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Xanax Rollercoaster & Agoraphobia

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Old 02-11-2004, 03:49 AM   #1
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resiware HB User
Question Xanax Rollercoaster & Agoraphobia

Hello once more,
I hope everyone here is doing ok. This question is for all of you on Xanax. Well, and the all knowledgable Sickman :-D . I have been back on Xanax for about a month and a half. The first week or two was a little rough as I was having interdose withdrawl and extreme dizzyness. That tapered off and now when I take Xanax it's like I have my old self back again. However, there is a little thing bothering me. After the Xanax wears off I end up with depersonalization and it takes me a second to gather myself. I am on .25 once a day, well, that's what I am taking anyway. I am prescribed 0.5 to 1.0mg twice daily.

My question is; does Xanax act like other drugs in which you have to be on it for a bit for the side effects and the "bad" parts wear off? I know I should be able to answer this myself being as paranoid as I am and reading everything in sight.. hehe .. but I cannot and I am reaching out to the best community on the net. It's a little unsettling when I wake up or have been about 8 to 12 hours without one. Do any of you experience this and do you think maybe I should schedule when I take it versues taking it randomly or when I feel panicky? I am scared of what happened with me and Klonopin and when the tolerance builds, the panic returns. I just don't want that to happen.

Another issue I am having is I have developed agoraphobia AGAIN! I usually am outgoing, like to have fun, and do things. Now, I won't leave my room or my apartment. I have a comforter over my window to block the light. I have been outside my door to greet the sunrise three times in 6 weeks. I also went to Wal-Mart to do some shopping for the familiy. I tried to force myself to stay there and I made it a whole hour (progress) but without Xanax that would have never happened. When I am under the power of Xanax I feel like a completely different person, when it wears off... I am back to the worrysome.. disoriented.. and depersonalized shell of what used to be human. It's quite strange how this happens. I am fine at times and then all of a sudden (wal-mart parking lot) for example I was fine in the car and then WHAM! Couldn't breathe, started sweating and tingling .. and I still managed to go in and stay. I had to repeat the list to myself over and over again but it worked. This whole situation makes life harder and harder but I am telling myself one day God will bless me with a cure. Between the Xanax helping, then hurting, then I get very emotional (frustrated to sobbing), then feeling better again.. then repeat .. I am not sure what to do.

I know Sickman knows what I mean and I am sure alot of you feel like this. Please share .

God Bless and one day guys we will be cured! Remember that.. wake up everyday and tell yourself.. today is the day I will feel better
Bri C.

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Old 02-11-2004, 06:16 AM   #2
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Graciecat HB UserGraciecat HB User
Re: Xanax Rollercoaster & Agoraphobia

I'm not a Doctor, but from my own experiance with Xanax...I took it everyday for seven years....and what others have said, Xanax doesn't work like the SSRI's, so you don't have to be on it for weeks before it works.
It helped me from the very first time I took it.

Some people do feel it wearing off, but I never did...I was "Allowed" to take up to 1MG. a day, but I never took that much,my Doctor told me that just because the bottle said I could 1MG. , didn't mean I had to.
He told me to only take what worked for me...if I could take less that was great but to never take more.
I was given 1/2 MG tablets and I cut them in half I would take 1/4 about 8 AM and the other 1/4 around 5 PM.
Splitting the dose up and taking it through out the day instead of all at one time worked best for me.
I'm not telling you this is what you should do, but just suggesting something you might want to try.

You asked about taking it at the same time everyday, that's what I did and it worked great for me, but probably not something everyone should do, because it is possible for some people to become tolorant to it very quickly...another problem I never had...perhaps because I was on such a low dose.
Before someone hands my head to me for "Long term Benzo use" I have to say this.
The reason I took it everyday for so long was that NOTHING else worked for me.
I was a mess, I couldn't leave my house even the thought of it would tear me to pieces.
I almost jumped out of my skin everytime the phone rang or someone came to the door...the list goes on and on.

I had a problem with Klonopin also, it wasn't a tolorance thing with me though it just made me feel like a zombie.

Just remember that all of these drugs work differently on different people.
Xanax worked great for me and I weaned off of it with no problems what so ever, but it's not for everyone and doesn't effect everyone the same way.

And one last CAN wake up one day and find that the attacks are gone...if happend to me, they left one time and were gone for seven years.
Sadly they did come back, but they're gone again.
I just hope they stay away for good this time.

Old 02-11-2004, 07:20 AM   #3
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resiware HB User
Re: Xanax Rollercoaster & Agoraphobia

I thank you for your reply

I am not sure what it is with the Xanax. At first it worked and worked great and still does I guess what I was asking there was about the side effects. They seemed to last a week for me before they tapered off.

The reason I am told I have interdose withdrawl is went through a 8 day hell of at-home klonopin detox. I wanted to be free of them and no dr. would help me. Stupid, stupid me. Now, in between doses I have the withdrawl feeling.

In any case I have a Dr. appointment tomorrow and I am going to ask about Xanax XR in hopes of a one-a-day Xanax instead of the anxious moments. I've accepted that I need the medicine now it's finding what works best.

Again.. thanks and I hope to get some more input
Bri C.

Old 02-11-2004, 08:31 AM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2003
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KayT HB User
Re: Xanax Rollercoaster & Agoraphobia

Hi Bri C,

I am currently on the Xanax XR, but I take it three times per day. It is meant to be a one day dose, but studies have found that it lasts around 6-8 hours..........I like it better then the regular Xanax, because the regular seemed to drop me when it wore off and I would feel very down..........and also shaky...........the Xanax XR seems smoother........because it releases the medication throughout the duration of the dose thus not giving me the dumped feeling.

I took Klonopin years ago and was taken off it cold turkey because I found out I was pregnant with my daughter...........I was pretty sick from it and I ended up tapering it down to a spec before I could stop..........I sympathize with how bad it must have been stopping it cold turkey.

Hope you are feeling better soon,


Old 02-11-2004, 12:33 PM   #5
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Jennita HB User
Re: Xanax Rollercoaster & Agoraphobia

From what I've read, intera-dose withdrawals can also be a result of a growing tolerance to the drug...meaning the drug can wear off quicker than it's supposed to and the dosage is not as effective. If one does continue to develop tolerance, that could be a big problem later on.

Old 02-11-2004, 02:01 PM   #6
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Re: Xanax Rollercoaster & Agoraphobia

Well I have been on and off xanax for over 10 years.....yes it is fairly common to experience "iwithdrawal" anxiety between doses. The key is to take your dose every 6-8 hours to prevent that. You are not taking very much resiware, and I'd think you should get stablized on xanax before you see a big improvement in your life.

I was on it 4 years straight about .5-1 mg a day. I weaned off just recently very slowly and got off for about 2 weeks, then Bam my world fell apart and now I'm back on 1 mg a day. I have that "in-between" anxiety and just put up with it until my next dose. I take .5 at 7:00 am and .5 at 3:00 pm. It wares off before bed usually, but I can still sleep okay. Every now and then I take .25 before bed. I do noticed that right after 6 hours I start feeling shaky. I have also had that "depersonalization" type feeling before. Its like I blank out or a second and have to concentrate to get back to reality. I have that several times a day. The more stress the more it happens. I get brain fog easily also and a "heavy head" feelings.

I put up with it all because it takes away my panic attacks. I'd rather have the inconvinence of the side-effects then face panic.

I really hope you start feeling better . Perhaps the xanax RX will work for you. I've never tried it, but other I know say its better then having to take 3 doses a day.

Good luck. Annie

Old 02-11-2004, 02:06 PM   #7
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Smile Re: Xanax Rollercoaster & Agoraphobia

Hi there,
Well, I guess it is my turn to put in my two and one-half dollars worth. Xanax Xr is turning out to be around 8-10 hours tops not around the clock. I am going to state something and I am sure that there will be a lot of people that will disagree but this is my opinion about all of the questions about xanax and all that I myself will every believe. I believe this because I use it around the clock and I know the effects from side effects and condition. Most people do not want to except that what they are feeling is their actual condition. Your condition does not have to be a panic attack but thoughts causing symptoms or cluster symptoms only. They can be different everyday or the same for months. Xanax can not be taken successfully for panic disorder unless taken for the duration it is designed for. If you take it only as needed and I don't care what any writting or Doctor says, then you are only taking a traquilizer not a medication for a true panic condition that does not let up. Most of the time people want to think that they are having side effects when they only take if once a day. After taking it for weeks or months you could be getting a little withdrawal from it but generally I would say it is your actual condition and the medication is not taking you though it. It doesn't matter if you only need 0.25mg or 1mg, it must be taken at least morning, afternoon and bedtime. It has to build up a around the clock working action, it is not an aspirin for a headache. Then there is the not wanting to except that it is the only thing that will work for you, so you are all worked up on addiction. I know all about addiction, I am disabled from and srri addiction and I was not abusing it but listened to my pdoc that said I could go right of of it. Addiction means nothing in the consideration of what you take. You have to take what stops the attacks or you are just suffering for the fun of it I guess. As far as building a tolerance to it and having to raise your dosage, that a lot of bull. You have to find the level that works for you, know that you will have ups and downs and except it. You will always, even if you didn't have panic disorder have little pains and such but with this disorder you immediately think the worse and have panic symptoms or an attack. Once you finally get so tired of the panic symptoms that you don't care anymore, they stop bothering you so much and you will never had to up your dosage from where you became stable. People think that if they have to go through some suffering while on the medication that it is no longer working and that they need to up their dosage. There is the problem, the medication is working fine, your condition is such that you have spells or bouts that you have to mentally work though, not take more meds. The biggest thing that you have to work against once you learn to manage the panic is depression and going places. The going places thing will get better with the medications but the depression is the hardest because you never want to except that you really have a condition or you feel better from the medication and think that you can go off because you are now cured. Wrong! Once you have panic disorder it will always be lingering in the back of your mind and you have to except it, just like you would if you had an injury that acts up. It is livable, you just have to except it and stop the attacks. You can mess around anyway that you want with the medications but it will not work unless done buy the "action" half-life which is not the half-life of toxins leaving the body. Xanax works 5-7 hours but it can work 3 times a day with little discomfort. I have to take it 4 times a day because it also helps kill the pains and stop the spasms in my body. If I had just panic attack, I would feel great. To give you an example of beating the hardest part of panic disorder which is excepting that you do in fact have this "Condition", is: The Stress and Anxiety topic on this board. 90 percent or more of the people on that topic have panic disorder, not stress or anxiety. They want to think it is just GAD or Stress but they are just fooling themselves. Everyone wants to be healthy and excepting panic disorder is admitting that it is not just Stress. Stress is not panic disorder and either is GAD. Stress only requires a change of life style. GAD can be handled with Therapy or and srri but panic disorder is very questionable as to what medication will relieve it and if a benzo is the answer then you are stuck with it and if you don't take it proplerly, you'll be posting on here everyday how bad you feel. Exceptance of your conditon, properly taking the medication and learning to manage the condition itself, you mind, is the only thing as close to a cure as you can get. If you want your life back, quit playing with the medicaions and stabilize with the one that works for you. I have thought several times that I would like to be off my medications and I feel good usually at the time because they work. I know though that I have a condition such, that if I was to go off, I would be in a home or worse. Xanax isn't bad, abusing it is. Get your life back, use it correctly if you are on it. I always suggest Klonopin before xanax, so I will state that also, just because it does last longer, if a person can tolerate it. I wish I could be uplifting about this but taking xanax once a day can only work with certain people and those people, all I can say is that they can certainly manage their thoughts to hold back the attacks. Or of course, they might be suffering everyday because they are afraid of addiction and excepting that they need more, which is riduculous. I don't sell xanax, I don't promote xanax but it works for most anyone that takes it correctly. Just my opinion that I am not going to change but we all have our own. Have a painc free day.



Old 02-11-2004, 09:37 PM   #8
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Wink Re: Xanax Rollercoaster & Agoraphobia

Originally Posted by resiware
I thank you for your reply

I am not sure what it is with the Xanax. At first it worked and worked great and still does I guess what I was asking there was about the side effects. They seemed to last a week for me before they tapered off.

The reason I am told I have interdose withdrawl is went through a 8 day hell of at-home klonopin detox. I wanted to be free of them and no dr. would help me. Stupid, stupid me. Now, in between doses I have the withdrawl feeling.

In any case I have a Dr. appointment tomorrow and I am going to ask about Xanax XR in hopes of a one-a-day Xanax instead of the anxious moments. I've accepted that I need the medicine now it's finding what works best.

Again.. thanks and I hope to get some more input
Hi Bri,
I was always under the assumption that Xanax should not be used for long periods of time but I'm not sure. I was on it when my panic initally started but I had to get off because it did weird things to me after a while. I was really dizzy and just whacked I guess. I started to become dependant on them. At that time I started to go to a different doctor who didn't like Xanax at all and wanted me on Klonopin. I personally like Klonopin much better. Are you on a anti-depressant too? Those work too for anxiety/panic. I know how you feel about feeling frustrated to the point of tears and my heart goes out to you. It's hard but you will get better, and so will I. We all continue to take positive steps everyday so it will happen. Hang in there with us!

Old 02-12-2004, 12:05 PM   #9
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Jennita HB User
Re: Xanax Rollercoaster & Agoraphobia

Xanax, klonopin, valium, ativan, etc. are all benzodiazepines. They are addictive, but the word addictive is misleading sometimes...physical dependancy is what can cause withdrawals...those withdrawals are not from "addiction". Addiction is defined mainly by behavior; compulsive use, abuse, etc. Physical dependancy can be a component in addiction but if one is not compulsive/abusive with the drug, then they are only suffering from symptoms of physical dependancy, not addiction.

I think sickman mentioned he was addicted to SSRi's because when he stopped them he had withdrawals. That was physical dependancy, not true addiction.

Tolerance is a real phemnomenon. Lots of research proves it. I'm living proof of it. Turns out my original symptoms were from a medication(narcotic) prescribed to me for an illness, in which a benzo was given to me to combat.

But then I developed tolerance eventually to even the higher dosage of the didn't seem to do much but then I could literally feel when the drug wore off......breathless, higher pulse, etc. and panic attacks.

I read up on benzos; benzo withdrawal sites, The Ashton Manuel, etc. Basically, I realized benzos can cause more harm than good and actually made me develop panic attacks when it wore off.

So, I went off of it, but not without a price to pay: benzodiazepine protracted withdrawal syndrome. The withdrawals I had caused all doctors to tell me I needed the pills or even perhaps an SSri).... that I would not get better because it was me, not the pills or any protracted withdrawal causing my panic and insomnia. But I decided to listen to those who had more infomation about benzos on the internet and think "out of the box" so to speak.

I'm so glad I did; sleep came back eventually and panic completely dissapeared. I feel quite well these days. I'm living proof of the harm the drugs can cause or worsen existing problems. I'm also proof of tolerance development on prescribed doses. It usually happens on the higher doses (1+mgs.) but it could also happen with smaller dosages for some people. But even minus the tolerance issue, physical dependancy itself is an important issue and can cause these intra-dose or skipped dose panic symptoms for most people....which are usually interpreted by doctors as original conditon, since withdrawal/recovery from benzos mimic those same symptoms. That can be a bit frustrating or confusing for some I suppose.

Also, benzos are the only drug with the possiblity of such a long protracted withdrawal, which if you ask me should not be called protracted benzo withdrawal syndrome but more correctly benzo protracted recovery syndrome. This is because actual drug "withdrawal" is defined when the drug is completely out of the body, which usually only takes two weeks or so.

The symptoms after that are not caused by withdrawal but is more of a symptom of a weakened brain that needs to recover from chemical intrusion, so it's more of a recovery syndrome than withdrawal. And it can take a very long time....but so worth it as far as I'm concerned. But that's just my case and my decision; everyone else must sort thru their own and hopefully come up a winner.

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