Anxiety & Xanax

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New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/31/2009 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I am frustrated.  I have gone through several different medications for anxiety and cannot find one that I can deal with the side effects.  I started taking xanax which I thought was working well for the first couple of weeks, but like all medication I have taken, it completely numbs me and i become this robot with no personality.  Xanax helps with my anxiety, but I fall asleep with it!  I have tried taking the medication at different times during the day and I still feel like I am going to fall asleep at work, alot of the times I do!  I'm beginning to worry that people are going to think I'm on real drugs!  =(  Do I still give xanax a chance.. take it only during a panic attack.. daily.. ??  Any advice with experience on this medication?  On all the medications I have taken I have received side effects like confusion, swelling of the tounge, slurring my words, feeling sluggish, difficulty thinking straight, balance problems.. or the complete opposite not being able to sleep, complete restlessness, extremely high energy [anti depressants].  I really feel like I am losing my mind because I cannot control how I am going to feel throughout the day.  My anxiety has gotten so bad I feel like I have to plan an exit for every situation and just want to stay in bed, even leaving my room to get food and have to talk to anyone seems like a chore.  I also have a complete lack of appetite..  I'm just watching the pounds drop off.  I feel like this is a lose/lose situation.  I don't take medication I can't function at work 'cos of my severe anxiety/panic attacks.  I do take it, I can't function because of the side effects!  I feel like I go through short periods if I'm lucky a couple/few months where I deal okay, then whatever I started doing that was working... stops.  And then a new medication to buy me some time all over again. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 3/31/2009 3:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, electrogirltm.

I'm so sorry that you're struggling so. That "catch-22" feeling of not being able to function either way has got to be hard on you. I assume you've spoken with your doctor about changing the xanax dosage, or suggesting a better time to take it. I don't take xanax, so I'm no help to you there, but others will surely be along soon with ideas, experiences, or just "I've been there too" compassion. When you speak about always needing an exit plan, that is *definitely* me. Oddly, it helps a tiny bit, but it's aggravating to feel "under the thumb" of the anxiety like that.

Have you been taking xanax for very long, or is it still fairly new for you? If you don't mind sharing, what dosage do you take? That may help others compare their experiences with yours more clearly.

Above all, hang in there. All of us on this forum known how anxiety tries to wreck your life, and we're all trying to fight it in the best ways we know how.



Co-Moderator, Anxiety and Panic Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 3/31/2009 6:26 PM (GMT -6)   

I also take 0.5mg of xanax. However, I don't take it once, twice, or even three times daily or on any regular schedule. I keep it with me and take it ONLY when I feel very anxious and/or a PA coming on. This works very well for me, and since I dont take them very often...I usually cut the 0.5mg pill in half and only take 0.25mg which is just enough to calm my nerves and keep me moving through my day!

As a result of this, I have found that I don't have side effects from the xanax. I don't feel sleepy of tired, I don't run around like a robot. This is just a little synopsis of ME and how I do this. As always, you should consult with your doctor before making any medication changes. Hope you get things worked out soon!

take care,
Megan :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 3/31/2009 9:46 PM (GMT -6)   
mom2three said...
It is so frustrating. I'm very sensitive to medications. I always seem to need less than the required dosage and have always had side effects. Many of my side effects are similar to those that you have listed.

I don't take Xanax, but I do take Klonopin (clonazepam). I need little to have an effect - anywhere from .125 to .25 usually works for me. I currently take .25 (or .125 on a particularly good day) at 2pm every day. I notice few, if any, negative side effects at that dosage. Perhaps you should talk to your doctor about lowering your dosage amount?

Same goes for SSRI's - I take half of what is the normal therapeutic dosage. I currently take 5mg Lexapro per day - I was having strong side effects at 10mg, so went down to half of that. I still notice the benefits (I think, not sure), but don't have the side effects. Also, each drug interacts with your system differently - I have been on several over the years and I tolerate some better than others.

More importantly, I have incorporated lots of alternative techniques - CBT, breathing, relaxation, etc. These are helping immensely! I see a therapist to get me started and then work on my own at home. It does take a lot of effort, but it's paying off. My therapist and I are even talking about weaning off of Lexapro soon if I continue to do well. And then maybe moving the klonopin to an "as needed" basis.

So I guess my suggestion would be to talk to your doc about lowering your dosage or changing medications...while at the same time looking into some other anxiety management techniques that don't involve medications at all.

It's a tough road, I know! But we're here for you :)

Panic Attacks (since age 10) & General Anxiety with a little OCD thrown in there
Biggest Challenge - Panic; Biggest Joy - my 3 cute kiddos (ages 1, 2 & 5)
Just inserting mom2three's post from the accidental duplicate of this thread.


Co-Moderator, Anxiety and Panic Forum

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 4/1/2009 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Electro what dosage of Xanax are you taking? I take the lowest dose available .25 mg and it is just enough to stop my anxiety attacks in their tracks without making me loopy. Maybe you are taking to high a dose and could cut it down and then wouldn't get as many side effects???? Good luck!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/1/2009 9:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Morning, this is Kitt.  Nanners has a good point, your  dose may be to high on the Xanax.
Another drug that is often overlooked that works well for me is Buspar and this is a med you take everyday.  You can start at a low dose and work up.  It is not a bezodiazepine drug.
You may want to ask your physician about this med.  Just a thought.

Take care,


Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~* *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

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