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Switching from Xanax to Valium


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I took Valium before, for out-of-control anxiety and panic attacks. I got sick of the long halflife so I switched to Xanax. Well, I've been through Xanax withdrawal twice, after taking it for a short period of time (1-2 weeks). It's been a bitch.

Now, from my understanding, Valium is less addictive, right? I know I took it for two weeks last summer and stopped cold turkey and didn't have a problem. Also, I found that Valium has a much "smoother" feeling if that makes any sense.

So my pdoc and I decided to go back to Valium. Since I don't need benzos that often anymore, the long halflife shouldn't be much of a problem.

Any experiences with this? Which one do you like better?

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I am on both at the moment, but I completely understand what you mean when you say that Valium has a much smoother feel to it.

Xanax is there in case I need fast relief, and Valium is there for anxiety stemming from a tourettes/OCD problem.

I prefer Valium, and, for me, Xanax doesn't seem all that potent to be honsest.

And yes, Valium is not as addictive.

Good luck.

PS, I usually need about 40mg of Valium and 4mg of Xanax at a time.  Quite high I suppose, but I am a big heavy guy.

I try not to take the drugs anymore than 3 times a week.

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Tried it yesterday.

Didn't do much. Kept the panic away, but did nothing for anxiety. And I took 20 mg, as opposed to 5-10 mg I'm supposed to take. Maybe my tolerance is a bit high after Xanax? But since I hope I won't need it that often, I'll try and stick to it and see if my tolerance goes down again.

I had 5-10 mg prescribed before too, but after a while I needed 20 mg to feel any difference. I take 2 mg of Xanax.

The big, big plus is that it's less addictive. I'm scared as hell of withdrawal again.

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Hi Helena, remember that there are 2 types of benzo tolerance.

One is tolerance to the solomnence effect (the feeling of being a little bombed or high) and the other is tolerance to the anti-anxiety effect.

I had the same problem when I switched from xanax to valium.  1mg xanax used to work well for me, but I found valium did nothing below 20mg.

Over time I have come to realise that with the valium I often get the anti-anxiety effect without feeling the solomnence, which took some time to get used to but is probably better in the long run.

Now I can take 10-15mg and get a decent effect - Ive been off xanax for over a year now.

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I see you're dx of Bipolar (probably type I) with rapid cycling.  Is it possible that the anxiety is actually a mixed state?  I ask because I have been mistaking the two in myself for most of my life.

Or you are just becoming tolerant to benzos.  It's pretty much inavoidable.

Dee

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I see you're dx of Bipolar (probably type I) with rapid cycling.  Is it possible that the anxiety is actually a mixed state?  I ask because I have been mistaking the two in myself for most of my life.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It just might be, now that I think about it. I have mixed states, but they are usually distinct from panic/anxiety attacks by more destructive thoughts, more energy and that electric-shock feeling in my body.

But the attacks may be "light" mixed states, who knows? Come to think about it, it's gotten better since I started being treated for BP.

Tolerance sucks. Hehe. I don't need benzos often anymore, but I still need them every now and then. I'll just hope Valium starts working when my tolerance goes down a bit.

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I guess if valium isnt working for you at a significant dose, then you can talk to your dr about the following options :

- Atvian (Lorazepam) which is a short acting and fairly potent benzo, though not as short acting or addictive as xanax

- Klonopin (Clonazepam) which is a very long acting benzo, but much stronger than valium and quite popular with Bi-Polar patients

- a variety of other mysterious and colorful benzos, which I will not go into detail with but you can read about at the top of this forum

A lot of people find klonopin withdrawal to be harsh; not so bas as xanax but probably the second worst.  If valium works for you its great because it sort of hits the middle ground; if it doesnt then definitiely consider your options.

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Hmm, Klonopin is actually not a bad idea. I was on it daily (2 mg) for months because I tended to get manic in the nights, being the rapid cycler that I am. I stopped cold turkey and everything felt a bit unreal. So I split the dose and took that for a few days and no problems.

And it really worked for me. I will ask pdoc about that.

I'll also look into Ativan.

Thanks!

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