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Xanax. What a horror.
  1. #1
    bernieshaw is offline New Member
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    Default Xanax. What a horror.

    It was 5 days ago that I abruptly stopped taking xanax and right now I have a terrible chest cold, possible flu.

    For the last year I've taken xanax, but not every night.

    4-5 nights of the week in doses of 1mg to 3mg (rare)

    I've stopped before and done "week breaks" ... my rationalizations... and been ok as far as I can tell.

    But now I feel worse than ever and am seriously confused whether I'm simply sick with the flu, or if I'm going through acute withdrawal or a combination of sorts.

    I feel so bad. It was 5 nights ago that I last took a dose but as each day passes I'm feeling worse, not better.

    I was wondering, how long until I feel normal again? I don't mean perfect, just not delirious and sick as a dog?

    Any help, instruction or advice would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Robert_325 is offline Diamond Elite
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    What you're doing is dangerous and placing you at a big risk for a seizure. You CAN'T quit benzos cold like that. You at least need a script for depakote or dilantin so you don't go into a seizure.

    You need to see your dr IMMEDIATELY. Let us know. God bless.

  3. #3
    bernieshaw is offline New Member
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    Default wow...

    so your telling me that even though im entering my 5th night without any, that im still at risk for a seizure?

    when can i safely say the worst is behind me?

    i read somewhere that after 5-6 nights that risk of seizure is over.

  4. #4
    bernieshaw is offline New Member
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    Default wow...

    doctors office close right now.

    are you telling me i should head to the emergency room?

    i feel sick, but i think i can make it through this. i have so before.

  5. #5
    LondonToLA is offline Member
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    Bernie.

    Go to the doctor. I had a seizure two weeks ago due to Ambien withdrawal and ended up almost dead. Be safe and alive and go to urgent care asap.

    To clarify, ambien withdrawal can mimic Xanax withdrawal. It certainly did in my personal experience. I had been off ambien for a few nights when I had my seizure. It snuck up on me and was totally unexpected. A seizure or another potentially fatal symptom doesn't have to happen right away with ambien or Xanax withdrawal. It can happen days after you've stopped taking the drug.

    Be safe and get checked at urgent care. Tell the doctor exactly what you've been taking and for how long. If nothing else you'll get your cold/flu checked out.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 09-10-2009 at 05:54 PM.

  6. #6
    Robert_325 is offline Diamond Elite
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    I had MULTIPLE seizures over a month after using benzos. HE NEEDS SOME MEDS NOW. If it takes an ER so be it. They will give you some depakote. Let us know. God bless.

  7. #7
    bernieshaw is offline New Member
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    Default wow...

    thankyou so much for the help.

    im heading there right now.

    how should i word this in the ER?

  8. #8
    LondonToLA is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernieshaw View Post
    thankyou so much for the help.

    im heading there right now.

    how should i word this in the ER?
    tell them the truth. More is more.

  9. #9
    bernieshaw is offline New Member
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    Default well...

    i was given ativan to take for a month to taper me off the benzos.

    what do you think of that?

    im supposed to take .5 mg twice daily for 2 weeks and then .5 mg once a day for 2 weeks and then discontinue.

    when i got to the hospital and told them what was up they immediately took me in and hooked me up to an ekg. im glad i went.

  10. #10
    Anonymous Guest

    Exclamation To bernieshaw and all on BENZO's

    NEVER abruptly stop taking ANY Benzo's!!! You will have serious W/D symptoms and this can also include seizures. It is just like Alcohol. You need to be slowly tapered down until you are off.

    While stopping a Narcotic Painkiller is W/D hell - sweats, anxiety, can't sleep, diarrhea, nausea, cold sweats, etc... It will NOT kill you although you will feel like you are dying, you're not.

    Benzo'd, however is a different animal altogether. NEVER ever go cold turkey on stopping these - you need to taper!!

  11. #11
    LondonToLA is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernieshaw View Post
    i was given ativan to take for a month to taper me off the benzos.

    what do you think of that?

    im supposed to take .5 mg twice daily for 2 weeks and then .5 mg once a day for 2 weeks and then discontinue.

    when i got to the hospital and told them what was up they immediately took me in and hooked me up to an ekg. im glad i went.
    I'm glad you got medical help yesterday. How are you feeling tonight?

  12. #12
    extremebucknut is offline New Member
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    hope everything works for you

    best wishes

  13. #13
    LondonToLA is offline Member
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    So, if Ambien acts like a Benzo, would one have to taper off of a nightly dosage of Ambien using the Ashton Method, rather than throughout the day as would be done with Xanax?

  14. #14
    Robert_325 is offline Diamond Elite
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    Quote Originally Posted by LondonToLA View Post
    So, if Ambien acts like a Benzo, would one have to taper off of a nightly dosage of Ambien using the Ashton Method, rather than throughout the day as would be done with Xanax?



    Hi Michael ..... you can simply reduce/taper your ambien dosage at night and the Ashton Method isn't necessary for ambien. It's definitely NOT the same as a xanax detox.

    Stopping xanax is dangerous if done wrong. Just reduce the amount of ambien you're taking each night and you'll do fine. You will probably have some problems sleeping for a while, but lack of sleep never killed anyone like benzo detox can. When you get tired enough you'll go to sleep.

    Hang in there buddy. You're really doing the best right now at this that you've done since I started following your story. You're in my prayers. God bless.

  15. #15
    LondonToLA is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_325 View Post
    Hi Michael ..... you can simply reduce/taper your ambien dosage at night and the Ashton Method isn't necessary for ambien. It's definitely NOT the same as a xanax detox.

    Stopping xanax is dangerous if done wrong. Just reduce the amount of ambien you're taking each night and you'll do fine. You will probably have some problems sleeping for a while, but lack of sleep never killed anyone like benzo detox can. When you get tired enough you'll go to sleep.

    Hang in there buddy. You're really doing the best right now at this that you've done since I started following your story. You're in my prayers. God bless.

    Robert: Thank you. You read me like a book, which is a good thing. So if I was taking 30mg Ambien per night, by how much can I reduce per night safely to reduce wd syndrome?

  16. #16
    Robert_325 is offline Diamond Elite
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    Michael .... if it were me I would reduce the dose by 1/2 pill per night about every 4-6 days. Don't have to be maniacal rushing it, but keep making progress at all times.

    Stay in touch as you are able. I can see the positive changes happening in you every time we talk and it's inspiring. You're doing great, just continue to do the next right thing and remember this is a process not an event. It takes time. God bless.

  17. #17
    fragile1 is offline New Member
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    My experience with Xanax-(and this was 25 years ago!) I was prescr. Xanax back then, when X's were written by Dr's as it was thought and said, that Xanax is just like Valium, only "non addictive". Perhaps we should have let the FDA be the guinea pigs first and see if what they were projecting, was indeed, correct. Anyway, I was prescr. this med-(Xanax), for severe panic attacks. Long story short; I was taking this med for approx. 1 1/2 - 2 years @ 6-8mg./day. This is the dosage that the Dr. had written for me to take.. Well...I tried to read self help books,meditate, deep breathing, etc., to learn how to escape and deal with the godawful panic attacks, but to no avail. I truly did not want to rely on a pill, to function on a dailly basis! One day, I had told my Dr.-(shrink), that I no longer wished to have to rely on a pill to get through a day for the rest of my life. With that, he complied and I had finished my medication and that was the end of that- no more Xanax. Well, in just a matter of time-(short matter of time), began; sweats, nausea, involuntary bodily movements/twitches, eyes running, sniffling, heart rate approx. 150bpm, and the list goes on. Did I mention, along with the "withdrawal" aspect, I was literally having panic attacks on top of that! So...that didn't pan out. Why? I suppose it could be that unlike what the public was told-(that Xanax was non-addictive), was untrue. I suppose they needed statistics like myself to prove that! So...back on Xanax- not to mention, a different Dr.! It took me, myself, and I, to finally get off or should I say, be married to, the Xanax-(which 2 this day, I still need), but only take on an "as needed" basis. What I did, after not wishing 2 ever go through that horrible turmoil again, was 2 "wean" myself off of this med. Whereas I was taking 6-8mg./day, I cut down only 1/2mg. each week. When I got down 2 say 1 1/2mg. day, I would give it 2 weeks for each 1/2mg. and...it worked! I didn't go through that horrible, ungodly, sense of unreality along with feeling physically ill and unable to do anything about it! Yes, I still got panic attacks, but forced myself somehow 2 get through them as I would much rather tackle something that perhaps I did indeed have some control over than to have a medication literally take over me, both emotionally and physically. So, my advice to ANYONE who even thinks of ever suddenly/abruptly, stopping any benzos, narcotics, any substance for that matter, DO NOT! And yes, you can go into seizures by "cold turkeying" off of any meds. Prescription drugs are in no way any different than street drugs. A drug is a drug and with that, comes either fighting the urge to get more and/or fighting the urge to want to get away from the drug/med. If you do it properly, not necessarily my way-(that is what worked 4 me), but whatever way other than just abruptly stopping, is well worth any more unnecessary pain for you to impose on yourself. I can only hope that one finds this 2 be viewed as a red alert, as well as useful, prior 2 stopping any medication that they have been on for any length of time. Remember, it is not just "pain meds" and/or sedatives that should concern us. Antidrepressants too, are not 2 be stopped abruptly. So please, check prior 2 stopping any medication and see that it would not only be safe for you to do, beneficial, as well. Good Luck-

  18. #18
    tired2 is offline Senior Member
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    Hi, I have been on Valium ,Xanax ,Dalmane,Halcion,Ambien CR 12.5 and Klonopin for over 25 yrs along not to mention anti depressants and opiates...

    I did the c/t thing a few yrs back and I guess it was by the grace of God I'm still here . I was lucky to not have had seizures but let me tell you the other symptoms were nothing I would wish on anyone .I was given Dalmane for sleep but after a few months I ran out so I went off c/t...what I didn't know at the time was it was also a benzo .I was also taking Klonopin wish I ended up needing more now I know why...Well I'm much more educated now and I'm have switched to Diazepam and currently tapering off at a slower rate than I'd like but without the major w/d symptoms .

    I would only taper one med at a time....Like Robert said never go c/t off any benzo.
    Hope all is well,

  19. #19
    lwd01915 is offline New Member
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    MUCH longer and there is still a chance for rebound of your anxiety (if that's why you were taking it).

  20. #20
    lwd01915 is offline New Member
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    Ditto and of all the worst and hardest Benzo's to withdraw from is Xanax. When I was 26, (30 years ago), I suddenly starting having acute panic attacks. NOT anxiety but sheer panic. I thought I was losing my mind. Went to my PCP who clearly didn't understand the severity of the panic attacks-partially my fault since, again, I thought I was going crazy so maybe I minimized it so his advice? Pretty much nothing but to try to be less stressed. (????) Of course, I would if I could but I couldn't so I started drinking heavily for about a year until I saw a psychopharmologist and given my family history, kind of late alcohol abuse (didn't really drink much before) and a few other things, diagnosed me as having bipolar, type 2. He started me on a tiny amount of Xanax and the panic stopped and drinking subsided but not that much. He did warn me about mixing the 2 so I tried to quit drinking and couldn't so checked myself into a rehab associated with the hospital my doctor is with. (warning-never check into a rehab on a Friday afternoon. The doctors are gone and don't come back until Monday). I was still taking Xanax but believed and told the Nurse Practitioner who admitted me about the alcohol and never mentioned the Xanax. It was a nightmare detoxing from the Xanax. There was rebound from the abrupt cessation of the Xanax and I was a total mess until my shrink spoke with the rehab 4 days later and they realized that I had been on Xanax as well so they put me on Klonopin so I could basically function for the remaining 24 days at the rehab. I also had not slept for 5 days when they stopped the Xanax abruptly. I have not had ANY alcohol since the 1st day at the rehab but still take Klonopin and am monitored more carefully by the same shrink. I haven't had to increase the level but I now know how truly dangerous stopping suddenly a drug can be. Tapering should be as long as it takes. Depends on a lot of factors but if possible, the longer the better.

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