Posted by med_empowered on March 21, 2006, at 10:31:45
In reply to Re: Xanax XR for depression and anxiety anyone? » blueberry, posted by BIGDaddyachmed69 on March 20, 2006, at 22:44:13
apparently, xanax was big for mild depression w/ anxiety (monotherapy), "masked depression," and various other disorders back in its heyday (80s-early 90s). Its kind of developed a bad reputation of late, so it isn't used nearly as much, and I don't think its terribly common to see it used as monotherapy where depression is involved.
That said...it apparently works really well. The BIG problem it seems isn't that xanax is "addictive"--its more that the short half life and constant re-dosing make dose escalation and anxiety between doses a real problem. So...it produces dependence, yes, sometimes rapidly w/ severe withdrawal symptoms in some people...but in terms of true "addiction," its probably not as bad as some docs make it out to be (a med student friend of mine referred to xanax as the "crack of the benzos"--total hyperbole).
Anyway, if you have the option for the XR version, I'd opt for that just b/c it would probably make your life easier in terms of dosage adjustments and maintaining steady levels of the med in your system. As for dependence/addiction...ANY doc who's going to be RX'ing xanax knows **quite** well that withdrawal can be difficult and that usage for more than a couple weeks will result in a sort of dependence. Benzos have been out for 40+ years, xanax for over 20; that much is common knowledge, so my guess is your situation warrants benzo use, and it probably warrants LONG-TERM benzo use. What you may want to do as an informed, pro-active consumer/patient is ask your doc straight up what the treatment plan with the benzo is: short-term, long-term, what-and-see, indefinite, etc. See what she/he has to say. I did this with my doc, and it was OK--basically, the first answer was "BZDs are sometimes used short-term, other times long term.." but then I pushed for an answer specific to me, which was "long-term, but not indefinitely; I will want to discontinue". It really opens up the the communication channels for you and your doc, and will leave you feeling more in control of your treatment.