Just started Xanax...anyone have experiences to share?

Posted by alanism @alanism, Jan 31, 2019

I recently moved to a new house I am not liking, and have always struggled with anxiety. My anxiety has spiked and has been out of control over this move which I feel was a mistake. My doctor prescribed sertraline, but I understand I will not feel the affect of the sertraline for 6-8 weeks. For the past couple of weeks I have been taking two .5 mg of Xanax a day, which has really helped. My doctor said Xanax is not a long term solution but that this is a safe dose. I am afraid of addiction and of Xanax, but right now it seems to be the only thing calming me down. Just wondering what others have experienced with Xanax.

@alanism I have been on alprazolam for thirty-two years for panic attacks. I have not been able to drive for over 20 years because my panic attacks started when I was driving. Just the thought of getting behind the wheel scares me to death. So, my husband has to do all of the driving. I am addicted to my panic pill (as I call it), but without, I would be off the wall. It makes me extremely nervous to think that the gov't might put more restrictions on it. But, I have taken it this long and never had any side effects. I need it to live and would do whatever I had to to get it. I know people who don't have the problem don't understand, but it is serious. I have been to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack or I would be in a crowded store and have to get out—-just leave the cart and exit as fast as possible. So, those of us who need this type of med, need it, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Carol

Liked by phxlife, sears

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@retiredteacher

@alanism I have been on alprazolam for thirty-two years for panic attacks. I have not been able to drive for over 20 years because my panic attacks started when I was driving. Just the thought of getting behind the wheel scares me to death. So, my husband has to do all of the driving. I am addicted to my panic pill (as I call it), but without, I would be off the wall. It makes me extremely nervous to think that the gov't might put more restrictions on it. But, I have taken it this long and never had any side effects. I need it to live and would do whatever I had to to get it. I know people who don't have the problem don't understand, but it is serious. I have been to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack or I would be in a crowded store and have to get out—-just leave the cart and exit as fast as possible. So, those of us who need this type of med, need it, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Carol

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There are street drugs that are sold, illegally as Xanax "The deaths caused by fentanyl pills disguised as Xanax provide a harrowing look into the real danger of purchasing prescription drugs on the street."

Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, etc. They each have different half lifes, the amount of time that the drug still exists in the blood at half of a steady state value. Xanax is the shortest, about 10 hours, Klonopin is about 35 hours, and Valium is nearly 100 hours.

But, as we age, the elimination time of medication is increased, i.e. in senior years, it will take longer for the drug to drop to half it's steady state value, so the therapeutic action of shorter half life medications will last longer. Some people may benefit by a longer half-life medication. The short half life of Xanax is believed to contribute to it's addictive properties:

"Generally speaking, benzodiazepines with a shorter half life (such as Xanax) are harder to stop than those with a longer half life (such as Valium). Both drugs readily enter brain tissue which reinforces drug taking and is generally associated with more severe withdrawal symptoms."

I take Klonopin, due to other meds I take, a slight dose seems to provide significant, for me at least, effect. November 2018 I went into afib, and still am in afib, and for months I took a small dose every night. I was able to stop without side effects and without tapering. I have taken a Benzodiazepine, in one form or another, for 30 years now. I've learned to live with tension, so I don't take them often, but they are nice to have for troubled times. Those on higher doses need to consult their doctor about tapering, one should not stop, if that time comes, cold turkey.

Liked by sears

REPLY
@soliloquized

There are street drugs that are sold, illegally as Xanax "The deaths caused by fentanyl pills disguised as Xanax provide a harrowing look into the real danger of purchasing prescription drugs on the street."

Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, etc. They each have different half lifes, the amount of time that the drug still exists in the blood at half of a steady state value. Xanax is the shortest, about 10 hours, Klonopin is about 35 hours, and Valium is nearly 100 hours.

But, as we age, the elimination time of medication is increased, i.e. in senior years, it will take longer for the drug to drop to half it's steady state value, so the therapeutic action of shorter half life medications will last longer. Some people may benefit by a longer half-life medication. The short half life of Xanax is believed to contribute to it's addictive properties:

"Generally speaking, benzodiazepines with a shorter half life (such as Xanax) are harder to stop than those with a longer half life (such as Valium). Both drugs readily enter brain tissue which reinforces drug taking and is generally associated with more severe withdrawal symptoms."

I take Klonopin, due to other meds I take, a slight dose seems to provide significant, for me at least, effect. November 2018 I went into afib, and still am in afib, and for months I took a small dose every night. I was able to stop without side effects and without tapering. I have taken a Benzodiazepine, in one form or another, for 30 years now. I've learned to live with tension, so I don't take them often, but they are nice to have for troubled times. Those on higher doses need to consult their doctor about tapering, one should not stop, if that time comes, cold turkey.

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@soliloquized Your post is enlightening and educational, but it still all goes back to every person is different and our doctors give us what we need to control our situations. I have never abused my dose, but if I didn't have it, I would be in trouble. It is good that you can have what works for you. I think with the Opioid crisis, everyone is careful and aware of what these types of drugs can do.
Carol

Liked by Soliloquized, sears

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@retiredteacher

@soliloquized Your post is enlightening and educational, but it still all goes back to every person is different and our doctors give us what we need to control our situations. I have never abused my dose, but if I didn't have it, I would be in trouble. It is good that you can have what works for you. I think with the Opioid crisis, everyone is careful and aware of what these types of drugs can do.
Carol

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I agree. I watched a video, a medical type discussion, about restrictions on pain medication. They felt that newer laws are imposing meaningless restrictions on people in Chronic Pain, and that these laws are failing to address the true cause of Opioid Abuse as well as driving people to street drugs.

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@margot69

I have taken Xanax daily for 10 years. I seldom used the 3 a day I was allowed. For at least the past year+, I was only taking 1/2 pill at bed time. IF I felt I needed sone during the day, I would take another 1/2 pill. A few times I have had procedures done that I felt anxious about, I would check to see if I could take a Xanax before the procedure, which basically makes me feel sleepy. My preference would be not to take any of these meds but, with my other medical issues, this is what works for me. As I said, all my doctors know this. I took Valium eons ago and would not take it again. What works for one person might not for another. Always work with your doctors and let them monitor you. It is good to research things but, even here, you are getting a variety of information that can get confusing. You will need to find out what is right for you. What questions you are asking here, make a list and ask your doctor. You are still taking a low dose of the Xanax but, yes, many of these drugs can be addictive. Some meds you can stop and others you have to wean off of.

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Why did Valium not work for you?

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Been using long time for sleep’

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@alanism

@margot69. Thank you for sharing your story. That is an experience that would have sent me over the edge too, nice to hear how you came through on the other side. Helps to hear your experience. I am afraid I am stuck in this house…I thought a different and more expensive house in a quieter neighborhood with a yard for a dog would make me happier and it hasn’t, tough lesson to learn, old house really had everything I needed. We got a puppy too for my daughter and I am not used to animals, so that is wearing on my nerves. First world problem. @merry you are smart for staying in your house! I did end up taking the other half of the Xanax yesterday before bed. The lexapro and Xanax just make me feel groggy, and I am having night sweats still from the medication, literally am lying in the bed I made. Hoping the sweats dissipate as my body acclimates to the meds. Thank your for your comments, so much.

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Dear, don’t let pile of bricks ruin your health! I am in a similar situation like you for the last six years living in the house that I absolutely hate, and planning to sell it and move to another one. It causes me a lot of stress but I try to do yoga, walking, watching comedies, laughing, listening to nice music etc. I very seldom take Xanax, maybe half a pill once in 10 days before bed time. It doesn’t help much but I don’t want to take it all the time because I know how dangerous this medication is. Try drinking one or 2 cups of chamomile tea at night and take magnesium 500 mg. It really has very relaxing benefit. Think positive. I hope All goes well for you. Regards

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Hi! I just read your post, as well as numerous replies, and thought my own story would be of help. 🙂
I’ve had anxiety since 1990, and have been on Alprazolam (generic Xanax) successfully & daily all 30 years. For me, it has been no different than a diabetic who may need insulin their whole lives. It has been extremely beneficial and essential, and I take it responsibly. Always have.

Since we’ve lived in numerous states, or have had to change doctors on occasion due to our insurance changing, I’ve had the “pleasure” of having doctors’ responses to Alprazolam ranging from (and I’m being funny now) “clearly it’s like taking crack and we must get you off it,” to “well, we at least need to taper you back because it could be addictive,” to “oh my goodness, you’re totally fine to take it as it helps people so much.”

We need to be careful when we throw around the word “addiction” when it comes to Alprazolam. Yes, there is that factor in some people who take it, and usually it becomes obvious, I would imagine, by them abusing it or needing more before their refill. For me, it is a very very essential maintenance medication. I get my refills at the appropriate time, and after all these years I know exactly when I need it, and how much. I’m in the no-guilt/no shame zone on this one. We wouldn’t do that to someone who needed their medicine for whatever condition they have. Like them, the ability to have a quality of life on a daily basis would be extremely hard and diminished if it weren’t for my depression and anxiety medications. End of story.

As far as which ones and doses on those, again keep in mind I’ve been on meds, for both, for 30 years. So, I’ve been on depression meds that work, absolutely don’t work, and some “work okay” ones. Same for dosages on each one. Hang in there until you find the right one, and above all else, get a doctor who has a clue about mental health! If one doesn’t, move on!

Right now, I have .5 mg 3x/day. Sometimes I need all 3, sometimes I only need 2, and sometimes 2-1/2. At one point years ago, going through a very stressful time, my doctor had me go to 1mg 3x/day. I actually found that to be too much, so after that stressful time passed, I told him I wanted to go back down to my original dose. Now THAT’S a doctor who understands this whole area. And yes, he healthily monitored me.

Oh, I’m also one where the depression medicines with built-in anti-anxiety portions don’t work for me. I’ve tried many! So….I have to have both meds. to stay even-steven.

I’m also a rare bird that not only uses it for my anxiety, but also as a very effective sleep medication. While I know that I am the exception rather than the rule on the sleep part, frankly I don’t care. I know my body, and I know what works for me. Plus, that’s why studies always have the small percentage where a medication is also effective for such ‘n such in a small percentage of people. Make sense?

Gosh I hope this has helped. I am passionate about the area of Alprazolam, because when someone that is new on it hears every which way, I’m always afraid they will be so fearful of it that they will either not take it, or be afraid to ask for the right dose for them. That is such a disservice to all of us who greatly use it properly as an absolute life-saver.

To end, my mom (now 88 and still lives in her own apartment, has many standing weekly engagements, and is sharp as a tack) always tells me: “have something to look forward to each day.” That is such wise advice. It could be as simply as watching “Wheel of Fortune” at 7pm! 😊

REPLY

Use it for sleep

Liked by Soliloquized

REPLY
@phxlife

Hi! I just read your post, as well as numerous replies, and thought my own story would be of help. 🙂
I’ve had anxiety since 1990, and have been on Alprazolam (generic Xanax) successfully & daily all 30 years. For me, it has been no different than a diabetic who may need insulin their whole lives. It has been extremely beneficial and essential, and I take it responsibly. Always have.

Since we’ve lived in numerous states, or have had to change doctors on occasion due to our insurance changing, I’ve had the “pleasure” of having doctors’ responses to Alprazolam ranging from (and I’m being funny now) “clearly it’s like taking crack and we must get you off it,” to “well, we at least need to taper you back because it could be addictive,” to “oh my goodness, you’re totally fine to take it as it helps people so much.”

We need to be careful when we throw around the word “addiction” when it comes to Alprazolam. Yes, there is that factor in some people who take it, and usually it becomes obvious, I would imagine, by them abusing it or needing more before their refill. For me, it is a very very essential maintenance medication. I get my refills at the appropriate time, and after all these years I know exactly when I need it, and how much. I’m in the no-guilt/no shame zone on this one. We wouldn’t do that to someone who needed their medicine for whatever condition they have. Like them, the ability to have a quality of life on a daily basis would be extremely hard and diminished if it weren’t for my depression and anxiety medications. End of story.

As far as which ones and doses on those, again keep in mind I’ve been on meds, for both, for 30 years. So, I’ve been on depression meds that work, absolutely don’t work, and some “work okay” ones. Same for dosages on each one. Hang in there until you find the right one, and above all else, get a doctor who has a clue about mental health! If one doesn’t, move on!

Right now, I have .5 mg 3x/day. Sometimes I need all 3, sometimes I only need 2, and sometimes 2-1/2. At one point years ago, going through a very stressful time, my doctor had me go to 1mg 3x/day. I actually found that to be too much, so after that stressful time passed, I told him I wanted to go back down to my original dose. Now THAT’S a doctor who understands this whole area. And yes, he healthily monitored me.

Oh, I’m also one where the depression medicines with built-in anti-anxiety portions don’t work for me. I’ve tried many! So….I have to have both meds. to stay even-steven.

I’m also a rare bird that not only uses it for my anxiety, but also as a very effective sleep medication. While I know that I am the exception rather than the rule on the sleep part, frankly I don’t care. I know my body, and I know what works for me. Plus, that’s why studies always have the small percentage where a medication is also effective for such ‘n such in a small percentage of people. Make sense?

Gosh I hope this has helped. I am passionate about the area of Alprazolam, because when someone that is new on it hears every which way, I’m always afraid they will be so fearful of it that they will either not take it, or be afraid to ask for the right dose for them. That is such a disservice to all of us who greatly use it properly as an absolute life-saver.

To end, my mom (now 88 and still lives in her own apartment, has many standing weekly engagements, and is sharp as a tack) always tells me: “have something to look forward to each day.” That is such wise advice. It could be as simply as watching “Wheel of Fortune” at 7pm! 😊

Jump to this post

Your post is the most logical and best about the entire subject, it is filled with the common sense everybody needs, ah but that is so uncommon. You are passionate only about what has made your life very livable and normal, you have found what that is and you don’t abuse it but use it responsibly to correct what is wrong with your body. That is how all medications should be used, finding that right combination may take awhile, but whatever it is, if it works for you, your body and mind, just do it, this is about you not anyone else.

REPLY
@phxlife

Hi! I just read your post, as well as numerous replies, and thought my own story would be of help. 🙂
I’ve had anxiety since 1990, and have been on Alprazolam (generic Xanax) successfully & daily all 30 years. For me, it has been no different than a diabetic who may need insulin their whole lives. It has been extremely beneficial and essential, and I take it responsibly. Always have.

Since we’ve lived in numerous states, or have had to change doctors on occasion due to our insurance changing, I’ve had the “pleasure” of having doctors’ responses to Alprazolam ranging from (and I’m being funny now) “clearly it’s like taking crack and we must get you off it,” to “well, we at least need to taper you back because it could be addictive,” to “oh my goodness, you’re totally fine to take it as it helps people so much.”

We need to be careful when we throw around the word “addiction” when it comes to Alprazolam. Yes, there is that factor in some people who take it, and usually it becomes obvious, I would imagine, by them abusing it or needing more before their refill. For me, it is a very very essential maintenance medication. I get my refills at the appropriate time, and after all these years I know exactly when I need it, and how much. I’m in the no-guilt/no shame zone on this one. We wouldn’t do that to someone who needed their medicine for whatever condition they have. Like them, the ability to have a quality of life on a daily basis would be extremely hard and diminished if it weren’t for my depression and anxiety medications. End of story.

As far as which ones and doses on those, again keep in mind I’ve been on meds, for both, for 30 years. So, I’ve been on depression meds that work, absolutely don’t work, and some “work okay” ones. Same for dosages on each one. Hang in there until you find the right one, and above all else, get a doctor who has a clue about mental health! If one doesn’t, move on!

Right now, I have .5 mg 3x/day. Sometimes I need all 3, sometimes I only need 2, and sometimes 2-1/2. At one point years ago, going through a very stressful time, my doctor had me go to 1mg 3x/day. I actually found that to be too much, so after that stressful time passed, I told him I wanted to go back down to my original dose. Now THAT’S a doctor who understands this whole area. And yes, he healthily monitored me.

Oh, I’m also one where the depression medicines with built-in anti-anxiety portions don’t work for me. I’ve tried many! So….I have to have both meds. to stay even-steven.

I’m also a rare bird that not only uses it for my anxiety, but also as a very effective sleep medication. While I know that I am the exception rather than the rule on the sleep part, frankly I don’t care. I know my body, and I know what works for me. Plus, that’s why studies always have the small percentage where a medication is also effective for such ‘n such in a small percentage of people. Make sense?

Gosh I hope this has helped. I am passionate about the area of Alprazolam, because when someone that is new on it hears every which way, I’m always afraid they will be so fearful of it that they will either not take it, or be afraid to ask for the right dose for them. That is such a disservice to all of us who greatly use it properly as an absolute life-saver.

To end, my mom (now 88 and still lives in her own apartment, has many standing weekly engagements, and is sharp as a tack) always tells me: “have something to look forward to each day.” That is such wise advice. It could be as simply as watching “Wheel of Fortune” at 7pm! 😊

Jump to this post

@phxlife– Really enjoyed your post! I have been on Klonopin or generic clonazepam for also approx. 30 years. I started experiencing anxiety with panic attacks out of the blue which started ruling my life. After meeting with a Physiatrist for a number of weeks he perscribed Klonopin 1.5 mg. per day. It took about 3 weeks to settle in, but that was the beginning of taking my life back.
Probably after 5 years I decided with the help from my PCP to drop down to 1mg per day. I don't remember tapering to get there, but I remain on this dosage for all these years afterward. I agree with you that there is always someone out there that will abuse their perscriptions, which often makes it harder for those that do what is right. I'm a big fan of if it's not broke, why fix it!
Thank you again for your supportive words for so many responsible perscription users. Jim@thankful

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See my (long!) comment below. 🙂

Liked by Soliloquized

REPLY

Sounds like my relationship with clonazepam. 1 mg. daily. I sleep at night. No anxiety during the day. No physician, so far, is trying to take me off of it. A good drug, responsibility prescribed and taken is a good thing.

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@jh31251

Your post is the most logical and best about the entire subject, it is filled with the common sense everybody needs, ah but that is so uncommon. You are passionate only about what has made your life very livable and normal, you have found what that is and you don’t abuse it but use it responsibly to correct what is wrong with your body. That is how all medications should be used, finding that right combination may take awhile, but whatever it is, if it works for you, your body and mind, just do it, this is about you not anyone else.

Jump to this post

Unfortunately the doctors want us off these meds. They don’t care about the quality of our lives.

Liked by Soliloquized

REPLY
@phxlife

Hi! I just read your post, as well as numerous replies, and thought my own story would be of help. 🙂
I’ve had anxiety since 1990, and have been on Alprazolam (generic Xanax) successfully & daily all 30 years. For me, it has been no different than a diabetic who may need insulin their whole lives. It has been extremely beneficial and essential, and I take it responsibly. Always have.

Since we’ve lived in numerous states, or have had to change doctors on occasion due to our insurance changing, I’ve had the “pleasure” of having doctors’ responses to Alprazolam ranging from (and I’m being funny now) “clearly it’s like taking crack and we must get you off it,” to “well, we at least need to taper you back because it could be addictive,” to “oh my goodness, you’re totally fine to take it as it helps people so much.”

We need to be careful when we throw around the word “addiction” when it comes to Alprazolam. Yes, there is that factor in some people who take it, and usually it becomes obvious, I would imagine, by them abusing it or needing more before their refill. For me, it is a very very essential maintenance medication. I get my refills at the appropriate time, and after all these years I know exactly when I need it, and how much. I’m in the no-guilt/no shame zone on this one. We wouldn’t do that to someone who needed their medicine for whatever condition they have. Like them, the ability to have a quality of life on a daily basis would be extremely hard and diminished if it weren’t for my depression and anxiety medications. End of story.

As far as which ones and doses on those, again keep in mind I’ve been on meds, for both, for 30 years. So, I’ve been on depression meds that work, absolutely don’t work, and some “work okay” ones. Same for dosages on each one. Hang in there until you find the right one, and above all else, get a doctor who has a clue about mental health! If one doesn’t, move on!

Right now, I have .5 mg 3x/day. Sometimes I need all 3, sometimes I only need 2, and sometimes 2-1/2. At one point years ago, going through a very stressful time, my doctor had me go to 1mg 3x/day. I actually found that to be too much, so after that stressful time passed, I told him I wanted to go back down to my original dose. Now THAT’S a doctor who understands this whole area. And yes, he healthily monitored me.

Oh, I’m also one where the depression medicines with built-in anti-anxiety portions don’t work for me. I’ve tried many! So….I have to have both meds. to stay even-steven.

I’m also a rare bird that not only uses it for my anxiety, but also as a very effective sleep medication. While I know that I am the exception rather than the rule on the sleep part, frankly I don’t care. I know my body, and I know what works for me. Plus, that’s why studies always have the small percentage where a medication is also effective for such ‘n such in a small percentage of people. Make sense?

Gosh I hope this has helped. I am passionate about the area of Alprazolam, because when someone that is new on it hears every which way, I’m always afraid they will be so fearful of it that they will either not take it, or be afraid to ask for the right dose for them. That is such a disservice to all of us who greatly use it properly as an absolute life-saver.

To end, my mom (now 88 and still lives in her own apartment, has many standing weekly engagements, and is sharp as a tack) always tells me: “have something to look forward to each day.” That is such wise advice. It could be as simply as watching “Wheel of Fortune” at 7pm! 😊

Jump to this post

@phxlife I totally agree and can understand as I posted that I have been on Alprazolam for thirty-two years for severe panic attacks. I am not ashamed that I have to take it, but I do notice that people are nervous when they find out I do. They think I am an addict; I'm sure. To have to say, "I can drive, but I do not drive" sounds ridiculous and they look at me as if I have two heads! But, it is what it is, and it could be much worse than not driving. Like you, I know what I need, and fortunately, I have never had a doctor question me about it and say I need to stop it. All of my doctors always have been supportive; they have seen me in the ER having an attack; that's about all it takes to make people know how important this med is.
Carol

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