• Xanax

    Asked by Kathy on Thursday, May 23, 2013


    Hi all!! I'm almost 5 months since last chemo. I've been seeking extensive professional help through therapy and it has been extremely helpful. My general doctor has prescribed .25 of Xanax that I can take up to 2 times a day as needed for anxiety! He claims this low a dose will not be addicting. It really does calm me down. Anybody else taking these kind of meds. Im feeling odd putting something so personal out there but you have all been so helpful. I feel defeated to have been given this wonderful second chance at laugh and that I need the meds and can't just think my way into happiness! Thanks!!

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • Kathy's Avatar

      At life I meant to say!!

      over 3 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      My MIL has to take some type of anti anxiety drugs and they make her able to function. Without them she cannot make it through the day. Glad they are helping you.

      over 3 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      Xanax is not one of those drugs that you typically have to take forever. It's a good medicine that really helps to curve the emotional flare ups. Sounds like you're doing the right thing by seeking help. Are you on an antidepressant? If you are and it's not working, you might speak with your Dr about trying something else. If you're able to get on a good antidepressant that works, you will be able to start weaning yourself off the xanax.

      over 3 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      I have Atavan, which is an anti-anxiety, that I take as needed. I've not needed a whole lot through this adventure, but it's nice to have it available. I probably have 3/4 of the original rx left, from when I got it in December. Nothing wrong w/needing occasional help, even if it is chemical. My issue is the occasional panic attack. Works well w/that.

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Yep I'm on meds - My PCP prescribed Xanx telling me i could take betwee .25 and .5 mg up to 3 times a day as needed. Last summer, that stopped working so i got a Pharma consult with a MD who specializes in treating cancer patients I am now taking .5 Mg of Xanax 3 times a day, 10 mg of Lexapro each morning and 12.5 mg of seriquel for insomnia as needed. It really has made a big difference.

      over 3 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      Alprazolam is a great drug and that is a very low dose. As Benzodiazepines go, it is the best for the short acting, very predictable. If you have never had an addictive personality, addicted to alcohol, food, gambling, etc. then it will not happen with pharmaceuticals either. These drugs are anti-anxiety drugs and do work. It would be a shame if someone decided against them for whatever reason and didn't reap their benefit. I think benzodiazepines got that addictive reputation from the old movie "Valley of the Dolls." In that movie, everyone was hooked on "Bennies" from Patty Duke to Sharon Tate. But if you are on them, they are indeed a blessing. If they help you, you should be very pleased and in no way odd for saying it. They epitomize that saying, "better living through chemistry" and these days, everything is chemical, so enjoy the relief and you have no concerns as the dose you are on is indeed very small. Carm RN.

      over 3 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      i used xanax until i finished treatment. i took it once a day... helped me ease the anxiety, which let me actually get some sleep. i simply could not calm myself enough to get much sleep.... that drug is amazing. i was also on the lowest dose, and it was pretty easy to stop using it. for a short while, i broke them in half (they were not extended release)... and then stopped using it all together. it was massively helpful, and i'm really glad that i had access to that drug. without it, i was averaging about 2-3 hours of sleep per night... at best. with it, i was getting close to six hours per night. a much more manageable level of sleep!

      this whole cancer business is a huge downer and huge anxiety producing experience. if the xanax helps you simply relax... and maybe even think about things non-cancer.. then that is one heck of a wonderful thing.

      my health care team basically told me i got a free pass during treatment... no questions asked... just use what you need in order to make it through and to accomplish the task of daily life.

      i also used it when i had mri scans. i can totally handle being in a small tube, but loud noises are difficult for me. the xanax made that easy to handle.

      after surgery, i stopped using xanax... and i honestly didn't struggle or anything... all good.

      good luck!

      over 3 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar

      Those who have seen my posts before will recognize this, I liken it to a form of PTSD. We have been through a war with an insidious enemy - our own body. Its hard to get on an even keel when the worry, anxiety and depression are ganging up on us. It is very normal and part of the journey for many of us. I fought hard with these issues before having them identified by a wise person. I need medication in order to replace the chemicals that have been disrupted by my fight with cancer, this includes antidepressant and antianxiety. Without these I have trouble sleeping and having a normal life. This is nothing to be shy about, you will find many of us are in this boat - take care. Tracy

      over 3 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      My oncologist prescribed Ativan for nausea telling me that it is an anti anxiety med that if it did not stop the nausea would make it so I didn't really care too much about it. He calls Xanax baby Ativan. I haven't had any problems with it and have been using it as necessary for several years. I wouldn't worry about it becoming addictive. Anxiety and depression are common for cancer patients. the depression is chemical and usually caused by chemo drugs that affect the serotonin levels in the brain so if you are having signs of depression then you might want to try an anti-depressant. This is not your fault and I know all of this first hand. Good Luck

      over 3 years ago
    • GypsyJule's Avatar

      You've already gotten a lot of good advice, and like some of the others, I have Ativan to use when needed. I rarely use it, but am planning to talk to my PCP about something milder when I see her next month, because I resist using it because I know it can be addicting.

      The important part of your question to me is the fact that you feel defeated. Please, please don't feel that way. Depression is a disease, too. No, it isn't cancer, but just like we treat cancer, we are fortunate to have tools to fight depression. I'm certainly not smart enough to know why our brains work like they do ... why we can feel anxiety and depression when we want to be happy, but the fact that we're survivors doesn't take away all those other stresses that are in all of our daily lives.

      Find your happiness wherever you can! You deserve it!

      over 3 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      Hey start looking at all you've accomplished in the past year..... WOW. If a pill allows you be feel more yourself... the doctor gave it to you, and you're not misusing it... SO let go of guilt.. let me say this again. LET GO OF THE GUILT!!!! (((Hugs and good supportive thoughts heading your way). I've been taking a mild anti-depressant since diagnosis. I continue it because I still sing when working around the house, and I'd stopped doing that... I'm just more me with it...

      over 3 years ago
    • Kathy's Avatar

      THANK YOU SO MUCH everyone of you!! I so love and appreciate all the love and helpfulness you continue to send my way!!!!!

      over 3 years ago
    • nmill11's Avatar

      I have been on Buspar and Celexa long before I was diagnosed with Cancer. I have P.T.S.D., Depression and Anxiety.
      I have a therapist who I have been with since 2007 and need her now more than ever. I too feel defeated making smiling harder than ever. But, I do smile, I do understand how life is shorter than ever. Each day, each hour, each second, and each moment is a precious gift. HUGS Kathy!

      over 3 years ago
    • mommybeatscanc's Avatar

      Hi Kathy-

      Please don't feel odd putting something so personal out there. One of the greatest things about the cancer community is the endless web of support and stories that help you get through hard times. I too had a hard time post chemo and as I search the net I found this is very normal. I am glad Xanax is working for you. Are you able to exercise? That and my endless lists of my emotions really helped my emotional health. If you ever want to talk I have a little thing called coffee and cancer where I video chat with fellow fighters and survivors. It's really neat and very therapeutic to talk to others who have been through similar things and it creates some awesome friendships. I hope you are well. Hang in there. You beat cancer, you will beat this too!


      over 3 years ago

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