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#1 of 9 Old 03-03-2008, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am on .5 mg of Xanax twice a day to get through a particularly bad spell of panic attacks. When I take it in the morning, it wipes me out. I end up half asleep on the couch. Will the sleepiness decrease or is this the way it will be until I get past this spell (and thus stop taking the Xanax regularly)?

I have a doctor appt. this week and I was going to discuss dropping the morning dose since I *think* the panic is subsiding -- but I am still under lots of stress/anxiety so I am kind of afraid it will rear up again.

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#2 of 9 Old 03-03-2008, 09:36 AM
 
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first of all, you need to know that Xanax is the most addictive of the benzos, with a ton of side effects. If I were you I'd avoid this one for long-term use. all of the benzos are sedating, but it's very possible that Xanax is worse. This side effect will not go away, and because of that they are often used to treat insomnia.

I take Klonopin 3 times daily (well, I take it that often if I'm having anxiety, right now I'm only taking it once or twice because i feel fine and I forget). My morning dose does not wipe me out.

Maybe you'd be better off to switch. The thing about Klonopin is that it has a long half life (30-40 hours) so the dose you take at bed time prevents panic attacks for the whole day. Xanax has a very short half life, the shortest of all. Ativan is the least addictive of these drugs, but it's one with a shorter half life, so you would need to take it during the day. Valium is another that has a very long half life and you could take just at night...talk over the advantages/disadvantages of the different drugs in this class and see if another one might be right for you.
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#3 of 9 Old 03-03-2008, 09:39 AM
 
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I would also look into a different med. Xanax is too addicting! I second Klonopin or Ativan.
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#4 of 9 Old 03-03-2008, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both for the information. I see him tomorrow so I will discuss switching with him. I had read about Xanax being highly addictive which has concerned me.

Jen, Mom to DS (8) , DD (5) & Alli
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#5 of 9 Old 03-03-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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So I was checking the benzo comparison charts, and the bad news is that Xanax is one of the 2 preferred drugs for panic attacks. The good news is that Klonopin is the other (guess that's why I'm on it).

I can tell you that I was having almost daily attacks when I started, and I'd take Klonopin 3 times a day, I would feel like I needed it in the middle of the day etc. Now I seriously only take it once a day about 75% of the time, and that one time is at bed time most nights.

At my worst, I was taking 1 mg daily, now most days I take .5 mg. My prescription is written so I can take anywhere between .75 and 4 mg daily, so yes, I'm taking less than prescribed right now, and I've never taken the max dosage. I go in for another appointment next week. I'm going to see if I can switch to as needed or if I should continue daily for a little while longer.

I believe the goal of psychiatric medication is to make you better. When I started taking the Klonopin I felt like myself at my very best. I think that's the sign something is working. If you feel worse, or the side effects make you not want to take the drug, you should revisit your treatment options. There are so many options out there, don't settle!!
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#6 of 9 Old 03-04-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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Switch to Klonopin. I only need to take it once a day or once every other day. It's really long acting, so you can take one before bedtime and it'll still be in your system 24 hours later. Whereas most of the other benzos have a half life of about 6 hours.

The other good thing is it doesn't usually cause that drunken feeling that the other benzos do.
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#7 of 9 Old 03-06-2008, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am weaning off the Xanax and just keeping it for emergencies (like our plane ride in April). I am continuing the Celexa on a daily basis to keep my anxiety in check.

Jen, Mom to DS (8) , DD (5) & Alli
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#8 of 9 Old 03-08-2008, 07:09 PM
 
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If you are interested in trying a non pharmaceutical approach, here is an article by Greek MD, Marina Angeli, on treating panic attacks with flower essences, it seems like she has had some success.

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#9 of 9 Old 03-09-2008, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting, thank you. My DS uses flower essences for his anxiety.

Jen, Mom to DS (8) , DD (5) & Alli
(1-04) (8-09)
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