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Re: Benzo Risks - To Sean

Posted by Michael on November 23, 1999, at 14:37:59

In reply to Re: Benzo Risks - To Sean, posted by Sean on September 17, 1999, at 13:05:56

> > > I think the benzo risk may depend on an individuals
> > > sensitivity to changes in the GABA-ergic system.
> > > GABA is generally thought to confer an inhibitory
> > > effect on the CNS which helps explain why benzos
> > > work so well for anxiety which, subjectively, feels
> > > like errant electricity in the brain and body, or
> > > at least in the "fear" centers.
> > >
> > > From long personal experience with benzos, I
> > > have found them irreplacable for acute anxiety.
> > > They can be life savers in that sense: an evil
> > > dose of anxiety on top of major depression puts
> > > one at a high risk for suicide. Being hopless and
> > > low energy is bad enough. Being hopeless and
> > > anxious out of your mind to the point of total
> > > derealization etc... is a recipe for disaster.
> > >
> > > I think (personal opinion here) that the brain
> > > is rather malleable in some ways; the more anxiety
> > > you get used to, the more you have - kind of like
> > > kindling. By turning this signal down for say, 2
> > > weeks, the nervous system has a chance to get back
> > > into the swing of things.
> > >
> > > But, if you heavily down-regulate you GABA with acute
> > > doses of benzos for a year, there will likely be
> > > problems when coming off. A close friend of mine
> > > found that his siezure threshold had been lowered
> > > and the rate at which he slowed his medication
> > > intake was critical.
> > >
> > > It is interesting to me that Gabapentin (Neuronten)
> > > is also used for anti-siezure (epilepsy) which
> > > is quite clearly a neurological storm in the brain.
> > >
> > > I wonder if people on Neuronten find that when they
> > > come off that drug their siezure threshold is
> > > lower?
> > >
> > > ANyway, I'm rambling on. Benzo are great acute
> > > therapy. They save lives, are relatively safe, and
> > > most people don't abuse them...
> > >
> > > Sean.
> > ************************************************
> >
> > Yeah Sean...
> >
> > Gabapentin was intended as and is listed as an anti-siezure drug and mood stabilizer whose claim to fame is a low side effect profile. As I mentioned in an earlier post, prescribed in a relatively low dose in conjunction with ativan or similar benzo (for a legitimate anxiety disorder), the side effect of the shorter half life benzo going in and out of the system is then minimized.
> >
> > You know looking at the last few posts about the unwillingness of an uninformed group of doctors to prescribe benzos for the long term treatment of anxiety disorders is exactly what motivated me to start contributing to this list in the first place (posts on 8/4 and 8/14).
> >
> > My psychopharmacologist tells me that Gabapentin is used to help stop the withdrawl symptoms of alcohol and an overdose of benzos in the psyc unit at the hospital. I take several mgs of ativan on a daily basis and have for a couple of years and lead a high functioning existence now that my anxiety disorder is under control...this after the previous 5 years of trying every antidepressant and mood stabilizer known to man with another doc who refused to give me the relief that I needed with benzos for fear that I would become "addicted". I believe that the Gabapentin helps mediate the receptors in the brain that you mention - the ones that are also so influenced by ativan.
> >
> > I'm interested to know what you mean by "seizure threshold" - as in epileptic seizure? - or as in drug induced seizure? I have no experience in this....
> >
> > As far as going through withdrawl after a year on benzos, sure it would be hard - but alot easier than putting up with chronic anxiety instead. That is why there is no need to go off of them in the first place for a chronic condition (in both my and my docs opinion).
> >
> > GS
> > **************************************************
> GS -
> Agreed on the chronic condition aspect of treatment.
> I have an incredible addiction to - food. Man,
> if I don't have it for few days I become shaky,
> depressed, crabby, and I can think clearly...
> Total withdrawl syndrome mang.
> Sean.

I'm new here--so be kind. Had to add my 3 cents. Quess I've been a Klonopin "addict" fot almost ten years. That's ten years with "reasonable" control of my fears, too numerous to get into. Well--Klonopin 8 mg. in 1991 and for the coming few years, people wondered just how I could stay awke !! Well that just proves my point a dependence I have, not addiction. Need the drug, its helps me function and my p doc is in total agreement. Down to four mg. these days--did it on my own--no problems, Neurontin recently added up to 400 mg. three times a day. Takes a bit of getting use to...but when you do you feel that "fire" in your belly is gone, and you're off to a 'normal" day. Klonopin, I feel saved my Neurontin just helps me live it to the fullest ever. Thanks for listening peoples. Hello all !!




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