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1069644 tn?1276932463

What is normal dose for Xanax?

I just recently started having anxiety/panic attacks again and they are severe. My doctor put me on Xanax thinking this would be short lived anxiety. She put me on 0.5 mg every 12 hours. I have only been taking it as needed but it only helps for a short period of time. Should I take it every 12 hours no matter what? I don't want to get dependent on Xanax but I also want to stop having the attacks. I was on Klonopin for years and stopped taking it about 2 years ago. Thinking of going back to that instead of the Xanax. I go back to work tomorrow (off three weeks for surgery)and am afraid the Xanax won't last long enough to get me through the day. I tried to go back a week ago but had severe panic attack! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
14 Responses
1042487 tn?1275283499
Hello there,

The usual starting Xanax dosage is 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg taken three times a day or as needed.

If you take more than 4 mg per day, you are at risk of extreme physical or mental dependence. You may also experience more severe withdrawal symptoms (including seizures) if you stop taking Xanax or if you lower the dose.

If you are afraid the Xanax don"t last long enough you can take a dose in the morning and at lunch.

Please consider that i'm not a doctor and therefore i recommend you speak with you doctor and consider this only a suggestion.

Best regards,
1067022 tn?1257777362
I am taking 2mg of Klonopin 3 times a day. I had very bad panic attacks. I had about five a week. I have been on Klonopin for about 8 years. I stopped it about 6 months with a little tapering down. I just had a very few minor withdrawl side effects. I wanted to see if I still had the panic attacks. The panic attacks returned so I went back on Klonopin.
Xanax is very addictive. It can have long bad side effects. It acts fast (within an hour) and has a short 1/2 life. 12 hours or so. Klonopin starts acting within 1 to 4 hours and has a long half life, up to 40 hours. this it why it is hardly addictive at all compared to Xanax.
If i were you, I would go back on Klonopin. It works and is a lot safer with 24 hour protection.
Avatar universal

I am in the same boat here...taking .25mg-.50mg of xanax a day but have been starting on .25mg of klonopin the past week & 1/2. I notice that since I started taking the klonopin my anxiety/panic seemed to get worst???  So I am still using xanax to get the edge off. I was on klonopin at a much higher dose years ago and it worked wonders. It makes me feel a little strange too like my visions a bit distorted at times but then again maybe thats just anxiety manifesting in me. I welcome any info about either drug as well.
Best of luck to you mnkyluvr68, you can do it and when it gets too intense you know you have your xanax to fall back on to help.

1067022 tn?1257777362
.25 of Klonopin is not nearly enough for panic attacks. I can't believe a doctor would put you on that low of dose. The recommended dose is 2mg twice a day. I'm on 2mg three times a day as I have developed a little tolarence to it. I still think Klonopin works better and is safer.
Panic attacks are not fun and they can be stopped with the right medicine and dosage thank God.
Good luck
1069644 tn?1276932463
False hope... I made it through yesterday without a bad panic attack. I had great hopes for today but that didn't last long. Had panic/anxiety most of today. I took the xanax yesterday but opted to try today without taking one. Bad idea! Sitting here still feeling like I'm having a heart attack, dizzy and very scared, again. Why does this happen to us? I'm having trouble understanding this disorder now. I have a lot of good in my life (if I could just get out there and live it) for the most part, good job, an amazing son, family that loves me (though they may not always understand)... so why am I such a mess? It just doesn't make sense to me. I think I could deal with the FM and CFS if I could get a handle on this anxiety! I'm calling tomorrow to get an appt with the doc to go back on the klonopin, was hoping this was just a short term set back, guess not. Thank you all for your feedback, it really does help.
I feel you. It is a confusing and at times dehabilitating disease. It's hard to understand as its not always tied to outside stressors. Most of the time I find it originates in people because of environmental conditions but eventually for some of us even when our life is on track it is still a struggle. My dr. Once explained it to me like this "once certain barriers or pathways are explored in your brain it continues to use or follow what pathway, creating almost a "muscle memory" like condition where panic attacks exist without a necessary cause" none of those terms are supposed to be technically accurate he wasn't implying a literal barrier was broken in my brain but more of an illustration. That visualization made sense to me so maybe it will help for you in making sense of it all. He told me this as I had always been adverse to taking a daily anti anxiety/ anti depressant. He is not a dr that wants me to be on a medication daily or for life which is one reason I continue to see him for years but he was suggesting a 6-9 month stint on lexapro (which I went for). I found it helped tremendously. I never took it as a permananet solution I wanted to also look at other ways to help get me better but rather as a "crutch" or a "cast" for my brain so to speak. They way I had it explained and I would explain how it worked for me is that I went on something daily that would help break that "muscle memory" or recreate a "barrier" that would block those negative "pathways". Unfortunately for me anxiety is a reoccurring thing but I have good years and years where I have to work at it. Hitting a low point and getting on lexapro (along with creating some good habits) for 6 months helped put me into a 3-4 year stint where I had almost 0 anxiety attacks (still took Xanax for flying). Life put me down again (as it will at times and I started getting them again this time just taking Xanax as needed for a couple months got me back on track! Over the course of the past 12 years it seems every 3-4 years I hit a point where the medication becomes necessary again as those "blocks" erode away. But there is hope and Meds as a crutch or a temporary help combined with good lifestyle choices can be an amazing thing. I know how frustrating it can be when life is going great and you are still not feeling great but there is hope. Just keep working at it wether it is therapy exercise medication church or whatever ends up being the right thing/ combination of things for you. I write this as I'm taking a Xanax because I woke up restless today and have been back at one of my low points. It's probably as much for me as it is for you as I need to hear and know that better times are ahead. No matter how bad things have got I've managed to work through them and have some great years between the rough ones and I hope and believe we both have that to look forward to again!
Avatar universal
I think this is what I am really having,scariest thing I have ever had in my life..Started out 1 in a few months til now up to 17 times per day.I start feeling it coming on through the pit of my stomach,tingling from the feet up til it feels like itleaves my head.I get real cold and clammy..My head just tingles and feel so faint when it happens..I try not to think about it,that does not work..I feel like I am having a heart attack.Taking a aspirin did slow it down some..Being 45yrs.old could this be menopause trying to start??
Avatar universal
Yes, it could be menopause starting. The best thing to do is see your Gynecologist. You can get hormone testing done to see where your levels are. It's not uncommon to have sweating, feel cold and clammy, headaches, anxiety and a whole list of other symptoms during menopause. You're family Dr may be able to do the blood work. He/she may want to check for some other things too.
Avatar universal
I have been diagnosed with severe panic attacks (around 3 years ago). I am 33 yo male. It started as one attack in the military when i was 24 or so (put me on holter monitor to see if i was having heart problems). Now I'm "almost" controlling them without fleeing to the ER thinking I'm having a heart attack. My doctor has me taking 2ml testosterone intermuscular injections once a month and 2 to 3mg a day of xanax and 40mg of citalopram. I would have your testosterone checked, mine was at 167 when it should be greater than 300. I just started the hormone replacement therapy and it is helping. the panic attacks are shorter and spread apart more. i got overzealous and thought that i could go down to 1.5mg a day of xanax. Now I'm sitting in my office thinking I'm having a heart attack. Gosh what crappy thing to have. Everyone here is right. If you take xanax, you WILL become physically dependent. I'm not mentally cause i forget to take my medicine all the time when im busy. Also start off small or you will feel groggy all the time and that ***** just as much. I hope u have your issues under control. make sure they do ekg and ct scan of your coronary artery to make sure its not shrinking and cutting off oxygen to your heart. (angina)

do a stress test too. make sure the ticker is good. good luck
480448 tn?1426952138
Yeah, that's a pretty hefty dose of Xanax, especially to be taken every day. When taken every day, the short acting benzos, like Xanax and Ativan quickly lose effectiveness due to tolerance.

The BEST way to take those kinds of meds is "as needed", only when anxiety is very high.  If they are not taken regularly, then they still work, and there is no issue with dependency or tolerance.

Perhaps you need to ask your doc about upping the Celexa, and gradually tapering down on the Xanax, until you get to the point where you're only taking it as needed instead of every day.  That would be my recommendation.  Good luck...let us know how you're doing.
Avatar universal
I've been taking Xanax for approx 30 years for anxiety.  I began with 1 mg per day and a few years ago had to go up to 3 mg per day AS NEEDED.  My average dose was 1 per day unless I had a panic attack or dizziness.  I did notice a few years ago that the government was limiting how many refills doctors could give.  I started out with a years worth of refills then it went to six months and I had to call.  Then 3 months and a call.  Everything was fine and I was functioning normally until my doctor retired last March.  Now I can't find a doctor who will prescribe it.  One doctor actually told me it is poison and to breathe and meditate my anxiety away.  I am now on .5 mg per day, having dizzy spells and panic attacks.  I stay in bed for the most part because Ii can't function.  This doctor told me I had to be on .25 mg per day by the end of January.  My husband now suffers from anxiety and no one will give him anything for it.  He is in terrible shape.  How do you find a doctor who will help with an anxiety disorder?  
Avatar universal
I just have to say that what it sounds like to me and I am just a layman is withdrawal. I myself was on Klonopin 2 mg, 2x a day. Then my doctor went up to 3x a day. Before I knew what was happening I was up to almost 8 mg per day! Plus he combined this dose with Ativan being taken at bed time. I could function as all this medication was taken at night before bed. What he never explained to me, after I had been taken the medication for almost 9 years was that ALL these meds in the benzo family are VERY addictive forming and in order to completely stopping the medication requires a tremendous amount of assistance from either your doctor or a withdrawal clinic. I had been in a horrific accident when the meds where prescribed, then my son being diagnosed with cancer and eventually passing away. I was involved in a lawsuit, child support court & bankruptcy. Plus I had other children at home. My point is this. All these issues are LIFE issues and if not dealt with at the time, your body just suppresses these thoughts and feelings until you do deal with them. Anestisizing yourself with meds is not the answer. It has taken me almost a YEAR of symptoms related to the withdrawal of these meds and I do not wish that on ANYONE, but my head is clearer now, I feel much more alive, no brain fog. I can feel the feelings I am supposed to feel, like anxiety, pain, sadness & anger. These are all feelings that are perfectly legitimate in our everyday life! Taking meds only caused me to repress these feelings until I weaned myself off these meds and about four others I was taking along with the Klonopin. The state, insurance carriers and doctors have been warned about dispensing these meds because of the habit forming tendencies related much like alcoholism. If you have ever known and alcoholic and what they go through to detox, think about the meds you are taking, and ask your doctor to take you off them! He may tell you NO you cannot stop taking then. You will need something else. That us a double edge sword. Just think about it? You are going to take another pill to come off of another pill? It is no different than a heroin addict trying to stop his addiction or that of and alcoholic. It takes a lifetime to achieve. The brain fog, inability to get out of your home/bed will subside but you will need to have a therapist, support system in place to assist you. My doctor in his deposition had expressed that I would NEED to be on these medications for the rest of my natural born life;-(...I am living proof that at the age of 52, you can and will start to feel better once you are off the meds. Learn what put you on them in the first place, confront the fears, anxiety and anger in a safe environment with your therapist. Learn deep focus breathing techniques, relaxation in the form of yoga or meditation. And start a physical plan of getting your heart rate going to release endorphins which bring you peace, and clear your mind. I could not because of physical pain from my accident & tremendous emotional pain have told you this a year ago, but again I am living proof that you can and will overcome your worst fears through NOT being on the meds. Don't give up, even if if feel downright awful. It will take close to a month to have all the twitching, room spinning, nausea, digestive disturbances, eating dysfunctions and irritability to cease. Then you can start to deal with the real issues of life. Be well.
Avatar universal

All I can say is you have just given the best advice I have ever heard in a long time! I have anxiety and deal with it everyday. Now docs have prescribed me Xanax, ambien, and Zoloft. I refused to take any of that besides the Xanax on a as needed when I can't take the anxiety any more. I am almost off of Xanax completely I am down from taking 3 1mg a day to just spliting 1mg a day. I have had doctors tell me I will need to take meds for the rest of my life and you know what I said... No i don't believe that I can and will overcome this! I have started working out 5 times a week quit my job that I hated and knew was giving me stress and now it has been a month and I am starting to have a clearer mind. Trust me once you start to have a clearer mind and face your demons or issues or whatever it may be you start to feel better. Now I have days that I dont take xanax because I didnt have anxiety that day. It is usually when I worked out and went out with friends or did something active outside it kept my mind off of the bad thoughts only thinking about the good time I was having! Good luck everyone and if you need help it is out there and we are here to fight through it together!
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
Lexapro 10 or 20mg is the way to go for panic attacks!
Lexapro is taken daily and I have not had a panic attack since starting it a year ago. I started having them at work when I was meeting with family members to do enrollment papers. It was a trigger and all of a sudden I couldn't breathe, voice quivered and had hot flashes. i had to excuse myself for about 10 min until it passed. It got to the point of having them daily and just the thought of doing an enrollment would strart to bring it on. Just the thought of having one would start the adrenaline going. Thought I was losing my mind because it was so stupid to have this unexplained fear. I tried meditation, exercising and I just couldn't get this fear to leave for about 2 months. I had to ask for help or I was going to loss my job as I had to do enrollments. Lexapro just made the anxiety go away. You have to give it 2 weeks to work., I started on 20mg then went down to 10mg. Anxiety runs in my family but panic attack disorder was new to me. I feel normal now, even in social situations and talking to my boss and can handle stress in a calm demeanor. All the best.
No bad withdrawal
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