Questions for those on daily Xanax

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 7/25/2008 7:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Okay I started seeing a new psych who wants me take my small dose of Xanax that I usually only take about once or twice a week when I am really bad THREE times a day - b/c he said this will help to keep me calm all the time. My dose is only half of .25 three times a day. He says this is a very small dose and I should not be worried - but I am - but I am willing to try ANYTHING at this point.

I have been taking it for the last couple of days and have felt okay, a little sleepy and "heavy" but not drunk or weird. I have not ventured out of my house (as that is where I usually stay the majority of my life) but have noticed decreased anxiety around the house. This weekend I will go "out" and see what happens. I have some quick questions for those who take Xanax on long term basis:

1. Do you build up a tolerance after awhile and have to keep taking more and more to get the same effect?

2. I don't currently drive, but hope to one day soon as panic gets better - do you feel your reaction time is slower or anything while on your Xanax?

3. When you have come off of Xanax (under a doctor's care slowly) have the side effects been really bad?!?! My doctor's quote to me was "why come off" he said I have had P&A for over 20 years and if this helps he doesn't see a reason I should need to come off - but if I do feel like I want to he can always help me do that later.

Thanks everyone - I have always been so apprehensive about taking Xanax as my primary doctor scared me about becoming an addict a couple of years ago when I started taking it every now and then for panic.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 717
   Posted 7/25/2008 8:45 AM (GMT -7)   
I've been taking xanax for about 15 years, daily.  I've taken very tiny doses (1/2 of a .25 pill) at times and larger doses (2 1/2 .25 pills) at other times depending on the levels of my anxiety and stress in my life.  I've never built up a tolerance to it, and have had very little difficulty in decreasing the dose when it's been time too.  It has to be done slowly, but if done right, it isn't the hell that I was told it would be...of course that is just my experience. 
I don't have any side effects from it, it does not slow my reaction time or make me feel to sleepy or out of it to drive or do anything else that I want too.  The sleepy, heavy feeling you are experiencing now will not last for too long. 
I also have a doctor who told me that I'm a "lifer" on xanax and that there is no problem with that.  He feels that if I found something that works for me and gets me out of the house and back into life that that is what I should be taking.  I even asked him what would happen if he ever retired as he a bit older, and he said that he'd find me someone else to give me prescriptions.  So, I've accepted the fact that xanax will be a part of the rest of my life and I'm fine with it now. 
Hope this helps!

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 7/25/2008 8:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks June Bug that makes me feel alot better!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 707
   Posted 7/25/2008 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ashley!
I hope my answers can help you some.  I am glad you feel okay on the Xanax.  Was just taking it a couple times a week working for you?  If so, why did your doctor tell you to start taking it daily?  If it were me and it was working just taking it a couple times a week, that is what I would do.  However, if you are feeling more like yourself taking it daily, keep it up.  The "heavy" and "sleepy" feelings should subside as your body adjusts.
1. Do you build up a tolerance after awhile and have to keep taking more and more to get the same effect? 
I feel I have built up a tolerance to it and that it doesn't work the same as it used to.  I take 0.25 mg three times daily and have been for about 1 1/2 years now.  I have not talked to my doctor about raising the dosage.  I am getting along okay with my anxiety as is so I figure why mess with an okay thing.

2. I don't currently drive, but hope to one day soon as panic gets better - do you feel your reaction time is slower or anything while on your Xanax? 
I don't feel my reaction time is slower at all taking the Xanax.  I take one first thing when I get up each morning and drive within an hour or so of taking it and have not noticed it made reactions slower.  I hope you can one day get out and drive on your own.  Independence and freedom.

3. When you have come off of Xanax (under a doctor's care slowly) have the side effects been really bad?!?! My doctor's quote to me was "why come off" he said I have had P&A for over 20 years and if this helps he doesn't see a reason I should need to come off - but if I do feel like I want to he can always help me do that later.
I have tried coming off a couple times on my own and suffered severe bad reactions so went back to taking it.  I agree with your doctor, if it works, why mess with a good thing.  If it improves the quality of your life that is what is most important.

I hope things continue to get better and better each day and that you can get "out" this weekend.

Thou shalt smile and have a nice day.  It frustrates those who have other plans for thee.
Anxiety 2007; IBS 2004; Chronic Hives 2002.
Medications:  Allegra, Zantac, Xanax, Darvocet.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 7/25/2008 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your replies. The reason my doctor decided to take me up to taking the Xanax all day everyday was b/c it was not working the other way. I was starting not only to have panic attacks out, but also at home (especially when at home alone which is alot of the time). I have always felt my home was my "safe" place and I told the doctor I really can't have this taken away too!!! I did therapy many years ago and it didn't do too much good, but asked him about doing it again - he said once we get my meds stablized a little better he would recommended someone for me. I also just got the Anxiety and Phobia Workbook and will try to work through that on my own as time allows.

Thank you again for your replies. I appreciate all your assistance!


Martha's Vineyard
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1119
   Posted 7/25/2008 1:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Zanax is a great drug. It can be additive and can be dangerous when mixed with alcohol. If the person does not have an addictive personality then this is not a problem. I have taken it for years. It is great for my PMS. I also use it to go to sleep. 5mg.
I have lymes disease which gives me depression. The zanax is great to take the edge off. But it can be addictive. It makes it so much easier to walk into a room of people with zanax. But no drinking on it.

Martha's Vineyard
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1119
   Posted 7/25/2008 1:52 PM (GMT -7)   
oh yes you can get a tolerance for zanax. If you feel good taking less...then take less. That way it works when you really need it to work for you. Follow your gut. If you are feeling good, then don't pop a pill.

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 7/25/2008 2:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been taking Xanax for over 25 years. I have never taken more than the doctor
prescribed, I have NEVER had a problem with it.
There are many people who will scare you about it. Initially, I thought I was on
Devil Drug ... but not so. (NOT FOR ME, ANYWAY)
I used to take it "as needed" but for the past 6-7 years I have had a life of disability
and pain. My doctor said, "1 1/2 mg, 3 times a day." At first it made me a little
sleepy but not anymore. I don't get so stressed and because of this my muscles
don't get so tight and my pain isn't so bad.
When you have a good doctor and he advises you to take a certain amount of medication,
it's ususally wise to follow him then to listen to the fear mongers who might linger
here and there on the bulletin boards.
Be sure you keep track of the amount you take. Write it down. Be always aware.
Pamela Neckpain

Osteoarthritis all levels of spine right down to Coccyx
Myofascial Pain
Bulging Discs
Spinal Stenosis
Chronic Constipation (Take meds that solve that problem. : ) )
Carpel Tunel Syndrome
Prolapsed Bowel and Bladder (Doesn't cause much problem)
Attention Deficit Disorder
Depression and Anxiety

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 7/25/2008 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
All great input here already IMHO

PLEASE make sure that you DO NOT mix this med or other meds in this class and others with Alcohol

I am sure you will be just fine at this dose and your anxiety will lessen but yes you do build a tolerance ......

Keep us posted plz

  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 7/25/2008 4:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I was very relieved to come here and find this post.  My doctor put me on 1mg xanax xr (extended release) to be taken everyday.  He wanted me to try that for awhile instead of an anti-depressant, since I mostly seem to suffer from anxiety/panic disorder.  I have only taken it a few times because I have been stressing over all the what if's - what if I build up a tolerance, what if I am too sleepy, what if it makes me gain weight?  After reading all these posts, I'm just going to take it and see what happens!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 7/25/2008 5:50 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Leah,

I have been taking xanax on and off for too many years to remember! lol! I was put on a very, very high dose (6mg daily) by a pdoc when I was very young, and honestly reducing it was a challenge, but I did it slowly under strict medical supervision and now I only very rarely take it and only 1mg does the trick. The dose your doctor is proposing is quite low and shouldn't pose any problems for you if you need to drive. Just make sure you don't mix it with anything else!

I hope that this new dosage helps you out and allows you to leave the house more often. It's horrible to be limited by anxiety. Take care, and let us know how you get along. All the best.


Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
Weekend Warrior Princess

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 201
   Posted 7/27/2008 3:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Tolerance to xanax goes up with more of it like almost anything of course,... I'm on 3mg a day and I think it's causing me memory loss... :(
"Make a joke and I will sigh, and you will laugh and I will cry. Happiness I cannot feel, and love to me is so unreal."-Loony from Rings of Power

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/27/2008 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   

Many people can maintain on a low dose, I have been on a benzo everyday for 24 years so I agree with the ones that say if you need it take it and kick any quilt or scary stories to the curb.

If you feel better, that is what counts.

There are other meds out ther Paulos, you perhaps would do better on a different med.




Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
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Not a mental health professional of any kind
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Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 561
   Posted 7/28/2008 1:40 AM (GMT -7)   


IMHO (in my honest opinion) .25 MG isn't that much,but what affects one might not affect the other.

When I was prescribed .25,I didn't notice any signs of sleepiness or heaviness and it didn't help because it wasn't high enough dosage for me.

I've taken 1 MG,0.5 MG,0.25 MG and am now taking 2 MG Bar Xanax three times per Day,but I'm a big Gal and going through a very rough patch.

To answer your questions..

1. I think it's an individual thing..

2. It HELPED and HELPS me to drive or do other things I couldn't previously do.It gives me courage to try..if I didn't have my Xanax I'd still be stuck to this House!

3. I didn't have a single problem weaning from Xanax when I took it before..I agree with your Doctor..if your taking something that helps why come off it?You could wind up at square one again.It happened to me!

I have a Friend who has taken Xanax Daily for 24 Years..your Doctor needed a good kick in the Arse.Just because some are addicted to Xanax doesn't mean all are..Some Doctor's need to be overlooked!



P.S. PLEASE don't be afraid of something that will HELP you!


Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 7/28/2008 6:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much everyone! I have been on it for about four days or so now. I am feeling much better at home (still have the floaty head sometimes/feels like medicine head) but less anxiety. I did try going out this weekend. Didn't go so well. I only last about five minutes in the store before I escaped to the bathroom. We did try another store and I didn't last much longer there either and this store was VERY small. I know every small step is good, but I just don't understand if I am taking all these meds why I am not seeing more improvement. I know it won't be a "light switch" but I would like to be able to do a few more things. I am working through the workbook little by little and hoping it will help also.

Thanks again for all your comments it makes me feel better about all this - it is just hard when you hear different things from different doctors.

Blessings to all,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 7/28/2008 4:50 PM (GMT -7)   

I understand your frustration about not seeing more improvement. In my case, I know why I see it so slowly: my depression and anxiety went on so long without significant relief that I started developing patterns of behavior based on those feelings. So even when I finally found the right meds to stop the feelings, the behaviors were already established. They were started in response to the feelings, but they became "unfeeling" habits. So anyhow, now I'm struggling to tackle the unhealthy patterns I have that are letting depression and anxiety hang around my life even with help from medication.

Maybe you're encountering something similar.

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