I'm currently taking 3mg of Xanax daily for my anxiety disorder, and have an opiate addiction to OxyContin. My doctor wants to give me Suboxone to get off the OxyContin and I've heard that taking Xanax and Suboxone together was dangerous and could have adverse side effects. I was just wondering if anyone knew if it was safe or dangerous to combine the two drugs? And if so, what are the side effects of taking them together, if any?
19 Jul 2009
There is a moderate risk of adverse drug interaction resulting in respiratory depression. You can stop breathing to be blunt.
Moderate risk means your dr definitely needs to be aware of what is going on. It's a real possibility and not some far off distant extreme circumstance. It happens too often to ignore it.
I hate to see anyone taking both meds together. If you're already dependent on the xanax and have to get off RX opiates they can be taken together if there aren't other pre-existing prohibitive health conditions but it needs to be closely monitored by someone knowledgeable regardless. Be careful. I hope that helps.
8 Aug 2009
I can provide you with information from a first-hand perspective; that is, when I first began Suboxone, I was also on 2mg of Xanax daily. The best advice I can offer to you regarding the use of both medications is to make sure that you do not take them at the same time (or one right after the other). If you are taking the Suboxone on a 3-times-a-day basis as well, I would take your Xanax two hours before (assuming you take your first dose of Xanax right when you wake-up). This will not cause any problems for you as far as the Suboxone is concerned, because its half-life is around 36 hours, and it was originally prescribed on an "every-other-day" basis. I never had any problems while taking both medications, but every person is different.
Also, the fact that Xanax is "supposed" to be prescribed only as a short-term solution until an anti-depressant with anxiolytic effects has had enough time to "kicks-in" should hopefully help to convince you that any continuing anxiety that you may be experiencing is likely being caused by the long-term use of Xanax (there have been many studies showing that its anxiolytic effects do not last for more than 4-6 weeks at the most). Because Xanax has such a short half-life, it is notorious for causing interdose withdrawal (primarily rebound anxiety)--so, when your previous dose starts to wear off around 3-4 hours, you immediately feel the urge to take it again. Furthermore, in order to get to the root of your anxiety, it is recommended that people with anxiety issues seek help ultimately from talking with a therapist. However, benzodiazepines blunt your anxiety (and your other emotions and "feelings"), as well as negatively affect your normal cognitive abilities... in short, being on Xanax hinders the growth process one normally is trying to achieve through cognitive therapy.
I highly suggest that you read some books about benzodiazepines... there are too many of them out there to choose from, so I will recommend the two that I think will especially give you more insight and offer very good information. I highly recommend "The Benzo Book," by Jack Hobson-Dupont and, "Benzo Blues," by Edward H. Drummond, M.D. The first book is a very informative autobiography of the author's own personal experience of tapering off of 3mg of Xanax using The Ashton Method (type "the Ashton Manual" into a search engine such as Google... it is available online for free, and it is by far the best--and to-date, the ONLY--structured and experimentally-based method that has proven to be highly effective for people attempting to come off of any benzodiazepine... so, you can be assured that it is extremely informative). The first book will also provide you with a better understanding of the entire process and experiences involved in bezodiazepine withdrawal; it is honestly one of the most difficult experiences for a lot of people, and the more that you know and understand, the better prepared you will be. Tapering off of 3mgs of Xanax a day is not something you should attempt to accomplish within a month or two, and since the majority of physicians and psychiatrists are often unfamiliar with The Ashton Method, I hope that you will read through the entire document (which is not that long, I promise) and use it to help formulate your own plan (with the help of your doctor) to taper off of Xanax. Also, as The Ashton Manual advises, it may be important to provide your doctor with a copy of the manual and explain to him your goal and tapering schedule. By no means should you attempt to discontinue Xanax by following a rigid schedule that is enforced upon you by your doctor (particularly if he advocates a plan that is too short... withdrawing too quickly can lead to significant discontinuation symptoms, including permanent cognitive and neurological impairments, as well as the serious risk of having seizures). The second book that I mentioned provides more in-depth information than the first, and will likely prove to be very "eye-opening." I think that you will feel very motivated to begin your tapering process as soon as possible after reading this material, as you will learn of the many negative effects that Xanax is likely causing while you remain on it. Everything you will need to know about the potential hazards of long-term use and later withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be found in these 2 books and in The Ashton Manual... by educating yourself about the subject, you will know exactly what to do when the time comes to discuss the options with your doctor.
Back to my personal experience with the two medications real quick: Once I was stabilized on Suboxone, it turned-out to be an outstanding (and by far the best) anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication for me. Thus, I then began my taper off of Xanax using the methods provided in The Ashton Manual with the help of a physician who was fascinated with the copy I gave to him... as a doctor, the process made perfect sense to him (having been established by another doctor--Heather Ashton--who has dedicated her life to studying benzodiazepine withdrawal). It wasn't as difficult as "The Benzo Book" had prepared me for, and I was able to successfully discontinue my 4-year-long "prescribed" dependence on Xanax by following the protocol. Since then, the techniques I have learned through sessions of cognitive therapy, my own further readings, and Suboxone have provided all of the anxiolytic effects that I required for GAD (oh, and yeah, they are all right when they say that the best thing you can do is regularly exercise... ha).
I hope that this helps you out, and I apologize for writing a short novel. Anyway, please feel free to ask me any other questions you might have.
6 Dec 2009
If you're taking them together at the same time it's probably not a good idea, or else spread out the time between you take them. I was on Suboxone 16 mg's a day (8mg's 2x a day) and never mixed them together. I did take a klonopin or xanax a few weeks ago and the next day took 4 mg sub and you can feel the effect but if you're taking major amounts I'd be careful or not do it all. Very dangerous combination when they're taken at the same time.
20 Apr 2010
I had the same problem and am currently taking xanax and subutex, suboxone without the naltraxene, and am now addicted to both. I'm sure you can do it but you have to be really motivated to stop. Which I thought I was but really wasn't. Now I have to have both together or have bad withdrawls. Also alot of dr.'s won't prescribe both together you have to look around and tell them up front what's up, not lie to get high.
5 Aug 2010
I have been on Suboxone for about 6 six years after being on Methadone for over 20 years; when i switched over to Suboxone i was in immediate withdrawal that same day yet I hung in there and within a week I began to feel much better; I became much more alert and other noticed a change in my appearence. In the past couple years alot of stress has entered my life, loss of spouse and recently problems with elderly parents. I started taking benzos to deal with the stress and anxiety yet lately I feel that I am becoming addicted to Xanax now; My doctor will not prescribe any benzos to me therefore I am forced to find them other ways. I did not really think that it was dangerous to take them both yet I feel that it does really help me through this stressful time in my life. I am worried about trying to stop taking them yet hopefully someday I can do this.
I am a functioning and productive, working individual who takes care of my elderly parents, one of whom has late stage alztheimers disease. I work in the health care field and try to keep myself aware of this issue. I don't think that i have any side effects from taking both other that it gets me through the day. Maybe when the stress and anxiety in my life tapers down so can I taper off of the xanax. We do what we have to do to get through the day; Good luck
9 Aug 2010
I am on suboxone 8 mgs 3 times a day and take 2 2mg bars of xanax also. I have noticed that if i take them to closesly together. I really don't feel the xanax. i usually take the xanax first and then the suboxone 2-3 hrs later or vice versa. I love suboxone, it has litterally saved my life. i was on 200 mgs of methadone for about 3 yrs at a clinic. now i feel normal and my depression has been lessening up from this possitive change. WORD TO THE WISE though. please please please wait at least 40 or more hrs before taking the suboxone after your last dose of methadone. my doctor gave me 8 30mg roxy's per day to help with the methadone withdrawal. they say your to get down to 30mgs of methadone for about 2 weeks before the transition. I however did not do that and i was fine taking the suboxone. for the first twenty mins after taking my first 8 mg sub i felt like i was getting sicker but the i started to get better.
10 Nov 2010
i take 2 mg of suboxone a day but i take 3 mgs of benzos every once and a while but i do not feel the benzos one bit for some reason . i am perscribed to suboxone but not perscribed to xanax i just like the way it makes me feel but rite now its doing nothing for me can somone please help i dont understand why i dont feel the benzos and im scared to take more plzz help me
6 Dec 2010
it is not dangerous iof you are use too them and been taking them.i am on klonipin for seizures 1mg 2 times a day.im sorry it is dangerous but only if you are abusing the xanax taking more than needed,if you take as prescribed you are ok but it can be deadly so please be careful and take the right dose.goodluck
7 Dec 2010
Derek 23 - Xanax and Suboxone can be very dangerous when taken together. Depending on the dosage, your body's ability to break down the medications, you could actually go into respiratory distress. You could stop breathing, which is generally not good for your health! I would find a Dr. who specializes in addiction treatment and be 100% truthful with him/her about your addiction to both meds and let them monitor your levels of both meds. It may take some trial and error, hopefully err on the side of caution if there is an error, but you can probably find a level that will not be life threatening. I would imagine you should try to beat one at a time also, but I am not certain. At the very least, when combining the two meds, you will have a tough time just staying awake. I hope this helps. Good luck to you man ... you are at the right place if you want help. Tbone
13 Feb 2011
i am currently taking suboxone to get off a heroin addiction i had and also take xanax for panic attacks i haven't noticed any problems when i take the two medications together but i only take a football a day which is 1mg of xanax but if you take xanax with it no matter the dose you can have respiratory failure from the research i've done on it cause i was curious about it myself so if you do take them together just monitor your breathing and suboxone works really well it stops the cravings for opitaes and all the symptoms of withdrawl if you're lookin to take it to gett off the oxycontin i strongly suggest it, it will help you out alot and i strongly suggest using it to anyone that wants to get off of opiates
22 Feb 2011
HI... I was put on Dilaudid for 1 year due to spinal cord surgery and my body was dependent on it thus i had a "rebound" effect meaning i wasn't mentally addicted but my body produced MORE pain all of a sudden that didnt' let up till I got off of Dialudid and switched to SUBOXONE!!!
I take a small amount of Xanax which tremendously helped. The only side effect is sleepiness in the beginning HOWEVER i went from 5 pills a day to 1 pill a day in 3 weeks on Suboxone. MY withdrawl lasted ONLY 2 weeks and then i stayed on 1 pill a day.
I KNOW that Suboxone works... whether you take the film strips or pills.
Once you get used to suboxone you are less sleepy, more alert, and get mentally alert again feeling like you have a new life. FOR ME Suboxone is USED as pain management BUT another family i know has their daughter on Suboxone to stay off of opiods and oxycontin which has helped her stay clean for 16mos and her anxiety attacks also allievated especially when she found a full time job thus she got off any anti-anxiety meds
I am now only taking 1 mg of xanax a day with 1 pill a day of Suboxone and am fine. YOU can take your Xanax say an hour or two AFTER suboxone in order to reduce the sleepiness but i am usually ultra sensitive to meds along with allergies, this works with Xanax.
GOOD LUCK! HOPE it goes well for you and you may find your anxiety meds will go down in dosage given time with Suboxone. :)
13 Apr 2011
When I first went to see the doctor for suboxone detox he told me that if I were on Xanax he could not treat me with the suboxone. A friend of mine who is on suboxone had a benzoid show up in his urine test and his doctor, who is always quiet, calm and collected, got very upset about it. His doctor said it can be very dangerous! You can stop breathing and die. I know a woman who told me she took Xanax while on Suboxone and went into convulsions. I once took a 5 or 10mg Xanax and about 40 min. to an hour later I took 2mg suboxone and felt awful for about 30 min. It felt like needles and pins with feelings of withdrawal. I think I had forgotten about taking the Xanax. Mixing those two drugs is not a good idea and can be very dangerous, even deadly.
22 Jun 2011
Derek, I am in the same boat you are and i want to first tell you that it takes a lot to admit you have an addiction and seek help. With that said you always want to tell your doctor what meds you are on and let him make a decision but I have weened myself from taking 3 8mg suboxone a day down to a quarter of an 8mg suboxone. I also take 2mg's of xanax as needed. As long as you aren't using the xanax to get high and taking multiple bars at a time you should be fine. This combination in moderation is ok but be careful with xanax, I only take them a few times a week because the withdrawl from them is pretty scary. I went through that a few years ago and don't ever want to do that again. Good luck with everything man and i'm here if you need someone to talk to. I'm not proud of it but I have first hand experience with a lot of things.
- OxyContin Drug Information
- Suboxone Drug Information
- Xanax Drug Information
- Alprazolam Drug Information
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