2002, 03:30 PM   #9
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    Xanax can be one of the most or worst withdrawls out of any drug. Iv been on xanax .5mg 3x a day for serveral yrs. I do switch to klonopin, but still feel a bit of withdrawls for about 2 days. You must keep the klonopin at least 1mg 2x a day coming off a dose of xanax as im on. If i dont take my xanax every 6 hrs, i could actualy feel the withdrawls slowely coming on. I recalled i once stopped xanax stone cold for 2 days, it was hell. I was seeing spots, Heart rate was like 150bmp, sweating, extreme panic and parinoia, facial pains body achs. BAD.

    IM no doctor, but if your taking over 2mg a day, id slowely taper .25 every week. OR switch over to Klonopin at least 1mg every 8hrs. Also some other drugs such as remeron, serqouel, zoloft will help along with klonopin. If you suffer from extreme anxiety, my opinon is why bother coming off xanax or at least switching to another benzo.

    Dont drink ANY alcohol, or caffiene or smoke, the later both eliminate benzos 50% when you smoke or drink caffiene within one half hour before or after you take it. So, if you smoke or drink coffee then take 1mg of xanax, its really like taking .5mg.

    just my advise
    geno

     
    Old 12-24-2002, 12:45 PM   #10
    humanriff
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    Quote:
    Originally posted by gle:
    HI,
    I have been on xanax for at least 25 years. The dosage was increased one time about eight years ago to 3mg/day. I was told at the ER I had xanax intolerance.
    You have been taking 2-3 mg of Xanax for over 25 years and all of a sudden you are "intolerant". Pardon me, but that sounds like a load of BS.

    For whatever reason, most Drs these days are scared out of their wits to prescribe medication that can be addictive, even when they are needed. It seems pretty obvious to me that the DR controls the amount you get by how many they prescribe. If something has been working for you for 25 years, what's the problem? So what if you're addicted, if if is not adversely affecting your life and is doing what it is supposed to do? The only time this is going to be problem is when the Dr. starts messing with your meds. The other meds you mentioned are antidepressants mostly and can have a lot more side effects than Xanax, and don't really do a lot for panic attacks.

    My wife is 43 years old and up until about a year ago, her life (and often mine) was hell. She was raped by every male member of her family as a child, abandoned by her mother several times, etc. She finally hit a really rough patch in July of last year and made a half-*** suicide attempt. The Einsteins at 911 sent the cops instead of an ambulance, and, to make a long story short, she ended up biting one of the cops on the leg, and was charged with felony assault on an officer.

    The only good thing about this experience was that it forced her into therapy, and the therapist referred her to a psychiatrist for evaluation for meds. Between the two of them, they diagnosed her as having post-traumatic stress syndrome (big surprise there), agorophobia (ditto), and probably ADD. The doc put her on Paxil and Xanax, and told her that she will be on them the rest of her life, at least the Xanax, for the panic attacks. The change in her life has been amazing.

    Although Xanax is a much abused drug, it is also very useful, and my wife is living proof. It is very different being addicted to a medication when it is being used for a legitimate medical reason (ie. chronic pain, cancer, panic attacks, etc), and being addicted for "recreational" purposes. If I were you, I would have another talk with your doctor. I really doubt that the incident that put you in the ER had anything to do with the Xanax. I would be more worried about what really happened to your heart that night than how much Xanax you are taking.



    [This message has been edited by humanriff (edited 12-24-2002).]

     
    Old 01-01-2003, 08:00 PM   #11
    Sarah Norris
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    Humanriff......I have to agree with you on the Xanax. I am suppose to take 3 a day .05 but usually only take 1 at night to relax. Maybe about once every 2 weeks, I might take one during the day, but, I feel like it is something that works for me and have been doing this for about 3yrs. When it works, why mess with it, esp. as we get older.
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    Old 01-05-2003, 09:10 PM   #12
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    I too was addicted to xaxax(1mg.x4)per day for 5 years.During that time I tried to quit several times to no avail due to the horrendous withdrawals:shaking,sweating,diarreah,vo miting,etc.I had to be hogtied & taken into a detox center last summer but looking back it probably saved my life.There,they gave me a BP med called Catapress which almost instantaneously brought my BP down from 240/135 to 95/60 the next morning.The Docs & Rn's in the ER couldn't figure out how I didn't have at least one MI/Stroke/Seizure during that period.I was discharged 5 days later with a taper program along with some BP meds that I had to follow to the tee.I'm also happy to say that I've been clean since then & can truely sympathize with those of you who are currently in dire straits.You don't have to go into a detox program,ANY GP can help you do this.Either way,thereshope right around the corner!Peace & Serenity in 2003!

     
    Old 01-06-2003, 07:42 AM   #13
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    In 1985 I had a total abdominal hysterectory; 3 weeks later I had my very first panic attack. Unless you have had one you have no idea how bad it can be. I have been on Ativan since them, even after 2 years of therapy to try to get rid of the panic attacks. My dosage of Ativan has been between 1 mg to 3 mg per day, and I will probably take them for the rest of my life. What I am trying to say is if you really need the Xanax, which is very similar to Ativan, why try to quit? If it is not abused and is taken for a real physical (or emotional) problem, I see nothing wrong. It sounds like your doctor might be the one with the problem, and I suggest seeing a different doctor. My doctor has ocassionaly tried different medication for me, but nothing works as well. If it is not broke, don't fix it!

     
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