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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Xanax

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Author Topic: Xanax
WillBDone
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I just wanted to share a link that I found helpful that has some excellent insight into how Xanax works and it's potentially SERIOUS side effects and withdrawl sympotoms.

My primary care physician gave me a script last year for Xanax, without any word of caution or much direction after I told him of a little problem I had with getting panicy before public speaking situations where I was in a leadership role. At that point, I was also having unexplained heart palpitation issues which he just chalked up to "stress". Mother of 4 under 8 yrs...Enough said;)

I went the entire year sailing along just fine rarely ever needing the Xanax. However, in Novemeber, after the onset of my Lyme symptoms and subsequent Lyme diagnosis, I found myself reaching for a Xanax when my throat felt like it was tightening. Who WOULDN'T start to panic when an otherwise normal, healthy 39 yr old starts feeling numbness and tingling in her hands and legs! It's been a humbling experience to say the least.

From what I have been reading, I am bound and determined to find other means of coping besides reaching for that Xanax.

I would love to hear from those who have had success finding other ways of coping with anxiety.

By sharing the link below, I just want to help bring your attention to what some psychiatrists opinions are about Xanax. You can derive your own opinion certainly based on your own experience and research.

It appears that MORE caution is warranted than your average "duck" will typically provide.


http://psychiatrist-blog.blogspot.com/search/label/xanax

--------------------
"You play the hand you're dealt. I think the game's worthwhile."

C. S. Lewis

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Clarissa
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What is your diagnoses? Have you been tested for BART?

I believe Bart is the primary cause for my lifetime of anxiety and severe OCD.

Just a thought...because if you do have Bart, no anti-anxiety or anti-depressant or herb will CURE you...they will only be band aids.

I'm speaking from my years of being treated with different meds in the psychiatric world...all for not.

I'd get tested for Bart.

--------------------
Clarissa

Because I knew you:
I have been changed for good.

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roro
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I was on xanax for a year and half. i couldn't sleep from the side effects of the fentanyl patches (prescribed for pain).

I believe xanax, valium, klonopin and all of the benzo's (old anti-anxiety meds) are way safer than the new SSRI's and such

yes they are adictive, and the withdrawals are tough. but if you need them, you need them. i dont think antidepressants are any less addictive either

I have been on antidepressants too and the withdrawal is way worse.

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jennyflyer
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My LLMD gave me a script for Xanax back in Sept. I had it filled, but I've only taken it maybe 10 times.

I don't like the way it makes me feel at all. Like a zombie.

Recently I started using these meditation cd's, they do seem to help. I also do yoga a few days a week and that definitely helps.

I did have to take a Xanax on Christmas. Way too many people around, it was tough to handle.

JohnnyB, I still like your signature quote the best. [Smile]

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Jennifer

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lymeHerx001
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xanax is better then the antidepressants IMHO
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Keebler
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-

I can't begin to tell the trouble that Xanax caused my hearing over 15 years ago - before lyme dx came through. An article below speaks to benzos.

Effexor, too (but not a benzo) may have caused permanent sound sensitivity (hyperacusis) and tinnitus. I'm hoping if I can ever clear the TBI that the ears will get better, but I know both drugs caused tremendous changes and shot sound sensitivity to the moon - and I was only on each of the a few weeks at very low doses, separate times.

Xanax, while sometimes used in small doses for both tinnitus and hyperacusis, can also cause it (but mostly just in normal doses, not tiny . . . or not? )

The article below describes others for whom this has happened.

==============================

www.hearinglosshelp.com/articles/benzodiazepines.htm

Center for Hearing Loss Help

Drugs That Can Damage Your Ears (Ototoxic Drugs)

Beware of Benzodiazepines - Nasty Time Bomb Ambushes the Unwary

May 2006 (updated June, 2006) by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.


excerpts:

Benzodiazepines are only supposed to be used for short periods of time--2 to 3 weeks at the most! . . .


. . . Second, myriads of side effects begin to emerge. Taking Benzodiazepines can have several negative side effects on your ears.

For example, those side effects that act on the COCHLEA include hearing loss, auditory hallucinations, hyperacusis (hypersensitivity to sound) and tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears).


Those side effects that act on the VESTIBULAR system and affect your balance in one way or another include:

dizziness, ataxia (lack of coordination/staggering gait), loss of balance, vertigo (sensation of movement--usually a spinning sensation) and nystagmus (eyes jerking horizontally).


- full article at link above. This is an excellent article.

-

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WillBDone
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Thank you so much for the replies...

JB, no carbs, no pizza ... [tsk]

Clarisa, So far we know for sure I have Lyme. Positive WB & CDC + on 11/19/07. However, the more I am reading, the more things are pointing to bart too. During my treatment I have noticed two small scrath-like rashes on my hips. I do have a suspicion I have had this much longer and am concerned about my four children at this point. Time will tell. I think I need to wait until I'm off antibiotics until I can be tested for Bart...? My husband is being tested on Monday since he has similar symptoms that recently began and is not on antibotics yet.

Reading the poor reponse some of you have had to antidepressants, I'm wondering if anyone has researched VNS (vagal nerve system) treatment?

I have heard that, though it is a newer thing here in the U.S. it has shown much promise in treating treatment resistant depression. I wonder how that would apply to us Lyme folk?

http://www.vnstherapy.com/
http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/answerplace/Medical/treatment/vns/

It basically works similar to how a pace maker works. It sends off an electrical impulse on a regular basis through the vagus nerve to the brain. Excellent safety record, minimal side-effects and quite remarkable efficacy on treatment resistant depression.

--------------------
"You play the hand you're dealt. I think the game's worthwhile."

C. S. Lewis

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lymebytes
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Well I by no means want to argue any point, but I will give my view point.

I am more than sure inundating our bodies with antibiotics is not good, each abx has tons of side effects, flagyl is carcinogenic, the quinolones cause "floxing" permanent damage - read the FDA website labels. Abx could end up really hurting some of us, more than helping us.

Narcotic pain medications although physical dependence may occur, doe not equal "addiction" and have proven, safer, longer track records than any antibiotic out there!

I was first prescribed Xanax when it first came out in the 80's for panic attacks. My doctor told me at the time, "There is a great new non-addictive" medication called Xanax".

It was a godsend and I took it as needed for 5 years and quit without a problem. But I believed it was non-addictive, the mind is a powerful thing and probably explains why I had no physical, mental issues quitting. Tell someone they will become addicted and they will.

Years later diagnosed w/LD I have found that it alleviates nerve pain better than any drug there is, nuerontin, lyrica couldn't compare.

The only thing I have to say, without xanax I wouldn't be sitting here alive, the nerve pain is so unbearable, I'd cashed in my chips a long time ago. As far as quitting, I had no problems in the past, I understand people do...but at this point battling a dug addiction sounds like a cake walk compared to what I have lived through with Lyme.

I would be so LUCKY to get to that bridge of quitting xanax/pain meds, that would mean I am pain free! God, what a dream! Doctor's can help you get off prescription pain meds carefully without major problems, addiction specialists have medications that get you off meds! For me withdrawals of pain meds compared to what Lyme has put me through, I don't believe for one second could be worse...yes, benzo withdrawals can be dangerous and even kill, have you heard so can LD, abx and even herxing. Getting pain levels down is imperative to recovery, however you choose. Read more here: http://www.lymeinfo.net/pain.html and here http://tinyurl.com/22jsdy

The Benzo's run a risk as does any and ALL medication, you may take a benzo and not realize it. For me, side effects are none and when it comes time to quit, if ever, I will worry about it then. I will consider quitting pain meds my victory over Lyme. Medicaton addiction is so overrated, I live in a state that prescribes what you need when you need it, by LAW:
http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/drug-tolerance-addiction

LIST OF Benzo's
alprazolam (Xanax)
bromazepam (Lexotanil or Lexotan)
chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
clonazepam (Klonopin)
diazepam (Valium)
estazolam (ProSom)
flunitrazepam (Rohypnol)
flurazepam (Dalmane)
lorazepam (Ativan)
lormetazepam (Loramet)
mexazolam (Sedoxil)
midazolam (Dormicum)
nitrazepam (Mogadon)
oxazepam (Serax)
temazepam (Restoril)
triazolam (Halcion)
clorazepate (Tranxene)

Take care.

[ 11. January 2008, 04:10 PM: Message edited by: lymebytes ]

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Tracy9
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OK, I think SSRIs, antidepressants, are better than Xanax and other benzos. Heres why; antidepressants actually level off the chemical imbalance in your bran, rectifying the problem at the source. There are few side effects of SSRIs, although it is true weaning off of them is tough, due to discontinuation syndrome.

Xanax and benzos are bandaids. They basically tranquilize the anxiety, and then they wear off. They are helpful for sleep, or in stressful or anxiety provoking situations, but are really just a bandaid approach if you are using them to treat your anxiety solely. An antidepressant is really needed to get at the root chemical imbalance.

Cymbalta is an antidepressant that also helps with pain. I've taken it for two plus years with excellent results.

Other suggestions: Rescue Remedy by Bach, relaxation and mediatation CDS (I have some excellent ones), the book "Natural Relief for Anxiety" by Bourne I think, excercise, deep breathing, there are even some ways you can tap on certain pressure points to relieve anxiety; google "thought field therapy" or "anxiety pressure points".

Good luck!!!!

--------------------
NO PM; CONTACT: [email protected]

13 years Lyme & Co.; Small Fiber Neuropathy; Myasthenia Gravis, Adrenal Insufficiency. On chemo for 2 1/2 years as experimental treatment for MG.

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Peacesoul
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I've suffered panic disorder for over 20 yrs and been sick with lyme for 13 yrs. When I went to therapy 20 yrs ago, the first thing they wanted to do was give me a benzo. I refused it. I was so bad, I was house bound (agoraphopic), quit school etc.
How I got out of it; I just started to take care of myself, When I joined a gym, my panic and anxiety went away about 95%.
Thennnnnnnnnn, my lyme kicked in and my anxiety was not being controled with just exercise alone.
I take xanax as needed and that's cool with me.
It takes me a yr to get through a bottle of 30 (.25),
On the days I am very anxious and don't want to take it, well I just try to get through it and usually when I breathe properly and change my thinking, it goes away or lessens.

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Cass A
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The "chemical imbalance in your brain" is a marketing myth with no science behind it.

Other than that, the side effects of Xanax and other psychiatric drugs include addiction, excess weight gain, destabilization of the body's ability to regulate its temperature, heart arhythmia (which can be fatal), suicidal ideation, homicidal rages, gross brain deformation, dementia, diabetes.

I recommend http://www.alternativementalhealth.com for data on effective solutions.

Best,

Cass A

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Peacesoul
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quote:
Originally posted by Cass A:
The "chemical imbalance in your brain" is a marketing myth with no science behind it.

Other than that, the side effects of Xanax and other psychiatric drugs include addiction, excess weight gain, destabilization of the body's ability to regulate its temperature, heart arhythmia (which can be fatal), suicidal ideation, homicidal rages, gross brain deformation, dementia, diabetes.

I recommend http://www.alternativementalhealth.com for data on effective solutions.

Best,

Cass A

Only at high doses used for long periods.
Xanax used at low dose as needed or short period will not have ANY of these side effects
But yes if one can chose alternative and it works, then that's awesome!

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