anxiety medication

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by bobolee, Jan 9, 2003.

  1. bobolee

    bobolee New Member

    I am new to this board, and have many questions. I have had FMS for many years, but have great bouts of almost total remission until my thyroid condition acts up. Then I deal with both which is not an easy task. I have been on alot of antianxiety drugs, but cannot tolerate any other than xanax. I have been on it before for several months, and have gotten off it very easily. However, after reading some of the posts on this and other boards I am afraid to keep taking it. My Dr. insists that I take it , or I am a mess. Worrying about taking it does not help the anxiety I already have, nor the depression about being ill so much. I have alot of other questions, but this one is what I would like to address first. Thanks to anyone who can help me.
  2. jofla

    jofla New Member

    hi I read the message boards all of the time but have never replied to any of them. I have suffered from fibro for 11 years now and at the same time the panic attacks started, not severe enough until 2 years to start taking meds. I too, take xanax .5mg twice a day if needed. If I feel anxious I take 1/2 tablet or a full tablet if i am having a panic attack. Since I cannot tolerate any meds I usually take one at nite for sleep, that is the only thing that helps me, plus it does relax the muscles. Fortunately i have not had to increase the dosage, as I know it is additctive. My doc wants me to take 1 mg twice a day but I don't think that I need to do that. I wish there was some other meds that i could take, but unfortunately not tolerating meds is a side effect of fibro, docs even have hard time finding an antibiotic. Good luck ((((jofla))))
  3. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    Sounds like your thyroid meds aren't adequate. Anxiety and panic attacks are a symptom of over or under active thyroid. Many doctors undertreat us for this condition and we still suffer. I finally got straightened out when I insisted on seeing an endoc. I no longer have panic, and very little anxiety. I now think that whatever anxiety I do have is from my PMS or perimenopause.

    Marilyn :)
  4. Milo83

    Milo83 New Member

    I've been on xanax for over 10yrs and it still helps me..I have never once felt like I needed more than my usual amount..I know if I ever have to go off of it, with the amount I take and the length of time I've been on it, it will be pure H***..But I will cross that bridge when I come to it, for now it is working for me..

    **Everyone's body handles meds differently......

    Take Care.......Best Wishes......Donna
  5. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Good to have you both join us, and hope you enjoy the board and learn from others as I have done.

    As for Xanax, I take it once a day; 6pm for 'racing brain', it also helps to calm me down so that the supplements I take for sleep will work, thats ZMA (zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B-6), also I take a 3 milligram of Melatonin right before bed. I now sleep like a baby.

    I have been taking the Xanax off and on for 15 years now, never had to up the dosage (0.25 milligrams). If I feel an anxiety attack coming on, I will take half that much and it works.

    I have never taken them three times a day though. I am not nervous, and the anxiety only pops up now and then. So I seem to be doing well with it.

    I also had problems with other drugs, but the Xanax seems to be the best as for as I am concerned. I have no bad reactions, and never feel drugged, just 'normal'! Nice feeling for a 'Fibro' person.

    I would not worry about it, if its helping its probably less harmful than a lot of the other drugs out there.

    Again, welcome to the board, and I do hope we hear from you often. Please ask all the questions you have, we do have some very informed people on this board, and they are more than willing to help you if they can.

    Shalom, Shirl

  6. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Hello bobolee~~so glad you found us and wrote a post about your concern over taking xanax.

    With our illness it is often difficult to find something that works for us, and when we do if it helps you and/or improves the quality of your life then take it. As long as there is no abuse, I wouldn't worry about taking it.

    As a psychotherapist, I sometimes prescribe xanax for my clients with anxiety disorders. The benefits outweigh the risks, and in most instances the dosage does not have to be increased even over long-term use.

    When clients are taken off of xanax, I slowly titrate them down over a reasonable period of time, and they report little or no discomfort.

    People respond differently to the same medications. You cannot use their yardstick to measure your response. You are the best judge of how well the xanax works for you, how much and how often you realistically need it. The main problem I have found in using anti-anxiety agents of any kind is that a limited number of people who initially began this course of treatment used it long after it was actually needed because they became psychologically fearful that if they stopped or no longer had a supply on hand--that the anxiety attacks would return--and they fed into a disorder that was no longer there.

    Anxiety is a fear-based disorder, and worrying about taking a medication that is intended to help you manage the anxiety is self-defeating. It perpetuates the problem by causing more stress which triggers the anxiety.

    If xanax works for you, helps you, and improves the quality of your life then take as prescribed and allow yourself to be relieved by its beneficial properties. Anxiety is often a companion with FM/CFS, and any medication that can help you manage this illness is greatly appreciated.

    I know when I finally began narcotic pain management after the degenerative disc disease was diagnosed on an MRI, I had tremendous reservations about it because I knew that with long-term use my body would build up a normal physical dependence on the drugs. I even felt so guilty about taking the medications that I quit taking them shortly after I started and was demolished & disabled by the pain in my back. I was bedridden, couldn't work, couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, lost 30 pounds in an unhealthy manner, and was in agony. It didn't take me long to realize that the benefits I had received from the narcotic medications far outweighed the risks of physical dependency. I went back on the medications, my quality of life improved immensely, and I got my life back. I have already discussed with my physician that when and if the time comes for me to be able to discontinue the use of these drugs, that we will gradually titrate me off of them slowly over a reasonable period of time.

    Do what is best for you; what helps you; what gives you comfort, and what adds to the quality of your life. If your life is a mess without taking them--and your doctor believes they necessary at this time for your condition--then it sounds as though you are on the right track in managing your health care.

    I would encourage you to kick that "inner critic" in his soft spot and allow yourself to fully benefit from the xanax. Best Wishes to you, Carol....
  7. Fibromiester

    Fibromiester New Member

    You will find many friends here on this board! About Meds.. I too, am on meds for both FM pain, and Depression, and I can't be ashamed of it, that's just the way my mind and body are. I will take my meds, listen to my Dr.s (who know a lot more than I) and learn all that I can about my illnesses, so I can cope as well as I can, OK? I feel We are too uptight about using medicines that really may help Us- Listen to your body, Bobolee, and when you do not feel anxious, you probably are on the right dose...I pray You feel fine very sooon! [[[[[[[hugs]]]]]]] Fibromiester
  8. TaniaF

    TaniaF Member

    for a long time--maybe 15 years. I have actually cut the dose down myself the last few years and have felt calm with only 0.25 twice a day in divided doses. My dr says that the problem with Xanax (which is short acting)is that it rids the body in a short time causing the person to have ups and downs. So, with this I take 1/2 pills along with a calcium channel blocker. I have mitral valve regurge along with FM/MPS/CFS. I have a history of also getting tacycardia so this little bit of Xanax keeps me calm and helps me to not release so much adrenaline. I'm dependent, but not addicted so I will continue to take it so I can live decently.
    The only problem I'm fighting is some agoraphobia. Ever since this DD along with tacycardia and asthma I have become fearful about leaving my house alone and going places without a friend. I guess you can say I'm afraid of my illnesses. One dr wanted to give me an SSRI (which only made me feel sicker) and I'm really not depressed. So, this year I'm going back to therapy and with a positive attitute I'm going to try to face the fear and do more things--baby stepping. Does anyone know if agoraphobia is really a seratonin problem or more of a learned behavioral problem. With me the anticipatory anxiety is the worst part.
    Tania
  9. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Both these conditions need to be addressed. First, make sure the thyroid medication is both adequate and the right kind. Synthroid does not work for all of us. Second, although I do not take Xanax, there are people here who have gotten great results from it long term. I use Klonopin for my anxiety, sensory overload, tinnitus, and sleep problems and it works great.

    There is another component which will help with anxiety and that is learning to relax through Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, hynotherapy, etc. Good luck.

    Love, Mikie
  10. Spoonerpaws

    Spoonerpaws New Member

    I can tell you that my thyroid medicine made my anxiety worse!

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