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Xanax taper advice
  1. #1
    mgar123 is offline New Member
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    Default Xanax taper advice

    Hello, I am new to this forum. I've been using drugs.com for years for pill identification, interactions, side effects etc but just realized today that you have these great forums/support groups too!

    I've been prescribed Xanax (generic) .25 mg for the past 20+ years. I've struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. I'm 51 years old, male. Started having panic attacks in the early 90's. My doc put me in .25 mg Xanax once a day as needed. It helps with anxiety. I usually just take it at night before bed time. I had a rough patch in the early 2000's and my doc bumped it to twice a day as needed. I just used more than one for a short time. Then went back to one at bed time. That's pretty much all I've needed even though I've been on them for so many years. Sometimes I've woke up in the middle of the night feeling anxious or not able to get back to sleep and I've taken another pill or usually just a half. But for the most part I've just been taking one .25 mg at bed time.

    Recently, the past couple months have been very tough for me and I've started taking 2 a day, one in the morning and one at night. a few days I've noticed I've taken a half or even a third pill a few days. I'd rather not continue taking 2-3 a day. I'd like to get back down to one a day or even off them completely. About a month ago, I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic. I felt cold, then started shaking like crazy, I could hardly move my legs and didn't know what was going on. I hadn't had a panic attack in many years. I took another Xanax (I took one before bed) and bundled up on the couch. After about 20-30 mins I felt fine. So my doc said that it must have been a panic attack. I didn't realize they could wake you up at night.

    I've been told .25 mg is the smallest dose so I'm not sure what I'll need to do to taper off. I haven't discussed with my doc yet, but I am set for my annual physical in April, but since I saw this article and several success stories I figured I'd ask.

    Sorry for the long post! I'm new here and figured I'd give you some history of what I've gone through over the years. It sounds like others have it much worse and or taking much higher doses, but I still feel like anxiety and worry control me! and it sucks! my Dad was a worrier, my sister and brothers are worriers so I guess it's the way I was raised but I'd like to not depend on meds to deal with life, if that's possible.

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks!
    Mike
    echo0914 likes this.

  2. #2
    Ricky71 is offline Advanced Member
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    Florida
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mgar123 View Post
    Hello, I am new to this forum. I've been using drugs.com for years for pill identification, interactions, side effects etc but just realized today that you have these great forums/support groups too!

    I've been prescribed Xanax (generic) .25 mg for the past 20+ years. I've struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. I'm 51 years old, male. Started having panic attacks in the early 90's. My doc put me in .25 mg Xanax once a day as needed. It helps with anxiety. I usually just take it at night before bed time. I had a rough patch in the early 2000's and my doc bumped it to twice a day as needed. I just used more than one for a short time. Then went back to one at bed time. That's pretty much all I've needed even though I've been on them for so many years. Sometimes I've woke up in the middle of the night feeling anxious or not able to get back to sleep and I've taken another pill or usually just a half. But for the most part I've just been taking one .25 mg at bed time.

    Recently, the past couple months have been very tough for me and I've started taking 2 a day, one in the morning and one at night. a few days I've noticed I've taken a half or even a third pill a few days. I'd rather not continue taking 2-3 a day. I'd like to get back down to one a day or even off them completely. About a month ago, I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic. I felt cold, then started shaking like crazy, I could hardly move my legs and didn't know what was going on. I hadn't had a panic attack in many years. I took another Xanax (I took one before bed) and bundled up on the couch. After about 20-30 mins I felt fine. So my doc said that it must have been a panic attack. I didn't realize they could wake you up at night.

    I've been told .25 mg is the smallest dose so I'm not sure what I'll need to do to taper off. I haven't discussed with my doc yet, but I am set for my annual physical in April, but since I saw this article and several success stories I figured I'd ask.

    Sorry for the long post! I'm new here and figured I'd give you some history of what I've gone through over the years. It sounds like others have it much worse and or taking much higher doses, but I still feel like anxiety and worry control me! and it sucks! my Dad was a worrier, my sister and brothers are worriers so I guess it's the way I was raised but I'd like to not depend on meds to deal with life, if that's possible.

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks!
    Mike
    Hello Mike and welcome to the forum. I left the following reply for a few different members, the same will apply for you as well -

    When getting off of benzos slow and steady wins the race!

    Taper your xanax by 5-10% every 7-10 days. You can achieve the reductions by shaving the pills or using the water titration method? Google search "The easiest way to taper Xanax, or any other benzo" (hughes12) for the shaving method, you can also search for "water titration for benzos" to learn about that taper method?

    You'll want to taper slow enough to avoid or at least minimize any withdrawal symptoms. You can adjust the taper faster or slower depending on how you feel? I hope this helps? Update when you can? Best of luck to you... God bless us all!

    PS
    I recommend that you research "natural anxiety remedies" and also read the following book -
    Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain by William J. Walsh. You can check out the reviews of the book on Amazon?

  3. #3
    mgar123 is offline New Member
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    Default

    Thanks Ricky!
    I did see your response on some other posts and had looked into those methods. Thanks for the book suggestion and natural anxiety remedies! I do struggle with anxiety so not sure I'll be able to taper off of Xanax completely at this point, but didn't like that I have been up to 2 a day some days even more for the past couple months.

    Take care and God bless!
    Mike

  4. #4
    echo0914 is offline New Member
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    Post Extremely low dosage is still effective for some!

    Quote Originally Posted by mgar123 View Post
    Hello, I am new to this forum. I've been using drugs.com for years for pill identification, interactions, side effects etc but just realized today that you have these great forums/support groups too!

    I've been prescribed Xanax (generic) .25 mg for the past 20+ years. I've struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. I'm 51 years old, male. Started having panic attacks in the early 90's. My doc put me in .25 mg Xanax once a day as needed. It helps with anxiety. I usually just take it at night before bed time. I had a rough patch in the early 2000's and my doc bumped it to twice a day as needed. I just used more than one for a short time. Then went back to one at bed time. That's pretty much all I've needed even though I've been on them for so many years. Sometimes I've woke up in the middle of the night feeling anxious or not able to get back to sleep and I've taken another pill or usually just a half. But for the most part I've just been taking one .25 mg at bed time.

    Recently, the past couple months have been very tough for me and I've started taking 2 a day, one in the morning and one at night. a few days I've noticed I've taken a half or even a third pill a few days. I'd rather not continue taking 2-3 a day. I'd like to get back down to one a day or even off them completely. About a month ago, I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic. I felt cold, then started shaking like crazy, I could hardly move my legs and didn't know what was going on. I hadn't had a panic attack in many years. I took another Xanax (I took one before bed) and bundled up on the couch. After about 20-30 mins I felt fine. So my doc said that it must have been a panic attack. I didn't realize they could wake you up at night.

    I've been told .25 mg is the smallest dose so I'm not sure what I'll need to do to taper off. I haven't discussed with my doc yet, but I am set for my annual physical in April, but since I saw this article and several success stories I figured I'd ask.

    Sorry for the long post! I'm new here and figured I'd give you some history of what I've gone through over the years. It sounds like others have it much worse and or taking much higher doses, but I still feel like anxiety and worry control me! and it sucks! my Dad was a worrier, my sister and brothers are worriers so I guess it's the way I was raised but I'd like to not depend on meds to deal with life, if that's possible.

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks!
    Mike

    Hi, Mike: I am also new to this forum and decided to join because of my quest to eliminate xanax from my life. Like you, I have taken it for many, many years - 30+ and after the initial diagnosis of Panic/Anxiety Disorder in my mid-30's, went from 1 mg several times a day down to .25 2x per day for the past 10 years. People also chide me saying that my dosage is way to low to help, but it does.

    Like you, I am unsure how to decrease it further in an effort to totally eliminate it. A few weeks ago, I did begin breaking the .25 in half and taking a half once per day in conjunction with a whole.25 in the morning - so I was down to .375. This dosage worked fine for about a week and then I experienced a panic attack (haven't had a true attack in many years). I went back up to the .25 twice a day but began spacing them 12 hours a part. I have experienced a return of the unreasonable, illogical fear and anxiousness that was the original cause for being placed on them, so I can't say my little attempt was successful. But, I am reading in these forums that people are being successful in completely eliminating the benzo from their life ----- but it may take months and a lot of will power.

    Another important fact that I've picked up on over the years ----- my maternal grandmother, great grandmother, and mother, as well as all of my siblings suffer from panic disorders (although in the days of my grandparents and mother, panic disorder was not well studied and you were considered eccentric, phobic, or just plain weird. At least in our lifetime, acknowledgement and education is here to assist us in dealing with an illness that, like you say, sucks!

    I don't have any "tips" to help you but want to let you know that like you I take an extremely low dose and also want to eliminate them entirely. Whether we can be successful in this challenge remains to be seen, but I feel a lot of HOPE having run across this forum and hearing people like you fighting the same battle!
    mgar123 likes this.

  5. #5
    mgar123 is offline New Member
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    Default

    Thanks for the reply. I have been taking half a .25 in the morning and a whole .25 in the evening. and it seems to be working. Sometimes I will take two full .25 twice a day. I think part of it is, sometimes if you have anxiety you do need treatment. I would like to not take Xanax at all but perhaps I need it. I have my annual physical next week and may discuss with my doc if I can come off it completely. I wish you the best of luck! it sounds like anxiety / panic runs in your family. I think it does for mine as well. Not sure if anyone else in my family has been diagnosed with GAD, panic, anxiety, etc.... but I know my Dad was always a worrier, and my Mom and her siblings were as well. One of her sisters, my Aunt is still alive but I haven't seen her in years. It seems like I remember when I was a kid visiting them in Florida that she had Valium on her dresser, so I'm guessing she was being treated too. but like you said, back then we didn't know as much about anxiety as we do now. best wishes to you and God bless!
    echo0914 likes this.

  6. #6
    echo0914 is offline New Member
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    Smile Extremely low dosage is still effective for some!

    Good to hear from you, mgar. I now know there is "someone out there". LOL.

    Yes, my doctors have told me that GAD is genetic in many, many cases and in some form or the other. My son (in his early 40s) is also suffering but has refused medication. I see the daily struggle he endures dealing with stress, anger, frustration, fatigue, irritability. And, I know for sure it is GAD because those are my symptoms (along with the phobias) before I began treatment. He refuses to "rely on a pill" and I, at times, wish that I had been able to make that choice but the GAD had me totally incapacitated in my mid-30's without warning.

    My biggest frustration is the stigma that goes with taking "xanax". Once people find out, they act as if we are drug addicts and weak. Also, it is more and more difficult to find a physician that will prescribe it because of the difficulty from the insurance companies and that fact that it is a controlled substance. I have friends who take the "newer" benzos and they don't seem to have the insurance or physician difficulties and they don't seem to be as judged as we are. But, on the other hand, I don't see where the newer drugs are really helping as much. Xanax really addresses the problem. It's just frustrating that it is addictive, expensive, and stigmatized.

    Take care and most of all, God Bless You as well. Without God helping in all of this, where would we be!

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