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How do I get off of .5mg Alprazolam (Xanax) after 5 weeks of use?
  1. #1
    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    Default How do I get off of .5mg Alprazolam (Xanax) after 5 weeks of use?

    Hi everyone. I'm new here. I have been on .5mg of Alprazolam for around 5 weeks because I am going
    through some bad stress in my life right now. I have only taken it to get me to sleep at night and
    that is it. I do not take it during the day. I want to get the hell off of it now and get on some natural
    stuff my chiropractor has given me. Since I have been on it more then 2 weeks, how would I go
    about tapering off of this drug? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    Anyone? I'm sorry if this has been asked before. Just want some insight on the best way to get
    off this lowish dose I have been on for a short amount of time.

  3. #3
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    5 weeks is short enough you can probably do a fast taper. You might try cutting the tablets in half and taking only half a dose or cutting into quarters and taking 3/4 of a dose at bedtime. I think I would do that, take 3/4 at bedtime for a few nights, then 1/2 then 1/4 while at the same time beginning whatever natural sleep aid your chiro gave you. You still might expect poor sleep for a week or two. Only if you have severe symptoms would I suggest you taper more slowly. If a person has been on a benzo for months or years we always recommend a very slow taper, but only 5 weeks it would benefit you to get off as fast as possible. Best of luck!

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    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    Thanks for the info! I should mention that just last night my body seemed to get used to the medication,
    ie, it wasn't as effective as it was before. Will that effect how fast I can get off of it?

  5. #5
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    You can still do a fast taper but that is a sign that tolerance is developing and that if you don't get off it, before too long it will become harder to quit. But don't let it bother you that you noticed this last night. Just proceed with your plan and let your symptoms be your guide. If you feel extremely uncomfortable, you are tapering a bit too fast. But you don't want to put this off much longer or that tolerance will grow.
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  6. #6
    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thisweekforsure View Post
    You can still do a fast taper but that is a sign that tolerance is developing and that if you don't get off it, before too long it will become harder to quit. But don't let it bother you that you noticed this last night. Just proceed with your plan and let your symptoms be your guide. If you feel extremely uncomfortable, you are tapering a bit too fast. But you don't want to put this off much longer or that tolerance will grow.
    Thisweekforsure is spot on! Nip this in the bud now before it gets worse! Good luck... God bless us all!

  7. #7
    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    Thanks for the support guys. I cut my dose in half to .25mg on wednesday night. The next day
    I had some anxiety in the morning for about an hour and I kind of felt loopy for a while. Then
    at around 5:00pm my back started to ache in various places for about 2 hours. I assume this
    is normal and means the med is leaving my body? It's nothing to uncomfortable that I can't
    deal with, just nothing I have experienced before. Also, I plan on staying on the .25mg dose
    till Sunday night. Then on monday night I will cut that in half to .125mg. I'm hoping I can just
    quit taking it after wednesday night. How does that plan sound to you guys?
    Last edited by Anonymous; 08-26-2016 at 11:34 AM.

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    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    So today I still had that loopy kind of lightheaded feeling for most of the day, but it has subsided.
    So far nothing else is aching so I'm hoping things will improve soon so I can cut my dose down again.
    Good thing I didn't follow my doctors advice when he said I could just stop taking this drug.

  9. #9
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    It seems to me that loopy feeling is very normal for cutting a benzo. But it sounds mild in your case. You seem to be tolerating it very well. Short periods of anxiety or painful feelings are normal again, as long as you are not extremely uncomfortable. It is a very good thing to wait out such feelings. As you have found, they will often go away. They may return again, and be on and off, but if they are not constant, and not severe, then you are doing well and don't need to be concerned. I like your plan to stay on this dose til Sunday night. You will probably be feeling more normal and stable on Sunday. It's a very good sign that your weird symptoms subside, and are intermittent and not constant. You are doing great.

  10. #10
    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thisweekforsure View Post
    It seems to me that loopy feeling is very normal for cutting a benzo. But it sounds mild in your case. You seem to be tolerating it very well. Short periods of anxiety or painful feelings are normal again, as long as you are not extremely uncomfortable. It is a very good thing to wait out such feelings. As you have found, they will often go away. They may return again, and be on and off, but if they are not constant, and not severe, then you are doing well and don't need to be concerned. I like your plan to stay on this dose til Sunday night. You will probably be feeling more normal and stable on Sunday. It's a very good sign that your weird symptoms subside, and are intermittent and not constant. You are doing great.
    Well that is a relief. Thanks for the input. This loopy feeling is still kind of there right now just not as strong.
    I am tired right now too and also fatigue from this stress I am under right now so that might play into this
    feeling also. Do you think I would be good to get off of this stuff around wednsday if I can cut my dose down
    to .125mg on Monday night? I suppose it depends on how I am feeling.

  11. #11
    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    I still have that loopy feeling this morning although not as bad, but we will see how
    it goes through out the day. I should mention that with the loopy feeling it feels like
    there is pressure on my eyes. Hoping that is normal when withdrawing from this stuff.

  12. #12
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Does the "loopy" feeling feel like a zing, maybe almost an electrical zing, especially when you move your eyes back and forth? If so it is the brain zaps, and a perfectly normal symptom of benzo withdrawal. It is very annoying but not dangerous and will get better with time.

  13. #13
    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thisweekforsure View Post
    Does the "loopy" feeling feel like a zing, maybe almost an electrical zing, especially when you move your eyes back and forth? If so it is the brain zaps, and a perfectly normal symptom of benzo withdrawal. It is very annoying but not dangerous and will get better with time.
    Actually yeah. When I move my eyes back and forth real fast it does feel like an electrical zing.
    I figured it will get better, it is just really annoying right now. Also can it make you feel like your
    balance is off when it really isn't? That is kind of how it feels also.

  14. #14
    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    Curious too. Should I cut my dose down to .125mg when the brain zaps go away or just wait till
    Monday night like I was planning?

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    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    Well the brain zaps have subsided quite a bit since this morning, but I can tell they are still
    there just not as strong. I do feel better today, however my gut is kind of off today. Not
    sure if it is because of the withdraw or if something I ate this morning was slightly tainted with
    something. My gut is all screwed up anyway and my Chiro is going to help me fix it,
    but when it gets more off then what is normal right now I tend to worry a bit. Hopefully
    it will be back to normal tomorrow.

  16. #16
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    I think you should wait til Monday like you were planning. The brain zaps do get better but you might be prone to them in the future if you ever take benzos again or an SSRI type antidepressant, or related drugs. Also if you are ever on opiates and quit the brain zaps could come back. Not to borrow future trouble I just like to tell it to people straight. Anyone prone to brain zaps best avoid all psychoactive drugs unless medically necessary to treat a life threatening condition or seriously quality of life condition.

    The gut may or may not be related. The very fact that you are worried about it is a symptom of the Xanax tapering. Try not to let your mind overthink things. I know easier said than done.

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    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    Yeah, I'm trying not to worry too much. I just don't know what caused it, and it is a little unsettling at
    this point. Just don't want to get sick is all. I will cut the dose to .125mg Monday night like I have planned
    then. Will I be safe to just jump off of this drug after 5 more days on the .125 dose?

  18. #18
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    I think you will be safe to jump from the standpoint of you won't be in any danger of seizure or anything, but you may have continuing uncomfortable feelings and poor sleep. However, if you are able to tolerate them, then by all means, go for it! If they become very severe, then adjust accordingly. Take another couple days or try to cut the dose even smaller if you can.

  19. #19
    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    Ok I will do that. Thanks for your advice thus far! I really appreciate it! Will keep posting in
    here as I see fit.

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    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    Hey Thisweekforsure, have another question for you. How long will these brain zaps
    linger after I'm off of this stuff? I mostly notice what I think is them when I don't sleep
    very well, which has been often lately. It's just that loopy feeling in my head that is
    present. Moving my eyes back and forth real fast I don't get that zing anymore
    as of right now on this dose, just have this loopy feeling in my head.

  21. #21
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    I'll be honest with you. The first time they happened to me was when I quit an SSRI antidepressant cold turkey. They were severe, but within a week or so they were all gone. I didn't get them again for many years. Then, the doctor put me on multiple drugs. Another SSRI, a benzo and painkillers. When I dropped the benzo dose in half I got the brain zaps again. After I got completely off they were gone, then I tapered off the painkiller and they came back once in a while. In the meantime I have noticed them sometimes when I take certain supplements like L-tryptophan or sleep aids that affect the GABA neurotransmitters. Not very often, but usually when I am tired, either getting ready to go to sleep, or maybe waking from sleep. So my theory is that once sensitized, you might be susceptible to getting them again in the future. So my decision is to never, ever take an SSRI or a benzo again (except of course procedure sedation) and use supplements minimally and judiciously. Painkillers I would use if needed for severe pain but also as minimally as possible. They haven't done any research on brain zaps and really have no clue what exactly they are, but they do not seem to be dangerous at all, just extremely annoying.

  22. #22
    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    Ok that is good info to know. Last night I cut my dose to .125mg. Didn't sleep too well
    to say the least. However, surprisingly as of right now I have absolutely no withdraw
    symptoms. So if this continues through the rest of the day, I might just stop taking this
    drug tonight. Not sure if that is a good idea or not, but I'm getting
    really tired of not being able to sleep, not sure if I can handle
    another night without some sleep. I can't take the sleep aid my Chiro gave me until
    I'm off of this drug because it contains L-theanine in it and I get a bad reaction when
    I take both at the same time. Hopefully tonight I can take it. Really dragging right
    now.

  23. #23
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    I don't want to go against your chiro but if it were me I'd get some valerian root and try that. I understand how you feel, you really need sleep. If it's really critical you could take one of those OTC sleep aids, like Unisom. But they give me handover lethargy the next day. Might just have to accept you're not going to sleep great for a while. But yes, I think you will be safe to stop today if you wish. Just don't expect to feel normal for a while.

  24. #24
    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    Haven't been on for a few days. Figured I should post an update. I'm officially off of Xanax as
    of 8-30th. Didn't take any that night and have had not problems since, expect for not sleeping
    too well.

    Thisweekforsure, I did get some valerian root like you suggested and it does help me sleep
    well enough to were I can tolerate getting through the day just fine. How long will it take before
    my sleep will improve do you think? And if I didn't say it already, thank you for your advice you
    have been providing me. It has been very much appreciated.

  25. #25
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Congratulations! Great job. Sleep gradually improves but exactly how long I can't say. For me, I was getting off multiple drugs and I had been on them for years, and I can say that after 2 months off everything I was back to whatever normal is but you might be back to normal sooner. Maybe a lot sooner since you were only on Xanax 5 weeks. I'm really happy for you, best of luck for the future!

  26. #26
    plowkid87 is offline New Member
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    Thanks! It feels real good to be off of this drug to be sure. I guess I will have to wait it out for
    my sleep to improve then. Hopefully it won't take more then a couple of weeks.
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  27. #27
    pensfan1994 is offline New Member
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    Any updates on this? Kinda going through the same thing as you right now

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