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San Antonio, TX
A 41-year-old male asked:

I take xanax (alprazolam) .25 mg three times a day for panic / anxiety. i am a big guy (250lbs). is that a high / habit forming dosage? what is a high dosage?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 34 years experience
Xanax (alprazolam): This is not a high dose. Hope u r working closely with your doctor & counselor on cognitive therapy which is essential to concur your fears/anxieties in addition to the medication.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Robert Killian
General Practice 30 years experience
Round the Clock drug: Yes. It is too much. The dose does not matter as much as the regularity of taking this sedative. It is not healthy; it is bad medicine to be continually prescribed such a round the clock medicine. The goal is to prevent anxiety...Not just to push it away with a sedative.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 44 years experience
With all due respect, your response here is interesting. This patient has not shared how long he's been taking this medicine (which is actually low dose), who prescribed it (possibly a primary care physician?), or whether he's also involved with psychotherapy (CBT is very well researched for anxiety and could help him). At least temporarily, many people with panic need support from such medications while working in therapy for anxiety. The goal is not to be on them forever, and we don't know where he is in his journey. With so little to go on, how can any of us judge something to be "bad medicine"?? While not my preferred choice, Xanax is one that does have to be taken regularly to prevent panic attacks -- otherwise there will be breakthrough attacks that are frightening for the patient and may erode his hope. Hope for recovery -- which is definitely possible with panic -- can be a tenuous but very important thing. Best wishes.
Jul 21, 2013
Dr. Dov Finman
Dr. Dov Finman commented
Adolescent Medicine 12 years experience
Prescribing guidelines indicate that benzodiazepines should be used only short-term. Xanax is a drug with addictive potential, so yes, you should be cautious. Generally, if you are under the care of a well-trained, qualified, board certified psychiatrist, then you can trust his judgement if he recommended this dose. I would urge you, as Dr. Pappas mentioned, to also seek therapy to help you alleviate your anxiety.
Jul 21, 2013
Last updated Oct 4, 2016


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