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Still not into coming off Xanax


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So, my new APRN didn't tell me he wouldn't prescribe benzos. When I first went to see him, I told him I wanted to titrate off of Xanax, but not until I was stable (I was depressed), and then super slowly, and he agreed I could take as long as I needed. First, I tried to go down too fast, and then my dad (pdoc) told me to bump it up for a couple of weeks, then try again.

So I was only down .25mg (of 2mg) because of the delay, and and called my APRN's office for a refill. They told me they wouldn't give it to me, and I should already be off the Xanax by now (a) after 4 weeks! and b) when was he planning on telling me that? I hadn't needed a script before, because I had so many prns left over from my old script. I didn't even ask for it until two months after I started seeing him! When I tried to explain that to them, they told me to call my OLD APRN and get the script from her!!!

Isn't that kind of doctor shopping? I'm actually wondering if I should report him to a licensing bureau.

And I ended up running out of benzos for 3 days, and was having panic attacks, (more) headaches, vomiting, and just a general shitty feeling, like maybe the beginning of a flu.

So because of that, I was like, fuck this guy, and I went back to my old APRN. I don't really like her, but she's only really made one mistake with me in 3 years, and isn't utterly clueless. She said I should try to go down .25mg every two weeks, but if I was really struggling, I could add a third week.

Every time I drop the dose, I feel like utter shit for the first week, with tons of rebound anxiety, and that achy flu feeling. Also, headaches, but when do I not have headaches? By the weekend, I am thinking "this is going to definitely need three weeks." By Wednesday or Thursday, I'm feeling somewhat normal again, if irritable. So on Friday, I'll drop it another .25mg, unless it is really bad. It feels bad now, but as I said, I might feel better in a few days.

So just generally whining.

I'm thinking since I am on two mood stabilizers, maybe I could get away with an SSRI. I guess since my current APRN isn't benzo-averse, if we can't find something that works, I could always try a different benzo. But my lack of short term memory is really getting bad.

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  "We aren't going to prescribe it but go ask another to while staying our patient otherwise" sounds really sketchy to me also.  It does sound like doctor-shopping and is without any doubt at least something that I've always heard not to do...particularly for something like Xanax.  Having two doctors managing different aspects of mental health seems bizarre because it's not like there's this clear divide between anxiety requiring a medication and other stuff.  and there is the stuff like possibly one drug they do prescribe is actually causing the anxiety as a side effect but they can't help it go away so you are stuck.  And it has that weird thing of either they agree with you but aren't willing to write it or they disagree but are telling you to still look for it from someone else.  Neither sounds good.

shorter version--agreed it is sketchy, your call as to reporting because I never have a sense of that stuff.  I'm glad you were at least able to switch back to someone who is mostly okay at least.

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Quote

Isn't that kind of doctor shopping?

I thought 'doctor shopping' was when a person goes to DR after DR to get what they want.  I don't think it is when a DR sends you to another DR.  I could be wrong, but I was accused of that and it wasn't true.  I was NOT looking for meds; I was looking for a DR who I got along with and didn't shit on me when I came in the office with their own mindset of what they will write in the chart no matter what I say. I could be wrong about this though.  Going on my experience.

I'm glad you could go back to your former APRN.  I hope it all works out for you.

 

Edited by melissaw72
grammar and to add an important word to the post.
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My mdoc hates benzos. My pdoc will give them to me for anxiety and sleep. Pdoc says the bias against benzos is unfounded BUT they can be dangerous.

It is very interesting what you are saying happens when you go off xanax. I take it for sleep, but not too often. This week I took it two days in a row and then got a cold after I stopped. It made me wonder HOW addictive is this med. It was not my mind that wanted the xanax. I never think about it much because it just helps knock me out when I have to be up early and cannot fall asleep.

Sometimes I;ll take a valium instead. It also calms me down and does make me sleepy. Have you tried valium? I take the smallest amount. Little yellow heart. Very cute pill. :-}
Valium takes a long time to kick in. I mostly use it for performance and parenting anxiety.

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Short acting benzos are harder to withdraw from than the longer acting ones. Missing or being late for a dose on a long acting benzo is not as earth shattering as it is with Xanax. Considering this it is a common strategy to first cross titrate to a long acting benzo from a short one and then titrate down from there. Valium is a good choice, it is very long acting and comes in many strengths so you don't have to cut up pills.It is a good hypnotic and anti-anxiety med so it covers the most common reasons people take benzos.  

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Crt I know you have chronic Migraines and headaches not due to this, but I wanted to share how my own headaches actually got better after my withdrawal. And I'm not just talking about headaches from the withdrawal but from the (at the time unbeknownst) chemical dependency while I was still taking Clonazepam. Same for anxiety. I didn't realize how much of my anxiety and how many of my headaches (not so much migraines) were caused by me being dependent on a Benzodiazepine. Whether that is the same for you, I don't know. But I sure hope so.

I have no advice or information about Xanax or the like. But I'm sending good energy and strength because I know it sucks. I also wanted to give you some positive thoughts and let you know it IS worth it despite the suckage and that you are awesome.

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Woke up with a migraine today and took xanax last night. I am wondering......

My insurance company made me take the generic xanax, so of course I am blaming that but.....

It does feel like I clench my teeth more at night when I take xanax but I suppose that could be in my mind only.

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I'm finding anecdotal evidence for bruxism during withdrawal from Xanax. But look under "Xanax bruxism," because I didn't spend *that* long on it. It's used to treat bruxism! So you could be having a paradoxical effect.

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Before January, I would have said that I have never been 'addicted' to anything in my life. I was proven wrong in January when my PNP wanted me off benzos and because I've been having some cognitive problems, I completely misunderstood her taper. I went off Librium after being on that and other benzos for close to a ten year period. I went into heavy withdrawals and because I was so completely unaware of the whole dependency side of benzos, I thought I had the flu. That's what the early stages of withdrawals look like - at least for me. It's some scary shit.

 

What's making a difference at the moment, and has it's own dependency issues and side effects, is gabapentin. I could be trading one bad thing for another; I'm afraid to look too deeply at it but it's the choice I'm making for now because the withdrawals this time are out of control. I'm at week six with no benzos right now.

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I used Gabapentin for migraines for a few years, and it worked great (while it worked) and also seemed to stabilize me a bit. We tried it again a couple of years ago, but I gained weight fast.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I noticed weight gain on gabapentin above 300mg.

On June 26, 2016 at 11:29 PM, crtclms said:

And I ended up running out of benzos for 3 days, and was having panic attacks, (more) headaches, vomiting, and just a general shitty feeling, like maybe the beginning of a flu.

I can relate to the flu.

Instead of panic attacks I have 'rage attacks' or out of nowhere irritability, I guess it softens to anxiety, if that's something to consider softer.

I become more sensitive as well, I guess that's why I can get easily irritated, it's like I can hear everything and I really don't want to be touched.

Depending on the 'degree' of the ceasing, even daylight can cause distress.

I'm noticing my muscles are become more 'tense' or 'stiff' and I can notice that while apprehensive I'm applying pressure on my teeth, some sort of bruxism, sometimes I even wake up with my body 'tense' like I'm prepared to fight someone even tough not feeling like it.

I'm considering on my next appointment asking for a plan to tapper from it better. (I'm not on alprazolam).

I like to be functional on the least amount of benzo possible (none to be honest), because for me it works better as a resource than something to take daily.

Edited by uncomfortable thoughts
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  • 2 months later...

So I am totally off Xanax, my last dose was in mid August. I've said elsewhere that it was just horrific, until I got down to .75 mg (down from 2mg). I was nauseated and really achy, like when you are about to get the flu. Also a lot of panic attacks.

At the same time, Xanax worked for me really well for a long time, and I don't want to discourage people who benefit from it. Taking it prn, even a couple of days in a row, is not going to result in this. And not everyone has a bad time coming off of it, I know there are members who had no difficulty at all. Still, I personally won't use Xanax daily again. I am still using .5mg as a prn. So you see, I'm not anti-Xanax. It's just an example of ymmv.

Surprisingly, I've hardly been anxious at all since I stopped it. It would be nice if that continued.

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Been taking it more lately because  of a personal crisis.  I use it only as a sleeping aid but I have to admit I'm nervous. Once in a while I skip a night. Sometimes I can sleep then but sometimes I wake up all night. Today I woke up with a migraine.  Meds: A mixed blessing sometimes. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 6/26/2016 at 8:29 PM, crtclms said:

I don't really like her, but she's only really made one mistake with me in 3 years, and isn't utterly clueless. 

May I ask, is there a reason you see an APRN? I was just wondering because I have a really nice GP doctor, and he's pretty good with meds and stuff - at Millcreek Primary Care on 900 E. 

 

Edited by 2Spirals
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