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Xanax Taper Advice


[je...]

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OK here is the scoop I have been taking Xanax 1mg 4x a day for over 2 years.

Last month I had some issues that cropped up and I updosed to around 6-7 mg a day.

I am back down to the 4mg mark but I can't come up with a plan to get it lower so I can eventually quit them altogether.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Right now I am very depressed and have had some feelings of "not really here" but I am here.

Overwhelmed is an understatement at this point. I am almost ready to sign myself into a psych ward. (no insurance would be a problem with that)

 

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Dropping rapidly down from 7mgs to 4mgs has no doubt give your body a rather nasty jolt, so it might be wise for you to try to stabilize at your current dose before tackling a taper.  Of course, there is every possibility that you may not stabilize and, in time, will just have to push ahead with a taper regardless.  We generally recommend that you cut no more than 10% of your daily dose every 7 to 14 days.  Now, you can do this by either dry-cutting your pills or using the liquid titration method.  How did you taper down from 7mgs to 4mgs?
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Right now I feel ok or stable on the 4mgs but like you said the sudden drop probably did give me a nasty jolt. Could this be why dropping any more at this point seems impossible, since I have not recovered from the "jolt"? I have 1mg tablets so I am doing a dry cut. I feel a crushing depression, hoplesness and can't seem to shake it. Should I go back to around 5 and sit there for a week and start tapering from 5? A lady friend of mine that works for a psych said it should be no problem to drop from 4 to 3 overnight a whole mg and I know she has seen 25+ years of cases...

I just don't think I can drop a full mg at a time. It is hard to drop .25mg.

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How long ago did you make the big drop? I truly think that dropping a whole mg would be a bad idea since at this point you're even feeling the .25 cuts.

 

The hopelessness and depression are very common in withdrawal, I know it's crazy to say but that is 'normal'. It's not advisable to up-dose, it can actually make things worse for you, it's best to keep moving forward. You may not be able to avoid symptoms, try to keep occupied and work your way through them. We know how this feels, keep posting for support you'll get through this.  

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Hey jerell,

 

Sounds like you're suffering from a bout of depression and derealization. Not to worry, though. These withdrawal symptoms do go away with time. Is there anything that you like to do that can distract you? For me, distraction is number one when I'm feeling down or out of it. That's why I spend time on the forums and browsing the internet. My mind kinda just floats and before I know, the feelings have passed. I know it may not feel like it now, but you will get through this and you will heal. We're all here to lend an ear and help you out  :)

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Hi jerell,

 

If it were me, I wouldn't up-dose to 5mg. That will only make for a longer taper. When I bounced up and down in my dosing before finding BB, I went through depressions and all kinds of mental symptoms. I think it's because the fluctuation in dosing is destabilizing period. Whether it is physical, emotional or mental.

 

I would stay at the 4mg until you feel you have stabilized, then start a slow taper. Also I advise that you read and post as much as you can at BB so you can get all the support and education you need. You will recover from this. Hang in there  :thumbsup:

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I made the big drop late last month because suddenly I realized I was going to be out before refill time. duh

I did make it through the day yesterday, there were a few times I didn't think I was going to live through this and didn't have much hope at all.

Have a terrible headache this morning. Now to figure out how much to take and when.....keeping at 4mgs total for the day.

I don't have to stop this medication as I have an RX for 6 months for 4 a day, but when I saw myself updosing I knew I was in trouble and must stop.

Feeling groggy all the time and not thinking clearly also helped me realize that I do not want to live my life in a fog.

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I made the big drop late last month because suddenly I realized I was going to be out before refill time. duh

I did make it through the day yesterday, there were a few times I didn't think I was going to live through this and didn't have much hope at all.

Have a terrible headache this morning. Now to figure out how much to take and when.....keeping at 4mgs total for the day.

I don't have to stop this medication as I have an RX for 6 months for 4 a day, but when I saw myself updosing I knew I was in trouble and must stop.

Feeling groggy all the time and not thinking clearly also helped me realize that I do not want to live my life in a fog.

 

I made a drop a couple of times before finding BB because I had up-dosed two months in a row. I don't like that roller-coaster ride.

 

It's a good thing you have the RX for 6 months 4 times a day, because you will have enough to do a slow taper off the X.

 

I take .25mg 3 times a day right now. I have a doctor appt. July 22 and I'm hoping this doc will let me c/o to Valium. I've only seen him twice for 15 minutes and the first time he gave me an RX for carbamazepine (an anti-convulsant) and told me I could taper at .25mg a week. The carbamazepine gave me a really bad headache, so I quit taking it and told him on the next visit. He gave me an RX for Tranxene (a derivative of Valium) but it wasn't enough for a proper c/o so I haven't filled it. I don't want to mess-up the taper I have started. This time I'm going to show him the benzo converter

 

rwww.benzodocs.com/converter.php  and hope he works with me on this.

 

Hope you are feeling better. :)

 

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In 2004 I was taking Buspar 15mg 2X a day, Klonopin 3mg (1mg 3x Day), 450mg wellbutrin xl and 10mg ambien for about 2 years. I changed jobs and dropped everything c/t no problems at all. The doctor I was seeing at that time had me on Tegretol and Lamictal at some points, not sure why. It has been noted that since I c/t all of this back in 2004 that may be why I am having such a hard time with the X.  I have also taken Xanax previously but not for 2.5 years and was able to come off with no issues. For whatever reason this time is SO HARD, I am thinking it is due to the high level of stress and pressure I have right now along with the economic crisis comes a budget crisis at home the trickle down effect. Wondering how you are going to make it day to day.
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As you mentioned, many can quit these drugs time and time again, but it eventually catches up to them.  You need to know too, that because you're probably tolerant to the drug, it's most likely causing your anxiety, not stress of the economy or life events.  If you weren't in tolerance to the drug, you'd be able to handle all of this much better.
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Should I just go sign myself into rehab? Should I drop a dose? Help :-\

I read about the term relative withdrawal is that what I am experiencing?

What should I do?

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Should I just go sign myself into rehab? Should I drop a dose? Help :-\

I read about the term relative withdrawal is that what I am experiencing?

What should I do?

 

Jerell,

 

I have never heard the term relative withdrawal. What is it supposed to mean?

 

I don't know what rehab does, other than what I have heard from other people saying that they taper you very quickly, and you go home feeling sick.

 

If it were me, I would stay on the dose you are presently at and print off the Ashton Manual and bring it to your doctor and talk to him/her about doing a slow taper. Tapering slowly seems healthier and more comfortable.

 

I hope your anxiety and depression are leveling off.

 

 

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I read this page: http://www.benzobuddies.org/benzodiazepine-information/tolerance-addiction-dependency

So I feel like I am in tolerance withdrawal aka relative withdrawal.

There is a lot of information on this site, which I am very grateful to have access to and to all the great people here who know how I feel and what I am going through.

Everytime I think I have everything under control I get thrown a curve ball.

Anxiety very high this evening. Frustrated, Want to get the taper started and get this done with. I know it will take a long time to get free as someone else stated "the sooner the better".

I am going to try using my pill caddy which goes out a week and put only 3.0mg per day for the week.(Cut into 6 -.50mg doses and take as needed)

Next week maybe I can try 2.75mg.

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Hi jerell,

 

Yes, I remember, relative withdrawal is the same as tolerance withdrawal. I seemed to experience that too, after a certain point with my Xanax.

For me, when I had gotten stressed and up-dosed, it didn't really help, it made things worse. Then I got low on my Xanax, so I had to stretch that out till my next RX.

 

After going up and down like that I had to stabilize at the same amount before I began a taper. I brought the Ashton Manual to my new doctors, but I hadn't read much about benzos yet. When I have my appt. with him on Friday I'm going to have another talk with him about how I have felt better going at a slow pace to taper.

 

I think this is a great site for support and educating yourself about benzos. I've researched them all over the internet now and feel like I'm learning alot about the difficulties I've had with being prescribed Xanax.

 

For along time I didn't know a thing about the medication I was on except for the Patient Information sheets and what it said on the bottle. Now I know different.  :)

 

 

 

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I know how the curve balls can be, jerell. You feel so good one day and then you get hit hard with a wall the next. It's a day to day process. I was having a nice window the day before yesterday and then hit a wall yesterday and today. Our bodies need time to heal, with walls being its way of showing us that. I always say to cherish the good feelings we get and never forget them. All we have is time. I'm glad to have the forum and the buddies to help me pass it. Keep coming back, okay?
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I feel you with the xanax toughest one for me to get off also! What helped me was to first start lengthening my dose intervals so if you take 1mg every 4hrs for example try taking one every 4.5 hours and try to add a few minutes every day till you can cut out a dose :thumbsup:
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I've never taken any other benzo besides Xanax, but I know it is hard....probably because of the high potency and short half-life.

 

That's a good idea easye, just trying to add even a few minutes everyday, you are still making progress. :thumbsup:

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