It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Anxiety Message Board


Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-18-2011, 06:56 PM   #1
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 10
MR11287 HB User
Xanax help!

I have been taking .25mg of xanax twice a day for 3 straight months. I have tried quitting "cold turkey" but I find my anxiety gets 10x worse, and I am getting very painful headaches. I know that is a low dosage, but I have never done too well on rx meds. I just want to stop taking these and get them out of my system.

Can someone please give me advice on how to wean off of the medication without any extreme withdrawals?

Thank you

 
Old 12-18-2011, 07:37 PM   #2
Senior Member
(female)
 
Foxxii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 222
Foxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB User
Re: Xanax help!

My suggestion to you would be to NOT stop taking them cold turkey. It can cause some pretty rough side effects. Benzo's should definately be weaned off of VERY SLOWLY. If I were you, i'd cut them little by little. I can give you some advice on how to stop.

For the first week or two, take one whole pill, and one half of a pill every day.
Then for the next week or two, take two halves every day
Then for the next week or two, take just one half every day.
Then for the next week or two, take one half every other day.

You should be able to just stop then, but if you have to, keep going like this, take a half every two days, then a half every three days, and so on....until you can completely come off without any side effects.

Hope this helps you a bit. Fox

 
The following user gives a hug of support to Foxxii:
evath (12-18-2011)
The Following User Says Thank You to Foxxii For This Useful Post:
MR11287 (12-18-2011)
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 12-18-2011, 07:42 PM   #3
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 10
MR11287 HB User
Re: Xanax help!

Thank you very much. I was never warned by any of my doctors about how addicting this medication can be. I have never taken many meds in my life, but I've had labrynthitis for 3 months now which has caused some major anxiety. I noticed that I was starting to have horrible experiences when the xanax was wearing off, so I knew that I have been starting to become addicted. Can the addiction really be that bad after just 3 months?

 
Old 12-18-2011, 07:51 PM   #4
Senior Member
(female)
 
Foxxii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 222
Foxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB User
Re: Xanax help!

I wouldn't think so, but everyone reacts differently to medications. It may just be a combination of you stopping the xanax cold turkey, and your own anxiety. I'm not sure. But I take .5 xanax twice a day, since May or June, and was told that I would have to wean off of it the same way I told you how to do it. My doc said that MY dosage wasn't that high, and I shouldn't have a problem getting off of it. He also said that usually people that take a total of 3 mgs and up are the ones that have a hard time coming off of it. There are actually people that take 10 mgs a day!

 
The Following User Says Thank You to Foxxii For This Useful Post:
MR11287 (12-18-2011)
Old 12-18-2011, 07:59 PM   #5
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 10
MR11287 HB User
Re: Xanax help!

Unbelievable! I just wish that I had done more research, which I usually do before starting any meds. This labrynthitis is the worst thing I've ever dealt with. I was just so willing to take anything to mask the terrible feeling I've gotten from it. Thanks again for your advice. I had started to break the pills in half, and will slowly decrease the amount I intake, as you had noted.

 
The following user gives a hug of support to MR11287:
Vocrinthedes (12-20-2011)
Old 12-18-2011, 08:12 PM   #6
Senior Member
(female)
 
Foxxii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 222
Foxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB User
Re: Xanax help!

Good luck with everything! I hope it helps you get off of it without any problems. Please post back on your progress, as I would love to hear how you are doing with it.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to Foxxii For This Useful Post:
MR11287 (12-18-2011)
Old 12-20-2011, 09:00 AM   #7
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: MN
Posts: 9
DeCraziedMomof4 HB User
Re: Xanax help!

Your right in it is a very low dose, but everyone is different. You can become addicted in three months, and withdrawl. It could be a combination of withdrawal, anxiety, and even a bit of the placebo effect since you know the possibilities all combined. Like the others said don't quit cold turkey. Ask the provider who prescribed them for the best results. Otherwise start by taking only one pill, split, twice a day. For a week or two. Then start taking only one of the half dose every other day and the split twice for about another week, then a half once a day for a couple days, and then try every other day until you feel comfortable stopping. Then in the following weeks after only take a half when absolutely needed, until there is no need. I know that Xanax withdrawals don't usually occur right after quitting, even cold turkey, it takes about a week on average. I currently take 1mg twice a day, everyday. If for some reason I don't fill my script and don't take them for a couple days the withdrawal on my body doesn't really have an effect until a longer period without a benzo. I started Xanax at 6mg daily! Which is outrageous, and took that for months until I realized that I was going to be dependent and get a high tolerance (prescribed by my doc) when she weaned me off I just started taking 4mg a day for a week and then only 2mg the next week, I never had withdrawals thankfully! I have now been on them for a year so I too worry about the side effects I will have!
Good Luck! I hope whatever you try works!!

<edit>

Last edited by ms_mod; 12-20-2011 at 09:22 AM. Reason: Removed posting rules violation. Ms_Mod

 
Old 12-20-2011, 09:06 PM   #8
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: North America
Posts: 66
Vocrinthedes HB UserVocrinthedes HB UserVocrinthedes HB UserVocrinthedes HB User
Re: Xanax help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MR11287 View Post
Unbelievable! I just wish that I had done more research, which I usually do before starting any meds. This labrynthitis is the worst thing I've ever dealt with. I was just so willing to take anything to mask the terrible feeling I've gotten from it. Thanks again for your advice. I had started to break the pills in half, and will slowly decrease the amount I intake, as you had noted.
I really do empathize with you, both re the labrynthitis (which I've had, and yes, it feels horrible and scary - hope you're getting good treatment for it! So many possible causes) and the xanax.

I'm up to 4 mg a days, after a series of tragedies and major stresses in the past few years, and now I'm stuck with the very troublesome and inconvenient task of weaning myself off this addiction - mine is complicated by the fact that my high blood pressure skyrockets whenever I fail to take my 4 mg (even with regular BP meds), so fast tapering could mean "stroke" for me.

Xanax is such a huge paradox. At first it was wonderful, immediate relief and helped me tremendously, and even now, I don't know how I could have made it through all the deaths and horrors without it. I remember the first time I took it, my overwhelming aching grief turned into crying my heart out and falling into the first truly restful sleep I'd had in weeks.

But I wasn't told how addicted I could become and was initially even told that at my "low dosage" (1 mg!) I could just quit anytime! WRONG! And then life hit me with a few more blows. Now, I'm dependent on 4 mg; I feel like a prisoner to it. Since I have general anxiety disorder, I don't know if I can ever just get completely off it and live a contented life, since my baseline was constant minor anxiety, with spikes of panic (none of which I have now), but just getting down a couple of mg is hell.

All my best to you in beating these things. I sure wish I was down to .25 mg twice a day!!!

Vocrin

Last edited by Vocrinthedes; 12-20-2011 at 09:08 PM. Reason: Correction

 
Old 12-28-2011, 03:34 AM   #9
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: McLean VA
Posts: 121
Leegh HB UserLeegh HB UserLeegh HB UserLeegh HB User
Re: Xanax help!

I agree with Foxxii to gradually decrease the amount. I used to take Valium (not much but about 5 mg. a couple of times a week) and thought it wasn't enough to cause withdrawal symptoms when I stopped. I was wrong. I had the unfortunate combination of going through a romantic break-up and getting off of Valium at the same time. I would try to get off of the Xanax very slowly as Foxxii said, and keep them to use only in an extreme emergency. Stopping them too quickly can cause profound depression.

Last edited by Leegh; 12-28-2011 at 03:49 AM. Reason: typo

 
Old 12-28-2011, 03:47 AM   #10
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: McLean VA
Posts: 121
Leegh HB UserLeegh HB UserLeegh HB UserLeegh HB User
Re: Xanax help!

When writing my first reply I had not seen page 2 yet, and I wanted to say that I just read the replies from DeCraziedMomof4 and Vocrinthedes and they gave excellent suggestions also.

 
Old 01-04-2012, 07:25 AM   #11
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 441
gingertea HB Usergingertea HB Usergingertea HB Usergingertea HB Usergingertea HB Usergingertea HB Usergingertea HB User
Re: Xanax help!

I started taking Xanax 20 years ago on an 'as needed' basis. I started at .025
and now I am at .05. I see my therapist every 3 or 4 months for a med check.
The .025 dose worked until menopause, then I went to .05. 'As needed' usually means 2 times a day, sometimes 1 less or sometimes 1 more and sometimes not at all. I did find the way it worked best for me is to put the tab under my tongue and absorb it that way instead of swallowing it all at once. I did worry about addiction, especially since it helped so much, but after 20 years the small amount I take still works.
__________________
Ginger Tea

 
The Following User Says Thank You to gingertea For This Useful Post:
Vocrinthedes (01-14-2012)
Old 01-14-2012, 02:23 PM   #12
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: North America
Posts: 66
Vocrinthedes HB UserVocrinthedes HB UserVocrinthedes HB UserVocrinthedes HB User
Re: Xanax help!

Just a follow-up note from a "veteran" of xanax usage. I'm happy to say that I'm down from 4 mg to 3.5 mg of xanax daily now (reducing caffeine helps a lot - thanks, Leegh!), and have set my goal for 2 mg...but slowly. And then maybe lower - who knows.

I had an extremely stressful day a few days ago, and returned to 4 mg, but didn't have much discomfort returning to my current 3.5 mg.

I think Gingertea is correct about many who take xanax long-term. Many do not build up tolerance under normal conditions. My escalation to 4 mg this last year was brought about by extreme stress, grief, and resulting insomnia.

But I had stayed at 2 mg daily or below (distributed thru the day and taken as needed) for many years before with no need to increase my dosage. It stopped my panic attacks, quieted the constant "background" anxiety, and helped me stay asleep. It also lowered my BP, which tends to be a bit too high.

My doctor and psychiatrist independently said that xanax (or other benzos) for people with baseline (pre-treatment) anxiety and/or panic disorders seems to be about as significant as insulin for diabetes - particularly if the anxiety disorder is inherited and long-term (like mine). There's just something genetically awry in our nervous system (which is made even worse by stress) that seems to be "patched" by the xanax. One theory is that we have innately defective GABA receptors. Of course, I'm just expressing opinions, not hard facts.

Importantly, I have not lost mental acuity and do not feel "drugged" while taking xanax. At the very beginning, I used to feel an initial euphoric drowsiness after taking it, but that stopped happening fairly soon (kinda miss that, though - it was nice ). Now I actually feel more "normal" (emotionally balanced) with a bit of xanax in me.

Also, both my GP and my psych said independently that they personally have never known true anxiety/panic patients to abuse benzos such as xanax - we apparently seem to be too afraid of hurting ourselves or losing control of our functions. In fact, they said that we anxious folk are often guilty of underdosing and unintentionally inducing withdrawal.

I don't suspect either of my doctors of pushing "big pharma" because generic xanax is quite cheap now. (I've found Purepac and Greenstone to be the best quality.) I had awful experiences with several SSRIs, tricyclics, Wellbutrin, and other benzos, so xanax seems to be the right "key", for me personally at least.

I have wondered if xanax may have been "demonized" because there are many more expensive products out now that certain interests would like to profit from. I have heard too many stories of the agony of getting off of new SSRI's to believe that tapering off of xanax is any more difficult. Yes, it does take time and patience.

Before the advent of benzos, several members of my family treated their genetic anxiety/panic with alcohol, which ended up killing an aunt, an uncle, my brother and my mother (they all died of cirrhosis or strokes while intoxicated). Before xanax, alcohol was the only thing I could use that would stop painful anxiety or a panic attack - but with obvious risks to my physical health. Given the choice between constant anxiety and panic, alcohol, or xanax (which poses few dangers to one's health aside from "cold turkey" withdrawal), I have chosen xanax.

Vocrin

PS: Years of psychotherapy with different therapists (several of whom really disapproved of xanax therapy) never succeeded at reducing my anxiety. I feel now that it's something like trying to treat diabetes with psychotherapy. Given that I would wake up from a sound sleep and pleasant dreams in a sudden panic attack, I'm pretty much convinced that this is biochemical and not psychological.

Last edited by Vocrinthedes; 01-15-2012 at 01:33 AM. Reason: Fixed typos

 
The Following User Says Thank You to Vocrinthedes For This Useful Post:
DeCraziedMomof4 (01-14-2012)
Old 01-14-2012, 04:12 PM   #13
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 441
gingertea HB Usergingertea HB Usergingertea HB Usergingertea HB Usergingertea HB Usergingertea HB Usergingertea HB User
Re: Xanax help!

Well said!
__________________
Ginger Tea

 
The Following User Says Thank You to gingertea For This Useful Post:
Vocrinthedes (01-15-2012)
Old 01-14-2012, 05:07 PM   #14
Senior Member
(female)
 
Foxxii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 222
Foxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB UserFoxxii HB User
Re: Xanax help!

I agree!

Last edited by ms_mod; 01-14-2012 at 05:24 PM.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to Foxxii For This Useful Post:
Vocrinthedes (01-15-2012)
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Xanax addiction/dependancy...please help eneilson Anxiety 9 12-25-2009 06:07 AM
Do you think my doctor is an idiot? (Xanax) leoball80 Anxiety 3 09-04-2009 11:18 AM
which is better klonipin or xanax??? for panic. vickie45 Anxiety 2 12-07-2007 01:48 PM
Xanax Use and Questions maverick2986 Anxiety 4 05-15-2007 07:54 PM
Weaning Off Of Xanax AKBSRTEKT3 Anxiety 18 10-14-2006 03:09 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Ativan
Celexa Effexor
Klonopin
Lexapro
  Paxil
Prozac
Valium
Xanax
Zoloft







All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:04 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!