Taking Xanax - worried about addiction

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Neco
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Post by Neco »

Personally I feel there is always a risk for addiction even if you take something once a day. I took my Hydrocodone once a day at varying doses and still ended up with a bad addiction. Likewise I take my methadone pretty much onces a day, though sometimes I stage the complete dose in 3 hour incriments, and ocassionally use an extra at night from my reserve supply.

That being said, like my previous statement in this thread, if it works for you don't discount it. Just remain vigilant. If Xanax works for people then that is great, and if it helps with other legitimate panic/anxiety disorders, that's awesome. Just don't take it for granted is all I'm saying.

As for Ambien. Yeah I also experienced at least one sleep walking episode the first time I tried it. Apparently I ate the other half of my roast beef sub I got from Subway earlier that day. The next day I went looking for it and accused everyone in the house and no one would fess up.

Aipulu
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Ambien

Post by Aipulu »

Ambien helps me get to sleep but I need something else. I prefer a benzo, especially Xanax, but my docs are down on benzos. So I went back to Requip with a 0.5 Ambien. Don't like the results. I awaken every night after only 3 hours sleep. Then sleep in fits the rest of the night. Ambien CR I found to be too strong, leaving me groggy in the am.

Neco
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Post by Neco »

Have you tried weak or mild opiates like Tylenol #3 w/codeine or Hydrocodone?

You could also ask about Ultram (tramadol). It is not a controlled substance, and acts similar to opiates. Also has some anti-depressive/anxiety positives in some people.

Aipulu
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Post by Aipulu »

I have used Ultram before, quite a while ago, but not by itself. Not sure what I used it with. I might have alternated it with Xanax in conjuction with Mirapex. Thanks fo the suggestion. Had forgotten about Ultram. will talk to my doctor about it.

Wayne
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Post by Wayne »

I use Xanax and it works great for me.

I'm new to this board, and glad that I found it to know that I'm not alone or crazy. My RLS seems mild compared to other peoples stories here. Without any meds I will sleep in short bursts like 90 mins or so (usually accompanied by bizarre dreams) only to be woken up by my legs. The loss of sleep over a week will make me so exhausted that I will eventually sleep/collapse into bed and sleep normally for one night, then the cycle will start repeating again.

My doctor put me on Requip when I first saw him about it and it did nothing for the RLS. Next was Mirapex which I can say helped a little but I didn't like the side effects, I wasn't getting enough relief to offset suffering the side effects. I think he prescribed the xanax because I was getting pretty stressed out and anxious from frustration and lack of sleep. But hey, it worked I was sleeping!

I take Xanax right before sleeping. I mean literally. Typically at bedtime I will lay in bed for a while and watch TV or read and then when I'm getting drowsy but still feeling the leg sensations I'll take one tablet. That will usually allow me to relax and get to sleep, and I sleep through the night. Even after waking up to use the bathroom I can get right back to sleep.

I don't take it at any other time as I don't want to work or walk around drowsy all day. I just endure any symptoms until I'm ready for bed.

Aiken
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Post by Aiken »

Wayne--

Glad you have something that works for you. :) If you're comfortable with your one-a-day schedule, I wouldn't expect you to develop a significant tolerance. Xanax comes and goes the quickest of all of the benzos, so with one dose a day you're probably avoiding the extended/continuous exposure that causes the body to adjust and develop tolerance.

Just as an aside, in case it's ever useful to you or anyone else reading:

If you ever find in the future that your RLS increases and the Xanax doesn't get you through the night, you could talk to your doctor about similar benzos that have longer half-lives. I would recommend that instead of taking additional Xanax, which is usually someone's first impulse. For instance, Klonipin (clonazepam) is a common alternative benzo that is often prescribed to RLS patients. Though it lasts much longer, most people still seem to find they can take it the way you take your Xanax and not develop too much tolerance.

But, right now, if it works, don't mess with it. :)
Disclaimer: I often talk about what I do and what works for me, but these are specific to me and you should always consult a healthcare professional before trying these things yourself, lest you endanger your health or life.

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woodsie357
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Post by woodsie357 »

I took Xanax .5mg every night for 30 days ran out of Rx didn't get a refill. I didn't notice any difference. I never slept well while taking it, and didn't sleep well after stopping it but personally I didn't have any problems stopping. I however only took it once a day at bedtime only. I feel that the once a day dosing helps keep your body from becoming so dependent, compared to taking it 4 times a day and always having a bigger amount in your blood stream.

My husband takes 2mg of xanax every night 5 days a week, doesn't take it on weekends and he doesn't notice anything. He has a condition that warrants the risk of dependence. he gets 120 pills (.5mg for 30 days) Been on this amount for 7 months now.
Someone cares about your sleepless nights

ViewsAskew
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Post by ViewsAskew »

We're all so different - the benzos, from the info I've seen - bother about 50% when stopping, and the other 50% have no problems. Problems can occur as early as two weeks, but are more likely after a month. So, you can always hope you'll be in the 50% that doesn't have problems.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Aipulu
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Xanax

Post by Aipulu »

Ann, do the 50% that have problem getting off Xanax take it only once a day or are they taking it more than that, possibly for anxiety? I am in the 50% that doesn't have problems getting off but take it only at night. I was set to go back on Xanax, using my primary care doctor, when my RLS doctor proposed a new alternative.

What I like about Xanax was that I felt very good during the daytime; sharp and more confident. I was always wondering if that was due to getting a good nights sleep of if there was enough residual Xanax still in my system to reduce daytime anxiety.

Richard

ViewsAskew
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Post by ViewsAskew »

I can't answer that. I know that I only took a benzo once a day and had a tremendously difficult time. But, it was a different benzo.

If I had to guess, I'd say that people who are sensitive are sensitive and will have problems regardless. BUT, that taking a benzo with a shorter half life (how long it stays in your system), would have to help make the problem less of a problem, so they'd not have as many issues. BUT - that is just logical thinking on my part and not based on science or any knowledge. There is a LOT of info out there on benzos and physical dependence - it might take you awhile, but it you're really concerned, a few searches might help you get the answer you need.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Aipulu
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:12 am
Location: Maui, Hawaii

Benzos

Post by Aipulu »

My RLS doctor doesn't like benzos, but seems more worried about short lived Xanax than longer lived Lorazepam. My experience was that Xanax worked better with fewer side effects and I didn't develop tolerance. I have always combined a benzo with another drug, either a dopamine agoninst (Requip or Mirapex) or Ambien (or Luesta).

I used the Xanax at the 0.5 mg dose level. Once on a trip, I forgot I was pill splitting and took 1.0 mg of Xanax for several nights. I felt terrific during the daytime as was very productive with work. However, I soon cutback to 0.5, believing I should only take as much as needed to sleep with RLS symptoms.

Am having some good results with Lyrica at present so haven't returned to Xanax, yet.

Richard

Barbee
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Post by Barbee »

I'm still taking the Xanax but not every night. Sometimes the symptoms come on early evening and I take one, but some nights it doesn't appear until the middle of the night, awakening me. I'd have to turn on the light and take a pill to get rid of it then, I'd not be able to awaken for work. If I take it, it has to be early enough so I can wake up in the a.m.


I've asked my doctor for a script for a RLS drug, and she prescribed one that starts with an R. After reading the side effects I'm hesitant to try it.

Neco
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Post by Neco »

She probably gave you Requip, its a dopamine agonist. And yeah it can be real hit and miss for some of us.

Aipulu, I tried lorazepam for my RLS and while the first few nights it knocked me out and let me sleep, that wore off shortly thereafter, and never really took care of my symptoms. I was looking at pointless escalation into dangerous doses of it so my doctor and I agreed it wasn't gonna work.

I don't know very many people (if any) who have had actual success with Lorazepam.

Barbee
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Post by Barbee »

Yes, it was ropinirole which is requip right?

I'm a little afraid to take it.

Neco
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Post by Neco »

It's not too bad I guess.. generally I just had to make sure I took it with some food, and I was pretty OK.

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