My Dr Has Had Me On 4 Mg Of Alprazolam For The Last 10 Years Is That Too Much And How Do You Get Off It

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Eileen Says:


My Dr. has had me on alprazalom 4 1mg. tablets for the last 10 years for panic attacks and anxiety is this really a high dosage and how hard is it going to be to get off of it. I had to have someone call 911 for it because when I called to get it refilled he was't in the office and the drugstore would not refill it and I went 7 days without it and it was really bad.



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Verwon Says:

If you've been taking it for that long, then a sudden withdrawal may be dangerous, there is a chance that it could cause you to suffer seizures. Thus, it's always best to stop Benzodiazepines such as this on a slow taper schedule.

Learn more Alprazolam details here.

And yes, that's a fairly high dosage, but not an extreme one.


Have you talked to your doctor about how to get off it of it safely?

Are there special reasons you want to stop taking it?

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Dr Chulayo Says:

I am a South African doctor. And stopping Alprazolam suddently can cause serious withdrawal symptoms. It is best to discuss this with your treating doctor, if you require information, please e-mail me on {edited for privacy}

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EILEEN Says:

I went into a pretty bad withdrawal because for some reason my primary Dr. was not available and I could not get a refil without his consent and had went for almost seven days without it, but I am trying to find out if I should give it up or try and wean it down to a smaller dose. I won't know for sure until I see my Dr. on Wed. and I was also taken to the hospital and kept over night.
THANK YOU FOR ANSWERING ME.
EILEEN

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gm Says:

Not recommended- I was on a similar dosage for 14 years and then moved to another state. There was a lapse in my healthcare and I went cold turkey. I was very sick for about two weeks, ended up in the ER on one weekend but the fog lifted after about 8 months. It felt so good to be out from under that veil. Sadly I had to resume taking it at a lower dosage after having been off of it for a year because of mental health issues. I have tried other meds they just do not seem to work at all compared to alprazolam.

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Neal Says:

Eileen, I'm sorry you are dealing with Panic Attacks. I've been having severe Panic Attacks since 1983 when I was only 22. I'll not bore you with all the life events that led to my subconscious finally having no choice for an outlet to my psychological trauma over most of my life prior to my first attack. If I had served in a war, I'd have been diagnosed with PTSD, but since it was just "regular" life it's labelled Pnic/Anxiety Disorder. Anyway, I've had many doctors in all this time and the best doctor was the one who treated my initial Panic Attack. He put me on .5mg to take as needed and the BEST MEDICAL ADVICE EVER GIVEN WAS..."I know you'll need the pills often until you begin to understand that you're really not going to die as it feels. You will learn what if anything might trigger episodes, but most panic attacks have no specific trigger. So once you learn how this problem begins and while keeping in mind you have Xanax to help you in your pocket, try ANYTHING you think of to use to fight off the panic WITHOUT jumping to the pills. If you manage this, you'll likely never become addicted and although you are now like an alcoholic, meaning you're never 100% ever cured from the onset of an attack. You WILL have more control over your breathing, heart rate, and that overall panic trying to make you more panicked and "run away". And following these instructions I was pill free by 1987.

Sadly for me, 1990 was one of the most stressful, and nearly every aspect of what my life was got turned into a complete nightmare and AFTER the crisis period was over by May from its beginning in January. I had a massive panic attack that woke me up out of a sound sleep and that was as bad or perhaps even worse than my first attack. I had no pills and because the attack started while I was sleeping, I had no chance at trying to use my conscious mind to fight off the onset of a full blown panic attack. I never called 911 as I have NO faith in hospitals as well as most doctors since they only care about money, not what they swore an oath to Do No Harm in order to get their license in this country at least. So I immediately called the doctor that helped me back in 1983 thru 1987 and found out he retired and then even worse...his replacement REFUSED TO PRESCRIBE XANANX FOR ANY REASON! Even though my medical records were still in that office, the new doc was an a**hole and refused to help me. It made no difference to him that my med records PROVED what I was diagnosed with and how I was treated. So I went doctor shopping. The several days it took to find and get an initial appointment with a new doctor, I was in a near constantly panicked state and still went to work everyday since that is how I was raised. Sick or not...work always comes first.

Once I met with Dr. Gary Safier of Morris Plains, NJ in July of 1990 I told him what I knew I had, what worked for me previously and how I used to take .5mg as needed and finally needed Xanax no more. This doctor told me that my previous doctor was wrong and that in his opinion he felt that panic sufferers should take both Xanax and an Antidepressant called Tofranil in combination on a regular and steadily increasing basis in order to PREVENT further panic attacks. WOW, that sounded awesome and started taking both drugs. Xanax at 1mg 4x/day plus Tofranil 25mg 4x/day. I cared less about anything other than what I knew would help me, but the thought of never having further panic attacks was so appealing, I also took the Tofranil. Skipping through much to try to end this post... In just one year the Tofranil which I could never handle more than the I I'll dosage although he prescribed and made me try several times, plus he kept upping my Xanax dosage until I was taking 10mg per day! After having MAJOR SIDE EFFECTS from the Tofranil and reporting each one every time I saw that doc, he never once said to stop, taper off, or let's try something else. He DID SAY INSTEAD...DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT EACH AND EVERY TIME I COMPLAINED. I could not urinate normally, "Don't worry about it, it will pass.", then when I could not move my bowels normally and still eating three meals per day and only managing to go once per five days, "Don't worry about it, it will pass.", then I could no longer climax normally and whenever I climaxed it sent me into stabbing pain and felt like a boo handle was being shoved up my backside. "Don't worry about it, it will pass." At this last one, I told him to F off !!! And went out into his waiting room and told everyone there in a loud voice that I was being killed by this doctor and I was going to see a Malpractice Attorney and asked if anyone who was being treated by this doctor if they wanted to join me!!

Once on my own, I immediately began to taper off both drugs. It took only two months to get off the 25mg "beginner" dose of Tofranil, but nearly a year to come down from being up to 10mg of Xanax per day. But I finally did and was finally once again pill free. However, still after more than 23 years after taking my first Tofranil tablet, I have lesser, but all the same urinary, colon, and prostate problems. That Tofranil caused me PERMANENT & LIFE ALTERING MEDICAL PROBLEMS THAT WERE AND REMAIN UNCURABLE!! In essence that doctor took my life!!!

So, to answer your question about 4mg per day...my answer is NO, you aren't taking a high dosage. However, if your body or mind are suffering from this drug in any dosage with little to no positive effectiveness, dear god STOP taking this medication. Ween yourself off slowly, don't suddenly stop or your will go through withdrawals if you've been on it for an extended period of time. If you are only a few months in, then you could likely stop and just suffer one or two bad days & nights, but you're body will recover. Then if you still feel the need, seek out a new doctor who will LISTEN TO YOU and understand that Xanax (aka Alprazolam in generic form) is NOT right for you. Too many other panic/anxiety mess out there that are NOT Antidepressants which do NOTHING FOR PANIC!! Even something as old as Valium might be and work better for you. I hope my story helps you feel better about your situation and give you much to think about when a doctor wants to try any drug on you.

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Robert Says:
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Eileen,

I'm not going to post a novel but I have some thoughts that might help.

1) I'm 50 and have had "episodes" for almost 40 yrs. I'm not an M.D. but I'm where you are and I know where that place is. What follows is from personal experience.

2) 5 mg per day of Alprazolam is quite a high dosage. You're at the point now where the reduction of intake will likely induce anxiety/panic.

3) You should reduce your daily dosage. You're still going to need a "maintenance" dose for a while. Since the 1/2 life of Alprazolam is one of the shortest in the Benzo family, which is why it's ideal for episodic anxiety, you might consider your "maintenance" dose to be 1mg tid (3x/day). Or better yet, 1mg bid (2x/day) with 2mg dosages on hand for "breakthrough" episodes.

4) The reduction of medication, especially if you drop from 5 mg per day to 1 mg bid, will suck. It will suck a lot but it's manageable. I've done it, everyone I've ever known that used benzodiazepines has done it.

5) Staying at 5 mg per day won't kill you. It's just becoming a bigger pain in the ass to get Rx's and the DEA is considering moving Benzos from Schedule IV to Schedule II. If they do your hand will be forced.

6) Good luck.

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Been there Says:
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Don't trip I'm 31, I've been taking bars for 15 yrs. I have been at a point where I took 50mg of Xanax and 140 mg of methadone. I stabilize near 20 to 30 mg a day. You'll be ok. Your tripping yourself out. Talk to to your doc immediately. Bribing to return to your previous dose and try to relax the mind can make u sick if u keep telling yourself you can't move your back, you can be perfectly healthy and develop a real medical condition. I had convinced myself that I was dying so I kinda just like you just accepted that I wasn't gonna make it. I worked as a waiter for years at places that you carry a lot of weight on your shoulder which translates to your back. I worked at longboards for years, outback and then I became a carpenter so I lift things all day that weigh as much as me. I'm 140 lbs but my weight has never fluxuated beyond 140 to 145. Maybe a small change but nothing which I have been addicted to opioids for 15 years that explains the methadone which is a very bad combo with benzodiazepine. It decreases the heart rate and respiratory function. This stuff is no joke. I've watched the doctor at my clinic put kids who hurt there leg and can't seem to stop the Vicodin on high doses of methadone. I mean talk about trading the cute little baby monkey on your back for a full grown man furious King Kong s*** and when Kong gets ya he makes you his donkey (ass). In no way or form do I want anything I have said to think drugs are glamorous or a good thing. Drugs are the devil in substance form. You can Ingest the devil in many ways. Some go to a vein. Some kick the s*** outta people. Some rob banks. Some go to church. Some kill, some steal. If your not into the god aspect and we can go with Mother Earth put it here so we should obviously do it. Ya to save lives not take them. Hope I helped anyone. Even just one is all it takes.

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Cat7 Says:
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I had gotten up to 6 mg of Xanax a day trying to Control Panic Attacks. It wasn't working. Here is how I got completely off Xanax. I began taking Paxil. It is difficult to get on as it makes you very tired, so start out at a low dose, like 20 mg and don't go up too fast. I started taking a RX Med for Restless leg Syndrome as I started slowly reducing my Xanax. Restless legs is a withdrawal symptom from Xanax that is awful and will keep you awake at night. A RX Med prevented this. I have stayed on Paxil for 20 yrs as it helps with Social Anxiety and Panic. I have Xanax in my Medicine Bag but only use a Tablet now and then for sleep. I got physically hooked without knowing such thing was possible. Since I didn't really care for their effect on me, I was determined to beat the Dependance. The Doc said I had only a 50/50 chance! I said I have a 100% chance and I am going to do it! The above way is HOW I DID! Best of Luck and Wishes!

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Laura Says:
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No that's just the right mg I have a PANIC DISORDER myself and have been on 1 mg clonazepam for 10 years you're just fine NO WORRIES. PANIC SUCKS!

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tampasailor Says:

Google Ashton Manual.

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