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Would switching benzos help?


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I was prescribed Buspar 15mg/day and Xanax 0.75mg/day (3 doses of 0.25) for anxiety and panic attacks - the Xanax as a short-term solution while the Buspar is building up in my system. I've been having panic attacks a few times a day secondary to PTSD, which returned after being mostly gone for 5 years, and am on medical leave because of it right now, and I was hoping to go back to work today. Trouble is Xanax is not working for the panic attacks. The only difference I feel after taking one is that if I'm NOT having a panic attack, I feel a bit less tense overall. No sedation, no side effects, no effect at all other than a small anxiety reduction. It does not make the panic any shorter or less intense.

I know it's not dependence because I've only been on it for 3 days, and it didn't work with the first dose either. I'm short and my weight isn't unusually high, so it's not a matter of being large enough to dilute the dose. Should I ask the psychiatrist I'm seeing next week to switch it to a different benzo, up the dose, or avoid this class of drugs altogether and go with something else?

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To me, it sounds like you need a dose increase. I'm not really sure that switching benzos in this situation would help. Benzos are not like antidepressants where you may have to go through many to find one that works for you. Really, the reason for switching would be to find one with a longer half-life. But other benzos don't "work" any better.

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Thanks. I'll ask her about whether I need a longer-acting variety or a higher dose on Monday. I'm seeing a counselor also, and hoping that I'll actually make progress when on the right medication combo - up to now I haven't gotten anywhere with it because the anxiety is just too intense. I've been on other meds with no effect, but hadn't tried Buspar or any benzos yet. Maybe these will help at the right dose - keeping my fingers crossed.

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