Is it safe to take small doses of Xanax for an extended period to manage chronic anxiety, panic attacks, phobic-avoidances, and similar conditions?

Is it safe to take small doses of Xanax for an extended period to manage chronic anxiety, panic attacks, phobic-avoidances, and similar conditions?


Can Low Amounts of Xanax be Taken Long-Term?

A user on Prozac for years is wondering if Xanax is too risky due to potential withdrawal and tolerance issues. They want to know if taking a low amount long-term will continue to be effective.

Expert Responses

DO Dottie25 – October 10, 2019

Everyone responds differently. I’ve been on Xanax for about 23 years for PTSD and GAD. I had bad reactions to antidepressants so I don’t even want to go there. Every doctor seems to be pushing Prozac and that’s not an option for me. I am prescribed 4mg Xanax a day by a wonderful doctor. Some days I don’t even need it if I’m not stressed or busy with something I enjoy. I always take it at bedtime. I take 1 mg, sleep for about 3-4 hrs, then take 1/2 to get back to sleep. Really bad days I take the full 4 mg prescribed.

DE del921 – October 10, 2019

Good question. I was put on Xanax 18 years ago for sleeping .25 and was happy taking it without any problems at all. Now all of a sudden, doctors don’t want to prescribe it anymore and want me to wean off it over a 2 week period. I would be happy to stay on it for the rest of my life if I could get a doctor to prescribe it to me. I will not buy it without a prescription. I am in the Cincinnati Ohio area and the worst thing is that you cannot get people to understand that you need this medicine to live a normal life. Is anyone else in the area that can give me some advice?

ST Stxman – September 25, 2019

I have suffered anxiety and depression most of my life. I was also diagnosed with ADHD as a kid, but never medicated for that till my early 30s with methylphenidate for about a year. I hated it. THC was better! But for the past couple of years, I take .25 mg of alprazolam in the morning on my way to work. I am prescribed 20 .5’s and I break them in half and the 20 last me about 40 days. I occasionally take a second half if I have a really bad day or feel a panic attack coming on. Most days I barely notice it at all, but I always have a better day with it than without it. I would say avoid excessive alcohol use and stay in touch with your doctor and have a good pro to talk with for emotional stability. I hate the idea of being dependent on it, but life is too short to be miserable. Better living with chemistry! Good luck all.

CO coachwest62 – August 25, 2019

I have dealt with depression/anxiety now 3 times in my life. The first two times I started using .5mg Xanax a couple of times a day. Switched over to 100mg Trazodone (yeah, I know it’s old but works for me) and used Xanax off and on for a couple of weeks until the Trazodone was in full effect. THIS now third time which came on about 3 weeks ago I have once again been doing the same except I find I need the Xanax once every couple of days still to “take the edge off.” Still only .25 to .5 mg when I take it. Waiting for the Trazodone to come up to full speed once again. I don’t know how I would make it through without XANAX even at such a low dose as I work to get my SSRI up to full potential.

SA sarechig – June 20, 2018

I have not tried Xanax, but I have used clonazepam for years at a low dose- .5-1mg 3 to 4 times per week for mild anxiety/insomnia. I started when I had panic attacks after cancer surgery. I’ve had no side effects. Helps turn off my brain and I sleep well.

JE Jeanne Wright – December 6, 2017

I have struggled with anxiety and treatment-resistant depression for more years than most of you have lived and STILL struggle. Xanax works great on anxiety, but after 2 or 3 days, it makes me VERY depressed. Can anyone relate? I found help with Effexor for several years but developed tard

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