Xanax for 15+ years

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kidachi
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/14/2009 2:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello all,
I was prescribed Xanax many years ago for panic attacks. I started with a dosage of .25 mg that I faithfully took 3 times per day. Eventually I realized I could take it as needed only. I went from 90 to 60 to 30 count over the course of time. Many days I never took it whatsoever.
Within the last 3-5 years, I have had a great many stressful situations that have increased my anxiety. Additionally, I now have physical changes, such as high blood pressure, perimenopausal symptoms, and as of late recovering from GP removal surgery, also heightening my stress and anxiety. ( Hormones from hell )
I am back to a 60 per month RX, but to be honest, I fill it at 22 days rather than 30 because some days I need an extra half here and there.
For the most part, I take a half of a Xanax during the daytime, and a half of a Xanax at night ( 50 mg broken in two ) and then supplement when I am in pain ( not for pain management but because being in pain makes me anxious as heck ) or when undergoing stress. General stress I am ok with, but I have been dealing with flooded home/family members death/family members attempted murder/buying a house/ crimes committed against my family / husband's breaking his neck etc. Rather extreme situations.
So given all that - am I looking like I am in the red zone?
60 .5 mg Xanax last me from 22-30 days. Does this scream " overuse"?
I feel like it may be something I am on for life, like a diabetic with insulin. It works for me, and the alternatives I have tried were never successful.
But people hear the length of time I have taken it and warning bells go off.
As long as I am not increasing the size of the dosage, or running out entirely before getting it filled, or increasing the amount of the dosage- I just sometimes have a day where I need one pill...sometimes three ( this would be when I am dealing with a migraine or having to appear in court or some such high level stress thing )...do I seem less like a poster child for addiction?
I have read about people taking as much as 10 mg three times a day - really high numbers. I feel some sense of relief I have not had to venture to that amount.
Is it possible that if a total of 1 , 1.5 or 2 mg helps me each day, I am still a candidate for " abusing" this rx?

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 10/14/2009 5:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Well it's my understanding that Xanax was only intended to be taken on an as-needed basis, and I have heard a lot of addiction stories over the last few years. Seems like you're pretty well adjusted considering what's going on in your life. Hope you find peace soon.

You may consider talking to your doctor about Klonopin. It's another benzodiazepine that is intended to be taken regularly. I've known a couple people who've gone from using Xanax to Klonopin and they did better. Everyone's different, of course. In the end it's up to you and your doctor.

kidachi
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/14/2009 6:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you debaser!
Someone else once mentioned to me about Klonopin. Is it something that would be effective immediately - in other words, would I make a switch without a noticeable difference if my anxiety kicked in and I needed medication?
I would like to be eventually off of Xanax, but evidently I do not produce sufficient amounts of GABA (? ) so the Xanax replaces or boosts it for me.
I have had the " if it ain't broke don't fix it" attitude with Xanax. I have no side effects, get my liver checked for adverse reactions from it, and I can relax knowing I have recourse to the horrible attacks.
I have tried Prozac and Zoloft and Lexapro and and and and....they make me so sick and dizzy and increase my panic. " Sticking with it" or " giving it time" did not feel like much of an option- and the withdrawal and / or side effects I heard about those meds gave me great pause!
I noticed in my first post I said that at night I take half of a 50!!! mg nono
I meant .5 - 1/2 mg of course! tongue

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 10/14/2009 8:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Well all benzos do the same thing, just in different ways. The tricky part for you would be to find the equivalent dose, which a competent/interested doctor should be able to help you with. It's possible you may need a little bit of Xanax at first but smaller doses and only as needed.

Klonopin has a longer half-life...much longer than Xanax. If you take Klonopin twice a day you'll always have some in your bloodstream, hopefully mitigating anxiety and panic. It's not so much that the Xanax isn't working for you. But consider that Klonopin may be worth talking to your doctor about. It may work better for you.

ThatsMzTaz2U
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 10/14/2009 9:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I have taken 1 mg of xanax 4 times a day for 25 years it gets me out of the house and can lead a somewhat normal life, i still have anxity everyday but without the xanax i know I would be housebound again and I do not wnat that so for me it works, everyone is different I dont look at it as a addiction I look at it as a lifesaver. I never had any reactions from this durg, I have tried lots of others with it like paxil lexapro ect had bad side effects from those so for me it is the xanax.
 Hugs Anna
________________________________________
Help Me Lord To Be All I Can Be And To Take One Day At A Time
 


Precious Gem
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 10/15/2009 5:48 AM (GMT -7)   

I have been on Xanax a while myself.  It is the only thing that really helps.  Recently started low dose of Buspar, AD's never worked for me, made me feel worse.  At one time I was taking 3 mg a day and that was too sedating.  Now down to 1 mg a day and holding well.  If I try to decrease any further, it gets bad.  It does not sound like you are abusing it, but it gets such bad press from the people that do, it makes everyone paranoid.  I think as long as you are being seen by a Dr., not drastically increasing your dosage and are Dr. about it.  Worrying about your Xanax use is just going to cause more anxiety.

Hope today is a good one for you!

Gem


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/15/2009 7:05 AM (GMT -7)   

Good Morning All,

I have been on a benzo for many years and at one time was on 4 mg of Ativan per day.  Well my P-Doc had a fit and wanted me off the Benzos so I weaned down using Valium as a substitue.  I did very well but when I got to the low dose of Valium I refused to give it up completely as like you the side effects from the AD's cause me severe side effects that keep me from being able to live my daily life as normal.

Many people do wonderful on the AD's and I wish I did.

I think debaser gave you good advice, talk over with your Doctor the use of your medication and as long as you are not abusing it IMHO you are doing OK.

Take care and I wish you peace.

Kitt


 

Kitt,
Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn  &
Anxiety/Panic
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Mazfire
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 10/16/2009 2:03 AM (GMT -7)   

Ive been on 4mgs of Xanax for 7 years now and I absolutely wouldnt cope without it. It allows me to function on a 'normal' level and cope with the world. It doesnt make me feel sedated at all.

Maz XX


 Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic- Depression
 
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-Meds: Zoloft 150mg. Xanax 4mg. Prescription pain meds/anti inflammatories.
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sukay
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 10/16/2009 3:24 AM (GMT -7)   

I've been on xanax for years as well for my anxiety and sleep issues.

Anxiety:  Gets into my system quickly when I need it NOW! shocked

Sleep:  Adds that touch to relax me enough so that I can shut my mind off and get to sleep. (I'm also a rapid cycle bipolar). smilewinkgrin devil turn mad yeah   skull   confused   cool   cry   tongue   blush  

 Been on Ambien, Trazadone, Klonopin, etc. and they all leave me feeling very dragged out during the day and takes too long to kick in for me.

I agree with debaser's post:

"Klonopin has a longer half-life...much longer than Xanax. If you take Klonopin twice a day you'll always have some in your bloodstream, hopefully mitigating anxiety and panic. It's not so much that the Xanax isn't working for you. But consider that Klonopin may be worth talking to your doctor about. It may work better for you."

Wishing you wellness. blush


~sukay~
 Bipolar - 2004
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Precious Gem
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 10/16/2009 5:14 AM (GMT -7)   

I have made appt with new PDoc.  I really think my Xanax level is too low as I was functioning well on 2 mgs a day and nothing else.  PDoc retired and GP does not like me being on Xanax at all.  PDoc's attitude was, if it helps take it!  Hanging on until the 30th of October.

Gem


sukay
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 10/16/2009 5:25 AM (GMT -7)   

Good for you Precious Gem,

I feel better that you're sticking with a pdoc regarding this issue instead of a GP!

Keep us posted!

I take 1mg 3xs daily as needed but always 1 at bedtime.


Precious Gem
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 10/16/2009 5:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Sukay,
 
The quote at the end of your post is lovely.  So true!
 
Gem

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/16/2009 6:16 AM (GMT -7)   

Good Morning Gem,

I am also gald you are following through with seeing a Pdoc as they specialize in mental health meds, which I believe I may have said before.............yours is my first post of the day.  smhair

Hugs

Kitt


Precious Gem
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 10/16/2009 6:23 AM (GMT -7)   

Good Morning Kitt!

I am feeling a bit better today and I think making that appt was the right thing to do.  Not so much looking for a "label" for my issues, just some consistant relief.

Have a great week-end wink

 

Gem


Panike
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 10/21/2009 7:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I took klonopin for about 2 weeks it made me extremely tired. I'm talking wiped out! Now i take 0.25mg xanax,only a half tablet as needed and it works wonderfully! Somedays i take a whole tablet if i'm having really high anxiety. I don't know if i'm addicted to it or not but like someone metioned above i dont' care right now because it gets the job done! Another med that i have been taking for years that is not addictive is hydroxyizine and it really helps with my anxiety.

warmfuzzies
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 10/21/2009 8:32 PM (GMT -7)   

  

      I had the same thing happen as Precious Gem. I had tried a single Xanax pill from a friend, and it helped me, but my GP would not prescribe it.

      When I ended up seeing a psychiatrist, he had no problem with my having it. I take generic Xanax .5 mg as needed, and probably take 1/2 a pill 3 to 4 times a week. I am VERY careful. The psychiatrist did say that many GP's worry unnecessarily about prescibing Xanax.

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