U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A member asked:

Why wont any doctors prescribe me xanax long term for insomnia and anxiety? i have serious insomnia and have for a very long time. it is caused by anxiety that seems to wash over my body in waves that feel almost like adrenaline and fear. as i type thi

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Hello. : Hello. I really haven't seen any sleep specialists making responses in the last few months, so i will change the tag to psychiatry so that you may get more responses. Xanax (alprazolam) is a dangerous drug. Many providers have elected to stop prescribing the fast acting form. One can easily develop a dependence on it. There have been deaths due to people coming off it quickly. Even though it is sedating it can seriously alter your sleep architecture which will prove problematic in the long run. Have you considered medical acupuncture to assist with sleep? Frankly, i don't prescribe xanax (alprazolam) for insomnia and i try to steer clear of it for anxiety when possible.
Dr. Emad Tadros
Dr. Emad Tadros commented
Psychiatry 39 years experience
XANAX is the only Benzodiazepine that has an antidepressant or activating effect...It is actually Contraindcated in Manic patients for that reason. It does not last as long in the body either, Therefore it is not the best for insomniacs and it does build up body tolerance fast. That means that you will need more and more of it to get the same effect. Due to its very short life in the body, it is extremely habit forming. It is good to relax you for a short flight or panic attack in a mall but not for prolonged relief of nightly insomnia. Even if it works well for your insomnia, it is not going to be on the long run. Why staying focused on Xanax. Ask for a different medication for sleep .. there are many of them.
Jan 29, 2013
Dr. Brian Lynch
Family Medicine 39 years experience
Fear: This is a general response : my feeling is that we have a very poor understanding of anxiety and insomnia . That is everyone . It takes a very long time to figure out what is going on .You describe a vicious circle; sleep -anxiety anxiety -no sleep. You want to get to the bottom of this and that's probably through therapy. Xanax (alprazolam) is a very powerful drug. Once on it you may never get off.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Educational text
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits - just $39!
50% off with $15/month membership
Last updated Feb 15, 2020


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.