Multiple Sclerosis Community
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1232907 tn?1367471737

does xanax help alleviate MS symptoms?

Still waiting for an official dx however it seems sometime xanax helps with the tremors.
15 Responses
Avatar universal
Meaning no disrespect, but since xanax is habit forming, I don't think I'd be using it for tremors.  I'd be asking doc for something else!  There are other drugs available.

You have not given us much information but welcome to our corner!
1232907 tn?1367471737
I was diagnosed with anxiety, have been taking as needed for years (take 1/2 of  0.5mg every once and  while)  now wondering if all the symptoms is actually MS but last time I had tremors so bad I could not sleep and thought i'd give it a try and it seemed to calm them a little, at least enough to lay comfortably untill exhaustion took me. Seeing an MS specialist April 8 hopefully will get some answers then.

I posted a comment about a week ago as to some of my symptoms.

Thanks for the concern, believe me I was worried about taking them also  I dont like taking any medicine so a controlled drug really scared me at first but I am just so desperate for relief I would shave my head and wear a clown nose if I thought it would help.
3205586 tn?1362842985
Xanax helps with everything! :)I hear how addictive it is, yet I know several people who use it correctly and none have ever exhibited signs of addiction. It is a good drug for certain things, for sure.
987762 tn?1331027953
Good morning,

I am admittedly a little confused, you seem to be saying that your tremors are still happening whist your body is fully supported ie. whilst laying in bed and if that is what you are experiencing, then I think that sounds more like "resting tremor" which isn't a common tremor for people with MS.

There are 3 forms of tremor common to MS (1) "postural tremor" which happens when holding a position against gravity eg standing, hand hovering over the keyboard. (2) "intention tremor" which happens whilst your trying to do something eg reaching for something, it typically gets worse as you get closer to what your reaching for. (3) "Nystagmus" which is a specific visual issue, which produces horizontal or vertical or osculating eye movements.

I personally experience those 3 and have everyday since my big bang in 09, though It was around 06 when the postural tremor first started showing up. I really dont remember experiencing the intention tremor before the summer of 08-09, I have a vivid memory, which would of been late December 08. I was helping make costumes for one class, for the life of me I couldn't thread a needle, i saw 2 needle eyes and my hand just trembled and jerked, doesn't sound much but considering one of my hobbies was elaborate needle work, it really stood out because for that to happen to me when i usually did invisible stitching was really very odd.

Since it started, it was intermittent but over those years it has developed to become my everyday, (from head to toe) I can only temporarily stop its rhythmic dance with my body being fully supported. The more physically active I am the stronger the tremor gets and it can really rumble when i'm pushing boundaries.

I've read a lot about tremor over the years, there are different types of tremors associated with different conditions and many things that can cause them eg genetics, medications, diseases etc A great site to look at is wemove.org there you'll find some fantastic information on tremors.


PS Xana from what i've read, can sometimes help but knowing the type,cause etc plays a major roll in if it will help someone or not

Avatar universal
some doctors will refuse to renew xanax prescriptions, thinking "for you" that you will get addicted.  I can take dilaudid and walk away from it but my urologist won't give it to me because "its addictive"......so go figure......
but seriously check it out with a doctor, it may not be what you think it is.
1232907 tn?1367471737
thank you for the response. i can take it or leave it however i am glad to have it when needed. i have a dr. who watches me closely. i have never had a problem with it. a 30 pill supply has lasted 8 months so i dont abuse it. sorry to hear you can not get the meds you need. very frustrating. anyway i was wondering what you ment by "it may not be what you think it is"?
1232907 tn?1367471737
I have "tremors" while laying down but can not be seen or felt by anyone else, however while up i have a slight noticeable tremor while extending my arms. I went to the site you recommended and they have alot of great info. I also went on to do more research and found quite a few of blogs of people dx. with ms that suffer the same as i do. This is all so confusing. I just want my life back as I know we all do.
1045086 tn?1332126422
Xanax doesn't help MS symptoms in general but it would likely help control tremors as it's a benzodiazepine (like valium).  They slow chemical action in the brain therefore decreasing symptoms of anxiety - and sometimes tremors.

As you seem to know, there is a strong potential to develop a dependence on this class of drug - meaning once you take it for a while it can be hard to NOT take it and still feel normal.  It sounds like you are a long way from that place and are as aware as your doctor is of the dangers.  

If your tremor isn't bothersome on a daily basis and you are actively in the midst of a diagnostic process maybe the Xanax is a good choice for you.  After all, you seem to be taking it infrequently.  Just make sure the prescribing doc gets filled in on what you've discovered, knows about your slightly 'off directions' use of the drug and how helpful it has been.

If your tremor is present daily, interfering with daily activities and you aren't worried about hiding a potentially diagnostic symptom I'd think about asking your doc to try you on a low dose beta blocker for control.  Of course, they aren't without potential complications either but they are generally considered much safer than a benzodiazepine.

In the end, if you are wondering if any of this helps or hinders a MS diagnosis.... probably neither.  Tremors aren't specific enough to MS to help much toward diagnosis.  Conversely, tremors are strongly associated with anxiety.  I'm afraid many docs would be tempted to give them less weight toward MS in your case since anxiety is already a diagnosed problem for you.

Check this out with your doctors.  We have a lot of amassed information here but we are physicians and you need one to help you figure out what's best.  Good luck and let us know how you do please.
1045086 tn?1332126422
...... but we are NOT physicians ......

(How is it these word problems pop up at the very worst times?)
Avatar universal
I simply meant the cause of your problem may not be what you think, the doctor may think its caused by something else.  I meant nothing else.
1232907 tn?1367471737
Yes my doc thinks it is anxiety and at first I accepted that dx but the symptoms have gotten worse not to mention new ones. They have also dx me with depression, I have tried to explain to them that they would be depressed if they were in almost constant pain and many undiagnosed neurological  symptoms that continue to get worse. Maybe they could handle this but im just not that strong I suppose.
I had a good life, far from perfect but good. I have a great family, two beautiful boys, a great job (that im about to lose) good friends, active life full of excitement. Now my life consist of just trying to get out of bed and breath in and out. I don't know how much more of this I can take!!
Thank you for your responses and time.
1232907 tn?1367471737
Also the most caring, patient, helpful husband.  
987762 tn?1331027953
If your Dr is attributing some or all of your sx's to anxiety/depression, then it is in your best interest to get the 'possibility' properly investigated, just like you would for any other possible medical cause. Its actually quite common for people to get their mental health assessed whilst in limbo, or even if dx-ed with a chronic condition.

Honestly, If you are dealing with anxiety and depression, no matter if it is or isn't the underlying cause, then getting more 'you' specific help and or medication, what ever is needed to assist you with coping with what your going through, has always got to be a good thing to do imho. So if you haven't had your mental health assessed but that is what your Dr suspects is the problem, then I suggest you ask for a referral. It will either give you additional help or proof that a mental health condition isn't the problem.

Ok about the tremor that you only 'feel' but isn't visible, I have a tip that you could try that may make it become visible. I've felt, sort of like an internal rhythmic vibration (think sitting on the washer whilst its running lol) coming and going since 06 but after my big bang of 09, it became constant and by then it had become visible.  

Anyhooo, I accidentally made this 'feeling' visible and was like a kid in a toy shop lol though Quix told me that what i'd done was basically a tremor test that Dr's do lol i so didn't know that. All i did was put a ticket between my lips and the little piece of paper fluttered with the same rhythm, the paper just made the tremor stand out. I really don't know if the type or size of paper matters or not, i just had wet things in my hands and didn't want the ticket damaged, which was the only reason i placed it between my lips and bingo there it was.

Food for thought..........JJ

1232907 tn?1367471737
Thanks. I have seen two Psychiatrists both of which thinks it's neurological
and that depression and anxiety is caused by the pain and fear of the symptoms.
The last couple of times the symptoms flared I checked my b/p and pulse and both were normal or low. With anxiety/panic attack usually ones b/p and HR are elevated.
I will try the paper trick. When it happens I can usually see it while extending my arms.
Thank you for the tip.
3205586 tn?1362842985
Just want to say, you always share such useful information here supermum....thank you!
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