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Help getting off xanax
  1. #1
    shawn156 is offline Member
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    Default Help getting off xanax

    I have been on Xanax for 4 years now and I am ready to get off them.For the last 1 1/2 years,my only reason to continue was to keep away withdrawals. My highest dose was 4mg a day (1mg 4x/day) But I have gotten myself down to .5 3x a day and have been stuck at that for the last year.I have tried to cut my last dose in half but I can't endure the w/ds.
    I asked the Dr who prescribes for help but she wanted to do a 23 day withdrawal and I know that is way to quick.
    I am at a loss here.I have been on and off opiates for that last 6 years and I am no longer on them,1 month clean.
    I want to stop taking pills and depending on them all the time. Thanks for any advice.

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    surfdog is offline Senior Member
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    Shawn, Do not just stop the Xanax. I would suggest a medical supervised detox.Benzos are a dangerous detox. Is there a out pt facility where you live or anyplace you can be evaluated medically? IMO this needs to be supervised preferably by someone trained in addiction medicine Surfdog

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    shawn156 is offline Member
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    I know not to stop ct on these.Well aware of what can happen. I can't seem to get any help where I live,I keep being told I'm a lifer on xanax and I know I am not going to be.

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    surfdog is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawn156 View Post
    I know not to stop ct on these.Well aware of what can happen. I can't seem to get any help where I live,I keep being told I'm a lifer on xanax and I know I am not going to be.
    Shawn, willing to help you find a place to get off this stuff, don't know where you live but got to be something close. If you don't mind letting know what city more than willing to try to find a place you can get some help. God Bless Surfdog

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    shawn156 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfdog View Post
    Shawn, willing to help you find a place to get off this stuff, don't know where you live but got to be something close. If you don't mind letting know what city more than willing to try to find a place you can get some help. God Bless Surfdog
    That's the bad thing where I live,I am going to the best place we have to help with addiction but from what I am guessing,they don't like messing with benzo addictions. Closest bigger city would be in Indianapolis.

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    surfdog is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawn156 View Post
    That's the bad thing where I live,I am going to the best place we have to help with addiction but from what I am guessing,they don't like messing with benzo addictions. Closest bigger city would be in Indianapolis.
    How far away is Indianapolis? Possible to find a doc that will do an out pt detox, do you mind if I do some research on this? Surfdog

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    shawn156 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfdog View Post
    How far away is Indianapolis? Possible to find a doc that will do an out pt detox, do you mind if I do some research on this? Surfdog
    Roughly 100 miles 1 way.
    Sure,I appreciate any help. I really need off these things.

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    surfdog is offline Senior Member
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    Will see what I can find out mat take a couple of days Surfdog

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    shybaybe2003 is offline Senior Member
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    how far away are you from fort wayne Indiana? they have a couplke detox places here

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    shawn156 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by shybaybe2003 View Post
    how far away are you from fort wayne Indiana? they have a couplke detox places here
    I'm a good couple of hours away from Ft Wayne Thanks for all the help!!

  11. #11
    iloerose is online now Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawn156 View Post
    I have been on Xanax for 4 years now and I am ready to get off them.For the last 1 1/2 years,my only reason to continue was to keep away withdrawals. My highest dose was 4mg a day (1mg 4x/day) But I have gotten myself down to .5 3x a day and have been stuck at that for the last year.I have tried to cut my last dose in half but I can't endure the w/ds.
    I asked the Dr who prescribes for help but she wanted to do a 23 day withdrawal and I know that is way to quick.
    I am at a loss here.I have been on and off opiates for that last 6 years and I am no longer on them,1 month clean.
    I want to stop taking pills and depending on them all the time. Thanks for any advice.
    Shawn, Google the Ashton Manual and read it, take it to your doctor. You cannot cut your dose in half when tapering. That's way too much of a drop from the xanax. Slow and steady wins the race with benzos. Xanax has such a short half-life, that many cross over to a longer acting benzo such as klonipin or valium to taper. If you can't there are ways of tapering xanax, but the first thing to do is to read the manual and talk to your dr. And I agree totally that 23 days is not going to cut it, it's way to fast. Are you on the .5 mg. pills? Getting off of the xanax can be done, but because of the half life, it must be done slowly, as you'll always have some symptoms to deal with. Stay off of the opiates. PERIOD. Let us know where you are at with the xanax issue. Keep hope in your heart, you jumped your dose down way too far to not experience side effects.

    Iloerose

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    shawn156 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloerose View Post
    Shawn, Google the Ashton Manual and read it, take it to your doctor. You cannot cut your dose in half when tapering. That's way too much of a drop from the xanax. Slow and steady wins the race with benzos. Xanax has such a short half-life, that many cross over to a longer acting benzo such as klonipin or valium to taper. If you can't there are ways of tapering xanax, but the first thing to do is to read the manual and talk to your dr. And I agree totally that 23 days is not going to cut it, it's way to fast. Are you on the .5 mg. pills? Getting off of the xanax can be done, but because of the half life, it must be done slowly, as you'll always have some symptoms to deal with. Stay off of the opiates. PERIOD. Let us know where you are at with the xanax issue. Keep hope in your heart, you jumped your dose down way too far to not experience side effects.

    Iloerose
    I am at .5 3x a day on the xanax,no opiates since April 16th if I remember right.
    I actually did bring up the ashton method and my doctor shot me down on it.That was a 1.5 years ago.
    I know it's not going to be easy but I am just going to have to cut down to 1.25mg per day and then cut it .25 at a time and not move until I am stable a few weeks on the dose after the drop.
    I done great getting to 2 mg,was easy and no side effects but getting to 1.5mg per day was very hard and the lower I go,the more I will struggle. Wish I never took the first one 4 years ago.

  13. #13
    iloerose is online now Platinum Member
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    Go to Featured Conditions or Featured Drugs. Can't remember which. There is a guy under xanax w/d called muruguppan_rm52, I think. It's under xanax w/d. He dropped from where you are dropping now. His story will help. He tells exactly what he did and monitored his symptoms. Go slow my friend. Yeah and s*** in one hand and wish in the other..... . You will get there! Keep posting for support.

    Iloerose
    shawn156 likes this.

  14. #14
    rxqueen83 is offline Member
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    OP
    Why can't you cut your dose in half, so your taking .25 mg three times per day? Whoever told you your a lifer is a jerk. Don't believe that. Also, yes benzo w/d can be dangerous and unpleasant; but it doesn't mean you need to check into a detox or medical facility. Please don't believe all the hype Doctors will try to scare you with. I just quit xanax several months ago after nearly TEN years of benzo use. You can do this too. It's called SLOW AND STEADY wins the race with benzo's.

    Have you tried cutting your doses in half, and still taking them at the same time? You will experience some symptoms but they will peak and slowly fade as your body adjusts to the .25 mg. This won't be without symptoms whether your in a detox or not. The only thing is you'll pay big bucks to have someone watch you do what you could easily do at home. The biggest danger with benzo's is COLD TURKEY w/d. Often people will just decide they are done with a certain drug and stop, sometimes years after use. W/D from any drug can be unpleasent, but you will make it out alive. Benzo's, you can die. You can have a seizure. Cold turkey is dangerous. Tapering SLOWLY is not.

    I did something similar to what you did. Now I got pregnant in December and had to move it along with tapering. But I swear to you, by the time I took my last dose and after, the only symptoms I felt were mental. I craved the drug. I still went fairly slow actually. I took 1 mg three times a day and ended up cutting it down by quarters to .25 3 times a day, and then .25 twice a day, then once a day, once every other day for two weeks, once every three days for two weeks and then I was done. I swear I felt no bad symptoms, and was just fine through the taper. I mentally craved and still do crave benzo's. But it was relatively painless. And I was addicted to the meds, I know I was. After ten years it's guaranteed. That and someone stole a medicine bag out of the top drawer of my desk at work once. I was lucky my physician agreed to refill my meds. It took me four days to get him to refill. I was in AGONY. Almost went to the hospital.

    You can do this man. Trust me. You have the desire and the will power. Don't believe the hype. And I'm not trying to insult the person whose helping you research facilities, that's really nice. I'm saying anyone who tells you your a lifer or you can't stop xanax is WRONG. I'm living proof you can do it, as are many others. Let me know if I can help you. Since xanax pills are so tiny already, I would suggest having your Doc prescribe you the .25 mg pills so you can sliver them if you need. Cutting the 1 mg pills into 4 pieces is tough enough. If your Doctor won't do it, tell him/her your going to do this with or without her/his help. If they refuse, shake their hand and find another one who WILL help you.

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    shawn156 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rxqueen83 View Post
    OP
    Why can't you cut your dose in half, so your taking .25 mg three times per day? Whoever told you your a lifer is a jerk. Don't believe that. Also, yes benzo w/d can be dangerous and unpleasant; but it doesn't mean you need to check into a detox or medical facility. Please don't believe all the hype Doctors will try to scare you with. I just quit xanax several months ago after nearly TEN years of benzo use. You can do this too. It's called SLOW AND STEADY wins the race with benzo's.

    Have you tried cutting your doses in half, and still taking them at the same time? You will experience some symptoms but they will peak and slowly fade as your body adjusts to the .25 mg. This won't be without symptoms whether your in a detox or not. The only thing is you'll pay big bucks to have someone watch you do what you could easily do at home. The biggest danger with benzo's is COLD TURKEY w/d. Often people will just decide they are done with a certain drug and stop, sometimes years after use. W/D from any drug can be unpleasent, but you will make it out alive. Benzo's, you can die. You can have a seizure. Cold turkey is dangerous. Tapering SLOWLY is not.

    I did something similar to what you did. Now I got pregnant in December and had to move it along with tapering. But I swear to you, by the time I took my last dose and after, the only symptoms I felt were mental. I craved the drug. I still went fairly slow actually. I took 1 mg three times a day and ended up cutting it down by quarters to .25 3 times a day, and then .25 twice a day, then once a day, once every other day for two weeks, once every three days for two weeks and then I was done. I swear I felt no bad symptoms, and was just fine through the taper. I mentally craved and still do crave benzo's. But it was relatively painless. And I was addicted to the meds, I know I was. After ten years it's guaranteed. That and someone stole a medicine bag out of the top drawer of my desk at work once. I was lucky my physician agreed to refill my meds. It took me four days to get him to refill. I was in AGONY. Almost went to the hospital.

    You can do this man. Trust me. You have the desire and the will power. Don't believe the hype. And I'm not trying to insult the person whose helping you research facilities, that's really nice. I'm saying anyone who tells you your a lifer or you can't stop xanax is WRONG. I'm living proof you can do it, as are many others. Let me know if I can help you. Since xanax pills are so tiny already, I would suggest having your Doc prescribe you the .25 mg pills so you can sliver them if you need. Cutting the 1 mg pills into 4 pieces is tough enough. If your Doctor won't do it, tell him/her your going to do this with or without her/his help. If they refuse, shake their hand and find another one who WILL help you.
    I'm still trying to adjust to cutting one of the 3 daily doses down. I've tried doing it in the morning afternoon and night doses and I get really bad withdrawals and start shaking for some odd reason.
    Last week I forgot to take it before I went to bed and when I woke up,it had been 13 hours since I had a dose.It was hell trying to counter act the withdrawals and ended up taking 2 doses at once to over come them.
    I know it can be done and I am not going to be a lifer on these pills.I just have to find what will work for me to keep the w/ds as little as possible.I just went through an opiate w/d and that wasn't real bad but this is totally different.I'm very aware of how bad this drug is and how hard it is to come off of,I've been trying for a long time to do so. I was able to go from 4mg to 1.2mg a day without much of a problem.But going any lower I can't seem to tolerate it.

  16. #16
    iloerose is online now Platinum Member
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    Shawn, you don't have to be a lifer. You just have to cut real slow. Xanax is hell to cut because of the short half life. I don't remember, but can you obtain a longer acting benzo? If you can't, mg. xanax are currently being prescribed? You need to remember two facts: slow and steady wins the race, and everyone is different coming off of these drugs. How long have you been on 1.2 mg.? Many questions here, but I will not suggest that you cut your dose in half. Make sure you are stable before you cut. Did you check out Murugappan's taper in Featured conditions? You will be able to come off of this drug. It may take awhile, but you can do this. Will you have symptoms? Yes, particularly if you taper with xanax. But you are not a lifer.
    A. What mg. are you prescribed now?
    B. What do you mean by " really bad" w/ds?

    Iloerose

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    shawn156 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloerose View Post
    Shawn, you don't have to be a lifer. You just have to cut real slow. Xanax is hell to cut because of the short half life. I don't remember, but can you obtain a longer acting benzo? If you can't, mg. xanax are currently being prescribed? You need to remember two facts: slow and steady wins the race, and everyone is different coming off of these drugs. How long have you been on 1.2 mg.? Many questions here, but I will not suggest that you cut your dose in half. Make sure you are stable before you cut. Did you check out Murugappan's taper in Featured conditions? You will be able to come off of this drug. It may take awhile, but you can do this. Will you have symptoms? Yes, particularly if you taper with xanax. But you are not a lifer.
    A. What mg. are you prescribed now?
    B. What do you mean by " really bad" w/ds?

    Iloerose
    I am currently prescribed .5mg 3x/day and it has been like that for about a year or so.I haven't increased any since coming down from 1mg 4x/day.
    The withdrawals I get are light headed,slurred speech,brain fog. I feel kinda weird when I get the withdrawal symptoms.Most of the time I can't go 8 hours between doses and have to cut one in half to get through.My Dr gives me 7 extra every 2 weeks when I get a refill.I see her every 2 weeks so she can monitor my use.
    I've asked for a longer acting benzo but get shot down every time. I guess in my neck of the woods,they keep you on them so you keep coming back for more.
    I am not trying to cut my current dose in half all at once.Just 1 of the 3 doses per day was how I tried and didn't work. I've been on them for 4 years and want off but it almost seems impossible for me to do. It's very different from opiate w/ds. Xanax is a hell of a lot harder to get away from. I plan on trying again next week to cut 1 dose in half,probably my late dose so I sleep through it.

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    Remixe_2000 is offline New Member
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    I think getting off opiates are way harder, benzos can actually kill you if you withdrawal. I tell the doc you don't give me what I need I'll just get it from someone else. They tried to ween me from 6 mg a day to 1mg a day for 4 weeks. I said yeah ok and they were gone in a week. Plus you don't remember anything when you withdrawal from benzos

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    rxqueen83 is offline Member
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    Remixe
    Your attitude is a little lousy and defiant the past several of your posts I've read. People are here on this forum for help. If I were your Doctor I'd have cut you off right then and there. Sean is looking for help stopping, not continuing. We are not all idiots here. Please reconsider your tone. It's a bit condecending.

    Sean,
    Those symptoms are normal. I know how ugly they are. You can't skip a dose, especially with xanax. It's half life is too short. I would suggest as you said, cutting your night time dose. If that doesn't work, next try the afternoon dose. Because you'll already have the AM dose and then the PM dose which are larger to "balance" it out a bit. You gotta start somewhere man. I'm on your side.

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    rxqueen83 is offline Member
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    Sorry I double posted

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    shawn156 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rxqueen83 View Post
    Remixe
    Your attitude is a little lousy and defiant the past several of your posts I've read. People are here on this forum for help. If I were your Doctor I'd have cut you off right then and there. Sean is looking for help stopping, not continuing. We are not all idiots here. Please reconsider your tone. It's a bit condecending.

    Sean,
    Those symptoms are normal. I know how ugly they are. You can't skip a dose, especially with xanax. It's half life is too short. I would suggest as you said, cutting your night time dose. If that doesn't work, next try the afternoon dose. Because you'll already have the AM dose and then the PM dose which are larger to "balance" it out a bit. You gotta start somewhere man. I'm on your side.
    I tried to cut the night dose in half and woke up in w/d again about 4 hours after taking it. I took the other half and went back to bed.I tried to make it and suffered with it for over an hour laying in bed.I felt very weird. I really need to find some way to get off these damn things. I am so sick of being a slave to them. It's the only narcotic I take now and I want to be free from them.
    I do have physical problems that cause me pain pretty much everyday,especially now that I don't use opiates. I see my pcp on Monday for my back and will talk with him about getting off the Xanax.
    I know he will want me back on vicodin again.My back has been giving out when it feels like it,leaving me no choice but to sit as soon as it happens.I get a very sharp pain in my back making it very difficult to walk.After I sit for about 10 minutes it goes away,and I will stress to him that I refuse any pain meds.I am just wanting to get Xrays or C/T scan to see if there is any more damage done to my back.I'm at 2 months clean and no way in hell I will go back on opiates.I have to much to loose if I go back on them.I'd much rather take the pain then take pills any day. Thanks for the help and I will update as soon as I find out something.

  22. #22
    rxqueen83 is offline Member
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    Unfortunately Shawn, your going to feel some discomfort. You've got to let your body adjust to the decreasing dose. We all feel a little ugly when tapering. Maybe, you should try cutting your afternoon dose in half? That way you have the full morning dose and evening dose to sort of, level it out if you may?

  23. #23
    iloerose is online now Platinum Member
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    Shawn, yes you are going to feel some discomfort. The reason I asked about the mg. pill you were taking is because if you on a .5 mg. pill you can do this: take a razor and cut it in 1/4 pieces.

    1. make sure you are taking your doses at a fairly even level.
    2. make one dose of your day taking 3 of the four pieces that you cut. You will only be cutting by .125
    3. Do your best to stabilize at the amount. How many days? Around 7-10?
    4. Will you feel the effects. Probably. But they should be tolerable.
    5. When you feel stable, take drop the other .125.

    If you cut your dose by half, you are going to be sick and have withdrawals. Try taking away a little piece of one dose as I have suggested and see what happens.

    Good Luck, Shawn.

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    shawn156 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloerose View Post
    Shawn, yes you are going to feel some discomfort. The reason I asked about the mg. pill you were taking is because if you on a .5 mg. pill you can do this: take a razor and cut it in 1/4 pieces.

    1. make sure you are taking your doses at a fairly even level.
    2. make one dose of your day taking 3 of the four pieces that you cut. You will only be cutting by .125
    3. Do your best to stabilize at the amount. How many days? Around 7-10?
    4. Will you feel the effects. Probably. But they should be tolerable.
    5. When you feel stable, take drop the other .125.

    If you cut your dose by half, you are going to be sick and have withdrawals. Try taking away a little piece of one dose as I have suggested and see what happens.

    Good Luck, Shawn.
    I'll give that a shot and see. The Xanax I get are "football" shaped so they are easy to cut in half and big enough to where half would be hard to cut into another half.

  25. #25
    iloerose is online now Platinum Member
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    How are you today? If they are .5 mg. and all you have are the football shaped ones and can't get the round .5's, divide the football into 1/2 and you have .25. Take one of the .25's and grind it into powder and divide the piles into to parts and you will have two little piles of .125. For one of your daily doses, take .25 and then one of the .125 piles. Does that make sense? Xanax is the devil itself to get off of and you do not want to cut too fast, but there probably is no way out of having some symptoms. The symptoms should be manageable as long as you don't go too fast.

    Peace,

    Iloerose

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    rxqueen83 is offline Member
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    Hey Sean
    I'm interested in an update too buddy. How are you doing? Feeling? Would your Doc be willing to give you a longer acting benzo? Valium? OR .25 mg Xanax for tapering? That way you could cut the .25's in quarters eventually, and that will give you a really small micro dose. That's what I did, and it worked great. I hope your doing well, and concur with iloerose. Don't go too fast, but you can do this bro!

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    shawn156 is offline Member
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    Sorry I haven't updated I had to work this weekend. I will talk to my doctor on Tuesday at my appt about getting some .25 pills so I can slowly taper down that way. I really want off this stuff since it is the last addictive med I take.
    I'll post as soon as I get an answer from the Dr.
    I had a huge problem with my back and had to use some vicodin.Not enough to where I will get addicted but a few days so I could just get out of bed. I go to my pcp Monday to try and get him to send me for some test on my backI think I really jacked it up somehow.

  28. #28
    iloerose is online now Platinum Member
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    Make sure that if you are on the .5 pills that your Dr. gives you the equivalent mg. in .25 pills which will double the number of pills. You do not seem ready to take a half of the dose you are already on and that's cool. Xanax is the devil itself to come off of. Slowly, very slowly wins that race!

    Hope your back gets better.

    Peace Iloerose
    Last edited by iloerose; 06-17-2012 at 06:23 AM.

  29. #29
    rxqueen83 is offline Member
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    Right. Thanks for clarifying Rose. The Doc should not lower the total OVERALL dosage he RX's you, just the MG of the pills if that makes any sense?

  30. #30
    iloerose is online now Platinum Member
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    Wish you luck with your back problems. My sister was in a car accident and cracked vertebrae in her back, which eventually led to calcium deposits pressing on nerves. So hope you make out o.k. Maybe there is an NSAID like Motrin that will help? I know nobody wants another day 1 or day 5 for that matter. But when you have legitimate pain, you need to do what you need to do and as few as possible. I admire your tenacity trying to stay off opiates Hanging in there for you.
    Let me know if you intend to taper your xanax. Def. fill us in on how you do with your doc.

    Peace,

    Iloerose

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