Hi everyone So here's a little background: I have been taking Klonopin daily for 4+ years now. The dosage at first was 1mg a day, increased to 2mg a day, then 3mg a day, back down to 2mg. I was on 2mg a day for the majority of the time using Klonopin. At the beginning of 2018, I discussed with my psych that I want to VERY slowly taper off Klonopin completely, since I feel my anxiety and panic are not as bad as they were, especially with being on Prozac. He agreed, so we tapered very slowly. I would make 25% to 33% reductions every visit. So far I have made it down to 0.75mg a day. That's huge for me! My anxiety is still close to nonexistent, but I do worry about one thing. When I do eventually get off Klonopin completely, will my anxiety and panic come back even though I have been having mild symptoms from tapering that do, eventually go away? Looking for answers from people who have gotten off benzo daily use and successfully remained (mostly) anxiety-free. Thank you very much.
So I have been on xanax 1mg two to three times daily for about 1-1.5 years now; Paxil is great and I don't need xanax when on paxil but it makes me manic as hell so that isn't really an option. Been thinking whether Zoloft would be any different.... Anyway, still on xanax same dosage, but just doubled my valium from 10mg at night to 20mg at night because I was waking up from sleep with difficulty breathing and panic symptoms. I asked to try ativan, eliminate the antipsychotic i use for sleep mainly since ativan 2mg really helps with insomnia, and get rid of the valium. Well she said lets try increasing the valium first then we will go from there.
Valium honestly does nothing for me. At 10mg I legit feel nothing. It takes at least 40-60mg for minimal anxiety relief. I respect its long half-life but if it's not benefiting much for sleep, or other anxiety problems in the morning I feel like why should I continue it. Switching to ativan 2mg at bedtime could get me off valium and saphris for sleep
(would love to not be on an antipsychotic mainly for sleep anyway). Ativan very little to no next day drowsiness, cognitive impairment, lethargy, flat mood. Refreshing sleep is what ativan gives me. Any ideas why the dr might be pushing for valium instead even after I explained it doesn't help for sleep, for anxiety, only thing it is good for is if i dont take my xanax for 1-2 weeks and I wont have a seizure, but my neurologist said lamital should cover that since it's an anticonvulsant.
I don't know whether to stay on 2 benzos as the same time, whether it's xanax and valium or xanax and ativan, or to ask for an increase in xanax to maybe 5-6mg/day in divided doses, maybe 2mg twice per day and 1mg once per day, or 2mg 3x a day. My neurologist said if you need to be on these types of medications than it is warranted and pretty much OK in my case. Klonopin sucks, not as much as valium, but it does barely anything for anxiety, esp. panic, or sleep. Makes me have a depressed mood actually, while xanax uplifts my mood and helps me enjoy life without having anxious mood and panic attack symptoms. Ativan just makes me drowsy so I prefer that for sleep.
My main question is regarding how i could proceed. Adding ativan, stopping valium maybe saphris, or upping xanax dose and being on only one benzodiazepine. I do have a tolerance so higher doses than 1mg sometimes are needed to stop anticipatory anxiety, avoidance anxiety, and esp. panic attacks. Restoril doesn't help with sleep surprisingly. Never tried triazolam but would love to due to its short half-life and potency/efficacy for insomnia, but my dr thinks it wouldn't be a good idea. Dr says stims may be increasing my anxiety but don't think that is the case. Really want an effective benzo combo or pick to be on xanax only, just at a higher dose. My parents think its crazy to take 3 xanax a day but it's what helps and lets me live life. Somtimes i take more than prescribed because 1mg will not help my symptoms. I just want to be on a stable dose, whether its xanax 3mg xr 1x daily with 1mg 3x daily or 2mg 3x daily. Something has got to give, and the hardest part is even bringing up increasing my xanax dose with my dr because of its bad reputation since everyone seems to abuse it nowadays. I'm ready to take a trip to mexico and take a visit to their pharmacies...
So I was getting #90 1mg xanax a month since October 2017, but then my doctor found out I wasn't taking them as prescribed. I would get my script filled and take 2-6mg at a time instead of 1mg only 3x a day. Some nights when I might take upwards of 10-12mg and combine with alcohol (I know very dangerous). I would black out of course, broke my macbook just a month ago and don't remember how the damage happened at all. One month I got duplicate scripts by accident and filled 1 through my medicaid and the other script through my private insurance so I got #60 and then #90 from another pharmacy. I went through the whole #150 in 2-3 weeks. I have had 2 seizures before due to running out of xanax early and have since been put on valium to stop a withdrawal seizure from occuring if I "decide to stop taking my xanax for a week or 2", aka run out before I am allowed to legally refill.
Well my doctor now is set on getting me off xanax because I made a fool of myself in mid-late October 2017 at my health center, where my psychiatrist is, by taking like 18mg or more of xanax all because I admitted myself cause I felt very uncoordinated and ataxic and was going to have an IV put in my arm. I have such a hard time with needles, but why I thought taking 18mg xanax would be ok is beyond me. I ended up not being able to walk or serve myself food and made the staff stay 2 hours past closing and was wheelchaired to my car because of how incapacitated I was. I don't remember anything 5 minutes past taking a large handful of xanax. So after this is when my dr got concerned about my xanax usage and suggested we start trying to taper off it completely. You can guess that I am not too thrilled about that...
Anyway, I ran out of xanax a little before christmas and didnt refill my valium until yesterday. This short break did something for my benzo tolerance because after I took 10mg valium yesterday I definitely felt an uplift in my mood, I was happier, more talkative, energetic, interest, and socially engaging, less annoyed and irritable, a decrease in apathy. 10mg would usually do nothing to me, my mood, etc. Could these effects be alleviation of benzo withdrawal symptoms since 2/23, when I took my last benzo dose, or did my tolerance really go down this much just after 1-2 weeks of not taking xanax? I always thought benzo tolerance took a good while to go down. Anyone experience tolerance reduction after only 2 weeks abstinence? I don't know what is going on, would love anybody's personal experience or knowledge about benzo misuse, tolerance, and the withdrawal symptoms; besides seizures I honestly don't know any of the other symptoms of benzo withdrawal