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Old 03-05-2006, 10:21 AM   #1
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Told Doc I wanted to quit Xanax, He just cut my dose!

Hello

I am new here but let me tell my story. My Doc has had me on Hydro's 10/500's for the past 5 years, also had me on generic xanax, alpharozolam, for the past 5 years. I went to the Doc the other day and told him I wanted to get off this junk. Instead of using a different med he just cut my dose of benzo's from 3mg per day to 2mg per day. I am trying to get used to the cut. My body is not responding very well. I am not sleeping, can't focus, etc.., etc...

What is the best way to get off this junk! After reading many post here I am very scared. If I understand correctly my brain has gone through some changes. Had I known this would have been the case I would have never taken this junk!

I was prescribed the hydro's for a bad back, problem with my L5,S1. The pain is there but the meds do not help any more and I find myself consuming more than I should.

The xanax was given for panic attacks. I have been taking 3mg or more for a number of years.

The only way I can feel good with my clients etc.. is to take extra. I feel this Doc has me hooked on the meds and will do nothing to help except just cut my script down. This is good in a way but it is like a taper method I assume. How long will it take my body to adjust without the extra 1mg?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Also I am trying to quit smoking. Talk about an addicts hell!!

Thanks for any support given.

 
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Old 03-05-2006, 11:00 AM   #2
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Re: Told Doc I wanted to quit Xanax, He just cut my dose!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillme
Hello

I am new here but let me tell my story. My Doc has had me on Hydro's 10/500's for the past 5 years, also had me on generic xanax, alpharozolam, for the past 5 years. I went to the Doc the other day and told him I wanted to get off this junk. Instead of using a different med he just cut my dose of benzo's from 3mg per day to 2mg per day. I am trying to get used to the cut. My body is not responding very well. I am not sleeping, can't focus, etc.., etc...

What is the best way to get off this junk! After reading many post here I am very scared. If I understand correctly my brain has gone through some changes. Had I known this would have been the case I would have never taken this junk!

I was prescribed the hydro's for a bad back, problem with my L5,S1. The pain is there but the meds do not help any more and I find myself consuming more than I should.

The xanax was given for panic attacks. I have been taking 3mg or more for a number of years.

The only way I can feel good with my clients etc.. is to take extra. I feel this Doc has me hooked on the meds and will do nothing to help except just cut my script down. This is good in a way but it is like a taper method I assume. How long will it take my body to adjust without the extra 1mg?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Also I am trying to quit smoking. Talk about an addicts hell!!

Thanks for any support given.
Tell your doctor you changed your mind. Then taper on your own, very slowly. This way you won't get cut off too soon by your doctor. I've known some people who played along with the doc so they could end up tapering as slow as they needed without fear of cut-off..... a cut of 1 mg. was way too much at once! Most people need to cut no more than 10% off dosage every two weeks or so. Benzos are hard to get off of and withdrawals can be brutal.

If you are interested, you can look up the free online Ashton Manual.

 
Old 03-05-2006, 11:01 AM   #3
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Re: Told Doc I wanted to quit Xanax, He just cut my dose!

Thrillme, your doctor is right in tapering you, though the taper rate seems extremely fast to reduce you by a full 30% all at once. What is happening to you right now is you are experiencing results of too fast of a taper.

You need to schedule an appt with your doctor, review and print out and take relevant sections THE ASHTON MANUAL to the appt to discuss the tapering guidelines in the manual. Its online and free, by Professor Heather Ashton in the United Kingdom.

Sometimes doctors are not as supportive as they need to be. Many just don't truly understand the REAL nature of the drug, which isn't always as printed in medical literature. But, that is their only frame of reference. You must do your homework and know your risks and your options. Decide for yourself what you feel is best for you, and then be adamant with your doctor to receive the support you need. Seek to clarify any misunderstanding and have reciprocal education about the best way to go about the taper.

You will learn from ASHTON that you need to be switched from xanax(short half life) to valium(long half-life); both are benzodiazepines. The longer half life will provide you with a smoother bridge taper. The shorter half life of the xanax results in sharp peaks between doses. The valium bridge taper will likely eliminate much of what you are experiencing. Follow the bridge & slow taper guidelines in THE ASHTON MANUAL, and you should be fine. Whatever you do...do NOT abruptly stop taking a benzodiazepine or you risk seizure. Seizures are thought to be rare, but are REAL-----all one has to do is read the threads on this Board to see the number of people who have experienced benzodiazepine withdrawal seizure or know someone who has. It is something to take all precautions against.

I know all this is scarey, and many of us feel the same as you...if we knew then what we know now we would have NEVER allowed ourselves to be put on this path....but, we get there and we have to get ourselves out. You CAN do it

 
Old 03-05-2006, 11:18 AM   #4
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Re: Told Doc I wanted to quit Xanax, He just cut my dose!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennita
Tell your doctor you changed your mind. Then taper on your own, very slowly. This way you won't get cut off too soon by your doctor. I've known some people who played along with the doc so they could end up tapering as slow as they needed without fear of cut-off..... If you are interested, you can look up the free online Ashton Manual.
Just wanted to add my own experience.....unlike Thrillme's doctor who is at least agreeing to a taper approach(though too fast of one!!)----- my doctor was completely uncooperative with me wanting to end the xanax. All he would do is keep writing full script. So, after the Ashton Manual research I finally did exactly what Jennita is suggesting. At my next appt. I told him I had "rethought" things about quitting and decided I would just continue. Sad to say that thrilled his sorry a** to no end. I am sure he is getting pharmaceutical incentives because of his determination to keep prescribing. So I just went along with it and said ok, I'll stay on it; just switch me over to Valium is all. He was so happy to keep me on something, he didn't care what it was and was happy to switch. Then I followed ASHTON's recommendations with the bridge taper and got my tail off that crap; never told him a thing...did it all myself...had to!!! I have never gone back to him again.

So Thrillme, you need to decide what level of cooperation you think you will get as to whether you do the appt consultation as suggested in my earlier post or you do as I did in my own situation and as Jennita is suggesting. I had assumed since your doctor was cooperating at all that you should work through that....but maybe not if you don't feel you would get the support level that the slow taper would require. In that case just do the discrete slow taper with the valium bridge.

 
Old 03-05-2006, 11:23 AM   #5
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Re: Told Doc I wanted to quit Xanax, He just cut my dose!

I told my Doc if he would use another drug, valium, etc.. He told me why substitute one drug for another. He is not very understanding by any means.

I did go back to him and tell him to put me back on my normal dosage, he would not do it! He would not even listen to me.

As you stated I don't think he understands. He cut my Hydros's to 2 per day instead of 3 per day, also my generic xanax from 3 per day to 2 per day.

This change has put me into a whirlwind of emotions. Can't focus, just having a hard time at the moment!

Thanks for the information.

 
Old 03-05-2006, 11:39 AM   #6
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Re: Told Doc I wanted to quit Xanax, He just cut my dose!

things will settle after a couple of weeks if you can bid it, the bodies ****ilient; it's unusual that he's been unco-operative though. I think you should have another crack at discussing this matter though, he seems somewhat strict and maybe even a 0.5mg increase will help at this point (if they do that?) Stick at it either way and ultimatly if you find you dependancy seems to be more than just that, consider NA or conselloring. You made refernece to having to take extra to feel good with clients, this is the type of things to look at in your life, addictive is an illness of deniel; in a most awful and cunning way. I'm not branding you, it's up to you to see things if they are there, but try to start with an open mind and for a visit to your local NA meeting, all you need is "A desire to stop using!" Seems that you qualify for that and it is anonymous so you don't have to say much at all, just sit and listern.

I wish you the best however things work out.

 
Old 03-05-2006, 11:43 AM   #7
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Re: Told Doc I wanted to quit Xanax, He just cut my dose!

My question is when will my brain, body get over this feeling. Had no idea it would do this to me, none at all.

 
Old 03-05-2006, 12:53 PM   #8
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Re: Told Doc I wanted to quit Xanax, He just cut my dose!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillme
My question is when will my brain, body get over this feeling. Had no idea it would do this to me, none at all.
Look at the Ashton Manual. Maybe you could tell your doctor that you really feel like you need a longer acting benzo(Valium) because inbetween Xanax doses you are feeling some rebound anxiety(even if you aren't, he doesn't know that) ....maybe then he'll give you Valium and then you can start a smoother taper...otherwise, you'll have to slowy cut your Xanax by tiny amounts with a pill cutter every couple of weeks and that is more inconvienient and difficult but it can be done.

 
Old 03-05-2006, 12:56 PM   #9
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Re: Told Doc I wanted to quit Xanax, He just cut my dose!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jam338
Just wanted to add my own experience.....unlike Thrillme's doctor who is at least agreeing to a taper approach(though too fast of one!!)----- my doctor was completely uncooperative with me wanting to end the xanax. All he would do is keep writing full script. So, after the Ashton Manual research I finally did exactly what Jennita is suggesting. At my next appt. I told him I had "rethought" things about quitting and decided I would just continue. Sad to say that thrilled his sorry a** to no end. I am sure he is getting pharmaceutical incentives because of his determination to keep prescribing. So I just went along with it and said ok, I'll stay on it; just switch me over to Valium is all. He was so happy to keep me on something, he didn't care what it was and was happy to switch. Then I followed ASHTON's recommendations with the bridge taper and got my tail off that crap; never told him a thing...did it all myself...had to!!! I have never gone back to him again.

So Thrillme, you need to decide what level of cooperation you think you will get as to whether you do the appt consultation as suggested in my earlier post or you do as I did in my own situation and as Jennita is suggesting. I had assumed since your doctor was cooperating at all that you should work through that....but maybe not if you don't feel you would get the support level that the slow taper would require. In that case just do the discrete slow taper with the valium bridge.
Hey, good for you!! Some docs don't realize they've become no better than pushers. Congrats on putting one over on him....

 
Old 03-05-2006, 02:47 PM   #10
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Re: Told Doc I wanted to quit Xanax, He just cut my dose!

Thrillme, first, obviously its your call. You decide and do what's right for you. Each person has to be the active architecht and owner of their own Detox Plan or it won't work no matter what it is.

So, that out of the way....you really need to consider printing out ASHTON regarding the importance of switching to longer half life benzo. It will make WDs LOTS more manageable; unfortunately I speak from experience.

Thrillme, you MUST have a strategy. You need to know the doctor's weakness and work that to your advantage, especially when he is putting YOUR health at potential risk.

Here is the weakness for All doctors. They have limited time for each appt. and hate followup paperwork; no time. At your next appt. go to it with a notepad and pen out and visible...you don't have to write a thing, but he needs to see it---trust me he does---it will get him wondering about what he says and does being documented.

Use the first part of the appt, most of it, to your advantage by running out the clock during.....just talk, talk, talk, ...about insomnia anxiety.......just keep the talk talk talk going and babble out the time. Near the end hit him with the request for the switch. Know that if you bring up the request at the begininng, you have given him the advantage---he will have the entire appt to use telling you why he will NOT do it. Even with waiting to the end to bring it up...he may balk because he may feel an urge to defend his already stated position....at this point he may view it win/lose. If he balks, drag out your Ashton printout and be familiar and be able to articulately state the risks and reasons for the bridge taper.....have it highlighted and ready to point to...you want him to see you have done your homework. He needs to experience that your stated fears are not in your head; they are in that document in front of him...aka evidence. He now knows he is on vulnerable ground ....you have documents......a little liability bell is starting to clang in his head so he may just acquiesce. However,if he still stands his ground still after being presented documentation.... then immediately soften so you do not seem argumentative....you want to project as a WORRIED person, not an argumentative one.....say MEANINGFULLY with almost a pleading tone....."Look doc, I am really not trying to cause a problem or be argumentative in any way.....I am just scared...more than scared...I am terrorized...maybe it might not seem like much a clinical difference, but the switch gives me the security assurance that I need about the seizure risks so I REALLY need you to switch it." Then wait for a response. If he still says no, then look at him straight and say "sorry, but I am scared enough about this seizure risk thing that I think I might need to find out who I can talk to about this." If he asks what do you mean, just say "Ya know I don't actually know...I guess I am just going to have to think about this some and figure out what I need to do next." And, then say nothing more....wait to see what he says. He may be wondering if that is a veiled announcement or sorts that you are going to do something, but it was not exactly threatening so he can't really react to it that way, and if he does then you don't want to lose his support totally without a plan B....to diffuse the issue you can then just respond that what you were thinking about was therapy...maybe that might help about your fears <wink>. My guess is he won't want to find out. Whatever IT is means could mean lots of time and paperwork risks for him. What is running around in his head right now is he has been shown documentation about seizure risks, you may go see someone about the warning documents and his uncooperation, but what he is really thinking about is lawsuit liability, time, and paperwork...none of it good for him. He knows he can easily just shut you up in the 1 min it takes to write a script. Most will take the easiest way out and do it. And, if he doesn't, then you document the day you were there, and what was said.

Last edited by jam338; 03-05-2006 at 02:59 PM.

 
Old 03-05-2006, 07:14 PM   #11
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Re: Told Doc I wanted to quit Xanax, He just cut my dose!

Jenna

Thanks for the works of advice. I will try this with my doc and see what he does. Never has he had a problem giving me the xanax or the hydros. Over the past few years he will see me in the room, pull out his scope, and listen to my chest, ask me if anything is new, write my script! The last time I was there I ask him to write my script for the normal dose or put me on something else, I wanted to get off the junk. He just continued to write my script at a lower dosage.

I have been to this site but never posted here. This is a good site with lots of knowledge around.

Once again thanks for your advice.

 
Old 03-06-2006, 11:58 AM   #12
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Re: Told Doc I wanted to quit Xanax, He just cut my dose!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillme
Jenna

Thanks for the works of advice. I will try this with my doc and see what he does. Never has he had a problem giving me the xanax or the hydros. Over the past few years he will see me in the room, pull out his scope, and listen to my chest, ask me if anything is new, write my script! The last time I was there I ask him to write my script for the normal dose or put me on something else, I wanted to get off the junk. He just continued to write my script at a lower dosage.

I have been to this site but never posted here. This is a good site with lots of knowledge around.

Once again thanks for your advice.
Everyone here gave you some good stuff, so go get 'em!! Good luck.....

 
Old 03-06-2006, 12:16 PM   #13
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Re: Told Doc I wanted to quit Xanax, He just cut my dose!

I just want to say I am so sorry that all of you had such bad experiences with your doctors and with benzos. It certainly is appalling how careless doctors are these days. I mean, how could he write you a script for the Xanax and not tell you of all potential side effects, addiciton, etc?

On the other hand, having been through the sme thing with my doctor, I have learned that in this day and age, we must take the responsibility upon ourselves to research the drugs we are given. I do not just do whatever my dr tells me to anymore. Anything I put in my body I research the heck out of first, so I am aware of any potential effects. I would hope that going forward everyone here would do the same.

Also, I know your doctor is beibg ridiculous about prescribing you meds, but there are a lot of people out there, myself included, with debilitating anxiety that NEED the Xanax, and many drs are reluctant to prescribe it, instead pushing othr meds on us...some of us would give anything to have a dr. so readily prescribe Xanax. I guess my point is just that there are always 2 sides to everyhting.

Good luck, and I really hope your withdrawals go away soon.

 
Old 03-06-2006, 07:49 PM   #14
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Re: Told Doc I wanted to quit Xanax, He just cut my dose!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjewell
I just want to say I am so sorry that all of you had such bad experiences with your doctors and with benzos. It certainly is appalling how careless doctors are these days. I mean, how could he write you a script for the Xanax and not tell you of all potential side effects, addiciton, etc?

On the other hand, having been through the sme thing with my doctor, I have learned that in this day and age, we must take the responsibility upon ourselves to research the drugs we are given. I do not just do whatever my dr tells me to anymore. Anything I put in my body I research the heck out of first, so I am aware of any potential effects. I would hope that going forward everyone here would do the same.

Also, I know your doctor is beibg ridiculous about prescribing you meds, but there are a lot of people out there, myself included, with debilitating anxiety that NEED the Xanax, and many drs are reluctant to prescribe it, instead pushing othr meds on us...some of us would give anything to have a dr. so readily prescribe Xanax. I guess my point is just that there are always 2 sides to everyhting.

Good luck, and I really hope your withdrawals go away soon.
Hey, thanks, that's nice of you. Smaller doses and using as needed will also help avoid dependancy problems. Stick to that, always be mindful of benzos and you will probably be able to manage them. Good luck to you

 
Old 03-07-2006, 12:38 PM   #15
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Re: Told Doc I wanted to quit Xanax, He just cut my dose!

Absolutely...I wish more doctors would prescribe benzos as needed rather than a daily drug, unfoirtunately I never see any benzo scripts written that way

 
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