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Author Topic: Becoming Xanax dependant. Please help.  (Read 209 times)

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Offline marcosm

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Becoming Xanax dependant. Please help.
« on: March 26, 2014, 01:15:54 PM »
Hello, this is my first post to this forum.  I am writing because I am experiencing a problem with the Xanax that I am taking.  I started on a low dose, but after a while the anti-anxiety effects of Xanax seems to have diminished.  So my doctor kept slowly increasing the dosage.  Now I have developed a tolerance to the increased dose.  When I first started taking Xanax, a 0.5 mg dose did the job.  Now I have to take 3 to 4 0.5 mg tablets to get the same effect.  I have read some horror stories on the web about people developing a tolerance to extremely large doses of Xanax  - and I don't want to go in that direction.  Now my doctor has me on a good dose of Xanax and will not increase the dose.  But my anxiety lately is becoming overwhelming!!!

Is there another anti-anxiety drug that I can add that does not have a cross tolerance to Xanax?  BTW Buspar did nothing for me - neither did propranolol or SSRIs and other antidepressants (tricyclics and MAOIs).  I am on Haldol, but with limited success.
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Offline insights

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Re: Becoming Xanax dependant. Please help.
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2014, 05:05:50 PM »
Is there another anti-anxiety drug that I can add that does not have a cross tolerance to Xanax? ,


Welcome to AnxietyZone,

Only anti seizure meds like gabapentin (Neurontin) and pregabalin (Lyrica). The latter is the better choice, but is more expensive. Some of the antipsychotics such as quetiapine (Seroquel), olanzapine (Zyprexa) and the newer lurasidone (Latuda) might work, but they need to be taken with caution as the side-effects can be unpleasant. However, they would be a better choice than Haldol.

If it is covered adequately by your health insurance then therapy should also be considered. The cognitive/behavioural/mindfulness therapies are at least as effective as medication.

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Buspar did nothing for me - neither did propranolol or SSRIs and other antidepressants (tricyclics and MAOIs)

Do you remember which SSRIs, tricyclics and MAOIs have you tried, at what doses and for how long?

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline marcosm

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Re: Becoming Xanax dependant. Please help.
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 06:24:26 PM »
I was taking most of these meds prior to 2001 and I can't recall the dosages or the length of time that I was taking them.  It seems like I tried them all, even lithium and ECT.  ECT was effective and I was put on maintenance ECT it was not very practical since the effects lasted only a week or two.  In 2001, I turned the corner when I was put on Clozaril.  It really worked well; however, I seemed to be very sensitive to the sedation and I can only take it at nighttime.  I had to reduce the dose because it wall extremely difficult to wake up in the morning.  I take 2 mg of alprazolam ER in the morning but I am experiencing rebound anxiety at around 5:00 pm when it wears off.  I am also taking two 0.5 mg tablets of regular alprazolam.  I have difficulty in social situations so I take it during the day (just before I lecture for class).  I am looking for something to take at around 5:00 PM when everything wears off.  I admit that I need to exercise, but even so, the rebound anxiety can get very intense.  Very recently, I may drink a glass or two of wine at around 5:00 pm and it works, but having to drink alcohol as a remedy just does not feel right.  Thanks for your reply.
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Re: Becoming Xanax dependant. Please help.
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 07:32:06 PM »
I was taking most of these meds prior to 2001 and I can't recall the dosages or the length of time that I was taking them.  It seems like I tried them all, even lithium and ECT.

I think imipramine (Tofranil) at a high dose, 200-300mg/day, might be worth a shot. I took 300mg which is the absolute in-patient maximum, and occasionally up to 350mg, for 8-9 years without drama. Alternatively, another of the tricyclics, nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor) together with a SSRI.

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I take 2 mg of alprazolam ER in the morning but I am experiencing rebound anxiety at around 5:00 pm when it wears off.  I am also taking two 0.5 mg tablets of regular alprazolam.  I have difficulty in social situations so I take it during the day (just before I lecture for class).  I am looking for something to take at around 5:00 PM when everything wears off.

You might do better with a long-acting benzodiazepine such as clonazepam (Klonopin), or clorazepate (Tranxene).

Quote
I admit that I need to exercise, but even so, the rebound anxiety can get very intense.

Exercise is a good anti anxiety and depression 'treatment'.

Quote
Very recently, I may drink a glass or two of wine at around 5:00 pm and it works, but having to drink alcohol as a remedy just does not feel right.

It is also counter-productive, see: The alcohol/anxiety tag team

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

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