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xanax questions

Discussion in 'Downers addiction' started by gotaproblem24, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. gotaproblem24

    gotaproblem24 Newbie

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    so I stopped taking my prescription pain pills a few weeks ago. I was prescribed xanax to deal with some anxiety. I posted on here a few times and got some good feed back and now i'm trying to get off the xanax.

    I was prescribed it as needed. .5mg per pill. i guess 3-4 times a day. I'm not 100% on that. it might have been every 4 hours.

    anyway, the first week, i was taking it every 4 hours or so. It did help calm me down, but after a week I decided to lower my dosage. I talked to my doctor and he said to go 1/2 pill every 3 days or so. I was taking 4 or 5 a day back then. of the .5 mg pills.

    I didn't like that because that would take me a few weeks to get off it, and I wanted off it as fast as possible so I didn't have another problem on my hands, so I tried to do it faster. My thought process was I'm only on it a week at this point, shouldn't be a problem.

    NOPE!!!! horrible. the problem I ran into is it took me 3 days for the drop to hit me. regardless here is where i'm at. For the past week, I have only taken one half of one pil in the morning, and one half o fone pil in the evening around 4pm

    I have gotten by with that. A truely awful week, but I feel I'm stable now on this dose. I had no idea this would creep up on me so fast. I have anxiety now that I never had before, and I want to get off this medicine.

    What is realistic. I'm obviously sensitive to these. now that I stayed with this dose for a full week, can anyone recommend a tapering schedule that is realistic and doesn't involve another drug. I realize i'm going to have some symptoms, and I plan to carry a half pil around with me in case of panic issues, which again I never really dealt with at this level.

    I went from 5 pil/day, to 4, to 3, to 2 to 1 to none. Dropped a pil a day. Thought i was doing myself a favor, and last weekend it all crept up and ruined my saturday. I had to take half a pil to get myself out of panic attack.

    Here we are. I'm taking 1 full pil, of .5mg a day. half at a time. I realize this isn't a crazy amount, but I dont want to go through hell, my body has been through enough. I quit pain pills, nicotine and now this all in the past few weeks. I need to be careful.

    I was thinking dropping to half pil around lunch time and stick with that for a week. Then every other day for a week, then try to stop. My doctor is still saying every 3 days, but that doesn't work either, because it takes 3 days to hit me, so I wont know whats going on. When I dropped from 5 to 4 to 3 to 2, it wasn't until the 4th day that I had any type of side effects.

    I'm still taken back by all of this. all this paws and long term effects. I am just looking for some adivce on where to go from this dosage, i have no intention of going up, only down.

    gotaproblem24 added 2 Minutes and 35 Seconds later...

    oh and before anyone says talk to your doctor, I did. he said if you need to go slower, but he doesn't give me much information other than that or what to expect. he didn't seem concerned. he said if i'm on 1 a day I'm not at risk for anything major, so just slowly go off. I'm looking for someone who has been through it, not just text book info. thanks!

    gotaproblem24 added 398 Minutes and 18 Seconds later...

    anybody got anything to help me out? cut out a pill for a week? whats the safest way to do this with limiited # of pills before i'll have to refill the script which has 90 and i dont evne want them
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  2. KCIUB

    KCIUB Silver Member

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    Hey buddy, I've been seeing you here and the opiate boards. I too am taking Xanax for an aid in the Opiate withdrawals, and my Doc has told me to be prepared because he never keeps his patients on Xanax for a long time, so a slow taper will occur here down the line.

    I got anxious reading your story man. Maybe it's too much too fast? I don't know, but if there was one person I'd trust, it would be my doctor. I smoked nictotine for 12 years, quit when I was 27, so 8 years ago, but I quit nicotine well after I quit drinking, cocaine and weed, mainly because it was mentally the hardest thing I've personally had to quit (weed was killer to quit too). Much admiration for trying to quit everything and live a healthy life, but maybe one thing at a time might not be so bad.

    It is my understanding that on a taper schedule, you shouldn't be miserable nor as uncomfortable as you seem to be, and if you are you're schedule should be adjusted so you're comfortable. That is the key. Eventually you should get down to a dosage that when completely off the meds, your withdrawal symptons are minimal.

    I'm 20 days off Oxy, and I have a script for 30 2mg Xanax bars per 30 days. Right now I am taking a quarter bar (0.5mg) in the AM and half bar (1.0mg) at night. Really trying not to take any Xanax in between, and went Monday-Thursday this week with these two doses. Today was a shitty day, so I took 0.5mg at lunch, and will take 1.0mg tonight, so I will have consumed an entire 2mg Bar today, but that is rare. I too do not want to go up in dosage, but my anxiety is really work related as I am in a pressure cooker work environment where I need to be always on my toes, happy and motivating to my employees. If I am not, my immediate boss (HUGE DICKHEAD) will crucify me to my father (my ultimate boss), and who will ultimately hand me "the keys to the Kingdom" in a few years.

    My doctor reluctantly wrote me a script for Ambien too, but I simply wasn't sleeping. I'm not exactly thrilled that I am taking two sedatives right now, but in my mind, it is better than the 35mg-45mg of oxycodone hcl I was taking for the past 18 months.

    Maybe I am placing too much trust in my doctor, but he has assured me we will taper slowly, and shit, I pretty much tapered down oxy in three weeks with nothing but Loperamide and Vitamins.

    My goal is on January 1st, to begin my taper. I hate the holiday's and I don't want to relapse on the oxy because my source is moving back to town from the east coast for the winter months too.

    On a personal question, you can tell me to go fuck myself if you'd like but have you always suffered anxiety prior to your oxy habit or was the anxiety a cause from the oxy?

    PS, My doctor doesn't know I am taking Xanax because I am an addict, he thinks it's for general anxiety. Shit if I told him I was quitting pills he wasn't prescribing me, my odds of getting Xanax or Ambien would be um 0%. I mean I'm a drug addict, absolutely I lied. ;) But it fucking accomplished my main goal and that was quitting my shitty opiate addiction.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
  3. gotaproblem24

    gotaproblem24 Newbie

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    hey man. thanks for the words.

    I never really had any issues with anxiety until a few years ago. I used to drink wine at night socially on teh weekends with my family and I noticed the next day after I had a little too much I had horrible anxiety. This was before i started taking my pain medicine as my pain was bascially not too bad at that point.

    so maybe getting old triggered my anxiety, or maybe it was just the wine i dont know, but I never had a problem sleeping after I drank any alcohol until the last few years. I would drink and feel buzzed, fall asleep and wake up a few hours later with a racing heart beat and very anxious still basically drunk, it was very annoying, i quit drinking a year ago because of it.

    so to answer your question I guess I always must have had a slight anxiety disorder but it never bothered me except 4 o 5 times in my life all related to too much stimulants.

    I'm not sure why I'm having so much. i had gone on and off my pain medicine a dozen times in the past year. I am prescribed it, and sometimes would run out early. I never had much of a problem. This time I tried the xanax and it made my life hell.

    I tried to taper it down too fast, I know i fudged up. quitting all that shit at once was a disaster. I'm getting through it, but I have my family keeping a close eye on me. its been pretty wild.

    I believe I am ultra sensitive to benzos/alcohol. Or at least I am now. I wasn't always. but it seems since I got myself in this funk, i need to get myself out.

    Im lurking on the opiate board, as I've dropped that as well. Now for this xanax. I'm on day 7 of 1mg a day. 2 half pills. I'm planning on sunday dropping down again.

    I have been extremely uncomfortable during this process, but I dont want this to draw out any longer than it needs to. I'm able to work, mornings are the worse for me.

    To be honest I didn't want to quit nicotine. I found it was making me anxious, again i think the xanax was the culprit here.

    I like talking about it, that seems to help me, getting it out, and not bottling it all up seems to help.

    in my opinion, the xanax is 10x worse than the pain pills I was prescribed. I can handle feeling shitty, the anxiety that leads to panic is debilitating. it makes minutes feel like hours.

    If you can, I would recommend getting off the xanax as soon as you can safely. it only took me a week to get into trouble with it. i've been reducing ever since. now two weeks after that.

    I ask people's opinions on here, because i like to talk about it, so i wont tell you to go f* off.

    I suspect i have an underlying anxiety condition that is amplified by this shit, and now I just want off it. the anxiety from this stuff has made me quit smoking, so that is one good thing
     
  4. KCIUB

    KCIUB Silver Member

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    But you're not mixing Xanax and Alcohol right?
     
  5. gotaproblem24

    gotaproblem24 Newbie

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    no, not at all. I dont drink at all. and i never took xanax before this past few weeks ago when i developed severe anxiety. I assumed it was from the pain pill withdrawal. It was probably a combination of the pain pills getting out of my system, and me not feeling well enough to keep a steady nicotine diet into mysystem. and my anxiety just went crazy. which is why i talked to my doctor and he prescribed me xanax. it seemed like for a week everything was ok, then when i tried to stop taking the xanax it was just horrible.


    I'm planning another step down today. I have been on the same dosage for a week. I think that it is time to go another .5 pill down. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to. wish me luck.

    It definately takes 2 or 3 days to hit me. I noticed it when I was dropping a pil a day, which was way to fast. going from 2 - .25mgs doses a day to 1 will probably have some symtoms but i'm just hoping they are bearable.

    I took it daily as needed which was pretty constantly for 8 days before i tried to stop it suddenly, and that wasn't possible.
     
  6. reef88

    reef88 Silver Member

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    0.5mg is a fairly low amount. It can still creep up on you like you said. I've been through benzo withdrawals many times and I just came off of one just a month ago. I was on 4mg a day, so you have it relatively easy.

    Now, what I would advice you, and have in mind that I'm not a professional, I barely have experience, is that you, instead of taking one half of a .5mg pill now and the same amount later that day, I would recommend taking 3/4 of a pill per day, you'd be taking one quarter less than before. After 7-10 days you can drop another quarter of a pill, and by this time you'd be taking 1/4 and 1/4 instead of half and half, at this point you're half way through quitting. 7-10 days later you can drop the other quarter of a pill, and so on until you aren't taking it anymore.

    I'd like to add that the best way to taper off benzos is by using Diazepam. Alprazolam is very short acting and not very good for taper schedules. If it becomes too hard you could talk to a professional and discuss which way would be best for you.
     
  7. gotaproblem24

    gotaproblem24 Newbie

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    thanks for the advice, this is the kind of info i'm looking for. i can honestly say i like this idea, but dividing the haves of the .5 into another half is goign to be tricky.

    that is a good idea though. I was going to try and move my morning dose to later on, instead of taking it around 9 or 10 take it at 12. then try to miss the other dose in the afternoon, maybe going a half in the morning and a 1/4 at night is more appropriate, that is less of a cut.

    yeah I know this shouldn't be a big deal. if i was taking one pill of any other kind I would be able to just stop,but the panic that i get is very severe. I am sure after i'm off it a few days i will feel better.

    I'm definately starting, but i also need avice on which day to start this taper, i'd like the worst to happen on a weekend so i dont have to miss work. it seems to take 2 or 3 days to hit me.

    what do you recommend try to start the taper on a thurs.

    My doc still says half a pil every 3 days but that is just not manageable for me. I am way to sensitive to this crap. i'd have no problem stopping cold turkey if I was on something that didn't make me have a panic attack.

    any advice on how to split the already half, into another half? the first time its easy becasuet he pil is cut, so it breaks apart pretty easy.
    thx!
     
  8. Aminatrix

    Aminatrix Silver Member

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    When I got off Xanax, I was taking above 6mg/day for a while, but eventually (and slowly over years lol) I got to like 2mg/day then 1.5mg, then 1mg.

    From there, I found I could drop my dose about 1x per week. (some cases were 2 weeks). I would go from 1mg/day -> .75mg/day and maybe, then i'd feel a bit rough for a few days, nothing i couldn't handle, then by day 5 -7 of the week, I would drop again.

    I went down to .5, 1x per day (i have a fast metabolism, so I don't know why I was able to only take 1x per day, It was fairly easy to switch from 2x/day to 1/x day, obviously I was taking like .5mg 2x/day then switched to 1mg 1x/day. but the Half life of xanax is I believe 12-14 hours, which means after 24 hours there is still some left by the next dose, so that is probably how i made it.

    I ended up taking .5mg / every other day (for 6 days), then .25mg every other day (for 3 days), at that point I think it was all mental. Then I was off :D never been happier.

    Note: I was taking a small dose of methadone at the time too (10mg/day racemic), I feel it may have been easier because of the methadone, but it's definitely equally possible to do without any opiates, it may require slight modification though, good luck :)
     
  9. gotaproblem24

    gotaproblem24 Newbie

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    aminatrix thank you so much for the information. hmm. sounds like you know your stuff with xanax. that part where you said it stays in your system may explain why my mornings are worse than my evenings. i take my half of .5mg pill around 10, then another at 3:30. that is what i have been doing all week, usually around 5, i start to feel semi normal, then wake up disgusted with life in general.

    I'm assuming its xanax related, i dont know for sure. i never had this type of feeling before, and can only attribute it to the xanax. when i cut from 3mg to 1 it was an awful weel. this week was not pleasant but it was managable.

    I'll have to try a method and see if that works for me. I believe I MAY just MAY attempt to take 2 doses of a 1/4 pil tomorrow. I should probably take a half in the morning and a 1/4 at night, to see hwo I do with that, but I'm so eager to get off this shit.

    Its either going to be 1/2 - 1 time a day. or 3/4 pil like soemone suggested above, where i take 1/2 in the morning then 1/4 at night. or just 2 doses of 1/4 pil. sorry if this sounds confusing.

    the truth is i am goign to be miserable anyway i might as well just stop it, and use it if i have a panic attack otheerwise dont touch it. i'll have to carry one around with me though.

    My doctor prescribed me 90 pills. with a refil, that was a month ago, i still have plenty left and didn't refil i dont want to, i want to be off it by end of this week. i said that last week too though.

    i see at least why i feel better after 5pm though, if its still in my system from the morning dose, then thats probably why i'm cheering up a slight bit after dinner, and why my mornings are so rough.

    makes sense now.

    correct me if i'm wrong, but i should be able to stop off a .5mg a day habit for a week right? i mean it will be uncomfortable, but stopping is probably the best thing if I can handle it.
     
  10. reef88

    reef88 Silver Member

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    You can always crush the pills and divide them as you wish, if you divide a .5mg pill into 4 roughly equal powder bumps, you'll have .125mg doses, which is the smallest dose I have ever used. You can save the powder in a little baggie, as if it were coke or something, I've done that and really see nothing wrong with it.

    If you don't want to spend too much time outside while withdrawing then try starting the taper on a Wednesday or Thursday, that way you'll have the weekend to deal just with your withdrawals, which shouldn't be too bad as long as you lower your dosage by .125mg/day every 7-10 days. Remember, since Xanax has a fairly short half life, you may want to split that .125mg dose into two equal halves just so you can take two doses per day, but still being .125mg a day. I know this can be very annoying and the doses are extremely small if you decide to crush the pills and start dividing them, but trust me, if you lower your doses little by little, it'll take longer to get off of the pills, but you won't have such a hard time while quitting.
     
  11. gotaproblem24

    gotaproblem24 Newbie

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    cool thanks for the tips! you are the best.
     
  12. reef88

    reef88 Silver Member

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    No problem. Hope you do well and come back to tell us how things are going. :thumbsup:
     
  13. gotaproblem24

    gotaproblem24 Newbie

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    I will definately keep everyone posted. I'm starting my taper today. decided to try cutting to 1/2 a .5mg pil for 5 days. so instead of a .5mg daily dose i'm going to use a .25 daily dose. If i run into trouble later on, I'm going to take a .125mg piece. If I dont have any issues, I'll stick with the .25mg dose for 5 days and drop it.

    I'm simply going to carry around some of these until I'm off it. I am willing to try. I read too many horror stories of people having symptoms for months and years after they stopped. I think i'm more worried about what MIGHT happen than anything else.

    I started on this prescription July 27th. Today is august 19th. For 10 days approximately I took it as needed. Then I started to reduce daily. On august 11th, i settled my dosage at .5mg a day. I had the worst week of my life that week. but for the past 8 days I have been on .5mg a day.

    so in total I have been on this devil of a pil for 3+ weeks. but the last week was only .5mg a day. How long can I expect the issues to last. I know people on it for years will have longer wd symptoms.

    I'm secretly hoping for a 3-5 day wd, I dont know if that is realistic. I'm glad I cut back when I did. and dropping from .5mg to .25 mg for 5 days I should be able to manage.

    Can someone tell me - lets say I dropped from 2mg a day to .5mg a day. The wd experienced at that point, would it be comparable to going from .5 to none, worse, or betteer. I think going from 2 or 3mg to .5 in the course of a week would be worse than what I'm about to do. Trying to assume the worst is behind me.

    When its all said and done, I hope to be on this medicine for less than 1 month total. I am STILL in shock at how fast I experienced symptoms from this. I have taken things like ativan in the past and never experienced any wd. any input is appreciated.
     
  14. reef88

    reef88 Silver Member

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    I think 5 days is not enough, if after 5 days you lower your dose, there will be at least 2 days that your body will still be used to the amount you were taking before, so you might feel uncomfortable in those days.

    As far and the rest of your plan, it's not really a bad idea. I would too probably go for .25mg, and keep .125mg just in case it's not enough. if .25mg doesn't do the trick, then just up the dose a little, no worries, time is the least of your problems (I assume), what's more important is your well-being through this experience.

    And by the way, I think dropping from 2mg to .5mg is way worse than quitting at .5mg
     
  15. gotaproblem24

    gotaproblem24 Newbie

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    thx for your input reef88. yeah well this medicine is causing me other side affects which means i'm not comfortable even whiel taking it. I have been dizzy and extremely anxious nervous in the mornings. which I never dealt with before. so I want to get off it asap, but without having panic attacks.

    I expect to be uncomfortable, however since i'm already so uncomfortable I think the trade off may be worth it. I planned the last few days to start the taper, but today I am going to. 8 days on .5mg. I'm going to drop it today. I will keep it on me, and if I need it I'm just going to have to take it and try not to feel guilty about it.

    so 7 days is what people recommend from experience is the duration to stay at a dose before dropping. I can stay on .25mg for 7 days. 5 or 7 isn't too much different.

    I felt perfectly fine I wouldnt mind drawing this out, to make it as comfortable as possible, however I really feel lowsy and I think its this medicine that is causing it. I'm not really taking anything else so I dont know what else to blame. My doctor said because I was taking it to sleep and waking up 6hours after my last dose with racing heart and extreme anxiety that the medicine was probably to blame.

    Of course back then i was taking it as needed. I need it right now, but i'm waiting until noon to try the taper start. if I dont sleep tonight or have some kind of other issures related i'll try a 1/4th of a pil.

    wish me luck. I'm going to be on here all day off and on trying to learn as much as I can. talking about it seems to make me feel a little better.
     
  16. reef88

    reef88 Silver Member

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    If you don't mind the trade off then it's fine, I would mind though, I just hate the withdrawals, I'm feeling like completely shit right now you can't even imagine, I woke up thinking about ripping my skin off just to get out myself, stupid I know, but the desperation I just can't handle it.

    Anyway, don't feel guilty about anything, it's ok not to want to feel like shit. And yes, it does help talking about it. Keep busy and I suggest taking the doses in the morning and at night, because in the middle of the day you can just work out or tire yourself until you're exhausted, this helps INCREDIBLY. Working out is definitely one of the best ways to cope with this situation.

    I definitely relate to you right now, and I wish you nothing but the best. :thumbsup:
     
  17. gotaproblem24

    gotaproblem24 Newbie

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    I found that out as well, being physically active was the best medicine for me. however i hurt my back, nothing serious, but it slowed me down, I'm still moving slow. so it stinks i can't even work off some agression or restlessness. I think that is bothering me more than anything else.

    if you dont mind me asking, what you tapering off, or what are you wd'ing from?
     
  18. reef88

    reef88 Silver Member

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    I quit Clonazepam and weed, I went from 4mg to .125mg/day. Even though I quit Clonazepam a month ago I started feeling like shit just right before I quit smoking, which was less than a week ago. I probably should have kept smoking weed to cope, but that's not the choice I made, I decided to quit everything. So right now I'm withdrawing from both, some days are better than others, today has been the worst so far.
     
  19. gotaproblem24

    gotaproblem24 Newbie

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    looks like only 1 message every 60minutes. oh well. so this clonazepam i looked it up, very similar to what i'm dealing with. how long were you on it for? I wonder if the anxiety from quitting smoking is just triggering general anxiety. i know why i'm having a worse than normal day. I took some valerian roon last night to help with sleep.

    it worked. I slept. actually i slept best last night in 2 weeks. I slept 9 hours. which is crazy for me. However I think its making me dizzy today. i have been dizzy since 8am. I dont know for sure but something is making me dizzy. and that always makes me feel worse, makes me think i'll pass out, and that leads to anxiety and panic.

    bla bla bla, we all know the story. Yeah I'm really hoping my wd's from this dont take too long. what is annoying me, is I didn't even start the taper and i feel like crap. a month seems like forever. i will be furious if i am suffering for a month from a few weeks of xanax use. especially with the last 8 days only being .5mg.

    but worse things have happened.
     
  20. reef88

    reef88 Silver Member

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    I was on Clonazepam for about 10 months, including from beginning to the end of the taper. Weed definitely has something to do with this, but weed alone doesn't cause what I'm feeling.