Depression/Mental Health Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal

xanax withdrawal

In the late 90's, I had seven jaw joint surgeries. The first one was bad. The second revealed both sides required total discectomies and a bone infection in the right side. The additional prodedures were to debrief scar tissue and culture.
In 2001, afraid to touch the joints anymore, oral surgeon referred me to the Pain clinic where they gave me methadone. Averaged 80 mgs. the past 4 years.  I became tolerant, wanted to taper off slowly, began 11/04, got down to 5 mg. 7/05 when it became too hard.  I've been seeing a rehab doctor and taking suboxone.  While tapering, in order to continue work and not suffer withdrawal, I was given xanax.  I became addicted at one time up to 25 mg.s a day, down to 15 now.  It's been close to a year.  What is the best way to detox without losing my job?  If I take a medical leave for 30 days in December and take no xanax, will that be enough time or should I continue to slowly taper?  Also, my rehab doctor has given me Prozac to help withdrawal from the xanax.  Is that effective or is Effexor a more proficient medication?
30 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
Both prozac and effexor are good for helping with withdrawals...that is a whopping dose of xanax and you must taper very slowly, very slowly , starting now so that by decemember you are in the range of .5 to 1 mg/day, then taper over three weeks, by alternating dose and lowering dose so end of third week you have taken the lowest possible every 3 days, then stop.  you might also ask your doctor to cover you for seizures during the stop week and the week after.
Avatar universal
I also feel a dependence to xanax because of anxiety disorder and inability to sleep. Just a suggestion, my doctor prescribed me Klonopin, a low dose to wean off xanax. Klonopin is apparently much easier to get off of when you are ready. Klonopin is also much longer lasting effect. Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
I need help with this too. I posted this under another question but I realized that no one had posted since September.

I had my first panic attack Sept., 17, 2005.  I am 36 years old. It was horrible, we had just had a death in the family and my husband told me at about 6am. My first thought was okay I have control over this I need to call a funeral home and then all the sudden this pain shot up my left arm and got progressively worse within 20 minutes. I even took a hot bath and it still did not go away. Then I thought I was having a heart attack and I started hypervetilating, My husbad said he could feel my heart busting out of my chest. I thought was going to die. The paramedics came and took the vitals, said this is an axiety attack, but I made them take me to the hospital anyway. I didn't believe them. I was in the ER three hours, they took blood tests, had EKG on, and gave me Xanax...I think 4MG because the pills were large oval and white.

When they released me I asked for more just in case, they were like if you do this again just deep breathe. So a day goes by...nothing but a tad more edgy ,then on the second day I had two more panic attacks. We did not call the ER because my hubby just made me breathe but I needed ice packs all over me, drink lots of water I was shaking like a leaf. By the Monday I was a wreck, like having cluster attacks. It was awful. we found a shrink who said I would continue on Xanax. I alraedy had a therepist but of course they can't prescribe meds.

The psychiatrist was an *** but he gave me .25 Xanax (Alpromazoram SP?)three times a day. I was okay for like two days then I needed taking more.I became agorophobic because I had an attack outside. I thought about dying constantly. So he upped me to .5 (the peach ones) 3xs a dy but I needed to take it 5xs so 2.5MG a day. Then it was to drowsy for me and I dropped to 4xs- 2MG. For two weeks I felt great and even would have to remind my self to take it rather than feeling the chest pains and arm pain. BUT!!!! when I tried to drop the evening pill and go to 1.5 MG, I halfed the 4th pill, for two days then quartered it on the third day. The next morning I nearly had a panic attack again (legs jittering, hot flashes).  I dumped my shrink b/c I did not like him and went to a reg doc. She tough .5  4xs a day was too much Xanax for me esp at my weight 114lbs. So yesterday she put me on 10 MG Prozac onec a day(she wanted to do Paxil or Lexapro but I said no cause I hear they are terrieble, esp Paxil). She said I want you OFF XANAX. So she gave me a perscription of .5 but she stipulated AS NEEDED NO MORE THAN 3xs A DAY!! She said in a month the Prozac will build up.

So far so good. I took my first Prozac yesterday. No side effects. But I still needed 2 MG Xanax cause anxiety did come. Today I woke up at 2AM and could not sleep, so at 4AM I took half a peach (=.25), then Prozac at 9am, felt anxiety then too a Xanax at 10am, but guess what I did not need anothe Xanax till nearly 4pm! and even then it was not really an axiety thing, I just felt like I should taper it more. So I will try to go as long as I can tonight before taking one. Lets say I make it till 11pm that is still some progress and puts me down to 1.75MG at least.

Or should I half the pill I take tonight?

Has anyone been on Xanax and Prozac? How did you wean off Xanax? I want to get off this stuff.
Avatar universal
The tapering plan the doctor has posted on this forum is too fast!! You have to go REALLY slowly off xanax in order to minimize withdrawal symptoms.

This forum can help:


Avatar universal
hey guys it feels so good to know theres others out there, ive been living a scary cold dark life. i started with vicodin till they didint even faze me anymore went on the percocets, on to oxycontin and morphine, onto heroin 4-5 times. after irealized im using such a horrible drug like heroin i had to do something. i am know seeing a specialist that prescribes me suboxone. i started with 8 mg a day on to 12 a day on to 24 a day on to 12 a day and now im on 8 as day again. its been two weeks that im clean but i smoke alot of weedt to now think about doing ox. im so happy im atleast trying to stop but i dont know if this will work. ive tried mixing suboxone with benzo's but i liked it so much i stopped. please responmse wiht any words of advice iwould love to hear from anyone, ive neever been able to speak to others in my situation. im embaressed to try na. any reply wiht any positive comments would be amazing. im tired of this bull**** life its time we all take control and become succesful, good bless all of you and thanks for taking ur time to read. 21 yr old male, ny. thanx again good luck. my im is mrmazman14.
Avatar universal
i have been taking xanax .25mg just started this week due to getting severe pain in my chest and upper back. The doctors told me that it was stress but i'm afraid that after the medication is completed that i will get withdrawl syptoms and the anxiety will come back even worse than it was. what should i do?
Avatar universal
My doctor prescribed 1 mg Ativan twice a day for my withdrawal symptoms. I was only on .50 once a night of Xanax, but when I stopped taking it, couldn't sleep and was so anxious and depressed. But now I am hearing that the Ativan can be just as bad. Has anyone heard of using Ativan for Xanax withdrawal? Also, what is the norm for how long the withdrawal symptoms last? Thanks for any help.
Avatar universal
I am on 1 mg. Xanax 3 times a day. I want to withdraw off of it. Please any help I could use.
Avatar universal
its really hard to go off such a drug but you cant do it over night. What you need to do is take the xanax as prscibed and everyday or week reduce your dose bit by bit. Ok there are time you may need little more just go and take little but by the next day you can go on by with thr reduction.
I am one of the few and i had a major problem to quiet and i was in a different enviroment and it was too hard but i did.
Avatar universal

Do Not Cold Turkey or Withdraw Too Fast!!

Please go to the British website www.benzo.org.uk and join their private support forum. Don't do any cutting back yet. The volunteers and other members there will help you devise a safe, slow and intelligent withdrawal plan, while offering you the emotional support you're definitely going to need in order to get off the Xanax. This benzo is one of the most addictive and crippling drugs ever invented, though I'm sure your doctors never told you this. Everyone has trouble with it. As tolerance takes hold, insomnia, anxiety, depression, muscle pain, fatigue, gastrointestinal disturbance, distorted thinking, memory and attention difficulties all grab on and won't let go until about 18 months of being off. If you cold turkey, or taper too quickly, such as the advice usually given by doctors, you're likely going to kick in horrible and painful post-withdrawal symptoms. At your current dose, assuming you can do a valium cross-over and taper, it could take up to 12 months to properly taper off, minimizing withdrawal symptoms.

When you go to the British website, look up the Ashton Manual and start reading. Then, read the stories of benzodiazepine victims and how they were eventually able to get over their unintended addiction. Also loook into the legal and governemtal interventions listed. There are over 600 pages of resources and information on that website, the world's most comprehensive cache of benzo-related data. Finally, join the forum for the support and guidance you'll never, ever get from any American doctor.

Good luck and God bless
110220 tn?1309310461
I am weaning off of xanax.  I was taking 1.5mg (.5 three times a day since Nov. 4 2005)for a panic attack I suffered that landed me in the emergency room (rapid heart rate).  My heart is fine after many test were ran.  Panic became a constant companion after this incident and my doctor prescribed xanax.  It worked like a dream for me and not once did my doctor speak of the addictiveness of the drug.

I have read the Ashton/benzo withdrawl reccommendation and I don't quite agree with it because their feeling is that you should wean off of xanax by beginning to take another addictive benzo..valium.  Perhaps for people that have been on xanax for 5/10 plus years will need other drugs to cope with the withdrawl, but I'm praying and am determine to wean off xanax with no other medication.

Weaning is hard, tightness in my head, muscle spasms, anxiousness, headaches, not sleeping peacefully at night is what I am going through now and I am down to .75 per day (.25 three times a day) and I've been on xanax just over 2 months. Having these withdrawl symptoms makes me more determined to get off of them, it can only get worse.  I can only imagine how a person might feel weaning off after years of use.

Every day I try to hold off as long as possible before taking a xanax.  I take a .25 in the morning around 6am and the next pill isn't until 5pm.  My next goal is to drop the mid day dosage totally or even break that pill in half 012.5.  I realize that weaning is going to take time due the serious side effect (seizures), but everyday, I'm getting closer to my goal.

One thing that I did do while taking xanax is meet with a therapist to learn relaxation techniques...deep breathing is a unbelievable help when a panic attack is approaching and I am 50 years old and have had panic/anxiety since my early 20's.  This was the first time that I took the medication route.

Good luck to all who are faced with xanax withdrawl.
110220 tn?1309310461
I think I read your e-mail in Benzo.org web site about weening off of xanax where their response was to taper using Valium.  I could tell that you didn't want to do that and your insurance would not allow you to change doctors and your current doctor would not prescribe Valium.  If that e-mail was not you, please excuse me.

I am not a expert on xanax, but I'm weening off of taking 1.5 mg per day for the last 10 weeks.  I didn't think that it would be difficult....wrong. I do have withdrawl symptoms that are scary!  But this motivates me to continue, I figure the more that I go through now, the less time I have to deal with this.  I did find a website that offers a weening/tapering plan of xanax that doesn't suggest to add more medication to your body.  The website is www.dearest.com/educate/xanax.htm.  

While I can't regret taking xanax because I did need it when it was prescribed, but if I knew after a few weeks I would be addicted, I would have stopped sooner instead of enjoying the comforts of feeling free from the world of anxiety.  I probably would have worked harder on the recovery as I have done recently.
Good luck and I hope that this helps.

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Can depression and anxiety cause heart disease? Get the facts in this Missouri Medicine report.
Simple, drug-free tips to banish the blues.
A guide to 10 common phobias.
Are there grounds to recommend coffee consumption? Recent studies perk interest.
For many, mental health care is prohibitively expensive. Dr. Rebecca Resnik provides a guide on how to find free or reduced-fee treatment in your area