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Message Board > Other Prescription Drugs > Xanax Making Me Panic?

Posted by: jeffster June 21, 2008, 2:01 PM
I have only been taking Xanax (illegally) for about 9 months now. At first, I just tried it because I was having trouble sleeping and a buddy of mine turned me onto them and now I cant sleep without it.
But lately- during the day- I find myself having these WICKED CRAZY panic attacks. Thought I was having a heart attack or stroke the 1st time it happened. It's happening more and more lately? Is it the Xans?
I want to stop and I'm trying to taper but I'm terrified. I keep hearing crazy stories about people coming off and having seizures.....
I dont know what to do.........

Posted by: The Silent Partner June 21, 2008, 10:43 PM
Hi answered this one pain pills.. good luck

Posted by: jeffster June 25, 2008, 8:21 PM
I went to the site but I'm down about it. It seems like a slow taper-loooooooong process and it looks like you have to take some other kind of drugs while doing the taper. The point is that I dont want to have to take ANY pills anymore. I mean- I had a headache yesterday and suffered all day because I didnt even want to take a Tylenol. I just want to be better.

Posted by: The Silent Partner June 26, 2008, 3:53 AM
You can switch to another longer acting benzo like valium and do a slow taper, or you can take a short cut.

Even if you dont suffer seizures you will have all the awful side effects and anxiety and drastically decrease your chance of staying clean, if you take a short cut.

Posted by: 12 stepper June 26, 2008, 1:30 PM
You can go to your primary care doc and tell him/her what's going on. What do you do when you run out of pills? Benzo withdrawal is pretty bad. I would start withdrawing every 3-4 hours towards the end of my using. The panic attacks were pretty bad too. But I took benzos for a very long time. Explain to your doctor what's going on and get some help. Maybe they will check you into a detox where they can monitor you. This would be the safest thing to do.

Posted by: jeffster June 26, 2008, 9:00 PM
I just feel so STUPID (and scared) going to my doc with this. I have a family history of drug abuse and I am SO anti drug. I KNEW better than this. I dont know how I got here. All I wanted to do was get some sleep and now I'm an addict.
Addict. I have a family. And a career. People look up to me. And now I'm supposed to tell everyone I have a problem? There goes the family and the job.....
I would LOVE to go to some detox place but I just cant. I pay all the bills in the house and I need my paycheck. I can't miss any work. Anyways, my health insurance is through my work and they would find out. Then all I'll be to them is "some junkie"- Basically, I'm screwed.
The panic attacks get worse by the day. I started taking these to sleep and now I have to take one in the morning just to get myself to work. I could lose my kids over this. I hate myself right now.

Posted by: 12 stepper June 27, 2008, 9:04 AM
How much are you taking? Could you do a taper? Not the ashton way, something a bit more reasonable.

Posted by: jeffster June 29, 2008, 11:15 PM
Was just small dosages. Then it was up to a whole blue a night. And half a blue in the morning. Then the panic started. Then it was a bar a night. Half a bar in the AM. 1/4 of a bar in the middle of the day if I even START to go panicky.....This is nuts. The stupid pill is MAKING me panic so I take MORE of the pill to NOT panic. I am at my lowest point right now. I'm so much better than this...

Posted by: jeffster July 10, 2008, 11:10 AM
Okay- so they have me some Klonopin and Buspar and want me to taper the Xans. Does anyon know about either of those 2 and if they are effective?

Posted by: Leann March 30, 2009, 2:31 PM
Hi, I'm not much of one to give advice. Seeing I need some myself. I'm on the forum for painpills. But I also take Xans. I do not feel that I have an addiction to them and have been taking them for about a year and a half. I to feel very panicy but they due help calm me down. I have lowered myself to one blue pill in the a.m. unless for some reason I feel severe anxiety. I to am scared to not have one everyday because of the seizures. But I do know that you can not die from a panic attack and during one you just keep saying that to yourself with deep breathes and that seems to help me. I know it's a scarey feeling but it will pass. I have tryed kolonipin(not sure if spelled right) before and it does not give the same affect as the xans. I do think it helps with the anxiety,just without the feeling that your used to. It's good your tapering yourself down. Keep doing that for a while until you can take a quarter peice of a blue. You will not get a feeling but it will be in your system. I have stopped them before but I have an addiction to painpills and it is the only otherthing keeping me kind of sane. Seeing the amount of Xans you were taking a day I would suggest to keep a small amount in your system daily for a while until you are at the bare minimum. I watched my mother-in-law go into seizures after taking 3 blues a day and quiting cold turkey. So the seizures are real and do happen. But you can do this it will take time and you may even fall into a depression because they are known to due that and thats where I'm at now. So hang in there you can conquer the panic attacks. I wish the best of luck!

Posted by: Briar March 30, 2009, 5:21 PM
When you say blue, do you mean one mg? I was prescribed three mg a day for a long time and I just stopped. I'm not suggesting that by any means, but, while uncomfortable and other side effects, I did it. What are you on? Is it prescribed?

Posted by: Suboxman March 30, 2009, 6:24 PM
I am not a doctor--I took Buspar made me nuts But I am whacked mentally without any drugs.BUT If I was you lose the I am embarrased etc.

I was taking up to 20 mg of zanax a day--I weaned with Klonopin meetings therapy and trusted my faith in My doctor who told me you will be a bit shaky but you will live. I survived.

If you try going C/T off of benzos you can die. we are all quite different. So go to a doctor be honest with him/her and be honest with yourself. You can read this board and do you want to get worse? You sound like from what you wrote you realize you have a problem.

I have taken benzos on and off for decades. They are quite difficult to kick but once you do? its worth the little bit of suffering. Get a good doctor and LISTEN and you will be just fine.

Good luck


Posted by: Leann March 31, 2009, 2:07 AM
Yes when I say blue I mean a 1mg. and they were prescribed by a doctor. I also was prescribed them three times a day. I do believe I could just stop with no problem but considering my postion at the moment I might go wacko. I do know for a fact with some people if they have been taking them as prescribed or more than prescribed every day for atleast two years and quit cold turkey you can go into seizures. The only reason I know this is because I watched my mother-in-law go into 3 different seizures on 3 different occasions. She only took the 1mg three times a day. The first seizure she had was in the car driving home as soon as she got home she ran in the house and dialed 911 and went into a full blown seizure. The weird thing is the doctors said she was actually having the seizure in the car even though she looked perpectly normal. She did not know how she got home and did not really realize where she was at. Theres different kinds of seizures, and her first one started as if she was spaced out. The next one was a couple of days later and she could feel that she was about to have one. Thank god I knew something to do so I grabbed a rag, twisted it up and forced it in her mouth and laid my body across her arms. She went into a full blown seizure for about 3 minutes. And well the same thing happened the next time. The doctors and medics said they were caused from the Xans, stopping cold turkey. I would not beleive or think much of it if I didnt see it for myself. I only take one in the a.m. now so if I stopped I wouldnt be so worried, but for others who take more, consistently everyday for atleast two years I'd suggest the tapering. Also thankyou for your advice on my page,it was very helpful and good to know someone out there actually cares to give there opinion and advice. I seem to be a little better today but I still do not want to leave the house and it pretty much took all I had to get on the computer. Maybe tomorrow I might be better, will see! Again thanks for the feedback and hope to here from you again.

Posted by: LearningToCope April 3, 2009, 10:56 AM
My son had a similar problem. He was on a whole slew of anti-psychotics, benzos, percs, etc. He could not taper on his own because of the danger involved in doing this, He found a wonderful program in San Francisco that specializes in supervised tapering using a holistic and naturpathic approach. It only took a short time and his life has been forever changed. I suggest, no urge, anyone struggling to taper off meds or even illegal substances to look into this program. It is called Alternative To Meds Center

If you have any questions just reply to this post or email me. I can put you in touch with the people who helped my son.

Posted by: 12 stepper April 3, 2009, 12:33 PM
Its interesting that both times you've posted here it's been to plug this place. Are you the owner?

Posted by: bender May 4, 2009, 10:56 AM
Good Morning Jeffster,

Below. I've attached one of the most comprehensive benzodiazepine withdrawal websites in the world. Dr. Heather Ashton is one of the best in this field. The drawback with regard to the Ahston schedule is that it can take a good 16 weeks; however, the safety of a controlled withdrawal has tremendous advantages over one that, say, reduces the dose by 20% every 3-5 days, which is common for opioids. There are about 12 different schedules depending on which benzodiazepine you are on. I believe the 1st schedule is withdrawal from Xanax (alprazolam) by lowering the Xanax and adding a longer-acting benzodiazepine, which, most often, is Valium (diazepam). Withdrawing from alprazolam alone is extremely difficult. One would think it's easy, just cutting back from 1mg TID for 2 weeks, to 1mg BID for two weeks, etc., but for many people, including me, that was extremely difficult. Xanax's nature, being a triazolo-benzodiazepine, makes it one of the shorter acting and more powerful. Similar to Halcion (triazolam) - which has an even shorter half-life.

Though I mostly post on the Pain Pills thread, I've used benzodiazepines for panic disorder since I was 17 (which means I've used them, daily, for 15 years). I started on Xanax at 0.5mg BID and. due to tolerance and the fact that panic disorder "waxes and wanes" and is hard to get control of, even with the assistance of a psychiatrist and behavioral therapist, my dose now is 2mg QID (8mg/day is edging up to Xanax's top-end of 10mg/day). Throughout the years, both when I used opioids and benzodiazepines, we use a "rotation", so for several years I was on Ativan (lorazepam), and for shorter periods Tranxene (clorazepate) and Valium (diazepam).

Back to you, I really think you should go to your physician and explain, from the beginning, what happened. That you initally took the Xanax to help sleep and, from there, it's turned into a dependence. Xanax's short half-life is what causes those symptoms, which are really the beginning stages of withdrawal. And, yes, Xanax has one of the more severe withdrawal syndromes. You can't die from opioid withdrawal, but benzodiazepine withdrawal is much more grave. You need to have a slow taper with a long-acting benzodiazepine. The use of the long-acting benzodiazepine will ensure that when you stop the Xanax, you will have no seizures or other withdrawal symptoms. Then, over the next weeks, you slowly lower the dose of the long-acting benzodiazepine, which is much easier to wean off of than a shorter-acting.

Here is an example of how quickly withdrawal can start. I went to work and brought my other medications, but somehow forgot my Xanax (2mg tablet). By the 4th hour, I could feel the shakiness and anxiety building, and by hour 6 of an 8 hour shift, I could barely sign my name (having trouble writing is one of the more moderate withdrawal symptoms). This became scary, and thankfully one of my co-workers came in an hour early and I made it home in time to take a 3mg dose. About an hour later, I felt better, but that scared the hell out of me. So, please don't try to do this on your own. If your MD doesn't have experience with this, he or she can refer you to someone who can, but you can do this.

If you need any other advice or help, let me know. I wish you the best of luck, and you will make it through.

My thoughts and prayers are with you!



Posted by: jackofhartzz January 11, 2010, 11:13 AM
Even if you dont suffer seizures you will have all the awful side effects and anxiety and drastically decrease your chance of staying clean, if you take a short cut.
- Silent Partner

Yeah, I couldnt agree more-- Ive seen a few people at the Mdone clinic who mix Xanax with thier dose. Thinking that if they just go up on thier dose it will be -OK-
Boy >is that wrong!!!- Seen Medical vans speed to the clinic to pick them up when they hit the ground....

though experience- I can tell you people -be careful with this one- -its bad news!

Posted by: krisg February 17, 2010, 5:58 AM
hi I was addicted to xanax for 1 year I was taking 200mg per day 4 tablets, I was going mad, so I tapered, 1st week 3 tablets, 2nd week 2 and a half tablets, 3rd week 2 tablets, 4th week, 1 and a half tablets, 5th week 1 tablet, 6th week a half, 7th week one fourth,,, and then I was done,,, it was tough but it worked,,, you can do it just takes timing during the day, time the mg through out the day and you will be fine,,, K.

Posted by: addict and mum March 5, 2010, 6:13 AM
hey i have been taking xanax on and off for a year or more i was a heroin addict for 5 years then got on the subutex program. then started using again but i became so self destructive id take 5 bars then a big whack of heroin and have t drive home f***ing crazy in the last year i have crashed the car i think about 6 times all my fault just nodded off behind wheel. the last accident was a eye opener and my parents noticed i was goin no where quick and sent me t perth for a naltrexone implant which has been great, but since returning xanax are all that work for anxiety i take easy up t 3 bars or more a day. id been awake for 6 days last wk on speed and eventually came home knowing i had t sleep i took 6 bars and woke up on my lounge room floor with food all around me in the most uncomfortable position and didn't remember even cooking the food ! the thought of not having any t wake up too or go t sleep with scares me like crazy

Posted by: Raven December 23, 2010, 11:28 PM
I've gone 46 days today without Xanax, which is/was my drug of choice. It's an evil drug and has controlled my life on and off for about 10 yrs. I lost my career, and almost my life. It started out so innocently. I couldn't sleep and felt stressed and anxious. My doctor prescribed it for me. Before long I was not only taking that, but much much more. From a now dead cancer patient friend I knew. Every day is a struggle to stay clean, but it can be done. It's possible (at least it was for me) to spend some time without it and 'rationalize' it. When I inevitably ran out early I had shakes for weeks, couldn't eat, vomiting, bleeding, hallucinations, rashes, swollen eyes. Yet, I continued to ask for refills when I could. After going thru all that I still continued. Please save your lives and DO NOT TAKE XANAX UNDER ANY CONDITIONS! I find it to be extremely addictive which I believe is it's purpose. Maybe I'm paranoid after all the years of abuse :) Keep smiling.

Posted by: Finally Clean December 27, 2010, 5:48 AM
Hitting bottom & getting up again :

Posted by: jackyblag January 5, 2011, 10:02 AM
Zanax, well after a car accident with a tree and totally not being able to cope at work and having constant panic attacks i was supplied the lethal drug zanax.

What did this drug do for me allowed me to function allowed me to me domestic violated allowed me to lose my morales towards myself allowed me to be home invaded and most of me showed me such a dark side of my personality that never existed or something i want to put in a box.

Some junkies stole my tablets one day and a women died in some appartment and i decided f*** this i dont need this s*** well for 12 months i felt f*** this s***. I felt bricks on my chest could not breath, i felt absolute confusion, had to stare at things to centre my self, could control outburst of tears but years on i have not gone back to the doctors for a prescription yes i have tried them once with little effect.

Yes i was only on mg a day but that is all it took to put my life in to a false sense of security and all i have to say is not matter how out of control you may feel i have dealt with a schizophranic on 9mg a day coming down yes there are seizures but coming out the other end of the tube is worth it .

Posted by: jackyblag January 5, 2011, 10:09 AM
The problem is the drug does not remove anxiety and you need now to focus at the hightened stage when i rushed to hospital thinking i was having heart attacks no one told me to concentrate on one object only and deep breathe it will pass you will soon remove that feeling. you must focus on your feeling and slow your body and not let anyone interupt it and when you are ready to move walk or talk you do. I found before the medication during i discovered this bymyself after taking the medication bymyself ,

Pick a rock a sign a picture and concentrate and focus and become one and block

Posted by: 12 stepper January 7, 2011, 10:23 AM
congratulations on getting off those little pieces of hell, Jacky. Welcome to the other side.

Posted by: delilah March 14, 2016, 9:36 PM
I've been on zanex for years. Sometimes have been off, wish I would have stayed off. It is a hellish, addictive drug. The longer you take it messes with your brain, becomes less effective and has a short half life. Meaning the longer u r on it you need to take more and then you feel depressed. I have become dependent on it, I wish I had never started. Now trying to get off, afraid to tell my dr. because she will most likely cut me right off, I'd like to taper. I hope God will help me. I've taken 4-5 mg on many days. When a couple months ago I was off a couple of weeks then somehow got back on it began on a half and after a month was taken more. I have swollen eyes, itchy places, mark's on my arms, numbness in my spine and headaches. Your brain naturally produces Gaba which relaxes a person, when on zanex brain no longer produces it's natural calming agent. Takes time for it to start again, I often wonder if it ever does. Also read that the liver begins destroying the zanex meaning you are getting less even though taking more. You can die from it. I'm feeling so scared.

Posted by: Papa Bear March 14, 2016, 10:14 PM
I am an alcoholic since 1960 and Valium user since 1973.

I entered recovery in 1989 and have been clean/sober since then.

The only thing that I found got me clean and keeps me clean is commitment to AA/NA.

I wish you the best.

Bob R

Posted by: Ian C March 13, 2018, 6:20 PM
Hey, how’s it going? Your post really stuck out at me, I was in the same position a few months ago but about 2 years further in. I experienced reverse tolerance as well. The bad news is that because you’ve been taking them illegally there isn’t a shrink that’s going to see you, and regulate your benzo dose, well that was the case with me. I asked quite a few to stabilize me but they all told me to go to detox. The GOOD news is that I went to detox 2 months ago, and I can honestly tell you I’m super grateful. I was so terrified my father had to drag me there but the detox I went to got me through it, and it wasn’t as bad as I imagined at all. It was uncomfortable but with my anxiety issues I tend to make things bigger than they are. Please ask a professional for help, preferably a psychiatrist who is an addiction specialist. There are so many different ways that I have found to regulate sleep, and anxiety but when I was on Xanax those doors were closed to me. If I have more than 2 months clean after 3-4 years of illegal use at about 6-8 mgs a day I’m confident that most people could get through it. It sounds like you’re to the point where that might be the answer. Good luck, any questions just holler.
-Ian C.
*I burn baby burn like disco inferno*

Posted by: Mitchell Slowick April 7, 2020, 9:43 AM
Off Xanax!!!!
Have been on . 5 mg Xanax 4 times a day for years. Really
Finally got off. It was turning me into a zombie.
I tried hypnosis, acupuncture, tapping, cognitive therapy. Nothing worked. The only thing that helped was
Learning proper breathing technique. As soon as I feel a little anxious. I would start slow square breathing. This helped enough so I could try to get off.
I did a lot of praying. Then started a slow taper off.
Went from 4 to 3 pills for about 2 weeks, then went to 2 pills a day for about a month.then 1/2 two times a day for another month or so. Finally 1/4 pill twice a day for another month or so. Then every other day for another month. Then only when needed. For instance, church. Or an important meeting.etc.
Now I practice breathing a couple times a day, and think keeps me relaxed. In this last month probably one .25 pill or maybe 2. But for the most part, am completing off. No side effects or reactions of any kind. It can be done.
Good luck