I jumped over to addiction and recovery board because I quit taking my Xanax. Wow - that was a hugh mistake to go it c/t. The withdrawals are horrific! My doctor called me in a refill on my Xanax, and after 3 days c/t, I went to the pharmacy and am only taking 1/2 of what I had been taking daily for 2 years. My dosage wasn't that high (1 1/2 - 2 mgs per day), but I think I messed up in knowing the difference between an actual anxiety attack and my body just wanting the medicine. So in short, I was taking "as prescribed" and not "as needed" if you know what I mean.
From what I have learned the hard way is that most people taper off the Xanax. The response was overwhelming that it should not be done c/t, and after experiencing it, I believe everybody. I wonder what happens to people when their doctor refuses to give them more. Surely a doctor would only do that if someone had only been on it a month or two. I can't imagine a doctor forcing someone to go c/t after a year or more of using Xanax.
I still have the anxiety attacks. I think they are worse now that when I started taking Xanax. From what I understand, that is part of the withdrawal. I am going to try a psychiatrist and learn how to get to the root of the anxiety. There HAS to be an underlying problem. I don't want to be tied to a pill, the stigma, and hassle of getting THIS particular medicine for the rest of my life. I know some must be on it, and I don't condemn anyone for that. This is just what route I am choosing to take. Any experiences????
Yes, I weaned off of Xanax without any problems at all.
I took a much smaller dose than you did, but I took it for 7 years.
I don't know how much help it will be to you, but this is how...with my Doctors help I weaned off the Xanax.
I was taking 1/4 MG in the morning and then another 1/4MG in the late afternoon....8 hours apart and had taken that same dose for 7 years.
So the first cut wasn't a cut in the dose, it was taking it 9 hours apart instead of 8...stayed there for a week and then went to 10 hours apart...stayed there for a week and so on until I was taking it 12 hours apart.
When I got there I started cutting the 1/4MG in half...taking 1/8MG in the morning and then the other 1/8 eight hours later...again I stayed at each dose for a week until I got to 12 hours apart...as far as I can remember I stayed at that dose for a few weeks....my Doctor told me that my body would let me know when I was ready for the next cut.
Then I took 1/4 mg every other day, then every two days then every three days...can't remember for sure how long I stayed at each on of these doses...a believe it was a couple of weeks.
Then I took 1/8 Mg every other day, then every two days then every three days...stayed at each of these doses a couple of weeks too.
I then started taking 1/8 MG every four days, but when I got there I knew I didn't really need them anymore so I just stopped and was fine.
Sorry I couldn't be of more help, I just wanted you to know that someone on here as sucessfully weaned off of Xanax without problems.
Graciecat - Thanks much for the reply. That will help me tremendously! Even though I quit c/t for a couple of days, when I got my prescription Friday, I just cut my dose in 1/2. That may still be too much of a cut so soon, it's all I know since I can't see the dc until Oct. 5th. Its still much better than when I was going the c/t route. It was way too intense and I believe dangerous.
Oh - by the way, tapering off gradually like that......did you still suffer any withdrawl side effects?
You're very welcome.
And you're right, cold turkey is never the way to go.
I never had any withdrawl at all.
My Doctor told me it wasn't a race and if it took my a year to wean off then that's what it took.
He said the slower I went the better and easier it would be.
I should add also, that the reason I weaned off was because I wasn't having panic or anxiety problems any more, that may be one of the reasons I had no problem, BUT I think that if you wean slowly even if you do feel some withdrawl it shouldn't be to bad.
Like my Doctor told me, your body will tell you when it's ready for the next cut, if you make a cut that your body can't handle you'll know it and there's nothing wrong with staying at a cut for an extra week if you need to. but I never needed to.
Good luck and as long as you take it slow and don't try to rush I'm sure you'll do fine.
anxietysucks, what were all of your symptoms those few days? I just had a horrendous weekend and I wonder if its because I kep trying to go without Xanax as long as possible - maybe I am more physically addicted than I thought. I was having some pretty intense feelings and some weird symptoms I've never had before, so that's why I was wondering if it was withdrawal?
Hey mjewell - I left a reply on one of your postings. I'm glad you're going to have other things checked out. Well to answer your question about the Xanax - pretty much what you just said except more. Keep in mind though, I think I take more than you. I was taking 1 1/2 mgs. per day. I think you probably do better with yours, then I did mine. I learned the hard way no to go c/t. I had what felt like lightning bolts going off in my head, burning hot one minute and the second I took my clothes off, I was freezing cold the very second, teeth chattering, headache that just wouldn't stop, twighlight sleeping, more intense anxiety than what I had before I was taking Xanax. However, I have found that these are common withdrawal symptoms. Anyway, I started taking my Xanax again although at less than 1/2 of what I had been taking before on a daily basis. All those symptoms have gone away except I feel the anxiety again.
It scares me to no end to know that not taking a pill could do that to you if you stop taking it abruptly. That is why I do not want to take Xanax any longer. Keep in mind that I am only talking about stopping cold turkey.
Keep us updated and let us know how it went at the doctor. I'm interested in what they have to say.
I'm not sure that the anxiety that you are experiencing is true anxiety. Benzos slow down the central nervous system, and since you are taking less than what you were taking your system doesn't have the ability to calm itself down because the xanax has been performing that function for you. Did you chose to go ct or did you run out? It's understandable that your dr. would cut you off if you were consistently running out early. Your body had built up a tolerance, resulting in you taking more to achieve results.
I've been on xanax for 5 years and the last two months I've weaned myself down to .375 mg per day. I'm having trouble dropping the .25mg dose at night. I won't know if I'm still experiencing anxiety until I completely get off of it. I do know that I feel worse now than I did prior to xanax. Maybe those anxious feelings you are having are mini withdrawal symptoms. I have those especially a couple of hours before the night dose.
Did your dr. refill the XR or the regular xanax? I've considered switching to something to help with the night time dose. Oh well, I know fully well that I got myself into this and I'm just gonna have to suffer through those mini withdrawals. I't's part of getting off of them! I'm ready to get this monkey off my back. I've forced myself to stop carrying them with me and now leave them at home. I love them, but hate them at the same time.
I have a question regarding xanax....My doc. gave me a perscription a while back and i havent taken one yet. I told myself i would only take them if i was going on a plane, long car ride, or someplace where i would be gone all day and couldnt leave if i had an attack. So my question is..will i have any of these withdrawl symptoms if i only take one about once a month or even longer? Also my perscription is for .5mg. Thanks guys/gals!
Tbelle - wow, thanks so much! It's nice to speak to someone that can truly relate. My doc. didn't cut me off. I think he was getting tired of getting no where with my anxiety and is sending me to a psych. to do the prescribing and diagnosing. I chose to get off the Xanax at the same time. I like you do not want this monkey on my back. I read the Ashton Manual and keep telling myself that the feelings I am experiencing are part of the withdrawal process. Its like - how will you know if you are going too fast? To hear you say that you get those anxiety symptoms when its time for your night dose, I can relate to that. I'm sitting here at work struggling to not take my 5:00 dose. The aching muscle I'm feeling in my right thigh the past couple of hours, I know that is also part of the withdrawal. How many mgs. were you on daily before deciding to quit? Is your doctor watching your taper with you?
Rkoa63 - If only I had known in the beginning what I know now. I don't think you have anything to worry about personally. I wish I would have only taken mine sparingly. Not to say that I always took them just to take them, I just found that when I was having a "rough" time, instead of trying to work through it myself, I'd reach in my purse and take a Xanax. In my opinion, I would think its people like me who took it every day, a couple of times a day for a prolonged period, I'd say its people like me that have to get this dreaded monkey off our backs. Getting on sure was easy....don't like getting off. I'm just now realizing how protected my emotions have been.
I tapered off Xanax in January without troublesome side effects....and I was on 4mg per day.
BUT BUT BUT....I am trying to wean myself off Xanax again - NOW - and I feel like I'm losing my mind!
I'm not on any other meds.
The only difference between quitting in January and quitting now, is that in January, I started taking Gaba about 3 weeks before tapering off. Gaba is the chemical that Xanax tells the brain to "turn off"....and that we need to relax. So instead of our own Gaba lowering our anxiety, Xanax takes over that process.
It takes a LONG time for us to re-build the Gaba. One thing about the supplement, you need a good multivitamin/multimineral with it to facilitate absorption. Also, if you buy Gaba, make sure it's enteric coated because it's pretty hard on the stomach and it's BETTER to take it on an EMPTY stomach to further aid absorption.
Good luck if you quit. I felt MUCH better after I was off it. I'm unfortunately very dependent on it again + can't hardly think straight right now because I haven't had any for (only!) 24 hours.
One thing that does NOT work...Valerian. I took 3000mg of it about 10 hours ago and didn't help at all - it claims to lower anxiety and help with sleep "as needed" and works "immediately" much like a dose of Melatonin. NOT.