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411389 tn?1230128077

Xanax - What is it for?

I have been taking Xanax for around 6 months now and even though I don't feel any less anxious than I was when i was first prescribed them, deep down I know they must have some benefit as when I initially visited my GP, I literally couldn't speak and my entire body was just so tense.

It's still there as when i was talking to someone on wednesday, I found it very difficult tom speak and I just knew that the anxiety and dry mouth were a factor.

I read the leaflet but all it states is that Xanax is for apprehension and worry.

Is it of any use in helping someone with severe Anxiety.

A couple of months ago my hair begun thinning due to stress and I also had symptons that affected my relationship with my girlfriend.

I won't delve into them too much but I trust you may be aware of what I mean.

Thanks for any info you may have.

9 Responses
505916 tn?1248796542
Xanax is a benzo which for the most part does help anxiety. Usually it's used in combination with an SSRI or SNRI though. Xanax is fast acting and short lived in the body--I've always thought of it to be more for panic attacks. As in something you take when you are having an attack. Are you on anything else or just the Xanax? It's really only meant to be used short term as it's highly addicting (I got addicted to 1mg lol)

Have you been diagnosed with social anxiety? or generalize anxiety?
Avatar universal
Since I am not a doctor I obviously cannot give medical advice but what I can give is advice from being in the same situation that you are in. I have had panic attacks all of my life even from a very young age but they only would only happen maybe once or twice a year. Upon entering graduate school I started having up to five a day due to stress and started being treated with Lexapro and Xanax. I took the Lexapro on a daily basis and only used the Xanax for severe panic attacks as it would take the symptoms away quickly. Thankfully I used the Xanax less and less and finally did not need it at all.

Perhaps you should talk to your GP about 1. using a more long lasting drug to treat the anxiety and having Xanax for severe moments or 2. being referred to a mental health specialist who will know more about the situation. Also, alot of beating the anxiety has to do with you not letting it affect you. I know that is much easier said than done and sometimes you may need (myself included) drug intervention to help you learn. It did take awhile, but I have learned to beat my anxiety when it begins and it makes life alot easier. The fact that you said you knew your anxiety was a factor shows that you know it is just anxiety. Did all of this start just the six months ago when you started the Xanax? One unfortunate thing to remember is this isn't something that happened overnight so it is not something that can be fixed overnight, but there are ways of maintaining and learning how to beat it.
Avatar universal
In simple terms, Xanax is a quick fix that a lot of doctors use. It is fast acting. But what you will find is, what you took at first, won't work after a certain amount of time on the tablet. Its effectiveness wears off. So we get the Xanax spiral. To gain the same effect people begin to take a little more and a little more. There are far better forms of medication out there. Longer acting Benzos. They don't lose their effectiveness in the same way and last longer in the system. Maybe two tablets, of a different kind, might be better than your Xanax. One would be ' as needed '. If you are suffereing a panic attack. The other would be your main tablet to deal with the anxiety. Have a chat with your doctor if you feel they are not working. They will be changed. That is how things work out. They have to find the best tablet to suit you. Trial and error at times.
411389 tn?1230128077
Thanks for your post friends.

After an unbearable time I finally went to see my GP. I had been on Effexor and Lexapro and before those Diazepam but the former, sent my body into complete shutdown, so I ended up on      .

My handm and arm started trembling last sunday and I made an apointment to see my doctor wednesday, I tried to see if it was just something passing but when it didn't, that on top of everything else scared me.

My doctor was away on vacation so i got to see another doctor who immediately after seeing how anxious I was as I struggled to explain about the tremors, made a call to the nurse and she took a       sample. Oh, it took almost half an hour to fill a sample container, such was the thickness of my      . That's what started to make me panic as my Mother died from a brain haemorrhage.

The doctor also recommened that I be given something for depression and that I need to be referred to a therapist along with staying on the medication. I hope that she leaves note of this for my own doctor as it will be him I see next week.

I won't know the results until next thursday and in the meantime I remain on       but I am exteemely worried as all the symptons I have seem to indicate hyperthyroidism. I am going on indicators that I found on the web and although this is a self diagnosis I cant help but worry if it is indeed this which will show up in my       test.
I don't post often and  I do apologies for that it's just that I have to go to town to use a computer.

I don't quite know which label my anxiety comes under, I am petrified of having to go out and face anyone, let alone large crowds. It's something I've done frequently over the past few months but it's just made me a complete emotional wreck. Nothing has changed much, despite facing what I fear everyday.

Thanks for your help all and I will get back to you just as soon as I find out.

Fingers crossed.

370181 tn?1428180348
You've done the best thing you can, which was to get back with your doctor. (Even tho he was out of town)
Your own doctor will have the notes and tests results this other doctor took.........it will all be in your file.
The Xanax needs to go. It is used for short term only.....4-6 months and you've hit the cut off point with this med. You say it really hasn't helped much anyway. If you have an anxiety/panic disorder, much better that you get on a longer acting benzo like Klonopin. Xanax is a horrible drug to withdrawl from and please, do NOT just stop taking it. You must taper off of it slowly under the supervision of your doctor. Therapy would be the perfect adjunct to any med they put you on. Meds only help with the symptoms, they won't "cure" anything, and if you have anxiety issues, only therapy will fix that.
Hang in there until you can see your regular doctor and make sure you discuss everything that is going on. If you have questions, ASK! If he insists on keeping you on the Xanax, question his decision and tell him you'd rather try something long term. They cannot force you to take anything you are not comfortable with, but be aware this may earn you the title of a "non-compliant" patient. Sadly, most GPs don't know much about benzos and hand them out like candy, not having a clue that they are sending you to hell in a handcart. Go to your library and check out a really good, up to date book on medications and study up on benzodiazepams. This will give you some knowledge when you see your doctor...................knowledge is power.
Keep us posted.
411389 tn?1230128077
HI  Greenlydia. Thank you for the words of encouragment. I've just left my doctor's after getting the results of my 'blood test. Apparantly everything is fine. All that showed up that was of any concern was that my cholesterol is high.

I told my doctor about the       and that would it be posible to switch and try Clonazepam but he was adamant that the       was best and didn't entertain my request. Also, I mentioned that when I visited the doctor who sttod in for him last week, she recommened that I also be given an ant'depressant and to that he responed that the       is sufficient.

I then mentined about seeing a therapist, which was also suggested by the doctor I saw in his absense and he said that we'd tried that before and how did I feel about it. I said that the medication is not helping me much and considering how I felt I would like to see a therapist. He asked me for my phone number and said he will let me know.

I left in two worlds, one, I was seriously upbeat after receiving the 'blood test result as I had been extremely anxious with some awful thoughts running through my head about what if I am a candidate for a stroke amongst many other things.

I am now reflecting and even though I did exceptionally well in managing to speak up for myself a little, I now feel i should have been more forward, (easier said than done) in putting my points across for changing my medication.

I tend to be analytical and I just know I will focus a lot more on this as the day progresses. However, I am glad though that my only concern apart from the anxiety/panic attacks and social phobia, which I already have is that I only have cholesterol, I can deal with that. Stange, isn't it if I gave anxiety another name perhaps then it would be easier to deal with.

I am still tense, I haven't been sleeping all that well and I stil am worried about my hair loss, my tremors and generally everything else that still affects me through stress.

I am grateful to you Greenlydia and to all those who give advice freely, I am convinced that from each other we get strength. I actually was more composed when in with my doctor than I have ben in a very long time, then again familiarity may be a factor.

I am at a loss as to what I should do next, obviously I've received very good news and to harp on about not wanting to stay on xanx may be an issue that I won't undertake. I know they're not combating the symptons I have effectively as I dont't get that much relief from them and to be in a position to overcome anxiety, I think there's only so much we can do ourselves and I have become dependent on them, suppose, it's better th devil you know.

Anyway, I do appreciate all the help I've received both from the profesional healthcarer's and from here.

Here, there is an understanding that's lacking elsewhere. The obvious reaSon being, most of us suffer from anxiety.

I have been taking       for quite a while now and just as I've discovered from posters, there is a tendency to increase the dosage, even though the symptons have not diminished any.

I really want off of it but for now I guess I'll just have to endure. I worry that oneday I won't be in a position to express myself to anyone, especially to my doctor or worse stop calling to him and then the worse case scenario happens, I will vegetate.

I don't want that to happen and now that I've found a new sense of purpose and if a therapist becomes involve in my life, maybe that's when I will be afforded the opportunity to be diagnosed something different to help me beome better equipped mentally to help myself.

Thanks for reading this and thanks for being there.

370181 tn?1428180348
(Which is your real username?)
I am happy to hear that your blood work came back showing elevated cholesterol. Welcome to the club! It is easily controlled either through diet and exercise or medication. Dpending on your numbers, I hope your doctor has you try the diet and exercise first.
There are some blanks in your post, which is odd, but I am going to assume that the missing word is "Xanax."
That your doctor is keeping you on the Xanax is, in my humble and totally non-medical opinion.....WRONG! Pure and simple. Especially if you are taking it daily, as opposed to prn. (as needed)
While Xanax is sometimes prescribed for "anxiety with depressive symptoms," it is, once again, MY humble opinion, hardly the drug of choice for depression. One of it's "unlabeled" uses is for social phobia, but again...........you got it, I disagree with his use of Xanax for this.
One of the problems we have here in the States is trying to understand (let alone, believe) the health care system in your part of the world.
You asked your doctor about seeing a therapist and he took your phone number and said he'd call you.....??????? For what? A chin wag about the price of tea? Can you not just find a therapist on your own and go? Must you get "permission" from your doctor? (Who I AM beginning to view as a moron)      
Must HE be the one who decides if you need therapy or not?
That you are STILL having major problems with anxiety should only prove to you that the Xanax is no longer working for you. OK, so you could bump the dosage up, but trust me, and hundreds of us on this forum, THAT is a road you DO NOT want to go down!
I have no explaination for the hair loss, but anxiety can affect us all in many different ways. What does this doctor of yours have to say about that? Has he recommended a Xanax shampoo?
You say that you should just be content with high cholesterol and "not harp" about being kept on the Xanax. Is dealing with the horrid anxiety, the loss of sleep.........is it really worth it to you to live that way and not rock the boat? To be kept on a drug that someday will become a nightmare for you to withdraw from? Especially a drug that is not even working for you? This makes absolutely no sense to me! You are no doubt "dependant" on this drug, some would say you've built a "tolerance," and still others will say you've now become "addicted." I think, as I said before, that unless your doctor keeps upping your dose of the Xanax, all you are doing is keeping yourself from feeling the withdrawl symptoms of this medication. It is NOT helping your anxiety any more at all.
If you really want off this drug, your doctor should be more than willing to devise a safe and comfortable taper plan for you and if your anxiety is still an issue, try you on a longer acting one. That he is "adamant" that you stay on Xanax makes me want to tell you to "run away" from this guy and find a doctor who has a much better undestanding of benzos.
I would actually recommend that you see a psychiatrist as they can monitor your medications as well as your physical and mental health. But it sure sounds like your GP would have a real problem with that!
My advice..........start from square one, find a new doctor, get off the Xanax, ask for a referral to a therapist or psychiatrist....try not to be afraid of speaking up around these "learned" individuals. It's YOUR body, YOUR mind..........YOU have a huge say in what goes on with it, and YOU know it far better than they do.
You will be fine, we just gotta get you in the right hands, boyo!
370181 tn?1428180348
That first sentence SHOULD have read "I'm glad to hear your bloodwork came back showing "NOTHING BUT............." (high cholesterol)
411389 tn?1230128077
Which is your real username?)

Hi again Greenlydia. I wish to aplogise for taking up so much of your invaluable time with this seemingly unfinshed post.

Regarding the therapist situation. I agree totally with you that the system here is inept in dealing adequately with patients that suffer from anxiety related disorders. The usual process is that a doctor must refer someone to a therapist that's availing of public health care. I imagine that the contrary applies to paying patients. Yep, cash bumps people up the pecking order.

I wouldn't have even suggested the therapy to him if I could afford to go private. And it was a result of what the doctor I saw in his absense recommended and judging by the way she takled to me, it seemed to be an urgent matter. That all changed with him. I found it ridiculous whn he asked for my phone number too and worse why I willingly gave it to him when I should have been more vocal on it remains something which I regret. One of the major effects of suffering with anxiety for me is that I have no confidence. I know that seems incredible but honestly my esteem is so low that I struggle so much to speak and that obviously has a impact when in any situation where anxiety is prone to increase. We are such a vulnerable group. I often though how reassuring it would be if some of us here were actually in a room together discussing our situations and lending each other advice and support. That would no doubt alleviate a lot of our concerns. Fact is however, that most of us live solitary lives despite being amongst people, even those nearest and dearest. This is our room, this is the place where we reach out to one another and even in a virtual world we can still hug.  

I intend to return to my doctor on monday and request that I be referred to a therapist. I've had a bad few days since I got my blood test results back. I'm extremely anxious all the time. No matter how hard I try and distract myself my mind just won't give my body a break. That I guess is a problem for everyone. We never have the luxury of getting a day off.

I agree completely with you concerning the Xanax. They are not working. And as you said I am at a stage where I think well if I take an extra dose that's bound to alleviate the anxiety but that's a myth. I know they're not working, I don't really think they ever did as my entire body is just so tense. It's always like that.

I cried this morning. I cry a lot. Almost for no reason. Today though I cried when I was washing my hair. It was sad. A lot of my hair was shed this morning and from having a really healthy head of hair, all I am left with now is rows of long strands that expose the missing hair on my scalp. I also queried this condition with my doctor a while back as I've been losing hair steadily for quite a few months and he said that because there was no history of male pattern baldness in my family that it may be down to stress. he never even checked my scalp, even though I asked if there was something I could take to prevent it. I cried that day too. I often wonder if it was the Xanax causing my hair to thin and eventualy fall out, we always look to see if the meds are responsible.

I'm not looking for anyone to blame Greenlydia but I do believe that my doctor could have been more considerate towards me. I want off the Xanax. I feel awful and in some strange way just saying that makes me feel strong. I do know I have a lot to do, a lot of these things involves something which I would'nt have imagined ever happening, that is going to my doctor to fight for the right to be free of not only the medication but ultimately be free of anxiety. That's a long road and to say it in a sentence actually make's it look so untainable right now, that the sentence has no substance. Yet, these are the things we must say. We must never lose hope.

I felt so comfortable talking with the lady doctor last week, I didn't even have to say much at all as she seemed to understand, almost like it was her I've been attended for years, I would love to be referred to her and here's the crux, will she entertain my request and will he agrree to it. I don't want to offend anything and I imagine no doctor likes to see patients leave without an explanation.

I will do my best. I will try. Deceptively that's not as confident coming from me as it reads.

I aplogise for the long post. And just to clarify, yes the missing word was Xanax. I posted from a library but certain words were taken out after I posted as there's some kind of filter that prevent's 'bogey' words from appearing. Yes, this is modern Ireland.

Thanks for replying Greenlydia, you have helped immensely. Thanks for your tips on the cholesterol. I have changed my diet. I eat very little actually but now when I eat, it will be the right food. As for exercise, hmmm, I do walk but...there's always a but...I am very self conscious so I tend to avoid places that are busy and no matter which way I leave my home, There's alwys a road, always a lot of traffic.

Oh, about my username. My real name is Declan...but when I looked for it upon registration it was already taken so I opted for the Irish version of my name, Deaglan.

I use Declan.

Wishing you and everyone here a worry free and stress free weekend.

Peace to you too,

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370181 tn?1428180348
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