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Question about getting of XANAX
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Question about getting of XANAX

I have been taking 1.5mg of xanax for six months at bed time. My doctor prescribed it to me to help with sleep after a hand/nerve injury.  I stopped taking it yesterday. I had decresed my dose to 1mg at bed for about two weeks. So what can i expect. How bad do you think the withdrawls will be?  Is this considered a high does for a long time?? Everything else i read is people who were taking a lot more than that for a lot longer.  Also is there anything i can take to help with the insomnia, and the cloudy head feeling. Sorry don't know how else to explain how my head feel. kind of like when you stand up really fast you get that feeling. Well my head feels like that all the time.  Any help would be great. I have experienced withdrawals from oxy's and lyrica as well. All from hand injury.  

Hope to hear from someone!?!?!?!
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40 Comments Post a Comment
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352798_tn?1399301754
The only thing I have heard is to always taper off of it. Check with your Dr if you can.
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199177_tn?1332183097
continue to taper down all of the way slowly.AS GTMI  said if you have a doctor I would come up with a taper plan from him.
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Avatar_m_tn
The doctor that prescribed these to me is basically useless. He is just a pain doctor so when i asked him about getting off the Xanax he basically said oh just try and wean yourself off of them, or just stop taking them. Anyone have any idea how long the physical symptoms will last. Guess would be good too,

Is this dose i have been taking large?  And is 6 months a long time to be on this medicine from hell??  My doctor is of no use so i have found you guys.  And no prescription left for the xanax. Doctor wont refill it. His comment was you said you wanted off so i am not going to give you a refill.  

thanks
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372416_tn?1242669352
Do you have some left to taper with?

I used both valium & xanix in my past and weaned myself off.  You just keep breaking them up into smaller peices and go down slowly.

I don't recall any withdrawals doing this.
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Avatar_m_tn
No i have none left to even try to taper off them. So i guess i am in it for the long haul. Would going to the ER help
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Avatar_m_tn
That is help speed up the withdrawl (withdrawal) process.  This really *****.
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372416_tn?1242669352
Have you looked in the health pages?

Why don't you send a message to Avisg?  She seems to know lots.
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199177_tn?1332183097
I would go see your doctor and tell him you need some valium to taper off with and if he refuses I would ask him if he is going to take responsibility if you have a seizure from not tapering properly.
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Avatar_m_tn
I need to be careful how I say this...
But it is hard for me to believe your copious prescription writing Dr. would "punish" you when asking for a taper plan, out of spite??

So, I must add that I don't know the level you are taking is really high, but I have heard it is ALWAYS a good idea to taper from BENZOS, therefore, if your doctor, is NOT willing to help you, I would suggest you confront him with the facts.  And make it clear you are not willing to risk your health Cold Turkey when he looped you in the first place.

Get my meaning?  I hope you do, because even in recovery myself, I can see here that what is happening is NOT right, and you need to assert yourself to both the doctor, and your own desire to get off of this drug.

I hope you can find someone to help you taper, and it SHOULD be your doctor..

Best wishes...
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Avatar_m_tn
Well we are into the weekend now and i called his office this morning and it took him all day to tell me no. So what am i to do. As i asked before.

Is what i was taking considered a high dose?  and is 6 months considered a long time to take that?

Any help would be great. I mean if i have to wait untill monday to get anything i might as well just not even bother to get something else.

Any help appreciated.

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Avatar_m_tn
I have never abused a drug in my life. and i hate taking medication. But because of the nerve injury i have i was forced to due to the pain. Well after 12 nerve blocks one finally worked and i am off all meds except the xanax. And all my other meds i had to quit cold turkey as well.  I have been through withdrawals before but everything i am reading about xanax frankly scares the hell out of me.

I aslo did ask him to switch me to valium and he said that wouldn't help things any. Every time i go to his office i feel like his little guiene pig. he always gives me something new to take. I am just sick of medication and i am willing to deal with the pain of my injury as long as i can get off the medicine.  

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Avatar_m_tn
Again I need to be careful .  I AM NOT A DOCTOR>>  

But for a while I was taking 2-3 mg of ATIVAN, which is in my opinion the worst of them all.  Then Xanax.  I quit my ativan cold turkey and never felt any withdrawals, but I was also taking Hydrocodone, at the same time, and it may have made a difference.

You say you only take at night.  That means you are not keeping your blood levels of the drug "up", and if you are not feeling any withdrawal symptoms, I would think you would be ok?  AGAIN  I AM NOT A DOCTOR!!!

But , to worry about it creates anxiety, and you are trying to get away from that.  6 months is long enough to be dependant on any drug.  So, 6 months a year, at this point it is about the amount per day and for how many days.  Again at 1 to 1.5 you probably will be ok.  I do wish you that.

If you feel unwell please do consider calling for help.
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Avatar_m_tn
i just feel like my head is in a daze. My arms feel heavy. And like my heart feels like it is racing. hot/cold flashes. you know usual withdrawals.  

Just didn't know if anyone knew how long i could expect to feel like this b/c it is not fun.
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Avatar_f_tn
i, too, was not on xanax, but was on ativan (even worse, i also agree)....was only on it for about 6 months and probably was already physically dependent....then stayed on it for another 4 1/2 years solely for sleep purposes (insommia, and nothing else helped, nothing, ativan was last resort, and of course, lucky me, it helped)....anyway, i tapered UNDER A DOCTOR'S SUPERVISION, but NOT the doctor who originally put me on the ativan....nope, he sounds like the doctor who put YOU on the xanax....he put me on it, kept me on it for 5 years, then got scared and didn't want me on it anymore, but wasn't willing to do ANYTHING to help me....amazing....truly amazing....especially when all the medical literature says do NOT, under any circumstances, go cold turkey off of any benzo.....the risks are way too high....because i had the same experience with my stupid doctor, i can understand what you're saying about yours....

what i did was to ask around and i found a terrific psych. doctor who helped me gradually wean off the ativan with another drug called clorazepate....worked like a charm....was completely off within 2 months (after FIVE years of ativan use every night)....

i still have problems sleeping though....so i'm right back to square one and the reason i started on the ativan in the first place....however, i did some massive research and found a program called "the road back"....it's a program to help wean/taper off of benzos....using all natural products....no prescription drugs....i'm currently taking the Body Calm and Body Calm Supreme at night for sleep and it's working great (but it can also be taken every day during the day, every 2, 3 or 4 hours, alternating between the body calm and body calm supreme....which helps with the anxiety and other w/d symptoms)....if you're interested, just google "the road back" or pm me and i can answer any specific questions you might have....those products have been a lifesaver for me, even after i've been off the ativan and clorazepate completely now for months

hope this helps.....please don't despair because this CAN be done....you just need the proper help though....soooooooo hard to go off of a benzo on your own....

let me know if you need anything further....

blessings,
kim
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401095_tn?1351395370
No one can tell u this...xanax is one of the stronger benzos with klonopinn right beside it...then ativan at #2...valium is much weaker even tho it has a bad reputation as it was the first one introduced to the market...again...1 mg a night is not a high dose....but if u feel miserable.....do 0.5 mg for a few nights...again...if u feel like u r in physical trouble...go to the er...this is not a PHD form...just addicts but i am a nurse...1 mg of xanax daily should be ok to ct from after 6 months but everyone is different...if u do not feel like ur doctor is listening to u..then get another doctor..be safe
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401095_tn?1351395370
FYI: Benzos are not designed to be a sleep medication at all...they r for anxiety...it would be better if u have difficulty sleeping..to ask ur doc for a med designed for sleep
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230262_tn?1316649534
i would call your pharmacist and ask them if they think that is acceptable to stop taking at that dose. They know alot more about the meds than most doctors, hands down. good luck to you
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Avatar_f_tn
I would definately say 1 mg to stop suddenly is too much..Your dose wasn' terribly high but it does not matter..if you take it everyday you will suffer w/ds..xanax is a tiny but very powerful pill..I would either have your dr give you a rx of .25 mg for the month and then taper..if he doesn't listen to you..print out everyhting you can about how dangerous going cold turkey is for benzo's..sounds like your dr. is an idiot..then if he doesn't listen ,i would tell him your turning him in..and do it..that is wrong for him to suggest just stop taking it..absolutley absurd..You are going to most likely have sever rls and if it gets real bad you'll know because you will feel like your having a heart attack, tightness in chest and feeling like you can't breath..if that happens go to the er and tell them what you did..tell them everything including your dr.s gross negligence of not having any knowledge about the drugs he is prescribing..
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Avatar_m_tn
http://www.benzo.org.uk/
This site is the most informative site I have ever come across, with a ton of info regarding the make up and withdrawal of these benzo drugs, including taper plans, and other information useful to someone trying to quit benzos.

ANYONE trying to quit or get info regarding Xanax, Ativan, and the like should check it out and peruse the links it provides.

I hope it helps.

~Decisions
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Avatar_m_tn
As a follow-up to the previous post, in particular, the "Aston Manual" would be of great interest to anyone who has taken Benzos over time.  
This info is widely recognized as accurate albeit not written by a Dr.  And we know how good some MD's are by the example above.
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Avatar_f_tn
If your original prescribing dr won't help you out, then I suggest going to an urgent care or ER and explain your situation. You weren't on that high of a dose, but I had weaned off xanax all the way down to half a .25 and still had w/d symptoms. I did my taper over 3 months, too! The worst part is the insomnia is enevitable, and it can last up to a month. Mine did anyways. If that is your only symptom, I would just tough if out, but quitting xanax can cause an increase in anxiety, not only seizures, and if that is happening to you, than you do need to seek medical attention. The increased heart rate is VERY BAD. HTH- at least a little!
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454371_tn?1221300985
Yes, I would talk to the Dr. If you do not want to, at least keep tapering. Go to 0.5 mgs for 4 or so day, then 1/2 that for 4 or so days. Then if you need to take that dose every other day for a few days...

Good luck
  
  Lady
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah my chest has felt very tight for two days now.
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Avatar_f_tn
That's probably a withdrawal induced panic attack- very common with discontinuing benzo's.. I'm not a dr- did attend med school till I got sick, but would, by no means, call myself a medical professional- but benzo w/d can kill you, so to be on the safe side, I would seek help. At least they can monitor you and make sure that, even if your heart rate is high, that you're ok...
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Avatar_m_tn
like go to the ER or what. Wont they just check me out and send me home?  It is very hard to swallow anything that is not liquid. Arms are VERy heavy. Kind of hard to type. Like is said before. Very tight chest. Feels like my heart is racing. Diarreha, Mind racing, Oh my god i just feel terriblle. Like i want to crawl out of my skin.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well going on day three of withdrawals. Not feeling good at all. But i am bound and determined to get through this.

One  question though. I think if i actually got some sleep i would feel a little better. I know you are not supposed to take anything when getting off a drug.  But i do have a prescription for Tizanadine. Or "zanaflex" i was wondering if it would be ok to take one at night just to help me relax and sleep a little?

What do you think???
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Avatar_m_tn
At this point you are probably dealing  more with the anxiety than anything else.
If you haven't already gone to get taken care of, I assume you feel you are getting through it , albeit difficult.  

I have read Ativan is the worst of them all but I noticed another member suggested Xanax.  The point is, they are all bad and Vallium is probably the best of them, as it is recommended for use in tapering.  This is because Valium has the longest "half-life" of all the benzos by far.  Valium stays in your bloodstream for a few days after taking a dose, thus it has a cumulative effect.  Xanax is in and out pretty quick, thus having an effect of high blood content and then purges itself again.  Considering you took only at night, and not on a regular dosing schedule, I really think you might be able to beat this BUT you MUST get over the anxiety of not taking the drug.  

I went cold turkey of of 2-3 mg Ativan, and NEVER looked back, but again, I am ME....
And, you are You...  There is no question that the dosing I took is at LEAST equivelent to what you were taking, and I had NO w/d's from stopping.  

That said, we are All Different, and you need to make decisions about how you feel and whether to act to protect yourself (ie. 911, or the emergency room).  
If you are unsure, I always say ERR on the side of being safe.

Go to the website I posted earlier.  This site is the most informative and complete site relating to Benzos I have ever seen.  That doesn't mean there aren't other good informational sites as well, but this one is the best in my eyes, because it represents a lot of user and statistical and professional information...

Good luck and you will be fine..  I just know it!!!!

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Avatar_m_tn
Day 5. Well it is Day 5 since i quit taking my xanax.  I went to the ER on saturday because my chest hurt so bad, and it felt like i couldn't catch my breath. The doctor said everything was fine and it was just from the withdrawals from the xanax. Of course i havent slept at all since friday.

Any hints on trying to get some sleep at night?? I think if i got some sleep i would feel pretty good. Also Any idea when i might start to feel better. I felt the best i have felt last night. then this morning i feel bad again. Chest not tight like it was friday, and saturday. So that has gotten better. Diarrehea not as bad either. Just no sleep at all. Any help would be great.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm so sorry I was off the computer all weekend so I couldn't keep up with your thread!! I'm glad you went and got checked out and all is fine. Well, except the sleep thing. And I hate to say it, but that's gonna be awhile before you get it back.. You could try taking tylenol PM, or melatonin- maybe something from a vitamin store?? I thin you said you had tizanidine? that ALWAYS knocks me out so you totally could try that. It's a muscle relaxer, so it could help. I wouldn't take a high dose tho- just whatever your original dose is. I'm sorry you're going thru this. It really *****, I know. But this too shall pass!! Keep up the good work!  
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Avatar_f_tn
i had to taper off of the ativan (3-4 mg at night, every night for 5 years) cuz cold turkey, i almost died....but i tapered successfully and uneventfully, under a doctor's supervision....however, the reason i began taking the ativan in the first place was for sleep....and when i was off of it,guess what happened?  yup, no sleep again....i'm right back at square one....however, i did find some natural products that seem to be helping....i just know that after being on a benzo, because it works SO heavily on your CNS, the sleep thing is very hard to get back for awhile....just be patient though and try all kinds of natural stuff....you're bound to find something that works....

but DO be careful with going off of this stuff....it's nothing to play around with...i can definitely be dangerous to go c/t....very dangerous.....

i've been there....sorry feeling so crummy....good luck!!!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah but this being day 5 shouldn't i start to get some kind of relief from the withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms?

I mean the first two days were pure HELL... I am feeling much better than those days. Just the sleep thing that is making me mad now. And the fact that i don't really have an appetite. Of course i havent eaten much in the past 5 days.  But i do notice when i force myself to eat i feel a little better.  

What natural products have you all found to work for sleep?

Thanks for all the support. You guys have been great.
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Avatar_n_tn
Tapering xanax on your own is extremely difficult thing. I have tried it several times, then started alcohol as a substitute and same story again.
It depends individually though, some get less withdrawals some dont. If you made it to 1mg with no withdrawal symptoms youre OK. Worst senario of xanax withdrawal is having a seizure. Consult your Doctor and keep on tapering. If withdrawals are severe there are impatient treatments with 2 alternative drugs that will last only 4-5 days a week max.

Good Luck, Dont Drink with Xanax.

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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry I missed your posts.

Benzos should be tapered for a fairly long duration.  I am surprised that you were not given this information in the ER.  Of course the stabilize you and "send" you packing with a $1,000 medical bill.  In either  event,  I would try to find a doctor in your area that specializes in drug tapering.  I am sure there is one that at least will understand.  Get the information I  sent you to, for a tapering schedule and provide the doctor you see with the statistics for your dosage and then try to get the help you need for that taper.

You will probably be fine, but I still say , why take the chance?  And your recovery will be likely easier, IF you stick to the taper.

Good luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
Xanax should be tapered.  It is very risky to your health to go cold turkey on these.  My mother almost died from the withdrawals.  Your symptoms actually sound like a panic attack, heavy chest, hard time breathing..... all signs of panic attack.

Be careful and be safe.
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Avatar_f_tn
nope, unfotunately, when tapering off of a benzo, day 5 is merely a drop in the bucket....so sorry to have to say that! :-(  but just wanted you to know that it's gonna feel that way for awhile....tapering off of a benzo is not at ALL like tapering off of opiates or narcs/pain pills....very, very different....much longer ordeal....takes months....now, i'm not saying you have to feel CRUMMY for months, because i most certainly did not, but i tapered under the supervision and with the help of a totally and completely awesome pysch doctor who knows his drugs and tapers people soooooooo well....i think he's awesome....couldn't have done it without him, i know it....so i didn't "feel" it like you are....he had me taper using another weaker drug (called clorazepate, most no one has ever heard of it because it's not a widely requested drug, it doesn't give a "high" or a "low" or whatever it is you might be looking for.....but it's great for tapering off a benzo....and then tapering off of that was/is literally a piece of cake)....so that's how i went about it....i was on that ativan for 5 long years, and although i never once abused it, i knew it would be impossible for me to get off of it on my own, i could already see the writing on the wall...and fortunately, i was recommended to this great doctor by my cousin, so all worked out well in the end for me....i think much depends upon whether or not you can find a really awesome, competent doctor who really knows his stuff when it comes to benzo tapering....SO worth it to research that...where do you live??  if anywhere near me, i'd be HAPPY to share this guy's name with you (in a pm).....

either way, best of luck, hang in there, and my thoughts and well wishes will be with you....

kim
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Avatar_m_tn
So baiscally what you guys are telling me is i am going to feel like this for A LONG time?? So the past 6 days have been for nothing???  That just kind of sunk my ship.

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Avatar_m_tn
I would get some of the above select comments and send them to your doctor.
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Avatar_m_tn
This isn't a contest.  It's your life.
We PM'd a bit, but you sound like you have a mission to complete, in record time.
You  dosage is/was fairly low (but high enough to cause symptoms) and causing W/D induced panic, and other issues?

If you truly are feeling better, then maybe the worst is over.  Up to you.

Whatever you do, I hope it works out well...
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Avatar_m_tn
Well i am continuing to feel a little bit better each day. Getting a little bit of sleep at night. Mornings are the worst for me. By late morning i start to feel a little bit better. Each day i do feel a little better though. so i am hoping i am past the uphill strugle and will continue to get better each and every day.  although it has only been a week. I can tell you one thing i will NEVER take xanax again. Just because this week as been hell on me and my wife.  I think worse on my wife than me.  

Thanks for the support. Love hearing from you guys.
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Avatar_m_tn
It sounds like the worst may just be over.
Good luck and stay strong
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