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I've been wanting to reduce my xanax consumption. Because of some crises lately, I inadvertantly increased my daily xanax from about 3 mg to 5+ mg. I know, for xanax, that's quite a big increase.

Xanax not only keeps my generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) well under control but also significantly lowers my blood pressure better than any regular BP med I've ever taken (accupril, cozaar, hyzaar, bystolic, tekturna [awful experience for me], benazepril [lotensin]). Xanax even reduces my BP [I]when I don't feel anxious[/I], so I doubt even my MD's opinion that xanax reduces my blood pressure because my BP is caused by anxiety. I've been watching this for 8 years, and it simply isn't the case. Xanax lowers my blood pressure, anxiety or not.

I've had two different doctors, independently of each other - my MD and a drug-management psychiatrist - tell me that I've inherited a genetic anxiety disorder and may need a benzo for the rest of my life (I had relatives self-medicate themselves to death with alcohol), and after several tries (ativan, klonopin, valium, etc), xanax finally hit the spot. In low doses (.5), it stops my generalized anxiety and lowers my blood pressure, and in bigger doses (2+ mg), it puts me to sleep and stops all blood pressure spikes (I mean like 160/100 back to 125/80!) [I]within an hour[/I]. Plus, it has no lingering hangover! When 4-6 hours (it does vary) are up, no grogginess, no lethargy. It's out of there! But therein lies a problem - I sometimes have sudden withdrawal symptoms - BP spikes, panic attacks. And with my recent increase in mg, this all becomes more severe! Hence, my urgent reason for cutting back, so this becomes more manageable again.

I've studied the switching plan from xanax to valium to make the weaning more manageable, but I've found that valium, though it certainly calms my anxiety, has [I]little effect on my high blood pressure![/I] Whereas xanax always brings it down. Plus, the equivalent dosage of valium leaves me very unpleasantly groggy all day long - AND with high blood pressure, unless I add xanax.

As you may understand, I'm starting to feel like a benzo junkie. I have this notion that I should just return to xanax alone, and gradually reduce it, asking the doctor for lower-dose pills (I currently have the 2 mg bars - so much easier to abuse than the 1 mg pills! My doctor's prescription! NOT my request!)

If anyone has experience with time-released xanax, please let me know your experience. If I'm at 5+ mg per day now, what mg extended-release should I ask for (my doctor is incredibly supportive and willing to work with me).

Thanks for all your input and advice!!!

Vocrin





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