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Extended-release benzodiazepines


Guest Isobel

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Guest Isobel

Can extended release benzos be taken prn? I was prescribed an XR benzo to be taken once daily, but I really don't want to take it everyday. Is there any value to taking it prn? Does anyone have any experience with this?

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Extended Release benzo used PRN?  Absolutely.

Frankly after having used immediate release and then switching to ER, I don't know why anyone who has anxiety would use the immediates if they take more than one a day. The ER provides a steadier drug level, which means that you don't have the anxiety going up and down because of the meds.

Now I do realize that others may have completely different anxiety patterns than mine for which the immediate release might provide more flexible dosing or be appropriate in some other way.

Good luck,

A.M.

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I have experience taking both immediate release and XR Xanax. I take the XR daily and the immediate release as needed. The XR stays in your system for about 17 hours, the immediate release about 3-4 (if I remember correctly).

I'd talk to your pdoc about taking the XR PRN if you're noticing any withdrawal effects. You're basically taking the equivalent of three doses of immediate release over 17 hours, so this is a possibility - especially if you take it a couple of days in a row (or more).

The other thing about the XR is that it doesn't kick in as quickly as the immediate release. So if you're having a full-on panic/anxiety attack, the XR might not be the best approach.

I agree with AM about the XR being a no-brainer if you are taking benzos daily, but for PRN use, I'm more inclined to think that immediate release is better - mostly because of the dependency thing. But I'm no doctor.

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if you don't need to take it everyday, then don't.

i only take my xr when i have something to do that day that will be anxiety-provoking.  (as almost everything sets off my anxiety, i end up taking it 5 or 6 days a week, heh.) 

if you're using it as a preventative prn, it can make sense.

if you're using it as an abortive, you may want to use an instant release, or even a wafer sublingual type med.  (xanax and klonopin both come in instant dissolve formulas now, and many people take ativan sublingually.)

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My pdoc had said there was no point of taking K PRN.  She said chemically is just wasn't suppose to be taken that way.  I see what she meant too.

a lot of people do take klonopin prn, are prescribed it on a  prn basis, and it works for them. 

what works for an individual is individual.  many doctors rx klonopin prn based upon their patient's needs.

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But klonopin takes a while to kcik in so that wouldn't make sense.... for a panic attack it would be tto late.  Now if its something like an interview or public speaking then that would make sense... But I would suspect most people don't take klonopin prn for that.  I think its a missuse of the drug if you're.  Thats why there are fast acting and slower acting benzos, they help differently.

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But klonopin takes a while to kcik in so that wouldn't make sense.... for a panic attack it would be tto late.  Now if its something like an interview or public speaking then that would make sense... But I would suspect most people don't take klonopin prn for that.  I think its a missuse of the drug if you're.  Thats why there are fast acting and slower acting benzos, they help differently.

klonopin lasts longer than ativan, etc. but i don't think it takes longer to take effect.  and if you need instant action, klonopin comes in wafer form.

i take xanax xr as my standard anxiety control med, but i keep klonopin wafers in my purse for panic attacks that either break through the xanax or happen on days when i don't take my xanax.  the wafers dissolve on contact and take effect really really fast. 

in any case, klonopin isn't an extended release benzo, it's just a benzo with a long half-life.

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Guest Isobel

...... days when i don't take my xanax.

So you will go some days without taking the xanax, even though it's an XR? Do you experience any withdrawal effects on days that you don't take it?

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...... days when i don't take my xanax.

So you will go some days without taking the xanax, even though it's an XR? Do you experience any withdrawal effects on days that you don't take it?

if i take it every day for two weeks, and then skip a day, yes i notice withdrawl effects. (increased anxiety/agitation, irratability, feeling like i NEED my xanax)

if i take it for 5 days and then not for 2 days (and repeat this pattern weekly) i have yet to have withdrawl symptoms. 

keep in mind things work differently for different people.  i worked out this schedule with my doctor because i don't like being dependant on benzos (though i have been in the past and a doctor monitored taper, for me, wasn't that rough.)  i happen to be a "fast processor" so xanax xr doesn't last as long for me as it is "supposed" to last, so this may possibly contribute to why i can take med holidays in this manner, but i'm not sure.  my husband takes med holidays from klonopin but in a slightly different manner that he worked out with his doctor.

again, talk to your doctor about this.  medication holidays are a common practice. 

penny

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just thought I'd chime in here about Klonopin: I think that if I let it dissolve on my tounge it'll get into the system more quickly. (15-20 minutes instead of 1 hour +). Could be placebo, or could be that I'm getting some sublingual absorbtion.

~cache-monkey

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