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My personal situation


[Ki...]

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Hello,

I am very glad to have found your website/forum and have joined to receive some withdrawal support and taper advice.  I am currently taking 0.25 mg of Xanax, one each evening and have been taking this now for at least 6 months regularly. I realize that this is the lowest dose they prescribe, however I am very sensitive apparently and am having a terrible time. When I went through the list of withdrawal symptoms I have alot of them. I will give more about me and my story when approved. Thank you all very much.

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Hi Kimmy, welcome to BenzoBuddies :)

 

I'm glad to see that you caught yourself before taking more and more of the drug and getting stuck at a higher dose. What kinds of symptoms are you having? We're here for you, lets us know how we can help.

 

 

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Hi kimmy7 and welcome.

 

Xanax is a very powerful benzo, and even doses of .25 mgs have caused severe withdrawal reactions in some people (myself included).

 

Are you looking to taper off of the Xanax?  Do you have a good relationship with your doctor and is he willing to assist you?

 

My doctor was wonderful until I had withdrawal from Xanax.  Then - due to ignorance or arrogance, I'm not sure - he dropped the ball and I had to find another doctor who would help me.

 

We will be happy to help you out with a taper plan that you may present to your doctor.

 

Don't feel alone.  Many of our members have experienced severe withdrawal from what is widely accepted in the medical community  as a "low" dose. You are not alone!  We will walk beside you every step of the way.  Let us know how we may help you, and again, we are glad you found us.

 

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Thank you so much. Quite frankly I am scared to death, based on what I've experienced thus far. I'm so thankful to have found this forum.

 

I will explain here in detail what has happened and where I'm at now. First of all, as I mentioned in my intro due to some complications with my nervous system from long term disease/illness, I'm thinking that my body is totally beyond sensitive and now I'm afraid that I've totally screwed myself up severely.

 

The doctor gave me the Xanax at this dose to help me calm down and sleep. They didn't tell me anything about any of this, I guess since it was such a "low dose". Needless to say I decided to research on my own and when I found the information that I did, I started to taper myself. I talked to my doctor on the phone and told him what I was doing. I explained that I went to half a pill and stayed there for about 2 weeks. Then I went to a 1/4 of a pill and I stay there for several weeks. The problem first was that as soon as I break this pill into a smaller dose, I can plan on body pain, chest pain, some difficulty breathing and a sleepless night. Crazy dreams all night long and I'll toss and turn in misery. I toughed it out though and stuck at that dose and then things would calm down after several days. Then something happened to me two Friday's ago..(see part 2)

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I had been at 1/4 of a pill and was making it, however I did have weird symptoms that were becoming more and more painful. Heaviness in my legs from the knees down, which felt like the blood wasn't flowing right. Pins and needles in my arms and legs, head, etc. Chest pain off and on. Then all of a sudden when I went to the store with my teenage son, I felt very weird/sick in the store. I told him that I didn't feel right. We went to the car and when I was driving home all of a sudden I felt like I was having either a stroke or heart attack, couldn't tell which one. Heart racing, thought I would die, all over feeling of dread, etc. I went home, got in the bed and was shaking so bad, it seemed like a seizure. I didn't want to go to the hospital if this was an insane panic attack so I took one whole xanax and then a breathing treatment with albuterol and cried and prayed. I finally stopped shaking and dozed off a bit. Since then I've been taking the one pill again each evening. I still feel awful and know I need to get this crap out of my system. I feel such fatigue I can't do anything "normal" without having some palpitations. The doctor said that I was doing this right. The taper that I described to him. He said go slower this time, but now I'm scared to death to break this pill again. I ended up in urgent care that evening and the doctor looked at me like I was nuts when I mentioned (could this be caused from tapering off of xanax)? He said, "Well, it could, but you should be fine to stop now that you are at 1/4). I said, I just one a whole ONE again. He said, "Well you should still be fine". BULL! I feel like this is some kind of nightmare that I can't get out of.
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I am so sorry to read this.  It's like re-living what I went through all over again, so I can totally understand where you are coming from.

 

It saddens me to say this, but most doctors do not have a clue when it comes to benzos and the ensuing withdrawal symptoms.  They think it is a "low" dose, but when it comes to Xanax, there is no such thing as a "low" dose.

 

I had severe, debilitating withdrawal from a supposedly low dose of Xanax.  My former doc said, "Just quit", and I ended up in the ER and in the worst hell of my life.  I finally did my own research and found out that I needed to find a new doctor ASAP.  It took a while, but I was finally able to find a doc who would switch me over to Valium for a slower taper.  He literally save my life.

 

Xanax is powerful.  .5 mgs equals 10 mgs of Valium.  If you were to cut your .5 mgs Xanax in half or even in quarters, you will probably have severe withdrawal symptoms - I know I did.  Have you ever hear of the Ashton Manual?  It's a great resource for understanding benzos and what they do to our bodies. Here is a link: http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/index.htm

 

Please know that you are not alone in this.  I know you are suffering, but we will be here to help you and support you as you go through this. :hug:

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Hi Kimmy,

 

As others had stated, Xanax is powerful, even at the lowest dose, I'm so sorry to hear how much you've suffered.  If your Dr is amenable, would you consider crossing over to a longer acting benzo like Valium or Klonopin?  I know it sounds strange to get off a drug by going on another drug, but as you've seen, tapering from Xanax can be pretty painful.  If you don't want to do this, we can talk about using titration to get off of the Xanax, it sounds like we need to help you do this very slowly.

 

Pam

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Your symptoms were like mine when I was on xanax. I was having interdose withdrawals because xanax doesn't last too long and I built up a tolerance. It may be that you've built up a tolerance. As Pam stated, it might be easier if you can switch to a longer acting benzo like valium or klonopin and taper off. Whatever you decide, you're no alone, you'll find plenty of support here.
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You all are so wonderful...I'm crying and thanking God that I found you all.

 

Since my pills are 0.25 mg, it's my understanding from reading the coversion table, that is equal to 5mg of Valium? Is that correct?  I can ask my doctor about the Valium and how to go about doing this. The only thing that I am afraid of are side effects. I have tried Valium like 1 pill, maybe twice in my life. Both times I got sharp stomach pain, but mostly I'm worried about possible respiratory side effects. I have asthma. My asthma isn't severe, or anything like that, but I'm so darn sensitive to medication. My body has pretty much decided its now "allergic" to everything. I don't even eat regular bread! Seriously...gluten free this and and that and no sugar, you name it...it's just ridiculous.

 

Do you guys think that its best for me to stay at this dose that I am on right now a little longer before I try to reduce or switch over to Valium? I just took my dose of the 0.25 for tonight. I've taken this dose now for 9 days. Should I let my body get used to this dose a while longer and then go down from there?

 

Could I maybe take the pill and shave off a little at a time to make the taper a bit slower?  What Im wondering is if what I had then was a severe panic attack like never before, or did I have some type of seizure or what? Can someone literally have a stroke or heart attack doing this? How insane is this that these doctors didn't warn me!

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I have two quick questions to ask if thats ok.... First, if I do switch over to Valium, do I just take the 5mg of valium instead of taking my 0.25 xanax? Use the valium in place of it? I'm asking here first since I will talk to the doctor tomorrow and I want to make sure that he will tell me right, or that I have a heads up etc.

 

Also when that ER trip was mentioned that trigger this question in me.  What should I watch for, as far as when to go to the hospital? The withdrawals are so bad, I don't know if it's something dangerous that I need to go to the ER for, or if I just need to touch it out and go through it real slowly and bite the bullet. I guess I can't really know for sure what is a real "emergency"...

 

Thank you all!

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I felt like I had to head to the ER many times during my journey... if you have checked out medically fine, then you can chalk it up to withdrawal. The wd symptoms can be scary at times.

 

If you wanted to stay with xanax and taper from that you can... many buddies have. Do you have the .25 pills? It may be easier to titrate with water, I've heard of people doing it that way too.  It's just easier to taper from a longer acting benzo like Valium if you are dry cutting it. I understand some people don't want to switch because of sensitivities of the other drugs, so I don't blame you if this happened to you. Ultimately it's up to you and your doctor.

 

It would be best to get some info on a crossover from Xanax to Valium on the "Substutution Taper" boards here - http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?board=61.0  there is some crossover info there too.

 

I hope your feeling better soon, I know this is tough, believe me. It does get better though, it really does, hang on   :therethere:

 

 

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hi Kimmy so sorry you are suffering so much but you came to the right place for guide and support about this benzo withdrawl ,and for your question on the switch over to Valium check the Ashton manual it gives you a guide how to switch over and as i know you dont just stop the xanax and replace it to Valium you need to do a transition.
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Ok guys..I'm very determined to do this NOW! I just can't take anymore of this feeling so awful and the fact of waiting to me, is just prolonging it. I'm deciding to start the taper off of the 0.25 mg pill once again. I've had the success in the past of cutting it into 1/2's and 1/4's so I might as well try this again.  I have read through the Ashton Manual.  I need a little bit more help in understanding the way to do this water, titration thing. I'm going to read more on here and then I will make a seperate post on that to get some extra help here. I don't know if it will be best to cut it back like I did with straight cuts and then when I get down to the 1/4 and can't go any lower then switch to the water option? I'm thinking I will try that. I will use the Valium switch over as plan B in the back of my mind just in case.  I am already feeling awful during the day, because I guess my body must already be experiencing some degree of withdrawal symptoms, because like you have explained to me, it wants more than just one dose of a 0.25 pill. I've stuck at 1 pill every evening for 10 days. I'm thinking about later on this evening dropping down a bit and then staying there for 2 weeks.  I'm scared but I have a lot of faith in God, so I'll be praying a lot for some divine intervention. I got myself into this mess and now with His help and yours here, I'm believing I can get out:) Bless every one of you!
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