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Why Do Doctors Prescribe Benzos/tranquilizers...


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#1 Guest_bayosgirl87_*

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 02:40 AM

This is a serious question. I'm not trying to be smart aleck, I'm seriously trying to make sense of this. When I was first prescribed Xanax in 2007 during an emergency situation, I was told that it was a temporary fix that carries risk of dependency and I would need to start an antidepressant when I relocated. I am glad all of this was explained to me upfront. From the beginning and to this day, I only take X when I really need it. I don't want to make it a habitual thing that could potentially ruin my life. I've experienced withdrawal from SNRI's, and it was NOT fun.-and I have read that benzo withdrawal is much worse. I don't understand why, especially in the age of antidepressants that also have an anxiety component, doctors are still prescribing tranquilizers to use every day--sometimes 3 or 4 times a day at doses higher than my "emergency" dose of .25 mg. What is the purpose of this? If the first antidepressant doesn't work, why don't they just try another or a few more? I personally would walk out the door of any doctor who told me to take xanax every single day whether needed or not, and never turn back.

#2 Bradoonee

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 06:09 PM

I take a Benzo every 4/5 days. I try not to take them too often but my meds aren't doing the job in short. My situation has become pretty darn extreme so for the first time in weeks I took a Benzo today too and it sure ****** helped. I'm pretty scared about the future 'cause I don't feel I have one. My mood dips are nasty these days and I don't have much to full back on like I did in the past. When its bad I just feel so alone and isolated. The benzo gives me some semblance of existence. It hard to forsee the future at the moment but whatever it is needs to be radical 'cause medication alone ain't going to solve what depression has taken away from me personally.

#3 surfcaster

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:18 PM

i take klonopin everyday and it does help with the anxiety, antidepressants alone weren't doing the trick
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#4 i_wish

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:32 PM

In cases of serious of anxiety sometimes an anti-depressant alone is not enough. I take a generic form of ativan as well as an anti-depressant. I don't like taking them, but it's what works.

#5 angelwings17

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 08:14 PM

I have severe panic disorder. Thats why I was given it. Also for use as a sleep aid. doc didnt want to give me sleeping tablets.
Ive used it for years on as needed basis with no issues, But when my panic disorder came back bad last year and insomnia last few months been taking it more. Its now been 4 days since ive taken last one and im in severe with drawal. I am feeling very ill. Just been at docs, had to be assessed to get an emergency appt for 3 hours away.
I didnt sign up for this, wish I had just been given sleeping pills and I wouldnt be in this situation.
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#6 Guest_bayosgirl87_*

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 01:44 AM

I have severe panic disorder. Thats why I was given it. Also for use as a sleep aid. doc didnt want to give me sleeping tablets.
Ive used it for years on as needed basis with no issues, But when my panic disorder came back bad last year and insomnia last few months been taking it more. Its now been 4 days since ive taken last one and im in severe with drawal. I am feeling very ill. Just been at docs, had to be assessed to get an emergency appt for 3 hours away.
I didnt sign up for this, wish I had just been given sleeping pills and I wouldnt be in this situation.



Sorry to hear about that. :( I hope you feel better soon.

Also just wanted to say I didn't mean to sound like I was condemning anyone. I guess if you have treatment resistant anxiety that doesn't respond to SSRI's, then a benzo is your best option. I wouldn't want to live with constant anxiety, either. I take my Xanax when I need to and I'm glad I have it.

#7 Spiritual_Wanderer

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 09:28 AM

In my limited experience, I haven't met a doctor yet who prescribed them regularly. My mom does have a constant supply but she uses them so rarely, a bottle will last for 4-5 months or longer. I guess becasuse she doesn't use them often, her doctor keeps prescribing them. I usually find they are very hesitant to give them.
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#8 Guest_lucyvp_*

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 10:21 AM

I have been taking the benzodiazepine-like sleeping aid, zopiclone, at the same dose for 10 years. I am also currently prescribed clonazepam prn for social anxiety, as the SA is more acute than generalized anxiety. Although my doc was somewhat reluctant to prescribe at first, as a couple of months went by and he saw that i was not abusing them, he seemed to feel more at ease and he has ordered repeats. Right now, I have a two month supply. I take .25 mg about every other day. He laughs at this a bit. I think that he thinks that at that dose, any improvement is probably due to placebo effect, but what the hay :smilingteeth:


I think that benzos are indicated if the anxiety has a more acute aspect to it.

Edited by lucyvp, 01 March 2011 - 10:21 AM.


#9 Radclyffe Hall

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 05:09 PM

I have also taken Zolpidem (Stillnox) for about ten years. First my GP prescribed it, because she could see that I would not get any sleep without it, and then my psychiatrist did. I can't sleep without it. My psychiatrist told me it is not addictive physiologically, but even if it were, I would still take it. There is nothing like a sleepless night to make one's depression worse.

#10 bDaisy

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 05:55 PM

I apologize in advance for this long post but I need some help, please?

Hi - I am not trying to be a smart aleck either I am curious about this too. My psychiatrist prescribed Xanax last month on a regular schedule for me. (and she is not a quack)
She prescribed Xanax 2 mgs at 10am, 2pm, 6pm and bedtime (usually 10pm) I take zoloft and lamictal too. I told her I did not know when "as needed" would be -- how would I know when or how much to take it - I am always anxious! She said that is a common question. So she set up this schedule and told me to take it and we would be in communication about how it was going.

She told me to let her know if I feel tired or sleepy or groggy and we would adjust accordingly. Surprisingly to me - I did not feel sleepy (the pharmacist and my reading has told me that was a high dose) I did notice after the first week that I was waking up about 8am with no problem - feeling awake, not dragging as usual. I did not have a problem going about my day. I did not feel sluggish at all. Usually, I do not want to go out, hate the gym, stores etc because I don't like to look people in the eye -- and it seemed that it just was not so hard. I did not feel like a different person though.

I know this sounds weird but it was like I had a heavy coat on, like some sort of shield against the outside? And I felt ok. Not so afraid I guess you'd say. When I spoke with the dr at this point she said I may be regaining some energy I had been wasting on all that anxiety for so long! It seemed plausible.
Anyway, in keeping my journal of how things were going I noticed that it was a productive few weeks and I was more at ease with just the basic daily living stuff that I took for granted a few years back.

Most of what I have read says you will get totally hooked on it. I got nervous I would/will get hooked and be like a "drug addict"-- Sometimes it seems of a moral issue or something when I read that people say they only take it if they really need it... For example when I took Paxil 8 years ago I went through horrible withdrawal I was out of work for a week. But none of my friends or family who knew thought I was an addict or bad or something. Maybe that is not the same thing at all though.

Can anyone help me with this question?
Last Thursday I stopped taking the medication after one month and have not refilled it. (though I have some left still) I stopped by taking 2 mg for 2 days and then 1 mg for 2 days. I did not feel any real effects (I thought it was going to be a horrible withdrawal or something) but I ended up feeling the same way I did before I started taking it - sad and anxious and more agoraphobic and just exhausted all the time.
My regular therapist said to me that if she needed to she would take it. That "there is no medal for suffering" The more I think about it, the more it makes sense to me. It was so much better - I did not get a high off it - unless not crying or being sad or ruminating all the time counts as that. I don't know.

I am confused. I do not know if I should consider it again. Does everyone get hooked?? Does everyone have problems with it? Why does it have such a bad reputation? I have not mentioned this to my psychiatrist yet since I don't see her until next week and I really want some input from other people who may have experience with it. My quality of life is not great now I am not sure what to do. But I do not want to ruin my life forever either.


Can anyone offer advice? The doctor knows all of this so asking her is not the answer. Any advice from people with experience with it would be really appreciated.
bDaisy

#11 michelleinto

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 06:44 PM

I have been prescribed Ativan( a benzo) each and every time I've had depression & anxiety. This is my 4th bout. I'm up to 2 mgs at night & 1 or 2 mgs throughout the day. I am Taking Effexor XR, Wellbutrin XL and Seroquel as well. EACH & EVERY time I've been able to come off them(gradually reducing the dose). They were helping you get through and you seem to have faith/trust in your psch. so follow her instructions. Try not to worry about it(easier said than done i know).Take care of yourself.

#12 Guest_lucyvp_*

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 07:05 PM

It sounds to me that you had a good result from it. I don't believe that everyone gets addicted. As I said earlier, I have been on the same dose of a so-called addictive medication for years without problem. It sounds like you got lucky and have a good psychiatrist. You are lucky to have had such a good result. I'm happy for you.

lucyvp

#13 bDaisy

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 08:35 PM

michelleinto and lucyvp -- thanks for your encouragement and support. I needed to hear that so much. I do trust my psch -- it just seems that everywhere I look benzodiazepines are such a bad thing and I think I internalized that I am a bad person if I take them. I did have a good result and my quality of life was much better for that period of time. Thanks! I feel a lot calmer about taking them again. Pun intended. :smile:
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#14 HelenLlama

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 07:16 PM

There is a big difference between tolerance, physical dependence and addiction.
If you take a prescribed you will get some physical dependence and you may have some tolerance meaning you have to raise a dose.

However if you forget you may not get withdrawl symptoms. It is the dependence that gives withdrawl when you come off, hence the need to taper off.

#15 bDaisy

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 07:38 PM

There is a big difference between tolerance, physical dependence and addiction.
If you take a prescribed you will get some physical dependence and you may have some tolerance meaning you have to raise a dose.

However if you forget you may not get withdrawl symptoms. It is the dependence that gives withdrawl when you come off, hence the need to taper off.


So it is more of a physical thing that I think I am worried about. When I withdrew from Paxil I felt sooo sick and finally had to take a small dose of zoloft to be able to manage the symptoms until it cleared my system. I would never say I was "addicted" (that seems like such a bad word!) to Paxil so maybe I should just start thinking of this medication as the same thing. It will help me now and then when it is no longer necessary I will need to deal with the physical dependence I may have at that point.
Does that sound right? Thank you for clarifying the terms for me. If I even got it right??? Appreciate that you took the time to look at this and reply!!

Edited by bDaisy, 11 March 2011 - 07:49 PM.

bDaisy

#16 angelwings17

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 02:56 AM


There is a big difference between tolerance, physical dependence and addiction.
If you take a prescribed you will get some physical dependence and you may have some tolerance meaning you have to raise a dose.

However if you forget you may not get withdrawl symptoms. It is the dependence that gives withdrawl when you come off, hence the need to taper off.


So it is more of a physical thing that I think I am worried about. When I withdrew from Paxil I felt sooo sick and finally had to take a small dose of zoloft to be able to manage the symptoms until it cleared my system. I would never say I was "addicted" (that seems like such a bad word!) to Paxil so maybe I should just start thinking of this medication as the same thing. It will help me now and then when it is no longer necessary I will need to deal with the physical dependence I may have at that point.
Does that sound right? Thank you for clarifying the terms for me. If I even got it right??? Appreciate that you took the time to look at this and reply!!


My doc said you dont become physically dependant on benzo unless you take them every day for at least a month. I may go a week taking them every day then i may go two weeks not taking any depening how I feel. I have been on benzos for 4years and I have no physical dependence on them. But physiology I know I do, I just feel carmer knowing I have them with me.
GAD W/ Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia - Clonazepam 0.5mg as needed - Effexor 75mg - Zopiclone 7.5mg

#17 Spiritual_Wanderer

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 09:24 AM

My doctor recently started prescribing me Ativan and it's been a relief knowing it's there in an emergency. I am going to be really careful and only take them when I'm desperate or feeling really bad. As long as I make a bottle last for a few months, I'm pretty sure he will still prescribe them. It's just such a relief to know in those extreme situations (which happen 4 or 5 times a month for me - anxiety attacks) I have something there that helps. I'm also taking Wellbutrin and it doesn't help the anxiety attacks, but helps in a general day-to-day way, if that makes sense.

:unsure:
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#18 MaddieLouise

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 09:51 AM

I'm going to revert back to your original question about why Drs. prescribe benzos. Although, it's been covered in this post that there are dozens of reasons why, my case is a little different. I suffer from GAD and RLS. Between the two, restorative sleep was not happening and brought me to the point of a seizure. With Cymbalta (for GAD), Mirapex and Clonazipam (for RLS), and an anti-seizure med. (since it happened more than once), I now can get to stage four sleep and feel like I can function again. As for addiction to benzos., maybe there is one, but at 50 years old (today-ha!), I'd rather get good sleep, not kick my husband all night, and not worry about every little thing during the day. My point is there are reasons for these meds. that go beyond just anxiety, although that is a good enough reason in my book.

Sounds like you are doing better and I wish you luck! Sincerely, Maddie

My doctor recently started prescribing me Ativan and it's been a relief knowing it's there in an emergency. I am going to be really careful and only take them when I'm desperate or feeling really bad. As long as I make a bottle last for a few months, I'm pretty sure he will still prescribe them. It's just such a relief to know in those extreme situations (which happen 4 or 5 times a month for me - anxiety attacks) I have something there that helps. I'm also taking Wellbutrin and it doesn't help the anxiety attacks, but helps in a general day-to-day way, if that makes sense.

:unsure:


Edited by MaddieLouise, 16 March 2011 - 09:52 AM.

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#19 HelenLlama

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 11:43 AM

Some Benzo's will be prescribed long-term as Anticonvulsant medication (Clobazam/Clonazepam).
However they are not usually front-line in that aspect as you can become tolerant of them.

#20 HelenLlama

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 11:46 AM


There is a big difference between tolerance, physical dependence and addiction.
If you take a prescribed you will get some physical dependence and you may have some tolerance meaning you have to raise a dose.

However if you forget you may not get withdrawl symptoms. It is the dependence that gives withdrawl when you come off, hence the need to taper off.


So it is more of a physical thing that I think I am worried about. When I withdrew from Paxil I felt sooo sick and finally had to take a small dose of zoloft to be able to manage the symptoms until it cleared my system. I would never say I was "addicted" (that seems like such a bad word!) to Paxil so maybe I should just start thinking of this medication as the same thing. It will help me now and then when it is no longer necessary I will need to deal with the physical dependence I may have at that point.
Does that sound right? Thank you for clarifying the terms for me. If I even got it right??? Appreciate that you took the time to look at this and reply!!


Yes, addiction is psychological and dependence is physiological. What happens with SSRI's is your body gets used to them and as such it becomes dependent on that substance to function. It's why a cross taper for certain meds can be of use to taper off them.

#21 MaddieLouise

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 06:53 PM

True. Clonazepam was prescribed in my case for RLS, along with Mirapex and Keppra is my front-line medication for seizures.

Some Benzo's will be prescribed long-term as Anticonvulsant medication (Clobazam/Clonazepam).
However they are not usually front-line in that aspect as you can become tolerant of them.


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#22 data

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 06:58 PM

Anti-depressants do not help all people with anxiety. They can be less effective in general, and perform poorly against certain kinds of anxiety.

So to answer your question... Why Do Doctors Prescribe Benzos/[minor] tranquilizers for long-term use?

Because they work and long term use is manageable, especially with long-acting benzos like valium. Compassionate doctors understand this and are willing to put their patients' health over media hysteria and the risks of prescribing a controlled substance.

In my opinion, it is unethical when doctors throw low-dose antipsychotics like Seroquel or Abilify at their GAD patients because they don't want to deal with prescribing benzodiazepines. Antipsychotics are not approved for treatment of anxiety and carry profound risks benzodiazepines don't.




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