My second favorite f’d up drug

*If you have not told me your opinion on my suicide post, please visit it and tell me your viewpoint.

I am a druggie. For real. I take lots. Some I like, others not so much. My favorite drug was showcased last night on World News with Diane Sawyer, but it helps other people feel great. It helps me feel slightly more like a normal person, than usual and it costs about $800.00 after insurance, so if you feel like assisting a druggie with the one medicine that does more good than harm, feel free to send me money.

The second favorite medication, which, after researching and evaluating I have realized is probably doing much more harm than good is Xanax. Now, you should understand that I have legitimate prescriptions for all the medication I take and valid reasons for taking them. That said, I take some heavy medication. I also take a lot of meds that are very effective at preventing symptoms, and which will probably destroy my liver before I get to the point of being able to legitimately request a lethal dose of yet another drug.

So, my love affair with xanax…

Xanax (alprazolam) belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. It works by slowing down the movement of chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced. This results in a reduction in nervous tension (anxiety).

Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression.

Xanax may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. –

Sounds good right? The reason it was prescribed to me was to help the anxiety caused by depression. Woah…stop the bus…Hobbler depressed? I bet you never would have guessed that. That was sarcasm. A depressing sarcastic statement…

Anyway, I’ve been taking it regularly for a while. It helps. I take extra when I’m extra stressed, or extra hormonal. What they don’t list on the medication guide, but you can find all over the internet, is that this drug can cause other problems, like narcissistic tendencies, and lack of empathy. You know, the whole “don’t give a shit” attitude.

Now, we are all writers, narcissism is part of our DNA as we discovered in the “Not a Narcissist” challenge. I still think I have empathy, some situations bring out more of it in me that other situations, but I have lost a lot of the caring that I used to have. I didn’t realize it until recently, as I started researching, then as I got off the medication for a week. And cared enough to cry about some of my uncaring actions over the past few months. It is crazy. Do any of you have any stories how xanax has affected you or a loved one? I feel the need to know a lot more than I previosly had known, and the best source for information is from others who have used this medication, so I would like to know what you think. Thank you all,

47 thoughts on “My second favorite f’d up drug

  1. How do you pronounce xanax is it zanax?

    PS If that drug makes one stop caring, then you are pretty cool cos you write here and keep in touch with a bunch of us and that is really neat *hugs*

    • Yes, it’s pronounced zanax. Thank you so much LITFL. Online stuff is easier to keep up with than real life. My emotions since I’ve been on it for a while are incredibly muted. I don’t even smile much anymore, or laugh…

  2. Lord, do I love me some Vitamin X. I don’t take it all that often, but when I do, it’s a freaking miracle drug. I get panic attacks, and sometimes I get crippling anxiety that causes my brain to go on a repeating tape loop that won’t stop. Xanax has been a huge help there.

    Because I’m too lazy to go look and see what Diane Sawyer talked about last night, what’s the other drug? Until very recently I worked for Big Pharma so I’m all about the drugs. I dig ’em.

    • The best drug ever, that is legal…sigh, is Provigil. It is wonderful…beautiful…heaven in pill form. World News was calling Viagra for the brain. It doesn’t affect me the same as it would if I wasn’t on a million other drugs, but it is the medication that I get excited about taking. I’ve got to admit that I was happy to take some Xanax this morning too, because I’ve been off it for about a week, but Provogil is my “glad to be a druggie” drug. I think I’ll write it a love poem….

      • I know Provigil well — I worked on promotion for that drug for a few years back in the day. It does work well–when I worked on it, it was only for treating narcolepsy but it seems that so many people use it for “off-label” use in perking up their brains.

        “Provigil and Hobbles sittin’ in a tree….”

        • Yeah, I French kiss that drug…

          I think it still is primarily for narcolepsy, but in my case it’s for the fatigue with MS. It really does help, but the new generic, after insurance is still over $800 for a 90 day supply. Needlesss to say, I save it for day’s when I know I’ll be busy. The ability to focus on a task is increased about 500% with it. By the way Madame, do you text? If so I would like to swap numbers with you in a private email or something. Just let me know…

  3. I know absolutely nothing about Xanax. I do know that drug interactions can get very tricky as well as expensive, but sometimes the pros outweigh the cons when you’re dealing with chronic health issues. (Our son takes meds for anxiety. Prozac, specifically, and it seems to help keep his overall anxiety much lower.)

    • Drug interactions can be really horrible. It is also hard when you start taking a lot of different medications to figure out what symptoms are side effects of one medication, interactions between several, or caused by the thing they are supposed to be treating. It complicates things further when you have a progressive condition, or something that can cause different types of symptoms. I take more medication than I need, but I’ve asked Dr.s which stuff I could get off, but everything works just a little bit different. I truly believe that the medicines are doing at least as much harm as my MS is. When they have to do regular blood tests to see how far gone your liver and kidneys are, you know it’s pretty bad.

  4. I don’t know anything about Xanex though I joke about it a lot. I think I may need some as I suffer from anxiety. Unless it makes you feel doped up…I don’t like that feeling.

    • It helps for sure worth anxiety. The biggest downside for me was that I felt very uninvolved…like I didn’t care about anything. Sometimes that is actually nice, but it can negatively affect family and other relationships where they really need you to care.

      • Oh no not at all. A lot of people diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder are prescribed Xanax for anxiety, it can be a very anxious disorder for some. I’m alcoholic and I absolutely LOVE Valium so no Xanax or Valium or any drugs of the like for me. I sometimes hate that I’ve been so honest about my alcoholism with doctors but I certainly can’t afford (financially or health wise) an active benzo addiction also.

  5. I take Niravam, which is the fast acting Xanax (ten minutes or less or its free). I take a handful of x when I need them. I also refuse to take them as routine. My sisters with MS both take them religiously, but for me, I find they are more effective on a PRN basis. The addition of the benzo on top of the SSRI or tricyclics makes the flat affect a face, not a mask.

    Try PRN before you kick x to the curb entirely. It will help sharpen some of your emotions until you find a different coping mechanism.

    I have a few red cents on this topic,

    • Yeah, I’ve been wondering if I should completely give it up. It does help, especially if I know I’ll be stressed or if I’m PMSy. I looked up the top addictive drugs and I’m on three of the top ten (pain, anxiety, sleep), and that doesn’t touch half of my meds. PRN sounds like a really good option. Sometimes it is hard to tell what side effects are worth it. I do know that something has to change though.

        • That is scarier than stopping taking xanax so much. I am very dependant on the sleep meds, but when I backed off the xanax, I couldn’t sleep even though I still took ambien.

          • I had to get off all of them. Ambien not so much as Lunesta. The dreams made me sore and more tired than if I had not slept at all. What natural methods are you doing to encourage sleep? (diet, herbs, exercise, meditation) I know herbs clash with a ton of your drugs.

            • I don’t have many crazy dreams. Usually I don’t remember dreaming at all. Part of the problem is that I don’t use any natural methods of encouraging sleep. I love to stay up late, writing, reading, anything. It is so quiet, and I don’t feel the internal pressure to do housework, etc. that I feel during the day. I have occasionally tried to go to sleep earlier, but I am addicted to the meds for it now. Psychologically though, I don’t want to sleep, so that doesn’t help anything.

              • That is a common depression symptom. Is part of the not sleeping guilt for not going to bed? If it is, you need to consider the biorhythm which is best for your MS. Being up during the day exposes you to more heat, too.

                Have you developed a bedtime ritual? That would be the first step in encouraging sleep at an appointed hour.

                • The not dreaming part because of depression?

                  Yes, I do feel guilty for not going to bed. I don’t have any specific bedtime rituals. I like to write late at night, and a lot of nights I read other people’s blogs before going to sleep. I have to be careful though. If I take my “night meds” and comment/post a lot, I don’t remember what I have said the next day. I have said some really crazy things in my medicated state.

                  • No, the not sleeping. You need to read some things at my place. Some of what you are doing is good, others not so much. There is a chemical reason you are not sleeping on top of the emotional reasons.

                    I will email you a list of a couple things which will help you. And I will send you a copy of my book. Do not laugh. The bedtime ritual described in it works on adults as well.

                    • It is awesome that you wrote a book. I need to get over to your blog and check it out more. I have slacked off on reading blogs lately. My husband and I had our “date” days and nights, and we just got back today, so tomorrow I will try to catch up.

  6. Take this for what it’s worth, from someone who cannot take meds or her body reacts the opposite of what is supposed to happen, but Xanax actually makes me more anxious and Provigil caused me severe heartburn and did nothing to keep me awake which is what it was prescribed for since I have sleep apnea and cannot use a CPap mask.

    • I’m so sorry Tessa. I’ve had a few medications that did’nt seem to affect me at all, but I dont think I;ve ever had the opposite,

      Sleep apnea…is that when you can stop breathing in your sleep without waking up? Why cam’t you wear the mask? It stinks that provigil didn’t work. I don’t think there are any other drugs like it.

      I have heard that some of the ADD meds can help a little, but I’m not sure.

      • Yes I stop breathing in my sleep. I couldn’t find a mask that fit. My head is really small, like a child’s. I was on Ritalin (for ADD) for a while for that aspect of it, but I kept needing a larger and larger dose and getting it was a real pain in the ass. It helped me focus, but not necessarily kept my awake. Right now everything keeps me awake and I rarely sleep for long at all. Part of that is Bipolar and part of that is these meds are keeping me awake and I need something heavy duty to put me asleep and now none of the sleep meds work since Ambien quit working. I can take 3 OTC sleep meds and they don’t work either. Even the cold meds quit putting me to sleep. I have now switched back to sleeping during the day rather than the night. I am a night owl anyhow.

        • Sorry to hear that. Sounds like your body doesn’t like medications much at all. Tolerance to medications can become a slippery slope really fast. Sorry about the mask too. Don’t they have child sized asthma masks? Maybe you could convert one of those…

        • My body definitely doesn’t like medications. And what I could tolerate at one time tolerate I can’t anymore. The mask has to be compatible with the machine and if the company doesn’t have something I am out of luck. My bigger problem right now is getting to sleep and staying asleep because if I don’t get to sleep the sleep apnea is of no consequence LOL!

  7. Hey Hobs.
    I was on Provigil when I had health insurance ($10 / 1 month supply – benefit of working at a pharma outfit). Medicare wouldn’t pay for it since there was no generic, so instead they insisted I take methaphenadate (meth being the key word here) – VERY bad for me & us as it makes us angry and aggressive. It’s what I call my irritapills.

    The good news is that according to Consumer Reports, Provigil went off patent and a generic was predicted to be available as of April 2012. Medicare may be more willing to pay for that. I was also on Fentyl 150’s – had to go from 4 years to “cold turkey” after I was disabled (took 4 years to get SSDI going – typical for the South, it appears). My doc says I’m a wonder – it’s a wonder I took ‘it’ and lived. LOL, another doc had warned me that my medicine load was enough to kill a ‘normal’ person who wasn’t on such heavy drugs. But Medicare took care of all that: deny, substitute the ‘wrong’ thing despite the patient’s needs – and I dropped ALL the ‘mind meds’ as a bad deal. Those drugs “shut up” or “shut off” all or too much of me. Functional, yes; emotions? Bad. Been much better since ‘we’ all decided to embrace the F’ing madness and move on with life (and the hell with what everyone thinks – I ain’t got no job no more and don’t need one. LOL. Whutta hella-of-a-plan.)

    Have you tried Paxil. That suited me best but you know meds: no perfect fit for anyone, some work for some; some not at all – and it takes six weeks to find out. (Call it two months, given that ‘we’ see our doc monthly). I do gobble up them oxycodones (Percocet) one every 4 hours but there’s no removing the pain. It’s been constant and steadily getting worse for 28 years now (ever since that “oops!” in the USMC – ouch.) Doc says expect it to steadily degrade (it has). Too much connective tissue / nerve damage, all on the right side. I’m determined to fight it. Sucks, tho. Re my comments on Euthanisia Clinics, LOL.

    Until later – still at beach, fixing to go (wife hauling bags to the door). U take care, take ur drugs, have fun – and I dunno, but you might wanna consider reconsidering your drug load. I know I was up to about 35 pills a day, uppers to combat downers, downers to combat pain; mind meds to make me crazier or blank sometimes. Combine with sleep apnea (no medical reason; I am way not overweight) and a bunch of neurological crapola … well, Medicare showed me a new way, LOL: do without. And you wanna know what? It’s not as bad / I don’t feel as bad as I did on that heavy load. I feel better: both mentally, emotionally (but physically the pain is worse – but that’s okay. Trade-off. U know whut I mean). Anyway – lemme go help wife. Check the Generic Provigil thing. Lemme know if you find something.

    Jeff & Crew

    • Medicare…yuck. I have looked into the generic. That is atually what would be $800+ after insurance. The brand name drug is over $1000. I haven’t tried paxil. My current antidepressent seems to be working okay, but then again, they added xanax because the depression was getting worse. It is weird. Someone suggested taking a few things on an “as needed” basis, and I think I will try that for a while. I am starting to think that I might be better in pain and on less meds than in less pain with more meds. It is a hard shift to make though. Medication has been my “coping mechanism” for many years. I don’t even know how to turn to anything else.

      Anyway, I hope you and your wife had fun at the beach house. Don’t let her do too much work Jeff. You should be carrying her and the bags. 😉

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