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Tapering....hardest thing I've ever done


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:-[

 

I started Xanax a year ago on 2 mg a day due to PTSD after me and my kids were in a tornado....toward the end of the year I was taking anywhere from 2 to 10 mg a day that's when I decided to quit C/T didnt know you couldn't do that....anyway ended up in hospital 5 times in a week thinking I was having heart attack eventually figured out it was withdrawals....went to detox twice...12 days each time still came out sick couldn't figure out why....until I found a doctor that explained it takes months to get off this drug....so now I'm on librium started at 100mg for 5 days them 80mg for 14 days then 60mg for 10 days when I made that cut I thought I was going insane so we slowed the taper updosed back to 80mg stayed on that for a month and just last week cut to 70mg....I'm having such a hard time, horrifying panic and anxiety, swimmy head, and just feel like I'm gonna die any minute....I also take 20mg inderol as needed...I just want my life back.....god how I wish I knew then what I would be going through now I would have NEVER started Xanax  :'(

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Hi Nikie1976, Welcome to BenzoBuddies :)

 

Wow, you had a rough time, I'm so sorry you went through all that. It looks like you're on the right path now and the worst is over though. I did a cold turkey too and it was that hardest thing I've even been through, so I know where you're coming from. I'm glad you have a doctor that understands benzos too. I'm with you, I wish I'd never started xanax either, but you will heal from all of this. We're here to support you, please ask any questions you have.

 

 

Star

 

 

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Thank you so much Star.....this is a long road....I'll be so glad when it's over. I still get so dizzy all the time or as I call it a swimmy head and the anxiety is horrible...I'm so scared it's just gonna get worse the more I taper....I'm trying to be positive but it's really hard :(
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You poor thing, you really had to find out the hard way about this drug.  I'm glad you finally found a way to taper from the drug and it's good you're going slow.  You will heal from this, it takes a long time, but when it's gone, the horror fades.
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Hello Nikie1976 and welcoming you to BB. I am so sorry you are not feeling well and having to go through this. It is tough and long like others mentioned, but you will get through it and you will heal and get your life back. Hang in there and let us know how we can continue to help. We are here for you and we understand.
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Welcome Nikie,

 

I know what you mean that had you known what this drug was about you would never ever get on xanax.

I also feel for you as I am sure you have your family and feeling all these crazy sensations gets in the way of you enjoying life.  But, you will and have to get off of this drug to reclaim your life.

The truth is that tapering is terribly hard for some people, but holding a dose too long at times makes it so much worse.

I help at .25 of klonopin longer than i should, and i started to get crazy anxiety and dizziness, I dropped to .125 and felt better a few days afterwards. Now, thats a big drop, so stick to your schedule, but I just wanted to let you know this bit of info as its always scaring to drop a dose, but in the end, there is no other way but to keep dropping doses at a sensible rate.

 

We are here for you and believe and work hard towards getting free!

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Thank you everyone for the help and advice......today I just cut again.....I was holding at 70 mg of Librium for 3 weeks and still having crazy anxiety so today I went ahead and decided to cut to 60mg.....maybe I held to long on 70mg......this anxiety is the worst symptom for me, I just hope that it goes away, it is very debilitating and consuming me....I have also cut out most caffeine and have went from smoking over a pack of cigarettes a day to less than 10 cigarettes a day..... I wonder if that has anything to do with all this anxiety.....I appreciate everyone's support and advice!!!
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Hi Nikie and welcome.

 

I am so very sorry for what you are going through.  We just had a tornado go through our neighborhood at the end of April, and I still have nightmares over it.  I hang on to the belief that in time, these nightmares will fade and I will emerge a stronger person for having gone through this.

 

I'm glad to read that you are now on Librium as opposed to Xanax. As you probably know by now, Librium has a longer half life and while you will still experience withdrawal symptoms, they should not be as severe as if you were tapering directly from Xanax.

 

25 mgs of Librium roughly equals 10 mgs of Valium.  So, when you make your reductions, try to keep in mind that most people find reducing 1-2 mgs Valium per week (at the dose you are on, now) to be appropriate.  Once you hit 25 mgs of Librium, you may wish to slow it down a bit.  We are more than happy to help you out with a taper plan that you can present to your doctor. 

 

Let us know how we can help, and feel free to ask questions.

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Hi Missy

 

Thank you for the reply.....my Librium capsules are 10mg a piece so this past Friday I did cut from 70mg to 60mg so far I haven't noticed much just still the anxiety.....my plan is to try and cut 10mg every 2 weeks....does that sound reasonable?? I have no idea how long it takes to stabilize and how often I should cut....my doctor said he is leaving that all up to me....which to me doesn't make much sense cause I have no idea how long and when to do what.....he just says I know how I feel better than anyone, all I know is I want to be benzodiazepine free as quickly as possible and get back to my old happy self instead of this anxious panicky scared hypochondriac phobic who thinks she's gonna die at any moment.......I really hope all this gets better.....I really really appreciate all the advice and support I get here, I'm soooo glad I found this website :)

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25 mgs Librium = 10 mgs Valium.

 

The way I looked at it, each 5 mg pill of Librium is equal to 2 mgs Valium.

 

So, if you cut by 10 mgs Librium, it's the equivalent of a 4 mg Valium cut.  This may be a bit too fast, but then again, we're all different and if you find it is working for you, then by all means do what is best for you. :)

 

It might help to slow down a bit the lower you go.  I'd hate for the withdrawal symptoms to sneek up on you.

 

You've already reduced by so much compared to where you were at (10 mgs Xanax), and you should pat yourself on the back!

 

Just so you know, many people withdraw from Valium at the rate of .5 to 1 mg every 1-2 weeks.  In the terms of Librium, that would be half of a 5 mg pill.  However, if you are feeling well and not having symptoms, go with what you feel is best.  Again, we're all different.

 

We wish you success, and please feel free to ask questions and let us know how we may help.

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I will probably slow down the lower I go......i would absolutely hate for any worse withdrawal symptoms to sneak up on me....ugh.....but I have to do it 10mg at a time cause the Librium is capsules and there is no way to cut them in half.....so far on the 60mg I'm still doing ok.... Just still a fair amount of anxiety.....I've also recently quit smoking and cut almost all caffiene out of my diet except for tea.....so that may be why I'm having such a hard time with anxiety......also alot of stomach issues.....like maybe an ulcer, not sure.....I think it all just has to do with tapering and something I have to go through but it will be sooooo worth it in the end!!!
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Welcome to BB!

 

There are lots of great people on this forum who will help talk you through the anxiety and the hard times. It sounds like you have had your fair share, but if you stay the course, this soon will be a distant memory.

 

I had a very difficult taper and ended up checking myself into rehab at the very end of my taper, which didn't really help things, but I felt like I needed to take some kind of action. I stayed in rehab for 5 weeks, even though I was never an addict only drug dependent, but I felt safe because there were nurses around. lol! I don't recommend it because you lose control of your medications, and you never know what random doctors will try to put you on, or yank you off your benzos too soon. All of it was my mind chattering away, obsessing over whether I'd get worse or ever get better. For me, the worst symptom of withdrawal was the fear that withdrawal would get worse. Just try to remember that your body is safe, and your mind, though it may slow in cognition and react anxiously, is sound.  You're not going to die and you're not going to go crazy-- doesn't happen to anyone in benzo withdrawal. It's just an obsessive thought-- repetitive and obnoxious but untrue!

 

As for your caffeine and cigarettes, I quit caffeine for awhile, but I never noticed a difference when I drank it as opposed to when I didn't. I don't think the caffeine is a big factor in your anxiety. It's all withdrawal.  Also, your stomach issues could definitely be withdrawal. I had benzo belly, where  my stomach felt really clinched even though it wasn't. I also got very bloated in my stomach area. It was pretty uncomfortable. If you do a search for "benzo belly" on BB, you should find more information.

 

Well, I'm glad to make your acquaintance, and I wish you days of lessening symptoms. This is a difficult journey, but it is worth it in the end.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Well last night I decided to make another cut.....I'm down to 50mg of Librium now. I'm cutting 10mg at a time every 2 weeks or so.....so far I'm not doing to bad since I've slowed my taper down.... The only symptoms I have are the swimmy head (thats what I call it) and alittle anxiety.....I sure hope it keeps going this way.....I'm getting scared the lower I get....but also excited, I just want off this stuff so bad....I'm now taking 30mg in the morning and 20mg at night.....my biggest fear is what it's gonna be like when I make that final cut....I've read some stories about how people are still experiencing withdraw after a year of being off....that's what scares me the most....I guess all I can do is keep praying and hope this keeps going smoothly like it has been for the past month......this website is a life saver.... I read it all the time!!!
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For the most part, the people who still feel poorly a year after their last dose are usually the those who either did a cold turkey or reduced to quickly.

 

Generally, a slow steady taper minimizes symptoms.

 

Just remember: 5 mgs Librium is roughly 2 mgs Valum.  So if you get to a point where you need to slow it down, go on ahead and do so.  Yes, it takes a little longer, but your brain will thank you. ;)

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Hey Nikie1976,

 

Your story sounds one of a champion. I don't know how I would have lasted if I were in your shoes, so fear not, I trust you will make it through this. I'm glad to see you're on Librium, since it's half life is much greater than that of Xanax. You've come to the right place for information and support, so ask any questions or voice any concerns you have. I'm happy to have you on the forum. Welcome to BenzoBuddies!  :)

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