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Stuck on a hold dose after 2+ years of tapering - keep going?


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My body just won't seem to allow me to get under 1 mg without significant distress. I was at this dose last year (methodical taper)... I Kept going and wound up in terrible shape. In November or so, I went back up to 1 mg and was so much better. I actually enjoyed the holidays, became functional again,  and have had many great weeks throughout. Never, ever symptom free (didn't expect to be) but most days were tolerable. It's as if my body truly needed the break!

 

Now? Even at 1 mg., things are getting really rough again. Muscle pain, stiffness, GI issues, etc being the worst. The Problem is that all smooth muscles tense up including my throat which makes it hard to breathe. I have to put my head all the way back (look at the ceiling) for them to relax enough to breathe comfortably. It's downright bizarre!  That's was the main reason that I updosed. You know, because breathing is a bit of a necessity.

 

So... this long into my journey (see signature) I'm assuming that the only way out of this is to push through this last milligram. Has anyone else gotten totally stuck on a dose but got better as they went lower? I can't imagine how I'm going to get through these final months like this.

 

Scared, disgusted, depressed, and pissed that this is what is still ahead of me. Cried more today than I have in a year!!!!

 

Lori

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I’m so sorry you’re having a hard time. I was stuck at .5 mg xanax for a year. The symptoms are exhausting. Unfortunately, the only way out is through. Do you have any window days? I was fortunate enough to get 1 or 2 a week but then have a skull crushing migraine for a week. I have only been dosing once a day for years so these symptoms were just part of life and I finally decided it can’t get much worse. Have you considered switching over to Valium And doing a titration taper? I know that many people have had better success with that route. Don’t give up!
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My body just won't seem to allow me to get under 1 mg without significant distress. I was at this dose last year (methodical taper)... I Kept going and wound up in terrible shape. In November or so, I went back up to 1 mg and was so much better. I actually enjoyed the holidays, became functional again,  and have had many great weeks throughout. Never, ever symptom free (didn't expect to be) but most days were tolerable. It's as if my body truly needed the break!

 

Now? Even at 1 mg., things are getting really rough again. Muscle pain, stiffness, GI issues, etc being the worst. The Problem is that all smooth muscles tense up including my throat which makes it hard to breathe. I have to put my head all the way back (look at the ceiling) for them to relax enough to breathe comfortably. It's downright bizarre!  That's was the main reason that I updosed. You know, because breathing is a bit of a necessity.

 

So... this long into my journey (see signature) I'm assuming that the only way out of this is to push through this last milligram. Has anyone else gotten totally stuck on a dose but got better as they went lower? I can't imagine how I'm going to get through these final months like this.

 

Scared, disgusted, depressed, and pissed that this is what is still ahead of me. Cried more today than I have in a year!!!!

 

Lori

 

Hi Lori,

I am so sorry you are having such a hard time.  I too am having a hard time.  I am down to 1 mg a day too and it is hard to go down further but I know I have to.  I am anxious about doing another cut tomorrow and I am already having GI issues and just not feeling good this week and I am sure it is because I know tomorrow is coming.  This freaking Xanax and anxiety is relentless.  I started talking to a therapist again this week and she did tell me Xanax causes so much of the anxiety I have and every time I make a cut its like my brain beats me up and takes my body for the ride.  I feel for you and I know how hard you have tried to get to 0 and I feel bad that it has been so difficult for you.  I have alot of anger issues because of how the doctors put me on this, cold turkey ed me and then put me back on it and put me on a high dose after I kept saying I was scared to be on it so long.    They kept saying I needed to be on it and that I would be ok.  I know this is wrong but I wish they could for a month, go through what we go through and then maybe then they would stop prescribing a medication that is only meant for short term use.  Sorry - I am having one of those days!!!!!  I can relate to the crying but I just have to have faith that we will get through this.......  Please let me know how you are!!  Love you!!

 

 

I am hanging in there and am at 1 mg a day now which I break up into 4 doses.  My pshy nurse practitioner wants me to try substituting one of my doses with 200 mg of L-theanine and see how I do.  I told her that would be a 25% cut but she said I should try it and if I need to take the dose of Xanax to do it.  It is not like anyone is taking the Xanax away from me but she is trying to help me get off this as quickly and safely as I can.  I have been tapering since January 11, 2019 and started between 3.5 and 4 mg so I have done well to get down to 1 mg and I also had to take a 80 day break in that time too for when I moved to another state and sold one house and bought another.  I have had some  really rough times with withdrawal but I made it through them but once I got down to 1.125 mg, it was extremely hard but I got through that too and am now completely at 1 mg a day.  Tomorrow is when I am supposed to use the L-theanine  for one of my doses and I have to say I am already feeling very anxious about it.  It just seems too much of a cut but the nurse says since I am going to take something in its place that is supposed to help with anxiety that I should be fine.

Does anyone have an opinion about this?  I could use some encouragement or some facts!

 

Hugs,

Julia

 

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I’m so sorry you’re having a hard time. I was stuck at .5 mg xanax for a year. The symptoms are exhausting. Unfortunately, the only way out is through. Do you have any window days? I was fortunate enough to get 1 or 2 a week but then have a skull crushing migraine for a week. I have only been dosing once a day for years so these symptoms were just part of life and I finally decided it can’t get much worse. Have you considered switching over to Valium And doing a titration taper? I know that many people have had better success with that route. Don’t give up!

 

I am so happy for you!  I know it is hard.  You are so close to being off this poison.  Keep up the great work and before you know it Xanax will be a bad memory.

Take care

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to say hi and say I hope everyone is doing ok.  I am hanging in there and need to do a cut and am scared of what will happen but the only way to get to 0 is plow through this.  It really sucks!!!

 

Hi Lori,  How are you?  I miss you!

 

Hugs,

Julia

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Just stopping by  because I'm also struggling and am at .75 after an eight month struggle down from 2 and a half mgs per day. I really need a break and want to talk to my doc about a hold. It depends on whether he will give me enough xanax to stay where I am. I definitely know that tolerance withdrawal happens after a while though and that as soon as one is stable, it's a good idea to keep going. I hope you feel better!
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Just stopping by  because I'm also struggling and am at .75 after an eight month struggle down from 2 and a half mgs per day. I really need a break and want to talk to my doc about a hold. It depends on whether he will give me enough xanax to stay where I am. I definitely know that tolerance withdrawal happens after a while though and that as soon as one is stable, it's a good idea to keep going. I hope you feel better!

Hi,

Thanks for responding. It's so hard, expecially once you get down to 1mg. My therapist says that's because at this point our brains have to start doing what the Xanax has been doing for so long.

I may do a cut of .125 this week and see how it goes.

I hope you will be able to keep going but I totally understand needing a break.

Let me know how you're doing.

Hugs,

Julia

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That's a really big reduction Julia. I would consider it to be a mistake given how difficult you have found it recently. It would be worthwhile to invest in some mg scales if that's what's needed to make smaller reductions. You may know different and that's all good. I just hope you know what you're doing is all.
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That's a really big reduction Julia. I would consider it to be a mistake given how difficult you have found it recently. It would be worthwhile to invest in some mg scales if that's what's needed to make smaller reductions. You may know different and that's all good. I just hope you know what you're doing is all.

Hi,

That's what I'm afraid of too. I did think about doing .0625 which is half of the.125. I do have some.25 pills my husband can cut in half twice like he's done with my.5 mg. Just want to at least make a cut to continue on.

Thanks for the input.

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That's a really big reduction Julia. I would consider it to be a mistake given how difficult you have found it recently. It would be worthwhile to invest in some mg scales if that's what's needed to make smaller reductions. You may know different and that's all good. I just hope you know what you're doing is all.

What did you taper off of? Have you had to taper from Xanax before?

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