Discussions that mention xanax

Anxiety board


My Psych gave me .25mg xanax to take 3x a day for anxiety along with zoloft which ive started slowly.

Is Xanax bad? I dont want to become an addict or anything, or is my dose small enough not to worry?

Adam
I take .25 mg in the morning and 1mg at night of xanax and 300mg of wellbutrin a day. I don't think xanax is bad for you if you need it. If someone was to take it that didn't need it they might have a bad reaction to it.
Well Adam you're going to get to very different points of view on this.
There isn't going to be any in between.
You'll get people who have had trouble with Benzo's tell you that the devil himself created Xanax...then you'll have people who never had trouble with it tell you that it's a miracle drug.
I fall somewhere in between.
I know for a fact that not everyone who takes a benzo becomes dependent on or tolorant to them.
I took a very low dose of Xanax for a long time, and not once in all that time did I ever feel like I HAD to have it, nor did I ever up my dose.
It helped me get my life back, but I don't think it's the be all and end all for panic or anxiety problems...in my opinion there is no such thing...nothing works the same for everyone and not everyone will react the same to every drug or every form of therapy for that matter.

I was ALLOWED to take one half MG. twice a day, but I never took that much.
In fact I took half that much.
My Doctor told me something that I took to heart and I believe that's one of the main reasons why I never had any trouble with the Xanax.
He told me if I could take less and feel okay then that's what I should do...but to never, ever under any circumstances take more.
He said just because the bottle said I COULD take up to 1 mg. a day, didn't mean I had to.

I'm no Doctor but I have a feeling that your Doctor gave you the Xanax to counter act the startup side effects of the Zoloft and once you get used to the Zoloft you won't need the Xanax any more.

Like I said, I'm not a Doctor but if you have concerns you should talk to your Doctor about them and maybe ask her opinion of taking only what you need to counter act the Zoloft start up side effects...instead of taking it three times a day regardless.

I'm by no means and expert, this is just my experiance with Xanax and my opinion.

I hope everything works out okay for you and that the Zoloft is the answer for you....Good Luck :angel:
Wow thanks for the replies, I completely understand. I will talk to her about it when i see her on monday. I switched anti's and had some very bad anxiety. She mentioned she wanted my body to remember how to be relaxed (thats how bad i am) and gave me the xanax to curb withdrawal and startup of a new drug. So that sounds resonable. I guess i wont have to be on it forever, and thats good...im just thinking ahead. Appreciate the info! :)

Adam
Hi Adam, a lot of folks know that I am a big fan of the Xanax XR (extended release) version. I take 1MG in the morning and it lasts all day until the next morning. It also comes in a 1/2 MG tablet and is supposed to be less habit forming due to it's long half life. I have never had to up the dose and take it in conjunction with a small dose of Prozac (5MG) for anxiety not so much depression. It's worked wonders and once I have stabilized on the Prozac for 4 weeks (It took me almost 12 weeks to get to 5MG of Prozac because I am so med sensitive...no joke) then I will slowly taper off the Xanax XR. Good luck to you and if you start feeling breakthrough anxiety during the day, give the XR a shot...it's been miraculous. Graciecat was right...I'm one of the ones that think Xanax is a lifesaver. :)
I started taking Xanax about a month ago. I was prescribed .5mg three times a day but so far all I am doing is taking one pill(.5mg) splitting it and taking one half in morning and the other early evening and I would say that it has helped me get things back under control, to a point that is.

I just feel that there is no need to get into taking any higher doses to avoid addiction issues.

Good Luck!!

Bob
Quote from adam2000:
My Psych gave me .25mg xanax to take 3x a day for anxiety along with zoloft which ive started slowly.

Is Xanax bad? I dont want to become an addict or anything, or is my dose small enough not to worry?

Adam


Read the online free Ashton Manual. It is very informative concerning benzodiazepines. Benzos affect GABA, which in dependancy/tolerance situations the brain can literally become lazy and not produce it's own anymore due to drug taking over the function. Also, the brain can build up a "defense" if you will, which creates more excitatory neuros and imbalancing the receptor system.....this is tolerance. No way to know how long it takes to build tolerance.

Deregulation is another thing....continued exposure to psychoactive drugs can cause brain receptors to become desensitized and even eventually die off. This is proven science which seems to escape most prescribing habits these days.

But such damage is reversable with time.

However, if you stick with the low dosage and use a benzo short term, you will no doubt not run into all that trouble!

But Zoloft, which effects the excitatory neurotransmitter serotonin, could create overstimulation thus the need for continued use of the benzo to control that. Whereas discontinuing the Zoloft would fix that in itself, most physicans want to continue the use of benzos.

You can wait it out and hopefully not need the benzo when the Zoloft takes effect....because people do have different drug reactions to all this. But then be aware SSRi's have shown some deregulation of serotonin receptors in rats from long term use.

But none of this is dangerous. You won't die. You might even be able to tolerate the side effects or health effects down the line just fine. You may not even need the drugs long term at all, and they could be helpful to you in the short term.

You just must be vigilant on whether or not the drug benefits outweigh the risks; then you can decide what is best for your individual needs.
if xanax is properly prescribed, its rare for an anxiety sufferer to become addicted to it, most anxiety sufferers are far too sensible to become addicted

those with addictive type personalitys can and do become addicted though

some anxiety and panic attack sufferers do rely entirely on large doses of xanax, sometimes taken daily for many years, they never show any mental or physical harm from the xanax......
Quote from hry33:
if xanax is properly prescribed, its rare for an anxiety sufferer to become addicted to it, most anxiety sufferers are far too sensible to become addicted

those with addictive type personalitys can and do become addicted though

some anxiety and panic attack sufferers do rely entirely on large doses of xanax, sometimes taken daily for many years, they never show any mental or physical harm from the xanax......


Sensibility doesn't play into physical dependancy. It does play into actual addiction. Addiction is actually considered different than physical dependancy(physical addiction) although many people think they are the same thing. But addiction specialists know the difference as I explain below.

It is important not to confuse physical dependence as evidenced by benzodiazepine withdrawal syndromes with addiction or drug dependence (DSM-IV). The majority of people suffering with prolonged withdrawal syndromes from benzodiazepines do not meet sufficient criteria to make the diagnosis of addiction. They are NOT addicts.

Addiction is a biopsychosocial syndrome. Less than ten percent of the population is at risk. Although there are eight diagnostic criteria, three of which must be present for a year; the syndrome can best be described by "the 3 Cs".

Control: when the addicted person starts using their drug they episodically lose control over their ingestion.

Compulsion: getting and using the drug takes on more and more importance or salience in the person's life, crowding out relationships and activities that were once important to them.

Consequences: they continue using the drug despite the drug causing problems at home, problems in relationships, medical problems, legal problems, emotional and psychiatric problems and finally vocational problems.

Physical dependence is simply a neurobiological phenomenon due to continued exposure to a drug. It happens to all human brains exposed to drugs such as benzodiazepines and opioids. It is not addiction.
Quote from Jennita:
Sensibility doesn't play into physical dependancy. It does play into actual addiction. Addiction is actually considered different than physical dependancy(physical addiction) although many people think they are the same thing. But addiction specialists know the difference as I explain below.

It is important not to confuse physical dependence as evidenced by benzodiazepine withdrawal syndromes with addiction or drug dependence (DSM-IV). The majority of people suffering with prolonged withdrawal syndromes from benzodiazepines do not meet sufficient criteria to make the diagnosis of addiction. They are NOT addicts.

Addiction is a biopsychosocial syndrome. Less than ten percent of the population is at risk. Although there are eight diagnostic criteria, three of which must be present for a year; the syndrome can best be described by "the 3 Cs".

Control: when the addicted person starts using their drug they episodically lose control over their ingestion.

Compulsion: getting and using the drug takes on more and more importance or salience in the person's life, crowding out relationships and activities that were once important to them.

Consequences: they continue using the drug despite the drug causing problems at home, problems in relationships, medical problems, legal problems, emotional and psychiatric problems and finally vocational problems.

Physical dependence is simply a neurobiological phenomenon due to continued exposure to a drug. It happens to all human brains exposed to drugs such as benzodiazepines and opioids. It is not addiction.



I was addicted to xanax 22 years ago. Yes, I became dependent very quickly and at that time, the doctor's didn't think the benzo's were addictive. I was not tapered down but abruptly halted which caused god awful withdrawls. I would not want my worst enemy to go through a benzo withdrawal.

Having said that, I still use xanax these days VERY SPARINGLY. Maybe I'll take a .25 once every 4 or 5 months. The benzo's are very effective in knocking out PA's or reducing anxiety within 20 minutes. I recommend benzo's for PA's and anxiety over SSRI's any day. The SSRI's have side effects (like worsening panic attacks in the beginning of drug therapy)that are simply intolerable for most anxiety ridden folks. The long term effects like sexual dysfunction, weight gain was something I chose to do without. Yes, I was on SSRI's for 5 years, gained 30lbs and the withdrawal was equally, if not worse than the xanax withdrawal, IMHO.

People with panic and anxiety just need to make informed decisions on which drug therapy is the best. Benzo's have their place in the world after 40 years. If they didn't, they would be long gone.
I thought I would throw in my two cents also. I have been taking valium for some 30+ years for chronix anxiety. Valium is another benzo, just older than xanax. About 10 years ago, I started taking paxil as my dr thought this would help. Unfortunately, it did not really help, and paxil is very hard to quit taking (lots of side affects), not to mention the sexual side affects of taking paxil.

IMHO, I agree with redherring. Benzos work better for PA and anxiety than anything else, especially if you have bad anxiety and frequent PA.

As for addiction, I would say I'm addicted to valium, but if I didn't suffer from chronic PA and anxiety, I know I could quit taking it. I've done it before.

Adam, I read the two long threads from beginning to end about Lexipro and your bout with anxiety. I wish you well, and hope zoloft works for you. Your anxiety sounds much like mine started some 35 years ago.
Quote from redherring:
I was addicted to xanax 22 years ago. Yes, I became dependent very quickly and at that time, the doctor's didn't think the benzo's were addictive. I was not tapered down but abruptly halted which caused god awful withdrawls. I would not want my worst enemy to go through a benzo withdrawal.

Having said that, I still use xanax these days VERY SPARINGLY. Maybe I'll take a .25 once every 4 or 5 months. The benzo's are very effective in knocking out PA's or reducing anxiety within 20 minutes. I recommend benzo's for PA's and anxiety over SSRI's any day. The SSRI's have side effects (like worsening panic attacks in the beginning of drug therapy)that are simply intolerable for most anxiety ridden folks. The long term effects like sexual dysfunction, weight gain was something I chose to do without. Yes, I was on SSRI's for 5 years, gained 30lbs and the withdrawal was equally, if not worse than the xanax withdrawal, IMHO.

People with panic and anxiety just need to make informed decisions on which drug therapy is the best. Benzo's have their place in the world after 40 years. If they didn't, they would be long gone.


Yes, I know they have their place, they are a form of anesthesia first used in surgery. They are good when someone is in shock. They are excellent for PA's, no doubt about that. But they have no place in each day of our lives.

But using them for your PA's in such a sparing manner is actually very wise!

Too bad some doctors are not as wise as you are and push the daily use thing which is what leads to trouble.

"As needed" basis is best to avoid those withdrawals and other problems of dependancy.

IMHO, SSRi's are the dumbest thing for PA's since serotonin is excitartory and a precursor to adrenaline which is a panic person's worst nightmare! I guess in some people the SSRi's work in a paradoxial manner at times but benzos like Xanax and Valium are definately more appropriate drugs for anxiety and panic.
Quote from Jennita:
Yes, I know they have their place, they are a form of anesthesia first used in surgery. They are good when someone is in shock. They are excellent for PA's, no doubt about that. But they have no place in each day of our lives.



Jennita, you seem pretty adamant that benzos should not be used long term and should not be used as a daily med, but you also say you don't think SSRI's are a good treatment for PA and anxiety. My experiences with SSRIs make me tend to agree with you there, didn't help me much.

Well, that may be good advice for someone that suffers occasionally or is going through a temporary bout of anxiety, But what do you say to people who suffer from high anxiety and/or panic attacks daily, chronically? While i do try to keep my Xanax usage to an as needed basis and never take it when i truly do not need it, I find that most days I do need it. I have constant anxiety, CONSTANT. Xanax is the only thing that gets me through my day sometimes. My doctor has been very good about trying lots of diffferent meds and even CBT therapy, none of which has worked. We will continue to try new things, but for the time being we have both come to the conclusion that i need the Xanax, usually daily.

So I guess what I'm saying is for me, they do have a place in most days of my life.
Quote from allen_dave:
I thought I would throw in my two cents also. I have been taking valium for some 30+ years for chronix anxiety. Valium is another benzo, just older than xanax. About 10 years ago, I started taking paxil as my dr thought this would help. Unfortunately, it did not really help, and paxil is very hard to quit taking (lots of side affects), not to mention the sexual side affects of taking paxil.

IMHO, I agree with redherring. Benzos work better for PA and anxiety than anything else, especially if you have bad anxiety and frequent PA.

As for addiction, I would say I'm addicted to valium, but if I didn't suffer from chronic PA and anxiety, I know I could quit taking it. I've done it before.

Adam, I read the two long threads from beginning to end about Lexipro and your bout with anxiety. I wish you well, and hope zoloft works for you. Your anxiety sounds much like mine started some 35 years ago.


Actually, Valium is also less potent and easier to get off of because of it's long half life; Prof. Ashton who wrote the free online Ashton Manual actually recommends people on other benzos switch to Valium for their taper. It also comes in very small dosages which aids in tapering greatly.

1mg. Xanax is equivalent to around 20 mgs. Valium so that shows you how much of a difference there is. But Valium got a bad rep in the 1960's as mother's little helper when it was highly abused so docs shy away from it.
Quote from mjewell:
Jennita, you seem pretty adamant that benzos should not be used long term and should not be used as a daily med, but you also say you don't think SSRI's are a good treatment for PA and anxiety. My experiences with SSRIs make me tend to agree with you there, didn't help me much.

Well, that may be good advice for someone that suffers occasionally or is going through a temporary bout of anxiety, But what do you say to people who suffer from high anxiety and/or panic attacks daily, chronically? While i do try to keep my Xanax usage to an as needed basis and never take it when i truly do not need it, I find that most days I do need it. I have constant anxiety, CONSTANT. Xanax is the only thing that gets me through my day sometimes. My doctor has been very good about trying lots of diffferent meds and even CBT therapy, none of which has worked. We will continue to try new things, but for the time being we have both come to the conclusion that i need the Xanax, usually daily.

So I guess what I'm saying is for me, they do have a place in most days of my life.


Did you have constant anxiety before Xanax? Sometimes the "as needed" way can turn into dependancy, tolerance and the need to go to everyday use. That's not as likely but I've heard of it happening. Or if someone starts off with daily use right away, then sometimes the "rebound" as each dose fades can be misfigured as part of the original condition when in fact it is interdose withdrawals and possibly the development of tolerance.

The free online Ashton Manual really might explain things better than I can. Maybe you could look at it.

If you are taking a very low dose and never increase it, you might be allright to continue it if all else has failed especially if you haven't had many adverse effects or tolerance.
Yeah, I've had constant anxiety for about 14 years and only started trying meds (incl Xanax) 2 years ago. I don't know how I got through before I took meds, I definitely skipped out on more of my life, thats fer sure, but you are right, now that I have it and know it helps, psychologically I am addicted. I really freak out if I know it isn't with me. When I started taking it it was like .5 mg two or three times a week. I still take .5 mg, but more often than not it is at least one a day, sometimes 2 on very bad days. So far no side effects, but I really worry about long term stuff...seems like drs don't know the long term until its too late fort a lot of people.

I did read that Ashton manual, but it kinda scared me. Seems like the people he was treating were on like 4 or 5 mg doses for years...I'm not there yet :)

I have not had to increase my dose, so I guess for the time being I'm ok with it. I would rather take it daily then miss out on life I guess. If only there was a safe, effective, healthy solution that worked for everyone huh?
Quote from mjewell:
Yeah, I've had constant anxiety for about 14 years and only started trying meds (incl Xanax) 2 years ago. I don't know how I got through before I took meds, I definitely skipped out on more of my life, thats fer sure, but you are right, now that I have it and know it helps, psychologically I am addicted. I really freak out if I know it isn't with me. When I started taking it it was like .5 mg two or three times a week. I still take .5 mg, but more often than not it is at least one a day, sometimes 2 on very bad days. So far no side effects, but I really worry about long term stuff...seems like drs don't know the long term until its too late fort a lot of people.

I did read that Ashton manual, but it kinda scared me. Seems like the people he was treating were on like 4 or 5 mg doses for years...I'm not there yet :)

I have not had to increase my dose, so I guess for the time being I'm ok with it. I would rather take it daily then miss out on life I guess. If only there was a safe, effective, healthy solution that worked for everyone huh?


Oh, yeah, your dose isn't too bad. Some people can stay on a low dose for years and never increase...let's hope that's your case. The Ashton Manual is a bit scary but for some people who have reached that hellish point of no return, it's a godsend. Thank goodness you are not in that catagory.

Adrenaline is supposed to be a huge culprit of anxiety. Caffeine, adrenaline boosters like some drugs (stimulants, SSri's, cigarettes, etc.) can be blamed. Stress is another thing, energy herbs and drinks. Sometimes synthetic vitamins act like drugs in some people and overstimulate the nervous system. I think I read that hyperthyroid is another.

It would be better to find the source of your anxiety if possible so someday you won't need pills. Good luck! :angel:
Quote from Jennita:
IMHO, SSRi's are the dumbest thing for PA's since serotonin is excitartory and a precursor to adrenaline which is a panic person's worst nightmare! I guess in some people the SSRi's work in a paradoxial manner at times but benzos like Xanax and Valium are definately more appropriate drugs for anxiety and panic.

Jennita, that's very interesting! I also tend to agree. How did SSRIs become so popular for treating anxiety?!
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Wow this thread took off huh *grin* Thanks for all the info, and thanks for the best wishes. I had to taper off xanax for 2 days to get an ENG, and they were the two most horrible days ive had in years. I hope i never feel that way again! and i was only on xanax .25 3x a day and a small dose of zoloft since my doc didnt want to start me until my test was over. Now im back on everything and starting to feel better. Im a little tired from the meds but not bad. Today i started on 25mg of zoloft, which i have to do for a few days then try 50 if it doesnt give me the jitters.

I asked my psych today if i had to keep taking xanax for a long time, she told me she gave it to me to help curb any side effects of the zoloft until im used to it, so im happy about that. I cant wait to get life back to normal again!
Quote from allen_dave:
Jennita, that's very interesting! I also tend to agree. How did SSRIs become so popular for treating anxiety?!
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Well, I feel redherring is right, but also, our medical community here FINALLY caught up with the rest of the world and realized that benzos indeed cause severe physical dependancy among other things (UK's Dr. Heather Ashton knew back in the '80's).

But alot of the problems were that doctors used them as "preventative" thus daily dosing at substantial doses when people really didn't need them, and not as they should be used, aka "as needed" for panic attacks, shock, etc. So many people ended up as accidental addicts.

Benzo's were medicines' answer to the barbituate problems, which were very popular intil their problems started to arise. Benzo's were first toted as completely non-habit forming or addictive, alot like just taking an aspirin, imagine that!

Then Valium got abused and was toted mother's little helper; became part of the drug scene. It's still used/abused to "come down" from other drugs like speed and cocaine. But Valium is far weaker/less potent than the newer benzos like Ativan, Xanax and Klonopin!

Actually, I found out my uncle took Valium after my aunt died; he didn't have a large problem getting off it although some people do. So sometimes, if used correctly, a weaker benzo like Valium may work out for some people. But I know one woman who could not get off a few mgs. of Valium without severe insomnia and nervousness.....so one never really knows.

So between the realization of severe physical dependancy and tolerance(what some think is addiction but is not true addiction) of these drugs and the new market for SSRi's, benzos are not the first choice anymore.

Benzos replaced barbituates, SSRi's replaced benzos....

But it's already been established that SSRi's have "discontinuation syndromes", aka physical dependancy and need for increase dose over time(tolerance) but it's being denied right now by the medical community, at least intil they come up with a new drug again! :eek:
Xanax has helped me greatly with anxiety and panics. I don't take it every day and have two strengths, .25 and .50. I split the .50 in half at night and use only half of the .25 during the day to calm down, if needed. I found trhe whole .25 to make me sleepy during the day.
But it certainly helped me get through some rough times.
Quote from Terri43:
I take .25 mg in the morning and 1mg at night of xanax and 300mg of wellbutrin a day. I don't think xanax is bad for you if you need it. If someone was to take it that didn't need it they might have a bad reaction to it.


Can I ask why you take a full mg at night? why not .25mgs three times a day? How long have you been on xanax?
Adam,
I hope you are feeling better! I have been on xanax for a month and effexor xr. I am on them for short term use. My doc wants me to be on them for 6 months and then wean me off. I haven't had any side effects whatsoever!! I only take the xanax when I really feel like I can't hack it anymore. The first couple weeks, I was taking .5mg three times a day. Well, somedays it was less. Right now, I feel better than I have in a very long time. My anxiety finally caught up with me. Everything calmed down and was okay and then my body apparently felt like it could let all that crap out on me. Couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, pretty much, couldn't do anything. Panic attacks several times a day. Which I had never had one before, so, I really didn't know what was wrong with me. A year ago, I was dealing with an addicted husband, our two kids, then, his cousin moved in with his two kids. I had two husbands and four kids to take care of. Took care of everyone but me. Caught up with me though.

Anyway, hope you are doing better!!