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Xanax withdrawal??
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Xanax withdrawal??

I started taking xanax in january when I began having anxiety and depression issues after a head injury in december. I got it from my general practicioner. I was taking .25 3 times a day. After 3 weeks I decided to go see a psychiatrist becasue I didnt want to be on it without supervision. The psychiatrist told me not to stop. to taper off and go on buspar and wellbutrin. My neorologist was a little concerned about being on wellbutrin becasue we were still unsure if I was having seizues. I called him and asked to see him again and he told me that he was confident about it and didnt want to see me unless I went on wellbutrin fr 2 weeks. I decided not only did I not want to take the meds until we were sure I wasnt having seizures but I didnt want to see him again. I started weening myself off the xanax. a few days after I stopped I was having a hard time and couldnt sleep so I took .50 xanax at night for 2 days then I stopped again. As soon as I stopped taking the xanax I have had severe insomnia and anxiety is getting worse. I ended up in the emergency room this weekend seeing the psychiatrist. I asked him if I was going through withdrawal. He told me no. He said any withdrawal effects would be gone by now. He told me I should keep taking the xanax cause I have "0" chance of getting hooked on it. He actually used his hand to make a zero. I told him I read everywhere differently and since I have a history of drug use in my 20's I was afraid and he again told me I shouldnt worry. He gave me hydroxazine?? to sleep and sent me on my way. My symptoms are insomnia, headaches, aches, bad fatigue, weird groggy feeling and a anxiety that sometimes gets a little hard to handle. The insomnia is the hardest to deal with. I have gone 4 days sleeping 1-2 hours and I feel like I am going to go insane. I actually thing I am. So last night I took a .50 pill of xanax and a hydroxazine because I coudlnt go another day without sleep. I awoke extremely groggy and have been feeling that way the whole day (it's now 11pm) Was that a mistake? I'm I going through withdwaral? What can I do to ease the symptoms if I am? Any help would be appreciated.
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242532_tn?1269553979
Xanax is a very addicting drug, so be careful, but intermittently at small doses you would not expect withdrawal, but if prolonged, and then stop, you must stop slowly because seizures can occur then.  Ask your doctor about klonopin as a longer term approach to anxiety and sleeplessness.
12 Comments
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110220_tn?1309310461
Dear Rojer:
Yes you are definitely in withdrawl (withdrawal) of xanax.  I tapered after 2 months of usage and it took me a month to get off of them totally.  The first symptom once off was a lack of sleep.  I stopped taking them on a Thursday.  The entire weekend I DID NOT sleep but for a total of 2 hours.  I thought that I would pass out of exhaustion.  I experienced tinnintus (ringing in the ear) and adreanline surges with rapid heart beats and higher than normal blood pressure.  It has been 6 weeks now and I feel back to normal with mild mile symptoms every now and then.  Sometimes I would get the tenses feeling in my stomach and weak legs as well (now that I think about it).

The sad sad thing about being prescribed xanax is that my doctor had not a clue to withdrawl (withdrawal) of this drug.  He said you might feel irritable for a few days...not so .

There is a website that helped me understand withdrawl (withdrawal), otherwise I would have spent a small fortune on doctors visits trying to understand why I was feeling bad.  The website is
www.benzo.org.uk  Please sign on and read the issues that so many people are expereincing with benzos.  You are not alone with this benzo addiction.

Best Wishes
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so much for the reply rosetoes. Talk about a small fortune. i went to the famous William Alanson White Institute in Manhattan today and paid the psychiatrist in chief there that I was able to get an appointment with 3500.00 an hour and I still didnt get all the information that I am able to see here. He told me that he didnt think a withdrawal from .25 xanax 3 times a day would be so hard. He says it should go away in 2-5 days. I told him I had read that people have the effects for weeks and he looked like he didnt believe that. He told me I should think about taking paxil and also gave me a script for stuff called Rispadol??? for anxiety if I need it. I guess I know now what this is and I'll deal with it. Thanks to people on sites like these. Well, I am deathly afraid of paxil becasue I heard so many bad things about it. Since my mother is on it he thought it would work for me. I told him my fears and he was frank in telling me that Paxil is one of the hardest to come off of. So I'm at a crossroads. I either try and ride my situation out and wait till the depression goes away (the doctors told me it eventually does go away the problem is how long it takes) or get on this med that will probably be a hell coming off of. And all I want is to feel normal again. :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so much for the reply rosetoes. Talk about a small fortune. i went to the famous William Alanson White Institute in Manhattan today and paid the psychiatrist in chief there that I was able to get an appointment with 3500.00 an hour and I still didnt get all the information that I am able to see here. He told me that he didnt think a withdrawal from .25 xanax 3 times a day would be so hard. He says it should go away in 2-5 days. I told him I had read that people have the effects for weeks and he looked like he didnt believe that. He told me I should think about taking paxil and also gave me a script for stuff called Rispadol??? for anxiety if I need it. I guess I know now what this is and I'll deal with it. Thanks to people on sites like these. Well, I am deathly afraid of paxil becasue I heard so many bad things about it. Since my mother is on it he thought it would work for me. I told him my fears and he was frank in telling me that Paxil is one of the hardest to come off of. So I'm at a crossroads. I either try and ride my situation out and wait till the depression goes away (the doctors told me it eventually does go away the problem is how long it takes) or get on this med that will probably be a hell coming off of. And all I want is to feel normal again. :)
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Avatar_n_tn
And a last question rosetoes if I may...I "cheated" on saturday and took a .50 pill after the doctor ASURED me it was ok because I couldnt sleep. I slept fine although a bit groggy from the hydroxazine and sunday as well but last night I felt the same as the week before. I couldnt sleep even though I was tired and sleepy. I didnt sleep more than 2 maybe 3 hours. did I essentially take 2 steps back becasue of taking that pill. After a week of hell am I going to have to go through that same thing again this week? Thanks again for your help.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was totally floored when I was coming off of Amitriptyline (I take it for insomnia), and I went to the doctor and told him I was going through such a hard time, and he told me, "Oh, I haven't heard that.  Maybe about 1 day you should have those symptoms, but not for 8 days."  It took about 6 days for it to leave my system, then on the 7th and 8th days, I felt terrible, like I was going to faint, and not sleeping very well at all.  I had to go back on it, just to feel normal and to be able to sleep at night.  I thought I was going nuts coming off of it.  My anxiety increased and since they prescribe Amitriptyline for pain, all my muscles were hurting me.  So, don't let the doctors talk down to you.  I am sure if he was going through what I had gone through for so many days, he would have never said that to me.  Just to let you know.  Look up anything you can on all the medications you are taking.  Take care.  I think Xanax is a very addictive drug, so be very careful with what you take and do a lot of reading.  
Susan
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Avatar_n_tn
I hear you susan. The other drug the Psych gave was Risperdal. (I spelled it wrong the first time) It's an anti-psychotic he told me. He says to use it as needed if I cant sleep or feel over anxious. I never heard of this drug before but looking it up here and on crazymeds I dont know why he prescribed it. I'll try it as my xanax withdrawal is insane. Any relief would be good. I will watch not to take it for any amount of time.
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Avatar_n_tn
If you are having problems sleeping, try amitriptyline.  It is not in the addictive category and you don't build a tolerance to it.  It is an antidepressant, and it can be used for insomnia.  It has a relaxing affect.  Only take it at night,though.
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110220_tn?1309310461
Hi Rojer:
Don't worry about "cheating".  Sometimes withdrawls gets really tough and you have to do what is best.  You took a .50mg and I hoped that it helped you sleep.  Now try to get back on track the best you can.  I tell you that it has been 6 weeks since I last took xanax and I can honestly say that I might take a pill during a rough time, but I will not take them with any consistence where I would become addictive again.

Xanax did work for me during a rough period, the problem was I just didn't know at the time, it was addictive.  And a sincere warning, most doctors that prescribe benzos, do not have a clue to the withdrawl (withdrawal) problems we are faced with.  I was so incredible grateful to find the www.benzo.org.uk website or I would be spending thousand  at doctor offices trying to find out why I was feeling the way that I did.

Rojer you will be fine by taking a xanax once and a while.  Just try to be in control and not the medicine.  Those pills have a way of controling us and our need to take them. It relaxes us and takes away our fear/anxiety and we need to learn how to do that on our own.  I read many books on anxiety while I was taking xanax and it helped when I stopped taking them and started to feel panic again...deep breathing helped the most.

Best wishes to you!
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Avatar_n_tn
Rojer,

You are currently suffering from benzodiazepine post-withdrawal effects. The doctors you've spoken with are ignorant as to the concept of neuroadaptability, specifically of the two sides of the GABA receptors known to be affected by Xanax.

I'm assuming your head injury has healed sufficiently and hasn't caused you permanent damage, at least that's the impression I get from the involvement of your neurologist. He does seem to have a concern regarding seizures...this is why you need to be very careful on stopping Xanax. It is notorious for lowering the seizure threshold, which means if you stop it abruptly, or take it one and off like you have that you could induce seizures. This is very dangerous and needs to be respected. Xanax is one of the most potent benzodiazepines. According to the AMA's own equivalency tables, .5mg of Xanax is the same as 10mg of Valium, by anyone's definition, a pretty high dose.

You tried getting off the Xanax much too abruptly. You need to educate yourself on how to safely and slowly taper from this neurotoxin. You should also reconsider not taking the other meds your alleged doctor has prescribed, though again, being careful to taper slowly off of these, too. These will only temporarily cover the symptoms of withdrawal. Benzodiazepine withdrawal was extensively written about in the massive 1990 American Psychiatric Association report on benzodiazepines. At that time, the APA identified and admitted to the known dangers of longterm benzo prescribing, which is now internationally acknowledged as any time period lasting longer than 4 weeks. The British government has set withdrawal guidelines in their National Formulary based on Professor Heather Ashton's work. Ideally, you should be switched over to valium, liquid valium is preferred, and you could then taper at 10% of that current dose every 14 days until you're done. That means it should take roughly 1 year (more or less).

For more information and a free copy of the Ashton Manual, visit www.benzo.org.uk

For information on the dangers of psychiatric drugs and malprescribing, visit www.psychrights.org or www.breggin.com
For a comprehensive list of information regarding mental wellness and complementary techniques and resources, check out www.freedom-center.org

Good luck and God bless,

Terramuggus
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Avatar_n_tn
I had my first panic Attack on 8/27/05.  I was put on Ativan, but then became to need more than needed to keep the attacks away.  So they put me on Xanax.  It's been about 2 months that I've been on them, but I've abused them to the point I was taking upwards of 6-8mg a day.  Then I had an accident at work and was in a pain and still am.  About two weeks ago, I went through my whole months supply, not to mention the 90 2 mg pills I bought online.  I was in a Xanax stupor for 2 weeks. I'm surprised I didn't overdose.  I recieved my prescribe for the month supply and week later it was gone.  

So of course now I don't have any and can't have any until at least the 25 when the ins, pays for it. I'm refusing to go back to mexico to get them or even orde them online.  My last Xanax was on Tuesday night 2 mgs.  I had a panic attack after an MRI and they gave it to me.  While cleaning, my husband found one 1mg xanax on the floor.  It's in my bathroom and has been there all day.  I want to take it...but don't want to.  I have not felt myself in these last few days since stopping.  Yesterday was a good day for me...today...does not feel real.  My husband suggests that it's the withdrawal symtpoms.  I do believe it is.  MY doc told me he isnt gonig to give it to me anymore.  Though I have two refills left.  Ive read the Ashton method, but I dont want to die from not taking the meds.  I'ts been 4 days now and I've experienced no appetite, EXTREME headaches, irritability, surreal, depressed.  

What do I do?  If I stick it out and just do this (I used crank when I was a teen for a year and stopped cold turkey only because it became not available to me...i made it throug it...it was tough...but I made and have been meth free for over 13 years now), do you think I can make it?  Will I REALLY DIE from not taking it like I keep reading?
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Avatar_n_tn
Your playing with fire if considering going off that much xanax cold turkey. You need to wean down off it slowly or you can have withdrawl (withdrawal) effects for many weeks or month's.
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