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Guys,

I am wondering has anyone taken Xanax for over a year on a continuous basis for anxiety? Also has anyone had to increase the dosage to get the same effect and did the increases stop at some point? I am on a minimal dose and it has definitely helped (1.5 mg/day), but lately I feel the anxiety creeping in again. My doc says it may take a couple increases before the correct dose is found. Anyway, I am just curious to see how Xanax is being used on a long term basis because this is the only viable option for me since I can't take SSRI's. They give me way too many side effects.

I am not concerned about the addictive properties since all meds for anxiety have addictive properties. SSRI withdrawl I hear is no picnic either. Anyway, just looking for some people who have long term experience.

Thanks,
Mat
Wow! Our stories are very similar. I also had a really hard time in 1st through 3rd grades with stomach problems and school anxiety. I don't even know the number of times I was sent home with unexplained stomach problems and many other symptoms of anxiety. Anyway, after that, I had no problems until I was 22 I think. Then it all came back with a vengence and the OCD and Panic was debilitating. I took all types of SSRI's looking for a cure and all I got was increased anxiety. Anyway, I vowed then never to take drugs and quit all drugs and decided to do it holistically and I was able to maintain some assemblance of a life until I quit drinking. See the problem now? The alcohol intake that I was consuming was actually helping my anxiety. Anyway, I am married and have a daughter and another child on the way, so needless to say the days of partying are long since gone and now I have anxiety and panic again. I know the OCD will be with me forever, I just wish I could tame the anxiety thing. Thus far, (2 months), the Xanax has been wonderful, but I started working out again about a week ago and I now have been feeling the twinges of anxiety again rearing its ugly head. I do have a lot of stressful events in my life now, but I would still like to gain more control. Consider yourself lucky in that you were able to succeed with a very minimal amount of Xanax. I hope I don't need to up it past what I am taking now (1.5 mg/day). Thanks for your post. It was really good to hear from someone who really can relate. Best wishes to you and your family.
I take xanax, less than 2mg. per day, usually 1.5 or 1.75mg. A year ago I was taking 3mg. per day, so it is possible to reduce the dosage. I have had anxiety for many years and it works just fine.

Your 1.5mg. is a small dosage and you may need to updose a bit to get more anxiety relief. With OCD, you are right xanax does not help but the SSRI Luvox (one of the oldest if not the oldest SSRI) can help. It is also one of the most sedating of the ssri's I believe. Asking your physician is the best. I would rather take the Luvox as an augmentation to the xanax than upping the dosage of xanax. It is doable but not fun withdrawing from a benzo.....despite what you have heard most people have a harder time withdrawing from benzos than ssri's.

Karen
Maybe the withdrawl thing is true, but I have a severe reaction to all SSRI's. My anxiety spikes to levels that I don't experience regularly. I think the OCD problem is relatively simple. I just have to work on changing my thought pattern and I am well underway with that. The OCD hardly bothers me anymore, but the anxiety is crippling when it is in its full effect, so maybe you are right. Maybe I do need to increase my dosage. It is a relief to hear of other people who have been on Xanax for so long and not had to increase in dosage infinitely. Here comes and OCD thought, "What if I keep having to take more and more Xanax until no dose will work for me?". This is my major fear at this point, but from logic, and reading others posts it seems that most poeple find a level and plateau comfortably and usually even taper down later in life. I will speak with my doc this week.
I was the same way ocdengineer, I had very severe reactions to all SSRI's.
My OCD is pretty bad...my Doctor said on a scale of 1 to 10 I'm about a 8 and 1/2 as far as the OCD.

I'll clean, count and sort things for the rest of my life before I'd ever touch another SSRI...but that's just me, some people have great luck with them.

Even though the OCD is bad, I'd rather live with that for the rest of my life than to ever have the panic and anxiety come back....but if it does I'll go back on my trusty Xanax because I know it works for me.

Good luck to you and let me know what your Doctor has to say.
If you look at it from the doctor's perspective though it is almost humorous. You have this patient walk in and he or she is sweating, shaking, and down right agitated and asking to please refill their prescription for Xanax because they ran out. I mean I have to laugh at that. The doctor is probably thinking that the person standing in front of him is an addict. I mean, honestly, that would be my first thought. You just need to find a doctor who believes in the stuff and there are many out there who do, but you have to scope them out and may have to dig through multiple doctors before you find someone who will prescribe it. Sad but true. I still here horror stories of people trying to wean off of SSRI's and it sounds to me like they are all addictive.

Anyway, thanks again for all of your posts. It's great to hear of others who have used Xanax for longer periods of time. I really find the drug working and for the first time in a long time I have felt close to "normal". Anyway, i want to try and take it on a long term basis and this is why the thread was started.





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