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.

@retiredteacher

@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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Are you afraid your doctors, at some point, may quit prescribing as so many are doing?

Liked by Soliloquized

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@sears

Are you afraid your doctors, at some point, may quit prescribing as so many are doing?

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@sears I have no way of knowing. My PCP would not do it unless it becomes government/Big Pharma regulations. Then she would fight for me; I'm sure.
Carol

Liked by Soliloquized, sears

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@sears

Are you afraid your doctors, at some point, may quit prescribing as so many are doing?

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As usual, American Law Enforcement takes the easy route of perusing patient records (in specific cases) rather than make inroads on the street. Ugh. I worked at a plant where, for the first 2 years, we were trained in a specific building, and otherwise worked in our areas. When at that building, day after day, a bar had a drive up illegal drug thing going on. A car would pull up, a man come out, lean deeply into the passenger side window, then stand up and walk away. Police would drive by during this, never once seen them sitting nearby, watching, or stopping anyone. Sure, maybe it wasn't drugs, maybe a bookie, but the area is well known for drugs. Maybe they were monitoring it, maybe, maybe not.

Enter an ambulance, somewhere in the U.S., discovered to have the morphine being cut, I guess the drug was syringed from the vial, and saline substituted, maybe the vials were disappearing. The police chief examined the health records of the Fire Chief, found he had chronic pain, and in front of his neighbors, possibly in front of his kids, had him arrested because he had access to the ambulance.

No evidence, just looking through his health records. The Fire Chief, and his lawyer, presented the totality of his health records, electronic ones can be spotty, and the Fire Chief was acquitted of the theft.

I've taken Valium, Xanax, and now Klonopin, all my adult life. I took Valium too often, and had a rough time getting away from it, nothing dramatic, just refused to take it anymore, it was "as needed". Away from that, I did later take Xanax, but sparingly.

I learned to live with the anxiety, I learned to be tense, without that need of relief. But, infrequently, I'd take something. In more modern times, my doctor, at the time, would write for Klonopin 0.5 mg bid prn (Twice a day as needed). I never took more than half of one, he wrote for 60 pills with 2 refills. I used them so sparsely I'd struggle to remember to pick-up the first of 2 refills, never picked-up the second, because it would expire.

Now, getting 60 pills is a major problem, no one writes for refills, and I take less than 1/4 of 1 pill at bedtime every 10 days or so. And the one thing I'm tense about, after using these on and off for over 40 years, now I have to just about beg to get them. But I can buy unlimited amounts of alcohol and in some states buy Marijuana (I don't use it, this is hypothetical) but they'd have me believe I'm almost criminal for using Klonopin.

Liked by sears

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Love the point you made about alcohol which according to the experts are just as harmful as benzos.

Liked by nire, Soliloquized

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@soliloquized

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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I’d love to watch that video. What’s the name of it, and where can I find it? Thanks for posting about it.

Liked by Soliloquized

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Xanax is one of the worst benzos. Highly addictive even at low doses for short periods of time.

Liked by Soliloquized

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@phxlife

I’d love to watch that video. What’s the name of it, and where can I find it? Thanks for posting about it.

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I'm not sure what linking is permitted, I no longer have the discussion link, I'll post it if I find it.

Articles I just found or have links to:

Are Prescription Opioids Driving the Opioid Crisis? Assumptions vs Facts
https://academic.oup.com/painmedicine/article/19/4/793/3583229
AMA: Patients Being Harmed by Rx Opioid Crackdown
https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2018/11/12/ama-patients-being-harmed-by-opioid-crackdown
Overzealous use of the CDC’s opioid prescribing guideline is harming pain patients
https://www.statnews.com/2018/12/06/overzealous-use-cdc-opioid-prescribing-guideline/
Good News: Opioid Prescribing Fell. The Bad? Pain Patients Suffer, Doctors Say.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/06/health/opioids-pain-cdc-guidelines.html
In my case, I had, for 15 years+, an undiagnosed Seizure problem. Benzodiazepines, such as Valium, Klonopin, etc., are used to treat seizures, Antidepressants can cause them, infrequently. Doctors are seemingly taught antidepressants are the cure-all, and tranquilizers are to be avoided. But as the situation would arise to try to get a prescription for one of them, over those 40 years, most significantly the 15 undiagnosed seizure years, doctors would try the antidepressant route, and I would have seizure symptoms, i.e. profound Deja Vu and I'd have transient memory disruptions during the seizure.

Despite me telling doctors antidepressants were making me worse (they were exacerbating the undiagnosed seizures), they wouldn't listen.

Benzodiazepines are used to treat seizures, it's no wonder I preferred them, and I'd take one at the beginning of my symptoms, it seemed to shorten the episode.

After 15 years, after several neurologists, after being thrown out of my neurologist's office because he looked at the latest MRI and said nothing was wrong with my brain. I consulted another neurologist, God bless him. Having yet another seizure, I phoned him, but was still a new patient. He was at a formal party, and there he was, listening to my symptoms. He said it sounded like seizures, and within a few days, ordered a 24 hour EEG. He said I had seizure spikes from the minute they installed the multiple leads. I left the hospital with multicolored wires glued to my head. In a little over 24 hours, turned the unit in, and shortly was told I was having seizures. He prescribed Phenytoin, and 15 years of misery went away almost over night.

The previous neurologist tried to collect for my last visit to him, his wife was his business manager. As she pushed the demands for payment, my wife informed her that they threw me out of the office, having seizures, and another doctor correctly diagnosed and successfully treated them, and that she's lucky we weren't suing her husband. That was the last we heard from them, many years ago now.

Pain, and anxiety, the govt is doing harm by thinking that America's Drug problem is largely defined by responsible doctors giving responsible patients such medication.These actions, against people with chronic problems, especially pain, are forcing them onto illicit drugs, too stringent of enforcement may be making the problems worse.

I've been taking Benzodiazepines in small amounts for 40 years now, but suddenly, I'm not to be trusted? That's ludicrous.

Best regards.

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@mhmann

Xanax is one of the worst benzos. Highly addictive even at low doses for short periods of time.

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It's a Benzodiazepine, like the others. The thing that makes it most addictive is its short half life. In 10 hours or so, the levels in the blood have dropped to half of their peak values, but Klonopin takes 35 hours, and Valium takes nearly 100 hours, to do the same thing.

Liked by sundance6

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@soliloquized

It's a Benzodiazepine, like the others. The thing that makes it most addictive is its short half life. In 10 hours or so, the levels in the blood have dropped to half of their peak values, but Klonopin takes 35 hours, and Valium takes nearly 100 hours, to do the same thing.

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Sorry I just came in late on this discussion. My interest is in the "Opioid Frenzy"! So tired of hearing it over and over again. To live your life in Pain every moment is foolish! People who throw out all of these false statements have never had acute pain. Especially with something you had nothing to do with it affecting you!
I could write a book larger than "WAR AND PEACE" ON MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND THE FAKE NEWS I HAVE SEEN PUT FORTH ON THE USE OF OPIODS!
I consider myself very Lucky to have an Old Time Doctor who believes in helping his patients rather than listening to the government and the medical administration.
We play thier silly games and i give a urine test when it is called for! He wrote my percription of Oxycodone for two a day. He knows and trusts me that if the two do not take care of my pain as a last resort i may take another. Mostly I try and use and over the counter medication first.
I had my yearly physical a couple of weeks ago. we talked about how I was doing and how the headaches and body pain was so much under control. I was leaving town on a business trip that would put me out of town when my percription had ended. His nurse called it into my pharmacy. When I called to see if it was ready they said it was to early!! I then expalined this was not a once a day type of sleep medicine but was for Pain. My doctor had said if they had a problem for them to call him! It was ready in and hour!
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS I HAVE LEARNED IN THE LAST TWO YEARS DURING ALL THIS IS "GOODRX"!!
If your doctor percribed the medicine the pharmacy does not have to get the ok from your insurer or Medicare.
My percription through Atena of Oxycodone runs close to $100. Through GOODRX it is $19.
I truly can't believe people do not use it more. I probably use them 50% of the time. Most of my daily medications are coverd at No Cost through Atena but others my Pharmacy knows when I show up to check both to see which is a savings for me.
I guess I am Blessed compared to many out there to have such a Great Doctor and a Good Pharmacy!
Good Luck!
Sundance(RB)

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Summary: great for occasional use, very dangerous for daily use – – be careful~!

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Be careful, it is very addicting! Have you tried taking a 1 mg melatonin? I’d even start with a 1/2 of a 1mg. I have never seen anyone that 1 mg didn’t work on. I’ve have suggested this to a few people and it works every time. Also, you should be practicing meditation and eating a healthy diet. Walking is helpful too, along with deep breathing. Life is hard sometimes but it doesn’t have to stay that way. So what if you made a mistake, we have all made them! Don’t be so hard on yourself and don’t worry about what other people think because that causes anxiety and doesn’t matter in the long run anyway. Only care what God thinks and live your life according to that! Always try to live the best life you can, be true to yourself and treat others well, only then can you have true freedom from worry. If you think you made a mistake with the move, give it a chance for a few months, knowing that nothing lasts forever! Good luck and let me know how the melatonin works. Try not to take Xanax! Many people get addicted to that when all they really needed was a lifestyle change, and a better way of thinking.

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I forgot to say that the kind of melatonin that melts under your tongue is the fastest acting.

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@soliloquized

Alrighty then. Some doctors seldom listen, in my experience. Seizures for over 15 years, doctors said nothing was wrong. Developed aphasia, anesthesia of the throat, spontaneous swallowing without intent, went back to my neurologist, he said nothing was wrong, citing the recent tests I had, and threw me out of his office. Of course I went to another neurologist, he did a 24 hour, ambulatory EEG, and said from the moment they connected it, I had spikes indicative of seizure activity with the diagnosis being secured by the 24 hour EEG. Put on Phenytoin, and 15 years of misery went away over night.

During those 15 years of undiagnosed seizures, I had at times been on Valium, or Xanax, not at the same time, on an as needed basis. Too much for too long makes it hard to get away from, so I learned to live with anxiety. But during those 15 years, as a substitute for Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, Klonopin etc.), they tried; you guessed it; antidepressants. But I had an undiagnosed seizure problem, and rather than make things better, the antidepressants made things worse. But they'd think I wasn't being truthful, I just wasn't trying, etc.

And surprise, Benzodiazepines are used to treat seizures, and also relieve anxiety. Taking Benzodiazepines for too long at certain doses can actually cause seizures, so doses are generally tapered off under those circumstances. But in my case, I knew Xanax and Valium did not worsen my undiagnosed seizure symptoms but antidepressants did. Later in life, on as as needed basis (PRN on American Prescriptions denotes "As Needed", and as needed gives a specific dose not to be taken more than a specific number of times per day) I started taking Klonopin.

Something that helped minimize my use of Klonopin is that the Phenytoin interacted with the Klonopin and produced overly strong sedation, so, with my Doctor's awareness, I took reduced doses very infrequently.

Xanax has the shortest Half-Life, around 10 hours, Klonopin's is around 35 hours, and Valium is around 100 hours. Big difference on how long the effects of the drug persists.

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Have you every had the antibody blood tests for Autoimmune Encephalitis? Sounds like you should! Your neurologist can have the blood drawn and sent to Mayo Rochester labs. I believe that’s the only place that does it. Please look up the symptoms. People have been misdiagnosed for years! It doesn’t always show antibodies but maybe you need to find neurologist familiar with this.

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@sundance6

Sorry I just came in late on this discussion. My interest is in the "Opioid Frenzy"! So tired of hearing it over and over again. To live your life in Pain every moment is foolish! People who throw out all of these false statements have never had acute pain. Especially with something you had nothing to do with it affecting you!
I could write a book larger than "WAR AND PEACE" ON MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND THE FAKE NEWS I HAVE SEEN PUT FORTH ON THE USE OF OPIODS!
I consider myself very Lucky to have an Old Time Doctor who believes in helping his patients rather than listening to the government and the medical administration.
We play thier silly games and i give a urine test when it is called for! He wrote my percription of Oxycodone for two a day. He knows and trusts me that if the two do not take care of my pain as a last resort i may take another. Mostly I try and use and over the counter medication first.
I had my yearly physical a couple of weeks ago. we talked about how I was doing and how the headaches and body pain was so much under control. I was leaving town on a business trip that would put me out of town when my percription had ended. His nurse called it into my pharmacy. When I called to see if it was ready they said it was to early!! I then expalined this was not a once a day type of sleep medicine but was for Pain. My doctor had said if they had a problem for them to call him! It was ready in and hour!
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS I HAVE LEARNED IN THE LAST TWO YEARS DURING ALL THIS IS "GOODRX"!!
If your doctor percribed the medicine the pharmacy does not have to get the ok from your insurer or Medicare.
My percription through Atena of Oxycodone runs close to $100. Through GOODRX it is $19.
I truly can't believe people do not use it more. I probably use them 50% of the time. Most of my daily medications are coverd at No Cost through Atena but others my Pharmacy knows when I show up to check both to see which is a savings for me.
I guess I am Blessed compared to many out there to have such a Great Doctor and a Good Pharmacy!
Good Luck!
Sundance(RB)

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I think a much bigger problem is that too many doctors give prescriptions and never try to Find or fix the cause of the pain! Many of them don’t keep up on the latest in medicine, so all they know is to give out prescriptions.

Liked by Soliloquized

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@sundance6

Sorry I just came in late on this discussion. My interest is in the "Opioid Frenzy"! So tired of hearing it over and over again. To live your life in Pain every moment is foolish! People who throw out all of these false statements have never had acute pain. Especially with something you had nothing to do with it affecting you!
I could write a book larger than "WAR AND PEACE" ON MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND THE FAKE NEWS I HAVE SEEN PUT FORTH ON THE USE OF OPIODS!
I consider myself very Lucky to have an Old Time Doctor who believes in helping his patients rather than listening to the government and the medical administration.
We play thier silly games and i give a urine test when it is called for! He wrote my percription of Oxycodone for two a day. He knows and trusts me that if the two do not take care of my pain as a last resort i may take another. Mostly I try and use and over the counter medication first.
I had my yearly physical a couple of weeks ago. we talked about how I was doing and how the headaches and body pain was so much under control. I was leaving town on a business trip that would put me out of town when my percription had ended. His nurse called it into my pharmacy. When I called to see if it was ready they said it was to early!! I then expalined this was not a once a day type of sleep medicine but was for Pain. My doctor had said if they had a problem for them to call him! It was ready in and hour!
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS I HAVE LEARNED IN THE LAST TWO YEARS DURING ALL THIS IS "GOODRX"!!
If your doctor percribed the medicine the pharmacy does not have to get the ok from your insurer or Medicare.
My percription through Atena of Oxycodone runs close to $100. Through GOODRX it is $19.
I truly can't believe people do not use it more. I probably use them 50% of the time. Most of my daily medications are coverd at No Cost through Atena but others my Pharmacy knows when I show up to check both to see which is a savings for me.
I guess I am Blessed compared to many out there to have such a Great Doctor and a Good Pharmacy!
Good Luck!
Sundance(RB)

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Good for you and for having a doctor who has his/her priorities straight. Opioids, improperly prescribed or improperly taken are a very real liability for both physician and patient. That said, it is what we have, and everyone doesn’t abuse them. Pain is real and debilitating. So is addiction. You are so fortunate to have a physician monitoring this medication, and the physician is likewise fortunate to have a responsible patient. Stay with it!

Liked by Soliloquized

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