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tooncinator
@tooncinator

Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 25, 2017

I didn't know I was "dependent " on Alpralozam until I ran out!

Posted by @tooncinator, Sep 25, 2017

I have been taking prescription Alpralozam for two years or better. Prescribed for insomnia that was making me crazy, and nothing else was putting me down at night. In the beginning it was incredibly helpful, and I was very glad to get back to sleeping at night. Fast forward to last Tuesday. I ran out and my doctor was off having eye surgery. No big deal, I thought. I didn’t think it would kill me to go without….I had been thinking about quitting them anyway because they had lost their efficacy over time. So I get ready for bed, and had trouble sleeping. I started sweating and immediately thought I was having symptoms of peri menopause and hypothyroid. Tossed and turned all night, and then slept not one wink Wednesday night. Then not again on Thursday night. By Friday I was experiencing all of the normal symptoms of sleep deprivation and was struggling at work. I actually managed to get several hours of sleep Friday night, but then comes Saturday morning. I awakened to discover that my entire body was numb. My scalp, teeth, gums, throat, my entire skin! AND get this….my lungs and stomach are numb as well. I can’t even tell if food is in my stomach, because I cannot feel it. I cannot feel air in my lungs. I was totally freaked out at this, and knew this was not peri menopause and/ or hypothyroid. I began wondering if I’d had a stroke. I started totally wigging out…I had itches under my skin and when scratching, I can’t feel a thing. I then these details with my boyfriend and tell him I may need to get to the hospital. Then it dawned on me that I had just suddenly stopped my “sleeping medications” and maybe I should look into it. So I did, and buddy was I SHOCKED! I could not believe all of the information on “benzo” withdrawal. I had not even heard of that word until then….”benzo.” I am flabbergasted and overwhelmed at all of the terrible things I am reading….AND experiencing. I am a 48 year old woman, I have never had an addiction to drugs and I have no idea how I am going to get better….my whole body has been numb for going on 48 hours. Do NOT take this class of drugs if you can avoid it OMG!!

REPLY

Hi, @tooncinator, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I’ve moved your message to our Sleep Health group so that others who have had insomnia and may have experience with medications for it might provide some input.

Thought you might also like to take a look at some of these previous discussions:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/protracted-benzo-withdrawal/bookmark/?ajax_hook=action&_wpnonce=bbd8fb4d52
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/insomnia-29e169/bookmark/?ajax_hook=action&_wpnonce=bbd8fb4d52

Also thought you might like to meet some others who have discussed challenges with sleep, like @saltis, @johnhans, @lacey, @anniegk , @travelgirl ,@shoregal45, @sandytoes14, @jimhd and @kdubois . They may have some insights for you.

You mentioned your doctor who prescribed the Alprazolam was out having surgery. Wondering if you’ve been able to connect with another doctor or your doctor’s office staff about the symptoms you’ve experienced?

@lisalucier

Hi, @tooncinator, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I’ve moved your message to our Sleep Health group so that others who have had insomnia and may have experience with medications for it might provide some input.

Thought you might also like to take a look at some of these previous discussions:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/protracted-benzo-withdrawal/bookmark/?ajax_hook=action&_wpnonce=bbd8fb4d52
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/insomnia-29e169/bookmark/?ajax_hook=action&_wpnonce=bbd8fb4d52

Also thought you might like to meet some others who have discussed challenges with sleep, like @saltis, @johnhans, @lacey, @anniegk , @travelgirl ,@shoregal45, @sandytoes14, @jimhd and @kdubois . They may have some insights for you.

You mentioned your doctor who prescribed the Alprazolam was out having surgery. Wondering if you’ve been able to connect with another doctor or your doctor’s office staff about the symptoms you’ve experienced?

Jump to this post

Good afternoon.  Thank you for sharing the post to the sleep disorder area.  I look forward to reading the threads you have shared with me.  I am at work and yes, I did call my doctor office.  She is still out until Thursday but I told a nurse that I trust to pass the info to her when she calls in.  I don't know what can be done to ease the entire body numbness; from what I've read, absolutely nothing can be done and you pray for time to heal.  Had I really done my homework on this stuff, I NEVER would have started on it.  
Thank you for checking in on me.
Cheryl

@tooncinator Cheryl, this drug is in the same class as lorazapam (ativan) which I have taken. The doctors I have had have all been very cautious about prescribing it, informing me of how habit forming it can be. I take one occasionally when I am tense — I know I will want one the night before we fly away for vacation. I got a prescription from my doctor two years ago — he gave me an Rx for 10! Last week I asked him if he would prescribe again. Once again he gave me 10. That’s fine, most of the time I am fine without them, I just take one on occasional nights. The other time I take one is when I have had two or three sleepless nights, which I am better with now. But after a few nights of little sleep I would take one because I needed to get some sleep.
They are not bad but should never be used regularly. I’m surprised your doctor prescribed enough for you to do that.
JK

@contentandwell

@tooncinator Cheryl, this drug is in the same class as lorazapam (ativan) which I have taken. The doctors I have had have all been very cautious about prescribing it, informing me of how habit forming it can be. I take one occasionally when I am tense — I know I will want one the night before we fly away for vacation. I got a prescription from my doctor two years ago — he gave me an Rx for 10! Last week I asked him if he would prescribe again. Once again he gave me 10. That’s fine, most of the time I am fine without them, I just take one on occasional nights. The other time I take one is when I have had two or three sleepless nights, which I am better with now. But after a few nights of little sleep I would take one because I needed to get some sleep.
They are not bad but should never be used regularly. I’m surprised your doctor prescribed enough for you to do that.
JK

Jump to this post

I am now shocked that she did as well! Let me be clear as a blue sky here….I have NOT abused my medication whatsoever. I went from taking, as prescribed, 1mg up to the 3mg I am currently at, obviously after building a tolerance to it. I’m shocked that my doctor and I have never had this conversation. I don’t EVER remember being told one single negative side effect. I also cannot believe she upped my dose when I told her that 1mg and 2mg were no longer working well. I am shocked that wasn’t a huge red flag to her. I am seriously taken aback at the moment, and pray to God this numbness and insomnia go away at some point. I hope she calls me today yet. Thank you for sharing.

@lisalucier

Hi, @tooncinator, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I’ve moved your message to our Sleep Health group so that others who have had insomnia and may have experience with medications for it might provide some input.

Thought you might also like to take a look at some of these previous discussions:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/protracted-benzo-withdrawal/bookmark/?ajax_hook=action&_wpnonce=bbd8fb4d52
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/insomnia-29e169/bookmark/?ajax_hook=action&_wpnonce=bbd8fb4d52

Also thought you might like to meet some others who have discussed challenges with sleep, like @saltis, @johnhans, @lacey, @anniegk , @travelgirl ,@shoregal45, @sandytoes14, @jimhd and @kdubois . They may have some insights for you.

You mentioned your doctor who prescribed the Alprazolam was out having surgery. Wondering if you’ve been able to connect with another doctor or your doctor’s office staff about the symptoms you’ve experienced?

Jump to this post

@tooncinator

Hi, Cheryl. I have sleep apnea, and used a CPAP machine for over 15 years, and just recently changed to a BIPAP. In 2006, after I had attempted suicide several times, I started seeing a psychiatrist, who diagnosed me with, among other things, anxiety disorder, and prescribed Clonazepam (Klonopin). I thought a couple of years ago about tapering off it – it’s another benzodiazapine – and I think I cut the pill into quarters. I went down from 1mg to .75mg. Not a big deal, I thought. I couldn’t sleep, even going down by only 25%. I had to get back up to the 1mg. I’ve taken it for almost 12 years now, and I really don’t think I suffer any ill effects. A side effect that makes my wife happy is that I don’t act out my dreams. As in kicking and punching, etc.

All that to say the obvious: never stop a medication without first talking with your doctor or pharmacist! I think you’ve probably figured that one out by now. I hope you’ve been able to get a refill, even just a 3 day emergency refill.

Now, I’m going to turn off my phone and go to bed, where I’ll be able to sleep soundly until I’m rudely awakened by an alarm, and I’ll be able to do that because I will have taken my Klonopin. Among other things. Sleep well tonight, Cheryl.

Jim

@lisalucier

Hi, @tooncinator, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I’ve moved your message to our Sleep Health group so that others who have had insomnia and may have experience with medications for it might provide some input.

Thought you might also like to take a look at some of these previous discussions:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/protracted-benzo-withdrawal/bookmark/?ajax_hook=action&_wpnonce=bbd8fb4d52
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/insomnia-29e169/bookmark/?ajax_hook=action&_wpnonce=bbd8fb4d52

Also thought you might like to meet some others who have discussed challenges with sleep, like @saltis, @johnhans, @lacey, @anniegk , @travelgirl ,@shoregal45, @sandytoes14, @jimhd and @kdubois . They may have some insights for you.

You mentioned your doctor who prescribed the Alprazolam was out having surgery. Wondering if you’ve been able to connect with another doctor or your doctor’s office staff about the symptoms you’ve experienced?

Jump to this post

Dearest @tooncinator I hope by now you feel much better! Please don’t cut back or stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor. Discuss your worries about this medication with her thorougly, see if there is something which suits you better. I know how difficult it is to have a good night sleep. So many of us take the sleep for granted but comes one night that sleeping becomes a fantasy or dream, nothing to take place in reality. I usually have a very very boring scientific or economy book with my bedside. The first pages are aged but I have never made it past page 20. Another recommendation is to try meditation. I have many friends who have tried meditation in order to be able to sleep @ everybody swear for it’s benefits. Even researchers have published many positive papers about meditation.
Wish you all the best,

@contentandwell

@tooncinator Cheryl, this drug is in the same class as lorazapam (ativan) which I have taken. The doctors I have had have all been very cautious about prescribing it, informing me of how habit forming it can be. I take one occasionally when I am tense — I know I will want one the night before we fly away for vacation. I got a prescription from my doctor two years ago — he gave me an Rx for 10! Last week I asked him if he would prescribe again. Once again he gave me 10. That’s fine, most of the time I am fine without them, I just take one on occasional nights. The other time I take one is when I have had two or three sleepless nights, which I am better with now. But after a few nights of little sleep I would take one because I needed to get some sleep.
They are not bad but should never be used regularly. I’m surprised your doctor prescribed enough for you to do that.
JK

Jump to this post

@tooncinator I have heard stories such as yours before about the horrible withdrawals from this class of drug. I’m so sorry that you are going through this. I read those pamphlets that accompany a Rx and keep the first one to refer back to if I feel “off” with a drug. I used to take Klonopin and there is nothing in there about how you will feel coming off the drug. My doctor never told me either.
tooncinator, are you still experiencing the withdrawal symptoms? Now that you are off Alpralozam, what are you doing to try to sleep better?
Jen

@contentandwell

@tooncinator Cheryl, this drug is in the same class as lorazapam (ativan) which I have taken. The doctors I have had have all been very cautious about prescribing it, informing me of how habit forming it can be. I take one occasionally when I am tense — I know I will want one the night before we fly away for vacation. I got a prescription from my doctor two years ago — he gave me an Rx for 10! Last week I asked him if he would prescribe again. Once again he gave me 10. That’s fine, most of the time I am fine without them, I just take one on occasional nights. The other time I take one is when I have had two or three sleepless nights, which I am better with now. But after a few nights of little sleep I would take one because I needed to get some sleep.
They are not bad but should never be used regularly. I’m surprised your doctor prescribed enough for you to do that.
JK

Jump to this post

Hi, @tooncinator — just thinking of you and the symptoms you were experiencing when you ran out of prescription Alpralozam and stopped taking it. Curious what your doctor said about your physical reaction and what you decided to do regarding that medication? How is your insomnia recently?

After 26 years on this drug I can agree DO NOT start with it period, went off it cold turkey and glad I am still here !! It is a mind altering drug and removes your perception on life. DO NOT TAKE !!

@lisalucier

Hi, @tooncinator, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I’ve moved your message to our Sleep Health group so that others who have had insomnia and may have experience with medications for it might provide some input.

Thought you might also like to take a look at some of these previous discussions:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/protracted-benzo-withdrawal/bookmark/?ajax_hook=action&_wpnonce=bbd8fb4d52
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/insomnia-29e169/bookmark/?ajax_hook=action&_wpnonce=bbd8fb4d52

Also thought you might like to meet some others who have discussed challenges with sleep, like @saltis, @johnhans, @lacey, @anniegk , @travelgirl ,@shoregal45, @sandytoes14, @jimhd and @kdubois . They may have some insights for you.

You mentioned your doctor who prescribed the Alprazolam was out having surgery. Wondering if you’ve been able to connect with another doctor or your doctor’s office staff about the symptoms you’ve experienced?

Jump to this post

Hello! I didn’t even know these responses were here until today so please forgive me for being so terribly late in replying. I didn’t tell you all of the story with me running out quote on quote. I had seen my doctor 3 weeks before she was to go out on surgery and she knew that I was going to need a prescription refill. She told me no problem she’d make a note in the chart that when I called in it could be refilled. Needless to say she never made that note, and that is what resulted in me running out on a Sunday.

@contentandwell

@tooncinator Cheryl, this drug is in the same class as lorazapam (ativan) which I have taken. The doctors I have had have all been very cautious about prescribing it, informing me of how habit forming it can be. I take one occasionally when I am tense — I know I will want one the night before we fly away for vacation. I got a prescription from my doctor two years ago — he gave me an Rx for 10! Last week I asked him if he would prescribe again. Once again he gave me 10. That’s fine, most of the time I am fine without them, I just take one on occasional nights. The other time I take one is when I have had two or three sleepless nights, which I am better with now. But after a few nights of little sleep I would take one because I needed to get some sleep.
They are not bad but should never be used regularly. I’m surprised your doctor prescribed enough for you to do that.
JK

Jump to this post

I apologize for responding 4 months later! I don’t recall getting notification that someone had replied. So I have not taken any since September 17th, the numbness in my mouth and gums and skin have not improved they are the same. I am still suffering from incredible insomnia and huge mental fog and fatigue. I have tried over-the-counter Tylenol PM type things, I am currently trying hemp oil, and nothing helps whatsoever. It is very very difficult to try and function some days. A few friends of mine have shared things like boiling bananas and using cinnamon that I can’t try due to dietary restrictions at the moment, so I just trudge through everyday. It is getting very very old.

@contentandwell

@tooncinator Cheryl, this drug is in the same class as lorazapam (ativan) which I have taken. The doctors I have had have all been very cautious about prescribing it, informing me of how habit forming it can be. I take one occasionally when I am tense — I know I will want one the night before we fly away for vacation. I got a prescription from my doctor two years ago — he gave me an Rx for 10! Last week I asked him if he would prescribe again. Once again he gave me 10. That’s fine, most of the time I am fine without them, I just take one on occasional nights. The other time I take one is when I have had two or three sleepless nights, which I am better with now. But after a few nights of little sleep I would take one because I needed to get some sleep.
They are not bad but should never be used regularly. I’m surprised your doctor prescribed enough for you to do that.
JK

Jump to this post

Oh, my doctor. When I contacted the office when she was still out on surgery, they reached out to her and she wanted me to check into an addiction Clinic so they could monitor my withdrawal and make sure I didn’t have seizures. I certainly don’t have the time or money for that so I did not. I am not predisposed to seizures and I guess that’s when it would become pertinent to be under a doctor’s care. I’ve not seen or talked to my doctor since 3 weeks before I ran out, so not since August. I will have to make an appointment soon to get my blood work done for my thyroid medication and that will be the first time communicating with her since all of this. I am still a little disgusted with her.

@wiserranter

After 26 years on this drug I can agree DO NOT start with it period, went off it cold turkey and glad I am still here !! It is a mind altering drug and removes your perception on life. DO NOT TAKE !!

Jump to this post

Hi, @wiserranter — wondering if you would tell us a little bit more about your experiences with taking Alpralozam and then with going off of it cold turkey?

@wiserranter

After 26 years on this drug I can agree DO NOT start with it period, went off it cold turkey and glad I am still here !! It is a mind altering drug and removes your perception on life. DO NOT TAKE !!

Jump to this post

Doctor prescribed when I had a panic attack one morning on the way to work. Was able to manage it until I found that I needed more so I ended up taking the full legal does of 2m three times a day but could function or thought I could but it got me thru that period of twenty six years. Thinking back on what I could remember I might have done some things that at the time I thought were good decisions. They were not after remembering just little things or saying things that just was not me. Don’t remember the first couple of months after coming off and from what I was told it was best. Coming off the drug affected my CP and my back muscles so that has left me with bent back syndrome which is called CAMPTOCORMIA. When I tried to stop taking it myself I would go across the street and become stationary as I could not move anything until I could calm down enough to get across. So that led to avoiding things again. But now that I have a clear mind I am in no pain just bent over. I lost so many years being on the drug that time has flown by so quick. It is a mind altering drug and should be better regulated.

@contentandwell

@tooncinator Cheryl, this drug is in the same class as lorazapam (ativan) which I have taken. The doctors I have had have all been very cautious about prescribing it, informing me of how habit forming it can be. I take one occasionally when I am tense — I know I will want one the night before we fly away for vacation. I got a prescription from my doctor two years ago — he gave me an Rx for 10! Last week I asked him if he would prescribe again. Once again he gave me 10. That’s fine, most of the time I am fine without them, I just take one on occasional nights. The other time I take one is when I have had two or three sleepless nights, which I am better with now. But after a few nights of little sleep I would take one because I needed to get some sleep.
They are not bad but should never be used regularly. I’m surprised your doctor prescribed enough for you to do that.
JK

Jump to this post

Hi, @tooncinator — not to worry it’s been a bit. Very glad to hear from you. I am saddened to hear all those side effects are still plaguing you.

Since you have to go to your doctor shortly to get blood work done for your thyroid, what do you think about telling her what your barriers were for checking into an addiction clinic and telling her that you ended up having to do this solo and are still experiencing the effects?

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