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Help; accidental Xanax dependency
  1. #1
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    Default Help; accidental Xanax dependency

    Hello all. I am a 43 year old male with no history of alcohol or drug abuse. Nearly 2 months ago I cam down with extreme fatigue and shortness of breath. Did not abate after about 3 weeks so I saw my doctor. They took blood and sent it off. The next day I had a panic attack because of the stress of the illness and uncertainty. Blood work came back negative for everything except low testosterone. I told the doc about the panic attack and that on the very rare (less 5) occasions I've had panic attacks in the past I took one of my wife's Xanax and that worked. Doctor put me on testosterone gel and wrote a script for 0.5 mg Xanax 1/day as necessary for panic attacks. Well soon I was having panic attacks daily, and after nearly a month the fatigue had slowly dissipated but morphed into a raft of strange symptoms including anxiety, nausea, daily panic attacks, strange musculoskelletal aches and pains, sensation of heat in chest, armpits, arms. I was taking 0.5 mg Xanax daily and sometimes 2 of them. I began to suspect the testosterone was causing the anxiety and the anxiety was causing the other symptoms. Saw doctor after approximately one month down this road. Explained anxiety and panic attacks, explained I thought it might be the testosterone, explained Xanax usage. They discontinued testosterone gel, told me not to take more Xanax than I was already taking, but did not seem as though they suspected the Xanax in my anxiety. They renewed the Xanax prescription to deal with panic attacks while the testosterone cleared from my system. Symptoms improved; panic attacks lessened, but I was still very anxious and on 0.5 mg Xanax daily, but broken into 2X 0.25 mg/day. But as the week progressed I developed increasing insomnia, upset stomach/nausea, loose stool/diarrhea.. I started to suspect Friday that my remaining symptoms were due to side effects of Xanax. So I did not take one at all on Friday. Did not sleep, became very nauseated, watery diarrhea, very anxious. Finally at 5pm yesterday is finally clicked that these were not side effects of Xanax, but symptoms of Xanax withdrawal. I started reading about Xanax withdrawal and how dangerous it was and how you should not do it except very slowly under a doctor's supervision. I took 0.5 mg Xanax at 7:30pm and symptoms were alleviated. However it only lasted 6 hours. I woke up at 1:30 with anxiety, nausea, shakes, pains, etc. It is now 7 am and I have not taken another Xanax yet.

    It is Sunday. I cannot see a doctor until Monday unless I go to the emergency room. If I were to take 0.5 mg Xanax every 6 hours that would be 2 mg/day, a doubling of the max dosage I was taking before and seems like it will make the taper and withdrawal worse. On the other hand Xanax withdrawal can be very dangerous.

    I do not know what to do. I have only been on Xanax for roughly 5 weeks, and at a much lower dosage than the horror stories I read about. I do not want to increase my daily dose before seeing a doctor, but I don't want to die from a seizure. Should I take a Xanax or not? If so, what dose? 0.5 mg? Should I break it into 0.25 mg and try to spread it out?

    Help me, please. I am very scared and I do not know what to do.

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    Iwantoff2013 is offline Platinum Member
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    Hi there. I'm sorry you're dealing with this. If it were me, I'd go ahead and take the extra .5mg at least for today. I cannot imagine where those insane symptoms are coming from since you only skipped one day. I took Xanax for a year - about 1.5mg. There were days when I wouldn't take any and I never experienced those kind of symptoms.

    Yes, Xanax WD is dangerous if you stop abruptly - that's where risk of seizure comes into play. If it helps your symptoms, take the extra .5mg only for today and then you can see your doctor tomorrow. One dose isn't gonna throw off your taper. Also, try to stay busy and get outside if you can. Drink lots of water. Believe it or not, these little things help.

    A friend of mine was able to easily taper off Xanax when her doctor switched her to a long-acting benzo. Xanax has the shortest half-life of all benzos, which makes tapering more difficult. Ask your doctor to switch you to one of the longer-acting ones like Valium or Librium so you can taper off more easily. Your doctor should prescribe an anti-seizure med as well, just in case.

    Please keep us posted on your condition. I wish I could be of more help. Just make sure to see your doc tomorrow.

    All the best,
    Kat
    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-15-2015 at 10:51 AM.

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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    I agree with Kat, Xanax is very short acting. It is easier to wean down from Valium. What you might be experiencing is "interdose" withdrawals. I also agree the testosterone gel probably gave you that reaction but it might have been the fact that it was a combination of the gel and the xanax. Possibly once the xanax is completely out of your system, you could try the gel again and see if you don't get better results.

    Let me understand your doctor did bloodwork and a basic exam when you presented with extreme fatigue and shortness of breath. I'll go out on a limb here and suggest your low T did not show up overnight two months ago. It has probably been chronic for some time now. Extreme fatigue especially with shortness of breath of sudden onset warrants a very thorough investigation. I think you are very wise to get off the xanax completely as soon as you can and then start from square one to get to the bottom of the original problem.

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    Thank you both.

    Things are changing rapidly and not for the better. I spoke with my sister in law at 7 am. She is a dr but not a specialist in this. I told her I did not want to go up past the 1mg/day. She suggested I try breaking it up into 4 x 0.25 throughout the day. So I took 0.25 mg at 7:30 am, 12 hours after my last 0.5 mg dose, which lasted 6 hours. The 0.25 mg dose was not particularly effective.

    At my sis in law's suggestion I called the on call psychiatrist for the psych care center I went to last week, explained full history and asked his advice. He advised that I have a serious problem and need to see my doctor on Monday but in the mean time he did not see a problem with using the Xanax I had available to get through until Monday. I asked about dose and he said 0.5 mg seemed to be the effective dose for me and suggested I take it every 4 to 6 hours. That would be a doubling or tripling of the maximum dose I took before. I found the idea of that rapid escalation frightening. I did take a second 0.25 mg after speaking to him at 9am. Because I split the dose it was not oerticularly effective and symptoms continued.

    I tried to stay active, doing chores, cleaning, laundry. It seemed to help. Hanging out with my son also helped.

    By 4pm, 7 hours after 9am, symptoms were intensifying and after considering the psychiatrists's advice I decided that I was going to have to go over 1 mg today. I took a second 0.5 mg at 4:20. Symptoms alleviated. Was able to eat dinner and get some rest. However symptoms began to return after only 4 hours. It seems like every dose is significantly less effective than the last.

    It is now 5.5 hours since last does. Symptoms are intensifying. My plan is to take another 0.5 mg before bed in another hour, maybe 2 if I can to try to get some sleep. God knows how long that dose will last, though. 4 hours? Less?

    God I'm scared.

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    Just to be clear that would put me at 1.5 mg for the day. I meant take 0.5 mg in an hour or two, not 2x0.5 mg in an hour.

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    Iwantoff2013 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrified in Raleigh View Post
    Thank you both.

    Things are changing rapidly and not for the better. I spoke with my sister in law at 7 am. She is a dr but not a specialist in this. I told her I did not want to go up past the 1mg/day. She suggested I try breaking it up into 4 x 0.25 throughout the day. So I took 0.25 mg at 7:30 am, 12 hours after my last 0.5 mg dose, which lasted 6 hours. The 0.25 mg dose was not particularly effective.

    At my sis in law's suggestion I called the on call psychiatrist for the psych care center I went to last week, explained full history and asked his advice. He advised that I have a serious problem and need to see my doctor on Monday but in the mean time he did not see a problem with using the Xanax I had available to get through until Monday. I asked about dose and he said 0.5 mg seemed to be the effective dose for me and suggested I take it every 4 to 6 hours. That would be a doubling or tripling of the maximum dose I took before. I found the idea of that rapid escalation frightening. I did take a second 0.25 mg after speaking to him at 9am. Because I split the dose it was not oerticularly effective and symptoms continued.

    I tried to stay active, doing chores, cleaning, laundry. It seemed to help. Hanging out with my son also helped.

    By 4pm, 7 hours after 9am, symptoms were intensifying and after considering the psychiatrists's advice I decided that I was going to have to go over 1 mg today. I took a second 0.5 mg at 4:20. Symptoms alleviated. Was able to eat dinner and get some rest. However symptoms began to return after only 4 hours. It seems like every dose is significantly less effective than the last.

    It is now 5.5 hours since last does. Symptoms are intensifying. My plan is to take another 0.5 mg before bed in another hour, maybe 2 if I can to try to get some sleep. God knows how long that dose will last, though. 4 hours? Less?

    God I'm scared.
    If you spoke to a psychiatrist, I would take his advice. Increasing your dose just for today is really not that big a deal. Your regular doctor can take it from there.

    Clearly, something is going on. I'm curious to see what your doctor says tomorrow. Keep us updated. Try to watch a movie or whatever it takes to distract yourself tonight.

    Hang in there!
    Kat

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    Also, would they actually switch me to a different benzo and taper that, or would I have to ADD another longer acting benzo while tapering xanax???

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    Iwantoff2013 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrified in Raleigh View Post
    Also, would they actually switch me to a different benzo and taper that, or would I have to ADD another longer acting benzo while tapering xanax???
    You would switch, not add another. It's way easier to taper from the long-acting stuff.

    Do some deep breathing. It's gonna be ok. Sorry you're going through this.
    Kat

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    Hello all,

    Continued evolution. My plan to get some sleep worked. Dosed 0,5 mg at 11:45 with diphenhydramine HCL. Slept well, woke up at something like 7am. got callback confirming 10:30 am appointment with psychiatrist. Did not dose. Felt anxious and nauseated this morning but tolerably so. Saw Dr at 10:45, 11 hours since last dose. Explained history.

    She says it is not possible that I am having Xanax withdrawal. I have not been on a high enough/frequent enough dosage to become dependent. She says that I am experiencing rebound anxiety. I have underlying anxiety that the xanax has been intermittently treating, but only for a few hours, and then the underlying anxiety returns. Since I was not put on Xanax as an anxiety medication but for presumably infrequent panic attacks, it has been poorly treating the underlying anxiety. With the symptoms of anxiety blending into my prior illness, I was unsure of their cause which simply fed the anxiety in a vicious cycle. The symptoms of anxiety, of course, are identical Xanax withdrawal (someone please correct me if this is not the case and there is some way to differentiate the two). So when I thought I had become addicted to Xanax and envisioned losing my job, home, wife, kids, life, I became even more anxious.

    At first I didn't want to hear it, but now realize it is entirely consistent. And if she is correct that you cannot build up a tolerance to Xanax at the low/infrequent dose I was on, then the dependence theory is out the window. I was only dependent on Xanax in the sense that it treated my anxiety. But it did so poorly and ended up making my anxiety worse.

    She wanted me to start a cocktail of drugs, paxil, wellbutrin, klonopin. The former to treat anxiety, the middle to treat some side effects of paxil, the latter to replace xanax because of the longer half life. I told her I did not want to go on all that until I tried switching off of xanax to a different, longer acting benzo and then slowly tapering and seeing if the anxiety returns. So she ended up switching me to Ativan 0.5 mg x2 daily. It has a longer half life than Xanax.

    Writing this has given me a panic attack. I am stopping here for now.

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    Iwantoff2013 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrified in Raleigh View Post
    Hello all,

    Continued evolution. My plan to get some sleep worked. Dosed 0,5 mg at 11:45 with diphenhydramine HCL. Slept well, woke up at something like 7am. got callback confirming 10:30 am appointment with psychiatrist. Did not dose. Felt anxious and nauseated this morning but tolerably so. Saw Dr at 10:45, 11 hours since last dose. Explained history.

    She says it is not possible that I am having Xanax withdrawal. I have not been on a high enough/frequent enough dosage to become dependent. She says that I am experiencing rebound anxiety. I have underlying anxiety that the xanax has been intermittently treating, but only for a few hours, and then the underlying anxiety returns. Since I was not put on Xanax as an anxiety medication but for presumably infrequent panic attacks, it has been poorly treating the underlying anxiety. With the symptoms of anxiety blending into my prior illness, I was unsure of their cause which simply fed the anxiety in a vicious cycle. The symptoms of anxiety, of course, are identical Xanax withdrawal (someone please correct me if this is not the case and there is some way to differentiate the two). So when I thought I had become addicted to Xanax and envisioned losing my job, home, wife, kids, life, I became even more anxious.

    At first I didn't want to hear it, but now realize it is entirely consistent. And if she is correct that you cannot build up a tolerance to Xanax at the low/infrequent dose I was on, then the dependence theory is out the window. I was only dependent on Xanax in the sense that it treated my anxiety. But it did so poorly and ended up making my anxiety worse.

    She wanted me to start a cocktail of drugs, paxil, wellbutrin, klonopin. The former to treat anxiety, the middle to treat some side effects of paxil, the latter to replace xanax because of the longer half life. I told her I did not want to go on all that until I tried switching off of xanax to a different, longer acting benzo and then slowly tapering and seeing if the anxiety returns. So she ended up switching me to Ativan 0.5 mg x2 daily. It has a longer half life than Xanax.

    Writing this has given me a panic attack. I am stopping here for now.
    That makes sense. I knew it wasn't WD because you'd only been taking it for a few weeks. Ativan's half-life is about 12 hours I believe. I guess that's better than sticking with Xanax, although I thought your doc would give you something longer-acting. I really hope it works for you.

    Benzos are so dangerous, though. If you can get relief from Paxil or Wellbutrin, it would be better for you in the long run. Did your doc mention therapy to help the anxiety? Cognitive behavioral therapy works wonders. Google it and read about it. It helped my sister tremendously when nothing else worked.

    Have a good day and keep us posted.
    Kat

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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    I am still confused whether you are under the care of a psychiatrist or a primary doctor, checking out your original symptoms of fatigue and shortness of breath of sudden onset. While these CAN be caused by anxiety/panic disorder, it's important to rule out physical causes. Without knowing your full history it's hard to say. WITH shortness of breath, demands a stress treadmill test, echocardiogram in my humble opinion; among other things if this is your first presentation of such symptoms and you have not ever been fully evaluated?

    There is a difference between regular anxiety and benzo withdrawal, but it can be subtle. For one thing, I've never heard of "brain zaps" being a part of primary anxiety, but they are often part of benzo (or antidepressent) withdrawal. (You do not mention having them.) The insomnia is of a slightly different nature too. Benzo withdrawal insomnia is more intense, shorter periods of sleep and of a poorer quality sleep.

    I really hesitate to go against what your doctor prescribed but because you yourself say you don't want to go on more drugs, I'll speak. The SSRI antidepressants could help you but also could make things worse in the long run. They too have very unpleasant "discontinuation" syndromes. Klonopin is just another benzo, every bit as addictive as xanax. Personally, if a doctor wanted to put me on an SSRI/benzo "cocktail" I'd refuse. I've been there before and never want to go back. (Paxil is an SSRI and Wellbutrin affects other neurotransmitters, one of them dopamine, the same one that is associated with cigarette addiction.)

    The Ativan is longer acting than xanax, not as long as valium, but easier to taper than xanax. Whether 5 weeks is long enough for you to have become "addicted" depends. Physically, as Kat says, no. You are not in danger of seizure or that sort of withdrawal as far as I know. But if being on it 5 weeks causes worse "rebound" anxiety than you've ever had before, I don't see how anyone can differentiate that from a withdrawal reaction. If you poke around the internet a lot you can find a lot of controversy about the subject of people having worse problems after taking psychoactive drugs and being told by doctors it's the original illness coming back stronger, not the drug, that caused the problem. The truth is on both sides and everywhere in between depending on the individual. But in your case likely the gel had everything to do with it.

    Personally I do not think the diarrhea and nausea are xanax withdrawal but are related to your underlying problem. You have low T and you have digestive issues. I fully agree with Kat that in the long run, cognitive behavioral therapy will be much better for you than these drugs but I will add that you should do a complete assessment of your nutrition. Low T is symptomatic of chronic bad eating and by that I do not mean McDonald's or you eat junk, I mean our modern food system contains too much soy (bad for males), too many "bad" fats, and not nearly enough "good" fats. There is a HUGE HUGE connection between what you eat and your mental state. Anxiety and depression are directly tied to eating too much sugar for example. It gets very complicated; I recommend reading up and learning along these lines. Your low T points to this, that this direction could be very helpful for you.

    Anxiety itself can be a symptom of heart problems. On the other hand, primary anxiety can cause you to worry about physical illness where none exists. I don't want to increase your anxiety by talking about physical problems but just cautioning you to not make the assumption your original symptoms are "in your head" and need to be treated with psychoactive drugs.

    Hormones are really tricky things. If you have low T it's likely you have other imbalances too. You'd need to see an endocrinologist if you wanted complete answers. Replacing just the T is not the same thing as healing a total adrenal axis system that has been subject to chronic dysfunction over time. Your body and mind are connected completely, what happens in one, happens in the other and vice versa.

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    I have read others say on this board that you can become dependent on Xanax in as little as 30 days on as little as 0.25 mg/day. I certainly went more than 30 days taking a minimum of 0.5 mg/day, often 1 mg.

    What is the dose equivalency between ativan and Xanax? I will start the ativan tonight at 11pm, having taken 0.25 mg Xanax at roughly 4:30 pm, the first does since I took 0.5 mg last night at 11:50 in order to sleep. I wanted to see if I could go the whole day without Xanax but the psychiatrists' advice that I could not be dependent on it induced my to take 0.25 in the hopes of blunting increasing symptoms but still have the xanax well out of my system before starting the ativan before bed.

    She told me to start with half a .5 mg ativan, give it at least an hour, and if necessary, take the other half.

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    I am confused and concerned. The psychiatrist tells me I cannot be dependent, that I have an anxiety disorder, and that switching to a longer lasting benzo will better treat that while being on the edge of a "tapering dose" to taper off the benzo while implementing paxil and wellbutrin. But if I cannot be dependent on Xanax precisely because the half life is so short, by switching to a longer lasting benzo, I up the risk of actual dependency. In other words, if you are already dependent on benzos you want to be on the longer lasting one in order to taper. But if I cannot be dependent on xanax, then I will be switching from a drug I am supposedly not dependent on to one with a higher risk of dependency, just to taper off of it. I have come to the conclusion that this is the right thing to do no matter what. If I have an anxiety disorder I need a longer lasting short term solution that Xanax. If I am Xanax dependent I need to switch to a longer lasting Benzo in order to taper.

    Can anybody spot a hole in my thinking?

    Sigh.

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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    The hole in your thinking is that the longer acting drug has a higher risk of dependency. Even though the xanax gets out of your system more quickly, daily use still brings dependency all the same and just as quickly as a longer acting one.

    I cannot resolve the discrepancy between some people saying you can become dependent in a very short time and others (including your doctor) saying you cannot be dependent in that short amount of time. There is probably no scientific answer because withdrawals are very subjective. And people's definition of "dependent" can vary. Does it mean you will have seizures if you quit suddenly? That sort of severe withdrawal might be what your doctor means, but someone else might consider relatively mild "discontinuation syndrome" to be in fact a form of withdrawal. Probably dependency and the associated severity of withdrawal develops insidiously over time. It's not a line you cross over one day, say in the middle of the 4th month. It's something that might be very, very subtle after only one week of use, so subtle most people might not notice any symptoms when they stop. Two weeks a bit more dependency but maybe still most people wouldn't connect any symptoms to stopping. Gradually the process grows so that the longer you have been taking them, the more obvious withdrawal is, until the point where nearly 100% of people would definitely feel bad symptoms, maybe after six months. But it's not a switch that flips at any one point in time.

    It is true that there is a whole lot of conflicting information about benzos and other psychoactive drugs. It is not you, the confusion is real, so try not to get to some absolute truth, you'll drive yourself nuts. Listen to your gut, and take one day at a time. I don't think you can say for sure right now whether it is withdrawal or primary anxiety, if you get off the benzo completely and put some time distance between it and yourself, THEN you will have perspective and things will be more clear.

    The equivalent dose is twice Ativan to Xanax, so if you were to take .25 xanax, you would take .5 Ativan instead.

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    [deleted - swearing]
    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-28-2015 at 03:13 PM. Reason: typo

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    first sentence should read 2x0.5 mg ativan per day.

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    I apologize for swearing. I am frightened and frustrated and working on very little sleep. Repost without swearing:

    Nightmare ride continues. Dr put me on 2x0.5 mg ativan per day, breakfast and afternoon (8am and 4 pm specifically), plus 0.25 mg xanax and 0.5 mg Trazodone before bed (11pm). That was Wednesday, 1.5 weeks ago. First couple of nights I slept very poorly. Dr said give it a few days. I did. For a few nights I slept better, maybe 5-6 hours per night. but last Monday night my sleep deteriorated rapidly, perhaps 1-2 hours of poor sleep Monday and Tuesday, otherwise apparent withdrawal symptoms, chest pain, burning sensations in skin of arms, wide awake. On Monday (after 3 days 5-6 hours of so-so sleep waking to apparent withdrawl symptoms, I had asked my doctor about switching the 0.25 mg Xanax at bedtime for a third 0.5 mg ativan, leaving me at the same quivalent does but longer lasting over night. I metabolize 0.25 mg xanax in about 3.5-4 hours. 0.5 mg ativan genrally seems yo last 7-8 hours. He said give it a week. That night started the extremely poor sleeping, with most of the night in apparent withdrawal symptoms. But my doctor left town for a week Tuesday morning, completely incommunciado. After 2 days of extremely poor sleep I called the on-call provider and talked about what was going on. She's actually the one that put me on the damn xanax in the first place. I told her about the poor sleep and wanting to try switching the night time .25 xanax for ativan to try to sleep better, but she didn't want me taking ativan 3x daily. I'm not sure why. She told me I could try upping the Trazodone to 1 mg at night. I tried that Wednesday night and the night was much worse. Totally sleepless, apparent with drawal symptoms. Strangley, all three nights the "withdrawal symptoms" seemed to actually ease over the course of the night, just not enough to sleep. I began to suspect the Trazodone, which I looked up the side effects of and the include all my night time symptoms. So does benzo withdrawal.

    Thursday I spoke to the on call nurse again and again she did not want me switching the xanax for ativan at bedtime and again she didn't want me to. She said I could take the ativan at night, she just didn't want me taking 3x daily. So I delayed my afternnon dose as long as I could, from 3pm until almost 5 pm (during the insomnia my ativan schedule shifted from 8am and 4pm to 7am and 3pm, which in retrospect was probably counterproductive). That night I believe I went to bed at 11pm either taking only 0.5 mg trazodone and waiting for symptoms to onset before taking the 0.25 xanax. Symptoms started about 11:45 but I delayed until 12:30 to take Xanax and 50 mg diphenhydramine HCL. That bought me about 4 hours of sleep.

    Yesterday I delayed morning ativan until 10:30 am. I delayed afternoon ativan until 7pm. I took 0.5 mg Trazadone at 11. Symptoms onset early, before midnight. Wanting to see if the longer lasting switching to the longer lasting ativan would do the trick, I took 0.5mg ativan at 12:30 plus 50 mg diphenhydramine HCL.

    Symptoms actiually got WORSE, completely sleepless, had night sweats for the first time. Again, symptoms actually eased towards dawn.

    I hope I have not disastrously screwed up the schedule I am on, but frankly it does not seem like a very good plan or schedule. My understand is that you want to switch from short acting benzos like Xanax and ativan to long acting ones like valium that produce uniform blood concentrations that can be slowly tapered. This schedule has been disastrous for my sleep schedule and not being able to talk to my doctor about it has been extremely difficult. And I still have to get through tonight and tomorrow. I'm trying to go back on the original schedule with the modification that I wait for symptom onset at bedtime to take xanax and diphenhydramine HCL and pray that I can get some sleep. I see also that you can't just stop trazodone either, so I guess I'm stuck taking that. I've gone from one terrible medication I can't stop to 3.

    Can anyone offer any insight into my situation??? Please help.

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    sroam is offline New Member
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    I just saw this site and hope all is better with you now. However, if not, get off all this medication. It appears to be hard now, but you can see it only gets harder. I was on Xanax for 15 years, in withdrawal for a decade! Not knowing I had reached tolerance many, many, many times over those years and always thinking it was sometimes else. (Went from doctor to doctor trying to figure it out!) Terrible withdrawal symptoms! When I found out I had reached tolerance 15 years later after depression, anxiety, depersonization, derealization, IBS (terrible), ect, I quit from 4 mg c/turkey! Terrible move! Should have tapered but I did not know and was too far gone with symptoms-especially those mentioned and major depression! It is 4 months today since I stopped benzos! I have had just about every symptom in the book, including wanting to kill myself! many times. It usually takes 6 months to 2 years after your last dose of benzos, assuming addiction is prevalent, until you are well. It is a long, lonely, horrible road, but it can be done and you can do it too! Look up Heather Ashton, she is the best expert on the subject and has much information that would be useful to you. Sorry to see you go through this stuff, I too became unintentionally dependent on this hell drug. We both can make it!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 05-30-2015 at 09:01 PM.

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    Just saw this thread of posts about xanax. I hope all is well now. Your story is my story, except my doctor ignored my pleas for help, leaving me on my own. After begging other doctors for help, I was fortunate to find a psychiatrist who was a friend of a friend... and I believe that she literally saved my life. She put me on klonipin immediately, and since it has a longer half-life, I was able to taper off within a few weeks.
    YES, you can become dependent on xanax within a couple weeks. YES, you can have diarrhea and heart palpitations from severe anxiety alone--with no other health issues being present. Once I got the xanax out of my system, I flat-out dropped the physician who had prescribed it for me in the first place and who then refused to help me get off of it at all. Oh, BTW, there was another psychiatrist along my way in this... who told me that my problems with the xanax were a sign that I was not using enough. Beware of xanax, beware of the mindless doctors who prescribe it.

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    Wow I have about the same story. except I hit the streets buying the 2 mg bars and breaking them into quarters taking .5 mg 6 times daily (plus my doctor prescribed me 2 0.25 mg tablets a day. My anxiety was getting worse and worse. I was was sleeping maybe 2 - 4 hours a night. Then all of a sudden I was not able to sleep for 4 days. I went into extreme paranoia and started to have vivid hallucinations. I went yo the emergency room and they sent me to a mental illness hospitol. While there they put me on sleep meds, seroquil 25 mg, and trazardone 50 mg. He also advised that I stopped taking the xanax. He explained that xanax is like a cocktail it will help anyone who takes it. Reluctantly I took his advice. not gonna lie when withdrawing I would constantly fluctuate between diariah and constipation and terrible anxiety for about 5 days. I started noticing a huge difference in my anxiety levels after having a good night sleep after about 7 days. Now its nearly a year later and I suffer from very little anxiety and panic attacks. For me
    Most of my anxiety came from a lack of quality sleep. I don't know if this will help you but sleep problems can cause a huge amount of anxiety. I would suggest asking your doctor about sleep medication I personally reccomend seroquil that is what works best for me

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