Protracted Benzo withdrawal

Posted by aarniek @aarniek, Oct 30, 2016

Taken of 8mg of Ativan daily in 3 weeks and suffering terribly nearly 4 years now! Unable to walk ,have insane muscle tightness,no memory,tinnius is unbearable,unable to picture things in my mind ! After 45 months it’s worse than ever and 2 neurologists have tried only medications which all made me even worse!

So glad you got the help you needed from a good professional.
I did a similar thing checking into a local hospital med rehab inpatient and in two weeks got off Xanax after many years on high dosage. Put me on Klonopin which acts a bit differently and will be completely off in about a week . Met with a psychiatrist every day to get the right med and dosage and have continued outpatient with a psychiatrist to monitor and with a psychologist for talk therapy for my anxiety . I highly recommend this route if you can take the time off ! I have my life back!

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@mhmann

I checked in to Glenbeigh rehab , they call a hospital, last April. I had been prescribed 1.5 mg.of xanax a day for 24 years and was abruptly cut off then oct my GP abruptly discontinued effexor. The post accute withdrawal was the worst experience of my life. no need to go into all of consequences of PAWS those who have experienced it know. with the help of an amazing psychiatrist who had been thru effexor withdrawals herself, i’m doing better. still have bas days but i’m becoming me again. You need to seek help from a good psychiatrist trained in drug withdrawal. there is help. 4 years is too long to suffer

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@mhmann It is a long arduous journey. I have found it is worth it.

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@mhmann

I checked in to Glenbeigh rehab , they call a hospital, last April. I had been prescribed 1.5 mg.of xanax a day for 24 years and was abruptly cut off then oct my GP abruptly discontinued effexor. The post accute withdrawal was the worst experience of my life. no need to go into all of consequences of PAWS those who have experienced it know. with the help of an amazing psychiatrist who had been thru effexor withdrawals herself, i’m doing better. still have bas days but i’m becoming me again. You need to seek help from a good psychiatrist trained in drug withdrawal. there is help. 4 years is too long to suffer

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If you found a doctor that helped at all,it would be life changing as I have been to 4 neurologists in my six years in PAWS and I am the worst I have ever been,and all said the ONLY THING THAT HELPS IS TIME,and as I am 81 ,I don't know if I have much time especially since each year ,I have gotten worse!

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@ejezbeta

I have been looking for 2 years. No help from local does or neurologists that we traveled 5 hours to see who were really brilliant but refused to read any information given to the on prolonged benzo withdrawal syndrome. Wickepedia , under prolonged benzo withdrawal syndrome,has a fair amount of info. I just today discovered that hydrocodone works on the MU receptors so my husband can use it for muscle ( fasciculations, spasms)and bone pain. He had many other symptoms but he needs something for pain and this works. He had been on a prescription NSAIDS for arthritis and I discovered a year into his withdrawal symptoms that you can not take NSAIDS. Today I found out that any medication, herb, drink, food or supplement that attaches to the GABAreceptor site will worsen the withdrawal symptoms, so that means no caffeine, alcohol,vitamin B or D, magnesium, no anti depressants, also there is a group of antibiotics,Cipro is part of that group, that will intereact poorly on any one who is on benzos or in withdrawal symptoms from them. I hope this can be of help to you. Good luck.

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Hydro codone is an opioid isn't it? Is there another one you know of that is not an opioid ?

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@aarniek

If you found a doctor that helped at all,it would be life changing as I have been to 4 neurologists in my six years in PAWS and I am the worst I have ever been,and all said the ONLY THING THAT HELPS IS TIME,and as I am 81 ,I don't know if I have much time especially since each year ,I have gotten worse!

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Have you tried a local hospital detox center?

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@ejezbeta

That is wonderful that you have a physician that is working with you. You mentioned that you cleaned up your diet of processed foods. Over the past two years of trying to find information that could help my husband who is in prolonged benzo withdrawal syndrome from 22 years of Xanax, I have come to think that the reason there is so much anxiety and depression is because our food is mostly junk and lacking in not only Vitamins but needed minerals. That was really smart to start off by improving your diet, wish I would have focussed on that sooner.

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Hello, @ejezbeta – wanted to welcome you to Mayo Clinic Connect. I'm sorry you have not found the physician help you were hoping to find for the alprazolam (Xanax) withdrawal for your husband.

Another thread on Connect you may want to check out deals with tapering from alprazolam (Xanax) specifically https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/going-off-of-xanax

How is your husband doing today?

@brit – just wanted to confirm which benzodiazepine you are tapering off of right now? How are you doing?

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@rascal1

Have you tried a local hospital detox center?

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Dexox is for addictive medications ,so they harm anyone in Benzo withdrawal !

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@aarniek

If you found a doctor that helped at all,it would be life changing as I have been to 4 neurologists in my six years in PAWS and I am the worst I have ever been,and all said the ONLY THING THAT HELPS IS TIME,and as I am 81 ,I don't know if I have much time especially since each year ,I have gotten worse!

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Keep the faith I know it's tough believe me.. I'm still going through withdrawal myself & its been the toughest thing I've ever went through in my life.. I use to be a amateur & professional boxer growing up I had over 60 fights in the ring & I can say benzodiazepine withdrawal is 100% tougher than any fight I've ever been in especially going through the withdrawals I'm enduring, extremely bad tension, headaches, sweating, shaking, racing heart rate, insomnia waking up all night long you name it.. I sleep maybe 3-4hrs & its terrible hours.. So I promise you are not alone.. What kind of symptoms are you having?? & are you off all your medications?? If your only going through emotional withdrawal that is completely normal I believe that's the longest lasting part of withdrawals.. You have to do things that makes you happy & stay as busy as possible doing anything just to get your mind in a good place, dont let it get the best of you.. How long was you on benzodiazepines?? The longer & the higher dose you were on the longer the withdrawal process.. Your brain is trying to heal it's trying to function normally again.. Because long-term use of benzodiazepines causes brain damage on the GABA receptors of the brain, but in time it will heal.. All psychoactive drugs cause withdrawal but benzodiazepines are the longest lasting withdrawals by any medications out there.. It can last months or years.. Like i said it all depends on how long you've been on them & how much you were taking..

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@creatineboy

Believe me,I understand. It i stuff. ,whatever form it takes,all that. I recently stopped klonipin after about 10years. I know you are leery of taking other meds, but so far I've tried neurontin and lopressor to help, and Robaxin for the muscle tightness,it really works.
I use a noise maker and an air purifier for background noise.
They say there's a reversal drug called Flumazenil, it is an antibenzo benzo. Returns your chemistry in your brain to right,but it has to be done in a hospital by titrated IV.
Hope you're doing well

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Hi, @creatineboy thanks for sharing the medications that are helping you and your empathy for others tapering off of benzodiazepines.

You mentioned going off of clonazepam (Klonopin) recently after taking it for 10 years. Mayo Clinic Connect also has a thread specifically on tapering off of clonazepam (Klonopin) that you might be interested in reading and participating in. I'm sure there are many there who might benefit from hearing about what you experienced. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/klonopin-taper

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@rascal1

So glad you got the help you needed from a good professional.
I did a similar thing checking into a local hospital med rehab inpatient and in two weeks got off Xanax after many years on high dosage. Put me on Klonopin which acts a bit differently and will be completely off in about a week . Met with a psychiatrist every day to get the right med and dosage and have continued outpatient with a psychiatrist to monitor and with a psychologist for talk therapy for my anxiety . I highly recommend this route if you can take the time off ! I have my life back!

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May I ask how old you are?? I am 66, been on ativan a over 10 years. Trying to get off but I'm now really depressed. Did you get depressed ?

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@rascal1

So glad you got the help you needed from a good professional.
I did a similar thing checking into a local hospital med rehab inpatient and in two weeks got off Xanax after many years on high dosage. Put me on Klonopin which acts a bit differently and will be completely off in about a week . Met with a psychiatrist every day to get the right med and dosage and have continued outpatient with a psychiatrist to monitor and with a psychologist for talk therapy for my anxiety . I highly recommend this route if you can take the time off ! I have my life back!

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P.s. what state you live in I live in Oregon hardly any help. ??

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I am 66 yrs old been on this crap for over 10 yrs. I'm on lower dose but I have low resistance to drugs. Anyway I was taking .5, 6 months ago I went down to 1/2 , that. Now I'm depressed cant eat hardly. So I shaved a quarter more off and not take 3/4, but still have depression. Do you think its withdrawals or am I just now depressed and need anti depressant. I hope not. I'm sick of depending on pills. Please answer and help. God bless thank you

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Hi @joylin, you may have noticed I moved your post to this discussion so that you can have your posts in one place. Simply click VIEW AND REPLY in your email notification to get to your post.

While we wait for others to respond, have you had a chance to see your doctor to ask them about this?

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@joylin

I am 66 yrs old been on this crap for over 10 yrs. I'm on lower dose but I have low resistance to drugs. Anyway I was taking .5, 6 months ago I went down to 1/2 , that. Now I'm depressed cant eat hardly. So I shaved a quarter more off and not take 3/4, but still have depression. Do you think its withdrawals or am I just now depressed and need anti depressant. I hope not. I'm sick of depending on pills. Please answer and help. God bless thank you

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Sorry for your problems. Ativan is a Benzo and all Benzos cause depression while taking them and more as you cut back. Just as all of the anticholesterol drugs cause depression( this was in the Lancet Journal of medicine in 2018 and that cholesterol had nothing to do with heart attacks. Wonder if anydoctor read that.).About a third or more of all prescription drugs are made with fluoride( that stuff they put in toothpaste) and it interferes with and prevents iodine from being absorbed so messes with your thyroid, besides the fact that fluoride is more poisonous than lead but slightly less than arsenic. I am sorry to tell you that the only help for Benzo withdrawal is slow withdrawal and then time to heal. The Ashton paper on benzo written by a professor Ashton in Great Britain in the 1980's or 1990's has the most information. The AMA refuses to say that prolonged Benzo withdrawal syndrome is real but you can get a lot of info from wickepedia on it. Some advice, do not drink any beverages with caffeine, no alcohol, no NSaids which means no prescription arthritis medication. Do not think that marijuana will help, it won't and might make you manic and out of our head for a few hours or a day and a half as it did my husband. The Benzos mess with the Gabba receptors and so do a lot of things that is why no alcohol etc. Opiod pain medications supposedly affect the my site, so are suppose to be ok. I doubt that. My husband began taking more opiod in Jan and FEBRUARY into early March and his withdrawal symptoms, which are many, have gotten a lot worse. There is no help from the medical people. My husband is going to a pain clinic because of all the pain that he has since weaning off of Xanax but the doctor told him that if it was really the Xanax, he should go back on it. His own doctor gave him Klonopin, another Benzo, which he mistakenly took one at two different times and it might have prolonged it more. It is like telling an alcoholic that he should stop hard liquor but go ahead and drink wine. The stupidity that you are faced with in a physician's office is mind boggling. You can find a lot of people on utube talking about their withdrawal from Benzo experience and it can be awful. Just make sure that you have the support of at least one person or more if possible because you will have suicide thoughts which you should NOT act on. It will pass with time. One woman had terrible pain in her teeth, which my husband has, and so she had her teeth pulled. It did not help her and when she eventually got over all the withdrawal symptoms, she regretted pulling her teeth. Good luck and pray a lot.

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@lisalucier

Hello, @ejezbeta – wanted to welcome you to Mayo Clinic Connect. I'm sorry you have not found the physician help you were hoping to find for the alprazolam (Xanax) withdrawal for your husband.

Another thread on Connect you may want to check out deals with tapering from alprazolam (Xanax) specifically https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/going-off-of-xanax

How is your husband doing today?

@brit – just wanted to confirm which benzodiazepine you are tapering off of right now? How are you doing?

Jump to this post

Sorry, but we do not eat procesed foods because of the junk in them and never have. I always canned a lot of our foods, buy local beef and pork and chickens and eat organic eggs and organic butter. I grew up on nasty margerine but in my 20's realize it was a lie and was poison so switched to butter. My husband's problems have not been caused food but by a stupid doctor who put him on Xanax for his headaches!! Benzos are only suppose to be prescribed three weeks at most and this was known in 1970! My husband was on Xanax 22 years and was put on antidepressants ( Benzos cause depression according to Harvard) and on an antipsychotic for sleep( unbelievable! Like I would want him to develop tardive dyskenesia!) and an epileptic drug( he is not epileptic!). . For 22 years every other year we went to some specialist for wierd, oddball symptoms which now I realize was caused by Xanax because it lasts 4 hours and then you go into withdrawals! He only took his Xanax once a day or twice so was ALWAYS in withdrawals!! I had him slowly wean off of everything over months, the Seroquel took two tries because he did it in only two months and paid for that. The Xanax he did in 6 months but not correctly because he was still drinking coffee, drinking a beer occasionally, taking his prescription arthritis pills all of which can help cause prolonged withdrawal syndrome because they work on the same receptor site. He goes to a pain clinic for an opiod for pain caused by the xanax withdrawal by since startng that he has gotten worse. Opiods work on a different site, the MU site but I think that is not true and they still somehow affect he bnzo withdrawal..He has been off of Xanax for 26 months but started having withdrawal symptoms 18 months ago and they have progressively worsened. MSU neurologists(3 different ones), know that his nerves are not conducting adequately to his muscles but do not know why. They so far have ruled out the MS,Parkinson's, and other things. We were told that if it was a serious disease process he would be dead or in a nursing home by now but no diagnosis. Well , it is PROLONGED BENZO WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME! Read the Ashton paper from Great Britain. I have spent the last 5 years trying to figure out his problems, first by spending over 80 hours reading about the methylation system and what his particular snips could be doing( he had his DNA checked) because he NEVER got rid of his headaches but got a lot more symptoms THANKS TO XANAX. Thanks to the internet, I can read about a lot of studies done at universities and not just in this country and also get information from the Lancet Journal of medicine.So please do not try to make me feel better about anything. I am very angry at the whole medical system as it is based on mountains of lies. In 2018, Harvard said in their medical journal that cholesterol had nothing to do with heart attacks and cholesterol lowering drugs cause depression, not to mention dementia. Was that on the news? No! The Psychiatric group met in Zurich, Switzerland and in February of last year and released a statement saying that GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER was made up by he pharmaceutical industry to sell their anxiety drugs. I am looking for answers to my husband's PROLONGED BENZO WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME not someone to patronize me.

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