Anti Anxiety meds and Benzo;s,

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by butterfly83, Jun 22, 2006.

  1. butterfly83

    butterfly83 New Member

    What kind of treatment (if any) are you receiving for controlling panic attacks, or general anxiety? My anxiety has gotten worse in the past view years and my doctor mentioned to last time i was in that maybe i would benefit from one of these - Xanax and Valium - for sleep or anxiety attacks. So i am doing some research and seeing if medication or another method has been helpful for their ability to function.

    I was going to ask the doctors about one a.a. medication and maybe a benzo one but i cant remember its name! For 'sensory overload'. But yeah if something like that would work i would be sooooooooo happy. I have to stop driving myself a whole year ago because i found i wasn't safe. But i'm really hoping i'll be able to get back to where i was, since i drove fine for 2 years.

    Thanks for any suggestions you can give me!

    Sorry this is a little rambly and i'm sure it has a bnch of crazy typos. I've had my meds but i still can't sleep. Typical ;)
  2. patarogers123

    patarogers123 New Member

    Butterflly 83 - I'm Pat. I take Xanax for anxiety and Ambien for sleep. I couldn't sleep without the Ambien. I've tried others throughout the years and thank God, this is still working for me. And forget all the hype about getting "addicted". If you need it, and it helps, that's what matters. It's all about improving your quality of life. And sleep is the first thing you need to improve to improve your health. I don't have to take Xanax on a regular basis, but on those days when I want to pull my hair out, and even my clothes hurt my skin and I'm angry at everything and everybody, including God, I take the Xanax and it takes the edge off.

    We're living with a pretty __itty illness. It invades every area of our lives. Try anything and everything your doctor suggests. What have you got to lose? Hope this helps and good luck. And try anything and everything your friends suggest. I am lucky in that I have a doctor who is willing to try anything I am willing to try - and we've hit home on a few meds -I am very lucky to have the doctor I have. Pat
    [This Message was Edited on 06/22/2006]
  3. KittyCat

    KittyCat New Member

    Hi,

    I suffer with generalized anxiety disorder and major depression. My therapist prescribes Ativan for the anxiety and insomnia. It really helps for both conditions. I take 1mg. before bed.
  4. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    I have Xanax for occasional anxiety and the benzo you are talking about for sensory overload is Klonopin.

    I take .5mg at night and it has helped tremendously. Before I got on it, I could not even go in the grocery store without a hat and sunglasses and even then I had a hard time. I have been on it at that dose for about a year now.

    Docs were afraid of addiction, but that dose is still working fine. I asked for it based on research done right here. Best advice in the world since it is from real people with real symptoms just like you who are committed to helping others like them.

    God Bless,
    Sonya
  5. 1sweetie

    1sweetie New Member

    Klonopin has been a wonder drug for me. It has helped me so much since I started taking it for Sensory Overload. I had taken it at night for sleep but only added it within the last couple of months for Sensory Overload (I must thank Mikie for her help).

    I have some Xanax and take it for emergencies. It works faster.

    These drugs have made my life better. I CAN NOT take AD's any longer.

    I hope you find that they will help you too.
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I took it for the anxiety and sleep. It has taken away the anxiety/panic attacks, allowed me to get restful sleep, and greatly decreased msucle spasms, sensory overload, and tinnitus. I believe it also has helped with pain. Because of its antispasmodic property, it may help with IBS.

    Love, Mikie
  7. butterfly83

    butterfly83 New Member

    Wow the Klonopin sounds like it might really be helpful. I am definately going to ask my doctor about it, because the sensory overload has really been limiting me lately, and i find the symptoms of that a lot scarier then the regular pain of FMS.

    Thanks for the replies everyone! i'm going to talk to my doctor today to see if he thinks i could give these things a try.
  8. HagerTX

    HagerTX New Member

    I took Xanax from .5mg to 1.5mg for about 3-4 months during 2002. Later after having a bad CNS reaction to Levaquin, I needed significant amounts of Klonopin and/or Valium to keep my wits.

    Everyone may respond somewhat differently but I strongly encourage you to not take Benzodiazepines longer than 90 days or so. In my case, like many others, they will lose effectiveness and physiological dependence will start to occur. I took Klonopin in high doses from 2003-2005 and I wish i hadn't gone down that road.

    A non-benzo which will help anxiety and depression is Paxil (but there are many others such as Effexor, Lexapro). Everyone's biochemistry is different--you may get no side effects and the med may not work as well as it does for the next person.

    All in all, if you are going to take a benzo, try not to take them for more than 3 months or so (if you wind up taking them daily). If you want something to help sleep, I recommend a tricyclic such as Doxepin (Sinequan) or Elavil.
  9. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    I love my Klonopin (.5mg at bedtime). It has done wonders for me. Good sleep, no hangover, no anxiety or bad moods the next day.

    Michelle
  10. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    Butterfly83:

    It might be best to just describe your symptoms to the doctor and let them decide what must be right for you.
    Let's hope he's understanding and educated.
    (I ask for so much....lol)

    nyrofan
  11. baanders

    baanders New Member

    I've been on Klonopin for 5 years. It still helps. I've added Compazine (anti-nausea, antihistamine), which works really fast for those break-through panic attacks.

    baanders
    best wishes, btw
  12. butterfly83

    butterfly83 New Member

    Puddles - I feel like two things have been causing my anxiety attacks lately. One, is the sensory overload stuff, which i find very scary because it feels like the whole world is spinning or colapsing in on me, and its scary not to feel like you're in control of your own mind. Also, i was diagnosed with cyclic vomitting syndrome recently, which involved a lot of fainting and vomitting while i was growing up, and i've had some symptoms of that start popping up again within the last year, so thats very unnerving to have those things start happening again. Another loss of control over myself, which i don't like. With the pain and fatigue, at least its a tangible thing. I don't like the symptoms that get into your head and make you feel crazy.

    I am planning on talking to someone if i can't get the symptoms under control, but i'm hoping that if i can get the symptoms improved, my confidence will start returning.
  13. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    You may be thinking of Klonopin?

    Xanax was good for anxiety. Unfortunately when I started using Celexa, the Xanax was considered overdoing it. I'd still rather have a med I could take "as needed" rather than one I'll become physically addicted to. OR:

    If I was taking no meds, just starting out, I'd investigate all the natural supplements/diet/Behavior Modification,etc. first. Anything but drugs! That's just my personal opinion, of course (she hastens to add..;>) It's a roller coaster I wish I hadn't gotten on - at least for so long. The 90-day caution is a good one but then what? I'd begin working more on my thinking, behavior, etc. first.

    Marta
    [This Message was Edited on 06/23/2006]
  14. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    All these drugs are heavy hitters and not to be taken lightly. I've been on the same dose of Klonopin for years. I have tried to wean off of it but have not been successful. I have decided that I still need it. Dr. Cheney believes Klonopin is good because it helps stop the slight state of seizure in the brain that is common in those with our illnesses. He believes the Klonopin protects the neurons from premature death. One of the dangers with Klonopin is that if one quits it cold turkey, there is a danger of rebound seizures.

    All SSRI's and SNRI's instruct the patient to tell her doctor if she has had seizures. SSRI's and SNRI's exacerbate the seizure state even if one has not had a seizure. There can be significant tolerance with these AD's, as well as other side effects. Some of our members have had horrible experiences with them.

    As you can see, there is no completely safe drug. It is really important to research your options and talk things over with your doc. There is a lot of misinformation regarding benzos which has scared some patients and docs off of them. It is critical that any decision you make is an informed decision. Good luck to you.

    Love, Mikie
  15. ellikers

    ellikers New Member

    I have taken Xanax as needed for panic attacks, intense anxiety and massive muscle tension. It has helped me A LOT!

    I have no problems with addiction, probably because I only take it as needed. I have never taken more than 2mgs in a day (and even that was a high one dose for me) and I really haven't taken it that much recently.

    I RECOMMEND getting therapy AND a medication- please don't do meds without the therapy. The medication helped me deal with my acute panic problems, but I wouldn't have been able to recover from them if I didn't find out what has the cause. I needed both to help me (especially because my panic attacks involved hyperventilating- which is SCARY and potentially dangerous).

    The xanax is also really helpful when I am having massive muscle know pain and can't get it relieved by yoga or heat or massage. It's really helpful for me to have it when I need it. :)

    The AD's I have been on have helped with anxiety too- I have taken remeron for the most part. As soon as I started it I noticed that the general anxiety I was having everyday nearly disappeared. Might want to ask your doctor about it.

    :)
  16. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Ask your doctor about Restoril. I take it for sleep and it also treats anxiety. It is a Benzo type drug but according to literature, has a low risk of tolerance.

    It has been miraculous for me. I had very bad anxiety and insomnia.

    After starting 15 mg of Restoril at night, it is like a new world. I sleep, and wake up without anxiety the next day.

  17. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    I appreciate your wanting to warn people of addiction but let me add that not everyone will get addicted or dependant, it definitely depends on the person.

    I took Klonopin for about 4 months and then was out of town and unable to get any for at least a month. I experienced more nighttime "jerks" but no withdrawal. Since I was doing okay with the sensory overload after a month without, I continued for at least two more months without until the symptoms with the florescent lights started to come back and then got back on.

    I am on Elavil also, which the doc told me I could stop cold turkey, but if I do I get anxiety that is off the scale. So what is true for one is not necessarily true for another, just like the potential side effects of medications.

    Some will have all and more, some will have some or none.

  18. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    for every doctor that loves klonopin, you'll meet at least one that loathes the stuff. not every doc feels long-term daily use of klonopin (or any benzo for that matter) is advisable. cheney's a great doctor but there's a million opinions in the free world and the field of neurochemistry is in its infancy.

    i take lexapro and my personal experience doesn't support an increase of seizure activity. perhaps in those prone to seizure it does, but for me, lexapro is the only thing that has allowed my muscles to consistently relax enough to exercise without pain. i sleep better and my anxiety is greatly reduced. bottom line, take what works for you and take everything you read with a grain of salt.
  19. 1975jet

    1975jet New Member

    I take Zoloft and Xanax- I was taking Xanax only once a day for awhile- but the anxiety was getting me back into panic attacks- so I'm taking it as prescribed- it seems to take the edge off. I know it says it is addicting but I can't worry about that now. I just want to get better.

    Nighttime I take a muscle relaxer and Xanax and it helps me to fall alseep and relax some of the muscles.

    Take care of yourself you may need to try different ones until you find some relief.
  20. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Is to present a balanced picture. I'm not advocating that everyone take what I take. I've presented the downside of Klonopin as well as the SSRI's and SNRI's. Yes, Dr. Cheney is an expert on CFIDS but there will always be other experts who will disagree with him. That is why it is important to look at any med's potential risks versus the potential benefits and make an informed decision.

    Most of us here will respond if asked what we take and will give our experiences, including why we chose this med or why we rejected it. What we chose may be right for us but it may not be right for others. I am always happy when anyone finds help from a med, even if it is one I have eliminated as a viable choice for me. If I have info from one of the contributing experts here, I will include it. Everyone is free to accept that info or reject it.

    It is obvious that some have received benefit from SSRI's or SNRI's and some have received benefit from benzoes. Some benefit from a combination of them. My point is that all of these meds can be problematic and should be taken with care.

    Love, Mikie