Xanax Withdrawal Between Doses

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Where to begin... I've been taking prescribed Xanax off and on for the past 13 years. I've never taken it for longer than a six-month period and I've never been prescribed more than .5mg three times a day. I'm currently taking .25mg three times a day, but I've been taking .125 in the morning, another .125 around 1pm, .125 around 5pm and .25 at bedtime (.6125mg daily). I'll preface by saying I don't recall ever having Xanax withdrawals in the past, but at this point I can't be certain. My question/concern is this: if I miss my 5pm dose, I start to feel anxious. My symptoms include: hot flashes, palpitations, increased heart rate, clammy hands and fear (mostly health anxiety). Could a low dose, such as mine, produce withdrawal symptoms in between doses? I've been on taking Xanax this time around for about 4 months. I haven't had a chance to talk to my psychiatrist about this, but I'm worried that my emotional state and physical sensations are caused by Xanax dependence. I went to the E.R. last weekend and my EKG and CBC both were fine, but I was told I had subclinical hyperthyroidism. I suppose I'm just a bit confused as to what's causing me to feel the way I do: panic disorder, Xanax between-dose withdrawals or subclinical hyperthyroidism? I wonder if anyone else has experienced this? It really does seem unreal and quite confusing, to be sure. Postscript: I don't proof read anything I ever write, so I hope my semi-trembling hands didn't produce any spelling or grammar mistakes. wink

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  • Posted

    Have you thought about getting a longer lasting medication? Truth is you are already addicted to the xanax and can add on a better medication and then in about five weeks begin the slow wean off the xanax. Might make your life a whole lot smoother and easier in the long run.just when you go to your go disciss all this. So much easier then playing around. The you can focus on living your life without all this going on. 
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    • Posted

      I mean, I am on Lexapro, too. However, it doesn't seem to be helping with the anxiety. Either that or it is helping, but the xanax withdrawal between doses offsets the benefits of the Lexapro. My moods seem to be fine, from what I can tell. I'm an ESL teaching and I'm able to enjoy my time with my students and still provide interesting lessons. Afterwork my attitute towards my mate seems to be fine. This makes me think the Lexapro is working for depression, but not anxiety -fear is still on my mind throughout the day. Do you mean a longer acting Benzo? 

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    • Posted

      How long have you been on the lexapro? And if if its been six weeks then it is working. In that case why are you even still using the xanax at all? xanax is for an emergency panic attack only. Too short of a half life.

      Might be a good idea for you to discuss this with the person giving it to you. It can be addiction you are experiencing or the mental trust you have in the xanax pill. Yes they have extended benzos as well. This is for a doctor to deciede.  Good your moods are fine. Thats good. 

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    • Posted

      This time around I've been on Lexapro for about six weeks. I was on Zoloft for the past few years, but in May of this year it seemed to stop working and I noticed panic attacks started to occur more frequently. At the beginning of August I saw my psychiatrist and we switched to Lexapro -which had helped me in the past. Xanax was given as a secondary medication while I made the switch to Lexapro and because I was experiencing panic attacks more frequently. My psychiatrist had reevaluated his prior diagnosis of G.A.D. to panic disorder. I will say, I am currently living in Vietnam and psychiatric assistance, in the Western medication sense, is still in its infancy. I do trust my doctor’s discussion, but I haven’t had a chance to meet for my follow up because of some other financial commitments.

       

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    • Posted

      If it was to get accustomed to the lexapro, and you are now..why are you still taking the xanax? That was your decision? You already made the switch. Im confused.

       But if you are having many issues with panic attacks they do have long acting benzos available. Hooefully youll be able to see the doctor soon so you can review all this. 

       

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    • Posted

      When we made the switch I was prescribed .5mg Xanax 3 times a day. I saw my doctor around the 20th of August and he reduced my Xanax prescription to .25 3 times a day. I had a check up September 2nd and let him know that I was still having limited symptom panic attacks most days, so we agreed to stay on .25mg 3 times a day. I was supposed to go in a week later, but that appointment I missed. Since then I've been tapering off the Xanax on my own because I don't want to remain on it long term. However, this is where my confusion begins: am I having panic attacks because of splitting my doses or because the Lexapro isn't working. I feel it's the former. 

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    • Posted

      Yea. You need to go back something isnt right. Whether you need to raise the lexapro or its the xanax not sure. it can simply be unmanaged anxiety breaking thru too so hard to really know. You are on a low low xanax dose so weaning off it makes sense. But you need to figure out what the protocol is for the anxiety and the lexapro
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    • Posted

      I'll hopefully get to my doctor next week. I'll also show him my thyroid test results and perhaps he'll have some ideas as to what's going on. Thanks for your help tonight. It's time for me to get some sleep: it's approaching midnight over here in Vietnam. Thanks again. smile

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  • Posted

    This happens to me nearly daily and I take about the same prescribed amount of Xanax ... Does this ever happen to you when you first wake up because that's when it's most problematic for me

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    • Posted

      Samantha, 

      No, not really. If it were between-dose xanax withdrawals, I would think that the morning would be the worst time, since, at least for me, it had been 7 or 8 hours since my last dose. However, I'm actually fine in the morning, but I take my Xanax and Lexapro first thing after waking up. Mine usually happens late afternnon or evening, especially when I'm trying to stretch out my dose intervals. Usually the first symptom to appear is a sudden hot flash sensation throughout my body. 

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  • Posted

    Xanax can produce inter-dose withdrawal, it is one of the benzodiazepines that has a fast acting onset but a shorter half life so it leaves your body more quickly, however there are other possibilities here too.

    Lexapro can increase anxiety symptoms in the first 6-8 weeks of use before becoming beneficial, subclinical hyperthyridism is usually less symptom producing than clinic hyperthyroidism because T4 levels are still in the 'normal' range, it can cause sensitivity to cold,fatigue,depression and slow heart rate but not increased heart rate.

    So it could be anxiety, it could be a side effect off Lexapro or it could very well be inter-dose withdrawal fron the Xanax.

    If you need to use a benzo you are far better off using one with a longer half life like Valium but if I could give you one piece of very good advice it would be to taper off benzos for good, you may need to cross over to Valium first to do this because Xanax is tricky to taper due to it's short half life causing some nasty withdrawal symptoms, generally you cross over to the alternative dose of Valium and then taper down from that.

    Benzos are excellent for anxiety in the early weeks of use but eventually they do have less effect and some people reach a point where no relief can be gained even if the dose is increased, it may even be that the Xanax is just not working as well as it did before and your anxiety is breaking through it.

    I have been on Valium for 18 years, when I started it 2mg lasted me two days and worked perfectly, now I am on 22mg per day and it does very little to help at all, I only take it because I am too scared to reduce it, it is certainly of no benefit to my anxiety disorder anymore, I used to have an anxious life, now I have an anxious life that seems to revolve around hoping my next dose might relieve things a bit.

    You are definitely addicted to Xanax by now, some people see benzo dependence as a trade off for relief and indeed it can be if they do still give relief but when you are taking them and suffering anyway it's not much of a trade off at all, do speak to your psychiatrist as soon as possible but be prepared for the fact that even psychs can be clueless when it comes to benzos, sometimes you just have to pay attention to your instincts, if you think it is inter-dose withdrawal then knowing this is entirely possible, it probably is.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the information, BellaLuna. It's getting late over here in Vietnam, so I'm going to try to get some rest. I'm going to sleep on your suggestions and thoughts and I'll respond in more detail tomorrow. 

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