View Full Version : Question for long term benzo users...

04-02-09, 05:47 AM
I was on Paxil for 9 years for Panic Disorder. To sum it up, the Paxil side effects became persisitent and overwhelming. One symptom was constant somnolence. Another was THICK brain fog. My psychiatrist wanted to add a stimulant to counteract these. Their effects were minimal. I quit the Paxil, stayed with the stims, and found a new world and a functioning brain. Unfortunately, the anxiety slowly crept back, and reformed itself into the same Panic Disorder I was diagnosed w/ nearly a decade ago.

We are working with a stimulant/benzo combination (I refused another SSRI). The problem is, when I get to a certain dose of xanax xr daily to prevent panic, I completely lose ALL sexual function. Zero libido, ED, the whole 9 yards. This didn't change over a period of 4 months, so I asked for a switch to Clonazepam (Klonopin), because it "wasn't supposed to do that". Well, after 2 months of carefully switching one for the other, at the same dose, it's the same story. I am completeley devoid of sexuality. I know it is the benzos doing it because while I was only on Ritalin or Dexedrine, my drive was outrageous.

To anyone who has been on daily preventive doses of benzos for a good deal of time, is this a side effect you have experienced, and if so, does it eventually fade? Are there any benzos that are less likely to cause sexual dysfunction/libido loss? I am 33, had a full blood panel done, and was on the low end of testosterone, but not quite "low enough" to justify replacement therapy. My diet/exercise are top notch, and my health is otherwise very good.

D.B. Cooper
04-09-09, 03:53 PM
I've taken benzos on and off for 5 years and basically have an endless supply of valium so i think im qualified. Benzos lose their magic after a while and simply become part of a regimen. I took 3mg of xanax daily for about 5 months and even a slow withdrawal was incredibly unpleasent. Xanax in general is just nasty because of its short half life.

My advice would be to use the benzos as needed and try some lamictal. I had absolutely life destroying panic for years and went through the whole benzo thing. Tried lamictal and went into remission within a few months.

04-13-09, 07:44 PM
I've taken clonazepam consistently for the last three years and off and on for the last ten. I've never had any side effects at all, however, although I think this conflicts with the research to some degree, I do find that if I take it *every* day, it stops working as well, so I take a break on weekends and in general whenever I'm not going to be in anxiety producing situations. The lack of side effects may be because I take a relatively small dose(.5 mg a day) If your panic disorder is limited to certain situations, I would also suggest limiting the benzos to "as needed" use, although if you've been taking them for a long time consistently, this may be complicated, as there can be serious withdrawal issues if you suddenly switch to using them off and on.