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[QUOTE=adam2000]My Psych gave me .25mg xanax to take 3x a day for anxiety along with zoloft which ive started slowly.

Is Xanax bad? I dont want to become an addict or anything, or is my dose small enough not to worry?

Adam[/QUOTE]

Read the online free Ashton Manual. It is very informative concerning benzodiazepines. Benzos affect GABA, which in dependancy/tolerance situations the brain can literally become lazy and not produce it's own anymore due to drug taking over the function. Also, the brain can build up a "defense" if you will, which creates more excitatory neuros and imbalancing the receptor system.....this is tolerance. No way to know how long it takes to build tolerance.

Deregulation is another thing....continued exposure to psychoactive drugs can cause brain receptors to become desensitized and even eventually die off. This is proven science which seems to escape most prescribing habits these days.

But such damage is reversable with time.

However, if you stick with the low dosage and use a benzo short term, you will no doubt not run into all that trouble!

But Zoloft, which effects the excitatory neurotransmitter serotonin, could create overstimulation thus the need for continued use of the benzo to control that. Whereas discontinuing the Zoloft would fix that in itself, most physicans want to continue the use of benzos.

You can wait it out and hopefully not need the benzo when the Zoloft takes effect....because people do have different drug reactions to all this. But then be aware SSRi's have shown some deregulation of serotonin receptors in rats from long term use.

But none of this is dangerous. You won't die. You might even be able to tolerate the side effects or health effects down the line just fine. You may not even need the drugs long term at all, and they could be helpful to you in the short term.

You just must be vigilant on whether or not the drug benefits outweigh the risks; then you can decide what is best for your individual needs.
[QUOTE=Jennita]Sensibility doesn't play into physical dependancy. It does play into actual addiction. Addiction is actually considered different than physical dependancy(physical addiction) although many people think they are the same thing. But addiction specialists know the difference as I explain below.

It is important not to confuse physical dependence as evidenced by benzodiazepine withdrawal syndromes with addiction or drug dependence (DSM-IV). The majority of people suffering with prolonged withdrawal syndromes from benzodiazepines do not meet sufficient criteria to make the diagnosis of addiction. They are NOT addicts.

Addiction is a biopsychosocial syndrome. Less than ten percent of the population is at risk. Although there are eight diagnostic criteria, three of which must be present for a year; the syndrome can best be described by "the 3 Cs".

Control: when the addicted person starts using their drug they episodically lose control over their ingestion.

Compulsion: getting and using the drug takes on more and more importance or salience in the person's life, crowding out relationships and activities that were once important to them.

Consequences: they continue using the drug despite the drug causing problems at home, problems in relationships, medical problems, legal problems, emotional and psychiatric problems and finally vocational problems.

Physical dependence is simply a neurobiological phenomenon due to continued exposure to a drug. It happens to all human brains exposed to drugs such as benzodiazepines and opioids. It is not addiction.[/QUOTE]


I was addicted to xanax 22 years ago. Yes, I became dependent very quickly and at that time, the doctor's didn't think the benzo's were addictive. I was not tapered down but abruptly halted which caused god awful withdrawls. I would not want my worst enemy to go through a benzo withdrawal.

Having said that, I still use xanax these days VERY SPARINGLY. Maybe I'll take a .25 once every 4 or 5 months. The benzo's are very effective in knocking out PA's or reducing anxiety within 20 minutes. I recommend benzo's for PA's and anxiety over SSRI's any day. The SSRI's have side effects (like worsening panic attacks in the beginning of drug therapy)that are simply intolerable for most anxiety ridden folks. The long term effects like sexual dysfunction, weight gain was something I chose to do without. Yes, I was on SSRI's for 5 years, gained 30lbs and the withdrawal was equally, if not worse than the xanax withdrawal, IMHO.

People with panic and anxiety just need to make informed decisions on which drug therapy is the best. Benzo's have their place in the world after 40 years. If they didn't, they would be long gone.
[QUOTE=redherring]I was addicted to xanax 22 years ago. Yes, I became dependent very quickly and at that time, the doctor's didn't think the benzo's were addictive. I was not tapered down but abruptly halted which caused god awful withdrawls. I would not want my worst enemy to go through a benzo withdrawal.

Having said that, I still use xanax these days VERY SPARINGLY. Maybe I'll take a .25 once every 4 or 5 months. The benzo's are very effective in knocking out PA's or reducing anxiety within 20 minutes. I recommend benzo's for PA's and anxiety over SSRI's any day. The SSRI's have side effects (like worsening panic attacks in the beginning of drug therapy)that are simply intolerable for most anxiety ridden folks. The long term effects like sexual dysfunction, weight gain was something I chose to do without. Yes, I was on SSRI's for 5 years, gained 30lbs and the withdrawal was equally, if not worse than the xanax withdrawal, IMHO.

People with panic and anxiety just need to make informed decisions on which drug therapy is the best. Benzo's have their place in the world after 40 years. If they didn't, they would be long gone.[/QUOTE]

Yes, I know they have their place, they are a form of anesthesia first used in surgery. They are good when someone is in shock. They are excellent for PA's, no doubt about that. But they have no place in each day of our lives.

But using them for your PA's in such a sparing manner is actually very wise!

Too bad some doctors are not as wise as you are and push the daily use thing which is what leads to trouble.

"As needed" basis is best to avoid those withdrawals and other problems of dependancy.

IMHO, SSRi's are the dumbest thing for PA's since serotonin is excitartory and a precursor to adrenaline which is a panic person's worst nightmare! I guess in some people the SSRi's work in a paradoxial manner at times but benzos like Xanax and Valium are definately more appropriate drugs for anxiety and panic.
[QUOTE=mjewell]Jennita, you seem pretty adamant that benzos should not be used long term and should not be used as a daily med, but you also say you don't think SSRI's are a good treatment for PA and anxiety. My experiences with SSRIs make me tend to agree with you there, didn't help me much.

Well, that may be good advice for someone that suffers occasionally or is going through a temporary bout of anxiety, But what do you say to people who suffer from high anxiety and/or panic attacks daily, chronically? While i do try to keep my Xanax usage to an as needed basis and never take it when i truly do not need it, I find that most days I do need it. I have constant anxiety, CONSTANT. Xanax is the only thing that gets me through my day sometimes. My doctor has been very good about trying lots of diffferent meds and even CBT therapy, none of which has worked. We will continue to try new things, but for the time being we have both come to the conclusion that i need the Xanax, usually daily.

So I guess what I'm saying is for me, they do have a place in most days of my life.[/QUOTE]

Did you have constant anxiety before Xanax? Sometimes the "as needed" way can turn into dependancy, tolerance and the need to go to everyday use. That's not as likely but I've heard of it happening. Or if someone starts off with daily use right away, then sometimes the "rebound" as each dose fades can be misfigured as part of the original condition when in fact it is interdose withdrawals and possibly the development of tolerance.

The free online Ashton Manual really might explain things better than I can. Maybe you could look at it.

If you are taking a very low dose and never increase it, you might be allright to continue it if all else has failed especially if you haven't had many adverse effects or tolerance.
Yeah, I've had constant anxiety for about 14 years and only started trying meds (incl Xanax) 2 years ago. I don't know how I got through before I took meds, I definitely skipped out on more of my life, thats fer sure, but you are right, now that I have it and know it helps, psychologically I am addicted. I really freak out if I know it isn't with me. When I started taking it it was like .5 mg two or three times a week. I still take .5 mg, but more often than not it is at least one a day, sometimes 2 on very bad days. So far no side effects, but I really worry about long term stuff...seems like drs don't know the long term until its too late fort a lot of people.

I did read that Ashton manual, but it kinda scared me. Seems like the people he was treating were on like 4 or 5 mg doses for years...I'm not there yet :)

I have not had to increase my dose, so I guess for the time being I'm ok with it. I would rather take it daily then miss out on life I guess. If only there was a safe, effective, healthy solution that worked for everyone huh?
[QUOTE=mjewell]Yeah, I've had constant anxiety for about 14 years and only started trying meds (incl Xanax) 2 years ago. I don't know how I got through before I took meds, I definitely skipped out on more of my life, thats fer sure, but you are right, now that I have it and know it helps, psychologically I am addicted. I really freak out if I know it isn't with me. When I started taking it it was like .5 mg two or three times a week. I still take .5 mg, but more often than not it is at least one a day, sometimes 2 on very bad days. So far no side effects, but I really worry about long term stuff...seems like drs don't know the long term until its too late fort a lot of people.

I did read that Ashton manual, but it kinda scared me. Seems like the people he was treating were on like 4 or 5 mg doses for years...I'm not there yet :)

I have not had to increase my dose, so I guess for the time being I'm ok with it. I would rather take it daily then miss out on life I guess. If only there was a safe, effective, healthy solution that worked for everyone huh?[/QUOTE]

Oh, yeah, your dose isn't too bad. Some people can stay on a low dose for years and never increase...let's hope that's your case. The Ashton Manual is a bit scary but for some people who have reached that hellish point of no return, it's a godsend. Thank goodness you are not in that catagory.

Adrenaline is supposed to be a huge culprit of anxiety. Caffeine, adrenaline boosters like some drugs (stimulants, SSri's, cigarettes, etc.) can be blamed. Stress is another thing, energy herbs and drinks. Sometimes synthetic vitamins act like drugs in some people and overstimulate the nervous system. I think I read that hyperthyroid is another.

It would be better to find the source of your anxiety if possible so someday you won't need pills. Good luck! :angel:
Adam,
I hope you are feeling better! I have been on xanax for a month and effexor xr. I am on them for short term use. My doc wants me to be on them for 6 months and then wean me off. I haven't had any side effects whatsoever!! I only take the xanax when I really feel like I can't hack it anymore. The first couple weeks, I was taking .5mg three times a day. Well, somedays it was less. Right now, I feel better than I have in a very long time. My anxiety finally caught up with me. Everything calmed down and was okay and then my body apparently felt like it could let all that crap out on me. Couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, pretty much, couldn't do anything. Panic attacks several times a day. Which I had never had one before, so, I really didn't know what was wrong with me. A year ago, I was dealing with an addicted husband, our two kids, then, his cousin moved in with his two kids. I had two husbands and four kids to take care of. Took care of everyone but me. Caught up with me though.

Anyway, hope you are doing better!!
[QUOTE=Jennita]Read the online free Ashton Manual. It is very informative concerning benzodiazepines. Benzos affect GABA, which in dependancy/tolerance situations the brain can literally become lazy and not produce it's own anymore due to drug taking over the function. Also, the brain can build up a "defense" if you will, which creates more excitatory neuros and imbalancing the receptor system.....this is tolerance. No way to know how long it takes to build tolerance.

Deregulation is another thing....continued exposure to psychoactive drugs can cause brain receptors to become desensitized and even eventually die off. This is proven science which seems to escape most prescribing habits these days.

But such damage is reversable with time.

However, if you stick with the low dosage and use a benzo short term, you will no doubt not run into all that trouble!

But Zoloft, which effects the excitatory neurotransmitter serotonin, could create overstimulation thus the need for continued use of the benzo to control that. Whereas discontinuing the Zoloft would fix that in itself, most physicans want to continue the use of benzos.

You can wait it out and hopefully not need the benzo when the Zoloft takes effect....because people do have different drug reactions to all this. But then be aware SSRi's have shown some deregulation of serotonin receptors in rats from long term use.

But none of this is dangerous. You won't die. You might even be able to tolerate the side effects or health effects down the line just fine. You may not even need the drugs long term at all, and they could be helpful to you in the short term.

You just must be vigilant on whether or not the drug benefits outweigh the risks; then you can decide what is best for your individual needs.[/QUOTE]

I asked a question concerning Depakote and possible damage. Does Depakote fall into this same boat? My anxiety surge came after discontinuing (properly) Depakote after 5 years..for migraines. It's an anti-seizure drug. Is it possible that any of this brain stuff about deregulation, and any of the above could have taken place and given me this ridiculous anxiety upon my discontinuation of the drug (like the brain being lazy and not producing something?). You said it repairs itself with time. If this is the case, how much time would I have to expect before that kind of damage would normalize if this did happen?





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