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I'm glad I have never rx'd xanax

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gettingbsn2msn has 5 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in medical surgical.

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pebblebeach has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Orthopedics.

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The media has lazily been placing blame on psychiatric meds for shootings since the '90s. With Columbine, one of the boys was on an SSRI (Luvox, I believe) and there were stories then about the possible "side effects" of SSRIs leading to homicidal behavior. Now this with the Valium. Millions of perfectly imperfect humans rely or have relied on psychiatric medicine to get through a difficult time to meet the other side. I would not be here today if it were not for a GP who finally saw my depression as if it were hypertension and prescribed me Lexapro and Xanax to pull me out of a very dark place when I was 18. I have not hurt a fly in my life nor have the many, many people who have taken these medications (and in many cases tapered off of them without trouble) successfully.

Frankly this headline just gives me a massive eyeroll and if nurses agree with it, they need to check their biases at the door. (And maybe re-read the Davis drug guide for actual side effects of psych meds.)

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hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and specializes in Psych, Addictions, Elder Care, L&D.

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Xanax Uses/indications: Anxiety Disorders. XANAX Tablets (alprazolam) are indicated for the management of anxiety disorder (a condition corresponding most closely to the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual [DSM-IIIR] diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder) or the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety.

...the following adverse events have been reported in association with the use of benzodiazepines (Xanax) : dystonia, irritability, concentration difficulties, anorexia, transient amnesia or memory impairment, loss of coordination, fatigue, seizures, sedation, slurred speech, jaundice, musculoskeletal weakness, pruritus, diplopia, dysarthria, changes in libido, menstrual irregularities, incontinence and urinary retention.

Xanax (Alprazolam): Side Effects, Interactions, Warning, Dosage & Uses.

It doesn't say anywhere that it is implicated in homicidal actions/rage. I think spreading these stories especially with the chosen headline does a disservice to the practitioners who prescribe appropriately and responsibly and those who take this medication appropriately and responsibly.

BTW the cartoon I posted is from an old issue of a recovery website and an article dealing with the addictive nature of anti-anxiety medications.


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I understand that the patient was on valium, but in any event, I have prescribed Xanax as well as Ativan in the geriatric setting many many times. No mass murderers yet. It is an extremely helpful drug and it would be a shame if prescribers stopped prescribing because the patient may go out and shoot 500 people.

I'd recommend doing some research if still prescribing benzodiazepines for geriatrics.

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