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I have anxiety-panic disorder and am on xanax. I have been seeing a therapist and she thinks I should go on?

Posted Apr 23 2010 1:18am

paxil or welbutrin, which are anti-depressants, which will help to elevate my mood. I have been on xanax for 8 years. Would I just switch right to an anti-depressant or take them both at the same time? I told her I will think about it. My goal is too not get on more drugs, it’s to get off of the xanax and try to live a panic-free life without meds. Any suggestions?

After 8 years on xanax, if you are supposed to discontinue it, you must ask to be slowly, gradually, dosed down from the xanax. Eight years creates physical dependence on xanax, and just stopping "cold turkey" can be lethal at worst and at best cause horrible withdrawal symptoms – losing touch with reality, inability to differentiate dreams from reality, seeing and talking to things that aren’t there, high blood pressure, rapid pulse, stroke, and lots of others – all dangerous. It has all the dangers of cold turkey alcohol detox and more. Before you agree to any change in medication, make sure you know how the xanax situation will be handled.

I admire and agree with your goal. I would just like to see you achieve it safely – not as a post-stroke vegetable. It can and has happened to others who were taking no more than the prescribed dosage. In your case, it’s the length of time that’s working against you. Just google xanax detox and see what you get. Be safe.

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