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Is there any way to taper Xanax XR?


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I have successfully cut down to .125mg of klonopin at night, that was from 1mg originally so I'm feeling pretty good about that and intend on probably titrating to go the rest of the way there.

 

In the mornings I take .5mg of Xanax XR which is the smallest XR that is available. My (awful) doctor said that because of the way the XANAX XR pills are made that you actually can cut them because they dont use a coating to create the slow release. Early in 07 I did try breaking them in half and it seemed to work fine but then a bunch of stuff happened and I would up focusing on the Klonopin first.

 

My question is this - has anyone heard of, or had any experience tapering from Xanax XR and cutting the pills? Also, if for some reason I cannot cut them is it possible to ct from .5mg? I realize thats the equivalent of 10 mg of Valium.

 

I have been to multiple doctors and basically begged them to switch me to Valium and none will. My doctor instead handed me an entire handful of ambien and told me to start taking them instead. (I flushed them of course).

 

So anyone heard of a Xanax XR taper? I could use some help.

 

Thanks.

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yes it can be done  and good for you for flushing them down the toilet - i don;t know what these doctors are thinking when they refuse to help some one get off drugs and hands them a hand full of more drugs.

 

i am not a moderator - one will be by sometime today.

 

welcome to the forum and good luck to you.

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Hi

I wouldnt cold turkey .5 Xanax, if you did taper it in the past by pill splitting and had no trouble, why do you fear doing it now? I have no personal experience with XR, but titration should work. Have you tried pill splitting again?

Take Care

Bobers

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Hello Althea!!! Welcome to the board.

 

Although I don't have experience with Xanax XR, I 'd think that if you've cut them before and had some success that you could do that again.  Since .5 Xanax is a relatively hefty dose of benzo, I wouldn't recommend c/ting from that. 

 

Since the pills aren't coated, you could crush the pill and either divide the powder into five piles, then take four piles and discard the rest. Or you could crush the pill, suspend it in a liquid and titrate it that way (Colin is our titration wizard; you can give him a shout if you want him to work out a schedule for you.) However since you're also tapering from Klonopin, you might want to hold off on cutting down on the Xanax for now until you're done with the K.

 

Or you can hold your K dosage while you taper down on the Xanax. It's up to you. I wouldn't try to taper both at the same time though. Might be rough if you did that.

 

rufus

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OK, I think your right about not tapering at the same time, but that leads to one of my biggest issues/fears. I haven't slept without some bit of klonopin 1st at bedtime in about 4 or 5 years. I don't know if I can... That's pretty much why I am focused on the klonopin 1st since I think figuring out how I can fall asleep without them will probably be much harder for me then tapering off the Xanax.

 

Also - I have a job, which I have really been kicking some butt at even though my DP/DR is so bad I feel like I'm talking to animated characters sometimes at work. I am seriously concerned about being able to get by at work while doing this. Thing is it is essential that I do since I am planning on starting a family within the next year or so. So much to worry about.

 

By the way, does anyone hear have any experience with Depersonalization or derealization? (DP/DR) these are pretty much my big obstacles.

 

Thanks again!

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i have experienced just about every on the list during withdrawal and plenty while on the drug.

 

i am now benzo free and doing well - no lingering side effects - that i know of.

 

you have two drugs you want to taper from?  i is best or easiest to taper from one drug at a time to keep it simple.

 

usually it is recommended to do 10% cuts over a 2 weeks time.  sleeping seems to be the biggest obstacle and many use over NON PRESCRIPTION sleep supplements to carry them over.

 

there are symptoms they very for each person - i found mine to be noticeable but manageable - i cut much fast then was recommended as i had a limited dose.

 

there is a wealth of information available to members - i would encourage you to read through all the information -not to scare you - but so if it happens to you - you will know it may be normal.  no all symptoms affect all people - and not all people are freaked by the symptoms - i often say knowledge will set you free :thumbsup:

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Hi Althea

 

I started taking benzos to treat incapacitating symptoms of DP/DR and the panic attacks that often accompanied them. That was forty years ago. Back in those days valium was the drug of choice for DP/DR but it seemed to only help for a while then stopped being effective I was taking 80 mgs per day. I cold c/t after a few months with little problem I was in a psychiatric hospital at the time. I was taken off all drugs. I learned to live with the symptoms somehow. DP/DR would come in waves. After a while I realized it would pass. Strange as it may sound I sort of dissociated from the DP/Dr I kept the thought in my mind that even though I felt unreal and the world felt unreal, I was actually real . I challenged myself to do things like going outside a little further each day.

Doing this over several months the DP/DR became less and less and I felt more real most of the time. I would still have attacks several times a day but I wasn't so frightened by them because I knew they would pass. When i had DP/DR I felt like my nervous system was being over whelmed.

 

I am taking 6mgs of klonopin actually I have begun tapering it so I am only taking 5 and 9/`10ths but not for DP/ DR I am rarely bothered but those symptoms anymore. I got accidentally physically dependant upon xanax and over the years had reach 5mgs per day> I switched over to klonopin because it is easier to taper because of it's longer half life. I take three doses a day. Before I started the xanax my DP/DR was pretty much out of the picture  I drank a lot of beer and that helped eliminate the symptoms of DP/DR I even got to where I was comfortable enough to smoke pot which used to bring on panic attacks for me at one time. I smoked it every day for about ten years. Then I started taking a blood pressure medication and the two didn't mix. But anyway I went years without DP/DR and didn't use any drugs at (no beer no pot etc)all I sort of grew accustomed to it and it just seemed to go away with just an occasional attack usually  during an infrequent  panic attack.

 

I guess you are familar with this DP/DR forum  http://www.dpselfhelp.com/

 

John

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I have visited that site before though I don't yet have an account there. It is really uplifting to hear your account of your experiences with DP/DR and benzos, particularly the positive attitude. Sometimes it can get really difficult to stay positive when I'm constantly trying to pretend that everythings alright...

 

There's a Counting Crows song where one of the lyrics says "she has trouble acting normal when she's nervous". I feel that way pretty much every day, it makes work, driving, even spending time with my boyfriend really difficult. I am so scared that tapering off these drugs will make those things worse.

 

I hope you have an easy time tapering off the klonopin, maybe we will both be here for one another. It's hard for me to post too often during the week (not trying to let anyone really know about all this). I'll try to be as active as I can though.

 

 

Thanks again to everyone. Even a few words really helps a lot. This whole thing can be very frightening and very lonely.

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althea - i found my self confidence and grounding improved on some cuts - i became more in touch with myself and my surroundings.

 

some people have some bumps in the road physically but not all.  and i can say i am more myself and more comfortable with myself after i stopped using a benzo.

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Thanks Silver,

 

I'm hoping for that to happen to me. How amazing it would be to wake up one day with clarity, lucidity? I hardly remember what that feels like...

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Hi Althea,

Have you ever thought of just stopping the Xanax XR and having your doctor increase your Klonopin by .5mg.? I was told you couldn’t cut Xanax XR because it is Timed release. Since you are use to taking the Klonopin maybe it would be easier to just taper off one medication. .5mg of Xanax XR is not a lot to stop as long as you did a crossover to a long acting drug like you are taking already, Klonopin.  I am familiar with DP/DR and plan on joining that forum John has posted.

Dave

 

 

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Hmmm,

 

I hadn't really thought about that option to be honest though I probably have more than enough stockpiled to make that work.

 

I don't think my doctor would approve but perhaps he won't have to. I'm going to focus on tapering off the klonopin completely and then perhaps I'll try that idea.

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[6c...]
Klonipin has been used primarily as an anti-convulsant/anti-seizure drug.  Xanax is primarily for panic attacks as far as I know.  Bad stuff.  Taking them both is causing a lot of dependence.  You could cut the Xanax XR in half, but the outer layer is meant for quick absorption and the inner layer is for later on. 
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I wish I knew why my doctor thought it was a great idea to perscribe both of them to me. To this day he thinks I would be better of staying on the meds, its freaking unbelievable.

 

I am going to finish this klonopin 1st though. Chamomile tea helps a LOT, I would suggest it to others that have problems falling asleep..

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there are lots of sleep aids - the trick is not becoming depended on them - they are not addictive - but we can build up a tolerance.

 

not so with chamomile tea though.

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[6c...]

I wish I knew why my doctor thought it was a great idea to perscribe both of them to me. To this day he thinks I would be better of staying on the meds, its freaking unbelievable.  I am going to finish this klonopin 1st though. Chamomile tea helps a LOT, I would suggest it to others that have problems falling asleep..

 

If you can sleep after drinking Chamomile tea, then it suggests that you aren't too far gone into Benzoland.  It would help to know WHY you have been prescribed these benzos if I may ask.  What was the original complaint/condition? :)

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I have very intense anxiety and Depersonalization and derealization, all of this stems from a drug induced disorder caused by hallucinogens when I was a teenager (over a decade ago).

 

I initially went to the doctor complaining of panic attacks and "not feeling real". I had experimented with benzos that my friends had and they had always eased the symptoms of the drug induced disorder.

 

I told my doc this and he started me with 1-2mg of klonopin at night approx 5-7 years ago. About 3 years ago, when I was having trouble focusing in college he perscribed me Xanax XR 2mg each morning. I have since tapered myself down to .5mg of the xr which is the smallest that type of xanax gets.

 

I am currently still taking .125mg of klonopin at night with the chamomile tea to get to sleep. cutting the pills smaller is going to be a problem so I'm planning on buying what is necessary to titrate. Once I'm completely off the klonopin i'll begin to figure out how I'm going to taper off the xanax.

 

Mind you - my doctor, who knows that I want to be off these drugs for good still thinks that I should stay on them. He says that I am too fragile to handle life without them. In short he is the antithesis of supportive and it is awful. I have tried other doctors to try to get valium but they refuse to prescribe it. Most of them, after hearing about my history with drugs, even though it was such a long time ago - wont prescribe anything at all.

 

-- I should probably add that even though the tea does help a LOT I only sleep about 3 or 4 out of every 7 nights and that sleep is tumultuous and often interrupted. I also have a lot of tension and bad teeth grinding which causes pain that sometimes also wakes me up.

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I have very intense anxiety and Depersonalization and derealization, all of this stems from a drug induced disorder caused by hallucinogens when I was a teenager (over a decade ago).

 

 

Hi Althea,

does this disorder have a name? I"ve never heard of an actual specific disorder induced by hallucinogens, especially lasting 10 years. I am familiar with "flashbacks", is it similar to this? Is your dp/dr constant, or do you have windows(times when you feel somewhat normal)? 

Was it from a specific incident of the drug use, or was it cumulative?

It's possible after this long that the benzo's could be actually contributing to it, rather than helping anymore.

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It's called HPPD, Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder. It is a DSM-IV diagnosis with diagnostic code 292.89.

 

It sucks in ways I cannot possibly describe to you. They should have people like me come to talk kids out of experimenting with drugs.

 

The DP/DR is constant, always worse in the early morning and when I'm tired. I don't think the HPPD was from one specific instance, though I sometimes wonder since there are people who develop it after only one trip.

 

And yes, I definately believe that the benzos are now making it worse. I think that the only answer for me is to live drug free. I don't even like taking asprin for a headache.

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It sucks in ways I cannot possibly describe to you. They should have people like me come to talk kids out of experimenting with drugs.

 

I can only imagine. I'm so sorry. Having done hallucinogens myself back in the day, it's suprising that that disorder doesn't happen more often. I did know a girl who completely lost it and ended up spending 6 months in an institution following smoking angel dust in a joint, without knowing it. I remember her not being "right" after she got out. i"m wondering if that was the smae thing.

It's so weird I've never heard of it though, as I have studied substance abuse and psychiatric disorders in my nursing. Both topics are greatly interesting to me. I"m going to do some research on it, thanks.

You know, you should think about doing that, talking with kids. You could approach a school and offer up your services. I know you probably aren't feeling well enough to do that now, but it might be something for you to keep in mind for the future. You might help save a kid, and it would help you too, in immeasurable ways.  :)

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not sleeping will make a sane person who never did drugs wired.

 

so you have to focus on sleep - i have a lot less of those experiences since i have stopped benzo's - in fact i have not had any - and i have had a lot of drugs prior to legalized drug use that pharmaceuticals are so fond of.

 

so sleeping through the night and then seeing how you are doing would be a better judge of where you are.

 

some of us use benadryl, melatonin, calms forte to name a few.

 

 

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[6c...]

I have very intense anxiety and Depersonalization and derealization, all of this stems from a drug induced disorder caused by hallucinogens when I was a teenager (over a decade ago).

 

Okay.  I've got it now.  I know exactly what you are talking about.  Mine started at age 9 after an operation where they used Ether as an anesthetic. That depersonalization and derealization is fairly common after hallucinogens... in fact, those two things are the original desired effect of hallucinogens, not just having the high when on the drug, but to unmask the True Self within.  So, benzos aren't the long-term answer because of their poisonous effects when taken long-term.  Maybe you could learn to come to grips with what you experience when "not feeling real"... in fact, most eastern philosophies strive for that very thing and it is an cherished accomplishment when it happens.  But, sometimes the drugs cause too much of the external mind junk to be stripped away and some folks don't come back.  ;)  ;)  ;)  I know, this isn't helping.  You can become more "grounded" without pharmaceuticals.  Try to learn some intense yogic breathing exercises and meditation, if you haven't yet.  I'm going to do some right now because I'm in a panic mode today. :thumbsup:

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 You can become more "grounded" without pharmaceuticals.  Try to learn some intense yogic breathing exercises and meditation, if you haven't yet.  I'm going to do some right now because I'm in a panic mode today. :thumbsup:

 

Amp, are you familiar with Chakra balancing? Do you think this might be something that would be helpful for Althea?

Or something like Reiki. I have a feeling that alternative therapies might be just the ticket.

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