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Avatar universal


Dear Dr.

I have written in the past about my over a year anxiety and recent emotional breakdown when I found out two months ago my husband has to have open heart surgery on Nov. 25.

Until then my anxiety was diagnosed as prozac poop out(AFTER NINE YEARS ON 20MGS.) and after 5 months and 8/9 meds; which I had horrible reactions to and am now terrified to try new things. Over the 15 months of anxiety I have been taking 1 mg. Ativan at bedtime with very rare occasions of 1/4mg during the day. I was "managing my anxiety just fine until I got the news about my husband.  I went back on Prozac in liquid form at 2mg. on Oct. 24. to start back slow. I pray it will work as it once did.  I am up to 8 mg. now and ready to to to 10mg in a couple of days. I switched to night time because I was having some side effects; 3 hrs. of very mild anxiety and about 4 hours of depression then it would ease up and got better.  I am working with a medication advice nurse in MHealth and we decided I would try taking the prozac at night to try and sleep thru these side effects.  It worked for a couple of nights then   Last week I had a set back which put me in a deep depression and my husbands surgery is looming and the Ativan is not working like it did.  I wake up after about 4/5 hours. I try to go back to sleep with warm milk or tylenol. This causes more anxiety; I just want to sleep. I have not had more than 3 hours a night since the news. I sometimes fall back but only for a short while and then wake up with anxiety.  Now I have been trying 1/4mg. doses of ativan to try and fall back and no luck.  I went to and outside Kaiser Psych. and he prescribed the Gabitril; well I got asthma and a couple of other uncomfortable side effects so stopped it.  Now he has prescribed Xanax to get me thru this stressful time up to and through my husbands surgery and hopefully until the prozac kicks in.  I know Xanax is addictive too but I am hoping once the Prozac kicks in I won't have the need for it.  I never had the need to up the Ativan in all these months until now and I know I must be having subconcious anxiety during sleep and it wakes me up.  MY QUESTION: CAN I SAFELY TAKE XANAX FOR A FEW WEEKS/MONTHS IN PLACE OF ATIVAN WITHOUT ATIVAN WITHDRAWAL; IS XANAX ON THE SAME ADDICTION LEVEL AS VICODIN. I WAS ABLE TO WEAN OFF AFTER TAKING IT FOR A MONTH AFTER SURGERY LAST SPRING. DO YOU THINK XANAX WILL BE MORE HELPFUL IN CONTROLING THE ANXIETY/SLEEP PROBLEM?  I WAS PRESCRIBED 0.5 AND INTEND ON STARTING ON 1/2 OF THAT. DO YOU STILL FEEL THE PROZAC WILL ONCE AGAIN WORK FOR ME? IS TAKING IT AT NIGHT O.K.?  WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS; PLEASE GIVE ME DATAILED ANSWERS I AM DESPERATE AND APPRECIATE YOUR INPUT IT GIVES ME PEACE OF MIND.

10 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
Yes, Xanax is safe..it is very much like Ativan, and ok during the day as needed but if sleep continues to be a problem, ask your doctor about klonopin..it is in the same family as xanax and ativan, but longer lasting, so you can sleep longer.

Prozac will probably kick in soon so you might increase the dose a little faster.  Getting off xanax is not that hard if you do it slowly.    Try talking about your anxieties with your family or doctors..that will help also.
Avatar universal
Your case sounds like mine!   I have been on Zoloft for 13 years and usually do well.  Having some MAJOR stresses right now and the anxiety is high!  I am so tired of the anxiety.  I am thinking the Zoloft has pooped out.  My counselor says that changing right now will cause more anxiey.  MORE?  I have Xanax and am paranoid about taking it and needing it....   Is there hope for AFTER the strssful incident is over that I will be ok.  How are you doing now?
Avatar universal
In my experience, Klonopin works much much better than ativan.  I have never taken xanax.  I had difficult stopping the daily use of klonopin ( and I know others that have been unable to stop the use of klonopin and/or xanax) My understanding is that klonopin, xanax, ativan etc are higly addictive even at low dosages. I would suggest you do your own research and make the decision yourself.  I find klonopin useful for panic attacks but not for daily use.
Avatar universal
I am on Ativan 0.5mg as needed for anxiety attacks. I find it works wonderfully...I am just praying it doesn't poop out on me. However, I've heard that Ativan is not nearly as addictive as Xanax, Valium, or Klonopin. Reason being...it doesn't give you the "high" that the aforementioned drugs do.
I am about to start tapering my dose (I can't take the wretched side effects anymore...haven't slept in 3 days...I feel manicky). Anyone have any suggestions/ideas/advice for this upcoming awful time?
Avatar universal
I've been taking 3mg. of Ativan for two years now.  I also take 30 mg. of Adderall and 75mg. of effexor.  Attivan doesn't get me high, but if I don't take it, I get very uncomfortable.  I've taken Xanax and Klonopin and they get me really messed up (especially Klonopin).  I was never prescribed to either of those but I used to self medicate.  It's quite interesting, I have a good friend that is prescribed to 3 mg of xanax a day and they don't mess her up, but she does get uncomfortable if she doesn't take them.  If we trade, she gets high from the Attivan and can't even function and vice versa for me with the xanax.  If you get used to a benzo, it loses the "high" effect but it still works for anxiety, which is the actual desired and appropriate benefit.  Howeber, it is scary that if I don't take that ativan, I'll be pretty uncomfortable.  I've had the opportunity to get off it, but I really don't want to go through that.  Especially after two years at 3 milligrams/day.  On the other hand, I've never abused it and I never need my dosage raised, so I don't feel it's necessary to stop taking it.  It works the way it's supposed to without the side effects that some people would see as desirable.  No confusion, no drunkness, no impairment.  If anything, it keeps me from not being able to lye on the couch and watch TV without feeling like I want to jump out of my skin.  A lot/most of the anxiety stems from the Adderall which is an unfortunate necessity.  I'm interested to hear other peoples feelings about my situation.  I can honestly admit that I'm probably physically and possibly mentally addicted to my Attivan, but is that my fault?  No, it's not, but even more importantly, is it a bad thing?  I personally don't see why.  It helps me.  Please give me some insights.  I can't talk about this with friends.
Avatar universal
I agree with you 100%. I've been on 2 mg of Xanax for GAD and I only felt high the first time I took one pill. Now it just takes the edge off. sometimes I forget to take it it I'm not having a bad day. To me it's medication when a doctor is supervising, not a drug, like heroin. My mother refused to take insulin for diabetes and now she's dead. I'd rather be dependent on a medication then die of stress. My psychiatrist said that people with anxiety disorders rarely have addictive personalities because they're afraid of losing control. Also, as you said, it does not make you high - just normal. Impaired thinking may be a side effect of medication, but in my case, when I'm anxious my thinking really becomes impaired. I was on ativan for a time to cut the anxiety Zoloft caused and I weaned myself off that very easily. I even weaned myself off Valium 25 years ago when I decided I wanted to.
Avatar universal
I have similar problems as do millians of us. I have sleep apnea and use a bi-pap.
I have chronic back pain and take hydrocodone.
The other medications prescribed by my neroulogist are:
5.Baklofen (?)
I am self medicating with :
2. Zoloft
I take one 40mg of prozac daily and when out of ambien have taken ativan 1mg up to twice daily.
Are the 3 medications I am self medicating all supposed to be doing the same thing?
I feel like a new man when I get more then 4 or 5 hours of sleep.
Avatar universal
Also, what is the difference in Prozac,Zoloft,and Ativan.

Should any of these be taken in combination?
Is it better to switch between these to avoid any withdrawl effects?
Avatar universal
I'm not sure what to do.  I was prescribed (by a very respected psychiatrist) Ativan for my anxiety disorder, and Paxil for my depression.  The first two weeks or so I felt better enough to actually get out of bed and get a job (I think it was only due to the Ativan, not the paxil  the ativan lets me calm down enough to do interviews, etc)....  But then I had a freak out at my job, and just couldn't get out of bed the next day (depression).  I told my shrink that Paxil isn't working for me, but he just says to wait it out, it takes 6 weeks for the full effect.  But I've been feeling very very low, couldn't get out of bed and quit my job. and it's been almost 6 weeks.  When is this stuff gonna kick in????

I've always had trouble sleeping, and my Dr told me to take 2 Attivan before bed, but that doesn't work anymore.  It used to work beautifully, so beautifully that I could even fall asleep on my FLOOR for a good 8 hrs of sleep.  So he prescribed me Lunesta, which did nothing but make me feel kinda hypnotized/drunk, slightly tired but not enough to fall asleep.  I called him the next day, and he prescribed me Ambien.  If I take that with two Ativan I fall asleep, but only for four hours, and I wake up very very tired but of course my anxiety/non-stop thinking prevents me from falling back asleep.  I just met with him today and told him this, and he prescribed me Valium to take with my Ambien....damn... I'm just scared, becaused of all the connotations that come with taking Valium... I'm taking it tonight for the first time.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any similar experiences?  What works best for sleeping?  Because even though Ambien helps me sleep, I have disturbingly vivid dreams.  THANK GOD I DON'T SLEEP WALK/EAT/DRIVE/ETC.  

Anyone have any ideas on why my Dr prescibes me Valium, which I've read is highly addictive, and not Xanax (which I've read is also highly addictive but not so much)

Oh yeah, and Ativan used to give me that nice sedated, chill relaxed feeling, and doesn't anymore.  I felt like I could do anything, and now I'm scared of doing anything.  Should I tell my Dr?  I'm scared he'll just say I'm addicted and tell me to stop taking it, or try and ween me off it, which I just can't handle right now.  

Any experiences taking valium during the day to function like normal people?
Avatar universal
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