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Anyone been taking Xanax for several years, if so, please share your experience(s)... If you have had negative side affects, no side affects, doesn't matter, just want to know what others have experienced. Especially if you've been taking more than 3 mg for at least a year. I've been using it for about 2 years and haven't experienced any life-changing affects (sometimes I'll feel more susceptible to a cold i.e. that wheezy, chest cold feeling that comes with coughing), but I'll usually lay off as soon as I feel this and it'll go away within a day. Just feeling a bit worried about irreversible affects after taking too much for too long. I usually don't take it every day, but it just depends on what's going on in my life, when I'm working full-time, I'm taking at least 3 mg, 5 days a week. Thanks.
 

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Anyone been taking Xanax for several years, if so, please share your experience(s)... If you have had negative side affects, no side affects, doesn't matter, just want to know what others have experienced. Especially if you've been taking more than 3 mg for at least a year. I've been using it for about 2 years and haven't experienced any life-changing affects (sometimes I'll feel more susceptible to a cold i.e. that wheezy, chest cold feeling that comes with coughing), but I'll usually lay off as soon as I feel this and it'll go away within a day. Just feeling a bit worried about irreversible affects after taking too much for too long. I usually don't take it every day, but it just depends on what's going on in my life, when I'm working full-time, I'm taking at least 3 mg, 5 days a week. Thanks.
I'm also interested in the answer, so I'll bump this up. Although, I would include long term use of any benzo since they all have such similar properties.
 

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Long term Xanax use at a high dose is a really bad idea. I would definitely be a good example of what not to do. A lot of people on here and other forums talk about the withdrawal effects when trying to stop a high dose - and they are bad, I would agree, but the thing that sticks with you even years after stopping them is the memory loss. I have lost years of my life - and many of my other memories are just a blur.

I can't actually remember exactly when I started taking benzos - but one period I do remember is a nine year stretch that ended with me taking up to 8 mg a day of Xanax. I couldn't stop myself from upping the dose and I was very careless, I fully accept that. But I'm certainly paying the price for it now.
 

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Long term Xanax use at a high dose is a really bad idea. I would definitely be a good example of what not to do. A lot of people on here and other forums talk about the withdrawal effects when trying to stop a high dose - and they are bad, I would agree, but the thing that sticks with you even years after stopping them is the memory loss. I have lost years of my life - and many of my other memories are just a blur.

I can't actually remember exactly when I started taking benzos - but one period I do remember is a nine year stretch that ended with me taking up to 8 mg a day of Xanax. I couldn't stop myself from upping the dose and I was very careless, I fully accept that. But I'm certainly paying the price for it now.
If I could ask somewhat of a personal questions, were you treating increased anxiety, chasing euphoria? What was the reason you abused them like that. I guess my question comes down to, was the higher dose necessary to treat anxiety because of tolerance, or were you just chasing a euphoric feeling also increased by tolerance?
 

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Long term Xanax use at a high dose is a really bad idea. I would definitely be a good example of what not to do. A lot of people on here and other forums talk about the withdrawal effects when trying to stop a high dose - and they are bad, I would agree, but the thing that sticks with you even years after stopping them is the memory loss. I have lost years of my life - and many of my other memories are just a blur.
Unfortunate story, but memory loss doesn't happen to everyone. I currently take 4mg of Xanax per day. I started Xanax in 2003 at 8mg/day. That was raised to 10mg/day in 2004, a dose I remained at till 2012. (Those were my prescribed dose; I didn't actually take the full amount every single day, though a sky high daily dose nonetheless.)

I'd say my memory is fully intact despite consuming a massive amount of benzos over a full decade.

I consumed so much because I find benzos to be very weak and even in high dosage they're only marginally effective for me.
 

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If I could ask somewhat of a personal questions, were you treating increased anxiety, chasing euphoria? What was the reason you abused them like that. I guess my question comes down to, was the higher dose necessary to treat anxiety because of tolerance, or were you just chasing a euphoric feeling also increased by tolerance?
As far as I can remember it was just to achieve the same level of relaxation i had earlier received from taking the lower dose. There would have been no point in taking more if less had given the same effect. I managed to get off of them about 5 or 6 years ago after a number of admissions to a private rehab/psych hospital facility.

The GP's I was getting them from did try to tell me not to increase the dose so much - it was my fault, not theirs. But at that time I didn't really think my memory problems would be so severe or permanent. I was desperate to be able to do the things that I wanted to do at the time - like working and studying at Uni etc. I used the Xanax to be able to give presentations etc - I used to work in a library where it was necessary to do that - and I found them terrifying. Unfortunately instead of just using them for those particular occasions I took it all the time - I loved the feeling of relaxation it gave me plus I would start to withdraw if I reduced the amount I took.
 

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Unfortunate story, but memory loss doesn't happen to everyone. I currently take 4mg of Xanax per day. I started Xanax in 2003 at 8mg/day. That was raised to 10mg/day in 2004, a dose I remained at till 2012. (Those were my prescribed dose; I didn't actually take the full amount every single day, though a sky high daily dose nonetheless.)

I'd say my memory is fully intact despite consuming a massive amount of benzos over a full decade.

I consumed so much because I find benzos to be very weak and even in high dosage they're only marginally effective for me.
I'm glad to hear it Ultrashy - I've seen your posts on here over the last year or so that I've been posting on here. I'm glad you haven't had any damage to your memory. All I can go on is my own experience. But I have read many reports from other people on different forums that talk about memory loss too - it seems to be a very common experience. Apparently it's called "anterograde amnesia" - I did a fair bit of research on it years ago while i was at a Uni.

Edit: Not sure if this will open up for everyone but an abstract of the article should appear in the centre of your screen.

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02316856#page-1
 

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4mgs/day for 2-3 years. Just had to taper off of it because I was prone to alcohol abuse and my doc stopped prescribing. I didn't have any noticeable side effects or noticed anything different. I've really dropped off the radar now that I am back to life with no xanax... definitely would get back on it if I had the choice.
 

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4mgs/day for 2-3 years. Just had to taper off of it because I was prone to alcohol abuse and my doc stopped prescribing. I didn't have any noticeable side effects or noticed anything different. I've really dropped off the radar now that I am back to life with no xanax... definitely would get back on it if I had the choice.
What you mean by "dropped off the radar?"
 

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Unfortunate story, but memory loss doesn't happen to everyone. I currently take 4mg of Xanax per day. I started Xanax in 2003 at 8mg/day. That was raised to 10mg/day in 2004, a dose I remained at till 2012. (Those were my prescribed dose; I didn't actually take the full amount every single day, though a sky high daily dose nonetheless.)

I'd say my memory is fully intact despite consuming a massive amount of benzos over a full decade.

I consumed so much because I find benzos to be very weak and even in high dosage they're only marginally effective for me.
Im gonna jump on the Xannie train here in a little, Adderall alone is starting to put me on edge, I need something to smooth out the edges.

I know you take Adderall as well, How does Xanax and Adderall mix together?
 

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Adderall alone is starting to put me on edge…
Adderall never increased my anxiety at all.

I know you take Adderall as well, How does Xanax and Adderall mix together?
I'm not taking Adderall anymore for two reasons. First, I started Parnate last week and you can't mix an MAOI with Adderall. Second, Adderall simply stopped working well.

You can definitely mix Adderall & Xanax. Given that I'm on Xanax all the time it was always being mixed with Adderall. Many would think that mixing a CNS depressant with a CNS stimulant would simply have them cancel each other out, but they work just fine together. I suspect you'll like the combination.
 

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i can't even imagine how hard it would be to come off a dose like that after years on it....i guess them being labeled "short term use" doesn't matter anymore.
 

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My experience mirrors that of Don36 in that I have had memory issues after using klonopin daily for 2 years. You can and should research it. Wish I did before I became dependent on them. Getting off them is a slow and painful process. The lucky ones seem to not have any ill effects and can just CT off them whereas many have cognitive effects and have to taper. For the recrod, It's actually quite dangerous to CT off of any benzo, and can even be fatal. I have a friend that has been taking Xanax for about 7 years and has tapered from 4 mg to around 3 and is suffering greatly trying to do so.
 

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i can't even imagine how hard it would be to come off a dose like that after years on it....i guess them being labeled "short term use" doesn't matter anymore.
You must keep in mind that some people don't have any other option but to use benzos long-term. I use Xanax daily because it's marginally effective, as opposed to 17 other meds that were not effective at all. I'm currently on non-benzo med #18 -- Parnate -- and one week into this trial waiting for it to do something.

Many docs speak of how benzos are for short-term use only, but they can't come up with anything that works long-term as an alternative, making "short-term only" a big pile of crap!
 

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I think it takes a certain kind of understanding, and a certain kind of willpower to pull off long term benzo use, but it can be done. I think the biggest problem people have is not understanding that even positive side effects are just that, side effects. If you're chasing that feeling from day one, you'll keep upping the dose, and now you've got an addiction problem.

The main effects you get from benzos, anti-anxiety, hypnotic, amnesic, muscle relaxant, and anti-convulsant, all have varying degrees of tolerance that will build. The hypnotic and muscle relaxant effects you'll usually get tolerant to very fast. The anti-convulsant effects seems to wear off after a year. The amnesic effects vary, for some it improves, for some it never goes away. But the actual anxiolytic effect, tolerance seems to be minimal to non-existent.

I was on daily Valium for 5 months a few years ago. All I took was 5mg/day, which would be placebo for a lot of people, but the effect it had was incredible. I can attest to the fact that the anxiolytic effect was just as good on the final day as it was on the first. The only real side effect was a common one with benzos, my sleep wasn't as restful as it was before. Did I feel better overall on day 1? Of course. But I knew the difference between side effect and therapeutic effect, and thus, never needed to increase the dose.

It is kind of a ***** to get in to see a psychiatrist in Canada, always requiring a referral and many months of waiting. But the guy I saw, he agreed that they could be used long term when you understand what the effect it should be giving you is. But he said that I had to get my Valium refills from my GP, and despite no abuse (of the 5 months I was on it, 3 of them I had extra pills at refill time) and never asking for a dose increase, I was abruptly cut off. No taper or anything. Needless to say, I never saw that GP again, but did do quite well for quite a while without the benzos.

In short, if you don't let the short term effects cloud your judgment as to what to expect in terms of relief, you can get long term anxiety relief, with minimal to no side effects, over long periods of time. You will be dependent on it, sure, but there's a HUGE difference between dependence and addiction. Dependence is needing the assist of a med to be able to live a normal, comfortable life. Addiction is taking something for all the wrong reasons, chasing a high, etc.
 

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Anyone been taking Xanax for several years, if so, please share your experience(s)... If you have had negative side affects, no side affects, doesn't matter, just want to know what others have experienced. Especially if you've been taking more than 3 mg for at least a year. I've been using it for about 2 years and haven't experienced any life-changing affects (sometimes I'll feel more susceptible to a cold i.e. that wheezy, chest cold feeling that comes with coughing), but I'll usually lay off as soon as I feel this and it'll go away within a day. Just feeling a bit worried about irreversible affects after taking too much for too long. I usually don't take it every day, but it just depends on what's going on in my life, when I'm working full-time, I'm taking at least 3 mg, 5 days a week. Thanks.
Yeah, I take 6 mg of xanax and 30 mg of valium per day for 5+ years. Works good, relieves anxiety and I am no longer agoraphobic, I still experience feelings of anxiety but the drugs allow me to push through those feelings more often than not.

It has greatly improved my quality of life. But I would not call it a "life changing drug." By that I mean that it has helped me mange anxiety and learn to live with it better but I have never gained a significant life changing effect from it. No grand revelations. A treatment, no cure.

Long term Xanax use at a high dose is a really bad idea. I would definitely be a good example of what not to do. A lot of people on here and other forums talk about the withdrawal effects when trying to stop a high dose - and they are bad, I would agree, but the thing that sticks with you even years after stopping them is the memory loss. I have lost years of my life - and many of my other memories are just a blur.

I can't actually remember exactly when I started taking benzos - but one period I do remember is a nine year stretch that ended with me taking up to 8 mg a day of Xanax. I couldn't stop myself from upping the dose and I was very careless, I fully accept that. But I'm certainly paying the price for it now.
Yeah, I've heard your tale of your troubles with these drugs before. Some
people do have negative effects as you have described.

*Just to say it before a bunch of nonsense fear-mongering and ignorance fills this thread - if long term benzo use is needed then so what. It won't ruin your mind, body whatever. As for only short term use, nonsense, If Benzos work best and they are what is needed, take the stuff. A doctor who refuses to prescribe a drug that a patient needs and has about 50 years of safe use behind it should be fired immediately.
 

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I would advise you to do your own research and not rely on med forums on anxiety sites (not just here but others as well-- I would name names of sites but that might not be proper)--not that I think you are just relying on this or any forum....the way I read it you are gathering thoughts on experience.

There is a wealth of information regarding benzo usage, potential side effects, troubles with withdraw. Naturally, there isn't one pharmaceutical drug out there that doesn't have side effects to some degree on some people. Mileage varies, so to speak.

Your dosing sounds pretty minimal and keeping it to strictly as needed as you describe makes the odds of long term effects or WD issues seem unlikely. That is far more prevalent in daily usage over the long term. But again, please don't take my word or anyone's word on this forum as gospel.

A bit of research regarding a pill you are putting in your body that directly affects your brain receptors is the best thing to do. Google "benzos brain receptors" to understand exactly how the drug works. "Benzo withdraw" to see how it affects others (again, though, I don't see you as a candidate for WD issues based on your use)...and conversely "benzo success" for those lucky enough to use the drug and not have ill effects. I wish I had done this prior to taking Klonopin daily.

Those that can just walk away from it without any issue or have no long term side effects are quite lucky. Again, drugs affect everyone differently.
 

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I would advise you to do your own research and not rely on med forums on anxiety sites (not just here but others as well-
This is true for every single drug that you consider using. Do not just look into the "good" things about the drug, spend twice as long reading about negative experience. I believe that anyone has the right to change their consciousness as they would lie, but do so with an educated mind or expect the worst.
 

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I would advise you to do your own research and not rely on med forums on anxiety sites (not just here but others as well--...
I highly recommend that one be informed as well. If you actually read benzo horror stories you will find they all follow a common theme of ignorance. They all tend to go like this: "I went to my doc for anxiety and he gave me these innocent looking pills. I knew nothing about then and I took them. Now I'm "addicted" to benzos from hell and I won't be happy till these evil pills are banned from the world." The problem isn't the pills, but rather that they were clueless patients who took something without knowing what it could potentially do.

If you take benzos, especially in large doses, for an extended period of time you can fully expect to become dependent. You can decide for yourself if that's a problem or not. I personally don't see it as a serious problem.

My complaint about benzos would be that they simply don't work that well, at least for me. For many others they work quite well.
 
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