Question about XANAX or AntiAnxiety drugs,,,

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by elliespad, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    I went to my doc the other day for some other stuff, and asked for something to get me through the inevitable PANIC ATTACK when driving over REALLY HIGH BRIDGES. We are heading to the beach in a few week, where we spend the summer, and I will have to drive myself over the Delaware Memorial Bridge, UGGHHHHH. Then, I want to drive down and join my sister and her husband in Myrtle Beach, and will have to drive over the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge-Tunnel, UGGGHHH. I can't do it. But I want to. I have done them both MANY times, but my fear has been getting worse over the years, and last year, I froze, just at the bridge and couldn't drive over for 1 1/2 hours. It was bad. I was shaking, crying, hyperventilating, just beside myself, and I had to SOMEHOW get over that bridge.

    So, my doctor gave me script for 5 tabs of Xanax. I am VERY ANTI DRUG, especially those that affect brain chemicals.

    So, my question is: Has anyone taken Xanax, or another anti-anxiety drug, for episodic anxiety/phobia, and did NOT go on to need other psyciatric drugs? I don't want to use a quick fix, only to end up with a different, and possibly chronic problem, with anxiety, depression, etc.

    So, anyone?

    I take Tenormin, a beta-blocker, and am going to try doubling up and driving over a local, scarry bridge and see if that will do enough for me. Tenormin also blocks the effects of Adrenalin, so it might work.
  2. foggyfroggy

    foggyfroggy Guest

    Hi there,

    I can't speak for anyone else of course, but Xanax works great for me. I also take the Atenolol (generic Tenormin). I take 1/2 of a 25mg tablet which is a minute amount and very seldom do I have to take a whole pill. It is not habit forming and has caused me no problems whatsoever. It is a very mild anti-anxiety med.

    Good luck! (I hate bridges too!!!)

  3. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    So, are you saying you take no other anti-anxiety, or anti-depressant drugs, on a regular basis? That is my concern, that it will trigger another problem. I normally have no depression or anxiety, but know how bad it can be, because of the bridge thing, and don't want it to become chronic.

    Actually, I used to have a TERRIBLE fear of the dark, or being alone at night. We were once burglarized, and left me traumatized for 20 something years. I have FINALLY gotten over that. As scared as I was of the dark, I would NOT have classified it as ANXIETY. Just REALLY AFRAID OF THE DARK. This bridge fear, is INTENSE and EXTREME. Not pretty.
  4. foggyfroggy

    foggyfroggy Guest

    I take the Atenolol for heart palpitations and it helps with calmness a bit as you say. I take Trazodone for sleep and I take Lamictal for seizure type activity.

    I don't take any other anti-anxiety meds. I don't feel like my use of the xanax has made me more likely to use anything else and I'm careful to take only as much as I need. I take it mostly to head off that burned up, buzzing, muscle twitching,headache, nausea, adrenaline attack reaction to 'over-doing' things. So I guess it keeps my nervous system from frying quite as much as it would otherwise.

    I will never again take anti-depressants after my current doc tried to put me on them and I reacted horribly to both of the ones he had me try. I agree with you about messing with brain chemicals!

    Your bridge fear sounds more like a phobia - I am the same way about heights of any kind but especially bridges and roads with drop-offs on the side! I think it will help you get over the bridges - it helps me stay calm when my husband drives LOLOL !

  5. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    Thank you so much for clarifying that for me. Yes, I would say it is a phobia, but one I want to get over. I am afraid, no TERRIFIED, of flying, but have no desire to get over that. This bridge thing, I really NEED to get over, as I am a driving fool, always have been. My daughter lives in Annapolis and all the damn bridges around that whole Baltimore/Delaware River/Annapolis area is enough to scare ANY bridge phobic person to death.

    Thanks again, I hope I build up enough nerve to even try the Xanax. If I knew a natural supplement powerful enough to do the trick I would rather use that, as I use MANY of those anyway, but they work in more subtle ways, not the drastic effects seens with Rx.Drugs. I might also try some of the Homeopathic stuff for anxiety I give to my one dog when it's time for doing toenails. Can't hurt and might help.
  6. mrsjethro

    mrsjethro New Member

    I have taken Xanax in the past for short term anxiety, and I share that same fear of bridges. I'm not sure where the bridge part came from (I can't swim and I'm afraid of heights, so maybe it's just a combination of both) but I am absolutely terrified of crossing bridges. I didn't have to take it long term for my phobias, just for "certain" trips requiring flying and crossing bridges.

    Since my fm has progressed, I now take Xanax on a regular basis and have actually found that for the muscle pain, body aches, and alot of that other good stuff that goes along with this, it is not necessary now for me to take as much pain med as I had been requiring in the past.

    I wish you luck and safety on your trip. I'll be heading for Myrtle Beach myself this Wednesday. I can't wait. I've never been before.
  7. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    I have taken xanax for about 5 years and take it on a regular basis..It has been a great drug for me..I couldn't leave the house without it..I am agoraphobiac, afraid to go places..

    It also helps with my other cfs problems such as the body aches and sleep..

    I was on xanax years ago, before the cfs, for anxiety..Took it for about 3 years regularly..Had no problems at all coming off of it..

    Now, I will probably be on it as long as I have the cfs..

    I take .25 three to four times a day and if going on a trip
    I can take more if needed..

    It has been a great drug for me..So good Luck, as we are all different..

  8. ellikers

    ellikers New Member

    I wouls strongly advise against driving under the influence of xanax. I take the stuff and even when I'm not "loopy" from it, I'm definitely not able to drive in case of a near accident (to take evasive action etc).

    All the anti-anxiety drugs I know are recommended to not be used while driving because your reaction time can slow.

    If you do have an accident (for whatever reason, it could totally be the fault of the other driver) you could be in BIG TROUBLE for taking the med because technically you're under the influence of a medication.

    I'm not trying to jump on you, I'm just really worried about you- I don't want you tot get injured or in trouble!!

    I take xanax, and started going on it for panic attacks, and it can be REALLY helpful! I don't have panic attacks anymore and it's largely due to that med. I don't think it will "cause problems" for you ... you won't automatically need to take more meds.

    THERAPY: I would recommend seeing a therapist if you aren't already to conquer the phobia. I think that using a counselor person and meds is an excellent and highly effective way of overcoming fears, phobias and panic attacks. I saw a therapist for my panic attacks and it helped me figure out WHY I was having them, and so I had some mental tools to use in addition to calming my body with the med. :)

    And perhaps the first step would be trying some xanax to see how you feel, and then riding in a car over a bridge as the passenger, and see how you feel ..? If you feel up to driving then you can make a decision about that.
  9. Bruin63

    Bruin63 Member

    I don't think the 2 mix well, I take Xanax, 5mg, and there is no way in the world I would get behind a wheel of a rig.
    I might take one if the DH is driving, that's for sure.

    I have Driven over that Bridge, you are talking about, I believe.
    I used to drive Semi's, and we had to Cross over that Bridge, thankgoodness my Partner was driving, as I was sitting there , staring at the floorboard, and Praying.

    Half way, over it, it's a long one, and a Draw bridge too
    if it's the one I am thinking of, I finally opened my eyes to look around, it was amazing, but still fearful, for me.

    We have a Bridge here in the Long Beach/ San Pedro Harbor area. I used to drive over that one, once in a while, just to Prove I could do it.
    I wasn't sick then or on any Med.s.
    Now I couldn't do that, but the DH drives me across now and then so I can take Photo's of the Harbor.

    Good luck on your trip, if you think you are going to use the Xanax, I would certainly try one before you drive.
    Xanax, is one of the Better Med.s for FMS, and I usually only take one at night, and it makes a difference in my sleep. not longer, but more restful and I am more calm in the morning's, than I used to be.

    Have FUn.
  10. pspatnode

    pspatnode New Member

    I have been taking Xanax for six or seven years now with no bad results. My perscription says don't drive until you see what your reaction to the drug is. I do drive, but if I am having a flare or otherwise bad day then I don't drive that day.

    There is no reason why Xanax would cause you to need other drugs. Also, please be careful of what you take for "natural" drugs or herbs. They often contain dangerous ingredients that are much more dangerous that the prescription drugs.

    Good luck on the bridge - I only live a few miles from it.
  11. HagerTX

    HagerTX New Member

    I doubt the Xanax will give you any kind of problems long term. It is a CNS depressant but you aren't likely to have anything weird or long lasting from it.

    Also, have you thought about having someone else drive you across the bridge? e.g. have 2 friends, one drive you in your car across the bridge and the other friend following behind in a different vehicle. Then both friends could go back home then you could drive the rest of the way.
  12. lucysmom2

    lucysmom2 New Member

    I had a life long phobia about flying. Even cancelled one trip the family had planned because the fear was so intense and the anticipatory anxiety made me soooo sick.
    About ten years ago I had to fly somewhere...there was no choice. My family doctor prescribed Xanax, said I may even have to take 2. As it turned out, 1 Xanax before boarding the plane and I was fine. Have flown many times since. Don't worry.
  13. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    Okay, you've all convinced me I'll not turn into a drug dependant zombie if I use it just for the BRIDGE. Unfortunately, the Delaware Memorial Bridge is 5 hours from me or I would DEFINATELY have a friend drive me over. My husband and I go down in 2 cars as he commutes back and forth through the summer. My son takes his road test tomorrow, so if he passes, HE will have to drive a third car down, if he wants wheels for the summer. So now we've got 2 people with fear of heights that have to drive over the damn bridge. He is more likely to do it than I am.

    I will take a Xanax and have him drive me to Albany and do a big bridge there and see how I am. If I do okay going over as passenger and I feel okay to drive, I'll get in the driver seat and try driving back over it.

    Thanks all for your input. And, whoever it was that lives a couple miles from the bridge, I'll be going down July 6, and I'd be glad to let you drive me over:)
    [This Message was Edited on 06/26/2006]
  14. JewelRA

    JewelRA New Member

    Well, my situation is different from yours, but I have been taking xanax for panic attacks lately, and from what I understand, it is a very mild drug. My aunt who is a nurse who has a LOT of knowledge about psychiatric drugs (WAY more than most doctors) says it is very mild and you shouldn't worry about it being habit forming unless you are taking large doses for a long period of time. I wouldn't say that you should worry just taking it periodically for certain situations.
  15. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    I have it for occasional anxiety and it works fast and well for me. Someone here, Mikie or Shirl I think, said they dissolve it under their tongue for fast action. It is a bit bitter, but does work right away like that.

    I have anxiety with flying and I took a whole one for that, but usually take a half when needed because it can make you drowsy.

    My doc did not want me on it more often than once every other day. I had 20 pills initially which lasted me 10 months. :)

    It does not make me feel spaced out either which I hate.
  16. CockatooMom

    CockatooMom New Member

    Hi elliespad,

    I have had a Rx for Xanax for many years.

    I have never been one to use something unless I NEED it and have never gotten adicted.

    I take 0.25 mg (1 tab) if I am feeling a panic attack or something coming on. I know how it affects me, so I CAN drive with that dose.

    I take 0.50mg (2 tabs)if I am feeling REAL stressed, but I have never driven after taking this amount. I think I would be ok, but I haven't needed to drive then.

    I think you should ask your doc for a Rx of 15 tabs, only so you can see how they affect you BEFORE you drive over the bridge.

    I have NEVER needed any other drugs for this type of problem.

    Hope this helps!

    Lotsa luv,
  17. JewelRA

    JewelRA New Member

    Not that this subject is funny at all, but it just struck me as funny when you wrote, "see how it makes you feel before you drive over a bridge". LOL. I guess I am in a weird state of mind and that sounded funny to me. I know what you meant though. :p
  18. Scarlett65

    Scarlett65 New Member

    I dont have any advice except to say you arent alone in this. I cannot willnot drive over a bridge or any height so of course I dont drive. I have anxiety attacks not just a phobia full blown out anxiety jerking, crying, yelling out, FEAR and hyperventilation, and just plain out of control.
  19. Barbie56

    Barbie56 New Member

    Hi Greatgran,

    I haven't written in a couple of days. I'm just not doing well. My depression is very bad and I cry alot. I feel so
    fatigue that I can bearly walk across the room without feeling like I am drunk. I do take the xanax, but I don't know if I am taking the right thing. I am going to a sleep clinic on Thurday night because I don't sleep well and it
    makes me worst. Sometimes I think maybe I have MS or something but I'm too afraid to find out. Strange isn't it?
    I think this CFS is winning. I am looking for a doctor who I hope can help me with the depression as well as the fatigue. I just someimes feel like I just want to fall asleep and not get up. It's just too hard to try to deep sane. I also have tinintis . That is I have bees in my head
    all the time also. What a nightmare !!! God I hope you are
    doing better than me and I pray for us all in that they will find some meds that really work well . Thinking about
    this I believe I got this virus many years ago in my 20's and I have just got worst as the years go by. I use to just
    have a bad day now and then and now it is always bad almost
    everyday. Sorry to write such a depressing message but
    it is just a bad day for me. How is your fatigue and weird
    head thing going ? Barb
  20. Brandyfitz32

    Brandyfitz32 Member

    I also have a fear of bridges, and any other kind of height taller than my horses back :)
    We drove from NJ to Tennessee and I could not drive over the Delaware Memorial Bridge (my boyfriend drove over that part). I also missed a complete hockey game because our seats were too high. I've missed many a fantasic picture because I cannot get close enough to the railing to take the picture. I have a one story home and cannot even get the Christmas lights down off the gutters. Ugh.
    It makes me feel like a total failure, plus I feel bad for my boyfriend because I know he stays back with me because I am afraid, so he is missing out as well.
    I have a doctor appt on 3/21 to possibly try out Xanax. I have tried therapies, hynosis, deep breating, forcing myself to face the fear. None of it works. I am hoping a low dosage of Xanax does it for me. The way I understand it I can take the medication when I know I am going to be doing something that will cause me anxiety (which isn't as often as it sounds)
    I also read that this medication can cause decreased appetite, so win win (joking).
    (I am new here but just wanted to say it really helped me to read other people's posts because sometimes I get to feeling I am the only one)
    Thank you all..........