View Full Version : Xanax Weaning

10-28-2004, 10:58 AM
Was taking approx. 5 mgs a day for months. This week on Tuesday I started taking 3 mgs, because I would run out before my prescription could be refilled. Tuesday I felt like I had the flu. Yesterday I felt fine. Today I woke up early & my stomach was bothering me, I felt really anxious & I have felt out of it all day. Could cutting down that much cause all of these symptoms. It really s**ks. Any advice.

10-28-2004, 11:31 AM
With a name like that you have to be from New Orleans or Louisiana. Xanax cutting is very difficult and many simply cannot taper the stuff. That large of a cut is too much. You need to get your doctor to convert you to VALIUM as it stays in your bloodstream longer and is easier to taper. You need to ******** the Dr. Heather Ashton Manual and give it to your doctor. For some reason the link doesn't appear on this forum but search Google:

type "ashton manual" in Google and the manual should be the first link

Just ******** the manual but stay away from that benzo forum...too many crazies in there who'll scare the crap outta ya.

Whatever you do....DON'T RUN OUT OF XANAX. I don't want to spook you but you can sieze and die. Ask your doctor to look into giving you the Catapress blood pressure patch while you try to kick the benzos. You DEFINITELY want the VALIUM and not the Xanax. I kicked benzos in about 3 days and had no problems but many people have long term negative effects from kicking benzos. Howard and Jennita on this forum can also help you. Good luck to you.

Lillian Axe Rocks!

10-28-2004, 12:10 PM
Cool that you know about Lillian Axe. No they are just personal friends (Stevie & Ron).

Cut down from 5 to 3, because I would run out if I didn't. I feel like utter junk today & I just want to know if it is because of the wean. Woke up 1 hour earlier than normal & my stomach was gurgling & felt like junk & I feel kind of out of it today. My B/P was good 122/71, but it su**s feeling like this.

10-28-2004, 12:56 PM
I've seen Lillian Axe a few times.....80's Hair Rock...gotta love it. Yep, you are "dopesick" right now. You definitely want to switch over to Valium and it'll be much smoother for you. ******** that Ashton Manual and do it that way. Definitely show it to the doctor and show him the conversion tables. I seem to remember 1mg Xanax = 10 mgs Valium. Ashton suggests a fairly slow taper. You don't want to run out of benzos(especially Xanax because of the quick half-life). Valium stays in your bloodstream longer and the tapering isn't as bad. Does your doc know you are trying to kick Xanax? If not, then you need to tell him and ask for his help tapering down. Clonidine or Catapress are blood pressure medications to safeguard against seizures and they also make kicking it a little easier. Benzos are very dangerous....just don't run out of benzos. This is gonna be tough for you but you sound pretty strong....as an Axe fan you've gotta have some guts. I'll be around.

10-28-2004, 01:18 PM
"Dopesick"... I dig that. Yeah, I feel like I have the flu & have to work through this. I can get a refill on Monday & I won't run out until Tuesday if I stick on this schedule. I feel like junk. It's weird, because Tuesday was my 1st day cutting down from 5 to 3 & I felt antsy. Yesterday I felt like a champ. Today is the absolute worst. I feel totally out of it. My doc. doesn't have any appointments until Nov. 10th. I won't run out. I just have to deal for a few more days I guess. I didn't think that weaning could make you feel like you have the "flu" if you do too much.


10-28-2004, 01:53 PM
Flu-like symptoms are common with benzos and opiates. I must stress that you need to be VERY careful with what you are doing(tapering). You definitely don't need to run out of benzos. When you quit benzos abruptly it throws your nervous system into a freakout and you can definitely seize, choke on your tongue, and die. Believe me when I tell you that benzos are very, very dangerous when you stop taking them too quickly. Please educate your doctors because most doctors don't know jack about benzodiazepines(or any drugs for that matter). You might want to consult an addictionologist on this one if your doctor turns out to be stupid and uncooperative with your valium taper plan. I can tell you horror stories about people who kicked benzos without medical supervision. I don't want to scare you but please realize the very real danger of stopping cold or running out of that kind of dope. Remember, ******** that Ashton Manual and educate your doctor. You might need to call your doc in case you run out....don't screw around with that crap.

10-28-2004, 02:14 PM
I agree. I am just tapering too quickly so I don't run out too early. It's weird, because yesterday I felt fine with 3 mgs when I was used to 5. Today I feel like junk. I won't run out, because my script is refilled on Monday. It's just strange how cutting down from 5 to 3 can make you feel so strange. I'm used to 3 1/2 MGS during the day. I have cut that down to 2. Trust me, I won't run out. I guess that today is just worse than the other two. I do feel like I have the flu.

10-28-2004, 02:18 PM
Windysan is so right... you stop abrutly or even with a doc's advice who is completely uninformed (3 whole hours of addiction trainning in med school)
and you are flurting w/ death. Please be careful! Just stay with us!

Thinking of you,


10-28-2004, 02:55 PM
I really appreciate all of the support. What you guys need to realize is that I am not stopping abruptly. I am weaning. I have 3mgs a day to last until Tuesday. My script will get re-filled on Monday. I just have to cut down from 5 for a couple of days. Today was just tough.

10-28-2004, 03:19 PM
I hear ya. It will be easier and you'll have better success with the tapering thing if you convert to Valium. ******** that Ashton Manual and talk to your doctor about it. With Xanax it is "take a dose, come down, take a dose". With Valium it stays in your bloodstream longer and makes the taper more tolerable. I just wanted you to know the consequences if you run out of that kind of dope. I remember not being able to comprehend things back in the day....therefore I wanted to STRESS it to you. Tapering is HARD. When you get dopesick your brain tells you to just take more Xanax. I hope you have some success. Just know that you will be sick through most of the tapering ordeal...even sicker with Xanax. Talk to your doc about Valium and give him the Ashton Manual.

Hang in there bro

10-28-2004, 08:59 PM
Whenever I read about these tapering off of xanax topics it scares me to death...I am prescribed 4mgs a day, but find myself taking 5mgs on a regular basis...you say you feel sick like you have the flu, well I can't do that...I have 4 kids to raise and one that is handicapped, so I have no time to be sick...I don't want to even think about tapering off....last summer I did try for awhile, but yes, I did feel sick and sure enough getting back on full dosage, then I felt fine....the only reason I feel I need more is because of my shortness of breath...I still don't have that one figured out :confused:
I dread the day I have to get off this drug...why are some of you weaning off, because a doctor advised it, or just because the drug isn't helping you or you don't like it?

10-29-2004, 05:52 AM
Whew! Your body will begin to build tolerance after you are on the same dose for awhile. That is why your 4mg dose went to 5mgs. Your 5mg dose will eventually not be enough then you'll go to 6mgs, then 7mgs. Benzos are crazy. It'll get to the point were you are taking toxic doses because the lower doses don't work for you. I know you have a bunch of kids and I know it is demanding but the Xanax will eventually make life more difficult. The only relief is getting off the stuff and with a 5mg per day habit you need to ******** the Ashton Manual, give it to your doctor, and make a plan to taper using Valium. There really is no easy way to do it.

10-29-2004, 06:57 AM
& you feel like junk while the process is going on. I tapered, because I have a script for 4 MGS just like you. I have been on 5 MGS for months. I had to taper to 3 MGS, or I would run out prior to my refill date. I had no choice. My doc. isn't really sympathetic to that. My refill is on Monday, so I will be fine. Once I got home last night & had 1 1/2 MGS, I was fine. It is just weird going through it. My eyes get smaller, I feel floaty & etc. It is definitely no fun. In some ways, I wish I never started taking it, but it helps keep my B/P in check & low & I feel like myself again taking it. It is really a catch 22.

10-30-2004, 04:53 PM
Hi, I've been stuck on a xanax taper for several months now. I can't seem to get below .5 a day. I've been on the stuff about 4 years at .75-.1mg a day.

The reason I'm going off is because I don't wish want to develop tolerance and up my dose.

I have been on the UK Benzo boards, and I AM scared to death of the stories there. Holy crap, its nerve wracking. I want to hear a success story someone who struggled, but wasn't "near death". I too have 4 children to take care of, and can't afford to feel like I'm dying. I can take an anxious day, have panic attacks, use to that, but the physical symptoms, I'm most scared about.

My doctor doesn't think I really need to taper off, as things are okay really right now, but I am just plain tired of taking them. I want to go off of them totally, then just take very infrequently as needed for panic.

I can relate to almost everyone here.

I don't call myself "addicted",as I don't crave to have more and more and live my life for the med, but I know my body is dependent on them now. My brain lacks the GABA neutrons as the drug has been providing them I guess.

I did just ******** the Ashton manuel and will ask my Dr. next month to switch me to valium. For me I think it will be 5 mg of valium, as I'm on .5 xanax a day. The xanax hits powerful and leaves me reeling, when I feel it wearing off....so fast....to fast. I need something slower and milder.

I'm really really praying that the Valium will help and lessen the horrible fluish feelings of shortness of breath, achiness, spaciness, teary, and tummy aches.

I still expect to feel withdrawal, but hoping its not as bad.

Who here has done the valium taper? What can I expect at the amount I'm on?

I need to get over the Christmas holidays first, as my oldest son died on Christmas eve last year at this time. He was 19.

But come January I'm going to make a serious attempt to get off xanax.

Would be neat to have a support thread here. The Benzo place scares me to much.

Any takers???? :)

10-30-2004, 06:38 PM
Hi Housemum I was slowly taken off xanax from a dose of 6mgs quite a few years ago. This was before they knew to switch someone over to a longer lasting med. It took a long time because of the high dose but I never seemed to have a problem with the taper. I read that people should stay away from the benzo place because of the horror stories. If I can help in anyway let me know. Carly

10-30-2004, 10:19 PM
I had the good fortune(LOL!) of checking in to a rapid detox for Narcotics,that pulled the "zero tolerance" stuff on me once I was in.I told them I'd been on benzos for years,and had no intention of quitting,but they felt obliged to make me stop anyway....good ol' fashion"throw 'em in the pond and see if they can swim" mentality.
Needless to say,I was very sick...sicker than people kicking H...I've posted about that horror show many times.Went from 6 mgs of xanax plus 45 of restoril and 10 of valium per day to ZERO.
I almost had to be sent to the e-room from the detox.

I resumed using them after detox,and just as I told them when I checked in,have NOT abused them...the only reason I had driven the dose up so high was to reduce the shaking brought on by the Hydro/morphine combo I was addicted to.I'd been on 1 to 2 mgs for a decade and only drove up my dose as I bottomed out on painkillers...maybe 3 months worth.

I now take 1 to 2 mgs a day,but ONLY as needed.
Like today 4 instance....I was relaxed all day so I only took 1/2 mg...no withdrawal or panic.I have switched to rotating sleep meds...I only use restoril
(tamezapam) about once a week.Sonata,ambien and natural stuff suffice on other days if I need anything.

The only positive lesson learned was: Don't try to kick CT,and only take it when you really need it...sometimes I was eating them to"prevent" panic attacks/anxiety...now I only take it if I definitely feel the volume rising.
DEFINITELY taper and DEFINITELY let an MD know whats going on.Its their job to keep you alive!!!


10-30-2004, 10:58 PM
Hey, My problem was with Valium not the Xanax which as we all know are in the same family. That being said, I took them for 10 years without a problem. My Dr was totally agreeable and would even change my script every now and then to say they were being used as muscle relaxer so the drug police wouldn't say anything. In '90 I was in the hospital for minor surgery and went into seizures, was in ICU for 2 days. Very scary for me but obviously not scary enough had a refill so after I got out of hospital guess where I was headed.
But I have to say with all that happened, I think if I had it all to do over again I would still take them........I'm I guess what they call "high strung" doesn't take much to set me to spinning.
My Dr blamed the seizure on the anest..sleeping stuff and the morphine I had in the hospital, never told him I took 50 5mg in the week before I went in the hospital. I just took my experience and went and found me another DR who gave me the xanax and never had a big problem with them...........would just feel antsy at times when I didn't take them. But I never let myself get so caught up in them like I did the valium........Gosh I loved those things.
Talk about feeling comfortably numb........
Guess I'm letting myself get away from the point here...do be careful they are very addicting and potentially dangerous. I never knew til it happened !

10-31-2004, 11:55 AM
Xanax is probably the worst drug I can thinnk of. Why any doc would put anyone on it I don't know. Withdrawal is so bad. There are so many alternatives out there......but the docs seem to not care. I know docs who won't prescribe it. they are smart and good docs. In my opinion...........hang in there and hope you can get off them!!

11-01-2004, 06:00 AM
There is a guy named Howard on this board who checks in periodically. He has done a CT and has done a valium taper. He knows a good bit about the taper thing. I know that it isn't easy.

11-01-2004, 07:25 AM
shortness of breath, achiness, spaciness, teary, and tummy aches


You attribute these to the Xanax. I feel teary & tummy aches in the morning. I always thought that it was the blood pressure med. that I was taking. My stomach drives me nuts (with gurgling+) & never did that before the xanax & B/P meds. I'm only 34. Shouldn't have to go through all of this...

11-01-2004, 09:50 AM
The nervous system plays hell on the GI tract. Once you are over most of the withdrawals then the stomach/colon should get better. Eat lite meals and eat often(5 to 6 meals per day instead of 3). Eat stuff that is easy to digest cuz your peristalsis is all *** up. Eat stuff that is easy on the belly. Ginger is supposed to be good as well as papaya. You can get ginger tablets and papaya enzyme tablets from the health food store.

11-02-2004, 07:26 AM

I got my script for 5 MGS, so I am alright. Have a docs. appt. next week, but have little faith in him. I feel like myself today. You Posted...

The nervous system plays hell on the GI tract. Once you are over most of the withdrawals then the stomach/colon should get better. Eat lite meals and eat often(5 to 6 meals per day instead of 3). Eat stuff that is easy to digest cuz your peristalsis is all *** up. Eat stuff that is easy on the belly. Ginger is supposed to be good as well as papaya. You can get ginger tablets and papaya enzyme tablets from the health food store.

It also only happens in the morning when I wake up.

I am on 100 MGS of Atenolol & Lotrel 5/20 for blood pressure as well. I thought it was that that messed with my GI tract. I never even considered the Xanax. Who knows? It is impossible to without being off of everything. I had full blood tests (CBC, Metabolic Function) 2EKGs & Chest Xray.

It only happens like 2 days a week. I'm only 34 & 5' 11" 150. When I started on the B/P meds & xanax was 20 months ago. I was 5' 11" 158. I have lost like 8 pounds or so in the past 20 months & 5 in the past 4 after gaining 5 back. I don't know if it is the Xanax or the B/P meds.

Certain foods kill me the day after like casseroles, Eggs, rich foods & etc.

At least I feel normal today.

We played a show yesterday in 90 degree heat (I'm a singer-songwriter & I made it through like a champ. 1 1/2 hours singing my a** off & moving around the stage. My bass player (200 pounds) & lead guitarist (190 pounds) were ready to pass out when the show was over. I guess that I'm healthy after all of these tests+. I just hate the side-effects.

11-02-2004, 04:04 PM
The weight loss is probably due to the Xanax and the stress involved with hitting tolerance, withdrawing, getting enough in your system to de-stress, then tolerance, then withdrawing.....that's the problem with Xanax...it is so short-acting that you are constantly having to take it to get back to where you were before. Work on getting that Xanax script changed to Valium and you won't have such a hard time with it. When you are free from that chit you'll feel so much better.

11-03-2004, 07:04 AM
It's not a massive weight loss... around 8 pounds in the past 20 months, but it's been like 6 pounds in the last 4 or so. I guess that it's no big deal, but being 156 than 148, it seems a lot more to people who haven't seen me in a while. I have also gone from drinking a 6 pack a night to nothing during that time frame. I guess that could play a role as well. I will talk to my doc. next week, but I feel like myself this week now that I got my refill.

11-03-2004, 07:07 AM

You are saying that I could actually lose weight, just because of the in between dose withdrawals (which don't happen that frequently). I never gave that much thought. I just believed that it was the fact that my 23 year old girlfriend who is 5' 8" 113 or so moved into the house & my eating habits have changed a little bit & also I quit drinking (99.9% of the time).

11-03-2004, 09:15 AM
A young girlfriend moving in and the subsequent physical activity may have something to do with it. hehe. I do know that I dropped a ton of weight during my chaos. Like they say...."eating kills the buzz"....I think that had something to do with it.

11-03-2004, 11:20 AM
She has lived with me for over a year & we have been together almost 2. I really think that by quitting drinking (99.9% of the time) after a 6 pack a night during the week & more on the weekends made a big difference. I probably have cut out more meals than usual, but it just got me concerned. I am on 2 B/P meds (Lotrel & Atenolol). The Xanax brings the B/P down much more than the meds. At 34, I shouldn't have to worry about so much...

11-03-2004, 02:04 PM
You'll get better once you are off for good. Promise. The 6-pack per night....yep, beer belly for sure. I know it is hard for you rock/rollers to quit the party lifestyle.....but you can do it.

11-03-2004, 02:39 PM

I did quit drinking a 6 a night... that is probably how I lost the weight.

11-04-2004, 07:12 AM
I myself had a grand mal seizure when I quit taking xanax, didnt know what state i lived in or my wifes name. It is CRITICAL that you convert to valium and wean slowly.

11-04-2004, 11:47 AM
I'm staying on the Xanax for now. Valium makes me feel loopy compared to it. I would like to taper with it though with the help of my doc. Valium is much stronger on my system for some reason

11-04-2004, 11:50 AM
Valium takes a little while getting used to but you should stabilize in 1 or 2 weeks. A friend of mine seized and bite part of his tongue off when he ran out of Xanax. Nasty stuff...those footballs and bars.

11-04-2004, 05:09 PM
I was taking 1.75 mgs to 2 mgs a day for about a year. I ran out. I thought I was going to die!! I had horrible anxiety. I was pale, I couldnt concentrate. My vision was all wierd. Computerized. I couldnt function. It took a week to get more. Now I consistantly take at least 2 mgs a day. I up it to 4 sometimes, but because I dont stay on 4, 2 mgs a day keeps me fine. But since that time I'm so scared to stop xanax that I havent even tried. I'll kick hydrocodone any day compared to xanax. Dont run out. It sucks bad. At least you have some. Trust me, you would feel a whole lot worse if you didnt have any. It's no joke, you could die.

11-05-2004, 06:31 AM
The doses keep rising with Xanax cuz it stops working. The only way out of the madness is medical detox or a valium conversion with a slow taper. It's tough tapering Xanax b/c of the short half-life.

11-05-2004, 07:17 AM
Xanax lets me feel like myself during the day. The withdrawals are terrible if you try to cut the dose too fast. I realized that 1st hand. Valium makes me feel out of it for hours & on another planet. It's hard to function on a day to day basis on that for me.

11-05-2004, 08:32 AM
If you can maintain a safe dose of Xanax over the long haul then that's cool. The problem with most real addicts is that too much is never enough. After a while the body/brain start needing more to get that "calm, coping with life feeling". They just haven't perfected a drug that can maintain that feeling over the long haul. Xanax creeps up on you gradually, then WHAMMO, you're strung out on toxic doses. The ultimate goal is getting off the stuff. People do it all kinds of ways. Cold turkey is dangerous due to the seizure factor. Dr. Heather Ashton studied benzodiazepines in a clinical setting. She found that the best way to withdraw from benzos is to convert to valium then taper down slowly. Ashton's study is the only scientific evidence that I have found regarding benzo withdrawal. It ain't easy...there is no easy way. If you want to get off the chaos train then Ashton is probably the way to go. The initial effects of valium are sleepiness, goofiness, a buzz....but that stabilizes then it is kind of painful cutting doses. Tapering ain't easy and most real addicts fail. For those who fail tapering I always tell them to get medical supervision when trying to kick it because of the seizure dangers. You could just stay on the Xanax for life but keep in mind that the doses will continue to go up, you'll be chained to the pill bottle, and if you run out of dope it can get dangerous.

11-05-2004, 08:58 AM
I have been taking 5 MGS with no problem for about 7 months. I haven't increased my dose at all. The withdrawals in between can happen from time to time, but I feel like myself again. The Valium made me feel exactly like you said. I have lost a couple of pounds on this dose, but nothing major (like 3-4 pounds). It keeps my B/P in check at the doctor & gets rid of my white-coat as well. I don't drink & don't do anything else. It was just tough last week, because I went from 5 to 3, because I would have run out prior to refill date. I don't have that problem anymore. I hate the fact that I ever went on such an addictive drug, but it has made me feel like myself. I haven't felt a need to increase the doses. I am aware that at some point that I will have to taper possibly. It doesn't effect my work & I feel good 99% of the time.

11-05-2004, 10:28 AM
The way I look at is this...if you can maintain that dose for a long period then I guess that is okay. However, take a look at the medical literature that comes in the little pamphlet when you get your "medicine". It should say how long this medication is to be prescribed. You'll see that it's suggested period is a lot shorter than you think. Ask your doctor what the recommended time period is for Xanax. You'll find that the usage period is short for a reason. You hit tolerance then increase doses. I've known many people who started out with a very low dose(housewives--nondruggies in other words) who graduated up to big doses and when they tried to quit it turned them into medical disasters. Remember the danger of this drug. Do your research on this one, my friend. If it(the drug) is too good to be true....it probably is. Trust me when I tell you that it can become a big problem. When and if you decide to quit then do it carefully because when you quit this stuff...therein lies the biggest danger. It's good you aren't doing other dope as that would make your problem worse. Just be careful man....trust me on this one.

11-05-2004, 11:26 AM
Hey Lilaxe,

Found this information for you regarding the Xanax and how to withdraw.

good luck with it,


11-08-2004, 12:32 PM
Thanks, I'll look into it at some point.

11-08-2004, 04:44 PM
Cool. I should still be around....God willing. When you are ready to get off the Xanax just be really careful....that is where things get freaky. You've experienced a bit of it so you know what lies ahead.

11-13-2004, 11:43 PM
Any takers???? :)

I am a taker. :) Yes in that forum many have had and are having a very hard time. I know of many that have gotten off easy. I`d consider myself in the middle. I started a Valium taper at 30 mgs and worked two jobs for 6 months. Things got rough at the end of the taper and I had to stop work. I only felt like I was going to die once and that was soon after taking my last dose. Was a panic attack that seemed to have no let up. And I am convinced now that I was not going to die. It took about a month for the worst to get over. I am 7 1/2 weeks off now and still have some inner trembling, electric zaps, flu feelings, and muscle tightness. These symptoms are, however, only about 40% of what they were. I can now stand it in my skin though still shy about some social situations. Part of the reason may be the fact that I have been cooped up a while. Most of the depresson has lifted.

Ashton puts the Valium equivalency at 10 mgs for .5 mgs of Xanax. A slow enough taper would be .5 mgs a week. You feel the cuts but can sit an extra week or two if need be. You will need a stock of 2 mg and 5 mg tablets. The hardest part may involve just trying continuing with your life, not worrying or obsessing about the situation. All we can do is come off the stuff as safely as we can while doing what we can for our psychological health. Look at the symptom list in the Ashton Manual so you will not be surprised if some hit. Though I have experienced less then half on the list myself. I will be around. :)

11-15-2004, 10:04 AM

You are alive. Sounds like you are doing better. That's a good thing.

Yer pal in the Southland,

11-15-2004, 07:22 PM
Ashton's study is the only scientific evidence that I have found regarding benzo withdrawal. It ain't easy...there is no easy way. If you want to get off the chaos train then Ashton is probably the way to go. The initial effects of valium are sleepiness, goofiness, a buzz....but that stabilizes then it is kind of painful cutting doses.

Yup, downloaded it all and am going to show my Dr. on Friday when I see him.

I'm gonna ask to switch from .5 mil a day of Xanax to 10 mil Valium gradually, then wean off the valium starting in Jan. I really hope it goes well.

I've been on xanax for 4 years but have never increased my dosage of .5, I just don't like the breakthrough symptoms. My dose of xanax only lasts about 5 hours and taking it only twice a day, leaves quite a few hours feeling irritable, achy, and anxiety ridden.

I'll let you all know how its going.

What I like about Ashton is she really lets you control the tapering. Doesn't make you feel bad if you have take it very slowly. She trusts the patient to moniter themselves as needed. I like that......it takes the pressure away imo.

Thanks for the info Howie.

11-16-2004, 02:33 AM

You are alive. Sounds like you are doing better. That's a good thing.

Yer pal in the Southland,

Hey man. I`ll give you a call soon. I have been better but today brought challenges.

11-16-2004, 02:37 AM

Sounds like you are having interdose withdrawals. Valium should fix that. And you are not experiencing tolerance withdrawal symptoms which is very good. So a super slow taper should be tolerable for you. Was not so much for me, as I was in real tolerance, plus, unlike about all on those boards, I have had pill cravings. If I had really dragged it out I would have done dose increases and never gotten off. Keep in touch. Pretty simple thing. Get the Valium source and the small dose pills. Go at your own pace.