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Old 03-23-2004, 07:48 AM   #1
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GRDIAN28 HB User
Alprazolam withdrawal

Has anyone tapered off alprazolam or gone Cold Turkey after 7 weeks on the meds? I was taking it for an anxiety attack I had because of stress ( A lot of it accumulated). I was taking .50 3x a day. About three days ago I started to taper off to .37/.25/.37. It's been 3 days and I feel like a drug addict because the med wears off after 6 hours, but I fight it to hold off at least to take the next one at 8 hours. My routine has been to relieve myself and then vomit first thing in the morning, even though it's dry heaving. My heart feels like it's going to jump out and my stomach feels like I'm trying to recover from the flu. I've lost about 15 pounds (which I wanted to lose after having my son but this is not the healthy way). Has anyone done the tapering for something this short amount of time?

 
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Old 03-23-2004, 08:18 AM   #2
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Re: Alprazolam withdrawal

Grdian,
Yinksy here is the expert on benzo's,so hopefully she'll get to the boards soon-meanwhile-is this the first time you've ever taken these? Are you taking anything else? If so,what and for how long?You've been on the Alprazolams for 7 weeks straight?It does sound like withdrawal that you're going thru,and benzo's are the WORST drug to detox from-BUT-even though 7 weeks is long enough to cause a physical dependancy,from your post it doesn't sound like you've been abusing this med or have a years long history of taking this??Do NOT cold turkey off this drug, continue your taper,you are going to feel nasty for a while,unfortunately no way around it,but it is important to get off of this as soon as you can so you don't further increase any physical (or psychological)dependancy.
Can you contact your doctor and let him know you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms?Just because you are experiencing withdrawal does NOT mean you are a drug addict,prolonged use of a LOT of things can produce a physical dependancy.
Also,why do you vomit in the morning?Self-induced or is this because of withdrawal?By routine, do you mean just recently?And I just read back how much you've been taking before you started tapering,and it appears you might be tapering a little to fast.
You have to take benzo tapers pretty slow.Once again, I hope Yinksy steps in here.And I also think it is extremely important you contact your prescribing doctor.Keep posting,and keep reading,I'm sure there's a lot of good advice coming your way from the people here!!
Hang in there
Stacie

 
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Old 03-23-2004, 09:09 AM   #3
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Re: Alprazolam withdrawal

DO NOT & I repeat, DO NOT quit this drug cold turkey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My fiance's doctor had him on 15 2mg bars a day and when he requested that he be tapered off of them, the doctor said no and rx'd him as much klonopin to take with it! Well, needless to say that p****d him off and he weened himself off of them. Little did he know that he weened too fast and he wound up having a violent seizure and hitting his head on a chair which required numerous stitches. He's okay now, with the exception of having migraines every day. Please ween under a doctor's supervision - don't do it yourself!!!


GOOD LUCK!

 
Old 03-23-2004, 09:19 AM   #4
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Re: Alprazolam withdrawal

I too, think you are tapering way to fast. I have been taking it for 1 1/2 years. I took .25, .125, .125. I now take .125 three times a day. I will stay on this dose until I feel comfortable. The first few days is hard. But it took me about 2 or 3 weeks to get to this dose. If I were you I wouldn't cut all three doses at once. I started cutting the higher one first which was my morning dose, but since you were taking the same amount all three times before your taper, maybe you should start with a dose that you may not need as much like the one in the middle of the day. I've read that you are supposed to taper only 10% a week and your taper should last as long as you have been on the medicine. I don't really agree with the second part of that though. I have successfully made my first cut, but don't really know where I'll make my second cut. I sometimes find myself forgetting to take my middle of the day dose so I may cut that one in half. I too would be interested in hearing from Yinksy.

 
Old 03-24-2004, 07:50 AM   #5
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Re: Alprazolam withdrawal

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRDIAN28
Has anyone tapered off alprazolam or gone Cold Turkey after 7 weeks on the meds? I was taking it for an anxiety attack I had because of stress ( A lot of it accumulated). I was taking .50 3x a day. About three days ago I started to taper off to .37/.25/.37. It's been 3 days and I feel like a drug addict because the med wears off after 6 hours, but I fight it to hold off at least to take the next one at 8 hours. My routine has been to relieve myself and then vomit first thing in the morning, even though it's dry heaving. My heart feels like it's going to jump out and my stomach feels like I'm trying to recover from the flu. I've lost about 15 pounds (which I wanted to lose after having my son but this is not the healthy way). Has anyone done the tapering for something this short amount of time?
I went to see a Psych with prescription authorization yesterday. She's been at it since '67. I wish I've would of known of her sooner. Come to find out that I've had Depression with anxiety for a while. I had no idea. I just thought of it being hard stress. I grew up with a Schitzophrenic mother and a younger sister. All those years I took the parent role. I might of had it since my teenage years. Don't know but I'm taking care of it now. My mother never had medical treatment up until last year. She is now 64. First step for me is to get off Xanax. She gave me Trazodone to sleep at night. I didn't like it because it made me have dreams. I woke up twice in the middle of the night. Got up just to really vomit this time around. I guess it takes time to adjust. I was also given Wellbutrin XL. I took my first one this morning. I'm a little nervous from the use of all these drugs. She told me I might have to be on these meds from 9 to 12 months before my own body does it's own thing. I'm new at this, so any advise will be greatly appreciated.

 
Old 03-24-2004, 07:47 PM   #6
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Re: Alprazolam withdrawal

I tried to quit alprazolam c/t 2 weeks ago and on day 2 I had a grand mal seizure. I'm young and in good shape and have never had anything like this happen to me before. It started as an anxiety attack and then I felt myself loosing consciousness. I walked outside to get some fresh air, and all of a sudden everything went black. The next thing I remember, I was inside my house sitting on a chair with paramedics and my wife asking me questions like whats your name and what month is it. I had no idea what month it was or what day of the week it was.......I also didnt remember my wife's name. The paramedics told me that I quit breathing for about 2 minutes because of how my wife described my face turning blue. It was the most terrifying experience of my life. I have recovered now but the moral of the story is, DO NOT QUIT THIS DRUG COLD TURKEY.

 
Old 03-25-2004, 03:52 AM   #7
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Re: Alprazolam withdrawal

Just putting this up beside the other post by jamesj

 
Old 03-25-2004, 10:50 AM   #8
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Re: Alprazolam withdrawal

yeah, i now of course admit that you were right about the benzos, sorry. up until that point i had never had any trouble(or heard of anybody i knew having trouble) with withdrawals. my arrogance toward the drug got me in trouble. benzos seem so mild until they slap you in the mouth.

 
Old 03-25-2004, 01:51 PM   #9
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Re: Alprazolam withdrawal

jamesj
Thanks for taking the time to put these two posts up. I think that took a lot of courage to do! You know fine that I didnt pull this thread up for any other reason than because you are living proof (as am I) as to how these evil little pills can turn on you. Once, having been the wonderful little pills which helped so much.
Many many people in here using them - OK - some have them prescribed by their doctors for legitimate reasons. Many (who may well get them from doctors, who in my book, are downright negligent) take them for no good reason whatsoever - claiming that they help them over a bad patch. Your situation just shows how deadly these drugs can be
Thanks james.................... glad to hear you are now doing so well. Hope no further symptoms of withdrawal will rear their nasty ugly wee heads!
yinksy

 
Old 03-29-2004, 09:30 AM   #10
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Re: Alprazolam withdrawal

Well, it's been almost a week I've been on Wellbutrin XL. Things are better. I'm now down to .25 of Xanax a day. When I wake up in the middle of the night 6 hours after 1/2 of my .25 of Xanax I take half a pill of Benadryl. The doctor said using Benadryl will help to taper off Xanax. My stomach is no longer out of whack. I have not vomited for about 5 days. The vomiting was actually dry heaving which accured when I was taking .50 3X a day and it was about 6 hours after it was wearing off. My mouth is no longer so dry. The only thing left is a little bit of my hands shaking and I can FEEL my heart beating 6 hours after taking the Xanax. I'll be grateful once I'm off that drug.

 
Old 03-30-2004, 07:35 AM   #11
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Re: Alprazolam withdrawal

It's been a week since I've been on Wellbutrin XL. My hands have been shaking a bit for the last three days and I have a high pitch ringing in my ears like if I've been in a club with real loud music. I was told that this was some of the side effects of Wellbutrin that it should wear off within one to two weeks. I hope so, I would hate to have to try another drug. I'm still down to .25 of Xanax a day and one Benadryl before going to bed and of course one Wellbutrin first thing in the morning.

 
Old 03-31-2004, 01:14 PM   #12
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Re: Alprazolam withdrawal

Last night I took my last quarter xanax. The Psych told me since I was using such a low dosage that I should be able to quit now. I still got the shakes. I've been buzzing for the last three days like if I'd been drinking. I was told that it was the side effects of Wellbutrin XL and that they should wear off in a couple of weeks. Yesterday I tried to take a nap in the afternoon and couldn't. I closed my eyes and tried to relax to go to sleep but I seemed to be stuck in the first stage of sleep where you can hear everything around you before you fall into a deep sleep. I hope this is a side effect that will wear off soon because I don't want to rely on sleeping pills.

 
Old 04-01-2004, 03:18 AM   #13
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Re: Alprazolam withdrawal

Hello Grdian,

What you describe are classic symptoms of benzo withdrawal (tinnitus, insomnia, nausea, sickness, tremor, anxiety etc). I know nothing about Wellbutrin - so the symptoms could be produced by either or both drugs? One way to find out would be to take the xanax and if the symptoms disappear then you have your culprit. xanax! If nothing improves then it is the wellbutrin.

.25 xanax = 5 mg valium. People taper down off 5 mg valium by way of 1 mg per week.
But you have been taking the xanax for only a few weeks? So - hopefully you will be over all this soon?
The insomnia is a beast of a thing! I had insomnia for a long time following the departure of benzos - but I had been on ativan for 2 years (a real long time for benzos - and soooooo wrong! I now know). It does improve and you will sleep again normally - but it takes time for the brain cells all to come back on line and working correctly - I am afraid this is something you just have to work through. Dont worry about it - if you can - just take it as it comes to you - one night you will sleep an hour, the next maybe 3 hours .......but it will come back.
I would urge you not to resort to any of the benzos or ambien or sonata.................... or you risk another addiction.

Try sleep hygiene - camomile tea, hot milk before bed..........you know the sort of thing. But above all - dont worry - it may take a day or two or even a week or so............. the brain chemistry has been altered and takes time to correct itself - but it does! In my view the worst things that people seem to do is to throw more pills (chemicals) into the equation - so the brain never gets a chance to sort itself out.

Good luck

Y

 
Old 04-01-2004, 08:39 AM   #14
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Re: Alprazolam withdrawal

Thanks for your support. You're right, last night was difficult to get more than 3 hrs of sleep and then an hour later maybe one more hour of sleep. This morning the dry heaves returned. I supose my body is just trying to rid itself from the xanax. I don't feel as buzzed today as I did two days ago. The ringing in my ears is still there but I try not to dwell on it. My shakes have subsided. My hands shake very little now to the point where you can't almost tell. Things are better.............
Thanks again

 
Old 04-04-2004, 02:38 PM   #15
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Re: Alprazolam withdrawal

Last night I finally slept 7 hours! This morning I got up, got my kids ready for Grandma and I got ready for work. It was nice. Later this morning I was feeling a little shaky. A little trembling inside of me. I told myself I was NOT going to give in so I worked hard to focus on other things around me. I tried to concentrate on details of items around me. It almost felt like I was going to get hit with an anxiety attack like I had about 2 months ago. It was difficult to the point where I found myself praying to get the strength to overcome what I was feeling. I refuse to go back on Xanax. I've been off it for a week. When I start getting the beginning phases of an anxiety attack I call it my "woe-is-me". I tell myself that I'm stronger than that and I will not bring myself to that level again. It was very hard but I did it. I know these things take a while to get over with if a person is fortunate enough not to ever go through this again. I pray that I'm one of them. I take it as a lesson learned. So far I've only been taking Wellbutrin XL and one Benadryl before going to bed. Maybe in a two weeks after I see my Psych I'll go without Benadryl. The less chemicals I have in my body I think the better. I never liked medication to start with.

 
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