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After three years of treatment for anxiety and panic disorder I have responded very well to cognitive behavioral therapy. In June I started tapering off from Paxil (20 mg) and now it is Xanax's turn. I have been taking one mg. of Xanax before bed for more than three years. The original dosage was 3 to 4 mg. a day until my therapists and primary physicians told me to start reducing the dosage to the lowest functioning level. To make the long story short, I have been taking that 1 mg every night for three years and according to both my new doctor and therapist it is time for me to start tapering off. Last night I started to take only .05 mg and, although I woke up three times to go to the bathroom (something normal in me), I slept well. How should I go about it? For how long should I continue with the .05mg and when should I start reducing that to a smaller dosage? What should I do if I start to feel anxious and panicky? I did not have any problem tapering off Paxil (and I only suffered from the "zaps" for about two weeks), but everytime I read something about quitting Xanax I only read horror stories.
The common wisdom about tapering xanax is to do it slowly. You seem to be on that path, so staying on 0.5 for another week, and cut in half is about right.
YOu should talk to your doctor about another method, which is to switch to a longer acting medication,like klonopin, and then taper off of that. But since you have already reduced your usage to one at bedtime, the course you are on is probably better.
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