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started tapering need advice


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Hi I was in a trauma accident on Dec 29 had broken ribs, broken back and chest tube.  I received one med after another.  Was put on Motrin and developed stomach problems.  Next was Prilosec OTC and I had a adverse reaction that set off tachacardia (high pulse rate) and raised my blood pressure.  I was put on a theraputic level of xanax in February to control the shakes and nausea that I had developed form all the anxiety.  I have been taking .5 4X daily 6:00,11:00,4:00 and 9:00.  Nausea continued and they tried adding effexor 75mg which made me worse like I had the worst flu ever and in bed.  Went off that and saw a psych for managing my meds.  He tried to add lexapro and again got very ill.  Went off that and saw a nutritionist who felt my vitamin b's were depleted and I needed fish oils.  that has done the most for me and the nausea went away.  Oh Had upper gi and abdom ultrasound to confirm all ok andit was.  a week and a 1/2 ago I finally was told I could cut.  I cut .5 and did not have a problem.  This past Sat. cut 1/2 .25 again and by Sunday had slight jitters and slight nausea so Monday went back to adding the .25 back.  Am I going too fast.  I am now waking up at 3:30am and feeling shaky and weak.  What did I do wrong.  Is it too soon.  I still seem so weak with my nerves.  They react to everything and my life is very stressful.  Any info???

 

Mal

 

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Hi mal and welcome to BB,

 

I'm sorry to hear about all that you've been through. It's a good decision to get off xanax, that is one nasty drug.  You've cut a large amount at one time and that is giving you the symptoms you're having. It's recommended to cut 10% every 7-14 days, anything any faster can bring on some heavy withdrawal symptoms, and it's recommended to taper one drug at a time.

 

Have you read the Ashton Manual?  That can explain more to you about what to expect while tapering off.  Unfortunately, drs. seldom know the effects of coming off these drugs and they suggest coming off to fast.

 

You can get off these meds safely and doing a slower taper is the way to go.  Let us know how we can help you.  Is klono the only med. you are on right now?

 

Ts

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Hi Mal,

so sorry about all that trauma!

I'm not sure what dose you are on now. 1.5mg?

The usual recommend taper rate and amount is around 10% every 1 to 2 weeks. So a .5 cut from 2mg is pretty hefty, and another .25 on top of that explains your withdrawal symptoms.

At this point, you need to stabilize where you are at for a week or so more. If you are feeling really extreme it would not be unreasonable to go up another .25mg to a total of 1.75mg.

From there, once you feel a little more stable, start your taper by only reducing by a 1/4 pill (if you are on .5mg pills) every week or so.

I think xanax comes in .25mg pills also, so that would allow you to make smaller cuts, if you could obtain those.

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I am only on xanax and right now I am taking .5 3x daily 5:30,1:30, 9:30pm.  I am taking vitamin b complex and my oils too.  So you think it is just a reaction of taking too much too fast.  I can deal with that.  Yes, it has been a long haul and all the dr.s want to do is keep giving more meds and I want off the meds.  I am worried about my nerves though and I hope they can handle the withdrawls.  It is great to have opinions since I have no one around who understands this.

 

Mal

 

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So you think it is just a reaction of taking too much too fast. 

 

Yes!

 

As long as you do it slowly and sensibly, you should be fine. It maynot be a walk in the park, but it should be managable.  ;)

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Ok awoke this morning feeling stabalized again.  Yeah :yippee: So If I start my next cut from .5 3x daily 6:00,2:00 and 9:00 when should I start that  cut and what times slot do I cut morning noon or night.  I believe you stated cut 1/2 of a 1/2 so i quarter of a .5???  I was thinking this weekend??? Again any info would help.

 

Mal

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Hi Mal,

 

You will cut 1/4 off one of your .50mg doses. The first reduction should be off the one that is the least troublesome time for you. Then wait at least 7-14 days before reducing again (I recommend at least 10 days) to make sure you are feeling stable enough. Then alternate the cuts off the other dosing times.

 

 

T2

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Ok thanks for the reply.  I need the morning one because I have gone the longest without and I'm not sure what happens if I cut the night one will I have problems sleeping? The middle of the day seems like it might be the best one.  But again when I cut the night one does it keep you from sleeping.  Right now I wake always between 3:30 and 4:30 and then fall back asleep  until 5:30 or 6:00.  Any suggestions

 

Mal

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Ok thanks for the reply.  I need the morning one because I have gone the longest without and I'm not sure what happens if I cut the night one will I have problems sleeping? The middle of the day seems like it might be the best one.  But again when I cut the night one does it keep you from sleeping.  Right now I wake always between 3:30 and 4:30 and then fall back asleep  until 5:30 or 6:00.  Any suggestions

 

Mal

 

I personally cut my afternoon dose first. You were taking the xanax for anxiety, right? IMO, it should not effect your sleep, if you were sleeping okay before you started taking it. I am currently down to .125mg at night and am not having any problems sleeping. Since it is a slow and steady taper, you should be okay. Xanax is a short acting benzo, so it is best to keep your 3x/day dosing as long as possible and not totally eliminate one until the very end of your taper.

 

T2 :smitten:

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Thanks so much you have been very helpful and I feel so much more relaxed knowing I have this site to come to.

 

Mal :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

My dose was .5 6:00am,.5 2:00pm,.5 9:00pm.  Saw my Dr. Thursday and told him I was feeling the sedation of the meds finally.  At least that is what I think because I am so tired all of a sudden.  Never felt it before with all my anxiety from my accident the meds just took the edge off now I am finally feeling more sedated.  He said that is because my anxiety is calming down and I will feel more tired.  His suggested cut is .25 off the 2:00pm and if I am stable after 10 days to cut .25 off the 6:00am.  I cut 3 days ago and appear to be doing ok but am awfully sleepy now when I take my .5 doses at 9:00pm and 6:00am. Does this seem normal to anyone out there.  Could sure use some advice, suggestions, or whatever comments I can get.  My dose now is .5 6:00am and I become very tired and .25 2:00pm and seem ok and .5 at 9:00pm and fall asleep pretty quick.  Thanks for any comments on this!

 

Mal

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My dose was .5 6:00am,.5 2:00pm,.5 9:00pm.  Saw my Dr. Thursday and told him I was feeling the sedation of the meds finally.  At least that is what I think because I am so tired all of a sudden.  Never felt it before with all my anxiety from my accident the meds just took the edge off now I am finally feeling more sedated.  He said that is because my anxiety is calming down and I will feel more tired.  His suggested cut is .25 off the 2:00pm and if I am stable after 10 days to cut .25 off the 6:00am.  I cut 3 days ago and appear to be doing ok but am awfully sleepy now when I take my .5 doses at 9:00pm and 6:00am. Does this seem normal to anyone out there.  Could sure use some advice, suggestions, or whatever comments I can get.  My dose now is .5 6:00am and I become very tired and .25 2:00pm and seem ok and .5 at 9:00pm and fall asleep pretty quick.  Thanks for any comments on this!

 

Mal

 

Hi Mal,

 

I had extreme fatigue when I first started tapering, it let up the lower I got. Fatigue is a very common withdrawal symptom. You can try and do what your doctor suggested and if if becomes too much too fast, you can slow down your taper.

 

 

T2

 

 

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Thanks Theresa2.  That is what I needed to hear.  I figured it would be the opposite.  I thought I would get all amped again but instead just really tired.  You have given me great comments and advise.  Thanks for always answering my needs. :D

 

mal

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Benzo fatigue can even start up after the taper is complete. You never know when it will hit. What I do know is that as the GABA receptors heal  it does get better.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Does this fatigue continue until you are Benzo free or just when you begin the next taper?  The .25 cut seems to be ok it is just that I am so tired and I have a headache too.  Need to stay strong to continue the taper.  If this is all normal I can tough it out.  Thanks for the reply!

 

mal

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It comes and goes, and in some cases doesn't start until the taper is over. It can take some time for the CNS to heal and get over all the symptoms. I have been free  a month and I am still getting felled by it.

 

Yes, it is normal.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

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thanks again!  so how long of a withdrawl period is there to complete recovery of side effects from the drug and withdrawls?  Do you ever feel normal again?  Whatever normal is anymore. 

 

mal

 

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I do feel normal.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: But I get bouts of severe fatigue is all. I'm hoping it won't last more than a few months. Everyone is different; but I do know it will eventually pass.

 

Tony

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Ok that is encouraging Tony!  Thanks!  Somedays just don't feel like doing much and I am having one of those days. Feel really tired!  I am taking it easy and I give into days like this and I do know it will pass.  I get aggitated easily during these off days though.  Well I am tapering so I am on the road to recovery and I need to remember that to get me through these off days!  You have been a great help in answering my concerns.  Thanks!

 

mal

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Something my therapist kept telling me, having been through it herself, the body is telling us it needs to rest and we should allow ourselves that luxury in order to recover.

 

As for feeling well, I am getting better every day. Things that a year ago would have caused me to freak out, I am finding the easy now. And I am appreciating and enjoying this feeling immensely. Also my memory is getting better. I truly thought for years that I was irretrievably brain damaged, so I am constantly surprising myself when I remember things that I haven't been able to for decades. And I hear it will get even better and I should expect to remember things I have totally forgotten. I needed to read these kinds of things when I was at my worst, I hope you find them encouraging.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

 

Tony

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Yes that is very hard for me to give into since I have always been sooo busy but I agree my mind and body are telling me to rest.  That is probably why I am in this position.  I fought to hard to recover from my accident and I fought alot of the meds until I finally went on overload.  I am already too starting to feel like things need to roll off of me.  I don't sweat the little stuff anymore and I try to not be so in contol of everything.  My therapist said I carry everyone in my life and it became too much especially found that out when I was not capable after my accident.  I do believe I will be a better more balanced individual when I get through all this.  I have only been on xanax for 3 months but I do believe I am on the right track with my tapering and so does my dr.  So  with all the support this site gives me and individuals like yourself I am sure to get through this.  One day at a time!!!Sometimes even one moment at a time.  Just have to give into these off days and no tomorrow will be different.  Thanks sooo much Tony!!  :smitten: you got me through today!!!! :)

 

mal

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Awesome. Makes it all worthwhile.

 

http://www.tonypirog.com/Huggiebears.gif

 

http://www.tonypirog.com/T-dancing.gif

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Ok having another not so good day.  It is day 5 of my .25 taper and still not feeling great.  Feeling a little nauseated today and still fatigued.  Anxiety still seems ok just don't feel good.  No headache today either.  Have a few sweats now and then nothing severe.  Will I stabilize or do I need to go back up the .25.  Don't want to because I have gone 5 days but not feeling great.  Any advice??

 

mal

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Ok having another not so good day.  It is day 5 of my .25 taper and still not feeling great.  Feeling a little nauseated today and still fatigued.  Anxiety still seems ok just don't feel good.  No headache today either.  Have a few sweats now and then nothing severe.  Will I stabilize or do I need to go back up the .25.  Don't want to because I have gone 5 days but not feeling great.  Any advice??

 

mal

 

Hi Mal,

 

I would not reinstate at this point after 5 days, you will need to ride it out. You should stabilize soon. Your percentage cut was about 17%, our recommended cut is 10% over 7-14 days. If it becomes too uncomfortable, you should think about decreasing your cuts, you can always quarter your .50mg tablet and reduce by .125 every cut.

 

T2 :smitten:

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Thanks T2.  I was hoping you would say that. I will ride this out and hope to stabilize soon.  Felt better when I first made the cut just started feeling bad yesterday and today. 

 

mal

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