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Anxiety Message Board

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I have a question. Have any of you ever been perscribed xanax or alprazolam and told to take it whenever you feel like a panic attack is coming on?
I have had a stash of this Alprazolam (otherwise a generic brand of xanax) its .5mg and my last doctor prescribed it to me and told me that whenever I have an anxiety attack I can take this pill. So in other words I can take perhaps ONE xanax per month.
Does that sound strange? I thought with these meds if you take it and suddenly stop really bad stuff can happen(cause withdrawls, depression etc) Because like I say I probably only have ONE really bad panic attack a month but I do have periodic anxiety attacks (several a day and night).
Would it be bad to take this Alprazolam maybe once or twice a week for my anxiety (as if i would take a tylenol for a headache?) or could that cause big problems?

Also on a side note...Which is "worse" or which do you feel causes most side effects or unplesent feelings: Xanax or Paxil?

I really want to stop these anxiety attacks (swelling in my head/ears feel like i cant catch my breath, cant sleep) and my new doc told me to get on paxil for 6 months but I dont want to be on a daily pill that I hear bad things about. I guess I dont hear much about Xanax. I just want to know ifI should just forget all of these meds and just do what I have been doing and just DEAL with it and make it better by making changes in my life etc...
Thanks for listening :)

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