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General Discussion This forum is for discussing Fear of Flying, and receiving & providing support. Have a flight coming up? Need some encouragement? Here is the forum for you!

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  #1  
Old 06-23-2009, 06:57 PM
teddymines teddymines is offline
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Default Xanax + dramamine?

I have SEVERE flight anxiety, to the point where even thinking of an upcoming trip months out gives me symptoms: heart racing, stomach knots, frequent urination, intestinal issues, fast breathing, feeling trapped...all while sitting here in front of the computer.

My doc prescribed xanax, .5 mg 2x the label says. I took one at home in a controlled environment, and was ok with how it made me feel. I've been reading here about when to take it in relation to a flight, but I have a slightly different situation.

As I mentioned, I start panicking long before the flight. I *know* that I'll be continually anxious at least 24 hours leading up to the actual flight. My thinking is to just "accept" this panic, and then knock it down with a xanax when I'm at the gate about an hour before boarding. Does this sound ok?

Also, I have mild motion sickness. Never threw up on a plane, but the effects and the panic don't help the situation, and I've felt on the verge a few times. Has anyone taken the regular dramamine (the drowsy stuff, not the non-drowsy) ALONG WITH xanax?

Thanks for your help. I'm trying to focus on the destination and the people there rather than the flight itself. But my brain says "Don't think about it. Think about what? Flying! D'oh!"
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:21 PM
cpaul_22 cpaul_22 is offline
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Default i hear ya

Hi there.

Flying tomorrow and taking Xanax for the first time. Like you, I took it in a controlled environment first. I found that it took about an hour to kick in, so I plan to take it 1 hr before my flight leaves.

Like you, I am super anxious being about exactly 24 hours out from my flight (yesterday I was a complete basketcase, too). I have a lump in my throat already... but, I can't see myself taking the meds all the way up until, so I'm going to white-knuckle my way thru till tomorrow.

As far as mixing the two-- I don't know anything about that. You might want to ask your dr. about that.

When is your flight?
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:50 PM
teddymines teddymines is offline
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Flight is next Thursday at 7:40am, but we're driving to the airport and staying the night before to simplify things. A pharmacist friend said it would increase the drowsiness effect.

Kind of strange, I am actually *planning* to have the anxiety, and then *planning* on taking the pill, and then *planning* on getting relief. This trip better be worth it!
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:24 PM
cpaul_22 cpaul_22 is offline
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Default pick your poison: booze or pills

Amen to that as far as it being worth it! I am comforting myself with the knowledge that I don't even have to get on that plane if I don't want to. It's just a vacation. But I don't want to let my fear dictate what I do or don't do.

My bf just said why not have a drink at the bar before the flight and another on the plane. I know for a fact that alcohol calms me. The Xanax seems to have the opposite effect in the beginning.

Now I don't know what to do. Uggh.

  #5  
Old 06-23-2009, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cpaul_22 View Post
My bf just said why not have a drink at the bar before the flight and another on the plane. I know for a fact that alcohol calms me. The Xanax seems to have the opposite effect in the beginning. Now I don't know what to do. Uggh.
Why not check out some of these suggestions ("Take supportive actions") at anxieties.com? http://www.anxieties.com/flying-step5.php
There are many other ways to achieve comfortable flight that don't rely on drugs or alcohol. Mixing drugs, or combining them with alcohol can be dangerous and unpredictable too.

I hope you both can take some time to browse through the archives here, and spend some time at www.anxieties.com (both the fear of flying & panic sections). There's lots of helpful free advice there (and here).
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:18 PM
Kimmar Kimmar is offline
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I completely relate to your fear of flying, I was that bad too. I've since learned to fly again, and am 3 weeks away from a cross country flight, and it's not even on my mind at all. 2 years ago that would have been unthinkable! LOL

I say call your doc and ask about mixing meds, and let him know if you plan on having *any* alcohol* on the flight, as I'd imagine he'll tell you not to do both.

NEVER mix your meds without your doctors consent, it can be more dangerous to you than what you suppose awaits you in the skies.

Follow Barb-San's advice and you'll have more tools to help you learn to cope along with the Xanax. Can't have too many things helping now can we? LOL

And Welcome to TakingFlight!
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:05 AM
orbit55 orbit55 is offline
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I'm not here to debate the use of medication like Tom Cruise or something but some people need medication to live a normal life. I agree breathing exercises, regular exercise, eating right, and trying to conquer FOF naturally should come first but there are a small percentage of people who NEED medication.
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:50 AM
Kimmar Kimmar is offline
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I'm not here to debate the use of medication like Tom Cruise or something but some people need medication to live a normal life. I agree breathing exercises, regular exercise, eating right, and trying to conquer FOF naturally should come first but there are a small percentage of people who NEED medication.
Nobody is saying NOT to use medication, but we are saying that you need to do in concert with your doctor, and you need to not be mixing it with other medications (including herbal and alcohol). What is being said is that medication *alone* is usually not enough to get you over the fear of flying, so breathing, relaxation techniques and other techniques added together, (along with medication if needed) will serve you much better in the long term.

No debate here, but the forum owner has asked that we do not recommend meds, as we are not physicians.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:44 AM
Dachiri Dachiri is offline
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I'm certainly not above saying that I have asked for a drink with my in-flight meal to calm the nerves. In fact, it is a tried and true fact that my night time ritual (I also suffer from insomnia) includes a glass of wine, and that doesn't differ if I'm on a plane at bedtime. But I am also one of those lucky people who suffers from very bad drug/alcohol interactions. I am not allergic to any drugs or alcohol, but together I would have a very unpleasant flight. So, before you go taking things in combination with other things and/or alcohol, it is best to (1) consult with your doctor, and (2) try it out beforehand. I, for one, have very bad reactions with medications that are supposedly safe with alcohol or safe after a certain number of hours with alcohol. So, best to get medical advice beforehand and also try it out on the ground. When I was in the throes of FOF, nothing was worse than flying, except flying sick.
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Old 06-24-2009, 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmar View Post
Nobody is saying NOT to use medication, but we are saying that you need to do in concert with your doctor, and you need to not be mixing it with other medications (including herbal and alcohol). What is being said is that medication *alone* is usually not enough to get you over the fear of flying, so breathing, relaxation techniques and other techniques added together, (along with medication if needed) will serve you much better in the long term.

No debate here, but the forum owner has asked that we do not recommend meds, as we are not physicians.
What Kimmar said... We seem to cover this same ground about meds and/or alcohol every few weeks as new people join the forum....you will find numerous discussions on the topic in the archives. And yes, we have been asked not to be making recommendations about drugs, dosages, etc, and remind people to consult with their doctors who know their medical history, weight, age, other medications, etc. In addition, each person may react differently to a medication or combination, or even have an allergic reaction. At first glance taking medication or a few drinks may seem the "easiest" solution, but it's worth considering if there are some long-term costs as well. It's an individual decision/ life philosophy too.

One question...if all you are planning to do is take a sedative right before your flight, what will you do if it "doesn't work" like you expect it to, and you still feel really anxious?
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  #11  
Old 06-24-2009, 03:44 AM
orbit55 orbit55 is offline
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I'm certainly not recommending meds to anyone. Also, I don't think there is some magic pill to cure FOF but I am just sticking up for those who do use meds because medication seems like such a taboo topic on this forum. I feel bad for people who have to hide the fact that they take meds because they feel like they are abnormal. I don't know the stats but I'm sure a lot of FOF sufferers also have depression, anxiety and/or panic. Some of these people have no choice but to take medication and in the most severe cases, for the rest of their life.
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:00 AM
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but I am just sticking up for those who do use meds because medication seems like such a taboo topic on this forum.
There are liability issues for the owner of this website. The members are not doctors. The decision to take or not take meds should be made after consultation with your physician or psychiatrist.
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orbit55 View Post
I'm certainly not recommending meds to anyone. Also, I don't think there is some magic pill to cure FOF but I am just sticking up for those who do use meds because medication seems like such a taboo topic on this forum. I feel bad for people who have to hide the fact that they take meds because they feel like they are abnormal. I don't know the stats but I'm sure a lot of FOF sufferers also have depression, anxiety and/or panic. Some of these people have no choice but to take medication and in the most severe cases, for the rest of their life.
Hi Orbit... It is not so much that it is a "taboo" subject, but more that we have no personal knowledge of the folks here.

Also there is so much free professional advice out there... the first being with your Doctor... I know he/she is not free... but you have to make some arrangement to get them to prescribe the medications... so they are the best person to give you advice... and most have knowledge of the Fear of Flying.

Another EXCELLENT person to speak to is the Pharmacist. I personally took Ativan to help with my early stages of Fear of Flying... and the Pharmacist helped me the most with the medication questions I had.

Most important is the Doctor and Pharmacist have personal knowledge of the person... where we do not.

The biggest problem with discussing medications here is we are not Doctors or Pharmacist. And even if we were, we have no knowledge of the person's medical history, other medications taken, etc.

I have no problem with someone coming on and saying... "Hey I took Ativan to help with my anxiety, and it worked well. It took the edge off" That is a personal account about how the medication worked for them, not advice.

Regardless, there is nothing wrong with having to take something, legally and with your Doctor's direction, in order to help combat the Fear of Flying. This fear is a medical condition, and just like any other medical condition.... medication may be needed.

There are two BIG no-no's about taking any type of anti-anxiety medication....

1. Never borrow someone's medication
2. Never drink alcohol while taking this type of medication

Hope that helps answer your questions and/or concerns.
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:48 AM
orbit55 orbit55 is offline
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Originally Posted by Passenger Mark View Post
There are two BIG no-no's about taking any type of anti-anxiety medication....

1. Never borrow someone's medication
2. Never drink alcohol while taking this type of medication
I hate to drag this topic on but I've never seen a benzo prescribed to me that said "Do Not Take with Alcohol". The one's prescribed to ME have only ever said "Alcohol May Intensify the Effects". Furthermore, my doctor said it's perfectly fine to have a drink or two on this type of medication but my doc did say mixing them in the air would be a bad combo. Just my personal experience...
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orbit55 View Post
I hate to drag this topic on but I've never seen a benzo prescribed to me that said "Do Not Take with Alcohol". The one's prescribed to ME have only ever said "Alcohol May Intensify the Effects". Furthermore, my doctor said it's perfectly fine to have a drink or two on this type of medication but my doc did say mixing them in the air would be a bad combo. Just my personal experience...
Quote:
Originally Posted by orbit55
During the summer of 2008 my GAD and Panic got so bad, I finally allowed a doctor to put me on medication(Klonopin to be exact).
From www.drugs.com: http://www.drugs.com/klonopin.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by drugs.com
Do not drink alcohol while taking clonazepam. Klonopin can increase the effects of alcohol. Klonopin may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Klonopin should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction.....
What should I avoid while taking Klonopin?
Do not drink alcohol while taking Klonopin. This medication can increase the effects of alcohol. Klonopin can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
This is another consideration if you take medication for the flight. Are you planning to drive once you get to your destination? Will you be DWI?

Edited to add...note disclaimer on drugs.com website:
Quote:
Originally Posted by drugs.com
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
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Last edited by Barb-SAN : 06-24-2009 at 05:29 AM.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:45 PM
Kimmar Kimmar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orbit55 View Post
I hate to drag this topic on but I've never seen a benzo prescribed to me that said "Do Not Take with Alcohol". The one's prescribed to ME have only ever said "Alcohol May Intensify the Effects". Furthermore, my doctor said it's perfectly fine to have a drink or two on this type of medication but my doc did say mixing them in the air would be a bad combo. Just my personal experience...
Oh this reminds me of a story that happened to my sister, who had the same thing written on her prescription...(Alcohol may intensify the effect..)

She was taking this pain med as prescribed and we went to a friends wedding. At the wedding dinner she had *one* glass of wine, (not unusual for her) and a few minutes later she said to her hubby and me, "Get me out of here, I'm getting really drunk..." By the time we got her up from the table the room was spinning and by the time she got out to the car she was throwing up out the window of the car...

She told her hubby to stop the car as everything was spinning, at which we all laughed because we hadn't even moved out of the parking spot yet... Poor girl! She got quite sick and really hung over.

So "intensify" may be a matter of degrees, and it turns out my sis has a pretty low tolerance for mixing meds. Wouldn't want to find that out *on* the plane! LOL

And yes, we still tell that story at family gatherings, some 20 years later! LOL
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:20 PM
Dachiri Dachiri is offline
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Kimmar, that is exactly what happens to me, except it happens with relatively mild pain killers/anti-inflamatories (like Celebrex) and also with a whole slew of other medications like muscle relaxers, nausea medications, etc. It can also happen to me long after I've taken the medication (I once got sick on one beer 11 hours after taking a Celebrex and a muscle relaxer). I've never taken an anti-anxiety medication, so I don't know what the effect would be for sure, but I know for sure that I don't take anything with alcohol anymore.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:20 PM
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I have no problem with someone coming on and saying... "Hey I took Ativan to help with my anxiety, and it worked well. It took the edge off" That is a personal account about how the medication worked for them, not advice.
I'm generally a "cautionary voice" on the "meds topic", based on my personal negative experience with medications. My flight anxiety had been gradually getting worse and worse, and finally I tried a small dose of a Dr.-prescribed benzo before a 3-hr. flight, hoping to "take the edge off". Instead, my heart was racing at 120 BPM the entire flight, and it was such an unpleasant flight (even though objectively there was nothing wrong with the flight itself, not even turbulent), that I ended up not flying again for 13 years. I had also tried Dramamine before a flight some years before that, and found myself in the bathroom throwing up about 1/2 hr. after taking that medication. I've used Dramamine at sea with mixed results. Once it made me throw up, another time it really helped with motion sickness, but also made me fall into a deep sleep.

Given my personal experiences with those two meds, there's NO WAY I would combine them!
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:28 PM
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The problem with mixing alcohol and these types of meds is they both slow your breathing. In an environment set at an altitude of 8,000 feet (normal cabin pressure of a plane in flight) mixing the two can cause you to stop breathing. If you stop breathing, you die.

Additionally mixing the two can cause halucinations... again intensified by altitude. It can also cause someone to become agitated and even violent.

We have seen articles in the past where someone with the Fear of Flying goes berserk on a flight, they land, and the person is arrested. Usually what has happened is they have not followed the directions of their doctor in regards to the meds, or they mixed them.

Medications are fine to help overcome the Fear of Flying IF USED PROPERLY. That is true with medications for any condition.

There are some instances that they can be mixed safely, even when flying. For instance... on my flight from Los Angeles to London they would be serving complimentary champaign before the flight. I wanted to take part in that. So I called my Doctor and Pharmacist who said with the dosage I was taking of Ativan (.5mg) one.... ONE glass of champaign would be fine. But no more... and not to take another Ativan for 4 hours.

Very specific instructions which I followed.

Going full circle on this subject... getting ideas here are fine... but prior to taking any of these meds, or altering the manner in which they are taken... you MUST speak to your Doctor and/or Pharmacist. I do not care what anyone here, or on any other site tells you.
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