Tapering off xanax

Discussion in 'Therapy and Medication' started by random33, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. random33

    random33 Well-Known Member

    Some of you will know, that I'm currently trying to get off Xanax, in my worst I was taking about 3mg (1 in the morning, 1 in the afternon and 1 at night) a day, I've been with 0.5mg a day for about a month, needed to get a new prescription and asked the doctor the reduce the dosage and he agreed, so I'm now on 0,25mg/day.

    No crippling anxiety yet, I'm very happy with this, everytime I lowered the dose I was scared that the anxiety would return, I'm not talking about the "normal" anxiety, like my doctor told me, I'm anxious person, that's part of who I am and that is not going to change, what had to be changed was the major, uncontrolable anxiety I used to have, could not focus, could not do anything, my heart rate skyrocketed, I could not stay still, could not eat, if I did I would threw up shortly after, I had this feelings for days on end.

    What I'm trying to find here is a bit of reassurance, has anyone been through the same and got ok after stopping treatment ? I actually have a tingling sensation in my stomach, like I'm excited for being so close to get off xanax, I took it for years, so I feel like I'm conquering something important here, still have some withdrawal symptoms, but nothing major like stopping cold turkey.
  2. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    While I cannot comment on tapering off or withdrawal from xanax I have heard it can be difficult for many and I think you should be very pleased with the success you have had - particularly with the self discipline to ask the dr for the reduced amount and actually following through with it. Withdrawal symptoms are very different from person to person in general ( I have chronic pain issues and have gone off opiates many many times in the last 5 years and for me it is more of a annoyance and discomfort than any the horrible symptoms I read about and others tell me about so I guess I am just lucky).

    I actually suspect you will be in a great position to deal with the really bad anxiety should it come back because the xanax at those levels and taken as a scheduled dose really would not be effective for combating panic attacks anymore so once thta is out of your system should panic attacks become an issue or anxiety in general a huge issue again there will be something available to treat it as opposed to what you were probably hearing that "you are on the highest dose possible of one of the strongest anxiety meds so there is nothing else to do".

    Great job with coming off it and I wish you continued success in your recovery.
  3. random33

    random33 Well-Known Member

    Thank's for the support, you are right, 0,25mg does close to nothing in terms of decreasing anxiety, so I should be, and am optimistic about this, I think the antidepressants are also helping with anxiety and therapy also helped, I've learned to control it better, I've started to put things in perspective, this was impossible without benzos at first, but now I think I can manage it even without the benzos :)

    One battle at a time, I still have a few to go.

    Sorry to hear about your chronic pain issues, hope you have your pain controled to tolerable levels, I can only imagine how hard it must be to be in physical pain everyday, I really wish things get better for you.
  4. random33

    random33 Well-Known Member

    I'm still on 0,25mg/day, no major problems, but lately I've been having vivid nightmares almost every day, I don't know if they can be considered night terrors, they are just really vivid nightmares and I wake up feeling anguished, this feeling goes away during the day and I can still have a decent night's sleep so I guess it's not that bad, I just feel terrible when I wake up. I'm also taking Effexor and Lorezapam, I think this could also be caused by habituation to lorazepam, maybe the drug is losing it's effectiveness, I'm more inclined to this last option other than Xanax withral considering that I've been on 0,25 for a few weeks and this symptom is recent. Has anybody experienced this before, if so how much time did it took to go away?

    I haven't told my doctor about this yet, because I'm a bit afraid he will consider keep me on lorezapam a bit more time, the initial plan was to start tappering off lorezapam a few weeks after quiting xanax and after that reduce the Effexor dosage from 150mg to 75mg and hoppefully keep me stable, I'm really excited about this, but now fear that this could get worse (causes insomnia and night terrors) and be a setback in getting off medication :(

    Thank's in advance
  5. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Hey, I've been through the whole getting off xanax thing which I am sure we have spoken to each other about on another thread. I would say this is definitely not xanax withdrawal symptoms considering you have been on the 250mcg dose for a few weeks now. This may sound silly but since the nightmares are recent, are there any different foods you're eating late at night or taking anything else such over the counter medicines. I get nightmares often and the best advice I could give you is don't do anything stressful 3-4 hours before sleep and if you google foods that cause nightmares, make sure not to eat those in the evening! :) Best of luck with the medicine reductions, you will get there my friend :)
  6. random33

    random33 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the advice, thankfully whatever it was is gone :) really don't know what caused it, I've changed nothing in my routines, oh well the important thing is that I'm sleeping ok now.

    Getting better these days, the anxiety issue is pretty much resolved, depression still lingers a bit, but I believe that if it wasn't for the chronic health issues I have, I could trully enjoy life at this point, with this is a bit harder, but I have to be thankful for all the amazing things I have in my life and not focus only on the negative one that I cannot change.
  7. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    That's the way to go my friend!! Positivity is your friend. Glad you are doing better, if you ever need anything I'm here :)
  8. random33

    random33 Well-Known Member

    A little against doctor orders, I've quieted Xanax last thursday, so far no depression/anxiety issues (I feel I little bit more depressed, but nothing significant), but my head feels strange, I feel a bit hanged over and I'm sleeping less than usual, about 5 - 6 hours a night, I usually sleep around 7, so not that bad at all, I still have a prescription if things get worse, but I hope they don't, the doctor advised me to wait a little longer, but I don't have a lot of stress at work right now, so I went for it, I know this symptoms will still linger for some time, I've read they can't take months to go away :(

    I will try to update this thread with my progress, maybe it will help people going through the same :)
  9. random33

    random33 Well-Known Member

    I don't have good news, I've restarted xanax today :( last night was hell, I was assaulted by extreme anxiety, I was sweating like crazy, my mind was gone and I had zero energy, I literally could not move, how can this happen after 5 days ?!?! Aren't the worst side effects suposed to appear in the begining of the discontinuation ??!?

    I'm feeling extremely down right now, not knowing what to do, also my other health condition (prostatitis + urethral strictures) as taken a turn for the worse, I'm in pain, I have difficulty urinating again and I think I'm suffering from some sort of ED, probably because of the prostate, what a hellish day, when you think things are getting better boom :( I really don't know what to do at this point, I've started xanax again, 0,25mg, but all other stuff is still here, I'm so scared right now, I have so many issues and I don't now where to start, go to the urologyst first, to the therapist, wait ??!?

    I just want to run away, I fear that my girfriend will dump me, that all this issues will continue, that the ED will be permanent, that I won't be able to do anything productive again, sorry for the rant my mind is all over the place right now, this isn't even the proper place to post this, considering that most of the stuff is not related to xanax discontinuation, I feel like I'm in hell right now and that there is really no escape at this point, why does this happens just when things were getting better, everything was getting better, I was almost there and now I feel like I'm about to lose everything, I can't see a future right now, only darknes.
  10. nararabbit

    nararabbit Active Member

    Taking a small amount of Xanax is there for just the situation you describe - overwhelming anxiety. It may have also built up in your system and finally ran out after a few days. Do not beat yourself up. It's not as if you're taking crack cocaine, it's a prescribed medication. would you feel bad taking chemo drugs for cancer? I hope not. You're ill and need medicine to help with it. No shame in that.

    I would see a urologist for the downstairs issues.

    Unless your girlfriend is really shallow, she should not dump you over bedroom issues. Remember there are many ways to please a woman that don't involve penetration. Use this as an opportunity to focus on her sexual needs and expand your horizons. Even if the ED is permanent, which I doubt, the urologist should be able to help you with some ideas to correct it or work around it.

    Keep in mind depression and anxiety can affect your sex drive and performance. It could very well be that when you start feeling more under control emotionally, your desire and ability will return.
  11. random33

    random33 Well-Known Member

    Thank's for your kind words, reading my post from a distance it was clear that I had my mind all over the place.

    I'm feeling better now, my prostatitis is chronic so there is not much the doctor's can do, the strictures require extensive surgery and it's no recomended at the time, only when/if they get worse. The ED was not really ED I think, just the anxiety scrambling with my brain, still going to see the urologyst just to make sure :S

    What depresses me is that I was almost over xanax and really believed that at this point I could stop taking it, well it was not the case :( I've phoned the doctor and he told me to resume with the medication 0,25mg/day and reassured me that I will get off it, it just takes time and patience.

    The way that anxiety creeped on me was scary, I even tought I was fine, only after resuming the drug I could realise I screwed up my brain was, even after resuming it took me 2 day to get back to "normal", I felt sick until today, zero energy and an overall feeling of being unwell.

    So I guess xanax is still going to be part of my life for a few more months at least.