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Xanax ER
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Xanax ER

First off I have cirrhosis so medication that metabolizes in the liver I must be very careful with. I have anxiety- hereditary and triggered from years of alcohol abuse.  I recently relocated and went to my new doctor (general medicine) on Monday and she started me on Xanax extended release tablets instead of the pop them as you go type. I have never heard of them but she said it is the only type she will prescribe. I have always been concerned with being dependent on Xanax so the pop as you go idea worked well since some days I could get by without any (that’s been a while since I've had a lot going on) or on a really bad day never exceed more than 2mg. My script was for 4mg daily! yeah right! I know I would be a zombie taking that much and asking for trouble. Have you heard of the extended release and will that guarantee physical addiction? I hear the withdrawals from benzo's are terrible and not a road I want to go down. Also is my doctor an idiot for prescribing it this way? Lol I used to use Lexapro but the side effects were difficult to deal with but the medication worked very well. Is there a better option out there for me other than Lexapro or Xanax? The withdrawals from Lexapro were difficult as well. Is dependency always going to be a factor when dealing with this type of medication? I know I need help with anxiety to be able to perform my daily functions and interactions but currently I do not use caffeine, alcohol nor am I dependent on medication(s).

I tried the Xanax ER and it seemed to work as a mood stabilizer due to how the medication works so no ups and downs in my mood was a nice change. Thank you for any suggestions and help.

Randy
8 Comments Post a Comment
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Hi rpooo...

I used to take xanax and then klonopin about 5 years ago for anxiety issues, but I haven't needed them for a while now.  I've never taken the xanax ER, but with either type of xanax, if you're taking it daily for a period of time, you're going to have to taper off of it once you're ready to quit.  The longer you take to taper, the better off you'll be in the long run.  

As you probably know, we can't give tapering advice in the forum, but generally speaking, you would decrease your dose by a certain amount, give your body at least 10 days to adjust to the new dose and drop again.  

It's great that you're under a doctor's care - you and she can work out a taper plan that will suit your individual needs best.  One note, doctors tend to think we can taper far faster than our bodies really can, so again, slow is best.  Depending on how long you stay on the xanax will generally determine how long it will take to taper off of it.  

I'm sure your doctor had her reasons for prescribing the ER, but if you really feel uncomfortable about it, I would discuss this with her.  Xanax has a very short half life, which may be why she opted for the ER.  In my opinion, whether taking the ER or the non-ER xanax, if you take it daily you will become dependent on it, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.  Again, just my opinion.

It sounds like the xanax is working well for you so far, I hope it continues to do so until you're ready to taper off of it.

Well wishes to you...

Sandy ♦
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495284_tn?1333897642
Hav e you always had anxiety?  This med can be very addicting and it is very nasty to come off of.  Is this med the least harmful to the liver?
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That seems awfully high. If you can find another DR.
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No I first developed anxiety about ten years ago. It was so bad i couldn't drive anymore. My wife and I had to leave the movies a couple of times. At work weekly department head meeting I couldn't even write or take a drink of water because my hands would shake so bad I was worried others would notice. I didn't know what was going on. Finally after seeing a doctor for it he put me on lexapro which did work very well but once I discovered it metabolizes in the liver (after my diagnosis) I discontinued the drug. The side effects while I was on the drug I was told by my doctor to just deal with so I did but that wasn't right either. I started the Xanax  because it metabolized I thought only in the kidneys and don't have the side effects like I did with the lexapro.

I dont think I have developed an addiction to it since there are some days as long as I stay home I can do with out. So that what concerns me about the extended release. I'm sure I can get a different doctor to give me what I have been taking but I'm still searching for what will fit best under my circumstances.

Xanax and Lexapro have helped me tremedously and I can now function normally on a day to day basis. My mother and two of my siblings all suffer with anxiety and so does my daughter since the age of 16.

My new prescription is for 1mg twice daily of the Xanax ER. Idon't want to some day build such a tolerence that the dosage is steadily increasethen eventually have to deal with withdrawals while being switched to something else. Thank you for your replies.

Randy
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Hi rpooo.. I'm sorry to read you deal with anxiety and also your daughter and other family members.. anytime you take a drug regularly you will become dependent.. I would think in your situation and your past with alcohol addiction I would lean toward the tried and true. taking as needed. this way you avoid the inevitable tolerance and the dosage increases.. although I know you are trying to work with your new Dr. You are your best advocate. You know yourself best and your vulnerabilities... It is not unusual for cross addictions as I can attest too. even thou one thinks no way this is not my Doc. Life has a way of throwing curve balls..  I sure hope you find a happy medium you can live with comfortably.. lesa
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Avatar_f_tn
Have you ask your doc about ativan at a low mg? And isn't there other anti anxiety drugs that are non addictive? Wish I knew more to tell you, let us know how you make out.
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Hi Randy - I don't think I really answered your question earlier so I sent you a PM and I hope it explains it a bit better, including other options for anxiety without the medication...
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Hello Randy

I don't really know much about Xanax, but I have taken Diazepam in the past. I find it strange that Xanax come in extended release form when they are supposed to be a fast acting benzo with a relitavely short half life! Benzodiazepines are very tricky to come off but I find they are the only medication that works for my anxiety and would take them again if I felt I needed to!

Take good care :-)

Ps I will get round to replying to your post and thank you so much for being proud of me :-)
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