Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 135035

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Xanax and Klonopin. Madness!

Posted by cygnusx1 on January 8, 2003, at 23:56:51

I have taken 1 mg of Xanax a day for 6 years. .5 in the morning and .5 at night. I also take 50mgs of Luvox at night. I have turned into an emotionless zombie. I have no motivation to do anything. I still have paranoid thought and obsessive thinking. I have severe OCD and panic disorder as well as GAD and angoraphobia (sp?)

I so much want to be off the sedating meds like Xanax. I believe that my life would be so much better off the Xanax. I tried to decrease my dosage by .12 mgs a day of Xanax and felt HORRIBLE the next day. Like death.

I tried taking the same level of Klonopin and felt even worse than on Xanax. Very jittery and I couldn't talk properly. Like I wanted to say 5 words at once.

I don't know to do. Could it be I'm not taking enough medication? I hope that isn't the case. I feel like I'm missing out on life being on medication. I don't leave the house or shower regularly, I treat me girlfriend like crap, I avoid family and friends. All because whenever someone asks me to go out or wants to hang out I feel like they are threathening my space. So I avoid them. I am only 25 and fear the rest of life will be like this.

I did take large amounts of LSD when I was 13 and 14 and I fear they may have made an imprint on my life that can never be changed.

Does it sound like I'm not taking enough medication? I don't even think 50mgs of Luvox is a therapetic level.

I'm at a loss. Please add advice if you have any.

Thank you in advance

 

Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness!

Posted by Mr.Scott on January 9, 2003, at 1:19:10

In reply to Xanax and Klonopin. Madness!, posted by cygnusx1 on January 8, 2003, at 23:56:51

It sounds like you indeed have a depressive/anxiety disorder thing going on, and also because you entitlted your post as Xanax and Klonopin madness I'm assuming your not happy with them.

Have you tried a therapuetic dose of Luvox or perhaps another SSRI in the past?

Thats where I'd guess you'd want to start, and then maybe try to get off the Xanax if it's not required anymore. It will not be easy to get off of, but after 2-3 weeks if you're still suffering withdrawal you can be pretty sure you still need it. At that dose I would drop it by half a mg every 2-3 weeks and just be done with the suffering in 6 weeks. alternatively you might ask your doctor to switch you to an older and weaker benzo to slowly taper (Tranxene or Valium).

Them's just ma thoughts..

 

Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness!

Posted by viridis on January 9, 2003, at 1:51:57

In reply to Xanax and Klonopin. Madness!, posted by cygnusx1 on January 8, 2003, at 23:56:51

I hope you're seeing a good psychiatrist, not just a general doctor. There are so many treatments available now that your chances of getting better are excellent, but GPs by definition can't be experts on everything. And you may have to try a few different psychaitrists before you find one you can connect with, but it's well worth it when you do.

I wouldn't dwell on the past acid use. It's done, and most people don't seem to suffer long-term consequences (although some will debate this, the brain has an amazing capacity for regeneration, as we're just learning). If benzos don't agree with you, you're bound to find something that will -- it may just take some trial and error, and no matter how hard it is, finding a competent psychiatrist is the key. Even if you have to stay on meds, they're not all bad -- you just have to find the right ones.

 

Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness!

Posted by Caleb462 on January 9, 2003, at 2:04:19

In reply to Xanax and Klonopin. Madness!, posted by cygnusx1 on January 8, 2003, at 23:56:51

> I have taken 1 mg of Xanax a day for 6 years. .5 in the morning and .5 at night. I also take 50mgs of Luvox at night. I have turned into an emotionless zombie. I have no motivation to do anything. I still have paranoid thought and obsessive thinking. I have severe OCD and panic disorder as well as GAD and angoraphobia (sp?)
>
> I so much want to be off the sedating meds like Xanax. I believe that my life would be so much better off the Xanax. I tried to decrease my dosage by .12 mgs a day of Xanax and felt HORRIBLE the next day. Like death.
>
> I tried taking the same level of Klonopin and felt even worse than on Xanax. Very jittery and I couldn't talk properly. Like I wanted to say 5 words at once.
>
> I don't know to do. Could it be I'm not taking enough medication? I hope that isn't the case. I feel like I'm missing out on life being on medication. I don't leave the house or shower regularly, I treat me girlfriend like crap, I avoid family and friends. All because whenever someone asks me to go out or wants to hang out I feel like they are threathening my space. So I avoid them. I am only 25 and fear the rest of life will be like this.
>
> I did take large amounts of LSD when I was 13 and 14 and I fear they may have made an imprint on my life that can never be changed.
>
> Does it sound like I'm not taking enough medication? I don't even think 50mgs of Luvox is a therapetic level.
>
> I'm at a loss. Please add advice if you have any.
>
> Thank you in advance

Yes, 50 mg of Luvox once a day is a sub-theraputic level. You definitely need a higher dose - why are you only taking it at night? 100 mg TWICE a day would probably be more like it.

There's some things you should know, if you don't already know them.

OCD is more difficult to treat than depression and general anxiety. It usually takes higher dosages and longer durations to treat OCD. Also, medicine alone is not enough. You probably need CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy). And even with lots of medicine and CBT, there is still the chance you won't get better - which would be considered treatment resitant OCD - Morphine is sometimes prescribed and is often quite helpful for treatment resistant OCD patients. And the last option, is brain surgery - but hopefully you won't have to go that far. A simple upping of your Luvox could do wonders! Talk to your doctor!

As for the LSD, well it can bring out mental problems in those that are pre-disposed to them (for instance, if you have mental illness in your family history), and it may not have been a good thing to experiment with when you were only a teenager (still developing and likely dealing with typical teenage anxieties and miserableness), but it won't do any harm to a healthy brain. There are actually recent studies showing that 5-HT2a/5-HT2c agonists like LSD, Mescaline, etc. can treat or even *cure* OCD.

As for the Xanax, well does it treat your anxiety? Would you rather feel how you do on the drugs or would you rather leave the anxiety, panic, etc. untreated? I suppose that may be a choice you have to make. If the Xanax is really bringing you down though (and you are certain it IS the Xanax), maybe you should get off it. Your doctor should guide you through this.

Anyway, good luck!! I have OCD (mild sometimes, moderate other times, and every once in a while severe) , depression, general anxiety, and I know how tough it can be. The last few days have been hell for me, but somehow... I'm still here, and I guess I'll get through it. I hope.

 

Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness!

Posted by CygnusX1 on January 9, 2003, at 8:50:16

In reply to Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness!, posted by Caleb462 on January 9, 2003, at 2:04:19

> Yes, 50 mg of Luvox once a day is a sub-theraputic level. You definitely need a higher dose - why are you only taking it at night? 100 mg TWICE a day would probably be more like it.
>

In the past I took 150mgs a day. I got it down to 50mgs because my goal was to get off medication all together. I also used to take .5mgs Xanax 3 times a day. I just stopped taking the mid-day does and I was fine. I didn't even have any withdrawl. I'm wondering if the Luvox somehow interacts with the breakdown of Xanax and that could explain why I feel so bad when I try to go any lower than 1mgs of Xanax.

> As for the Xanax, well does it treat your anxiety? Would you rather feel how you do on the drugs or would you rather leave the anxiety, panic, etc. untreated? I suppose that may be a choice you have to make. If the Xanax is really bringing you down though (and you are certain it IS the Xanax), maybe you should get off it. Your doctor should guide you through this.
>

That is where I'm confused. I don't really know if the Xanax is making me a zombie or it is underlying anxiety. I am leaning more towards the anxiety.

I do think the Xanax has helped in the panic department. I haven't had a severe panic attack since I started taking it 6 years ago. I am able to talk myself through them. I wasn't able to do that before.

 

Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness! cygnusx1

Posted by Franz on January 9, 2003, at 15:28:55

In reply to Xanax and Klonopin. Madness!, posted by cygnusx1 on January 8, 2003, at 23:56:51

why do you blame xanax/klono and not luvox?

btw I do not know what luvox is for.

AFAIK both xanax and klono have an action on serotonine

so if you need a benzo I would look for one that does not have an action on serotonine if you think your serotonine paths were affected by LSD (it affects serotonine right?).

also psychotherapy will reduce your anxiety, it is a must, especially if so young

my 2 cents

 

Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness!

Posted by BrittPark on January 9, 2003, at 20:00:22

In reply to Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness! cygnusx1, posted by Franz on January 9, 2003, at 15:28:55

> AFAIK both xanax and klono have an action on serotonine

Just a minor correction xanax, klonopin, and all the other benzo act by binding to the benzodiazepine binding site of the GABA receptor. As far as I know they don't have much effect on the serotonergic system.

FYI,

Britt

 

Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness!

Posted by viridis on January 9, 2003, at 23:30:14

In reply to Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness!, posted by BrittPark on January 9, 2003, at 20:00:22

BrittPark's explanation is right -- benzos bind to sites on a receptor on the surface of certain nerve cells that, in turn, send messages to other nerve cells. Binding of benzos increases the affinity of the receptor for the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA regulates the activity of these cells, essentially making them less likely to send out "emergency" signals that provoke an anxiety response when there really isn't an emergency. Anxiety disorders (and some forms of epilepsy) are thought to result from hyperexcitability of the GABA-sensitive neurons, probably because they aren't effectively binding enough GABA and thus aren't being adequately regulated.

There's probably some connection with the serotonin system (most of these neurotransmitters affect one another in some way), but as far as I know, benzos don't act directly on serotonin levels or binding.

 

Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness! viridis

Posted by Franz on January 10, 2003, at 8:20:32

In reply to Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness!, posted by viridis on January 9, 2003, at 23:30:14

BrittPark, viridis, will you read my original post again?.
I am talking about alprazolam and clonazepam as particular benzo, supposed to have an action on serotonine

My reasoning was;

use of LSD which acts on serotonine right? btw maybe this person selected LSD because of a serotonine problem?
problems with serotonine
problems with alpra and clon-zepams, which are supposed to act in SOME way on serotonine
ergo: maybe they are the wrong benzo to use in this case if there are problems with serotonine derived from LSD use.
just speculation, but what else can we do?

Clonazepam is a benzodiazepine, anticonvulsant medication. It is generally used for the prophylaxis of seizures. It has unlabeled uses for neuralgia, acute manic episodes, and adjunct therapy for schizophrenia. It has been hypothesized that clonazepam may be useful in the treatment of OCD. This drug has an effect on serotonergic activity by up-regulating the 5-HT-1 receptor sites.
http://lynx.dac.neu.edu/e/ekrenzel/OCDdrug.htm

clonazepam is a facilitator of gamma-aminobutyric acid system, and
also increases central synthesis of serotonin,
dopamine and noradrenaline, and mimics the effect of
the neurotransmitter glycine. This is a combination
of effects that may offer antidepressive action.
http://www.depression.org.uk/main/pdf/treatmedication8.pdf

clonazepam
Klonopin, Rivotril
anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, bipolar disorder, agoraphobia, panic disorder, Lennox- Gastaut Syndrome
anxiety: 0.5- 4mg
AC: 1.5- 10mg
(20mg max)
* 3-hydroxy benzodiazepine:
BZD agonist
5-HT increase

alprazolam
Xanax, Ansiopax, Apotex, Constan, Mialin, Pazolam, Tafil, Tranquinal, Xanor, Zanapam
anxiety, GAD, panic disorder
1.5-4.0mg
(10mg max)
* triazolo benzodiazepine:
BZD agonist
5-HT release

http://sl.schofield3.home.att.net/medicine/psychiatric_drugs_chart.html

also,cygnusx1
> I tried taking the same level of Klonopin

what does that mean? clon is twice as potent as alpra as I read someplace and can tell from experience

>and felt even worse than on Xanax. Very jittery and I couldn't talk properly. Like I wanted to say 5 words at once.

serotonine mediated anxiety?, I read something about that but I will let you search yourself.

HIH


> BrittPark's explanation is right -- benzos bind to sites on a receptor on the surface of certain nerve cells that, in turn, send messages to other nerve cells. Binding of benzos increases the affinity of the receptor for the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA regulates the activity of these cells, essentially making them less likely to send out "emergency" signals that provoke an anxiety response when there really isn't an emergency. Anxiety disorders (and some forms of epilepsy) are thought to result from hyperexcitability of the GABA-sensitive neurons, probably because they aren't effectively binding enough GABA and thus aren't being adequately regulated.
>
> There's probably some connection with the serotonin system (most of these neurotransmitters affect one another in some way), but as far as I know, benzos don't act directly on serotonin levels or binding.

 

Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness! Franz

Posted by BrittPark on January 10, 2003, at 11:16:21

In reply to Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness! viridis, posted by Franz on January 10, 2003, at 8:20:32

I stand corrected.

I did a little web searching and found two studies (on rats) which showed an effect on brain serotonin levels. The first study stated that the effect was statistically insignificant. In the second rats were given 1.25 mg/kg of xanax and a statistically significant increase in brain serotonin levels was found. The second also reported that in habituated rats there was no effect on brain serotonin levels, however.

Perhaps the latter study explains the mild "rush" one gets from taking xanax in a drug naive state, and lack thereof when at steady state.

Cheers,

Britt

 

Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness! cygnusx1

Posted by judy1 on January 10, 2003, at 12:56:02

In reply to Xanax and Klonopin. Madness!, posted by cygnusx1 on January 8, 2003, at 23:56:51

First forget about the acid use- it was over 10 years? ago and is no longer a factor in how you feel now except for guilt. You sound very depressed and if it's a result of anxiety then your benzo use (which is extremely low) would benefit from a trial of a higher dose along with therapy which is really important. If your anxiety symptoms and agoraphobia improve, then often your depression symptoms also improve. I would try to find a pdoc who specializes in anxiety disorders. Best of luck-judy

 

Re: Xanax and Klonopin -- serotonin

Posted by viridis on January 10, 2003, at 14:05:14

In reply to Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness! viridis, posted by Franz on January 10, 2003, at 8:20:32

Hi Franz,

Thanks for the information -- it was very enlightening. I did a bit of looking around, and found several other references (mostly secondary) that suggest that alprazolam and especially clonazepam can increase brain serotonin levels. One of the key studies for humans seems to be:

Chouinard, G. (1987). Clonazepam in acute and maintenance treatment of bipolar affective disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 4#(10. Suppl.), 29-36.

However, I haven't read the original article yet.

BrittPark's references are also interesting. I do wonder, though, about the rat study that showed increased brain serotonin with alprazolam doses of 1.25 mg/kg -- that would be equivalent to roughly 100 mg in a human (depending on weight), a dose that few are likely to approach.

In any case, this is interesting -- most research focuses on the GABAergic effects of benzos, so I assumed that any effects on the serotonin system would be indirect, if they occurred at all. And, I had assumed that benzos can exert an antidepressant effect (as they do for me) primarily by reducing anxiety. Now it looks like there might be other mechanisms at work as well.

I guess it just goes to show how complex the actions of even relatively well-understood meds can be.

All the best,

Viridis

 

I just love this board for info! (nm)

Posted by Mr.Scott on January 10, 2003, at 23:50:37

In reply to Re: Xanax and Klonopin -- serotonin, posted by viridis on January 10, 2003, at 14:05:14

 

Re: Klonopin and antidepressant effect ! Franz

Posted by HIBA on January 11, 2003, at 0:28:16

In reply to Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness! viridis, posted by Franz on January 10, 2003, at 8:20:32

This is an excellent post! Thank you Franz, I too have an experience with klonopin which kept away my obsessive worries very adequately and stabilized my mood on a such a low dose as 1 mg a day. I took it for almost two years untill a benzophobic doc disturbed that pattern with a revelation that klonopin is addictive. I was doing so well on klonopin monotherapy, but he arbitrarily changed that schedule and put me on prozac which has now become a part of my problem with a lot of side effects like a complete loss of libido, memory dysfunction and apathy. I wish I could have gone back to klonopin monotherapy once again to feel my old self once again (The improvement was so great at that time). But the locality where I am staying now will not allow me to experiment with a benzodiazepine. Oh! proud world!

In my previous threads I was very reluctant to claim of the antidepressant properties of clonazepam, though I really enjoyed that experience. First I thought it could be it's anti-convulsant properties which might have contributed a mood-stabilizing action in me(as we know almost all anti-convulsants have a mood-stabilizing action) But as psychiatry is coming forward with more bright ideas, now I know, klonopin can be an effective antidepressant also like Xanax without those awesome side effects of conventional antidepressants. (I don't ignore the fact some patients have a depressive reaction too with klonopin, but this is true in the case of antidepressants also. Some antidepressants worsen depression)But in the light of my own and some other patient's experience, I believe klonopin, if used in right dose for the right patient can produce a unique antidepressant action. (Too much or too little can cause problems like depressive reaction, so a fine tuning of dosage is often necessary)
This is a remarkable finding. Thank you once again Franz!
HIBA

 

Re: Xanax and Klonopin -- serotonin viridis

Posted by worrier on January 11, 2003, at 18:23:04

In reply to Re: Xanax and Klonopin -- serotonin, posted by viridis on January 10, 2003, at 14:05:14

The xanax,serotonin thing is quite interesting and indeed does show how little is really understood about how these meds (and our brains) work. Xanax has been the only thing that has remotely helped my panic/anxiety while all SSRIs I tried had horrible effects and tremendously increased my problems. Never had daily generalized anxiety until I took paxil (ended up in the ER, which finally led to a decent pdoc and xanax. If xanax does increase serotonin levels, what a puzzle,huh?


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