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Author Topic: When does it become a dependency on Xanax? Paranoid Doc reducing my prescription  (Read 1482 times)

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Offline insights

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I believed I read something in regards to "Ashton Method" at the time

To give Heather Ashton credit, she has done much to push the concept and undoubtedly made life easier for many by doing so, though I'm not sure it was her idea. I seem to recall reading about the diazepam switch long before I heard of Ashton. Unfortunately, she has also contributed much to the vilification of BZDs, and more recently antidepressants, particularly the SSRIs.

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So, I would think there would be a distinct advantage in using a longer lasting benzo, like Diazepam (valium) to start with, instead of shorter acting one, when someone wants to get off of them.

I depends on how they are used. If BZDs are only needed occasionally for breakthrough anxiety, etc, the short acting ones, Ativan (lorazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), etc, are probably the better option as they kick-in a little faster and there is less risk of developing dependence if they are needed 2-3 times a week. For 24/7 protection (which I don't advise) then the longer acting BZDs would be better.

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 Christophe

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So after seeing the Dr yesterday, we are going to supplement Buspar with the Xanax.  He wants me to taper off the Xanax slowly then gradually increase the Buspar to three tablets a day.  He says Buspar is more sedating and should be taken before going to sleep.  Will give it a try as the reviews for Buspar are mixed.  If it doesn't work I could call and try and get Valium.  Would rather try that than going on Lexapro.
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Offline Never-Quit

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So after seeing the Dr yesterday, we are going to supplement Buspar with the Xanax.  He wants me to taper off the Xanax slowly then gradually increase the Buspar to three tablets a day.  He says Buspar is more sedating and should be taken before going to sleep.  Will give it a try as the reviews for Buspar are mixed.  If it doesn't work I could call and try and get Valium.  Would rather try that than going on Lexapro.


My own experience, having taken all these medications,  is that Buspar is not even in the same league as Xanax or Valium - Buspar is not a controlled substance which is why many doctors love to prescribe this medication.  But, you might have success, since meds will respond to differently to each person's body - :winking0008:

Keep us informed on your progress, and if you begin to suffer higher anxiety, I would not hesitate to call my doctor back and get the Valium  :yes:

 :sign0111:  keep us informed of your progress!!
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Offline insights

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Will give it a try as the reviews for Buspar are mixed.

Buspar is a med which seems to work extremely well for a few, but is less effective than M&Ms for most, so keep your fingers crossed that you're one of the few.

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Would rather try that than going on Lexapro.

IMHO, antidepressants are better than benzodiazepines as primary anxiety meds.

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 NeverAgain2

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Ian, like always makes very knowledge insights and really good points. Great Post Ian! :grinning-smiley-003:

Been down this road now, with my children who are in 20's and 30's, elderly parents in their late 80's...

IMHO - from experience and dealing with doctors, you might want to talk to your doctor about the option to move you to Valium or Klonopin - since doctors less reluctant to prescribe these longer-lasting benzopines

Keep in mind most AD's and SSRI's will likely produce sexual side effects - most doctor's seem very reluctant to tell you before prescribing these medications - like Lexapro... Just something you may want to consider...

On a side note:  The doctors keep trying to reduce the dosage for mother's  Lorazepam to reduce the likelihood of Doctor's getting sued by lawyers.  There are now new reports of increasing auto accidents involving people taking benzopines which are making doctors very reluctant to prescribe these medications. 

For what's it worth - Just an opinion....I posted this earlier today:

Klonopin and Valium are two gold standards for providing "Full day shield" with a single dose, in many cases.


Xanax and Lorazepam have always been good - especially for Panic Attacks and server Anxiety attacks, but you need to take it several times per day for it versus just a a single dose of klonopin or valium (the two longest lasting benzos).


If you are like me, I am very paranoid about taking any medications, unless I have to, and then I will spend days researching information before I will take any medication or even health supplement...  I just want to have access to best and latest research findings myself, and not have unfounded misinformation crammed down my throat by uninformed Doctors and companies who are trying to make money from the suffering of others.

Also, new compelling current research is showing again and again - that for Anxiety and Panic Attacks - Benzodiazepines have a better profile of efficacy and less initial side effects, and safer for long time usage than the newer AD and SSRI. 

People who use these medications responsibly do not to fear dependence or so called 'addiction' - that gets thrown around by doctors and anti-medication people.   These are wonderful medications that help you tremendously.   :yes:

Even back in 1990 ...there were some reputable studies done - that have reinforced the safety of Benzodiazepines.

The report of the American Psychiatric Association's Task Force on Benzodiazepine Dependence, Toxicity and Abuse ... This document tries to dispel some popular misconceptions about benzodiazepines. ... "There is no evidence to suggest that the therapeutic use of benzodiazepines leads to abuse except in those persons who also abuse other substances." (29)

1990   Dr. Robert DuPont, a former director of the [United States] National Institute of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, suggests, "the concept of using the lowest possible dose of a benzodiazepine for the shortest period of time is inconsistent with sound clinical practice. This concept needs to include the important qualification that our goal is to maximize the patient's ability to function well and to enjoy life. Benzodiazepines are among the safest and most effective treatments in all of medicine, including their role in the treatment of panic disorder." (29)

(29) William D. Kernodle, MD, "Panic Disorder; The Medical Point of View,"


I agree with you. 

In fact, recent studies have shown that for many people SSRI's and SNRI's are not much more effective than a placebo.  A placebo is fine, if it works, but for so many, like a sugar pill, they do not work, whereas bensos have been proven to have a quick (and for many) lasting effect on their anxiety, until  they can understand anxiety through Cognitive Restructuring or they make the life change they have to or they simply calm down.

Benzo hysteria started in the UK, has spread to the US, and shows no sign of abating.  In fact, this anti-medication hysteria is also spreading to anti-depressants, which, as I mentioned, do help some people, whether or not we know why.

Good post.
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Offline MIL_IsAHotMess

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NeverAgain2 said "bensos have been proven to have a quick (and for many) lasting effect on their anxiety, until  they can understand anxiety through Cognitive Restructuring or they make the life change they have to or they simply calm down."


A few years ago I was suffering constant and debilitating anxiety. My family doctor gave me Xanax which I took every day for about 7 months. Then, getting to the doctor on or about every 30th day to get a refill became almost more stressful than the original anxiety itself! (Where I live doctors and pharmacists are heavily regulated and getting a controlled substance filled is a nightmare in and of itself) I sought help from a psychologist and learned how to work through it. I don't get full blown attacks anymore. Now I have a RX for Valium that I use to take that edge off every once an a while.

Nowadays it's a real pain trying to find a Psychiatrist. I heard that the prescribing part (MD) of psychotherapy is moving more toward neurology and psychiatrists will likely become a thing of the past. NeuroPsychology is the future. 

If you suffer from regular long lasting anxiety and don't seek help from a psychologist or psychiatrist you are, IMO robbing yourself of a quality of life.  Not only that, but my family doctor was more understanding with my request for medication once he knew I was seeing a psychologist.

I'm not a doctor, or an expert. Just offering my two cents about what worked for me.
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Offline NeverAgain2

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NeverAgain2 said "bensos have been proven to have a quick (and for many) lasting effect on their anxiety, until  they can understand anxiety through Cognitive Restructuring or they make the life change they have to or they simply calm down."


A few years ago I was suffering constant and debilitating anxiety. My family doctor gave me Xanax which I took every day for about 7 months. Then, getting to the doctor on or about every 30th day to get a refill became almost more stressful than the original anxiety itself! (Where I live doctors and pharmacists are heavily regulated and getting a controlled substance filled is a nightmare in and of itself) I sought help from a psychologist and learned how to work through it. I don't get full blown attacks anymore. Now I have a RX for Valium that I use to take that edge off every once an a while.

Nowadays it's a real pain trying to find a Psychiatrist. I heard that the prescribing part (MD) of psychotherapy is moving more toward neurology and psychiatrists will likely become a thing of the past. NeuroPsychology is the future. 

If you suffer from regular long lasting anxiety and don't seek help from a psychologist or psychiatrist you are, IMO robbing yourself of a quality of life.  Not only that, but my family doctor was more understanding with my request for medication once he knew I was seeing a psychologist.

I'm not a doctor, or an expert. Just offering my two cents about what worked for me.

Thanks for your comment.  Fortunately, I am at a state where I do not need meds or therapy anymore.  Will that day return?  Who knows?

Good mental health counseling is hard to find, especially when most do not subscribe to anxiety being the cause of ongoing and chronic symptoms.  Some will allow that anxiety will make organic symptoms worse, which is true, but very few accept the mind as the cause.

My GP was an older doctor, and had been an on-call doctor to many musicians and performers who passed through town, so he was used to anxiety.  He was more sensible and grounded than the mental health providers.  Still, the government, in co-operation with pseudo experts, are pulling the reigns in on bensos, anti-depressants and even pain killers.   My guess is that it is being done less out of actual concern and correct care for the patient than the central control of medicine coming from Washington DC and helped along by insurance company partners.
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Offline Christophe

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I started at a half pill a day of Buspar then quickly went to one pill at night then felt nauseous the next morning.  So, once again I am holding off on taking more for a while or at least until my mouth heals a little bit more.  Frustrating that all these anxiety medications seem to have nausea as a side effect.  It's something I can't stand for too long. 

Now it's back to 1.5 mg or so of Xanax spread throughout the day and Trazodone at night to help sleep.  I know I need to get on something for more long term relief eventually and hopefully I can do that.

It might be time to find a new Psychologist as well as all this EMDR, CBT and EFT tapping stuff just doesn't seem to be of much help.  Or find a Psychiatrist.
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Offline insights

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Frustrating that all these anxiety medications seem to have nausea as a side effect.  It's something I can't stand for too long.

I wonder if ondansetron (Zofran) is an option. It was originally developed as an antidepressant with a strong anti anxiety effect, but then Glaxo realised it was also a highly effective anti nausea med and decided to target the much more lucrative chemo/radiation therapy induced nausea market instead. Now that it is out of patent the price may have dropped enough to make it a viable option, either as the main anti anxiety med, or to supplement a SSRI for a few weeks until the nausea diminishes.

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 joe2014

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Hi Ian - A good friend of mine has been on .5mg Xanax daily along with 100mg Zoloft for about 4 years. He's doing fine. What are your thoughts on that? Thanks.
Joe
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