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New to Methadone, Please help... Panic attack

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Old 02-29-2012, 03:16 PM   #1
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Red face New to Methadone, Please help... Panic attack

Hi & Happy Leap Day,

I have been lurking around enough to know that this is the place to go for some really good here goes my first post:

Just started Methadone yesterday, today I am at 30mg tommorow I can go up to 40, then 50 on Firday. I will have to stay at 50 through the weekend then if Im still dope sick I can be seen by the doctor. (The nurse can raise me 10mg a day until 50, you have to have Dr. clearance to go above 50 they said). I assume this is standard?

Ok so in addition to being addictied to opiates I was also taking xanax...not really heavily...sometimes up to 2mg-3mg/ day....but every day. When I told them they said absolutely do not mix taking methadone with xanax that I will die. So I was too scared to take any yesterday....

Today though I am going into major panic mode. My heart is racing and I having terrible panic attacks every couple of hours. Blood pounding the works. I am still not up to the theraputic dose of methadone yet either as I am still having mild withdrawls although today I was uped from 20 to 30 mg so its a *little* better.

Anyway my question is: Is it literally going to kill me to take like half a xanax? I feel like I am in benzo withdrawl now more so than opiate. I mean if I have a tolerance of 4 times what I take how bad could it be?

Anyone able to take xanax with methadone and live to tell the tale?

I kinda had the feeling they were trying to scare me into getting off them as the other people (the old timers) in the waiting room all rolled their eyes when they heard them tell me it was fatal.

Thanks for any help...I hope to be in your shoes one day and able to lend advise on how to cope with such a difficult time but for now I am at sitting at rock bottom just trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

NOTE:I have got to get clean and turn my life around or I will lose everything that means anything to me so Im not doing this to get high. I want to just be able taper myself off the xanax and make this leveling of the methadone a little eaiser.

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Old 02-29-2012, 05:14 PM   #2
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Re: New to Methadone, Please help....Panic attack

The reason you were told not to mix the two is because both are central nervous system depressants. Methadone is basically synthetic heroin. Obviously I can't give you pharmaceutical advise, but I can tell you I was prescribed both Methadone and Lorazepam at the same time. Lorazepam is a Benzo as is Xanax.

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Old 02-29-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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Re: New to Methadone, Please help....Panic attack

Hello Nico

Welcome to the board. :-)

Nico, in all honesty, I would be more concerned about coming off the Xanax cold turkey. That is never the way to come off a benzo. 2-3mg a day IS a fairly heavy dose. Did you tell them that that is what you had been taking? I am in no way a medical person, but I have never known a doctor to direct someone to come off a benzo like that. That manner of withdrawal can easily cause seizures.

I offcially started a taper off 2 mgs of Xanax a day and it took me months to accomplish. Even that slowly, I suffered through a lot of anxiety throughout.

I have never been on Methadone, but I was on oxycodone and Xanax at the same time for years. Isn't Methadone merely a synthetic opiate? I am not positive about that, but it seems I have read that.

I would call that center and ask for a doctor and ask HIM how to proceed. If all gets unbearable tonight, then go to ER where you can get help.... from a doctor, not a nurse. I love nurses, but they do not have as much knowledge as doctors and, in my opinion, if they are going to try and get you off opiates and benzos at the same time, you need to be under a doctor's care.

When I was tapering from Oxycodone and xcanax, I was weaned off the opiate first and then the benzo. The first attempt to take me down on both at the same time was disasterous. I had seizures and went into full withdrawal. Horrible. My family doctor consulted a psychiatrist who said, "No, no, no. One at a time. Opiate and then benzo." Once I had somewhat stabilized, that was the course of action.

Wishing you well
Stay in touch

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Old 03-02-2012, 08:35 PM   #4
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Re: New to Methadone, Please help... Panic attack

NicoIcon so sorry for what you're going through but hang in there you can do it! Not sure what to tell you about the mixing medicines. I do know that I used to be on methodone & they also prescribed me Xanax . How ever in the area that I live we have had MANY overdoses due to people mixing pain pills & " nerve " pills. So please be very careful when deciding what to do. Did you just start taking the methadone? What were you taking before that? I had a relative that was on pain pills , Xanax etc. He went in to a doctor that prescribes suboxone- he gave him the suboxone plus clonodine to help with some of the anxiety. It's a long hard road but in the end it is so worth it! Good luck & gods blessing on you!
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:25 PM   #5
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Smile Re: New to Methadone, Please help... Panic attack

Hi everyone,

I thank you all sooooo much for responding to me. I wish I new how to "reply all" so I know you all recieve my thanks but alas Im a newbie & cant figure it out. Hopefully, anyone who wishes an update on this will see it.

Ok so I just wanted to let you all know how this worked incase it helps someone else in the furure. I talked to the head nurse the next day about taking my xanax with methadone ( Yes, it was my 3rd day, someone had asked if I was new to methadone & my "as for my drug of choice: I was addicted to hydrocodone about 300mg/day sometimes more, I have never done heroin. this addiction stems from spinal fusion surgery I had 3 years ago).

The nurse said since my body is ALREADY addicted to xanax that I should absolutely not quit taking it cold turkey. The person who told me not to didnt know I already took it. People who have never taken xanaz ever that mix it with methadone are at risk for death. Not people who take it as prescribed when they have been on it for years.
**This all applies to me and my personal situation only. I am in no way advising ANYONE at what they should take. You need to ask the dr. yourself to see what applies to you, or you are risking a bad reaction/fatal reaction** Methadone and xanax deaths are common. They do not react well to each other & the combo can be deadly according to the nurse at my clinic. She says people who try to enhance the methadone by adding xanax (and they havent been on xanax previously)...they tend to never wake up ie die. Very sad.
I was advised to slowly taper my dose of xanax, about .25mg a every other day & so thats what Im doing. She said she is gong to talk to the person who told me earlier to go cold turkey (because I did tell them on my intake exactly what I was taking, these people are here to help you no reason to lie to them). She told me Im I could have had a siezure. So who ever posted that I should go to the E.R was right on. I should have I just didnt happen to check this before I went into the clinic and was able to get personalized medical advice which when Iit comes down to it is exactly what you need with these kind of situations since everyone is different. And methadone apparently can be unpredictable in how you react to it. Plus it stays in your body for a very long time compared to other opiates. Its effects can be cumulative and you can overdose very easily if you are not under a doctors care.

Thanks again for everyone and their advice, I greatly appreciate the support and the to the poster who sent me a hug-thank you! so very much it really warms my heart to know people care at this time when people in my personal life are all fed up with me/angry at me. It make me realize that I there are still people who care. Im not totally worthless in this world, i guess.

Anyway, just wanted to update incase anyone is interested.

Old 03-03-2012, 08:34 PM   #6
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Re: New to Methadone, Please help... Panic attack

I am obviously not a doctor but I would imagine that your body has built a tolerance to these drugs and it is not likely to harm you unless you drastically raise your xanax dose. Are you prescribed the Xanax? That makes a big difference. In my methadone program it was frowned upon to use benzos recreationally but if you had a script than it was fine. If your methadone clinic is doing their job properly they should be monitoring your dose increases and this shouldn't really be an issue. Benzos and methadone can be taken together you just have to be careful to not overdo or take more than prescribed.

Old 03-06-2012, 07:05 AM   #7
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Re: New to Methadone, Please help... Panic attack

Yup- you are absolutely correct. When I discussed it with the nurses they agreed.
Yes, I am prescribed the xanax. When my intake was done it was mistakenly overlooked (that I take xanax) so when they told me I "would die", it was not taking into account that I have been on xanax for years & that I have a pretty high tolerance to it. So in my case (*)it is ok to continue taking the prescribed dose.
Although, they are encouraging me to wean myself off it very slowly. I agree with their reccomendations because I do not want to be on ANY medications. I have a long history of abusing prescriptions and I just need to get away from all of them once and for all.
God, I wish I had checked this thread back when I was in the throws of a major panic attack like I was the night I posted this. I think I am at a good clinic (although I have nothing to compare it to) but they really should have been more careful before telling me to avoid xanax. I did exactly what they said and wound up having to suffer the whole night long my first night.

Anyway, thank you for you for your reply. Much appreciated....=)

(***Note: I dont want anyone to think that just because I was encouraged to continue with my current meds that its always the case-with all the research I have done, I have learned it can be so very dangerous to mix benzos and methadone. Im afreaid to think of someone taking my situation and applying it to themselves, then having some kind of bad reaction. I cant stress this enough: Please talk to your own dr. before taking any medications (even herbal suplements!) when you first start methadone treatment)

Last edited by NicoIcon; 03-06-2012 at 10:23 PM. Reason: typos and clarification ( was in a rush earlier when I wrote this) plus wanted to add a warning for others.

Old 03-06-2012, 08:05 PM   #8
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Re: New to Methadone, Please help... Panic attack

Thats really good to hear. I think that you are showing growth by identifying the fact that you tend to "abuse" prescriptions and trying to change thats awesome Just do it slowly and I think you will find success with it. The best advice I ever had and learned my self the hard way though is do not rush yourself. And when you get to that last tiny bit and have weened yourself there sit on that little dose for awhile because it will give you time to absorb what you have accomplished and it will still be there and helps keep a relapse at bay. In time I'm sure you will accomplish your goals and be free of it all so just take your time

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