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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Xanax and generalized anxiety disorder

 confusedvette - Thu May 21, 2009 8:09 am

I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I started taking .5mg of Xanax a week ago for that plus insomnia. It is working but I am concerned about the addiction potential. What can you tell me about this?

I am also going to counseling using cognitve behavioral therapy.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:10 pm

Hello, confusedvette and any other readers,

This response is very late, and I apologize that there wasn't a timely answer. Since Xanax is a commonly prescribed medication, I'll provide some information in the hope that it will be helpful to someone. Xanax is helpful to people with anxiety disorders, sleep, and treatment of seizure activity. It is not usually considered a physically addictive medication, but it can be, and a person can develop a psychological dependence on it. It should never be used with alcohol, and it should not be discontinued abruptly. Some physicians feel that the lower dosages are also a lower risk of addiction or dependence. It can be used very effectively in combination with other anti-anxiety medications, anti-depressants and anti-seizure medications. Smoking may increase the effects of the drug. Activity requiring the person to be alert should be avoided until the effects of the medication on that particular person is known.

I hope this information is helpful, despite its tardiness.
 confusedvette - Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:15 am

"It is not usually considered a physically addictive medication, but it can be, and a person can develop a psychological dependence on it. "

I have to disagree with this as I found it VERY physically and mentally addicting.

Thank you for your thoughts.:)
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:02 pm

Hello confusedvette,

I'm sorry if you thought I meant that Xanax was never addictive; some people do not become physically addicted or psychologically dependent on it, and some people do. While the majority do not report addiction or dependence, there are many who do. I regret any misunderstanding.

I hope you're doing well.

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