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Xanax taper


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I really don't want to taper straight off of Xanax, but I can't find a doctor to do a cross-over. I'm on .25mg 4 times a day. I know, not much but I'm in inter-dose w/d all the time.

 

What's are my options to do this without a cross-over?

 

 

 

Thanks and benzos sux.

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Hi Nicolette:

 

Sorry to see you are in a bind there.  Your best option may be liquid titration.  You could still do four doses per day, but reduce very slowly.

 

best,

 

Draftsman 

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Other members have tapered directly off Xanax, Nicollete, so try not to worry about being unable to follow the Ashton method.  I was on a very short acting benzo, too, and my doc wouldn't prescribe Valium so I tapered directly off by cutting up my .5mg tablets.  I know Xanax comes in .25mg tablets and if you have those, you could start by cutting them in 1/4s and dropping 1/4 of a pill (.0625mg) every week or two.  If that is too rough, titration is also an option. 
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Thanks Beeper, I might try that. I'm trying to relieve my inter-dose withdrawals. I hope to get on Klonopin or Valium but if not I will try dry cutting my .25mg and see what happens.
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[b0...]

Nicolette,

 

I agree with Beeper.

 

If it gets too rough, you could benefit from titration.

 

Hang in there.

 

S#

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OK, I'll try dry cutting. I take .25 4 times a day, but the last two days I've been doing one .25mg morn one .25mg late afternoon one .25mg bedtime with another half .25mg same time. I'm having anxiety but not really bad symptoms yet. The problem is when I try to do that I end up catching up in a few days because it gets hard. I didn't know about blood levels (still not sure) but think I should take Xanax at exact same time and cut my .25mg in half and then in half again and go down by one quarter of .25mg. That might make it a slower taper.

 

I went through a bad c/t in 2008 and had to go to ER and be on a medical unit for three days.

 

I need to write my history at the end of my posts.  Thanks for suggestions, I would taper straight off of Xanax if I was sure I wouldn't have a seizure.

 

I never knew alprazolam=Xanax and I didn't know it was related to Valium or I never would have let my old GP give it to me when I hyperventilated from pneumonia in 2000. Who knew alprazolam was way more potent and shorter acting? Not me.

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Hi Nicolette,

 

I am staight tapering from xanax and as of now, no major problems.  I went from 3 0.5 a day to .25 a day.

I went from three pills to 1/2 of one pill.  I didn't have your experience going c/t and end up in a hospital therefore I don't know how helpful I can be to you.  I am here more for support to let you know someone who is straight tapering from xanax.  I may titrate towards the end of this to have a smooth jump.

 

I have no suggestions on how to taper as I needed to ask everyone on benzobuddies to help me.  You are in a place where you will get lots of help.

 

Gail  "This too shall pass"

 

 

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Thanks Gail, that really helps me alot.

 

When I c/t Xanax in June 2008 I had been drinking wine (lots) everyday. From 2000 to 2006 my Xanax fluctuated between .25mg daily to .75mg. The doctor said to take it "as needed". I functioned well at the time, I  drank alcohol rarely. I think i might have hit a tolerance level  during 2006-7 and was probably having interdose withdrawals, (and wondering why I couldn't MENTALLY get my anxiety under control).

 

Alcohol and benzos are cross-tolerant so they reinforce updosing and I got in a real viscous cycle. During the 2005-6 period my doctor started prescribing 90 .25mg Xanax per month. He said it would be cheaper to get a large amount per month and I could stretch it out. During late 2007 to June 2008-- through my cog fog I realized I needed to be medically detoxed. The 5 day taper off of both put me in severe withdrawal. I made it through though. :)

 

In November 2009 I started taking Xanax again for some major stress (thinking the problem before was benzos + alcohol). I now believe that the benzos are hard to come off all by themselves.

 

For the last 4 days I have been down to .875mg and holding a 12.5% reduction. I see the doctor June 24. I'm bringing the Ashton Manual with me.

 

I'm so glad I found this forum, I feel like I can finally make a plan with all the info I get here. Plus I 'm comforted by the stories because I now realize I'm not alone in this.

 

I will update after the doctor visit June  24. Thanks to all here. :)

 

 

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Hi Nicolette,

 

I think you will be fine and I am not knowlegeable enough to offer suggestions on tapering.  (It is good to know what you don't know).  I have found a lot of help here and couldn't have started this tapering properly without benzobuddies.

 

I don't drink however that is neither here nor there.  I think you are doing well and interested in what the doctor tells you. 

 

Good luck and try to look ahead and picture yourself drug-free in a reasonable amount of time.  (I have chosen September).

 

Gail  "This too shall pass"

 

 

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Thunder,

 

Just to let you know, I don't drink either. I didn't know better back when I had that c/t before. I have since learned that benzos and alcohol are cross-tolerant and are really bad to mix. I would recommend that no one drink alcohol when on benzos now. It's funny, on the bottle of Xanax it says, "May cause drowsiness, alcohol may intensify the effect." IMO there should be much stronger warnings for benzos. There are a lot of people who wouldn't go near them if the bottles are labelled honestly.

 

Thanks for the support. :):thumbsup:

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[e8...]
All the benzos i have seen have clearly indicated that they are for short term use only. I blame the doctors for telling us "not to worry about that".
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Hi LC,

 

I haven't read the print-out from the pharmacy lately, but I always read those when I get a new medication. There was no warning about alprazolam (Xanax) being for short term use only last time I checked, but maybe they are starting to. I should ask for a print-out next time I go.

 

I have a friend who is a medical transcriptionist and she said she types reports all the time of doctors trying to just take people off of a benzo at 2mg. c/t, and then the doctor is frustrated that the patient "just won't stop". This really irritates me that medical prescribers don't understand the meds they are prescribing.

 

Also, after about the 2-3 time I asked my originating GP if he was sure it was alright to be taking alprazolam that long, he said, "some people just have to take them the rest of their lives". So I thought, it was going to be part of my daily regime because I needed it. Little did I know that I couldn't go off of it just like that if I wanted to.

 

One time I went out of the country for 6 weeks (with about a 3 weeks supply) after I'd been on it for 6 years and I got a little tense so I would have a couple of drinks (with other people) every night. I didn't understand that I was trying to replace the GABA in benzos with the GABA that is in alcohol. From there I slowly went into a downward spiral. As I said if the proper labels had been on the bottle I never would have taken them longer than 4 weeks, I never asked for them in the first place. I had pneumonia and I was panicky about my breathing, so maybe a week tops should have been all that was required.

 

Well the good news is people are becoming more aware and now, since I found this site and others, I've been talking about benzos to my family and I think some of them are starting to understand what was going on with me. I'm just so grateful to now know that I can empower myself.

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[e8...]
I have a friend who is a medical transcriptionist and she said she types reports all the time of doctors trying to just take people off of a benzo at 2mg. c/t, and then the doctor is frustrated that the patient "just won't stop". This really irritates me that medical prescribers don't understand the meds they are prescribing.

 

I totally know what you mean. And then they treat you like a drug addict med-seeking fiend when you say you can't just stop 2 mg c/t.  >:(

 

Fortunately, i found a good psych who knows what he's doing and is patient.

 

Also, after about the 2-3 time I asked my originating GP if he was sure it was alright to be taking alprazolam that long, he said, "some people just have to take them the rest of their lives". So I thought, it was going to be part of my daily regime because I needed it. Little did I know that I couldn't go off of it just like that if I wanted to.

 

That was what my ENT said. He gave me, ok listen to this, a prescription for 8 mg Ativan with FIVE refills. And then said come back when that was done and he'd provide more. When i asked him about getting off the meds, he said "No one with menieres ever stops taking it".  :idiot:

 

 

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I hear you LC, it almost seems like doctors just throw something at you when they don't have an answer. Sometimes I wonder if the doctors would prescribe benzos if it was someone in their family..... I hope your doctor's can find something else to give you relief.

 

When I started taking alprazolam (Xanax) I didn't know it was related to Valium, much less that it it 20 times as potent. I have a lot of asthmatics in my family and really, asthma medications have gotten far, far better than they were years ago, so I assumed they had learned their lesson from the Valium problems they had in the 70's and they had come up with something non-addicting. My doctor told me it wasn't.

 

Have you seen the movie Love and Other Drugs? It's not specifically about benzos but it's about pharmaceutical sales reps and doctors. I don't think these sales reps have any idea what they are selling. It just seems so cold and dispassionate for pharmaceutical companies to just think about $$$ and how to market their products.

 

Cheers and good wishes on your journey forward. :)

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Hi Susie65,

 

Ya, I see you over at the movie chain too. I like to go to the Off-Topics section to preoccupy myself in between looking at post sometimes.

 

I'm not always ranting about benzo/medical providers, but sometimes I just have to release some of my frustration. I, too, like to keep a positive outlook and I had better do that today because I'm getting ready to go to this new doctor I have in a couple of hours. lol.

 

I'm bringing the Ashton Manual with me so wish me luck.

 

I'll stop by and check-out your thread soon.

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