Q. The generic form of Xanax, alprazolam, does not work for me. It is at best 50 percent effective.
A few years ago I was given alprazolam in place of Xanax. My panic attacks came back with a vengeance. I kept thinking I had missed a dose. After three refills over three months and a visit to my doctor, I asked him if other people had complained. He said yes and wrote the prescription for Xanax only. It made a noticeable difference.
My insurance company recently stopped allowing this and now I can only afford alprazolam. My anxiety is back. What’s going on?
A. Whenever a benzodiazepine drug like alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam or lorazepam is stopped suddenly the patient can experience withdrawal symptoms. These include anxiety, panic, insomnia, muscle spasms, shock-like sensations, dizziness and headache.
It seems as though you may have had a withdrawal reaction when you switched to the generic alprazolam. That suggests that the generic is not truly equivalent for you. Perhaps your doctor can intervene with the insurance company on your behalf.