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Weaning off Zanex, seeking support and advice on a taper schedule


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Hello everyone , my name is Noelle. I'm new and I'm excited I found this forum, I am hopeful to find some support and advice here.

I have no one else to turn to. I am registered on another board as well and was referred here as well in hopes I'll find more help on creating a tapering schedule.  

 

I have been taking a benzo ( Zanex) for anxiety and panic disorder for over 5 years. I got started on taking this kind of medication after experiencing trauma that left me socially paranoid, I sought out counseling and was put on a mild dose at that time. Since then I've had to continually increase my dose due to the tolerance factor and I am dependent on them.

 

I am currently on a prescribed dose of 3 mg per day for the past year. On a typical day, I break up my first 1 mg into pieces to get through from morning to early evening, this is hard and I don't always succeed at it,  this is also when I'm in the most discomfort. Early evening, I take 2 milligrams at once, this is the only way I will sleep at night.

 

My body has built up tolerance (again) and so I'm having what I call mini withdrawls every day, sometimes I've had to take more than my prescribed dose in order to function even half way normal, I try to avoid doing this at all measures but there have been times I felt I had no choice because my body felt so ill.  I refuse to ask my Doctor to increase my dose again because I know that at some point, I'm just going to be in the same situation that I'm in now so for over a year I have stayed on this dose and I just cope with these mini withdrawl spells. It's horrible, I'm ready to stop the insanity, I've finally realized it is insane, the torture I'm putting myself through, wake up call. I need help.

 

I've made the decision to begin a wean off method. This is a huge step for me as I've relied on my zanex for so long to cope with every day life.  The method I've chosen is the ashton method, my Doctor is supporting me with this method.

 

I have looked at the schedules for the ashton method , the closest schedule to my dose is a 4mg zanex equivalent to 80 mg Valium. I am planning on using this as my guide to make up my own schedule based on my current dose. My Doctor wants me to provide him with a copy of it as soon as possible. We plan to work on a schedule and depending on how I'm feeling he can adjust it as I need.

 

I will make the schedule equiv to 60 mg per day of Valium, which is equiv to 3mg zanex.  I am in the beginning stage of making my schedule now, but I am stuck on stage 6 which is when you begin tapering down in two week intervals by 5 milligrams in the Valium equivalency. I'm not good at adding up the milligrams to equate....I'm pretty stuck here, it's not adding up for me.

 

I am wondering if anyone has any advice for me on how I can make up an equivalent schedule just to start me out with? I'm so lost right now on how to even begin this, also if anyone has any tips, advice on this method I would so greatly appreciate it.  I am so nervous and anxious to get started but also I'm terrified on how this is going to work out.  

 

So here I am, I am seeking support and I am here to be a supporter as well  :)

 

 

Thank you  

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Thank you so much, should I repost on the taper board this same message?

Im so lost on this forum, I am getting lost clicking here and there, don't know what I'm doing , my geesh :-\  lol

 

Thanks for your advice and support

Noelle

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Go ahead and repost in that thread.  If it gets too confusing just walk away from the computer for a few minutes.  Don't get too frustrated.  You will get the hang of it.
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Welcome to BB, Noelle. 

 

It can be a little confusing at first getting used to the forum, but it's quite easy once you get the hang of it.

 

We're glad to have you :)

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Welcome Noelle! I'm starting my taper off Xanax today. If you ever need to talk to someone who is taking the same path and you see me on then just give a shout and we can meet in chat. Lots of good people here. Looking forward to watching you progress. YOU CAN DO IT!  :)
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Welcome Noelle! I'm starting my taper off Xanax today. If you ever need to talk to someone who is taking the same path and you see me on then just give a shout and we can meet in chat. Lots of good people here. Looking forward to watching you progress. YOU CAN DO IT!  :)

 

 

Thank you thank you ,  yes WE CAN DO IT!

I would love to track progress together, how can we do that?

I'm new to this board and I'm so lost with it

 

CanDoMan , I posted my taper schedule on this board  http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?board=61.0

Do you have a schedule on this same method we can share?  Let me know what you think of mine ok?

 

Thanks again to all , I start my schedule tomorrow.....nervous!

 

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Hi again Noelle,

 

Turns out I'll be starting my taper tomorrow. Things got crazy today...long story. Anyway, I'm going to be doing titration and you can find my plan here:

 

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=30809.msg452410#msg452410

 

Note: I will be reducing 2ml of the liquid each day not 1ml and hope that it isn't too fast. I got your PM and I will respond in length when I have time.

 

To track each other's progress you can create a progress log in the forum with the same name. There are instructions on how to do that here:

 

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=27797.0

 

And here is my progress log:

 

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=30812.msg454878#msg454878

 

I am often on here to chat in the morning (early Pacific time) and sometimes in the evenings. Like I said, there are a lot of good people here so don't be shy.

 

Looking forward to being your progress buddy. Lord knows it's not going to be easy.

 

Your benzo buddy, Danny

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Noelle,

I just ready your taper plan and it looks like you're all set. If your nervous about the switch from Xanax to Valium, just know that when I went into rehab/detox at the end of February they immediately switched me completely off Xanax onto the equivalent dosage of Valium (20mg/3 times daily) and then tapered me down to nothing in two weeks. I had no w/d side effects during the taper. Now I'm not recommending that fast of a taper. I just wanted to relieve you of the anxiety you may be feeling in switching to Valium. When I got out I had to reinstate to .5mg Xanax twice a day. When I finally got to see my pdoc he would not give me a prescription for Valium to taper off of so I'm stuck with the remaining Xanax I have for now. I see him again in about 3 weeks and hope to convince him to switch me over then.

 

I really empathise with the apprehension you are feeling. This is scary stuff but I'm just keeping my eye on all of the successes I see on here and I plan on being one of them someday. My pleasure to help you as I have learned that helping others helps me.

 

Your friend, Danny :thumbsup:

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Hi Noelle,

I can totally relate.  I've been taking Xanax for years and have been tapering since this past January.  You will find a lot of support here.  Lots of threads with information too. 

 

It took me a while to navigate this site too.  You'll get use to it after a little bit of time.   

 

"I've made the decision to begin a wean off method. This is a huge step for me as I've relied on my zanex for so long to cope with every day life."  Yes, that's how I felt too!  I used it to cope with everything.  Good time to make some changes :)  I've had to taper right off of xanax so I don't have the experience of switching over to valium.  It's nice that your doctor is on board with this.  Mine was not so that is why I'm tapering directly from the xanax. 

 

The first week was the most difficult for me.  I found myself thinking about taking a xanax "as needed" a lot.  It was an eye opener how much I relied on it.  BUT I got though it and YOU can too.  I'm way down from where I was.  This experience has not been HORRIBLE.  I think we all have moments but for the most part I am counting my blessings that this will be over soon.  I want to wish you well.  Take it slow.  No need to rush.  A little bit at a time :)    Slow and steady wins the race!

 

 

 

You can do this!

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Secret,

 

Thank you for your supportive message, I just seen it today, I'm on another thread and I'm still learning this site so I get a little lost, ha, I guess that fits me well at this point  lol......you are so strong to be able to wean off your Zanex without a substitute, extremely strong , as though who go cold turkey. I have tried even a slight taper and my body almost just shuts down with so much discomfort and sleepless nights.  I hope that you are feeling okay, how's your progress going?  I'm going to start a new thread on my progress, just got to figure out how and where to do it, danny ( thanks) sent me some links on this thread I just noticed so I'll get it going, I just started my valium substitute lastnights' dose , it wasn't as bad as I expected, although I realize it takes a bit to kick in , I took it at my normal bed time but ended up laying in bed for two hours before I was finally fell asleep.  Tonight I will plan to take it about 2 hours before my bed time and see how that goes.  It's going to be difficult to do this but I know I can do it, I'm determined and people like you give me hope and strength. 

 

Thank you again for sharing , best wishes

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Danny!

Thank you thank you

I just seen your notes today, i was on that other board ....still learning this site, is it not possible to reply to each individual post, you just have one reply button at the top although you may have more than one person you want to respond to, is what i'm seeing....

 

thank you for the links, I started lastnight on my new schedule , the valium wasn't as scary as I thought, it takes a while to kick in I notice

I'm hoping since i"m off work this week, my body will have leveled out with it in my system and I've gotten down a new pattern of how I'm dosing each day so that I'm not in discomfort and can do my job and just normal every day things , right now it's almost 9am, I noticed I still feel "ok" from lastnights dose, typically by now my body is in all kinds of friction so I have to take my morning zanex dose but I haven't taken it yet, I feel a tiny bit if discomfort in my legs, that eebie jeebie feeling but it's not as strong, that tells me the valium is still in my system from lastnight ...( I think....

I'm trying to listen to my body and figure this out, thank you for your support, I have read about the water system, I heard that is also a success so I hope it goes well for you, would you rather do a substitute with the valium ? Why won't your doctor support it, any reason did he or she state as to why it's not an option for you? anyone here can't even see you in person yet can tell you're serious and determined, it boggles my mind about some doctors.

I will visit the links to start my progress tracking soon and will look for you  :)

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Hi again Noelle,

 

Turns out I'll be starting my taper tomorrow. Things got crazy today...long story. Anyway, I'm going to be doing titration and you can find my plan here:

 

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=30809.msg452410#msg452410

 

Note: I will be reducing 2ml of the liquid each day not 1ml and hope that it isn't too fast. I got your PM and I will respond in length when I have time.

 

To track each other's progress you can create a progress log in the forum with the same name. There are instructions on how to do that here:

 

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=27797.0

 

And here is my progress log:

 

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=30812.msg454878#msg454878

 

I am often on here to chat in the morning (early Pacific time) and sometimes in the evenings. Like I said, there are a lot of good people here so don't be shy.

 

Looking forward to being your progress buddy. Lord knows it's not going to be easy.

 

Your benzo buddy, Danny

 

 

Danny, I looked at your progress log, it looks great, and I like the format, how do I get started with mine? I'm a little confused , do I just go on that board and post a new tread?  Can I copy your format to mine and should we post a new one every day, is that how it works or I guess whatever works best for the indiviual person huh?  By the way, I have heard about that Buspar, how do you like it? My dr mentioned it to me and told me to research it out, I wasn't sure if taking that while I'm running this taper schedule was a good idea for me because my body reacts so sensitive to everything, I want to be sure I know what symptoms I'm feeling are from what.

 

I understand the burning sensation in your legs, I have it all the time & during my withdrawl spells it's really high, it's so uncomfortable

Good Luck I will post my progress soon, I need to figure out how first, I'm still a little lost on this board   

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Hi Noelle,

 

To create your progress log go to the following link and copy all of the text in the code window and paste it into your first entry:

 

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=27797.0

 

After that, each day, modify the previous day's entry and copy the text and then just hit update to close that window. Hit reply to your own blog and paste the copied text into the new reply and then modify it for that day. Simple enough, right?  ;)  You'll get the hang of it.

 

Regarding the switch to Valium, my pdoc said that he was hesitant to prescribe another benzo to me because I was fresh out of rehab and I think that the whole addict thing was blinding him somewhat.  I believe that if I go along with his Buspar crossover plan that he will put me on Valium at my next appointment.

 

I think the Buspar may be ok.  It's too early to tell but at least it's not causing me any really bad sx like all of the SSRI's I've tried. 

 

Anyway, I haven't been motivated to update my progress log in the last couple of days.  Today, I threw my taper plan out the window and stayed home from work and only took .5mg (one dose instead of two) just to prove to myself I could survive on it.  I'm surviving but I was at the DMV today and I had to leave because the w/d panic started coming on.  Right now my stomach is upset but all in all I'm ok. 

 

I really like your attitude Noelle.  I think we are alot alike in out determination to beat this thing.  I was on chat this morning and was hoping that I would see you on.  I'm often on here at around 5:00 AM Pacific in case you want to talk.

 

I'll keep you posted as to how the Buspar is working.  As far as you starting it, it's up to you but like you said it wil throw another variable into the mix that may just complicate things.  I don't believe it has any value in reducing benzo w/d anxiety.  More of a long term solution if you still have anxiety after you are benzo free.

 

Good to hear from you and I will be keeping in touch and will look for you whenever I am on.

 

Danny

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Hi Danny,

 

Thank you for your help! I was able to post my progress log on the board. I am a little behind in posting myself, I started this on Sunday and here it is Tuesday, I was so unmotivated yesterday to do much of anything , I'm off work so I can get aquainted with the diazepam , so far so good I guess, it kicks in REAL slow, that's one thing that I noticed right away, but I am sleeping good on it so far so thats a plus, because if I can't sleep, I can't get up in the morning for work and that's a problem, I have to get up realy early in the mornings)  in any case, I'm sorry about your anxiety spell at the DMV, I know exactly how that is, I have to attend social events for work relations and trust me I've been there and there's been times I had to walk out and go in the bathroom and just stand in the stall until I could compose myself, typically I would take my Zan or half of one and calm myself down, I'm thinking about the future and how I'm going to cope with that, I'm hoping once I'm done with all this then I can try an alternative such as the buspar , it sounds like an option for me later.  So right now I'm feeling the burn, it's so uncomfortable, I want to scream ..........I hope your motivation has picked up , c'mon Danny you can do this, stay strong don't give up on the taper plan, keep it going, we CANNOT go backwards, we can ONLY go forward from here, just hold on, every day just hold on!!  As each day passes it's a step on the path we want to be on , our body and our mind is healing! 

 

I will try to post every day on progress and will try and catch you to chat some time when I find out how ( laugh)

Stay strong Danny !!!  Noelle 

 

 

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Hi Striving,

 

I'm pleased to hear that your crossover has gone so well and that you are getting some sleep  :thumbsup:  That's great.  Just continue to take things day by day, and know that when things get crazy or overwhelming, we are all here to support you and offer some words of comfort.

 

All the very best.

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Noelle,

 

Congrats on getting your progress log going.  I know you're having a tough time right now but you are making progress even if it is baby steps.  Sending you waves of comfort and support.

 

Danny

 

 

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Thank you Bevoir and cando.........I appreciate it

Today is not that good, I'm feeling severe discomfort, I just posted my progress log

sigh.........my only thought is " Noelle just hold on" ..........blaaaahaaaak!!

My mood has shifted today due to the discomfort I think, it's getting deeper

so scared )

 

Danny, I hope you're feeling better today

Sigma, I know you replied to me, not sure where it went now, I'm still lost on this dang board gosh!

Thanks for the note on the burning sx in your legs mentioning that yours disipated after your CO

that gives me so much hope, omg this is the worse feeling ever ,

again thank you all and best wishes for everyone  {{hug}} 

 

Noelle

 

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Hi Noelle,

 

I had so many days like that when I was tapering and recovering, and they are so difficult to deal with, but just hold on tightly and know that you will heal from this one day soon.  It just takes time and a lot of acceptance.  This is such a hard journey, but the end results are soooo worth it.

 

Stay strong.

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