View Full Version : *Please explain how Xanax for flying makes you feel...

02-23-2005, 02:27 PM
I am scared to fly and have read that Xanax helps you stay calm. Please tell me how Xanax makes you feel. I don't want to be all dopey on the plane, I want to be coherant. Will I still have scarey thoughts or will the medicine help?

02-23-2005, 02:40 PM
Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication. I didn't take it for flying, but for driving on icy roads. It relaxed me just enough to fend off a panic attack and still function normally. But that was just how it affected me. You might want to try it in advance to see what effect it has on you.

02-23-2005, 02:51 PM
HaHa I took one of DWs for DDs birthday party. FTR, I don't make a habit of any med but we were entertaining 10 preteens and I really needed some help. Honestly, I don't even know if I felt it but I have more body mass than many. I can't imagine anyone getting "dopey."

02-23-2005, 03:36 PM
I ask my Dr. specifically for a prescription for it--just for flying. I take 1/2 of a pill and it's just enough to take the edge off. For me, it takes the fear of flying totally away. If I take a whole pill, I get really tired---like Benadryl does to me.

If you don't experience panic attacks---and just want to rest while flying--take a Tylenol PM (just 1) and that will let you rest your eyes and you'll forget about flying. But if you actually do have panic attacks, I'd get the Xanax, it works wonders for me. I would experience with it first though, before so you know what dose works best for you.

Good luck :)

02-23-2005, 05:56 PM
A low dose didn't do diddly squat for me for flying, although it took the edge off for a dental appointment.
A high dose knocked me out, which was fine with me!

02-23-2005, 06:59 PM
Ok, so you do feel sleepy?

I know I shouldn't stress about flying, but I do. I was hoping the Xanax would make me feel better and not so scared.

02-23-2005, 07:58 PM
I am a white knuckle flyer! Just the thought of getting on the plane gives me the jitters! One time some years back I started to panic when the plane lifted off the ground. Whew! I thought I was going to die of a heart attack!
So, after that I explained my feelings to my dr. and he prescribed 10 mg Xanax. I always take it now and I have never been groggy. I have to drive a rental car upon landing, so I needed something that would help my nerves and yet not make me dopey. Xanax comes in a few different strengths and your dr. will be able to prescribe what will work best for you.
It will also help you to read up on self help for fear of flying. Your local library might have something. I found a great article with some very useful tips. One thing that works best for me.... when you board the plane and you're sitting there waiting to take off - concentrate on relaxing. Start with your feet - feel them relax, then work up to your legs, knees, torso, shoulders, concentrating on each area.
Bring something to do on the plane to keep your mind occupied - word search, crosswords, magazines with light reading. Of course if your flight has a movie, that will help too. Do not THINK about flying...think of fun stuff.
I personally like to fly Song. They have the greatest little personal tv screens that are on the back of the seat in front of you. I can play trivia games with others on board...I get so involved with playing that the flight is over in no time!

02-23-2005, 08:42 PM
I have taken Xanax for every flight I've ever been on. I'm a VERY fearful flyer, and the Xanax greatly takes the edge off. I wasn't sleepy or groggy; just relaxed and not nervous. It maked me feel calm, so I could sit and enjoy the flight instead of praying "please, God, please, God, please, God..." over and over again for 2 and a half hours, and worrying about losing control and freaking out on the plane.
After the flight, I'm alert and ready to hit the parks!

02-23-2005, 09:23 PM
I HATE flying...I am flying for the first time in almost 5 years this May. I use Xanax and also Phenegren (sp) for stomach problems. I take 1 mg total, 1/2 45 mins before boarding and the remainder right before i board. This mixed w/ the other knocks me out, but if I just take the Xanax I'll doze but be coherant.

I'm sick thinking of May even though I know I'll be ok with the meds. It's just the build up, ugh. :guilty:

02-23-2005, 11:20 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your great replies.

I feel sooooooooooo much better now. I will print and take all of your suggestions with me. Your useful tips prove how helpful DISers really are.

I am seeing the dr tomorrow and hope he will be able to help me.


02-23-2005, 11:32 PM
I think that I am resistent to Xanax; I have to take a lot to get any effect, so that's probably why I get groggy. I can take a dose that would knock my brother off his feet, and I have no effect. I need the "elephant dose," but that's fine...I'd rather sleep peacefully than have white knuckles.

the kabuki
02-23-2005, 11:35 PM
One bit of advice, try taking one BEFORE you fly, to see how it works.
Personally for me it gave me a migraine, which I was glad to find out about at home, rather than 30,000feet in the air.

02-24-2005, 01:46 AM
I will never fly without it again!! I am also a white knuckle flyer. With the Xanax, I was soooo relaxed. Not so much to the point that I was ready to sleep, although that would have been fine for me. But relaxed to the point that I didn't care. No white knuckles on that flight!! :goodvibes

02-24-2005, 11:00 AM
I definitely want to be able to take the edge off of feeling scared. I don't want any anxiety attacks where my heart races and feel like I can't breathe. My DH says it's all in my head. He loves to fly and doesn't understand why I'm so frightened by it. I guess some people are just worriers? That must be me....

02-24-2005, 11:02 AM
just don't do what I did. I took it on an empty stomach. Lets just say I dont remember 95% of the flight. I don't know if thats good or bad.

02-24-2005, 01:51 PM
I don't mind sleeping during the plane flight just as long as I'm able to make coherent decisions once I land. Checking in with my dr this afternoon. I'm hopeful he will have some answers for me.

02-24-2005, 10:52 PM
A number of years ago my doctor prescribed this for me when I was going through a particularly traumatic experience and it just didn't do anything at all.. So, she increased the dose a bit.. Still no help..

Well - come to find out, it was because I was taking the med and drinking coffee at the same time!!! Talk about dumb - LOL.. :crazy:

So just remember to lay off the coffee or other caffiene beverages when you need to take it for the flight.. ;)

Oh - and yes - it will definitely calm you down - in a very subtle manner.. No woozy, dopey or drowsy feelings..

02-25-2005, 09:01 AM
Thank you C.Ann I will remember not to drink caffiene then.

My dr did give me Xanax to take on the flight. He suggested I take one before I get to the airport. Since I know I will be stressed before I get there just thinking about it. He gave me very low dose mg. and advised to take a couple if they were too low. He said they would make me feel relaxed like I've had a few drinks. Keeping fingers crossed this works. I don't want to be a nut case onboard. :banana:

02-25-2005, 09:10 AM
Thank you C.Ann I will remember not to drink caffiene then.

My dr did give me Xanax to take on the flight. He suggested I take one before I get to the airport. Since I know I will be stressed before I get there just thinking about it. He gave me very low dose mg. and advised to take a couple if they were too low. He said they would make me feel relaxed like I've had a few drinks. Keeping fingers crossed this works. I don't want to be a nut case onboard. :banana:

That's great! Make sure you let us know how it went when you get back, okay?


02-25-2005, 12:18 PM
Do try it before your trip!

My dr gave me some when I was having anxiety issues in college. I took one and woke up several hours later. I remember taking it, and that's all. It was pretty scary!

For some people taking it before you leave might work, but that wouldn't have been good for me.

I've had several MRIs lately and take 2 mg of Ativan before. It takes ~30 minutes to kick in. Sometimes I get lucky and sleep through the tests (1.5-2 hours).

02-25-2005, 12:23 PM
He said they would make me feel relaxed like I've had a few drinks.

Than why not just have a few drinks instead?

(Maybe I'm not one to judge... I've jumped OUT of a perfectly good airplane at 14000 feet... I LOVE to fly!!)

02-25-2005, 01:35 PM
I take Xanax for every flight. I wake up nervous so I take 1/2 tab when I wake up. Next 1/2 tab before leaving for the airport.
Depending on my anxiety level prior to the flight I may or may not take another 1/2 tab.
I have fallen asleep after taking 1.5 tabs but only for an hour and I am never confused/not coherent.

Good luck to you---hope it helps!

02-26-2005, 08:25 AM
Thank you again for all of your wonderful replies.

I'm sure I will have some anxiety issues, but hoping the Xanax will help.

Anything has to be better than being a white-knuckle flyer! :earseek:

02-26-2005, 08:53 AM
I wish I could take xanax for my flight but I am breastfeeding and know that it is not recommended for nursing moms. Has anyone used anything else that has worked besides benzodiazapimes - xanax, ativan, valium?

02-26-2005, 09:31 AM
I have taken xanax for several years for anxiety. When my son was old enough we decided to take him to Disney. We invited my mom and step dad to come along with us. I did not think they would go as my mom is petrified of flying...but, alas, it is amazing what a child can do when trying to convince their "favorite grandma". So, I mailed her a xanax tablet before they left and told her to take half when they arrived at the airport and then if she was still shook to take the other half when they boarded...well, when we met at the airport, she said the flight was not too bad.

Fast forward to leaving Orlando....we had got back to the room at about 11 pm.m and they packed, etc. They had to wake up at 3 am to head to the airport....with only about 2.5 hours of sleep. Again, I told her to only take 1/2 and if she neede it the other half as she boarded....well, she took the whole thing when they got to the airport.

My step-dad called and was laughing and laughing...between no sleep and no food excpet coffee, she was sound asleep before the plane left the gate and was snoring like crazy....snored all the way to Chicago...LOUDLY....then they had to catch a connection...and she was pulling one of those pull behind carry ons and she was dragging that thing upside down wandering down the concorse like a drunk! MY step-dad finally took it away from her and she comfortably got on the connecting flight to Milwaukee....and once she landed, she started to feel better......

02-26-2005, 07:18 PM
KLAIT--thanks for the laugh!

I hope I don't get that zonked out on Xanax. :rotfl2: