how to get off Xanax?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by spazmonkey, Apr 19, 2003.

  1. spazmonkey

    spazmonkey New Member

    Im trying to get off Xanax. Ive been on it for 6 mos. and im starting to realize its doing me more harm than good. It's hard to tell what is causing what symptoms sometimes, im i having a flare or is it my meds? I can sleep better when i take it but i get real, real dizzy and have a hard time breathing. I goto a homeopathic that did muscle testing and he even told me it's working negatively with all the systems in my body.

    A few weeks ago i tried getting off of it and could not sleep, felt nauseous. I only take .5 mg.(1/2 a tab) a night so its hard to ween off of it. Should I try taking it one night and then not taking it one night or should i just stop cold turkey??

    Someone told me it was harder to get off of than heroin... Anyone had this problem before and have suggestions?
  2. spazmonkey

    spazmonkey New Member

    plus, im trying to go on Klonopin...so do i ween myself off of Xanax first? How long do I have to wait till I start taking it? I just want to know the opinion of people with fibro because my doctor speaks about meds in "normal" people (w/out fibro) terms. he just doesn't believe that im that sensitive to meds.
    -spaz
  3. AC77

    AC77 New Member

    you dont need to taper if you are switching to another benzo which Klonopin, in fact Klonopin and Valium are used for weaning people off short acting benzos like Xanax and Ativan.

    If you are totally coming off though... and are on 0.5 mgs. go to 0.25mgs for a few weeks. then get the 0.25mg tabs and break those and use 1/2 of that for a week and then add Neurontin for a week too this combo and stop the xanax, stay on the neurontin for a month after, to help the GABA receptors compensate. Tegretol may be helpful in some people. And Topamax there are some reports of it helping.

    Luckily you were on a low dose and not for a super long time. But Xanax can be hell to come off of, especially for long-term, high dose users. You can add Ambien 5-10mgs at night for the rebound insomnia you may get. Only take it for 30 days.
  4. Debgene56

    Debgene56 New Member

    As a former Xanax user, I agree with Ace. Slow, slow, slow!!!! is the key. You could get the .25 now so you can gradually decrease by taking a half a tab. I was taking 3 mg a day by the time I detoxed. I went into a detox center, big mistake for me. They took me from 3 mg to 0 immediately and kept giving me librium. The post withdrawal period was horrendous and very long. So do yourself a favor and work with your doc to take klonopin instead or wean very slowly. Listen to your body, it will tell you. Mine said, "what???? no Xanax??, now I am going to make you pay, and pay I did. I will never take another drug in that class again. Good luck and Happy Easter,
    Love, Deb
  5. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Cannot even walk without it. My muscles contract so hard I get thrown over, which is why I was mis-dx'd with MS instead of FMS at first. I have gone off it four times just to help prevent tolerance. I take 1/4 of a .25 mg. tab every 5hrs...otherwise I have rebound panic attacks if I go the normal 8 hr. period inbetween doses. At bedtime,I take one .25 mg. tablet. Even with doses that low, it takes me a minimum of 3 months to get off it. You must go SLOW.
    If you are switching to Klonopin, which is in the same family, only stronger, and BTW, is just as addictive, you can just siwtch, since you are switching up, not down in strength.
    AC77's advice was very good. I wish I could tolerate Neurontin... I have a whole bunch left over and could use it next time I try to get off Xanax. For me, getting off Neurontin was more horrible than getting off Xanax, even though I had only been on it for 6 wks and never even made it up to the effective dose.
    Going off Xanax too fast can cause seizures, panic attacks, heart attack, stomach convulsions, paranoia...in short, it's always best to go as slow as you have to. I cannot go down more than 1/4 of a .25 tab per day over a one week period when I withdraw from it.
    Good luck,
    Klutzo
    [This Message was Edited on 04/19/2003]
  6. Achy-shaky

    Achy-shaky New Member

    You are not supposed to go off cold turkey but if you have severe reations such as not breathing well, call your doc and tell him you want Klonopin instead ASAP. You didn't say if you have tried it before but it works best for many of us with FM/CFS (see Dr. Cheney's article in the library).

    My Rheumy had me on Klonopin and Neurontin. Then my psychiatrist wanted me to take Xanax instead of Klonopin so I tried it at night while still taking Klonopin in the day because the Xanax made me too sleepy and seemed stronger. I started to have weird side effects like dizziness and low blood pressure at night. I would take 1/2 of a .5 tab at bedtime but 4 hours later would wake up feeling sick, tingling all over and once couldn't feel my pulse and knew if I got up I'd be dizzy.

    I called my Rheumy and he said stop the Xanax and stick to the Klonopin so I switched back for bedtime dose without a hitch and no more weird spells in the middle of the night. I do wake up from pain sometimes but just another .25mg puts me back to sleep sometimes without taking pain meds. I will only take Ambien if I have 2-3 nights without proper rest - to me it's worse to be dependent on a sleeping pill than Klonopin because it helps me in so many ways besides sleep.

    Hope that helps and hope you can get this resolved soon.
    Hugs,
    Shaky
  7. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Another Xanax person here! Almost as long as Klutzo, 15 years off and on.

    I take 0.25 milligrams at 6pm for racing brain syndrome, it helps to calm me down, then I take ZMA at 10pm and Melatonin right before bed. I have been sleeping wonderfully since adding the ZMA last year.

    Other than this dosage, I only take this amount if I feel a panic attack coming on, or if I have to go somewhere I know will be stressful. So its just once a day for me on a regular basic.

    I do not have a problem when I can't get the Xanax, I just don't sleep anymore and am wired at nightime. But Klutzo tells me I am different with the withdrawels from it then most people.

    You got some great adivce.

    Shalom, Shirl

  8. spazmonkey

    spazmonkey New Member

    Thank you, thank you! Im going to try to go down to .25 tab tonite and see if i can start weening off of this again. God, aren't these meds supposed to make you better? I'm calling my doc tomarrow for Klonopin cause i keep forgetting to call him (brain fog) and when I remember it's after office hours!

    I really want to see if the Klonopin works cause so many people have had such great success with it. cant wait!!
    i really appreciate all the advice:)
    spaz
  9. Razzle51

    Razzle51 New Member

    Why do you want to get off. I take it 3 times aday. It is a very good relaxing drug takes the edge off. think about it . God bLESS
  10. Spoonerpaws

    Spoonerpaws New Member

    I was on Klonopin for a year and was petrified that I wouldn't be able to get off of it.

    I took the VERY SLOW ROAD. I was only taking a half a tablet, so I would cut it. I started taking 3/4 of the half for about 2 weeks, then 1/2 of the half, then 1/4 of the half and so on. At each increment, I stayed there for about 2 weeks

    I had absolutely no problem getting off of it this way, and I really think slow and steady is the key!

    Good Luck!
  11. Spoonerpaws

    Spoonerpaws New Member

    I was on Klonopin for a year and was petrified that I wouldn't be able to get off of it.

    I took the VERY SLOW ROAD. I was only taking a half a tablet, so I would cut it. I started taking 3/4 of the half for about 2 weeks, then 1/2 of the half, then 1/4 of the half and so on. At each increment, I stayed there for about 2 weeks

    I had absolutely no problem getting off of it this way, and I really think slow and steady is the key!

    Good Luck!