Switching From Xanax To Valium

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Syrus Says:


PLEASE HELP! For the past 7yrs I've been on 1mg Xanax (3x) per day for anxiety and panic attacks. I take my dosage of Xanax as prescribed by my Dr unless I have a severe panic attack, then I may take an additional (1-2) 1mg xanax when I'm actually having a severe full blown panic attack to stop it. I've been on other Benzos before but Xanax seems to be the only thing that stops the panic attacks when I'm having them.
Recently my Dr decided to switch me from 1mg Xanax (3x) per day to 10mg of Valium (2x) per day because he says Valium is "stronger" and has a longer half life than Xanax. He says the Xanax isn't working for my anxiety anymore. From what I've read on the Internet about Xanax vs Valium is that Xanax works better than Valium for panic attacks. I like to mention I have a phobia of taking new medications. I stressed my concerns to my Dr that my anxiety isn't as much of issue for me as my Panic Attacks. He said not to worry cause the Valium is stronger. Then I asked him what if while I'm taking the Valium I suffer a sever panic attack? What do I do to stop the panic attack? His responce was that I could take a 1/2 of a 10mg Valium tablet to stop the panic attack. I wanted to tell him that from what I knew, Valium is slower acting and that I didn't agree 1/2 of a 10mg is going to stop my panic attacks but I didn't want to question his professional expertise over my Internet findings. I know he's the Dr and the Dr knows best right? So I guess to finally get to my point is I'm terrified to start the Valium because im afraid that when I have a panic attack and I say WHEN and not IF cause it's only a matter of when I will have a full blown sever panic attack what would I do to stop it? From reading up on Valium I know it wont help stop my panic attack like the Xanax will. I asked my Dr before I left his office that while I'm on the Valium and I have an attack could I take a Xanax to stop the attack? He said absolutely not! He said if I have a panic attack while on valium I can take a 1/2 of my 10mg Valium. I didnt say this to my Dr but I know from what I read about Valium is that it won't stop an attack as fast as Xanax will. I dont know what to do? Im so scared and I feel helpless cause I feel like my Dr isn't getting what im saying. My panic attacks can last as long as 2 hours or more. I know because my longest panic attack was while I was driving through the desert and realized I forgot to pack my Xanax. 2 hours in to my attack after trying breathing techniques and what not I had to taken to a hospital by ambulance cause my heart rate went up way to high and so did my blood pressure. My panic attacks can lead to an ambulance ride to the hospital. I feel like my Dr is focusing on treating my anxiety more than my panic attacks which are of greater concern to me at this time. I read on line that other people have been prescribed both Xanax and Valium to be taken as needed. Valium for anxiety and Xanax for panic attacked. I spoken to 3 pharmacists who tell me that I can take the Valium and if I should have a major panic attack I could take a Xanax no problem because they're both Benzos but only on the occassions when I'm having a bad panic attack. Why couldn't my Dr just say that? I know some of you may read this and say that I just have an addiction to Xanax. Honestly that would be further from the truth. If I knew that Valium would stop my sever panic attacks I would switch in a heart beat but from what I'm reading I know Valium won't help with an attack as fast as Xanax will. I'm not looking for the Xanax "kick" some people love to feel or to have a feeling of Ephoria. I just want a reliable medication to treat my disorder. I want to trust that my Dr knows what's best for me but only I know what my body and mind is going through and I somehow can't get him to understand! If anyone has had the same problem as me or can offer any support or advise I'd love to hear what you have to say. Has anyone ever taken both medications in the same manner im suggesting or together at the Sametime? How did it make you feel? We're you able to cope and how? Please anything will help. I know there has to be other people out there experiencing or have experienced the same thing. Thanks.



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Verwon Says:

Well, to be honest, you can't know how it will work for you, without at least giving it a try.

Valium has been successfully used to panic attacks for many people, because when it comes right down to the actual therapy, you don't want to let the attacks continue to happen and then try to stop them, you actually want to try to prevent them and that is where these types of medications are effective.

That is probably why your doctor wants you to switch, because just using Xanax to stop them when they happen isn't really a good solution.


https:/­/­www.medschat.com/­wiki/­Valium/­

Are there any questions or comments?


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Kyrie Says:

I've been lurking on these type of forums for years...especially for the past year...I'm ready to post.

Hi Syrus :) I have a somewhat similar situation as you...*somewhat. See, I guess background information is important. I've had insomnia since I was about 3 years old. My father was physically abusive towards myself and siblings from the time I was 3-10..he stopped drinking as he was an alcoholic and the physical abuse stopped. To this day I have strange feelings about him as he has never apologized, done anything to try to make things right I am 30 now. I had rec drug use at a very young 10 years old which started off as smoking pot, then lsd, I RARELY too pills...wasn't my thing I smoked pot for over a decade and did coke for 5 years until I was 21 See, I come from a middle class family and everyone in my family has college degrees. I did not grow up in a bad neighborhood, I grew up about 1 hour to the closest city....I'm a small town gal! As an adult I do not drink, smoke or do anything and I am married to a wonderful man who did nothing of such things that I did as a kid, teen and young adult but he's just wonderful.I was put on anti depressants off and on since I was 14-23. I always thought I JUST had depression but looking back on it the symptoms I told my dr's must have screamed anxiety. I was on Paxil at first which did nothing and was crap, Zolof which made me sleep straight for 15 hours, could get out of bed, barely sip water...with help I made it to the bathroom, didn't eat so after the 1 dose that was it, Effexor, Celexa, and Lexapro which I took for years. I always told my mom I felt like a cloud on it, which now that I look back on things...hey...that's not such a bad thing. I went to college, did very well and I tool the Lexapro off and on and eventually slowly stopped taking it myself. Fast forward, graduation, got a job, went to grad school for a bit, moved in with my bf, got engaged, planned an elopement and reception ourselves and my parents whom had a bad marriage from the start neither helped...my mom was vacant and just a mess and that is hard because I love her very much, she worked 2-3 jobs to help me through community college before I transferred to a 4 year school and I lived with her until I was 24...I started college a bit late. She just...left me hangin...my husbands family lives close enough to visit for holidays via car but too far to just come up whenever as my parents live 15 mins and 45 mins away. I had always had problems and pain with girl issues. After getting s*** treatment and whatever...after 12 years of having endometriosis, I finally got it removed last year. I got married during early summer and had the procedure in early fall. That caused it's own issues as earlier that year I had a bad attack from the endometriosis and was bed ridden. Couldn't work, and I took the semester off to plan the wedding/elopement as I had to do it myself with some help from my fiance who was working and supporting us so I did a lot myself.

After I had "physically" healed, the dr said I coudld resume normal activities. I tried a part time job...well after the first 3 days of training and not sleeping at all...it got me. I had my first real anxiety attack, which turned to a panic attack. OMG, I thought I was having a heart attack, I would die and I just prayed for it to stop. I was crying and scared and it was bad. My husband tried to calm me down, but he knew he couldnt' do anything and he did his best and after about him being in the room for 1 hour with me I told him he has to go back to the bedroom and sleep as he has work...and I know I wont' die I'm just scared like all mighty and I need time. He had an important meeting he could not miss or he would have taken the day offIt lasted for a few hours...started at 3am...I had to be up by 7am and I was soo tired. I slept in our guest room for most of 2011 because my insomnia was sooo bad I could not jeopardize my husbands sleep on a nightly basis, it was for the best but did not tear us apart at all....he understood. I'd ask him to come in and lay with me and watch tv at night and he would anytime...we do not have a tv in our bedroom. We moved, I more soo moved around about every year for the past 7 years so I haven't even been able to get a place I feel I can all home until last nov. I was put on tramadol for possible fibromyalgia pain Tramadol which works GREAT but if I take it...I can't number 2 :( I was on that for a weeks, brought it back to my dr telling him I rather be in pain then go 4 days without going number 2 and my fiber intake was intense. I also let him know I was starting a new job and wanted to get on a sleep aid temp until I can get into a steady sleeping pattern, so I started Ambien, WORKED AWESOME...for the first week....then it stopped...but I still took it :(WEll, early Oct, after the attacks, called my dr, came in that day, was put on .25 of xanax 3 times a day....took that...it helped ever sooo slightly but not enough to be relived...funny I have an educational background in mental health so I know a thing or 2. I was then put on .50 mr, 3 times a day, nothing, then I got put on 1mg 3 times a day and I was a new person!!! I slept...for 6-8 hours every night! Slept in the same room with my husband, could talk to my parents and not end the conversation with my crying...things were better. I was seeing a psychiatrist who wasn't helpful. She put me on a new drug a week and I had bad side effects or I didnt' want to take it. She started me off on Remeron, I gained 15 lbs in 1 week and told her it's not "sedating me" not helping me with sleep and making me get fat, not gonna work. We tried something else, I forget, puked and was beddridden the entire week, took it back, then she tried. She tried a low dose of lithium and I said, I know what that is for, I am not bi- bolar nor do I need a mood stabilizer, she then changed her tone as I had now gained control of what drugs I would and wouldn't take= not good! She had over 40 years under her belt and since I already knew and asked specific questions that only someone who knows the field of mental health would ask, she changed her tone. The last medication she put me on was Cymbalta and that gave me bed ridden flu symptoms. She gave me samples and a Rx. I returned EVERY SINGLE bottle of medication to my psychiatrists and PCP and told them to make sure it's noted...I'm not a "pill head" or a junkie and I wanted to let them know I just want help...and I Won't keep drugs..even though I paid for them. I have been on a solid 1 mg Xanax 3 times a day...since Nov, it HAS been working great..it's fast and I think too fast acting but OMG it's half life..not cool man. I started seeing a therapist..she isn't there to throw pills at me but to help me work on skills and help me see things more clear and what to do. Had my first meeting last week, have one the end of the week. I'll be getting another psychiatrist in about 4-8 weeks and that's okay...for now.

Well, went to my dr last week to get scripts for my refills. It's been 2 weeks and now...I am waking up at like 4am...the Xanax is like outa my system. I take my last dose at 10pm to help me sleep...drink valarian tea and I can go to sleep.

I'm scared...of course I've read the horror stories about this but it's time I tapered off Xanax. I also read how Valium is longer lasting...and doesn't give you that super quick relief Xanax does but I need to maintain a nice, smooth and stable level all day...and not wake up, WIDE awake with my heart racing at 4am!!!!. I had a minor anxiety attack yesterday morning...not cool, had to talk myself down and my husband was going on a one day business trip. I have a script that was post dated for this week of my Xanax and I'm going to take it my next dr visit, I'm going to address my questions and concerns. I haven't been taking Xanax for years but I can already feel and tell...and have noticed the not so nice part of it coming out. I'm even sure how to go about this to my dr. But I too will ask about this and ask about my options. I'm not a fan of anti depressants, not a fan of benzos either...they do work, it's just..they work too good and I'm ready to get healthy and work on things and life with out them....especially Xanax.

Syrus, please share your process with this, I'll do the same :) I haven't made the switch but hope to next month.

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shley Says:

I have been on 1 milligram of xanax 4 * a day for 7 years and I'm beginning to not feel anything from xanax I do not think that it is working anymore and my doctor wants to wean me off completely and so tomorrow I am going to him and he is going to put me on valium he said that will help me when im off of the benhe said that will help me when im off of the benzos

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Syrus Says:

Hey Everyone it's Syrus again with an update! Originaly I posted about my concern and stress about switching from Xanax 1mg 3x per day to Valium 10mg 2x per day.

A lot has changed since my original post! So after originally posting I did follow my Dr instructions and took the 10mg of Valium 2x per day and no Xanax. I was hoping that it would be the solution to my problem because of its longer half life. Well let me tell you switching to Valium 10mg was the worst experience with any medication I ever had! It made me feel buzzed like I had been drinking but NOT in a food way. It was the kind of buzz that makes you feel restless anxiety and your brain is clouded so much you cant speak or think strait. I started to become delirious and started to see things that weren't there. I thought I was going crazy!!! I also felt like you want to vomit and I couldn't walk around with out stumbling. It also gave me severe insomnia so there was nothing I could do to escape my anxiety or panic attacks. It was terrible. I did nothing to combat my anxiety. If anything it gave me more anxiety wich lead to more panic attacks and I had no back up to help me stop it like a fast acting Xanax would. To best describe my life at that point was I was on a 24/7 panic roller coaster!

I thought maybe I just need to give my body sometime to adjust to the Valium and let it build up in my system. As the days went by things only got worse if you can believe that! I ended up in the ER because my anxiety was so bad I had a severe panic attack that gave me a resting heart rate of over 200 beats per minute! The ER dr quickly put me on oxygen and gave me an EKG. Then the Dr said that the EKG results weren't good. They asked me if i had been doing any heavy activity that day or if I had just finished exercising. I said no I was just laying down and my palpitations just went up. I explained my history of panic disorder and told him this was just probably a really bad panic attack. The Dr then proceeded to ask me how long I waited before coming to the ER with my symptoms that day. I said about an hour cause i thought i could wait out the panic attack at home. I took a 1mg Xanax to try and stop the panic after an hour when there was no change and my symptoms were getting worse i decided to go to the ER. The Dr explained that my EKG result say I might be in the early stages of a heart attack. Well that made my anxiety even worse and my heart rate spiked even higher cause i thought I'm really going to die or go into cardiac arrest. So they treated me with a blood thinner through my IV first and monitored my heart rate and waited. After a few hours of waiting it out my heart rate was slowly and I mean slowly going down it was still high enough to put me in the "danger zone" for a resting heart rate. I was there so long that a new Dr was taking over the next shift. He came in and talked with me and said I'm going to give you some Xanax in liquid form and see if that doesn't help you a little bit. So they did and within an hour my palpitations were down from 180 to about 140. After an additional 2 EKG's the Dr told me that my EKG results were coming back normal now and I was no longer in any danger of a heart attack. My Diagnosis was ruled at a really bad panick attack. The ER Dr told me I should stop the Valium and talk to my Psych right away. He also told me that i should scheduele a visit with a cardiologist just to make sure everything was ok with my heart. I said i would but first I called my psych on his emergency line and explained to him what had occurred in the ER. He concurred with the ER Dr and said just take the Xanax as I prescribed it to you before and see me in the morning.

After I had been off the Valium and back on the Xanax I felt 80% better. I was able to sleep. I no longer felt buzzed and my head didn't feel clouded.

Next day I'm in my Psych's office and he said well he hoped the Valium would help because its the strongest Benzo he's comfortable prescribing but he explained that some people dont tolerate it well and I was one of those people. The Valium was strong but too strong for me that I wasn't getting any benefit from it. It just aggravated my symptoms. He said that he need to get me off the Valium immediately. He also explained that he couldn't just go back and put me on the Xanax 1mg 3x per day cause it would only band side the problem. I still needed a longer lasting medication. So prescribed me Klonopin 1mg and said this is not as strong as the Valium I prescribed but it is one of the longer lasting half life Benzos out there. He said with the Klonopin the dose was small enough to where if I needed to take a Xanax in the event of a panick attack I could. I was fine with that. So he put me on Klonopin 1mg 3x daily and Xanax as needed. Not many Dr.s will prescribe two different Benzos at the same time. But I've had a long history with my Psych and he knows that I don't abuse my prescriptions.

Since then I've been on Klonopin and I'm doing much better. I'm down from 3 Klonopin per day to 2 per day. Ocassionally I'll take a 3rd if I'm having a stressful day and on rare occasion I have my back up Xanax if needed for panick attack.

My quality of life has improved since my first posting on here. I hope that one day I will to live my life pill/ benzo free. Until then I'm just riding the wave. It has its ups and downs but everything in life does anyway.

I'm glad that many of you shared you experiences with me.

@Kyrie: I went through the exact same thing you did! Abusive parents. Anti depressants at a ver young age. Have tried every ant depressant under the sun and nothing worked. Well Lexapro did for about a year then I realized I felt better but it made me emotionless. I couldn't even cry if I wanted to. I know that's what the medication is designed to do but I still wanted to feel some emotion. I was like a high functioning robot instead of a person.

I also had the insomia problems too. I still do sometimes to this day. Again I have tried many sleeping medications and they all have an adverse affect on me. I get wired and can't sleep. So for now when I can't sleep I take a Xanax before bed and that helps me somewhat. I mean it's better than nothing. My husband was the same way with me. He was supportive and did his best to keep me company at night but he had to get some sleep sometime and I understood that. I'd have the same thing too where I'd wake up at 4am! Sweating heart racing in full panic mode. Since I've switched to th Klonopin I rarely once in a blue moon get them.

In regards to tappering off of Xanax (for any of you who have never done it before,it should never be done with out the medical advise of a Dr cause it could be deadly)
My tappering wasn't difficult. Because Klonopin is in the same benzo family as Xanax I didn't experience the Hirt story problems you read about on some of the forums. The problem occurs when you just stop the Benzos completely cold turkey or tapper to quickly. 1mg of Klonopin is equivalent to 2mg of Xanax but with a longer half life. So my body was still getting the same amount of benzo and I didn't have a problem. Some of you may be asking what's the point of switching to another benzo if they're equivalent to each other? Well the reason is because Klonopin is in the same family of Benzos as Xanax but it's not as fast acting and there is no "Kick" to it. Since the Klonopin has a longer half life than Xanax you need less of it after a while and when the time comes for you to tapper of Klonopin it's a much easier tappering on your body and mind.

Kyrie I hope that you have settled things with your Dr and are doing better with or with out medication.

For any of you reading this that are feeling afraid, lost, alone, like you're about to loose it and suffering from panic attacks you are not alone. Despite what many people think about Anxiety and Panic Disorder it's not just an excuse to take habit forming medications nor is it just something you can "snap out of". I've been told Syrus you just over react about everything and you just need to relax. This disorder is a real problem that millions of people people suffer from. So if you feel like your so stressed you're going to loose it or you have periods where you heart pounds so fast, you cant breather or feel like your going to die just know its called anxiety or panic disorder. You're not crazy even though you may feel that way sometimes. There is help you just have to be strong enough to seek it. Don't be embarrassed what people will think of you of they find out you have a problem. Don't think it's makes you a weak person cause it doesn't. You just need to seek some help from a Dr. What have you got to loose. If anything you'd have more to gain like taking back control over your life. So talk to someone about it. That's what these forums are for. If you talk we will listen and offer you support.

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annier1071 Says:

Hi

10mgs of valium is only equal to .05 of xanax so your doctor so undermedicated you with the drug...that is why you had such a major attack. It was a huge xanax withdrawal attack and your lucky you did nto have a heart attack from it! I take 2mg per day of xanax and my doc said you cannot take 40mgs of valium that would be equal to xanax. You have to wean .25 of xanax about two weeks at a time (longer if needed) until your down to only 1mg of xanax a day..then switch to using box xanax and valium until they make the total switch over. Like klonopin, valium is longer acting which helps you make the withdrawal just a tad easier..but switching formone to the other is a killer!! I take xanax for a damaged vestibular system so I can walk without spinning all day long. I am so afraid after reading all this stuff about the drug that I have considered just killing myself and i only take .05 4x a day fo r15 years now. My doctors all told me to stop worrying that it is medically necessary to have a normal life..but still all this reading has me panicked. I ready the rules to wean off so many times and was startign to do it when my husband was killed in an accident a few months ago. I am still on the same dose since I had to sell my home and move without him in my life. I pray all who really need the med, stay on it so they can have a normal life and do not fear what they need..like a diabetic needs insulin..some people need this chemical to live..just do not abuse the drug.

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mhbound Says:

1mg of Xanax equals 20mg of Valium. You took 3mg of Xanax per day which would be 60mg of Valium. Since you had been on 3mg of Xanax for so long you needed a better taper program. You were experiencing withdrawals you basically went from 3mg of Xanax to the equivalent of 1mg of Xanax(20mg Valium). You should have been started on a much higher dose and lowered to his desired dosage. Valium is a great medication because of the half-life it builds up in your system and when you adjust to it its good s***. The charts for benzo equivalency charts are online. Show your Dr and maybe try again.

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Tiffany Says:

Hi my name is Tiffany and I just started xanax about 2 weeks ago. I was having panic attacks for 2 years and didnt say anything to annyone because I thought I was crazy and that no one would understand, untill one day last month they started to get bad and it got to the point where I was just so afriad that I didnt wanna live anymore. My boyfriend told me I really had to tell the dr what was going on, so i did. My dr said what i was going through was completly normal and he perscribed me .5 mg of xanax 3 times a do or as needed, I take half a pill in the morning and half at night. I just resently started to feel wierd when i was trying to fall asleep. I dont know what it is, I take the xanax around 8pm than go to bed around 10 pm. I am very scared at taking new medications and Im not sure if I should start taking half a pill 3 times a day. Ive read several occations when people get addicted and I dont want that to happen I just want to live a wonderful life with my new daughter and family without worrys of a panic attack. Should I switch to .25 mg 3 times a day or will that become too addicting too quick? Its just that it seems to ware off and I start to feel all wierd again between morning and night. I just want to be okay. The xanax has been helping good just till when I feel wierd trying to fall asleep.

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Syrus Says:

Hello Tiffany,

First thing I want to say is welcome. I hope that you find this discussion board helpful. I encourage you to use this discussion board as an outlet of support. We are all here to help one another understand things that other people who don't suffer from anxiety, panic attacks or depression. Specifically when it comes to understanding medications that are prescribed to us to treat our conditions.

Please do keep in mind that we are not Dr.s and the information that we share on this board should never replace the recommendations of your doctor. We can only give you advice based on our own experiences. So if there is something that is really concerning to you please contact your doctor. We are here to support you and give you an outlet to vent or ask questions to other people who can empathize with you.

Just a little background on me. I am a mother of two and I have suffered from severe anxiety and panic attacks for the past 13 yrs. I have tried every medication under the sun to try and help me cope with my symptoms.

When I read your post my heart went out to you because I too have been in the same position in regards to your struggles with not wanting to tell anyone how I was feeling because I felt that they would look at me differently or that they would think I was crazy. I was so afraid of someone telling me they thought I was crazy because then it would confirm my fears that I really was going crazy. I kept my symptoms to myself. It got so bad that my family had an intervention with me and told me I needed to get help because they could see that I was in a very dark place in my life and they were afraid I would hurt myself.

The first time I took an anti anxiety medication it was a horrible experience. I felt really loopy and that only made my anxiety worse. So I soon developed a fear of medications. I've always feared taking potentially habit forming medications because my family has a history of prescription drug abuse and I didn't want to go down that path.

So there I was finally getting help and feeling worse than I did before I sought help. I felt so helpless. All I wanted to do was live a normal healthy life like everyone else and not feel like crap every moment of the day. So I stopped taking the medications all together for all of those reasons. It took me going through several psychiatrists before I found the Dr who changed my life forever for the better. I will share the with you what he shared with me that gave me a different perspective on my condition and my out look on habit forming prescription medications. Then I will address your concern regarding your medications and why they are making you feel the way you are feeling.

I think the answer here is that you don't completely understand how the medications work. I will explain this to you. Hopefully at the end you find some comfort and have a better understanding of the medication you have been prescribed.

My Dr explained my condition like this. He asked my if I knew why some people who have diabetes have to take insulin? I basically said because the part of their body that chemically controls their blood sugar level doesn't function properly so they take insulin to counter act it. He then asked me what I thought would happen if someone who was diabetic didn't take their insulin. I said that it would lead to complications. Lastly he asked me if someone wasn't a diabetic would I think they would take insulin just to take it? I said probably not. It was then he explained to me that people who suffer from anxiety, depression or panic disorders are just like diabetics in the sense that both people have parts of their body that don't chemically function properly so both need to take medication to control what their bodies are unable to control chemically. People who suffer from depression, anxiety and panic disorder have a chemical imbalance that needs to be controlled through medication because our bodies are unable to do so on their own. Another thing to understand is that all three conditions (anxiety,depression and panic disorder) contribute to one another. Anxiety leads to panic disorder and panic disorder can lead to depression. They don't have to be in that exact order but they basically go hand in hand. I argued his analogy by saying well insulin isn't a habit forming drug so how can the two be compared? My Dr explained that people who are conscious and hesitant of taking a habit forming drug acknowledge the potential of it becoming an issue. People who acknowledge the potential risks are more likely NOT to become addicted because they choose not to allow themselves to get to that point. If someone starts to take a habit forming medication with no concern they may become addicted and may not be aware that they are allowing themselves to become addicted. That made sense to me.

That analogy from my Dr really helped me understand why I needed to take the medication to help me control my condition and it's symptoms. Once I understood that it put most of my nerves at ease. So now that I understood why I had to take medication, I then had to tackle the task of me actually getting myself to take medications that were habit forming. In the end it was up to me. I had to want to help myself and always be aware of how much medication I was taking and be conscious of why I was taking the medication prescribed to me.

So Tiffany the question you need to ask yourself is do you want to get better? If you do than you have to put faith in your Dr and trust that he is prescribing you medication that is necessary to treat your condition. You also need to have faith in yourself and allow yourself to take the medication so you can at least give it a chance to work.

I completely understand your fears since I have been in your position before. Its normal for someone with anxiety to have some hesitations when taking a new medication. Every person is different and only your Dr knows what dosage is best for you. Most Dr.s will tell you to take half the dosage for the first couple of days so your body has time to adjust and get use to taking the new medication. After the first few days you should take the medication as the Dr prescribed.

If your Dr. prescribed you .5mg 3x per day than after a few days you should be taking as prescribed. Based on your explanation of your condition before you started taking the xanax it sounds like you had a pretty severe case. If you didn't then your Dr. would have prescribed you a lower dosage than .5 he would have started you at .25 however he didn't.

Based on my personal experience and what I know about xanax is that xanax is a fast acting medication. It's great to help you when your are having a panic attack but the down side is that since it is so fast acting it also leaves your system very quickly as well. It sounds like your body is building up a tolerance to the xanax and that is why you may be feeling a little strange. If you're not comfortable taking the .5mg yet my opinion is try taking .25 3x per day and see how that makes you feel. Let me express that there is a difference between building up a tolerance to a medications and becoming addicted.

All medications have something called a half life. The half life of a medication means the time that the medication is working at its optimum level and actively working in your system. Xanax can have a half life of 2-4 hours however it all depends on how fast your body metabolizes the medication. So for example if you take the .25mg in the morning and your body metabolizes the medication very quickly the medication may only treat your symptoms for 1-2 hours and then it starts to wear off. Once it starts to wear off it might cause something call rebound anxiety. Rebound anxiety is caused when you take an anti anxiety medication and when the medication starts to wear off the anxiety that you normally feel starts to come back and you're stuck in a sort of limbo effect. Where your body is recognizing that there is medication in your system but it's not enough to ward off the anxiety completely.

As far as you not being able to fall asleep at night leads me to believe that your body metabolizes the xanax very quickly so if you take the medication at 8:00 and your trying to get to bed at 10:00 and are unable to makes sense. I would try taking your .25 at 9:00 rather than 8:00 and see if that helps. If that doesn't try taking a full .5mg at 9:00. If that still is not working you may be suffering from insomnia. At that point I would discuss this with you Dr. perhaps he can give you something to help you sleep if its really bothering you.

In my opinion I believe that since you are so afraid of becoming addicted you will not allow yourself to. If you take it as prescribed and only taking it when you need it then you should be fine. Another piece of advice I have for you is don't just stop taking the xanax cold turkey. It could lead to problems. Even at a small dose you need to taper yourself off the medication slowly so your body doesn't go into shock. If you feel that you are ready to stop the xanax talk to your Dr. and he will instruct you from there.

If you feel like the xanax is not working for you, talk to your Dr about maybe switching you to a anti anxiety medication with a longer half life like ativan or klonopin. These medications have half lives of up to 6-8 hours again that is a general estimation it all depends on how fast your body metabolizes the medications. If your concern is not needing to take the medication as frequently, then good alternative may be klonopin, valium or ativan.

I hope this shed some light on your situation. My personal opinion is that you should try to take the half pill(.25mg) 3x per day and go from there. The main thing to understand is that it's not so much about you becoming addicted because you are taking the xanax more than 2x per day. Listen to your body. It seems to be telling you that you need to take more of it to help you not feel so anxious between the morning and night. I know your concern is that by taking more you may become addicted faster try and have a different outlook regarding your medications. Remember you are taking xanax to help you feel better not to get high. Xanax is a highly abused drug by people who want to take them just to get high and that's why it has gotten a bad reputation. It's unfortunate that people abuse this drug that is very helpful to people who really need to take it rather than just taking for recreational purposes. I don't see that being an issue in your case. Don't be afraid to take it as the Dr. prescribed it to you. If your Dr, prescribed you to take .5mg 3x per day I would follow his instructions. Your Dr knows best. I would try it and see if it helps. If it doesn't you can alway lower the dose again. If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask we are here for you!


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9
Mr Kick Says:

For people that have started Xanax recently (not long-term users), be careful with this drug. My own opinion is that it is potentially one of the worst of its class. Diazepam (Valium) with its longer half life is more conducive to a normal life. You don't feel the need need to constantly re-dose because it's in your system longer.



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10
Tiffany Says:

Thank you so much for your responce, It makes me feel better that someone else is feeling the way I do even though I wouldnt wish such a thing apon anyone. I hate worrying about my anxiety everyday. I so wanna feel better and just not have to worry about it constantly, I have uped my dose to what my dr recomended but instead of taking .5 3 times a day I take .25 6 times a day. I feel very exausted when I take a full pill and I cant do that expecially when I have to take care of my daughter all day. I do wanna help myself. I really want to get to the point where I dont need the medication. Im going to start going to a thereapist next week because I feel like I need someone to talk to in person. Someone that will not judge me like this web page minus the fact its not in person. I dont know what brought on my anxiety other than like a teenager I was years before my daugter, I moved into a city and go into drugs. When I was about 15 I did a trippy drug and I seem to think about what that was like constantly. I regret completly doing it and I will never ever go down a path like that ever again. Im a better person than that, but its like I think about what happend while I was on the drug and than it kind of happens again, like when I was on it the distance of things were out of wack, if I sit and look at something and think about it than it almost like it happens. I know its all in my head and if i didnt think about it I would be okay. I dont wanna tell anyone like my dr about it because I am not a drug addict. I dont wanna go to a crazy hospital, and I would never do it again. I am not a bad person. It was once in my life and now ive grown up completly. I just dont know how to not think about it and I think thats what causes my panic attacks leading to anxiety and sometimes I get depressed.

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11
Tiffany Says:

And people say that valum is better and last longer but I dont wanna feel f***ed up, I wanna feel normal and I wanna live a normal like even if I do need medication to help.

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12
T Says:

It will pass. It took me over 4 years when I had my last experience on LSD. When it does pass you will be a stronger person for it, trust me.

Email me if you have any questions. I have studies these drugs in school and in my free time, I find them fascinating. Although, I am more interested in how they affect us (the experience) opposed to the drugs themselves. You can actually create a psychedelic experience with no drugs.

Understanding what happened during the experience and why it caused the "afterglow" really helped me get through my tough time. At times I literally thought I was going insane on several occasions.

Feel free to email me I won't judge you. I could careless what you've done in your past only how to help you move forward.

Knowledge is power, and that remains very true for what you are experiencing. It happens to a good percentage of people who experiment in psychedelics. The experience is nothing short of a traumatic experience...to your brain there is none.

Just remember the more you obsess over it the longer you are going to be troubled by it.

{edited for privacy}

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13
tiffany Says:

Thank you very much, i dont know how to not think about it. I try so hard. I think i have to get it away from people who do drugs cuz my boyfriend does them still so maybe thats why i think about them, we are currently seperated though so maybe this will help.

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14
jhall II Says:

My friend, stop being so afraid and listen to you Doctor he is right.I went through the same thing.And when I finally did what he said it was wonderful it worked so much beter than Xanax.Trust me I have been their.JHall II

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15
Bill Says:

Exact Problem, I've been switched to Valium but they do not work, Xanax does, the Dr. will not listen to me. I could loose my job so I am going to have to find another Dr. Good Luck

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16
Tootziebear Says:
via mobile

I have been suffering with anxiety my whole life, it's genetic in at least the people of European decsent. You are not alone. Looking back, I'm 42 almost 43, once I was finally told what I was going through, I had been suffering with them from the age of 10 that I can remember. I used to suffer with panic attacks everyday, several times a day and now I've had one full blown panic attack in 5 years. My point is, I now take xanax and even though I'm prescribed 2mgs, 3x's a day, I've learned to only take it when I need it for these reasons. I just went through severe withdrawal from pain medication, I have a plate in my neck, severe degenerative disc disease, arthritis in my spine, spina bifida occulta, bursitis in my hips and I'm a holy mess. Dr's today are getting ridiculous with meds. Either they over medicate or under medicate. They are not held responsible for weaning you off of medicines despite ill affects that can occur, which happened with my pain meds and I now stock pile my meds and keep them in a safe. These Dr's can take their licenses and shove it. I'm suing my pain management group, because the idiots saw how sick had become and never diagnosed my problem, so I did the research online for rare side effects and immediately was forced to stop the pain meds due to severe pelvic ileus and severe up to my knees edema. I was in and out of the er 7 times in 10 days. The emt's new me by name. Don't trust everything a Dr says, sometimes it's better to trust your own instincts. If anyone has any questions please do ask. I want to help as many people as can in both anxiety and pain meds. By the way valium didn't and doesn't work for my anxiety, so I know damn well it won't help panic attacks.

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17
Barb Says:

My husband has had a brain tumor, and has a seizure disorder. He decideded to lesson his medications to save money, which caused him to start having seizures again. The doctors decided to change his meds around, upped his keppra, and now wants him to take valium, he has tried this in the past, (did not work) New Neurologist wants him off of xanax which works for him! Wants to try valium again... He is on SSI, i am taking FMLA Dont need all the new changes!! Have explained to the doctor valium does not work for him! Extremly frustrated, and i have to go back to work.I work nights, seems most bad activity happens when i'm working. So Scared... Just wanted to say thank you! Sometimes we feel so alone, it's good to read other peoples advice!! Thanks again for knowing im not alone!

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18
Syrus Says:

@ Barb

First things first I want to welcome you to this thread. I was the person who initially started this thread because at the time I felt scared, helpless and alone as you are feeling now. You will find all the people on this thread are here to offer support and advice to others. As always I stress the fact that we are not Doctors and can only share with you our own experiences and findings but you should always check with your Dr before making any changes to your medications or in this case your husbands medications.

When I initially started to look for information about making the switch I found that many if not all the threads about Xanax and Valium were people posting about using these drugs for recreational purposes which was upsetting to say the least. So I started this thread to try and reach out for other people who have a medical necessity that warrants taking these medications. I'm glad you found us.

In my initial post I talked about my fear of switching from Xanax to Valium. Since then my condition has improved and I'd like to share some advice that may help you.

I can only imagine the fear that you and your husband are facing at this point in time. Knowing that your husband has a brain tumor must be stressful enough and to top it off now you're having to face the stress of changing a medication that you know is working for your husband but your Drs are telling you otherwise.


My personal experience with the switch from Xanax to Valium was not good at all. When I first posted this thread I had not attempted the switch because I was afraid. Since then I had switched to Valium as my Dr recommended. It was a difficult decision to make but I did it.

My experience with Valium was horrible. While I was on Valium I felt like a walking zombie with panic attacks. The Valium did nothing to help me. I was still having severe panic attacks and since my dosage of Valium was high I couldn't take anything to stop my panic attacks when I had them. It was scary! So I discussed my symptoms with my Dr and he agreed the Valium was not helping me. His explanation for wanting me to switch to Xanax was because the Xanax was actually causing me to have my panic attacks because of it's half life.

Xanax for lack of better words is a "quick fix" medication. For the average person who doesn't take Xanax it works great because it takes effect right away and your body metabolizes it quickly so it's effects wears off faster. So although the Xanax was helping me with my severe panic attacks it was doing nothing to prevent me from having them. He suggested I switch to Valium because it has a longer half life. Valium takes longer to take effect for most people but the benefit of taking it is because it stays in your system longer and gradually wears off were Xanax leaves quickly and leaves you vulnerable to a roller coaster of sorts. So my Dr insisted that I try another benzo that had a longer half life. He suggested Klonopin as an alternative to Valium because of it's longer half life. I was very hesitant to take the Klonopin because I have a phobia of taking medications.

I was very reluctant to take it and insisted that Xanax was the only thing that worked for me. So my Dr basically told me that he could no longer prescribe Xanax to me if I didn't try a benzo with a longer half life. So I just decided to bite the bullet and take it. I felt I couldn't knock it until I tried it. Plus I wanted to try it just to prove to my Dr that Xanax was the only thing that helped me with my condition.

My Dr started me on 1mg Klonopin 3x per day. He kept me on the Xanax at the same time which is NOT usually recommended but with the level of anxiety and panic disorder it was warranted. His goal was to tapper me off the Xanax and replace it with the Klonopin.

The first few days I didn't feel anything different not better or worse so I carried on with his recommendation. After a few weeks I started to notice that I didn't need the Xanax because the Klonopin was doing it's job. I didn't feel the crash like I had felt with Xanax when I needed to take it every few hours. Pretty soon the Xanax became an after thought unless I had a sever panic attack and needed a quick relief but because the Klonopin was still working in my system the Xanax crash never happened.

I am currently taking 150mg of Lamictal as a mood stabilizer which is also prescribed to people as an anti seizure medication, 1mg of Klonopin 3x per day which is also prescribed as an anti seizure medication and 1mg of Xanax as a back up if I have a severe panic attack. I'm glad that I made the switch because I'm taking less of a benzo medication than I had been for the past seven years.

Believe me I completely understand where your husband is coming from. No one knows your body as well as you do. I know from personal experience. My opinion is that your husbands Drs are recommending he switch to a benzo with a longer half life because of their overall benefits. It's hard to trust that making a switch will help because your husband has been taking the Xanax for a while and is comfortable with it and if its not broke don't try and fix it right?

Before I give you my advice I'd like to ask you few questions. If that's ok. What condition does your husband suffer from that warrants him taking Xanax? Has he ever tried taking another benzo other than Valium and Xanax? Are you returning to work from FMLA because you have exhausted you time or is it because of financial reasons? I'm only asking you these questions to figure out the best advice I can give you based on my own experiences.

Being that I don't know the answer to those questions I will offer you this advice. Talk to your doctor about alternative medications (benzos) other than Valium. It would be best if he could try these medications while you still have time before you go back to work. That way you can be there to offer him moral support or to calm his fears or concerns about making the switch.

In regards to your concerns about your work schedule being at night and that seems to be the time that his seizures normally occur there may be something that can ease your mind.

This may sound silly but it worked for me and my husband. My husband also took FMLA time while I was struggling with my anxiety. It was comforting to me that he was there with me and it was comforting to him that I would not be alone or feel alone if I were to have a severe panic attack.

So one day while we were looking for a gift for a baby shower when we came across an at home monitoring system that allows you to monitor your child when you are away from home. This particular system allows you to monitor your camera from any computer with an internet connection or via an iphone with 3G or above or an iTouch that has wifi connection. It has night vision so you can monitor anytime day or night. Another good thing about this system is that along with being able to see the camera you can also hear any sound coming from the room it is in.

My husband also works late hours and wanted to be able to monitor me after he left home. It gave him peace of mind that he could check in on me without waking me up. If he noticed that I was out of bed or not breathing or moving, he could call me and see if I was ok. Since he could hear the sound coming from our room he could also hear my phone ringing. If I didn't answer he knew something could be wrong. So perhaps this idea could work for you to give you a little peace of mind. The monitoring system unfortunately works only in one room so we decided to put it in our bedroom.

There are other monitoring systems out there that can be quite costly however this system is fairy reasonable. It's called 'Summer Infant peek plus" and it's only only available at Baby's R Us. The system costs about $299.99 but it was worth it to us! Perhaps having something like this will help ease your mind knowing you can check up on your husband while you are working. I know it did for us.

So bottom line is talk to your Dr. Do your own research about other possible options or alternatives to Valium.. Unfortunately your husband may have to do what I did and try Valium just to appease your Dr.

Please keep us updated on your husbands journey through all of this as well as your own. Like I said in the beginning of this message we are here to offer you support so you don't feel alone. Even if it's just to vent your frustrations.

Good Luck to you and I hope to hear back from you!

Sincerely,
Syrus


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19
tnccriley Says:

First off I'm going to tell you, I'm someone who tells it like it is DO NOT BE OFFENDED! In reading your novel (just kidding, but you are very detailed), I thought of many things. For example, it would be VERY helpful fo identify the cause. What triggers the phsiological response ro a psychological event. Even more importantly, try to work on your coping skills (no I'm not being a smart ass). Many people do not realize that "practice makes perfect" is not just something we tell our children at homework time! Practice the scenarios that tend to cause you conflict,paying particular attention to how you feel and what your response normally is.work on your response, taking time to think before you speak, make a conscious effort to continue breathing normally etc. Ther is more but I have an appointment. Hope this is helpful. {edited for privacy}

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20
Syrus Says:

@tnccriley:

I can appreciate the fact that you tell it like it is. I am not offended in anyway by your comments and ideas. Yes, I acknowledge that my (novels) as you said are very "detailed". That is because I am a very detailed type of person. You make some very good points and do raise questions that should be asked when someone is dealing with stress, anxiety and panic disorders.

I'd like to point out that your advice is great! I also agree that "practice does make perfect". I have studied many different types of coping skills other than resorting to taking prescription anti anxiety medications like identifying what my triggers are and how to cope with them using different cognitive and breathing techniques instead of just ignoring the root of my triggers.

As you noticed I am very detailed. It's a part of my personality. So with that being said I do pay very close attention to the way I feel when I practice the techniques you are referring to and willingly put myself in to trigger situations that cause me to go in panic. I do this so I can recognize each emotion I feel during that exercise so I can teach myself how cope with my emotions and reactions when and if I am ever put in to these situations again. It's like when a child falls of a bike and is afraid to get back on. The first thing you tell them is to get back on the bike and to not fear falling again. We encourage them to face their fears head on because eventually they will see there is nothing to be afraid of. If they keep on practicing and master the art of riding a bike they know how to just get back on the bike and keep going.

In my particular case there are conditions I have where using cognitive and breathing techniques will not help. I suffer from a heart condition that causes me to have increased palpitations and palpitations are one of my biggest triggers. I cannot control this on my own without taking medications and that includes my anti anxiety medications. This unfortunately is something that can happen at any time of day or night. I have to take my medications so when I do have these episodes of heart palpitations my body will not go into full panic mode because I already have anti anxiety medications in my system to combat my symptoms.

I know this may come across as me being defensive. I am giving you a little back ground history about my particular situation because I feel that your comment was aimed towards me. So if you see me posting again in the future you will understand that I'm not just someone who has not tried to use alternatives to medications because I have and in my case those "coping" skills are useless as tits on a boar. Not trying to be a smartass just being honest.

This is a thread that addresses concerns about dealing with fears of switching medications. Your advice about alternative to medications is great and insightful. Perhaps it will help some visitors that will read this thread and give them a different outlook on their own struggles. However, most if not all people who post on this thread are looking for advice, help, empathy etc to a specific concern and that is switching medications.

I want to thank you for your comment. I know it is truly coming from a place of genuine concern and thoughtfulness. It is a great addition to this thread. However, I think your advice may be better suited for a thread geared towards people who are looking for alternative to medications or people who are looking to for help in getting off medications and don't know how. People that read this thread and find it helpful are people who are facing the same struggles and that is the switching of medications. They are looking for advice now. They want to feel like they are not alone and they want to know if and how other people facing the same things as they are, are feeling. Unless they are trollers looking to talk smack. I’m not saying that’s what you are doing. So I hope that didn’t come across as an accusation against you because it’s not.

What you are talking about takes time and dedication and I'm not saying that your advice is not useful because it is and very much so. My personal opinion is that it would be better used in a thread that is geared towards alternatives to coping with stress, anxiety and panic without the need for medications. I hope you don’t take offense to what I have said because I know that the practices you are referring to does work. It does but I feel it’s for people who are at a different stage of their struggles with anxiety, stress and panic. Again I want to thank you for your genuine want to help people cope with their conditions without the need for medication. Thank you!


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