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A 37-year-old female asked:

I've been diagnosed with clinical depression, anxiety and ptsd. in therapy 2x/wk. taking zanax & effexor (venlafaxine) xl. is this common regimen? thank you kindly!

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arthur Ciaramicoli
Clinical Psychology 46 years experience
Depression: Your treatment plan is common, be careful to not overuse zanax as it can be addictive. Good idea to have twice a week therapy, hope your distress lessens very soon.
Dr. Raymond Coffin
Clinical Psychology 27 years experience
Yes, with a caution : Yes, combining meds and therapy is common--and effective--in dealing with depression, anxiety, and ptsd. Xanax and Effexor (venlafaxine) xl are common combinations--xanax a fast-acting benzodiazepine that calms anxiety symptoms, and Effexor (venlafaxine) addresses depression. Xanax caution: overuse can lead to dependence. So talk with your doctors about when to take it, and behavioral techniques to limit your need for meds.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Treatment: This is not an uncommon regimen. Xanax (alprazolam) is in a class of medications called benzodiazapines. This is a potent anti-anxiety medication that can lead to tolerance. Because your combination of conditions is not likely to have a quick resolution, would caution about extended use of xanax (alprazolam). See that you seen twice a week for therapy. Cognitive processing therapy, eye movement desensitization & >>>.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Provided original answer
psychoeducation & group therapy may be very beneficial.
Jul 14, 2013
Dr. Raja Abusharr
Family Medicine 22 years experience
SNRI and BZDs: I agree with dr. Fowler and would add that we often make combination of medications for patients that are not "ideal" in other words where a single medication like escitalopram (lexaopro) would have been my first choice for depression and anxiety (separate diagnoses btw) it seems that your doctor felt a rapid acting benzo like Alprazolam (xanax) is warranted. Each patient's treatment is unique.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
I agree that an SSRI would have been my first choice too.
Jul 14, 2013

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