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Old 06-26-2006, 03:28 PM   #1
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dmstx75 HB User
Unhappy Tapering Off Xanax Safely

I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder several years ago and eventually got it under control using doctor prescribed SSRI's and went off the meds for a couple of years without any problems but back in November '05 I began to experience severe anxiety and started taking Xanax.

I went from 2MG's for occasional sudden attacks to becoming addicted and or tolerant of the drug to the point I was taking more than 4MG's a day. I am DESPERATE to get off of this drug now and have gone from 4MG's to 2MG's a day but am having a very hard time with the withdrawals as well as the underlying anxiety and panic disorder I already have, I fear this is too much of a drop and that I'm not tapering correctly or safely. I am just needing some advice as far as how to taper off the right way, how to deal with the withdrawal symptoms and the anxiety and panic I'm experiencing while doing this as well as some support and encouragement. I am taking a natural supplement (St. Johns Wort) which is suppose to alleviate the anxiety but it has not helped that much and I DO NOT want to be put on any other meds so I'm running on sheer will power and prayer. I am not under a docs care or supervision and am doing this on my own....please help me!!!!

 
Old 06-26-2006, 04:11 PM   #2
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Re: Tapering Off Xanax Safely

Please look up Dr Heather Ashtons benzo taper manual she will give you step by step a taper plan that has helped alot of people. You have to be really careful with the benzo w/d. Also try to look up some benzogirl posts she is really helpful on this board also with benzo w/d. Kim

 
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Old 06-26-2006, 06:28 PM   #3
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Re: Tapering Off Xanax Safely

You need to let your doctor know what's going on. Xanax withdrawal is very dangerous. Since you already have anxiety problems, it may be tougher for you to get off. Withdrawal brings anxiety and you need to consult your doc and see what he suggests. This is very dangerous drug and you need a doctors advice.............please..........been through it with my son....very scary ordeal.........and we had docs advice on tapering.........

 
Old 06-26-2006, 07:15 PM   #4
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Re: Tapering Off Xanax Safely

Quote:
Originally Posted by flintrock
You need to let your doctor know what's going on. Xanax withdrawal is very dangerous. Since you already have anxiety problems, it may be tougher for you to get off. Withdrawal brings anxiety and you need to consult your doc and see what he suggests. This is very dangerous drug and you need a doctors advice.............please..........been through it with my son....very scary ordeal.........and we had docs advice on tapering.........

The only problem with that suggestion is I am not under a docs supervision or care at this moment and cannot financially afford to go.......I'm kinda stuck in this process alone right now I was never under a docs care from the beginning, BIG NONO, I know.....this is the hardest thing I have ever had to endure and really have no help except from my loved ones taking care of me and watching my progress closely.

 
Old 06-26-2006, 07:30 PM   #5
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Re: Tapering Off Xanax Safely

Dear DMstx,

You might find reading some of my posts from the last 2 months helpful. Like you, I became physically dependent on a "relatively" small amount of Xanax - for me it was 2.75 mg and I couldn't get it down to any less on my own no matter how hard I tried. Out of desperation, I checked myself into Silver Hill Hospital, you may have heard of it as the destination of choice for stars like Billy Joel and Mariah Carey. Out of sheer dumb luck, they were beginning to use Depakote to take people off of benzos.

I went in expecting the worst - to go through a full withdrawl. I kid you not, when I tell you that the worst thing about the clinic was the boredom I experinced - in the entire 2 days I was there before they discharged me for my non-reaction to the withdrawl. I remained on the Depakote for 6 weeks to withdraw completely - and they stopped my Xanax cold the first day. During this 6 weeks, I never felt any worse than a few times when I felt like I had a touch of flu. I threw up once in the 2nd week - but that may have been the result of my Mother's cooking that evening. While I didn't feel entirely myself, compared to what I was expecting from a withdrawl, it was a piece of cake.

A lot of people here advocate some doctor's taper method, but that's only because most doctors don't yet know about how successful Depakote can be used for getting off benzos.

I highly recommend calling the best clinic near you and getting some information about it. Then have your psychiatrist prescribe it, and literally, see if you can get yourself off of it. I don't believe that you need to be in a facility for a 3 mg habit if you take Depakote. You probably need to stay in daily touch for the first week with your psychiatrist, but I daresay that at 3 mg with Depakote, you can continue working, going to school, whatever. I don't see why anyone on such a low level of xanax would want to go through the sheer hell of a taper before trying Depakote. The worst thing that could happen is that you feel it isn't working, and then go try the taper instead.

Since xanax withdrawl can cause seizures, the depakote actually prevents the seizures and leaves your feeling very calm. And it's easy to stop taking the depakote. It doesn't have its own addictive properties or anything.

Good Luck. And if you have any questions about Silver Hill, it's a facility in New Canaan, CT.

 
Old 06-27-2006, 04:26 AM   #6
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Re: Tapering Off Xanax Safely

I was on 0.5 mg xanax 3 times a day and 2.0 at night. I am on the Ashton taper and am down to 0.5 mg at night. I am on valium now which is tapered slowly. It stays in your body longer so there isn't that w/d like with xanax

 
Old 06-29-2006, 03:35 PM   #7
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Re: Tapering Off Xanax Safely

i am 4 months benzo free today after tapering off 4mgs ativan using valium. i have been on different benzos (klonopin, xanax, ativan) for 7 years and became horribly dependent, tolerant and addicted. xanax is similar to ativan in that they both have a short half life. i could not direct taper off of ativan and once tried using klonopin which was hell on earth. i have to say that while i had a difficult time during the crossover to valium, once my body got used to the difference in drugs, it became alot easier. if you are determined and can tolerate some discomfort, valium is the only way to go. it only took me 5 months to taper off the 30mgs valium.

p

 
Old 06-29-2006, 10:37 PM   #8
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Post Re: Tapering Off Xanax Safely

Quote:
Originally Posted by pleasantville
i am 4 months benzo free today after tapering off 4mgs ativan using valium. i have been on different benzos (klonopin, xanax, ativan) for 7 years and became horribly dependent, tolerant and addicted. xanax is similar to ativan in that they both have a short half life. i could not direct taper off of ativan and once tried using klonopin which was hell on earth. i have to say that while i had a difficult time during the crossover to valium, once my body got used to the difference in drugs, it became alot easier. if you are determined and can tolerate some discomfort, valium is the only way to go. it only took me 5 months to taper off the 30mgs valium.

p

Well, I finally found a center that offers free services for sunstance abuse and detox, my local MHMR referred me.....I have an appointment tomorrow morning and I'm not sure what to expect except that they will supplement me with another med to get me off the Xanax......I have heard alot of horror stories about Valium being used in this process but I guess everyone is different and it just depends on the person and their body, etc.....I hope this all works out, I HATE XANAX and what it has done to me, I pray I make it thru this and when I do, NO MORE BENZOS, actually I'm hoping no more of any meds but of course being diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorder I may have to be put on something or find other ways of controlling it.....wish me luck and thanks to all of you for your posts, atleast I know I'm not the only one dealing with this in the world

 
Old 06-30-2006, 05:28 AM   #9
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Re: Tapering Off Xanax Safely

Dmstx,

I'll glad you're going into detox - but I'm telling you, you really need to ask about Depakote. I hear how frightened you are, and so was I, but Depakote made the detox "almost easy".

 
Old 07-02-2006, 01:44 AM   #10
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Re: Tapering Off Xanax Safely

I started eating 2mg bars of Xanax about 3 years ago.. I would eat them like candy (I had no idea how powerful they really were).. I would eat between 4 and 12mg per day... while at work, before the gym, anytime really - they made me feel relaxed.

At a certain point, I don't remember what happened, but I realized how addictive they were - but that became the main reason I wanted to stop.

So I did just that.. I tossed what I had left and stopped... OH BOY!!!!!!! DID I SURE EXPERIENCE HELL!!!! Once I realized I could barely move and every muscle in my body felt like it had been dipped in cement - I started to make my way to Tijuana, Mexico where I had been purchasing pills up to now.. but the time I got there I was barely able to operate the clutch on the manual transmission on my car!!!! This freaked me out! Anyways, I bought the Xanax and all was good again.. well, at least I felt normal, but now I realize I had a serious problem.......

Later that week I went to a doc and told them about my problem and they gave me klonopin.. supposedly it's got a longer half life or something.. anyways, I was't able to taper with that, I couldnt get the doses small enough... eventually, I decided that I had read enough to know more than the docs I was dealing with - so I went back down to Tijuana and bought 20mg Valiums and started using those to taper with.. I slowly started breaking them into parts and slowly started reducing my dose, until I was down to 1/8th of a 20mg pill... I did this for about 2-3 weeks and then one day I just stopped.. I still didn't feel great, but it was nothing like stopping Xanax cold turkey...

I still didnt feel good day to day but I discovered something that helped me.. I started taking Kava.. now whether this was mental or it actually helped I can't say for sure... but I took it for a few months and I feel like it calmed my nerves and helped me sleep.. then one day a few months later I stopped taking that and the landing was a little more gentle than even the Valium..

So I went from Xanax->Klonopin->Valium->Kava and finally broke free! Hopefully this story helps someone! You can do it, just don't rush it!


PS. One trick I discovered.. if you're ever in a real sticky situation during your withdrawal process - Nyquil really really helped me with serious Xanax withdrawal episodes before I knew I was hooked and would run out.. I don't know why, but it made a huge diff for me... I would take it at WORK, and I wouldn't even feel tired.... would just feel semi-normal and not like my teeth were going to grind themselves away... If you need Nyquil in an emergency I would reccomend using the Nyquil without the pseudoefedrine... they make it now with doxylamine instead.. Nyquil has sort of a withdrawal and you'll feel like crap the next day probably, but in my experience it mediates the benzo withdrawal...

Last edited by ididitonce; 07-02-2006 at 01:46 AM.

 
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