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How to stop taking Xanax

How to stop taking Xanax

Interested in quitting Xanax?

Unless you’ve JUST started taking it, you won’t be able to just quit Xanax cold turkey. Xanax dependence time (1-2 weeks after regular use) and long-term Xanax use can cause physical dependence, Xanax tolerance symptoms, or even addiction, and it’s hard to quit Xanax without experiencing debilitating side effects. What is withdrawal from Xanax like?  Learn what to expect and how to stop taking Xanax below. Then, ask your questions about Xanax at the end.

Can I just stop taking Xanax?

You can quit taking Xanax (alprazolam) at any time, but there are many reasons why you shouldn’t abruptly stop Xanax, especially if you’ve been taking it for more than a few weeks. Xanax is in the benzodiazepine class of drugs and alprazolam can cause strong withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, twitching, aggressive behavior or blurred vision. Instead, it’s best to stop taking Xanax under medical supervision and to gradually reduce or taper your dose of alprazolam over the course of a few weeks. In other words, while some people can quit Xanax cold turkey, it is difficult and may not be possible for everyone.

What happens when you stop taking Xanax?

Over extended periods of time, you body becomes accustomed to the levels of alprazolam in your system. The brain, body and central nervous system adapt to the depressant effects of Xanax and the way that alprazolam decreases abnormal excitement in the brain. But once you stop taking Xanax, your body needs time to adjust to functioning without it. This period is called, “withdrawal”. Withdrawal-related effects generally manifest 18 hours to 3 days after your last dose of Xanax. Even if you don’t have an addiction to Xanax, you can experience these symptoms when you stop taking Xanax.

Side effects stop taking Xanax

You can develop a physical dependence on Xanax after only taking the drug for a few weeks. Withdrawal effects may be worse if you’ve taken Xanax long-term. The common side effects that occur when you stop taking can include a number of adverse side effects, such as:

  • anxiety
  • convulsions
  • diarrhea
  • gastrointestinal upset
  • increased pulse
  • increased blood pressure
  • insomnia
  • nausea
  • panic attacks
  • restlessness
  • sweating
  • tremors

Stop taking Xanax suddenly

Stopping Xanax suddenly can be risky. If left untreated, benzodiazepine withdrawal can trigger a delirium with hallucinations, changes in consciousness, profound agitation, autonomic instability, seizures, and even death. Doctors always recommend Xanax dosage be gradually tapered or substituting a long-acting medication for a short-acting one – this helps you avoid uncomfortable and potentially dangerous withdrawal effects. Stopping alprazolam suddenly can also cause a Xanax relapse if you feel the need to take Xanax to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Stop taking Xanax cold turkey

If you haven’t taken Xanax for a long time and have only recently started Xanax dosing, it may be possible to quit cold turkey. However, if you have a strong physical dependence on Xanax or have developed tolerance to Xanax you should never try to quit suddenly, as benzodiazepine withdrawals can be fatal in extreme cases. Always speak to a doctor before changing your Xanax dosage or quitting Xanax entirely.

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Help Available 24/7
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How do I stop taking Xanax?

Gradually reducing your dose over weeks or months is the best way to stop taking Xanax. A doctor can give you an appropriate dosing schedule so that you can safely taper yourself off of Xanax. If you go to a clinical detox center, you should continue to be evaluated for withdrawal symptoms every as you taper down. Outpatients should be evaluated daily for at least the first week, or as your condition indicates. General tapering guidelines for Xanax include the following recommendations:

  1. The tapering schedule will depend on the presence of co-morbid medical or psychiatric conditions.
  2. If hospitalized, Xanax can be tapered by 10% per day.
  3. Outpatients should not be tapered any more rapidly than by 10% every three to five days, or 25% per week.

How to stop taking Xanax safely

The safest way to stop taking Xanax is to consult a doctor and follow his or her instructions. There are currently no known effective and safe medical treatments to help ease the symptoms of Xanax withdrawal, although clonazepam can be substituted for other benzodiazepines.

How to stop taking Xanax questions

Still have questions about stopping Xanax? Please leave us your questions, comments, or experiences below. We respond to all questions personally, and will try to have you an answer or reply ASAP.

Reference sources: Federal Bureau of Prisons: Detoxification of Chemically Dependent Inmates
DailyMed: Xanax XR

PubMed Health: Alprazolam
ToxNet: Alprazolam

Photo credit: Pete Prodoehl

Leave a Reply

72 Responses to “How to stop taking Xanax
Kaitlin
4:08 pm January 12th, 2013

So I have been taking Xanax on an off for about 8 months. Only when needed for panic attacks at the lowest dose. My doctor told me i could take it every day if my anxiety is really bad. So for the past 3 weeks i have been taking .50mg once a day everyday. I really want to stop taking it because I think my CBT is really starting to take effect. My doctor said is ok to just stop, but I am terrified after hearing horror stories. What do you recommend? It’s been 3 days since my last dose and honestly I feel fine except giving myself some anxiety over whether or not i should take one incase of w/d. Normally I would think that since its been 3 days and feeling ok that I am fine. I’ve heard stories of people who felt fine for weeks after stopping and then would have seizures. I don’t know what to do. Any advice would be wonderful. Sorry for the book!

8:16 am January 14th, 2013

Hi Kaitlin. Thanks for your message. It is possible that you may be in the clear, but I’d suggest that you contact a local detox clinic and ask for direct recommendations from professionals who deal with withdrawal every day. Or, you can call 1-800-662-HELP to get references for where else you can seek help. This is a national drug abuse hotline, and while you are not a drug abuser…you can benefit from their network of resources during withdrawal. Good luck!

nader
8:43 am May 3rd, 2013

Can not i stay on xanax for many years if i am talking 1.50 mg daily . i am taking .50 mg 3 times a day It is working well for me

rita
5:51 pm May 5th, 2013

i was prescribed xanax for my pannic dissorder and agoraphobia when i was 17 during 1987 i began with 0.25 mgms 3 times a day .. now im 43 years old ( 2013) and im taking prescribed xanax 4 mgs plus 3mgs of lorazepam, plus triptizol, (Amitriptilina) in the nights plus escitalopram 20mgms antidepresice during day and clonazempam drops under my tongue in case of emergency, (drops that that I ended taking everyday because i feel bad every day.. ) Im Spanish and live in Spain, here they dont have support groups so strong as in USA and i feel lost and close to loose my mind, please give me some advice.

7:50 am May 7th, 2013

Hello Rita. That is very difficult. Your English is very good. I would suggest that you join a support group online. Check out the online groups from A.A. http://aa-intergroup.org/ . The real time chat meetings might be a great place for you.

Best of luck.

Tina
12:31 am May 17th, 2013

I have been taking Prozac (20mg) and xanax (1mg) for over 25 years due to anxiety/depression (dosage was higher for both initially, but this is the dosage I have taken for approximately the last 18 years). My psychiatrist released me from his care about 7 years ago since he said my primary physician could prescribe these meds since we were only meeting for update and renewal on meds and no longer any therapy sessions. He has since retired.

Tina
12:31 am May 17th, 2013

“Continued” My primary physician has now decided that he does not want to prescribe the xanax any longer due to the “abusive” use of this drug by some. At my recent visit he told me he was changing me from the Xanax (1 mg) to Klonopin (1 mg) and that I could just switch. After some research I have found that evidently it is not quite that easy. From what I’ve read there should be a “tapering” and should be done under medical supervision. I have not had an anxiety attack in over 8 years, but am currently caring for both my parents (one with congestive heart failure and the other with dementia) along with preparing for a grandson’s surgery within the month. I just don’t think this is quite the time to be trying something new when the “old isn’t broke”. Am I wrong to be concerned?

6:01 am May 17th, 2013

Hello Tina. I do think that you’re right to consider what’s best for you and to avoid a cold turkey Xanax withdrawal. Check in with your local pharmacist for a longer consultation. They’re generally available for a 10 minute chat, or so…and you can even try to schedule it in advance. I think that doctors are spread thin in the U.S. and that we need to seek out health advice more actively than ever. Give it a try with your pharmacist for more information and then seek a second opinion, if necessary!

Mohammed
8:40 am August 17th, 2013

I need help plz. I started taking xana for 2 years. Began with – mg. then after year I started to roduce it by doctors order of course. To 0.5. The after 4 mothes I reduced to 025. For 4 mothes. The I was told to stop it. I started to have withdrawl Bad thing occurred. Hot flash. Depression. Numbness. Feel like vomit. Race heart beat. Doctor gave me something stilnox. But I become worse. The duct. Is really stupid. I don’t know wht to do.

5:08 am August 19th, 2013

Hello Mohammed. Have you reported these symptoms to your prescribing doctor? Have you asked about going down even more in dosing? If these symptoms impair your ability to function, you’ll need additional medical help. In the meantime, I’d suggest that you also learn some techniques for dealing with depression or anxiety with the help of a psychologist. That is something that you CAN learn how to control.

Mohammed
7:08 am August 19th, 2013

Thx for replying. All doctors al hospital don’t care about patient they just give pills for monthes just to get rid with patient . They wouldn’t care. I was giving something worse than xanax. Stilnox 10 mg. which I have experienced recently vomiting. Numbness. Imbalance. Loss memory. I took stilnox for 4 days and has destroyed me , I will try my best to overcome withdrawl symptoms of xanax. I was told it takes week or two week. Since I I had reduced the dosage for 0.25 for 5 months it won’t be big deal on handling . I stooped stilnox. Now I take Panadol night. , I live in Arab country they don’t deal with patients as good as you do , they don’t even care , just give pills ……..take … Be addicted. … Never care. . I’m feeling better now since my last comment thx god. . Just I would give a tip. Wht ever u experiencing in life. Do not ever take sedative or pills , it will destroy u body. U brain. I regretted. Taking pills for panic attack. I should have overcomes by my self by other means. . My friends in this group. Human body is too weak. Like an ant , don’t destroy it by pills . Be strong. Which I’m now. Have well. Defeat u fears by u selves not by medicine. And thx again for replying and u concern

Mary
7:32 pm October 17th, 2013

I’m getting off Xanax and Its so very hard,My Dr that was giving to moved So I had to see another Dr, I really was done wrong So I haven’t had any in a few weeks How long will it take for Me to fill better and able to go to sleep,

Mary
7:41 pm October 17th, 2013

I’m not sleeping can’t take a bath But I Do,,,I feel like Xanax has took controll of Me,,Is there any that I can buy to help Me?

4:44 pm October 22nd, 2013

Hello Mary. I feel for you. I’d suggest that you consult with a sleep specialist who can teach you techniques for falling asleep without medications. You can do it! It will just take time and a re-training of the brain.

MELISSA
6:08 pm November 20th, 2013

HELLO MY NAME IS MELISSA I HAVE BEEN TAKING XANAX 0.5MG EVERY DAY TWICE A DAY MY DR TOLLED ME TO TAKE IT 5 TIMES BUT SINCE I STARTED I ONLY TOOK ONE IN THE MORNING AND IN THE AFTERNOON SOMETIMES I WOULD TAKE ONE IF I COULD NOT SLEEP IN THE NIGHT BUT IT’S BEEN A YEAR AND MY ANXIETY AND PANIC ATTACKS ARE GETTING WORSE AT FIRST IT HELPED BUT NOW I FEEL IT’S GETTING WORSE I WANNA STOP TAKING MY XANAX BUT I AM SCARED CASE OF THE side effects I READ IT ALL AND SEARCHED TROUGH SO MANY SIDES I CALLED MY DR HE TOLLED ME TO STOP BUT WHEN I ASKED HIM WAIT A MINUTE ISN’T THEIR side effects HE SAID YES SO I DO NOT WANNA GO BACK TO THE DR OFFICE I NEED HELP I WANNA STAY AWAY FROM MEDS AND KILLER PILLS I AM 27 MOTHER OF 2 THE WORST FELLING IS CHOCKING AND LOSING MY MIND THAN I GET NUMBNESS AND DIZZINESS FEEL LIKE I WILL PASS OUT MY HEART POUNDS VERY FAST AND I SHAKE PLEASE ANY ADVICE FOR ME HELP

Carol
7:51 pm February 7th, 2014

I am a 66 yr old woman taking .25mg. 4&1/2pills a day I am insulin dependent and have heart arrythmias alprolazam helps a lot I have been on this dose for 15 yrs am very concerned after reading a lot of these stories could I get off this after this long??? Please advise thanks :-)

10:12 am February 13th, 2014

Hello Carol. You’ll need the expertise of your prescribing doctor in order to set up a long term tapering program catered to your individual needs. Have you schedule a consult to speak about your concerns?

Gwendolyn
4:37 pm April 6th, 2014

Being on .5 xanax 2 times a day morning and close to bedtime and sometimes A1\2 of that 5 mg in afternoon
I have been on it for 37 days I want to wean off
Cutting the 1\2 pill in afternoon a correct start?

11:53 am April 7th, 2014

Hello Gwendolyn. Your prescribing doctor or even a pharmacist can help you better. Each individual reacts differently to Xanax tapering, and needs a personalized calendar.

Jason
6:02 pm May 9th, 2014

Here is my story. I am a 33 year old male. About 2 months ago I experienced a panic attack on a Monday after smoking marijuana. I am also a cigarette smoker and I was able to calm myself down after smoking a few. I first had a marijuana induced panic attack back when I was about 19 or 20 but never experienced one again until this time and never experienced one when not smoking marijuana although at times I have felt anxiety. Anyway, I felt fine for the rest of the week but the following Monday I experienced another one, again after smoking marijuana and again was able to calm myself down. However, throughout the rest week I was having intense feelings of panic and anxiety. I attributed it to the marijuana so I stopped. I haven’t smoked marijuana for 2 months now. In the days that followed, I didn’t sleep for a total of 8 days due to the intense feelings panic and anxiety. I normally had trouble sleeping after going off marijuana for periods of time but was able to correct myself eventually and get sleep. Not sleeping for such a long period of time was very scary for me as it was something I have never experienced and I felt I was losing control.

Jason
6:09 pm May 9th, 2014

Is it possible to reverse the tolerance of Xanax without the use of other drugs? I know tapering down is a suggestion but I want to be able to be completely drug free and not experience anxiety. Ive been using Xanax as described for about a month. I don’t get the drowsy feeling that some people get but I just feel back to normal and some days I dont have any anxiety at all although I still take the 1mg twice a day. For the past two days though the intense anxiety has returned and taking one just hasnt cut it so I have upped my dosage to 4 mg throughout the day

naw
2:28 pm May 20th, 2014

I been on xanax for 5years Im trying to quit I lost my job my man…I need to get better I still have a child to look up to

Nadia Skalla
4:42 am May 25th, 2014

I have been taking xanax 2mg daily for 2 years. I have tapered down to .5mg daily for the past 2 wks. Is it risky to stop all together at this time since the dosage is small?

7:59 am May 27th, 2014

Hello Nadia. You’ll need to consult with your prescribing physician for an individualized treatment and tapering plan. You might also want to consult with a pharmacist.

zena
3:34 pm May 28th, 2014

Tappering xanxa.was on xanxa for 20 yrs.was taking 1 mg aday.tappered to .5 for 46 days now I’ve been on .25 for two weeks.when do I stop taking it.yes I’m having some withdrals but not to bad.after I stop will I have more withdral and will the be worse?

Jean
12:55 pm June 17th, 2014

I wish the FDA would take this drug off the market. It has caused more harm than help. There are doctors who will just “up” the mg and then their are the great one who refuse to prescribe the drug because they say it does more harm to a patient than help the patient.

Michael
8:40 am September 1st, 2014

I have been on Xanax for not less than 6 to 7 mg a day for the past 2 years. How do I taper off or do away with this drug?

8:43 am September 2nd, 2014

Hi Michael. For your own safety and well-being you should never, never, never go off Xanax on your own without your physician’s counsel and guidance. Sudden or rapid stopping Xanax at daily doses of 4 mg or more can cause moderate to severe withdrawal and this is not a trivial thing.
I’d suggest you make a doctor’s appointment. Your doctor can give your guidance and help you create a tapering schedule that fits your needs. Doctors can also refer you to someone who specializes in treating Xanax dependence and withdrawal.

Sandy
4:40 pm September 12th, 2014

I have been taking a 2.5 dose of Xanax for sleep for a few years… I recently heard that it might contribute to Alzheimers and I want to get off of it… Can I go cold turkey with this low dose or should i decrease gradually? Please advise, do you think halfing the dose is enough of a decrease for a week or so? Thanks

8:47 am September 17th, 2014

Hello Sandy. I’d say that suddenly getting off 2.5mg of Xanax, would be very difficult without any tapering down or substitution. Medical proffesionals say it could be dangerous due to a risk of seizures. It’s best to make an appointment and talk to your doctor. He can help create a tapering schedle that you’ll be comfortable with, and give you other over-the-counter meds or alternative medications for the withdrawal symptoms.

bette
5:32 am September 19th, 2014

I am 64 yrs old. I was put on 1 MG xanax 10 mo ago by a doctor who I had been with for over 30 yrs to replace valium.
Now the new Dr.who replaced my Dr that retired and moved out of state wants me to stop cold turkey, and will replace with sleeping pills if needed. Should this be wise? I don’t know what to do. I’m stressed. I have as pain Dr that I go to but have never addressed this issue with him. I only use the xanax to sleep with, should I be expecting all this dangerous withdrawal? Please help. Thank you.
.

9:12 am September 19th, 2014

Hi Bette. Quitting Xanax after 10 months of regular use woun’t be easy. And, it’s not recommended nor is it safe to quit cold turkey, and your doctor should know that. Ask him to make a tapering schedule for you before completely stopping.

Private Person
3:35 pm September 28th, 2014

Why is it “doctors” do not care these days. Mine is a drug dealer. Wants to give me drugs I no longer take. Tells me there is no less than 1mg Xanax XR. Do all drs think we are stupid and only for their monetary gain?

kevin
10:10 pm October 7th, 2014

Start looking for valium not kidding half life much longer then try clown a friends I mean clonapens

bOB
9:48 pm October 8th, 2014

I take 1mg zanax 4 times daily (sometimes only three). How can I safely taper off of this drug. It shows up in every pre-employment drug screen I take and has cost me two jobs. Should I just talk to my doctor about this?

12:33 pm October 13th, 2014

Hi Bob. See a doctor and have him/her create a tapering schedule that fits your needs best. Also, ask what withdrawal symptoms you can expect and what to do when they occur. Xanax withdrawal can be uncomfprtable, but slowly tapering doses down can help you minimize the discomfort and can increase your chances for success.

Billy
10:47 am October 28th, 2014

Hi, I am concerned about my girlfriend. She’s been on Xanax and Prozac for over 15 years each and I’m interested in being able to understand the side effects, or the science in how it effects the body. She also regularly uses cocaine and MDA/MDMA and I’m concerned that the illicits pairedwith the prescribed compound each other and do greater physical damage when taken together. She obviously can’t consult her physician for these questions for fear of the Xanax being taken away. I just want to understand the basics of what’s physiologically going on so I can explain to her why it’s not a good idea to mix all that if it’s incredibly dangerous because if she knew, I know she would keep off the illicits.

Alida
8:31 am November 2nd, 2014

i am taking 0.5mg of zanax per day for the last 20 years and want to ween of could you please tell me how

sharon
4:04 pm December 18th, 2014

my Dr. is having stop taking Xanax, replacing it with trazadone, I do not know how this will help as he gives me trazadone once before bedtime. It does not work in lighting conditions. Taking one helps me to sleep but like I said, it only works at night. How will this drug help me ?

AK
12:30 pm December 22nd, 2014

I’m taking alprazolam with melatonin combination from last 10years.presently I take around 10-12 pills in a day.means 5 mg of alprazolam+30 mg of melatonin. Now I feel that I’m addicted.
Please advice me how to stop it.

12:46 pm December 23rd, 2014

Hi AK. My advise to you is to make a doctors appointment and say you want to gradually taper doses down in order to finally quit when it will be safe. Tapering is important since it helps decrease the stress your organism experiences form suddenly stopping the medications, plus it helps minimize the withdrawal symptoms and discomfort. Your doctor can prescribe other medications to manage withdrawals if needed and offer some alternative solutions for the treatment of your condition (that you are taking the current medications for). Good luck to you!

Elizabeth
10:10 pm January 12th, 2015

I was given the generic Zanax because of my too early waking and then worrying. I took one .25 mg zanax pill each morning for 30 days. I did not know what I had been prescribed was a rather dangerous drug: no idea and thought they were some sort of gentle sleeping aid or tranquilizer.
Then after taking one .25 mg zanax pill each morning for a month, I felt my head was feeling some kind of a pressure feeling (difficult to explin) but I decided to stop taking them. I was fine at first and thought it stange it felt lke some muscles in my upper arm were gently moving. Then, five days after quiting the pills I experienced a night of ‘NO’ sleep. After that, I slep fine for five days but then experienced another night with “no” sleep. Ten days later another night with no sleep. Then the sleepless nights began to come clower together and the last episode was four nights with no sleep, It has been forty six days since i quit the zanax and I would lke to know if the withdrawal symptoms of insomnia will get worse before getting better? Any suggestions? I really hate to think of resuming taknig the drug that caused this. If it gets worse before getting better and if I took such a low dose, and maybe if i were to take a supplement like aminos for sleep, multivitamins or a sleep aid called Calm Forte, can I expect things to be getting back to normal soo? Than you so much. I have never taken precrition drugs, except for my thyroid medication, and I want to recover from this experience without having to rely on yet more drugs.

3:55 pm January 16th, 2015

Hello Elizabeth. One month is enough time to get your body accustomed to the presence of Xanax, that’s how dependence is formed even at low doses. Once your organism is dependent on a substance, the absence of that substance leads to withdrawal symptoms. It will take time for everything to return to balance. In the meantime, you can talk to a doctor about alternative ways to treat the symptoms you’ve been experiencing.

hiba
7:38 pm January 26th, 2015

i am suffering from panic attacks from 7 years i am 45 years now i started to take xanax the dose was o.5mg at the biginning but now i am taking 0.125 mg for 3 years per day with indral 10 mg 3time per day i want to stop xanax completely can i do this i dont want to take antidepressant drugs what can i do when i have a panic attack how to stop it without drugs .
thank you

dave
5:53 am January 29th, 2015

a lot off stuff happened in my life over 2 years ago , lost my mom, hurricane sandy….other..i developed anixety , my doc gave 1 mg take two a day . i was feelin ok, then he started talking about taking me off, the minute he said ….i couldnt sleep the next twp night ,,i had that panic in my chest…i know its not a lot but what is the best way to stop…….is there any herbs . other medicins….to make it easy…

brenda
5:55 pm February 2nd, 2015

I take 2 mg xanax to sleep. If i try quitting can i use clonodine for side effect. What can i take to sleep?

Bob Jr
5:02 pm March 11th, 2015

I’ve been on 40 milligram citrolopram for approximately two years I’ve been taking 1 or 2 0.5 milligram xanax for about 2 months I cut myself to one tablet per day taken in the morning just to relieve some of the days anxiety would like to get off at completely is it safe to stop cold turkey?

Mary
7:23 pm March 15th, 2015

I’ve been on xanax for sometime. I would like to try cold turkey. I’m taking 0.5 twice a day. I haven’t had a pill since yesterday at 8am. Should I be ok? It’s now 1:30pm

11:19 am March 16th, 2015

Hi Mary. Although going cold turkey off any dose of Xanax is not recommended, you already started the process. When you start getting withdrawals it won’t be very comfortable, but you can get over-the-counter medicines that will treat separate symptoms and make the process more bearable. Seek doctor’s help if you feel symptoms are getting too harsh. Good luck!

5:16 pm March 16th, 2015

Hi Bob Jr. No, you should not cease treatment with any medication in an abrupt manner. See your doctor first and get informed slowly reducing doses, possible withdrawal symptoms and how you can treat them. Going off a medication cold turkey can really cause unwanted and harsh withdrawal effects. While tapering can take more time, it’s fat less stressful.

Rose
7:07 am March 24th, 2015

I have been on alprazolam – .5 mg – 1 at night for about 2 years and I want to start getting off of them. Can I just stop taking them, or should I take 1/2 a pill for week or so, and then can I stop them all together? I have had anxiety/panic attacks in the past. I have heard stories that you should not just stop taking them. Can you tell me if that is true? Thanks!

Brad
6:22 pm March 27th, 2015

I have been on 1mg is Xanax for about 4 yrs. in the beginning it help me through a tough time , then I started felling like I needed it everyday. Now I want off but after reading the scary things people go through and the info on this site about how bad it is to stay on, I’m afraid to take it and affraid not to. Would you suggest me finding an out patient facility to help with this and if so how do I find something close to me. I live in a big southern city. Thank you.

11:00 pm March 27th, 2015

Hi Brad. Check in with your prescribing doctor for a referral or even call/visit your local pharmacist. They can help refer you to clinics that handle tapering/detox.

Mike .S
2:20 am April 3rd, 2015

Want to become drug free. I am in a pretty bad situation. I am presently being prescribed 3 very addictive drugs .I am on 12-16 MG subutex daily for Opiate addiction ,and take 1-1&1/2 MG Xanax and 10MG ambien before bed. I want to absolutely be free of all of them, I have been on the subutex for about 7 years,and also the Xanax. The ambien ,about 2 years. I feel horrible all the time and am very depressed.I am 50 years old,Married w/ 3 Children. I have gained weight ,and my ankles become swollen most of the time. it is very painful. Also ,my testosterone levels were checked ,and were almost zero. I have to get off these meds or I feel I don’t have long to live.

C S Chopra
10:34 am April 10th, 2015

Dear Sir,
I had been taking Alprozolam 0.25 mg per day at night time for anxiety/sleeping issues.
Initially about 15 yrs back I had some anxiety issues due to which the drug was started to give me sleep in the night. I could have taken it for a couple of months. then stopped.
After few months I again had sleeping problems. so I took the drug for couple of weeks then stopped. This continued and I used to carry the medicine to be used whenever I had sleep issues. There could have been periods of several months when I did not use the drug at all. And on the other side I may have used the drug of higher dosage i.e 0.5mg per day(night time) for a couple of days very very occasionally.
Subsequently, upon some increase in stress levels, I started using 0.25 mg almost daily for sleeping purpose for maybe last three years or so. I was actually not aware of the addictive potential of the drug. Now I have started reducing the dosage gradually . Following is my experience.
Phase I -3/4th tab 0.25mg per night for 14 days(2 weeks)……. good sleep, occasional lethargy, feeling of malaise, sometimes insomonia, little bit anxiety, fast heart beats, overall tolerable. Started Yoga/meditation/shavasana as supportive.
Phase II- 1/2 tab 0.25 mg per night for 14 days……. very good effects for first 10 days with regular yoga & meditation….body aches, fatigue greately reduced, good sleep, also cut down on caffeine in form of tea cups per day (is it advisable?) However after 10 days some feeling of anxiety, confusion, insomania started again. Symptoms decrease or disappear after sessions of meditation.
Phase III-continued 1/2 tab 0.25 mg per night for 14 more days……. symptoms of anxiety, stress, confusion, boredom continue( although not worsen). Unfortunately certain events in my work place are also contributing to increased stress level. Generally get good sleep one day and disturbed other day. I have cut down on caffeine in form of tea cups per day taking only 1 0r two cups per day in first half of the day and using decaffeinated tea 1 cup in second half (is it Ok since I read somewhere that side effects of alprazolam worsen with cafeeine?) Some days are extremely fine and some days I feel down with slight dizziness 7 other symptoms.. Symptoms decrease or disappear after sessions of meditation. Sometimes I have to mediate in the night also to sleep. SOmetimes I feel very sleepy and yawning like anything and ready to fall off to sleep at around 10:30 PM. But after taking the tapered dosage of alprazolam actually the sleep is disturbed. The 14 days of this phase is ending today.
PLEASE NOTE IN ALL THIS DOSAGE REDUCTION PERIOD I DO HAVE SLIGHT DIZZINESS/OTHER FEELINGS LIKE RAPID HEART RATE BUT I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DRIVE MY CAR TO OFFICE DAILY AND COME BACK. SO NO VERY SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS AS MENTIONED ON SEVERAL WEB SITES.
PLEASE ADVICE WHETHER I SHOULD FURTHER REDUCE THE DOSAGE TO 1/4TH TAB OF ALPROZOLAM OR ANY ALTERNATIVE REDUCTION PLAN. ALSO ADVICE ON THE CAFFEINE PART.
Regards
C S Chopra

Liz
11:00 pm April 14th, 2015

When xanax is so addictive and so dangerous when quitting, why is it widely prescribed? My feeling is that is should not be so easily prescibed at the whim of a dr.. I lightly complained of my inability to fall back asleep in the early mornings and right away was prescribed xanax. I was not warned nor consulted at all and now am dealing with withdrawal symptoms of insomnia. After many weeks, sleep is finally beginning to improve. But this shouldn’t have happened at all!

linda
4:46 am May 9th, 2015

Can a. Gabba suppement be taken when reducing xanex also are their other helpful supplements

Liz
8:32 pm May 15th, 2015

I tried a gabba capsules supplement, but I believe they do not pass into the brain. I didn’t care for the effects “it” had. I also wonder, “are there other helpful supplements?” Many of the standard meds. they use to try to promote sleep include drugs like gabapentin, Trazadon, Remeron, Doxepin, amitriptyline and these help some people by causing sleepiness. I do rely on Benadryl for any sleep I might get. I understand it can take a long time to recover one’s brain receptors from the damage done to them by Xanax. If anyone has found the magic bullet to make the sleep return faster I would love to know.

Janelle
11:00 am May 16th, 2015

I have been treated for chronic pain and anxiety for the past 20 years. I have been seen by many specialists and have tried many medications. Finally 15+ years ago they finally found a combination that helped my pain, anxiety disorder and insomnia. It is Lortab 7.5/325 and Alprazalam 2mgs per day. I have taken them responsibly and have never abused them or used alcohol with them. I have never asked for them to be increased.
Now due to the amount of people abusing them leading to serious consequences and even death my physician wants to take me off of the Benzodiazpine. I am terrified, as I am a 62 year old woman who has been on them for 15+ years and reading how horrific the withdrawals can be for people who have been taking them for 1-2 years. I seriously wonder which is more dangerous for me, continuing on them or going the severe withdrawals? I have read that severe withdrawals can go on for up to 2 years before your brain readjusts.
I would greatly appreciate your feedback concerning this issue.

Christine
12:50 pm May 16th, 2015

I have been taking Xanax, .25mg. per night for insomnia for a year or so. I want to stop taking it. At that small a dose, how do you taper? Should I take it every other night?

Liz
2:53 pm May 21st, 2015

To the lady who just posted, I would say that if your medication has been working for you, I would certainly get another doctor’s opinion before discontinuing a medicine regime that has been working well for you. But I do not know enough about benzos to be of great help. I think several opinions would be good. I wish you success and the best, in this.

Michele
7:33 pm May 29th, 2015

Can I wean myself off xanax, been taking 3 daily, 0.05mg, for 6 years. I am taking 2 daily at the moment, I have 180 pills left. Is that enough 2 wean off without getting sick

dave
10:43 am May 31st, 2015

i did such a stupid thing and got a how hole buch of green and yellow bars. For the last two weeks i have been taking around 10-12 mg of xanax a day im going through a divorce and i just didnt want to feel the pain. But i want to get my life back in order. i have no health insurance but have about 30 2mg pills left and want to end this xanax run. Do i have enough to come off totally?

11:18 am June 1st, 2015

Hi Dave. Yes, just take them in divided doses and try to gradually lower the dose day-by-day. You will probably experience some withdrawal symptoms, but you can treat them, or at least lower their intensity using over-the-counter medications and resting.

1:11 pm June 3rd, 2015

Hi Michele. That’s enough to help you taper, but will it be without getting sick at all, no one can promise. If you do experience some withdrawal symptoms, ask your doctor or pharmacist for over-the-counter medications or other remedies that will lessen your symptoms.

ed
7:27 pm June 9th, 2015

I am 27 year old female I am about 140lbs have been taking xanax 2mg 3 times a day for the worst panic attacks, every phobia possible, night terrors, anxious 24/7. So embarrassed for everything and anything. My face turns bring red when I’m nervous I sweat hot flashes big crowds terrify me. I wasn’t always on 2mg. I tried EVERYTHING and when I mean everything I mean EVERYTHING s8nce I was 14 years old. I Have an amazing once in a lifetime job for my age and I am having to go to tent city jail and they want me taper off And detox from the medication. I am not to have any mind altering drugs in my system to qualify for the work release program. How long is the process of tapering, detoxing & have NO BENZOS in my system??

Anthony
9:16 pm June 9th, 2015

can you substitute citalopram for Xanax, Will a doctor stop Xanax and give you citalopram.. My girlfriend was taking more then 3 milligrams a day for over 12 years I believe she is lying
Thanks Anthony

patricia
10:20 am June 21st, 2015

Hi.I’ve been taking 1,5 mg. Of alprazolam daily, since 2 yrs ago. I really want to quit it because i wanna have a baby. I know i have to reduce dosage through a slow tapering plan. Can you help me?my doctor told me there isnt big deal taking benzos during pregnancy but im worried about it That’s why i want to stop taking this drug…thanx u so much !!! :)

Ed
3:05 pm July 11th, 2015

I began taking alprazolam about 4 years ago for stress and worry over business/financial issues. In the last 2 weeks, I decided that I wanted to try and quit. My daily dosage over the last 4 years was moderate–between .75mg to1.0 mg, taken mostly at bedtime. Having read all the warnings, I was determined not to increase my dosage even though over time the effectiveness of the drug definitely waned.
What I have experienced is that the first taper to .5 mg /per day was fairly easy, but when I tried to stop completely, my stress level jumped and insomnia set in. So now I’ve decided to move more slowly. Maybe 2 weeks at .5mg is just not enough time after nearly daily use for 4 years. The problems I face have not really changed so I have tried to develop better coping skills.
I am surprised that it is so difficult to quit completely. I am to see my GP next week and I will discuss the situation with him.
Part of the reason I decided to taper now was my doctor would not renew my script since he had not seen me in 3 years. .He just kept renewing the orders. I was scared of running out. So we will see. I am 65 years old and have not taken a tranquilizer daily in my entire life. I am a worrier and nervous, but I always managed to cope without it. I would like to do that again. Moderate drinking seems better and less dangerous.

Rob
12:37 am July 23rd, 2015

I have been taking xanax and klonopin for the last 11 days for social anxiety, i have not been prescribed it but it’s the only thing that helps. I don’t drink alcohol anymore because I have horrible cognitive reactions to even the smallest amounts (my theory is that is it a kindling affect/PAWS) as nothing found in MRI’s or any neurologist has been able to help. I started taking the Xanax/Klonopin because I was just prescribed Effexor to for anxiety/depression and read that it was ok to use while waiting for the Effexor to take affect. I have been taking approximately .5mg – 1mg per day. I am scared of becoming addicted so I would like to quit cold turkey but don’t want to deal with withdrawal. If I have a bad reaction to Alcohol, will the benzo’s have a similar withdrawal effect? Do I need to taper off if only been taking for such short time? Will the Effexor help once it builds up to therapeutic levels in my bloodstream? Thanks in advance si much!

BEN
9:55 pm July 23rd, 2015

I’ve been taking xanax for 5 years anywhere from 3 to 10 4 times a week 1mg tablets what is a safe dosage to wing myself off and how long

pam corey
10:45 pm July 26th, 2015

Taking xanax for over 18 years..taken off in the hospital they diagnosis me with wks.
I am 55 years old and in a nursing home need help

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