I have been prescribed Xanax for a the last 7 years to help me cope with anxiety/depression/agoraphobia - I am very uncomfortable in social situations, and dealing with people can be very stressful for me. Xanax has helped me overcome this at work, and in life - but know it is a feeling that will ware off, just like any other drug. When you stop taking it, your anxiety returns. It can make you sleepy, but if you need it for your anxiety, you'll most likely not be too effected by it.
Similar to ADD people who take adderall saying they feel normal, and not super hyperactive..because they actually need the adderall unlike a lot of other people who take it to get high.
Xanax has also helped with my sleep, falling asleep faster for longer, it can make waking up difficult (without being grouchy) if you dont get enough sleep.
It gets rid of the panic and I take a very small dose. I was given the smallest they make, 0.25 mg, and told to take it only as needed. It worked fine. Then I tried breaking the pill and taking only half. That worked just as well, usually. Some doctors mistakenly give large doses to their patients, perhaps confusing Xanax dosages with those for Valium.
On such a small dose withdrawal seems unlikely. The trick is not to take this sort of stuff on a maintenance basis.
You have to allow yourself to have your own experience, as yours may vary a bit from someone elses. That being said, it pretty much just works to relax you by decreasing anxiety. It won't "put you to sleep" like an anesthesia, but it can cause some drowsiness.
It's a great medication to be used "as needed", or as a rescue med, to take when anxiety or panic hits. It's not really suitable for regular, long term use because of issues with tolerance (where a higher dose will be needed to achieve the same effect).
I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised how helpful it can be.
Tolerance is not an issue if you use it erratically, that is, not every day, and skipping a few days occasionally.
That is exactly what nursegirl said. Tolerance ISN'T an issue if Xanax is used PRN. (as needed)
She also said that tolerance CAN become an issue when Xanax is used regularly, meaning, most likely, every day or 3-4X every week for an extended period of time longer than 4 months.
To me, Xanax is a miracle drug. I've had a more difficult time than most adjusting to SSRI's...to the point of feeling like a drug addict going through withdrawls or on an extremely bad high...but Xanax is the only thing that truly ever calms me. When I first started taking it (I was a lot thinner), it put me to sleep within five minutes of taking it. Now, it simply calms me. It doesn't build up in your system like SSRI's do (it's not long lasting like those drugs).
Thanks, greenlydia for explaining that that's what I said.
Here's what I said....pretty clear to me...I said that tolerance can become an issue when used regularly....
"It's a great medication to be used "as needed", or as a rescue med, to take when anxiety or panic hits. It's not really suitable for regular, long term use because of issues with tolerance (where a higher dose will be needed to achieve the same effect). "
I hope you read this. I have been on Xanax for 18 years. Wow, you say? What an addict? No...although some HERE may agree, Im not. Do I take it every day? Nope. Im prescribed the smallest dose...0.25mg...and over the years, my doctor has pretty much backed OFF of the prescribing...hes realized Im not over-using it..and that I know probably more about it than he does. In other words, he trusts me to use it responsibly, and I do. I used to have major panic attacks. Knock on wood--but I havent had a full blown one in a long time. I have major major stressors in my life (mom just died of cancer after 4 YEARS...dad just diagnosed with brain tumor...holy cow).....So I know about stress. I use my Xanax to "take the edge off". If I know Im going to be in a stressful situation (all the time now) I take a xanax. And 30 minutes later..I can feel myself relaxing...a bit. NOT where I lose control..or fall asleep standing up...none of that. It just does what I said..takes the edge off the anxiety. And if it doesnt, I take another.
Ive never taken more than 2& 1/2 pills at a time..and thats only 62mg...I know some people who take 2 and 3 full mg tablets...so..it definatly DOES help with the panic..at the correct dose...but doesnt put me to sleep (unless I take it at bedtime specifically because I want it to make me sleepy).....I go days without it, and then take it when I need it only.
Good luck to you.
My apologies. I replied without reading all the entries, so I did not realize that I was repeating, in different words, what you had already said.
Im 28 and a stay at home mom for two years. Two months ago i started feeling funny, my arms were numb and tingly, my throat was closing up and i felt like my heart was beating fast. I went to er over and over thinking i was dying. They did all kinds of tests but said i was fine. Than prescribed . 05 xanaxe. I guess i have stressed so much with watching 2 toddlers that i know get frequent attacks. Is this really what anxiety feels like? I've never had it? ,
I am in the same boat... my Dr gave me .25 Xanax and I haven't taken one either bcus I don't know what to expect with it... I know everyone is different.
Those sound exactly like symptoms of an allergic reaction ( know, because two members of my family get those very symptoms as part of their nut and "birch" allergies). But let's assume the folks at the ER were able to rule that out.
Those could also be the symptoms of an anxiety attack. I went through a period where I had them, too, and I had all that you describe plus a little dizziness. Like many with anxiety attacks, I feared I was having a heart attack, and that fear further fed the attack (and helped to "cement" my anxiety pattern for future attacks).
After I suffered terribly through a couple of those, my doctor prescribed .25 mg Xanax. I was afraid to take them, too, as I'd never used any kind of prescription before (besides antibiotics). I used an anxiety workbook to learn about the causes and cures for anxiety, which was a VERY basic protocol that worked quite well for me. After years of carrying the Xanax around--it was a "security blanket" that, in a way, was also very helpful in my self-help regimen--I finally threw the unopened bottle away.
My wife suffered anxiety from fear of flying for many years and about 10 years ago, was given a .5mg Xanas prescription to take before flying. She took it without hesitation, and since has used it with great success. She is calm through her flight, and very sleepy afterwards!
Hope some of this is helpful. Here is the book that I used:
Well I went ahead and took my Xanax for the first time and it wasn't bad at all... it wasn't a miracle cure or anything but it just made me feel calm and I could talk to ppl easier.
I get anxiety but I'm nervous that maybe its not anxiety and I can not get myself to take the xanax that was prescribed to me. My anxiety causes me to believe I have a heart problem (which I don't) but I just can't shake that feeling. If I take xanax I'm afraid my heart will go too slow or stop etc.. Does that feeling even occur when taken? Also I haven't had an actual heart palpitation/freak out panic attack in a while. Just an overall crappy feeling all day long. I'm short of breath, I feel like I'm vibrating and really uncomfortable...
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Jessica42009, I have those same feelings, especially the vibrating. I've had tests and they all say I'm fine. My friend gave me some Xanax to try and I take half a pill when I get those feelings. Sometimes it feel like it works and sometimes I'm not sure. We are both still alive I hope. It must be in our heads. I'm going to schedule some time with a shrink who can prescribe me this.
Definitely much better to go to a doctor for the Xanax if you feel you need it. Taking someone else's medication is a BAD idea and can land BOTH you and your friend in trouble.
I've had anxiety and panic attacks for about three years and I just started taking my Zoloft again at 50mg and increasing it to 100mg after one week. I get my panic attacks when I'm around a big crowd and I'm getting nervous about working this weekend when it's going to be very busy and I know my Zoloft won't really be affective yet. I was also prescribed Xanex the lowest dosage and my doctor told me I can take half or the whole thing. I wanted to try taking it before I go into work this weekend but I don't want to make it worse and ive never taken it before so im nervous about it.
I have anxiety when around other people as well. Do you know what causes it? I attribute my anxiety to growing up in a chaotic atmosphere where I was stressed a lot. I always felt others didn't understand and for the most part they didn't. Anyway, it made me anxious around other people. What do you think caused your anxiety?
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I just got prescribed it too and im terrified to take it because im not sure what it will do to me, which makes me panic more. I havent been able to leave my bedroom for 4 days now
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I have mild copd, when it flairs I can't sleep. I lay down and even if I can breath ok, I start to hyperventilate, stomach gets nervous and have sudden urge to urinate. So, I would like it to relax me before bed but I don't want that sleepy, foggy dazed, grumpy feeling the next day. Does this med. do that?
After reading many of these posts, I decided to post up mine. I had a major 1st anxiety attack at night about 15 years ago and thought I was dying of a heart attack. I have always been a superior athlete track star/basketball since jr high and always healthy so this caught me totally off guard. I tried Paxil after seeing a neurologist who prescribed it shortly after that first episode. Then later on my Doctorprescribed sertraline for a few years and it worked great.... I finally weened myself off of it about 18 months ago. Well this year I turned 60 and after a College reunion and visiting friends 800 miles from home in Nov, I had a panic attack while sleeping at a best friends place. Went to a clinic next morning and was diagnosed with a urinary infection. 3 days later and having been put on Cipro I had another attack and went to ER @ 2 a.m. with panic and major heart burn that felt like heart attack. They hooked me up to EKG and gave me a barium cocktail which doused the fire but I later a day or so I still was having panic attacks. Then back home I explained to my doc gave and he gave me a different antibiotic and told me to go back on sertraline 50 mg. It only made my anxiety worse so I stopped after a couple days. Then a week later I tried again but became a zombie in 3 days and actually suicidal...Me of all people thinking suicidal thoughts. I was sure I wouldn't even attempt it but that was just too off the wall for me. But the errie feelings were so overwhelming I was at a loss and my doctor didn't know how or what to treat me for. Laying on my pillow it would sound like a helicopters blade pounding in the distance. He suggested I see a shrink. Well, I changed to a much younger female doctor on referral from a good friend in the medical profession. Told this doctor about my history and she said lets try nexium for possible acid reflux which might be triggering the anxiety and then zanax for whenever you might feel uneasy so I'm now taking 1/2 or 1 tab of zanax which is .5 mg. when I feel I need it. And it has been absolutely life changing. I used to get chills, tremers, which started under the ribs and radiated out to the forearms, and my mind would just panic thinking the worst and it was most always about bed time or shortly after I went to bed. But now going on 3 weeks later with the "take if needed" attitude, I'm so much better and relaxed. And tonite I felt a little uneasy at about 10 so in preparation I took 1/2 and its like I'm feeling normal again... took off the edge and ready to "hit the hay". I know myself pretty well but this mind anxiety was no joke. But I still wonder about GABA if there is something natural to get neurons to flow seratonin correctly so there isn't the need for pharma drugs?