Avatar universal

Xanax Dosage

Is 0.5 dosage of Xanax a high dose?  I'm confused about the dosage.  I took three  0.5 pink pills a day (intermittently) some days less, but never more.  I have now cut that in half. How long do I need to stay on that dosage before I step down to half of that.  I want off completely but am scared.  It's only been two days now that I have decreased the dosage.  I want to do it safely without letting my family know that I have been taking these pills. I also don't want to have seizures...I need a tapering schedule without letting my doctor know as he might cut me off completely.
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Avatar universal
Why would your doctor cut you off completely if you are tapering off of the medication?  Don't self medicate and don't mess with these types of medications on your own.  They are very good at what they are designed to do, but there is a reason they are prescription meds.  
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Avatar universal
So you're afraid of Xanax? Is that about the truth? No harm in saying so. People will give you better adivise is you tell them the real problem you are having.
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953067 tn?1248394508
I'm probably way off in my reading of your post...but here goes...You said your family doesn't know...are you afraid of the stigma of taking drugs? I was, now I admit my meds to anyone, but am still embarrassed. It makes me feel like a wimp, as if I should be able to suck it up and handle my wellness, anxiety, etc.
I've had doctors cut me off of drugs very suddenly in my past, they claimed it wasn't helping me and told me to bring in the bottle. That sort of thing made me nervous about taking any drugs because I may not have been getting better, but I wasn't worse, either, when the doctor involved made such an abrupt decision.
I need xanax to help me handle my anxiety problems but I don't 'feel' I'm addicted to them. I view xanax as a crutch for a bad leg, something to help me through getting on with my life. I've stopped taking it several times due to shipping problems from express scripts, felt very, very anxious but never experienced any big withdrawals that I was aware of...mostly just trying to make it through each day until the bottle came. When it did, I broke one in half, to take 5mg, and then felt much better about ever running out again. I guess I became comfortable about this whole thing.
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Avatar universal
Thanks for your post..

.So what you're saying that it is better that I take it than face anxiety.  I wasn't  in need of xanax.  Just started when I was losing my mother and got used to taking them.  If I hadn't experienced the fear of loss I wouldn't have started on them and I kept taking them.  Now, I'm tapering but my fear is the withdrawl effects.  I'm scared to experience that as that what my biggest fear.

These drugs had a purpose but now I shouldn't be on them because once I face the withdrawals and get over that I shouldn't need them...You only lose a mother once in a lifetime and never thought I'd still want to take them.

  I read the withdrawal systems and that's what freaked me out.  I have friends who take 4 times the amount I do and have to intention of getting off and I haven't told them I'm take so that's why I'm here.  I would feel like a failure in their eyes.  Always want to be the strong one.  I'm on such a lower dosage than them.  I will keep tapering for a week at a time, then go lower until I'm off.  I guess I thought I could just go off but NO, started to feel shaky when I wanted to stop....Just don't know what to expect....I just need to give it time and relax about it...
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Avatar universal
Just want to chime in here that it's best to work with a psychiatrist when tapering off a benzo.  The big possible danger is seizures, which probably won't happen since you're tapering but it's good to have expert advice when doing so.  As to being afraid of withdrawal, nobody knows what's going to happen to them, and being afraid just makes it worse.  You never needed this medication in the first place, since benzos can increase depression and that's what you were really feeling upon the loss of your mother.  So even if you work with a psychiatrist, remember, they're mostly hacks who know less about these meds than a two year old.  Make sure whoever you see listens, cares, and knows what they're doing.
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Avatar universal
Thanks so much...Haven't had any today and it's a little rough...sweats and shakiness.  I'll hold out a little longer then take 1/2 of a .05 and see if I can last the night.  You're right, I should have not numbed myself and felt the emotions of my loss. Now I'm scared of the unknown and it's not helping. You are a caring person. Thanks.
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Avatar universal
hi! I know all about Xanax. I should--Ive been on it, or, I should say, on and off it, for the past, oh...15 years. Im a 48 yr old female.
Im not ashamed A BIT to say that I am taking it. Why?
I have a ton of stress in my life..its been that way since I was about 24 yrs old, and lost a child. I developed General Anxiety and panic attacks. They were realllly bad for a few years. During that time, my dr was great. He, at first, very cautiously prescribed Xanax "as needed"...and told me he had me on the "smallest dose possible". He monitored my dose carefully. During the worst of times, my prescription was like this: One .25 mg in the morning....two .25 mg at noon, and two .25 mg at night!!!
That seemed like alot to me, but he said there are MANY doses much, much higher. That was still considered a smaller dose.
Over the years, when the stresses lessen, and the anxiety backs off a bit, I learned not to lean on them. I weaned myself off...didnt need any doctor to do that. Just took away 1 pill at a time...till I was totally off.
Then, I used whenever I felt anxious, or when I knew I would be in an anxiety producing situation.

My dr lessened his "watching" of me, realizing I wasnt going out and selling the stuff, I wasnt an addict, and that I was responsible about using it.

Now...I totally control what I take and when. By accident, when my regular dr retired and I found a new doctor,she renewed my meds, and put down the dose YOU take....50 mg..the pink pills. I was surprised when I opened the bottle, but then I thought, its ok, now I just take 1, instead of the two .25 tablets.

During a VERY VERY stressful time just in April, my mom had very critical lung cancer surgery.
Iam NOT ashamed to admit, that i relied very heavily on Xanax during that time.
I sure didnt want to have a panic attack during that time!!!
I took probably one of the .50 mg tablets every 5-6 hours. I was FINE. I know now how much I can take, to stay alert and able to drive, etc. It takes the edge off my anxiety.

So...what Im trying to say..is its ok...dont be worried about the xanax. Now, I know meds affect everyone differently...but for me,Xanax has been a lifesaver.

Now, Ive backed way off on my dose...and take 2 .25 mgs a day.

Dont feel embarassed...and dont be scared away by reading the side effects. As long as you keep an eye on yourself...and it will work wonders for you!!!!

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Avatar universal
Thanks for the comprehensive explanation.  One question is .05 a larger dose than .25?  So I can compare my situatio with yous.

I will taper down to only one a day and take on in the morning and that will last 12 hours.  Then take a half if I can't sleep at night.I'm down from three .05 to 1.  I noticed that when I wanted to stop that's when the anxiety started.  I would take it before every day when I didn't have anxiety. That's when I realized I was addicted.  It would be wonderful to fall asleep normal.   When i do fall asleep normally when I wake up in the morning the anxiety starts right away.  So that's when you noticed your addicted.
There are benefits for those who have anxiety.  It has helped me through the day to function and your comments made me realize that I'm being to hard on myself. Thanks..
Helpful - 0
804276 tn?1480858056
first of all i have to say your doctor will help you get off the xanax if you want to. but make sure you are doing what's best for you not because of what someone else might think. do this for you not someone else, don't be so concerned about what others think, they have secrets too, maybe just different ones, and meds shouldn't exactly be a secret. don't be ashamed if you need a little help, we all do in some way from time to time. ...i've been on 1mg of xanax, up to 2 per day as needed, for years. i don't take them everyday so i don't have the dependency issue or the side effects from stopping them, i've heard of 2mg pills, they are rare but i don't think .50 are that strong, just depends on how many you get per day i guess. if you really want to get off of them because you don't need them just talk to your doctor, that's why we pay them, they are service workers for the public, we are customers, don't forget that, you are important too, don't be intimidated. good luck and do this for you not for someone else.
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Avatar universal
Aw, thanks for the advice.  I'm happy to say I'm down to half of my daily dosage.  it's a little rough.  Shakes and a couple of dry heaves and had to calm myself. Talk myself out of feeling anxious and then I read the posts and I get a hold of myself.  Keeping myself busy...remaining positive.

I take .05 to sleep and when I wake up it's still in my system, so I don't get panicky and if I eat well I don't get the shakes or feel like my stomache wants to spazz out.   It's the spasm that started a few days ago when I went off and I realized I'm addicted.  The guilt and shame is what made me panick and that made it worse. The advice I got on this forum made me realize I wasn't a slime bag for feeling the way do.  It was a great help.

I'm probably depressed and don't realize it and don't want to start any other medication.  The reason i want to stop is that if you take this for the rest of your life and when you are older and get sick, can you imagine how rough it would be on top of that.  I just feel that getting off of them when you're 50 and still strong would be better in the long run.

I'm working towards only takning them when the need arises instead of before it happens.  If I get to that point, I'd rather stop completely.  I guess they serve a purpose right now from what I gather listening to this forum.  They help others while they damn some.

For the first time last night I didn't feel like I needed to take the .05 but by midnight I couldn't sleep and realized I would be wide awake all night and then zonked in the a.m. Don't want to get started on sleep medications or anti depressants. Just want this little one monkey off my back.
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Avatar universal
Well, I'm down to one .5 a day now.....Have to take it when I get up and then I'm calm for the rest of the day and slept well at night but as soon as I woke up, had the shakes and felt like I wanted to heeve so didn't want to experience that...I'm on half the dosge as I was after two weeks. I want off completely...If I take half of the .5 then after 4 hours I start getting the shakes and sweating and heart beating fast..What's the next step?  How loing do I stay on this tapering schedule?
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Avatar universal
.25 is the smallest dosage possible, so  to answer your question then .5 is larger and 1 mg is next and so on
If you need it  then take it for goodness sakes.
That's what is there for , do what is best for you
Maybe years from now you won't need it
Counselling is a great addition to taking antidepressants and anti anxiety meds.
so ,
if you haven't done that yet ~ you might consider it
It helps to just talk things out  with someone that's not related to you, nor a friend you might not be able to trust.
Sometimes just a chemical imbalance is why the Xanax is needed ~ sometimes it trauma
Please don't let stigma or well meaning  friends keep you from taking the medicne
Hope this helped a bit
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