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Fundoplication done. Took alprazolam for stomachache and breathlessness. Safe to take xanax?

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Practicing since : 1962
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I have had long-term reflux and have even had fundoplication, which is still in place, but only worked for 2 years. As well as the modern treatments (I take Lansoprazole, but have been prescribed all of the PPI's) up to 2 years ago I felt really ill most days, coupled with severe stomach pain, vision disorder, dizziness, breathlessness. At worst I was bedridden, sometimes I would take myself off the road because my vision was being affected. I was treated with all the second line drugs, such as amitriptyline, dosolupin, baclofen, in fact a whole line other anti-depressants. I couldn't tolerate any of them and none of them made me feel one bit better. Through being so unwell I asked for Diazepam on a couple of occasions and apart from calming me down, they also seemed to help with the symptons. 2 years I started buying Alprazolam to take on a daily basis, though with a fluctuating dose. Maintenance of 2-4 x1mg tabs, up to 6-8mg when my stomach really flaired up. I have not been unwell in the last 2 years. Is Xanax seen as a valid treatment? I believe I have not only endured reflux for most of my life, but increasingly also severe stomach spasm. The alprazolam has made a big difference to me personally, but I cannot find much literature to support its use over the anti-depressants. I am aware of the dependancy issues, though I am pleased that I have not had to increase the dose to get the same effect. I would like my Doctor to try me on other anti-anxiety drugs, prescribable on the UK NHS. I am aware Xanax is not prescribable in the UK, but I feel ANY of the other benzodiazepines would be just as effective. I have always had a poor gut and have been diagnosed with diverticulosus. The pains have increased over recent years and are now quite troublesome. The alprazolam helps, but I also wonder if there is any evidence of alprazolam actually causing intestinal pain? I would be interested in your response (and apologies for any typo's). Many thanks.
Posted Thu, 21 Feb 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Charles S Narasi 6 hours later
The long term results after fundoplication, kind of confirms
what you are experiencing.About 2 years, most people are
back on PPIs because of symptom recurrence.
It is very important to take the PPI twice a day for severe
symptoms, about 90 mins. before your main meals for
effectiveness.Also, dietary factors, alcohol intake, caffeine
and smoking history, all weigh in.
The reason Xanax is helping is control of stress factors that
might aggravate the symptoms.
The drug has no effect on the lower esophageal sphincter
pressure.If anything, it might slow down the contractions
of the stomach.
I think your intestinal pains may be related to Diverticulosis
and perhaps associated irritable bowel syndrome.
As for other antidepressants, some that belong to the
Tricyclic family, help IBS-Diarrhea type.
Valium can lower the sphincter pressure and worsen GERD
I wish you the very best.
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