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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17511
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I just had a conversation with Dr. Love re antianxiety meds

Customer Question

I just had a conversation with Dr. Love re antianxiety meds and starting doses. He recommended Xanax 0.5mg every 6 hr. Inasmuch as I was taking 2mg of Ativan and 2mg of Valium without relief, is such a low dose of Xanax comparable? Also, he suggested an antidepressant. Can you suggest specific ones that have been very effective in your practice? Thanks a lot.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 7 months ago.
Actually, these doses of Ativan and Valium are not equivalent. 2 mg of Ativan is about equivalent to 10 mg of Valium. The dose of Xanax that would be equivalent to the 2 mg strength of Ativan would be the 1.0 mg strength, while the dose of Xanax that would be equivalent to the 2 mg strength of Valium would be the 0.25 mg strength. So, the 0.5 mg strength would be between the equivalent amounts to the Ativan and Valium that has been tried. These equivalences, though, are only for single doses. Since the Xanax is also a longer acting benzodiazepine than the Ativan, repeated dosing with the Xanax will achieve higher levels, even though the dose is lower on the equivalency chart. Therefore, the 0.5 mg strength would be a reasonable starting dose. As for the antidepressant, the usual first line antidepressant would be an SSRI, such as sertraline or citalopram, both of which has been very effective in helping patient in my practice that are struggling with the loss of a loved one. If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.

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