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PCP won't refill Xanex- I'm very afraid of what will happen t...
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PCP won't refill Xanex- I'm very afraid of what will happen to me.

Four months ago I started having panic attacks.  My PCP prescribed Xanax for me (.25mg twice daily) and recommended counseling. I have been in therapy since and it is going well.  My panic attacks have minimized and I'm sleeping great and feeling great.  My Psychologist recommended me to see the Psychiatrist on duty at the facility since I was being prescribed Xanax and my insurance might cut my 20 maximum visits per year if I didn't see him.   I made an appt and saw the Psychiatrist.  My appointment lasted 13 minutes and he told me that he wouldn't refill my Xanax prescription since he believed it to be very addictive and wrote me a script for Effexor XR.  In researching this anti-depressant, I've discovered HORRIBLE withdraw symptoms and addiction, not to mention the side effects including insomnia.  I went back to my PCP and told him that I wasn't convinced that I needed an anti-depressant rather an anti-anxiety med and that the Psychiatrist wouldn't refill it.  My PCP told me to go back and see the Psychiatrist since I was now under his care, and my PCP wouldn't refill my script.  I'm terrified at what might happen to me when I begin withdrawing from the Xanex and what might happen if I begin to take Effexor.   I don't understand why I couldn't continue taking what worked for me.  I never took more than recommended and never asked for the script milligrams to be increased.  I feel abandoned by the PCP who has cared for me for 15 years.  I KNOW you aren't supposed to quit Xanex cold turkey.  I have 2 days left of Xanex pills and I'm so frustrated I could cry.  Does anyone have suggestions on what I should do?  Should I follow the Psychiatrists orders and take a med that isn't really what I need?  I don't suffer from depression.  I felt that I was making real progress and now I've just taken three steps back.  Needless to say, a panic attack followed the PCP visit this morning.  Suggestions anyone?
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17 Comments Post a Comment
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214607_tn?1287681159
Um, Yeah here's a suggestion, go tell that PCP quack that he should darn well know he can't just take you off xanax cold turky. You could have seizures. I mean, not everyone will but it is a great possiblity. That is the one drug they tell you NOT to w.d cold turkey from or alone. Please tell him to taper you if he is going to not give it to you anymore. Call him and demand it. I agree with you wanting to be able to continue to take what works. But you either get one extreme when you go to a dr, he's either pill happy and will dish em out like candy, or you get someone who won't give you a tylenol if you said you had a head ache "this big"...

So it does suck that you were on it and now they are refusing. However, they may think that Effexor will work better for you in the long run. WHo knows, maybe it will.

But def call that dr.of yours and tell him to either taper you, or give you something to make sure your detox is safe.
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199177_tn?1332183097
I think they have found effexor helps with anxiety.I am sure someone that will post that know for sure .How much xanax were you taking a day and for how long .If its a low amount then you are ok to CT off it .xanax is veryyyyyyyyyyyyy addicting in the long run you will be better off not taking it .
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey tash,

At .25 mg twice daily, you likely won't experience anything terrible going c/t off the Xanax. In general, it is unwise and potentially dangerous to quit any benzo c/t, particularly Xanax, as it can lead to seizures, panic attacks, and in very rare instances death. However, you've been taking .5 mg total daily - a very small amount. Xanax is very, very addictive (it has a very short half-life and you'll feel the effects of it leaving your system quickly) and in the longterm you really shouldn't be on it. If you feel you want to take a benzo for anxiety longterm, look into Klonopin... it's half-life is much longer and it's considered far safer for longterm treatment of anxiety.

With regard to Effexor XR, it has been shown to be effective for anxiety. But, I can tell you from personal experience, the side effects simply aren't worth it. Think insomnia, cold sweats, tooth grinding, blurred vision, loss of creativity, loss of sex drive, inability to orgasm... the list goes on and on.

Best of luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
I would demand that they wean you off of it. I had a grand maule siezure while in the hospital detoxing from xanax. I can't remember how much I was taking . I was staying with my parents in Arizona while going through a divorce and went to a pscyhiatrist who was handing them out to me like candy. He just kept telling me to take more if they weren't helping. Very dangerous drug to go cold turkey off of even if you are only taking small amounts you have been on them for quite a while.
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199177_tn?1332183097
Rember side effects are diffrent for everyone I didnt have any side effects on effexor.I would give it a try .The reason he isnt tapering you is because your doasge is so low . If you start and WD get bad let your doctor know ASAP
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563594_tn?1309586732
I took xanax .25 mg daily for about 4 months and then my doctor cut me off cold turkey. back on it now, due to more panic. But, I don't remember having any adverse side affects coming off that dosage...however I was on norco too. maybe I'm not helping.. call your doctor if you start to have withdrawal OR go to the ER and tell them what your doctor did.
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548568_tn?1291850924
Hi,
I agree 100% to go back to your PCP and tell him you want to taper. It is so ridiculus  that he would treat a patient  of his for 15 years like that. The doctors now are so afriad of getting in trouble for giving pills that are addicting. Seems like from what you said he has no reason to, he overreaacted.
Maybe time to find a new PCP.
I don't think you took enough to give you really bad w/s's but everyone is different. I
Took xanax for 20 yrs. I just stopped in June. I am depressed and do take antidepressant but I need to. I always will need to. But if you don't need it then be pushy with the drs. tell them no you don't need it, just antianxiety. It seems so stupid that with what you are taking that they would stop you. I mean xanax was made for a reason. If you used like you did for say a year then came off it. Maybe also with the counseling you may find your panic attacks have stopped.
good luck to you
paaddict
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree with what most people are telling you.  Do not c/t from the Xanax.  It is dangerous.  As hard is it may seem, keep looking for a doc that will listen to you and offer a treatment plan that is agreeable to you both.  It just ticks me off to no end what most docs (PCP and psych) do.  My experience has been that treating anxiety is just one big experiment to them with us as the guinea pigs.  I have taken so many different combos of antidepressants and anti anxiety meds I don't even remember them all.  One thing I have learned after the fact of becoming addicted to Klonopin and suffering horrible withdrawals is that we have to be our own health care advocates which sometimes means asking a friend or relative to advocate for us because we are not always in a frame of mind to be able to comprehend what the doc is doing.  The doc that prescibed the 8 mg of klonopin NEVER told me how addictive it was.  I finally left him because he wanted me to do ECT again and I did not want to and he basically said he would not treat me if I did not do what he said.  But, there are good docs out there....keep looking and keep us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
I seriously doubt that you are in serious risk of seizures from that amount. But, I would confront your doctor about it.  You can tell him/her that you heard from someone that this is possible and you are afraid.  See what the doctor says.  

I wish you well,
Nauty............
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199177_tn?1332183097
its possible but i have not heard anyone having sezuires on .5 a day
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Avatar_f_tn
You are on a very small amount of xanax, and you will not have terrible withdrawals from .5 mg daily.  This is not a big deal, you will be fine.  I know people taking 4 mg per day.  So what you are taking is relatively small.  I agree, ask for Klonipin (klonopin), or Ativan. Tell them you are having panic attacks.
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229538_tn?1300381367
Ask him for Klonipin (klonopin) it works just the same without the nasty side effects of Xanax . I take it . I go to the UCLA anxiety clinic and most of the docs wont priscribe Xanax unless they have to. Klonipin (klonopin) also has a longer half life .3 to 1 to xanax. Take care  Jim
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452063_tn?1324078516
I had been a long term user of both Xanax and Klonopin (at different times). What I found in my experience is that long term use of bonzos began to work against me. Both can give you rebound anxiety and you end up with more anxiety than you started with eventually needing to increase your dose. The other thing that happened after long term use is it effected my sleep. I would take one at bedtime and it would help me sleep but began waking up every few hours unable to fall back to sleep. They also do not allow you to get as much REM sleep so you end up not feeling rested when you do sleep. I was taking 2-3 5 mg of Xanax and went on Effexor CR and it helped me sleep better and reduced my anxiety. These drugs like Avis said work differently on different people. One thing that I would bring up to your doctor is that it takes a few weeks for the Effexor to work and I used my benzos for the first few weeks until the Effexor took effect and as it did I just needed my benzos less, so in a sense I kinda weaned down but it was just natural bc I didn't need them. I hope everything works out for you. GBU, Corey
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Avatar_f_tn
Doctor's irresponsible. Malpractice-responsible, almost, but he covered his A$$ by giving you a drug you don't want to mess with if your therapy's working.

Clinical practice would dictate a quick taper (3-5 days from 5mg) on a longer-acting benzo (Valium or Klonopin). Guy's a quack.
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Avatar_f_tn
Klonopin equivalent to 5 mg Valium = 0.5 clonazeepam
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566544_tn?1219441277
Effexor did help me with anxiety, as did zoloft. I now take cymbalta, for depression, and when I cycle from time to time into an anxiety phase, sometimes I'm given xanax, which I like for that "I think I'm dying" terror, or Ativan for "life is hopeless and meaningless" despair. I have not experienced any withdrawal from these meds.  Your xanax is a very low dose. For now, since your doctors are NOT SERVING YOU fom the sounds of it, can you take just one xanax for the next two days, then half a xanax for the next few days? Just to ease you off?

I know this forum is much about living life without pills, but when they're needed, it's best to take what works.  I was given low doses of Serequel, which is used with bipolar disorder often. At the time, I was so frazzled from back pain, stressed from issues at home, and I just asked my doctor "do you have any crazy pills?"  She smiled, asked me questions, and gave me samples of serequel.  It really did knock the anxiety out and I didn't experience side effects or difficulty stopping when I felt I didn't need it anymore.

The reason I stopped zoloft is that I would get a bit of tremor, and just felt "off." Effexor wasn't super effective for me, but my major issue is depression, with anxiety thrown in for good measure.

I urge you calmly communicate and try one more time with your dr and psychiatrist. Be calm.  It's always a problem when a doctor gets an attitude about you and it's in your chart for a new doctor to prejudge you by. I have always found that it helps for me to say "I'm not looking for any easy or quick cure...I'm working very hard to overcome my health problems, and I need your help. I cannot tolerate my symptoms any longer."  Something to let them know it's not the PILLS you want, it's the HELP you want.

God bless you. I will pray that you have peace and calm within.

Catherine
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Avatar_f_tn
i think if you have trusted your psychiatrist up to this point, you should give it a try, at least...
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