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Xanax (Alprazolam) Withdrawal Symptoms + Timeline

Xanax (Alprazolam) is a medication that is prescribed to treat intense anxiety and panic disorders. It is currently among the most prescribed drugs in the United States, and has been for years. The reason that many people turn to Xanax and that doctors give out prescriptions for this medication is simple: because it works. There is really not a more effective medication on the market for sheer anxiety and panic than this one.

The major drawbacks associated with this medication can cause some people to stop taking it. In most cases, it is recommended to avoid using this medication unless you are 100% sure that you’ll need it. Consistent long term usage of Xanax (and other benzodiazepines) is linked to developing dementia as well as other permanent cognitive deficits. These facts are not meant to scare people, rather point out that Xanax is typically not safe for the long term.

For this reason, many people have turned to other medications and/or just decided to quit using Xanax. When you decide to quit Xanax, it is important to work closely with your doctor and/or under the supervision of a professional. Withdrawal symptoms can be serious and extreme compared to most other medications. In fact, for certain individuals, this is the single hardest drug that they’ll ever withdraw from.

Factors that influence Xanax withdrawal

Not everyone will experience the same degree of withdrawal symptoms when coming off of Xanax. For some people it will be a relatively moderate withdrawal, while for others it will be total hell. Various factors that play a role in influencing withdrawal include: time span, dosage, your physiology, and how you quit.

1. Time Span

How long have you been on Xanax? Were you just using it on an “as needed” basis? Or were you taking it for months? Some people have been on this medication for years, taking it every single day. Individuals that have been on it consistently for long periods of time are going to have the most difficulty when it comes to withdrawal.

2. Dosage (.25 mg, .5 mg, 1 mg, 4 mg)

Typically in cases of treating generalized anxiety or social anxiety, a person only will need about 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg to alleviate symptoms. Even for panic attacks, the maximum recommended dose is only 0.5 mg. Since the immediate release version of the medication may need to be taken multiple times per day, it is not recommended to exceed 4 mg daily. Most professionals will not prescribe more than 4 mg to be taken on a daily basis.

3. Physiology

Your personal physiology will play a role in determining how quickly you recover from the withdrawal symptoms. Some people heal faster than others so just realize that your withdrawal experience is unique to you.  Not everyone has the same degree of social support or the same opportunities.  The way that your nervous system reacts to the withdrawal will be dependent upon your individual situation.

4. Cold turkey vs. tapering

It is actually dangerous in many cases to quit taking Xanax “cold turkey.” Therefore it is not medically advised to just stop taking this medication without having slowly tapered down the dose over an extended period of time. Work with your doctor or another professional if you need help with this process. The person who prescribed you this medication should be well aware that you need to “taper” and should never quit “cold turkey” unless you are already on the lowest possible dose.

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms List

Below are some symptoms that you may experience when you stop taking Xanax. Realize that this medication is considered one of the most difficult to quit. People can build up a quick tolerance to the drug and since it works so quickly and effectively, many people become addicted. During your withdrawal, it is important to realize that many of the symptoms you will experience are a result of your brain readjusting to processes without the drug.

  • Anxiety: When you stop taking Xanax, your brain no longer has the drug to bind to GABA receptors. Therefore instead of the calm feeling you experience while on Xanax, you may experience very severe anxiety. It may be so severe that you have a difficult time functioning and/or coping. Just know that the severity will subside as time passes throughout your withdrawal.
  • Concentration difficulties: Many people report difficulties with concentration while taking this drug, but also during withdrawal. Research has shown that people exhibit cognitive deficits for weeks after taking this drug. If it seems as though you are not able to think clearly, it is likely a result of the withdrawal process.
  • Convulsions: This is a condition in which the muscles rapidly contract and relax rapidly and repeatedly. These are especially common if you try to quit taking Xanax in “cold turkey” fashion. It is basically uncontrollable shaking of your body because you have become accustomed to the drug for functioning. These will subside as long as you do an extremely gradual taper.
  • Depression: It is extremely common to experience increasing depression when coming off of Xanax. For some people the calmness associated with this medication actually helps with depressive symptoms. The combination of all of the withdrawal symptoms can lead to feelings of deep depression and sorrow.
  • Hallucinations: It is thought that when you stop taking Xanax, especially if you do not slowly taper, that neurons become overexcited. The overexcitement is thought to contribute to some individuals experiencing hallucinations. Although this isn’t a common withdrawal effect, some people do experience them as a result of quitting Xanax.
  • Headaches: People have reported minor headaches, to major migraine-esque headaches when coming off of Xanax. These can make life very difficult to deal with especially if they are ongoing. It is recommended to make sure you are drinking adequate water and taking over-the-counter headache relief if necessary.
  • Insomnia: Perhaps the most common symptom that people experience when withdrawing from Xanax is insomnia. You may not be able to fall asleep at night and instead your mind seems to be controlled by anxiety and stressful thinking. Even when your physical body is exhausted, your mind runs an uncontrollable course that keeps you awake.
  • Irritability: Many people report feeling irritable when they come off of benzodiazepines. Some people experience aggression in combination with feeling highly irritable. Recognize that little things may really irritate you during withdrawal.
  • Memory problems: Long term use of this drug has been linked to developing dementia. It is not a surprise that Xanax is linked to memory problems during withdrawal. Most people should experience their memory return to normal within a few months into withdrawal.
  • Mood swings: Many people have experienced mood swings during withdrawal from benzodiazepines. These mood swings make actions unpredictable and can make recovery difficult because one minute you may feel good and the next very depressed.
  • Muscle pain: You may experience an extensive amount of pain in your muscles or throughout the body. This could be a result of muscle tension and could also just be aches and pains of withdrawal.
  • Nausea: You may feel nauseated for awhile and/or experience flu-like symptoms especially during the first few weeks of withdrawal.
  • Nightmares: It is common to experience nightmares and other sorts of crazy dreams when coming off of Xanax.
  • Palpitations: You may experience heart palpitations especially during the acute phase of withdrawal. These are sensations that your heart is beating rapidly, irregularly, or abnormally. These may drive you crazy because they can lead to further anxiety. They will eventually subside if you can relax.
  • Panic attacks: Since this medication is used to treat panic, you are likely going to experience panic when coming off of it. The panic may be significantly worse than before you started taking Xanax. This is something that you will have to learn how to cope with. It will eventually go away and/or reduce in intensity, but during the initial withdrawal period it may be extreme.
  • Perceptual changes: Changes in perception have been documented during withdrawal.
  • Psychosis: Many people experience psychotic episodes as a result of withdrawing from Xanax. If you end up experiencing psychosis as a result of your withdrawal from Xanax, it could be due to the fact that you withdrew too fast. Psychosis as the result of withdrawal does not typically respond to an antipsychotic medication.
  • Seizures: One of the huge dangers associated with not tapering off of Xanax is that of experiencing seizures. In cases of benzodiazepine dependency, seizures are a common withdrawal symptom if you cut bait with the medication cold turkey. This is not safe, so make sure you are slowly tapering off or “titrating” down to a lower dose over a period of time.
  • Sleep disturbances: You may notice changes in your sleep patterns. It may be difficult to get a full night’s sleep and/or you may experience significant interruptions in your ability to stay asleep. These disturbances can make life even more stressful while trying to come off of Xanax.
  • Suicidal thinking: The excessive anxiety may provoke thoughts of suicide and contribute to a person feeling trapped. During withdrawal, it may feel as if you are prisoner to the excessive nervousness, anxiety, and stress that you are experiencing. This will eventually get better, but in the meantime, make sure you have a coping strategy in case you start to feel suicidal.
  • Sweating: Most people report extensive “night sweats” when coming off of Xanax. You may sweat excessively throughout the day, but most people report that their sweats throughout the night are significantly worse.
  • Tingling sensations: You may feel tingling sensations across your body when you first come off of this medication.  These sensations are not easy to deal with and may drive you crazy.  Just recognize that this is a well-documented symptom of withdrawal that should be understood.
  • Tremors: This is uncontrollable shaking usually in your hands and/or arms. The muscles contract and relax, sometimes in rhythmic frequencies. If these do not go away, you may need to conduct a slower taper.
  • Vomiting: Some individuals end up puking as a result of the intense nausea that they experience. Although this isn’t a very common symptom, it has been reported.

Note: Following your last dose, Xanax stays in your system (along with its metabolites) for between 2 and 4 days.  Some believe that discontinuation symptoms become most noticeable after it has been fully cleared from the body.

Xanax Withdrawal Timeline: How long does it last?

There is no specific timeline for withdrawal from Xanax. It may take one person a few weeks to overcome the withdrawal symptoms, while recovery for another person may take months or years. It is important to recognize that your experience with any medication is unique and cannot be generalized to everyone. Most researchers have found that people coming off of Xanax go through an “acute phase” (shorter term) which is sometimes followed by a “protracted phase” (longer term).

Acute phase

On average, withdrawal from Xanax lasts 2 months or more. A good rule of thumb I like to go by is the 90 day rule for any psychiatric medication. In most cases, withdrawal symptoms subside by the third month of not taking the medication. This is assuming that you gradually tapered off of the medication – not quit cold turkey. If you quit cold turkey, the withdrawal effects may linger for longer than just a few months.

Protracted phase

There is evidence of a protracted or extended withdrawal phase in which people experience effects for months if not years after their last dose. It is suggested that up to 15% of individuals who have taken Xanax could exhibit symptoms for an extended period of time. These symptoms typically include things like: insomnia, tinnitus, cognitive deficits, anxiety, jerks, muscle weakness, tremors, muscle pain, and tingling sensations. People may experience brain damage if they were taking high doses of Xanax over an extended period of time.

Full recovery

Most people will fully recover from their Xanax withdrawal, but it may take months or years. There is no telling when the person is going to return back to a completely normal state of functioning. If you are dealing with Xanax withdrawal, take the time to focus on engaging in healthy activities. Do things that are good for your mind and body such as: getting natural sunlight, socializing with others, staying busy (e.g. at a job), exercising, and eating healthy.

My personal experience coming off of Xanax

I had taken Xanax immediate release as well as the XR (extended release) version. I was on the immediate release version for about a year, and I took the XR version for about a year and a half. They worked wonders for my anxiety and honestly I don’t know that I would have been able to make it through a year of my high school without them. I was plagued by severe social anxiety as well as general anxiety. This drug did what it was intended to do – reduce my anxiety.

Coming off of it was no fun, but I was lucky that I wasn’t put on a super high dose. The withdrawal experience was nothing short of a nightmare for me being a teenager at the time, but it was still easier than Paxil. My withdrawal symptoms lasted for 6 to 8 months, so I am well aware that the process takes awhile. My doctor didn’t even tell me to taper off of the medication, so that probably made things worse than necessary. Always make sure that you taper off of these drugs so that you can avoid dangerous effects of quitting cold turkey.

If you have been withdrawing from Xanax and would like to share your personal experience, many people would appreciate it. Sharing your experience helps people realize that they are not alone in this struggle and that full recovery is possible. I am living proof that you can make it out from Xanax withdrawal.

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{ 192 comments… add one }
  • Tyler Durden January 7, 2018, 4:40 pm

    Hey everyone! I’ve suffered from insomnia since I was about 8. I’ll never forget the first night as a child, laying in my cozy blankets, just staring off at the wall, and realizing the sun was coming up, I hadn’t slept, and still wasn’t tired.

    Fast forward to today (1/7/18), and here I am. 4 weeks out of the intensive care unit, where I spent 1 week being told my kidneys and liver were shutting down, and I’d probably die.

    Well… I’m not dead, but, after a year of taking xanax and every other benzo in the world, I lay here, been awake for 24 hours, and will be lucky if I get a hour of sleep tonight before my next 24-40 hour up cycle. I was up to 20+ mg of xanax a day. Im not bragging by any means. Just trying to paint a picture of how bad it can be. Brace yourself…

    During my hospital stay, I hardly lifted my head or ate for a week. Zero strength, zero appetite. I lost over 25lbs, and still can not fully walk. All my muscles are going absolutely crazy, and everything hurts.

    During the first 3 weeks, I sweat constantly from every pore in my body, and could hardly get out of bed. My brain was so foggy, I couldn’t even compose a text, or talk to people. Yes, it was THAT bad!

    Today I can navigate stairs alone, but it’s difficult. I still sweat when I’m overly active, but, it’s gotten better. I started taking xanax because of insomnia and anxiety. I only stopped because I almost died. I’m staying clean, because I want to live. And I want my life back.

    I’m going crazy without sleep, and I’m pretty terrified what I’m going to do. I’ve never had a prescription for xanax, I had to search it out on the black market, and it would be very easy to get. Honestly, that scares me.

    I can’t help but wonder, at what point does the need for sleep override the desire to be clean? I’ve come off oxy’s, coke, meth, and many other nasty substances… all of them were a carnival ride compared to this hell.

    Best of luck to everyone fighting this demon, and just know, you CAN get though it. We all can. Some of us will need more support than others, and some of us are just crazy enough to try it alone. I can say from experience, the alone option is a pretty rough ride.

  • Lindsey January 24, 2017, 11:49 pm

    It was my New Years resolution to get off, but so far it has been horrible. I was formerly on Ativan and was medically detoxed from that and was successfully off of all benzos for a year before going through a very traumatic divorce and essentially begging my doctor to put me back on… well here I am again. I was just out of it for the last two days, shaking, confusion and sweating brutally set in. I’m scared and don’t want to burden those around me. Any help or support would be great!

  • Trisha January 10, 2017, 2:34 pm

    I’m currently on 6 mg at night to sleep. I was started at age 31 by a doctor for insomnia after my entire life being riddled with no sleep or little to none. I’m up to 6 mg at night… due to a severe neurological reaction to an antibiotic that nearly killed me, I now have episodes where I fall asleep uncontrollably.

    I end up falling asleep at night forgetting to take my xanax, and then I wake up… my head ringing like a bell, my body shaking… headache and my body cramping. I immediately take my xanax. I found out that I have a genetic condition that causes my brain to make little to no GABA… as well as other things.

    I have begged my doctor for help. I’m not getting it. I am in a nightmare. I just woke up from falling asleep and forgetting to take it. I can remember the withdrawals from when I was found out I was pregnant… 2-4 weeks of hell… and that was on not even 2 milligrams.

    I was told that if I wanted off I would have to go into special facility due to the amount my doctor has prescribed me daily. The threat of seizure is great according to my neuro… he is amazed and sympathetic towards my case. I’ve been hoarding my meds to be able to taper off… I just don’t know how, and I’m terrified.

    No one ever told me these things. Yes, it works for me… it does what it is supposed to do… I’ve been on it for 15 years. My geneticist is at a loss because my genetic condition keeps me from sleeping without medication. I am lost.

  • Mel December 20, 2016, 3:45 pm

    Hey. I have been on xanax .05 for 3 times a day for 20 years. I was tired of having to see my doctor every month to get my script filled and I also moved to another state and did not want to have to run to a doctor here and try to get xanax. I tapered off for a couple of weeks and I am on day 3 without it.

    I have had some lower back pain, anxiety, blurred vision, some fuzzy thinking… forgetfulness, had some mild nausea the first night. I have had tightness in my teeth, like clinching (if that makes sense). The only thing really bothering me is the jitteriness, feeling uneasy and very tired.

    I have some xanax but I figure if I can make it 3 days without it I can stay off. From what I have read it gets better after the first 4 days so I am determined to get rid of the xanax for good.

  • Kim Delfosse December 17, 2016, 1:44 pm

    I’ve been reading all your individual stories regarding coming off Xanax, and here’s my story. I decided one day to start tapering off Xanax a week or so in my doctors office. She had me start by taking 3/4 5mg for 2 weeks, than half for 2 weeks, but by the time I was at a half pill for a week and 4 days, I started loosing my mind.

    My head was foggy and felt heavy and weak, I became crazy, and started screaming and crying and went so far as to tear down all my Christmas decorations. I decided I couldn’t live this way, so I woke up the next morning and started taking the full amount I have been taking for over 10 yrs. My doctor told me I was to continue weaning myself regardless of how crazy it was making me, and she never told me to take valium to help calm me.

    I thought I was going to lose my mind, and I haven’t received one call from her to see how I was doing. I am 62 and even though it was my choice to get off the xanax, I found it was too hard without help out there. I never knew about valium to help and never was told the dangers without that help, and no contact from my doctor as a follow up, because it’s so dangerous as I’ve been reading.

    I am very dizzy and feel off and basically can’t function, even though I have been back on the full mg I’ve been taking for over 10 yrs. So my question is, did I do the right thing, and, how long before I start feeling normal again?

  • john November 24, 2016, 9:18 pm

    Hi, my name is John, I came across this forum after leaving the doctors office where I had gone to seek help to get off Xanax. I am currently taking 0.5 mg a day that is 0.25 in the morning and 0.25 at night for the past 3 months. I had/probably still have anxiety and short episodes of depression.

    The doc has prescribed I take half of the 0.25mg in the morning and another half of the same at night for 3 weeks he also prescribed 600mg of gabapentin at night and 300mg of gabapentin in the morning together with 15mg mirtazapine at night also for 3 weeks then get off the Xanax. Has anyone tried this and does it make the withdrawal any easier or better? Thank you.

  • G-girl November 19, 2016, 12:12 pm

    I am day 3 into a taper by my family physician. He said 2 x daily .25 for 1 week and then .25 daily for 1 week. He will not refill. I have to believe with all my being this will work. I tried my own way first by making the time longer between taking it and it did not work. I wanted to die and felt close to seizure. Everything was amplified 100 times. Called my doctor and fessed to taking more than I should. Having faith it will work. I know it won’t be easy once they are gone, just hope it doesn’t escalate again on the day they are just gone. I am ready, but is my brain?

  • Drew October 27, 2016, 6:00 pm

    It always makes me feel less like a failure or as if there is something wrong with me when I read posts like this. Frankly, listening to others stories of suffering through withdrawals keeps me trying. I started on Xanax .5mg roughly 6 and a half years ago. I work an incredibly stressful job and travel extensively (50,000 miles a year in the car) and life was just “getting to me” so I got a script for the .5mg. WOW, it was like a miracle drug (and in some ways still is if you have ever suffered through a true panic attack that lands you in the ER). After using it for months as needed, I began needing it as more of a maintenance item day to day. What a mistake…

    I first realized that the xanax was not what I signed up for (an anti anxiety pill that was NOT an SSRI that I could use and stop whenever) when I was driving to a sales call one morning when I had run out of my script and was so sensitive to the light I had to pull over. Things only progressed from there and my answer was to just take more and or to keep taking it. Long story short I ended up at 4mg per day constant just to feel “normal” and I started having major problems with depression and cognitive function. Cannot stress the cognitive function enough! If you are like me, my brain is all I have, I link my self worth to my abilities on the job and in the technical field I work.

    I have been working for over a year now and have dropped to .75mg per day (.25 in the morning and .5 before bed) and I am at a total and complete wall. Any time I try to push myself to .5 or lower I feel very unwell. I am uncertain I will be able to keep my current job and have a low enough level of stress to finish weening. So to anyone else out there thinking its a quick fix be careful. This drug is amazing and can do great things for a lot of people but its not a forever solution to anxiety. You need to seek counseling and find out why you are anxious and make life changes to alleviate those problems for yourself.

    I have lost friends due to this drug (never want to leave the house anymore), I have lost brain power (cannot even describe this one) and could potentially lose a 6 figure income in the process of undoing what I did so many years ago. Also if anyone else has advice or experience in “hitting the xanax wall” I would love to hear some stories like that. Thank you to anyone who is reading this and I hope it either gave you some insight on the concerns you should have before taking any benzo or be support to know that even in high stress situations tapering and weening WORKS! I think I simply need to adjust my schedule to the fact that it could take another year to get from .75mg to nothing, this makes heroin, pain killers and just about any other drug withdrawal look like a walk in the park. Had I known what I know now I may have worked much harder early on with counseling and trying to balance myself in a more natural manner.

  • Jay October 19, 2016, 3:15 am

    Nasty drug. I have been taking 3 mg a day for close to ten years. I have been cutting back the last 4 months and now I am taking none. This is my third day. I refuse to go back. Never again.

    • Kathryn February 25, 2018, 12:36 am

      I’ve been on 3mg per day for almost twice as long. Your post gives me hope. How did you taper?

  • Jenn October 17, 2016, 11:29 pm

    I wanted to write this post to share my story even if it helps one person. I am 47 years old I started taking Xanax as a teenager prescribed to me by Dr. I had taken it on and off most of my adult life. The last 10 years I became addicted to painkillers which also were prescribed to me by a doctor. I got sick of chasing things and feeling bad about myself and did something very stupid I was determined to quit everything cold turkey.

    It almost cost me my life I had severe I mean severe hallucinations they cause me to jump out my window, I spent many days in the ICU. If you can avoid taking this drug please do. I have suffered from panic attacks since I have been a teenager along with new develop social disorder.

    I did have an extremely tough year with one bad thing after another but still it was no excuse to turn to drugs to escape because the truth is problems are still there only worse when the drugs are gone. I promise you drug abuse always leads to suffering always no exceptions. I did it I’d be the odd I will never go back. It’s been six months and I can honestly say after everything I went through and even my hospital stay it didn’t take me that long to get back to my normal self just have to surround yourself with positive energy.

    Talk to your doctor and taper off. I realize I was taking way above what my doctor was giving me and buying them but it was the only way I could find relief at the time. I truly believe you have to want it or it won’t work. I wanted freedom more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life and I have it and there’s nothing like it no I don’t miss it how could I ever miss something that caused me such suffering.

    I wish everyone luck and please don’t do it by going cold turkey. I’m not supposed to be here but I am and maybe it’s to help others.

  • Tracy September 15, 2016, 3:16 pm

    I did not know what coming off of this medication could do to me. I accidentally quit cold turkey after oral surgery concentrating on the pain of the surgery. I was off my meds for 10 days before realizing what I had done and was throwing up having diarrhea and tremors and sweats couldn’t eat couldn’t drink had to be hospitalized for fluids. It was a hell I could not imagine. Now I am halfway through tapering down and getting off of all of anything that could ever cause This Feeling Again.

  • Clay September 11, 2016, 6:49 pm

    I have always thought I was smart about self medicating. I’ve experimented with all sorts of mind altering substances. I had no idea how dangerous Xanax was. I started taking Xanax to sleep because I could get them online for $1. I got tired of going to the doctor to ask for whatever sleeping pill was next… Ambien, Lunesta, trazodone, clonidine.

    I took Xanax for about a year straight, along with my prescribed Adderall. No one even really noticed what I was doing, I was able to function for the most part (except for some random afternoon pass out sessions when I didn’t take my Adderall booster). I took 2-6mg per day. One day I just got pissed about having to take pills so I threw them all away.

    I did not even realize I was physically dependent on Xanax and when withdrawal sat in, I didn’t know what was happening. I didn’t sleep for 5 days. I hallucinated, sweated terribly, headaches, lights when I closed my eyes, restlessness, tremors. I was researching everything on not sleeping, I didn’t even realize until about Day 4 or 5 that I was withdrawing from the Xanax.

    It was actually my wife that put the puzzle pieces together. I experienced every withdrawal symptom in the book and it was God awful. I have a very strong mind and body but this was probably the hardest thing I have ever done. Walking helped tremendously during the withdrawal. I walked even though my legs were hello from fatigue. It was like walking into a bad acid trip for 5 days.

    I’ve now been off it for about a month and I’ve pretty well returned to normal. After 2 weeks I felt pretty good. I hope someone reads this and knows it may not take “months or years.” Granted, I can’t vouch for everyone else. I even had drinks the other night with no problems. My recommendation is to never, ever take this drug more than one or two days in a row.

    If you’ve taken it every day for an extended period of time, it is likely that you don’t even know what all it is doing to you. I certainly didn’t. It turns out my sleeping issues went away once I took away the Adderall, started eating healthy, exercising, daily meditation, and sleep routine (including a cup of sweet chamomile tea – a daily treat that I look forward to now). I am sure I will continue to get better over the next few months but I feel like a normal person again.

    I still have the occasional headache, the ringing in my ears, and I still get night sweats every so often… All the symptoms only occur ever couple of days now so they are more than manageable.

  • Margaret DeStefano August 26, 2016, 4:21 am

    I’ve been on prescription Xanax for 5 years. Original dose was .5mg 3x a day for the first 3 months. Then it went to 1mg 3x a day for about 9 months. After that, the psych said to take 1mg, 4x a day. That was for four years. Needless to say, I came to the conclusion that this medication is causing me more harm than good. So I decided to quit, on Friday night. Cold Turkey.

    That was almost a week ago. I took my meds as prescribed, never abused them, so I was hoping the withdrawal from them wouldn’t be too severe. The first 72 hours was hell. I was jittery, my heart was pounding, my anxiety was through the roof… I also was really really irritable. I was a wreck. Some of that has started to subside, still there but not as bad. Now I’m getting shakes and my head is in a fog.

    My muscles ache, especially my joints and stomach muscles. I haven’t gotten stomach sick, but I am having very loose stools, similar to diarrhea. I see a counselor on Tuesday to help with this and some other things. I’m hoping that the withdrawal isn’t too long. Now I see why they say to do a slow taper. But I’m still glad that i decided to stop taking xanax.

  • José August 9, 2016, 5:28 pm

    I am an MD/PhD graduated from UT Graduated School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston.Trust me; do not panic. Xanax could be kicked out of your life, not easily but for sure it can be done. I was on 5 mg a day for 2 years. Tapper 0.5 mg for 3 months (4.5mg) 4 mg for another 3 months and so on until having 0.5 mg pills for rescues.

    Key thing: Be sure and make it a fact that you will feel like crap but that crappiness is not going to kill you. Drink tons of water. AVOID CAFFEINE AND NICOTINE, and more importantly walk 40 min/ 1 hour a day. It will be hard this walking thing at the beginning, but 10 minutes into this brisk walking, endorphins, serotonin and dopamine kick in and you feel invigorated.

    1 and a half year later I take an occasionally 0.5 xanax. YOU CAN DO IT. 40-50% of feeling bad with the withdrawal is psychological. You can do it.

  • Mikie_Mike August 3, 2016, 2:13 pm

    I only started taking Xanax after severe side effects to Prednisone (depression, high anxiety, etc.). I never had chronic depression or anxiety before, so I found my reaction to the high doses (60 mg tapering over a couple of weeks) of Prednisone surprising and odd. In any case, I felt so bad, I asked the doctor for Xanax.

    I only took 0.5mg/night to help me sleep, and it was great for a couple of weeks, but starting in week 3, I was wanting to take it during the day because I was starting to feel antsy. I started taking 0.25 mg during the day. Anyway, to make a long story short, I decided at 1 month to get off it. I was only taking 0.75 mg/day, so I figured it wouldn’t be too hard. Easier said than done… at least for me.

    In that short amount of time, taking it daily, I’d become totally dependent, and when I tried to quit cold turkey, I’d have all kinds of withdrawal symptoms. So I’m tapering, and I’m now down to 0.125 mg – 2 times a day, but that last step is hard. I tried to split this in half, and my back started cramping, so I went back to 0.125 mg and will try cutting 10% per week now.

    One thing I wanted to share is that I found Magnesium Citrate (400 mg) helps me when I start feeling anxiety during the withdrawal, so I’m not as tempted to up my Xanax dose with I start feeling bad.

  • Kristen August 1, 2016, 3:56 am

    Good Evening, I have been on 3mg-4mg of xanax for almost 12 years. It all started with the tragic death of my mother. My brother then committed suicide and a month later my best friend was killed in a car accident. I had several more deaths from 2005 till 2013. My fiancee was in 2011 and was a suicide also.

    I have tried several times to stop taking these medications. By myself and with a Doctors supervision. I went to my General Practitioner this past February and she gave me 90 pills for 30 days. Then put me on Klonapin, 3 mg a day. That did not cut it. Switched me to a higher dose and upped my Prozac, that was still not effective. So she switched my Prozac to Effexor and added 10 mg of BuSpar TID.

    After waiting months to see a Psychologist, he informed me that for the length of time I have been on Xanax, it should be a 3 year weaning process. Those months with all the medication changes almost put me over the edge. He discontinued all the other meds and has me back on Prozac and 4mg QID of Xanax.

    I don’t wish to be on any medication, but my anxiety and PTSD need to be treated some how. Maybe shock therapy will be my next step. Mind you, this is the first Psychological professional I have been to through this whole decade and then some. General Practitioners and Nurse Practitioners do not have enough training to treat most anxiety and depression disorders. I am in the medical field and also have a Pharmacy Technicians Certification.

    I had no idea how bad this medication was going to effect me after being on it for such a long period of time. I am chemically dependent and just want some normalcy. My advice, smoke some herb, f-ck pharmaceutical propaganda. The FDA is a govt agency, and has deep pockets.

  • Kyle July 25, 2016, 3:50 pm

    These are very good posts and unfortunately the reality of coming off of Xanax if you had used it as a regimen. However I think it is worthy to note that a lot of people if not most fear the withdrawal process itself which causes symptoms to be much worse than they should be. This goes especially for the anxiety and depression that comes with withdrawal.

    So my advice is to take it slow, listen to your body and if you feel sick from cutting those, go back to your other dose and wean off slower. Take your time, listen to your body, and you will get better. Make sure to make small coats, and I need very strong. Check out the Ashton manual which you could Google and I believe it is one of the most effective tapering methods. Good luck to all.

  • Jimmy July 14, 2016, 10:40 am

    It’s not easy I’ve been taking 2mg twice a day for about 6 years now due to a work injury. Now I’m getting back to work and I can not take Xanax at all period, in their words… I’m getting some crazy insomnia and my stomach is hurting like crazy, I had to cut my dose in half for 3 or 4 days than half or a half, wow this sucks but I’m gonna make it I’m a strong minded kind of dude but wow this is something else. Good luck to you all.

  • Christina July 2, 2016, 9:22 am

    I was started on Xanax in 2005 after my husband had a heart attack, never had anxiety before his open heart surgery. It was a low dose 0.5 mg tid prn. I went on for about a year on that dose then the panic wasn’t controlled dose increased to 1 mg TID for about 8 years then was increased to 2 mg TID.in 2014. I wasn’t caring much about anything.

    But I also found myself buying things I couldn’t afford. Being wreck less with life. Disassociated myself from loved ones. Decided to take a travel job, away from my family. So I moved to Connecticut to work there. All’s good. Except I’m married with children and they’re back home. I lived alone with one of our dogs in a 1 bedroom apt. It was nice but I was alone.

    I did this for 6 months then moved back home. I knew something was off. Why am I traveling alone for my job. Pop a Xanax and it don’t matter. I travel to RI… Well let me tell you. I started having tremors, fear, anxiety. Well I’d take an extra dose!!! I checked my bottle because it was coming up on a refill. To my surprise I had 4 days before refill and not enough Xanax to get me to the refill, that had never happened before.

    I took my last 2 mg tablet on a Saturday night. Sunday was rough. I was disoriented , I began to vomit a lot. I could not eat or sleep. Monday confusion, difficulty walking, auditory hallucinations, terrors… Tuesday… Confusion, auditory hallucinations are very prominent. I’m in a town where I know nobody, I have no family or friends. I decide, somehow, to get in my car and try to get to hospital.

    Well that is not where I ended up. I was found confused, tremors, sweating, I’m in my car on a military base???!!!! What!!! They got me to the hospital. The officer knew enough to call my husband from my cell. I was admitted for benzo withdrawal. I remained confused with mild seizures and unable to walk for 8 days. I was physically ill with nausea vomiting insomnia and hallucinations.

    By day 8 I was coming around. My husband was there and had been there since day 2 of my inpatient stay. I don’t remember not one of those 8 days. But I heard stories!!!! I was not in a good way. I was discharged and my husband was bringing me home. It was a 2 day drive . I was mildly confused, I was highly sensitive to everything. I was yelling, crying, shaking.

    By day 11 on the road I seemed to have come around. But the restless legs and insomnia continued for about 4 months long. I was off Xanax COLD TURKEY. Today it’s been 6 months. I’m working, I’m back to being a normal attentive person. This experience was one of the worst things I have gone through. But it can be done but not without help from professional and family. Support is of upmost importance.

  • Michelle July 1, 2016, 12:39 pm

    I have been taking Xanax for approximately 6 years for anxiety. I had some GAD and then got breast cancer had to have a mastectomy, chemo and basically went through Hell. At first I was taking .75. I am a teacher, so one summer I weaned down to .50 on my own because no job, no stress, etc. I believe it makes me tired. If I take it in the morning, I am sleepy all day and have to drink lots and lots of coffee to counteract that.

    If I take .50 at night, I wake up extremely groggy or don’t hear the alarm clock. Definitely not good when working, and I am still tired all morning. For the past 2 days I have been weaning off by cutting down to .25 and taking it at night. Woke up with moderate to severe leg cramping and have had a tiny bit of nervousness.

    I also feel itchy sometimes, like something is crawling on me. I know I can do this, though because I have done it before. I intend to quit taking this stuff.

  • Anonymous June 24, 2016, 10:45 am

    Both my wife and I have suffered from Xanax. Firstly while on Xanax I noticed a massive change in my wife’s behaviour. Her Personality changed and she became a monster. I was suffering massive anxiety dealing with my wife’s changed personality, so she convinced me to get on the medication also. We were now two crazy people in one household. Non of us could make sense of anything. We always argued.

    It was madness. I was having crazy thoughts and kept taking more to calm my anxiety. I tried to work out why our lives had changed so much. What have we introduced into our lives that we never had prior to this madness. Xanax!!!! I went cold turkey. Hallucinations, crying, suicidal thoughts, I thought I was losing my mind, confusion, I would forget where I was going, massive depression, memory loss, weight loss and a feeling that I was going to die and never come out of this.

    My wife went to a 3 week rehab facility. I had been speaking to my wife every day. After the 3rd week at the rehab facility, I noticed a shift in her personality. Something in her mind had switched off and she became the old wife I married 25 years earlier. She was happy pleasant and funny again. My wife had been on Xanax only one year. I had been on Xanax only 2 months. It nearly destroyed our marriage and our lives.

    DO NOT TOUCH XANAX. It alters your mind, your perception and reality. You become a zombie and getting off it is a nightmare. It is frightening. 3 months on I still suffer memory loss, confusion and anxiety. I get anxious because I’m constantly confused. Hopefully time will heal. Thanks.

  • Junie June 21, 2016, 6:02 pm

    As of June 14 2016 I am xanax (alprazolam) free. My story began on this website on March 19, 2016 and I posted my continued struggles on April 13 and May 14. If you are interested in my full story of why I began on this drug, how it affected me, and how I got off of it, please look up my previous posts. I still have some slight side effects but they are less as each day goes by.

    The brain zaps are small and short-lived and are no longer every day. I no longer have the horrible headaches, the raised BP, nor the debilitating flashers in my right eye. I could have taken some natural adrenal supplements to help me through but I needed to do this as simply as possible. I understand that after the last smallest amount of xanax taken, it takes approximately 90 days for this drug to leave the brain/body completely.

    That means that I am going to feel even better than I do today. I am ever-so grateful to have found this website. Your stories and your shared suggestions for quitting xanax have been very valuable in my efforts. Without the support of the comments written here, from those who have actually gone through the steps, I would have been lost. In the beginning of cutting down on my dosage, I didn’t know if I would get through it.

    And toward the end I just wanted to stop but I knew that I would be putting my body in jeopardy if I just quit instead of tapering. I have more energy now, better social skills, there is color in my cheeks. I had no idea how pale and grey my skin looked. I had no idea that I had lost the “light” in my eyes. I looked in the mirror yesterday and saw a “new” healthy me. Wow…

    Some people who haven’t seen me in weeks now tell me how “good” I look. I smile back, knowing that the grip of the poison in my system is leaving me. I am becoming “myself” again. All I ask is that if you are reading this and if you need to get off of this drug, please take some time to read the stories that everyone has posted here.

    You will find good suggestions and you will learn that you are not alone. There is hope and freedom for you too. Thank you to those who posted previously and my best wishes to all of you who are determined to get off of this drug and have your lives back.

  • Sandy June 14, 2016, 10:13 pm

    I have been on xanax as prescribed for 15 years. 1.5 mg Once a Day ONLY. I am on day 10 of no xanax. All I want to do is sleep. I’m doing the best I can. I’m not sure if I should continue on like this with the withdrawal symptoms or if I should take the KPIN I was given to take in place of it.

    I do not want to get off one just to have to get off another, but I am not sure if I can continue on any longer. I talked to 2 recovery places. They said this mind altering drug is ROUGH, no doubt and 15 years needs MONTHS if not a year to get off of UNLESS I was in their treatment facility where they would give me something for the detox.

    I wish there were one answer across the board for this. Tired of hearing one thing and being told or hearing another. Good luck and God Bless to us all!

  • Nancy DeHart June 13, 2016, 11:25 pm

    I have taken for more than 35 years. Please tell me how fast to come off. I have been taking 3, .5 mg a day. I am 72 years of age. I now have ringing in my ears and burning in my legs and I have only stopped 1 pill of .5 and it is hard. It has taken me close to 2 weeks for this. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I am in good shape but have already felt my heart flutter. How long before not taking another 2.5mg? I am going to drink a lot of water. What else should I do? Please help?

  • sara May 27, 2016, 1:50 am

    I have been taking xanax since 1991, always prescribed by doctor and never abused. At one time in the 90’s I was at 8mg a day, my body was so used to it that after the initial tiredness I was okay, then was put on 6mg a day. I suffer extreme panic/anxiety attacks which led to being homebound and being put on long term disability from work in 1998 and social security disability – which I am still on.

    I was on 6mg a day since maybe the year 2000. /I never got high or anything like that but was always terrified when the bottle was close to being needing to be refilled. I pretty much had same doctor all these years. Then 32 years ago my doctor retired and had to see a new doc who said no xanax. I just about went insane and was close to ending my life. I begged him to do something and eventually was put back on 4 mg a day, 1mg 4x’s a day.

    I cant even imagine not taking it again – I know I wouldn’t make it. It was pure hell, mental and actual physical illness that stayed the whole time I was off xanax. Recently I had to change to another new doctor due to other leaving and am pretty much doing this whole thing again. He did the xanax but is talking short term.

    I leave my house maybe 3 times a month and suffer panic and anxiety attacks almost daily. I cant imagine having to go through withdrawal again. Terrified in Illinois. Yes I have tried other meds klonopin at 6mg, ativan at the 6mg buspar – a non benzo – which did stop my inner shaking that I felt daily. No idea where this is gonna lead.

  • Clifton May 22, 2016, 8:19 am

    After reading all these comments, now I’m scared to taper off this drug. But I did learn from your comments, as well as online research about withdrawals. I have been taking this devil for 8 years. Started taking 1mg 3 times a day. Like someone mentioned, I went to a new doctor three months ago and the first thing that S.O.B. told me that he was not going to prescribe Xanax to me because he didn’t want me on it.

    Scared the hell out of me, because I know I need it to function. After researching and reading your comments, I now realize that he is an idiot. I learned that “cold turkey” of Xanax can kill you. So I decided to go back to my old doctor that put me on Xanax. So I have taken it upon myself to taper off this devil. The withdrawals are horrible.

    I haven’t told my doctor that I was tapering off because he may change my prescription dose and I don’t want that until I am off it. But it has taken me three months fighting the withdrawals to get down to .05mg a day. I am still having the withdrawals and when they get intense, I then take the .05mg. I see my doctor next week and I think I will tell him of my tapering down dose because to what I understand, if you taper down wrong, you can go into a coma or die.

    Now that has scared the hell out of me. But if possible folks, taper off of it if you can. This is a nasty drug and so difficult to get off. I started to say the hell with it and keep taking it. But then I started thinking, what if something happens that I can’t get it any more. I’d be up a creek. So I want off. Go through the withdrawals and be free of the dangers of Xanax, and good luck.

  • Tony May 19, 2016, 7:43 pm

    I have been a self medicating alcoholic (18-24 light beers daily morning to night) for years. Never to get drunk, just to continue in the beer buzz state to fight anxiety. I have self detoxed with valium 5 mg several time in the past and slowly quit the valium without severe trouble, only to relapse again after 6 months or so.

    This time I only had Xanax to detox. I was recently sober 3 months, off benzos, relapsed for 1.5 weeks, back to clean for 3 weeks, but experiencing panic attacks trying to get off 1 mg xanax twice a day for the last 4 months. VERY stressful time in life, live alone, no family and most friends out of state. I DO NOT WANT TO DRINK AGAIN!

    I guess it is time to do a slow taper off xanax? Try to get Dr. to wean me with valium? I do have a few neurontin, but presently no physician. Any suggestion would be kindly appreciated. God bless… Tony

    • Junie May 20, 2016, 5:13 pm

      I’m so sorry for your pain. Have you tried an AA meeting? I only ask because I have a very dear friend who has told me of his experiences in AA. It not only keeps him from drinking but in a large meeting, there are many people who have the information and resources to ease the process of quitting this vicious drug. Many of the services are under the care of an experienced doctor with little or no cost. Good luck and best wishes.

  • Junie May 14, 2016, 5:09 pm

    Hello again. I am continuing my story now post-surgery. I have been on .1875 (3/4 of a .25 alprazolam) for a month. I feel more like “me” than I have for the past year. It is a great feeling! I feel so much more “social” and I am enjoying it.

    However, I am not xanax-free. I need to continue to wean for the next two weeks taking .1875 (3/4 of a .25 tablet) every other day with alternating .125 (1/2 of a .25 alprazolam tablet). My pill cutter is helpful. If that becomes tolerable I will wean onto .125 for another straight two weeks. My goal is to continue until tapering to no more alprazolam.

    This sure isn’t easy and I’m not looking forward to it, knowing that when I cut my dosage I am going to have stomach pain, dizziness, anti-social behavior, and feel extra pain at my surgical site (just because that is how my body will protest). Sometimes this feels like “a sentence”. It is a chemical hell.

    It seems that almost every day there is an article about a “wonder drug” that is causing severe and sometimes irreversible side effects that can completely ruin your life and rob you of simple joy. After our bodies are either permanently damaged or else we are dead, we and/or our relatives can join a class action law suit against the drug companies that will continue well past a lifetime.

    A startling but helpful book “Beyond Benzos” by Taite Adams sheds light on how we got here and how we free ourselves. Also a personal journey from someone who went through withdrawal and now helps others is “Recovery and Renewal” by Baylissa Frederick. Both are available on Amazon. These two books have given me hope that, yes, we can get through this nightmare.

    My taper will take a minimum of 2 more months before I am “free”. I will come back and let you know if I am truly free. I am committed to this goal.

  • Jenn May 6, 2016, 12:37 am

    This was helpful to read but I am still terrified. I’ve been on .5mgs as needed for panic disorder for 10 years. 6 months ago, I began having horrible pain that couldn’t be explained so I took it daily, if not twice daily while going through tests and looking for a diagnosis. I finally had my gall bladder removed, thought that was the issue, and told the doc I preferred my xanax to the hydros I was prescribed, as they made me more comfortable and I could trust them.

    Shortly after that, I had a concussion. Again, only xanax relieved symptoms so used once or twice daily. Four months later now I feel like my body is absolutely falling apart. I’ve lost over 40lbs, rarely have an appetite, have almost constant muscle pain and spasms all over my body, tingling feet…etc. I had to (I believe) self diagnose as withdrawal. Problem is, no doctors or psychiatrists seem to believe such a “small” amount could have such profound effects.

    Instead, one psychiatrist switched me to an equally strong (.5mg) dose of klonopin and put me on cymbalta for what they believe is fibromyalgia and general anxiety. Another gave me gabapentin because they didn’t believe I would stop the xanax. I don’t know if there is something seriously wrong still or if this is withdrawal, and WHAT recommendations do those of you who have gone through this have for me??

  • Lewis April 24, 2016, 5:52 pm

    Hi, I just wanted to ask something which people don’t seem to share with me. When I take Xanax I am fine, I can function but I really want to come off it. I have suffered from PTSD as a teenager and since then I have tried almost every medication there is. Currently I am Mirtazapine 45mg, Zopiclone 15mg and Xanax as much as required. I was really honestly on so many more drugs in the past because I tried to kill myself more than 20 times in the past.

    Now I kind of want to come off everything, so I have gone from 9 different medications to the three. I am proud that I have been able to do that with little help from my doctors. Still now I am an adult I want to know what it feels like to an adult. I have never been medication free as an young adult. It’s been almost five years since I last overdosed, I have not self-harmed in 3 years and I overcame an eating disorder.

    I think that I can get myself off the Mirtazapine and Zopiclone but my doctor said to me more than once something like you will always be ill. I actually feel fine, I don’t want to hurt myself, I want to enjoy life and I do. The thing is that if I don’t take Xanax, which I started maybe two years ago, I start dissociating like crazy. It is really hard to explain what that feels like but its like I am not in control of my body and I am not in my body.

    I’ve tried to come off slowly by myself by cutting pills up and taking the half. I also try just stopping but after two weeks I could not cope with dissociating thing. My doctors clearly think that I am ill and will always be ill so refuse to help me, they still think that I should be on the other drugs. The fact they want me to take massive doses of anti-psychotic medication when I am not psychotic at all tells me they really want me drugged out of my mind.

    My body reacts to the anti-psychotic because I can’t breathe, I feel like I have been hit by a train but I slowly reduced and now I don’t take it. (They think I still do) Still really I feel more me because I don’t take it, I can think clearly, I sleep better and I don’t have this cloudy mind. I feel a million times better because I don’t take it.

    I was just wondering if anyone else had the experience of dissociating and how Xanax can cause this because I thought of going through two very difficult weeks of just not taking it, it would be out of my system. Then I could then come off the other two medications. Any advice would be welcomed. Trust me, I am never going to hurt myself any more.

    I like who I am and the fewer medications I am the more I feel like I can enjoy and experience things. The less medications I take the more I am able to enjoy life. I want to be medication free and sometimes I just wish that I was able to fall asleep because I was tired rather than medication putting me to sleep (sorry can’t think of a better way of saying that). If I could get rid of the dissociating aspect which Xanax seems to remove, I would be much closer to my goal of being completely me.

    If anyone has any advice or things I could try I would try them because I really want to stop being this sick child as people see me and become the adult that I know and believe I can be. Thank you, Lewis

    • Junie May 5, 2016, 6:59 am

      Hi Lewis, I am so sorry for what your current hurdles are but I understand how you can be caught up in a bad cycle. I am not in the medical field but I know what it feels like to have to taper off of a variety of medications that your doctors felt were of help for your condition. My best advice for you, because your situation is complicated by a mix of Rx drugs is to find a recovery clinic that can make a plan that is the least of all evils.

      I suggest this because some meds are easier to withdrawal than others. If your insurance covers a recovery program (some do) take advantage. If you don’t have that option, there are doctors or programs that will take you as pay-as-you-go and others that will work with your financial situation. In some cases there are recovery programs that will volunteer to help you.

      When looking for help in your area, whatever you do, don’t give up. I am glad that you have that insight of getting “back to you” and enjoying life with less medications. When you get that insight there is nothing like it. That kind of insight will keep you focused to become free of these awful drugs in your system.

      If you want to find a program, clinic, doctor, or recovery help in your area, please google “recovery from drugs” with your city & state. Don’t give up. Other have worked through it, I am working through it with my doctor’s help, and you can do it too.

      Just please don’t go “cold turkey” and risk your health and life. Also please know that it takes much time, all of your patience with side effects, and an understanding physician/program who won’t give up on you. Take care.

  • Brenda April 22, 2016, 10:24 pm

    I had been taking Xanax for 30 years. The Dr. prescribed Xanax so I could sleep better…due to my ulcer. I went off of them cold turkey last year in March. I was prescribed 1mg, three times a day. I began to take way more then 3 a day. Was so tired of depending on a drug to make me feel normal. The thing is…

    I had no panic attacks, nervousness etc., before becoming addicted to Xanax. I was always a social person, loved visiting, getting out of the house, shopping at the malls. After 30 years of Xanax, I do not feel normal, do not get out of the house, do not visit friends and family anymore. I must still be going through withdrawal. What ever you do… Don’t start taking Xanax!!

  • Junie April 13, 2016, 6:03 am

    I wish to continue my story from 3 weeks ago. When I last shared my story my head was a mess from attempting to get off of this med too fast. My doctor encouraged me to go slower. He told me if I still suffered with this process that he would find someone who had the correct knowledge to help me.

    I have evened out on .25 xanax to where life is finally good again to being able to cope 95% of the time. When life gets “squirrelie” I have to back away or my anxiety takes over and I want to drink. I just began cutting the pills down so that I can “stair-step” every other day with .25 alternating with 3/4 of that amount. This time I am going to take it slow and easy to hopefully keep the side effects list short.

    I feel really bad that some of you have no help from doctors. There are people out there that can help. I would begin with googling “rehab from benzos/xanax” or something similar. Make some calls or send some emails to the clinics or doctors that you find. You don’t have to be tossed to the dark side and suffer needlessly. Weaning off of this stuff is not only a chore but risking your life is not an option.

    I have minor surgery coming up in three weeks so I will probably stay in this current dosage until I’m done with post-surgery pain pills (it’s always something). My GP says that as I get to lower and lower dosages, it gets easier and the symptoms become less bothersome. In the past few days of taking 1/4 less of .25 every other day my only symptoms are an occasional sinus headache, slight nausea, and an out-of-it “fuzzy feeling” in my head about an hour before my next dose and about an hour after my dose.

    I hope that as I continue this process that less of my hair will fall out. I don’t know if anybody else has had this side effect but it is truly alarming. I do hope that it will grow back when I am free of this horrible cycle. I will share the next chapter of my story when my surgery recovery is behind me and I feel well enough to continue on with less dosage.

    Thank you for reading about my journey. I hope that I have given some of you the encouragement to go forward and get this gripping med out of your body. Wishing you guys safe recovery from xanax.

  • Tracey Lezar April 9, 2016, 6:55 pm

    I was on Xanax for some years. My anxiety and side effects started getting worse and worse and I started taking more Xanax. What a huge mistake. The tablet was doing me more harm than good. I stopped cold turkey about 9 months ago. It was terrible. I really thought I was going to die or commit suicide.

    Gradually I have been recovering. I still get a few episodes every so often but I am so much better off Xanax than I was when I was on it. Please make sure that this tablet is still working for you and not against you. Good luck to you all.

  • Simon March 26, 2016, 11:41 pm

    I have been taking alprazolam (Xanax) for 5 years or so. I would take a quarter of a brick 2mg twice a day. I stopped taking it about 6 weeks ago and have been experiencing the worst dehydration I have ever felt. I sweat all the time. I hear these symptoms might last for months. At least I know now that I have found this site that I don’t have diabetes but rather am experiencing Xanax withdrawal. Love to all going through the same thing!! Hug somebody and tell them…

  • Julian March 22, 2016, 1:21 am

    Hey everyone. I am 17 days off a large addiction to benzos. I got my first prescription of klonopin 5 years ago. It started with .5mg of klonopin, and evolved to multiple prescriptions of various benzos(Ativan,Valium, and xanax). Unfortunately I was foolish and thought I was untouchable. I was taking up to 8 5mg valium a day.

    My fist time coming of the valium cold turkey, I had a seizure 7 days into withdrawal. They let me out of the hospital with a 6 day taper of valium. I thought that was too short of a taper and didnt want to have another seizure. I played doctor and got 30 xanax to create my own taper (I don’t recommend doing it). The taper worked and im now 17 days clean from benzodiazepines.

    I couldnt get any help from doctors to taper off, so I had to do It myself. No taper is going to make it completely withdrawal free. You will experience withdrawal, but the long term damage is not worth staying on the meds. I had panic disorder, social anxiety, and GAD. I feel this medication made everything worse. You have to really want to get off the medication to successfully withdraw.

    If you have any doubts in your mind that you wont be able to kick the drug, then you wont successfully taper. You have to be sick and tired of it to kick it. I was on massive doses and I have gotten through the worst of it (First two weeks). Some days are better than others, but for the most part it’s better than being on the benzos. I wish you guys luck!

    • Erinskya March 22, 2016, 11:30 am

      Yes, you must be very careful with benzo withdrawals! My doctor cut me off alprazolam cold turkey after taking it for years, and a couple weeks later I had two grand mal seizures. Even though I don’t remember them actually happening, the whole experience was not fun. Luckily my friend knew to turn me on my side when I started to choke on my tongue.

  • Junie March 19, 2016, 2:09 am

    I have been on alprazolam (Xanax) .5 mg for about 6 months. I have self-decided to wean myself off of this by cutting my pills in halfs and quarters. I began weaning with 3/4 strength alternating with 1/2 strength every other day. It was easy. Now I’m on 1/2 strength (.25) every day for a week. I’m feeling physical side effects of symptoms ranging from flu-like symptoms, nervousness, anti-social, headaches, sinus aches, brain zaps, and nausea.

    I work out 3 times a week and I push myself to make some minimal contact. I find myself irritable when the symptoms are at their worse. I tell myself that I will stay on this .25 amount and not take any more or any less until I feel ready to taper down again. I began a year ago with a vitamin D deficiency which cause symptoms that ranged from neurological to bad thyroid.

    All kinds of tests were run. My doctor sent me to a neurologist who put me on citalopram to ease the nerve pains. The neurologist told me that he thought that I was depressed. My body rejected the citalopram after 2 months by throwing me into horrible serotonin syndrome seizures. I was in the ER 3 times from it. They gave me .5 alprazolam and a beta blocker to calm my heart rate down which was over 200 beats.

    I switched primary doctors. I had to begin taking blood pressure meds, a beta blocker for my heart rate, and .5 alprazolam for the anxiety. I asked my new doctor to help me taper off of the citalopram which he assisted. I quit my neurologist who didn’t understand how I could have had serotonin syndrome, but doctors in the ER agreed with my new primary doctor that in fact I did.

    The beta blocker made my heart rate too low after a few months of being off of the citalopram. It took me six weeks to wean off of that med and that was not very easy to do. Feeling that the alprazolam (xanax) was not benefiting me I made the decision to wean off of it. When I began to have body pains similar to the flu I looked into the side effects of tapering off of xanax.

    My search led me to read everyone’s personal story here. I am so thankful for so many people sharing their experiences. As I go through my attempt to get off of this drug I will come back and share the next chapter. God bless all.

  • Lynn March 16, 2016, 11:34 pm

    I’ve been taking Xanax 2-4mg as needed for 10 years on and off, but have been taking 1mg consecutively for 9 months without missing a dose. I notice when I miss a dose my anxiety is extremely unbearable to the point where I can’t be in public. Brain fog has been becoming more of an issue where I’d say something and stop mid sentence and totally forget what I’m talking about.

    I feel completely stupid and look so dumb when that happens which is why I needed to stop. Today is the 23rd day of cold turkey and things seem to be getting better. My anxiety is manageable and wasn’t nearly as bad if I were to miss a dose or the first few days of cold turkey. My biggest problem is insomnia! I can’t sleep for the life of me, even if my life depended on it!

    And if I happen to fall asleep, a drop of a pin would wake me and would struggle getting back to sleep. I’ve taken Unisom which doesn’t do much but make me feel groggy. I’ve read that time will heal me from the damage Xanax has done, but I’m hoping for some relief at this moment. I can’t function normally being sleep deprived.

  • Chris March 11, 2016, 2:14 pm

    2 years ago I was made redundant from my employment of 7 years for something I had not done, honestly. Anyway I have a wife and 4 children that I love and knew that our life changes would be severe. After about 4 months passed without work I went to my Rx and told him of my anxiety issues and ### thoughts. He prescribed me Xanax 2 mg 1/2 twice a day for about 2 years (no warning), all things great until I tried getting off of them, talk about Hell… I think that’s probably the best way to describe it.

    I tried Cold Turkey at 1st not knowing this site’s information was available/ Insomnia 5 days straight then Pleurisy and antibiotics for 2 months. I had to go back on them but am absolutely scared stiff. Anyway I have since been told that my doctor has moved on and I have only 1 x 50 script to collect on my script. Now I’m into my 3rd day (Cold Turkey again) no sleep now found this site.

    I tried to buy some online being scared of the withdraws. but now I’m going to try and wean off of them slowly. Thanks for all your comments I feel I’m not on this journey alone. Advice! Don’t go there, try anything and everything else 1st. Good luck! Chris

  • April March 11, 2016, 12:10 am

    Hi everyone.. I have read through all of your posts and I am scared to death. I currently take 1mg Xanax 3x’s daily and 1mg Klonopin at night. I have been prescribed benzos for over 5 years, but this dose about 3 years. I want to stop, it’s all I think about. My doctor thinks staying on them for life is just fine. I am a RN, and actually work in a drug rehabilitation center… Ha!

    I know he is wrong and I have seen the effects of Xanax withdrawal. My problem is I still have severe anxiety everyday even on this dose. I have refused to increase my dose for over a year. I can’t take time off of work. I don’t even know where to start!

  • Chip March 10, 2016, 9:53 pm

    Been on it for 30 years. Started for severe depression. Was awake for a month straight and went to countless MD’s giving me useless narcotics. Went to a Psych and was prescribed Imipramine and Xanax .25. It worked! Thank God because I was sure was gonna die. After reading these posts, don’t know what to do. I have the cloudiness, zombie like feelings sometimes. But am still on only .25 after all these years.

    Am 60 now. MD has just put me on Trazadone 50 and wants me to take 1 or 2 at night with the Xanax for a couple weeks and just stop. Going to a neurosurgeon next Tuesday for exam. Maybe I should just stay on .25 forever vs. those horrible detox symptoms. Any help appreciated. I have sincere empathy for you all.

  • Lila March 4, 2016, 1:42 am

    Xanax is the worst withdrawal I’ve ever experienced in my entire life, and as a prescribed medication. I read up on it & wanted to look into lesser drugs, and taper from the Xanax to milder medication, then holistic approaches. Without notification, the group was sold to another with entire new staff. They stopped me COLD. There was no ‘tapering’. My pharmacist was STUNNED.

    I had no idea Klonopin would not be a good transition for me personally, to ultimate complete withdrawal. I have suffered for over 6 months now, everything noted above on your checklist. Feel as if in a fog, still work out, still write & work w/biologist pals yet this is not the way I live my usual life at all–then, the THIRD prescriber in this psychiatric group I had been going to for over 12 years.

    Was not anyone I’d ever met nor did they appear to have any information from my entire medical history nor that of 16 yr. dealing w/Fibromyalgia (Pilates/Tai Chi); IBS (Xanax stopped this upon onset); Arthritis (taking 1200 mg. Glucosamine with Chondroitin & working out); she knew nothing of Hyponatremia (sudden lowering of electrolytes, drop in sodium in bloodstream, hospitalized nearly a week to save my life from merely a hot summer & trying to stay hydrated), surgeries, etc.

    I am allergic to Gabapentin (Neurontin) & she was about to put me on it! 9 years. ago, I had a mini-stroke due to poor diagnosis & Neurontin. Point being, please warn others when wanting to reduce and withhold future intake of Xanax, do your research, be prepared to feel ‘out there’ for awhile. Differs with each person. Wishing all the very best on your journey away from a drug way more powerful than I gave it credit for… Lila

  • Beth February 29, 2016, 2:37 pm

    Hi, I have been taking Alprazolam since April 2015. My biggest fear is seizures and my doctor said that since he kept having to up my dose he was worried I would suffer a seizure. Then and there I said I wanted off the drug. My doctor refused to help me tapper. He said .5 was not enough to hurt someone and I could just stop taking it. That was a mistake! The first day completely off it I felt like I was going to die.

    So I got right back on it and went back to the doctor the next day and told him I was having withdrawals, he insured me I was not that it was just my anxiety returning. I knew then I was going to have to taper myself. I started in December I took .25 twice a day and the .5 at night to help me sleep. After doing that for a few weeks I went down to .25 once a day and the .5 at night.

    After doing that for a month I went to no meds during the day and .5mg at night. On my 4th day I have this enormous lump/tightening in my throat. Thinking I had a growth or something I Google and found this to feeling to be a withdrawl symptom. I once again go back to my doctor and he laughs at me and says “I thought we went over this send how to fix it”… as in don’t stop taking your medicine.

    I cried, I felt hopeless and helpless and even though about suicide (only reason I didn’t is because I have 4 small children that need me). I have reached out to other doctors and no help. I am waiting on a phone call today from a psychiatrist and I’m hoping they can help me wean and confirm that yes this throat tightening is withdrawal. I’m just feeling lost and broken right now.

    Why are doctors allowed to push these medicines on people do easy without warning them of side effects?? They should have to be a specialist to prescribe these drugs. I trusted my doctor and now I feel betrayed. Help.

    • Junie April 22, 2016, 6:39 am

      I have experienced the “throat tightening” and have read about others who thought they might have a serious medical issue. Yes, it is a side effect but it won’t last. Other issues are nausea, stomach pain, headaches, fatigue, pain behind the eyes, and chest pains. They do diminish and while your brain signals that you might have a serious illness, it is the withdrawal that thankfully will diminish. Hang in there, you will feel better!

  • Adrienne February 18, 2016, 4:23 pm

    My mother in law is being weaned off. And this website has brought clarity to us both. She has been on xanax for 20 some years after her son passed with cancer in 1992. She recently got a new primary doctor and he was like this is something a woman your age needs to take. And we started the weaning off last month.

    As of right now we are dealing with night sweats, nausea, minor headaches, some tingling, and roasting my husband and I practically to death, (LOL) but we’ve notice that she is sleeping more than 2 hours at a time at night. And her mood has been improving each day. As time goes on everything will get better, and be easier for her.

  • Dave February 15, 2016, 10:50 pm

    I have been using Xanax for 18 years and I would have to say I don’t know how I would have functioned without it. However, I have always been very careful with it and rarely used more than .25 mg at any one time and never used it for any prolonged regular basis. Occasionally I stop using it for a week or so at a time to check to see where I am with addiction and I have never experienced anything more than a day or two of nervousness, kind of like too much caffeine. Probably the bottom line here is to listen to the doctors and pharmacists when they warn you about the use of this drug and do self checks periodically when your stress/anxiety level is relatively low.

  • Paula February 13, 2016, 2:55 pm

    I was taking Xanax for 14 years 2 mg a day. My withdrawal symptoms are really bad. Is there anything over-the-counter that I could take to help the withdrawal symptoms?

  • Brenda February 5, 2016, 6:27 am

    Hi Guys! I am on a taper (my choice) and I went from 6 to 10 mg per day now to 4 mg at the most with 3 mg being the normal. I was overtaking them big time. One symptom I experienced while taking high doses of Xanax was my inability to feel “real” empathy for others. I said the right words, did the right things, but the emotions weren’t there. I wanted to feel them and felt horrible about myself for not feeling them but I didn’t care.

    Our living situation was horrific as my husband had lost his job and we had to pick up and move to another state after 3 years of unemployment. We had to depend a lot on others for help. We lived off of a $1500/month grant from the VA that my husband was qualified for so long as he was enrolled in school. That ran out and we used his last money to move and within 4 days he had a job.

    The point of that is, I lied, manipulated, and bugged my sister and son for money constantly. I knew it was horrible but I didn’t care. I started weaning myself off and thankfully I have a fantastic doctor who trusts me to do it as fast (or slow) as I need to. He gives me the same amount each month. Once I got down to 1 1/2 two mg pills, all these feelings of love, empathy, compassion, absolute unwillingness to lie or beg for money, came rushing back.

    It was kinda hard at first because I cried for everybody and everything. I mean rivers of tears. Someone told me Xanax takes away empathy? I cannot find that side-effect on any informational sites, doctors or pharmacists. I now have very normal emotions. I experienced this twice in my life at two very different times. Have any of you guys experienced this? Do you know anything about it?

    I quit “cold turkey” or tried to once. I had a grand mal seizure so bad that the nurse told me my potassium and calcium levels were so low that they were “inconsistent with life.” I was not dead although I can’t say I was fully conscious. I could talk, knew the date, etc. I experienced severe insomnia and if I did fall asleep, my dreams were so terrifying I didn’t want to sleep.

    I stayed awake for 4-5 days straight. I experienced hallucinations, severe panic and anxiety, uncontrollable muscle spasms that actually knocked things off the table, accidentally hit my husband or myself or my dogs. No warning and never, ever intentional. I lost use on both my right and left hands at different times after the acute w/d phase. My wrist would drop and stay in a downward position.

    It took anywhere from 6 months to a year to be able to fully regain use and the tingling of the nerves as it was healing was misery, pure misery before and after withdrawal. One other weird w/d symptom I had is not that I ever thought about suicide ever but I had this severe and irrational fear that I would hurt someone else OR myself by accident. It paralyzed me emotionally.

    I was scared to walk down stairs or cook, especially if I had to use a knife. I never hurt anyone nor wanted to, I was just afraid I would accidentally. Only by the grace of God did I not have psychosis. I just wanted to mention what I personally experienced as I have yet to find anyone else who claims to have had these issues, just in case you are and can’t find any answers.

    Sometimes just knowing that someone else went through it makes your fears and anxiety just a wee bit easier. Misery doesn’t love company but it does love knowing what you’re feeling isn’t abnormal, that others lived through it. Please read this part. IF your doctor is unwilling to give you some latitude in weaning off (as you won’t always stick to the plan – you probably will cheat), find one who will.

    DO NOT quit this drug if you’ve been taking it regularly or even semi-regularly, especially at high doses, without medical supervision. YOU CAN DIE. This is not like narcotic painkiller meds w/d at all. You just feel like crap for a few weeks. Here is what I did and maybe if you’re having problems coming down .25 mg at a time, I started by slicing off maybe .05 mg off the pill each time for a few days (save the crumbs).

    I whittled it down until I was down 1 whole mg in about a month. That sounds slow. It is and I recommend it. If your doctor is willing, go as slow as you can. You’re not winning a prize, you’re gaining your life back with no pain. I am a Christian and I respect and understand that you may not be. I’m only saying this for those who are. My faith and prayers to Christ helped me immensely.

    I wanted to really understand the Bible so I started reading materials and getting involved online in Christian communities, started a Christian / Conservative Facebook page, listened to classical and easy listening music, a lot of contemporary Christian music and read the Bible a lot when panic and anxiety would hit me. It helped calm me down. It helped a lot.

    So even if you’re not like me in that regards, start learning and researching things that really interest you. Read, make short term goals, pick up a new hobby but do something that will help keep your mind off of what you’re going through. It is very easy to say but much harder to do but if you do it, it will help more than you know. I’ll probably be on 1 mg once per day for life because I now have a seizure disorder from a car accident, we think. Other than that and some (just a little) short-term memory is the only deficit I have from Xanax w/d.

    Thank God I can honestly say now, I truly feel for anyone going through this hell on earth. My email address is WorthyistheLamb737[@]yahoo.com if you ever need someone who’s been through it. I promise I’ll help you in any way I possibly can to get you off this drug. You also might be one who has to be on a low dosage for life. Trust me though, once you get down to a low dose, you’ll find it more effective than at a high dose.

    Now that one, I just do not understand, lol, but am very grateful for it as I now have my anxiety gone and my emotions back. God bless you all. You can do it!!!! Love to all in Christ Jesus, Brenda

  • Kari January 30, 2016, 8:49 pm

    I’ve been taking Xanax, along with other medications for 5 years. 2 years ago I tried to stop cold turkey on vacation and after 5 days I was in a foreign country where I couldn’t get medication. I noticed that I couldn’t differentiate between my long term and short term memory bank. I could not pronounce the letter ‘C’ and things felt like they were getting worse, so I flew home and to this day I don’t know how I made it without getting flagged as a sick passenger.

    I had a full blown hallucination on the plane. I convinced myself the flight attendants were talking about me and the lady next to me thought I was carrying a bomb and that I would be arrested when I landed. It was all in my head but it felt real! I scoffed down 4mg as soon as I got my hands on the bottle, although I still felt ill for a further 3 days. Everyone is different but it’s my belief that some people genuinely need to be on a medication like this.

    I wasn’t one of those people, I was an abuser in denial who became trapped by the physical dependence. Anyway it’s years later and I’m finishing my taper, my timeline is as follows. After 4 years of 2 to 4 mg a day I asked to be given the 1mg tabs. I cut down to 1mg a day for 4 months with not too many issues, after 4 months I then cut down to .5 a day for 2 months. I just started .25mg once before bed.

    It’s not easy, there are nights I don’t sleep but after a few nights I felt fine. I intend to keep tapering and supplement with gabapentin. If I hadn’t experienced the sheer hell of freezing cold turkey and hallucinating on a plane I don’t think I could have come this far. however I don’t recommend CT to anybody, I felt brain damaged after and never quite the same. A healthy time line is 20% of your total time.

    So in my case almost 5 years, I’m tapering off over a year and it has made it far less work so far. I’ve had to stop all stimulants and make substitutions like hot water instead of coffee. The worst side effects have been blurry vision and extremely dry eyes and mouth. Xanax, for me, stimulates the adrenal glands, not sure if anyone else noticed that.

    Also my face is starting to look different because the muscles are adjusting back. I look like I need a facelift and I’m not out of my 30s yet. Anyone who’s having severe problems giving up, I swear by my methodology. I have successfully stopped other medications through the same 20% rule/time line. Good luck.

  • Tammy heedt January 30, 2016, 12:34 am

    I have been taking xanax for about 8 years. The first 6 1/2 years I was on .5 once a day. Then quickly I became more stressed and anxious so over a year 1/2 I had gotten up to .2mg 3x a day. 6mg a day. I was on the 6mg for about a month and I started to notice it was having the opposite effect. It wasn’t calming me down anymore, I became aggressive, angry, short fuse until I almost hit my mom.

    I knew I had become physically dependent and my behavior was unacceptable, especially since I have children. So I decided to taper off slowly with a doctor’s supervision. It’s been 4 months of pure hell but I’m down to .5mg 3x daily. My withdrawals are hell, can’t drive or function very well. Pretty much stay in the house and cry.

    The only thing that keeps me going is people who have been through this say I will feel so much better after I get off them and my family. I just don’t know when it’s going to get better it seems like going down a half mg is even too much. Maybe someone can tell me a way that worked for them and how long it took them to feel better. Thanks.

  • Connie January 21, 2016, 1:11 pm

    This pill is the devil in disguise. They should take off of shelves. I only had twenty .25 took as needed last five I split in half was finished seven days ago. Today is horrible it started last night couldn’t sleep. This morning restless, hyper, head fogged. I’m praying God takes this off me. I can’t function properly. I will tell anybody and everybody don’t take this devil pill.

    • stephanie February 13, 2016, 7:40 pm

      Hi Connie, How long were you taking xanax? I was on it for 4 years at 6 mgs a day. I decided 2 years ago to get off of it and it took me about a year an a half to get back to normal, fully. Recently, I went on it again for only a couple weeks, and had been taking probably 1mgs a day, forgetting about all the detoxing I went through on the first round. This round seems to be much worse for some reason.

      I started off tapering down when I realized my Rx ran out and my doctor would not refill it for me. So I tapered for a few days then almost ran out. It has been 4 days of detoxing, the withdrawal is horrendous. Pure mania, Eyes rolling around in the sockets and trembling. I could barely get out a few words because my jaw hurt SO bad. I just started a new job and already had to quit after the first week because I knew withdrawal was not going to be easy OR fast.

      The first time round they put me on gabapentin which helps to slow down the gabba receptors that are released when taking xanax. When stopping cold turkey the GABA receptors start to release at their normal pace which your brain is not used to when you were taking the xanax. The gabapentin helped a lot but only with the migraines and the eye/head pain. Ask your doctor about that if you feel the need to get off xanax or for the withdrawal process.

      This time around I didn’t have the luxury of getting doctor Rx’s so I had to quit cold turkey, and almost seized last night while trying to fall asleep. I remembered that I still had one xanax left in my bottle so I took off a little tiny piece of it just so I wouldn’t go into convulsions. I am worried I will have to go to the hospital, but I sincerely do not want to considering all the sh*t I put myself through the first time.

      I am very upset at myself. It is SO easy to get addicted to xanax or for your body to get addicted, that you don’t even realize it is happening. Some of the things I have been doing at home to help with the withdrawal are simple and effective.

      -DO NOT watch TV for a long period of time. This can noisy up your brain and make the migraines MUCH worse. If you can, put on some soothing music or “sound machine” noises while you are at home, in the background. They are much more soothing. And do not send high frequency sound waves into your body. Your body is already going through enough trauma as it is.

      -Reading. Read something, anything. An article, or a book, or pages in a magazine. This will help focus your mind and help gather your thoughts as they may be all over the place. Most of the time, in early withdrawal, you will hear noises and feel paranoid. Close your windows if there is a lot of noise outside

      -Take hot baths. These can be soothing to your achey muscles.

      -PassionFlower: this is a vitamin supplement you can find at whole foods or any natural food store. It has anti-anxiety properties along with tension relief. I found taking 1 3X a day to be helpful.

      -Chammomile drops also help relieve your tension. Or chamomile tea. Whichever you prefer.

      -DO NOT isolate yourself from the outside world. Try if you can to get out of the house at least once a day. Go to the store or go for a walk, try to be around people for at least 20min this will help you get you back into the real world over time.

      -EXERCISE: I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. Get a lot of exercise!!!! This helps relieve tension naturally. Even if it is a climb up the stairs a couple times a day, a 30 min walk, a yoga or workout video, it really helps to calm down your brain and your anxiety.

      -Try to eat healthy but also, maybe eat some grounding food that you like, some comfort food helps to ground you more so you feel on your feet. I don’t know really how to put that, but it really helped me feel fuller longer. BC you already don’t have an appetite, eat something filling. When your blood sugar gets low it can also trigger anxiety.

      -And lastly, Find a soothing meditation app on your phone or on tape or dvd that you can do daily or however many times a day you need it. I listen to mine in the morning and at night and whenever i’m feeling like i’m really going to fly off the handle.

      Stay away from headache medecines until you are at least a week out of withdrawal. These can trigger seizures. Also, any over the counter sleep aids can also slow down your heart rate and cause seizure as well. This is only really in the first week and a half or so when symptoms are really bad.

      I hope this finds you well, whoever is reading this. I am on day 6 and am really feeling low. Please send me positive vibes.

  • Robert January 10, 2016, 6:40 pm

    Thank you for this very informative forum. I was initially given 1 mg of Xanax, taken twice a day (advised to bite crumbs off during the day), approximately 7 years ago for anxiety, PTSD (I am a 100% disabled) military Commissioned Officer who couldn’t sleep, or function in crowds, loud noises…etc…). Additionally, I was given ambien. After sleep walking, falling down and a terrible rage all the time, I stopped the ambien…

    The problems stopped… No more sitting in a bathtub thinking it was a toilet, as an example. The Xanax worked by its self. Two years ago My dosage was increases to 2 mg twice a day, with the daytime dose still to bite off crumbs to get me through the day and one half or up to a full 2 mg dose at night in order to sleep. Now, most of us take being able to sleep as a normal part of life, I have gone over 4 days without any sleep, and sadly, kept my service Beretta nearby for outside noises that I perceived as a threat.

    Now Having nightly sleep, the my weapons are put away. Recently, a government physician took me off Xanax (he was not the MD who prescribed this medication). He gave me temazapam for sleep (which did not work!). I was back to watching television all night. I need to add that I am a type 2 diabetic, have an implanted intrathecal pain pump, a false right shoulder and numerous herniated discs and vertebrae, and a head injury.

    The last day after stopping the Xanax after a little over two weeks, I began to speak (what sounded like to me) a combination of pig Latin and Russian. The last thing I remember was laughing at this oddity. I awoke in an ambulance, with a paramedic shaking me and was asking who the President was. I asked him who he was, then noticed my wife, in her pajamas sitting next to me crying.

    At the hospital, I was given a CT scan, which was normal, but the headache and memory loss was very pronounced. An EEG showed a positive “glitch” in the brain, and a (happen to be in the hospital that night neurologist) told me I was an epileptic and walked out. I have never had a seizure in my life! My wife asked if not sleeping for over 48 hours, very little eating and taking 1000 mg of metformin could have caused the seizure.

    This neurologist then gave me Xanax and told me to not stopping the Xanax. Now that I have researched this thoroughly, and with additional MD’s, it seems “cold turkey” from the Xanax is more than likely the reason for the seizure. I am now back to biting off crumbs of a 2 mg dose of Xanax and uo to 1 to 1.5, or 2 mg of this medication to sleep. Sleeping (now) every night is indescribable.

    The downside is, my drivers license is suspended until the first neurologist (who said I was an epileptic) releases me, and this doctor will not see me, as I have too many injuries, such as the pain pump, which needs refilling every 90 days. In summation, do not immediately stop taking Xanax without proper medical supervision. Thank you, Captain, Infantry, USA, Retired

  • Rebecca January 6, 2016, 2:34 pm

    If you are withdrawing from any type of anxiety / depression / opiate medication, do not watch Television. The commercials and flickering lights from the TV can create an anxiety attack. Withdraw somewhere that is calm and quiet.

  • Mery December 27, 2015, 3:09 pm

    I starter neurontin two months ago 300 mg X 3 a day for seizure control from detox from Xanax. Which I had taken for anxiety occasionally at first the eventually four years later three times a day. (Max Xanax dose 1.5 per day.) Dr prescribed. Detoxing from Xanax in itself has been a living hell. Xanax is the worst drug ever!

    I spent 10 months in inter-dose withdrawal from it before detox. Since detox I have been tapering off neurontin ending last Monday! I am now short of breath when I do anything including sitting! I have developed acid reflux where I have a hard time eating. Food gets stuck in my throat and it feels like a lump is in my throat at times. I have muscle cramping, jerky motions, palpitations, etc., and anxiety has come back with a vengeance!

    Needless to say, I feel horrible and it is Christmas Eve! Ha! Merry Christmas! Since stopping neurontin I question if the symptoms I now have are from neurontin or Xanax withdrawal returning or both? How much longer will I suffer from this? I have been to ER twice. Once in November and again last week for shortness of breath and palpitations. Had chest X-ray, EKG, blood work.

    Both times results were normal. Was told my symptoms were withdrawals. And withdrawal anxiety. Has anyone gone through this or experienced this? This has been the worst year of my life! I can’t do anything! I am so wore out from everything!

  • KarmaDhyana December 12, 2015, 3:13 am

    I’ve been taking Xanax XR (alprazolam actually) for generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks for so long I can’t remember when I didn’t take them (8?9? years). I recently got new insurance, which meant a new medication management person. On the 15th (almost one month ago), she stopped my 2 mg of alprazolam a day.

    I knew what the ramifications were by not titrating, so I asked her why I had to quit cold turkey; she said it was because I used medical marijuana. (Has anyone heard of this particular issue coming up?). She said she was giving me clonidine to ensure I didn’t have any seizures, so that’s something. She also put me on Geodon (I am bipolar btw), I’m still going through withdrawal, and although not as bad as the first week, I’m having panic attacks that are manifesting in the form of overwhelming body sensations.

    “Crawling out of my skin” and “Being jettisoned into the stratosphere” are two ways that I can describe some of my physical symptoms. And that’s on a good day. ? It has been mentioned already, but I can’t tell the difference between withdrawal symptoms, returning anxiety, or mania. Any suggestions are welcome and appreciated. ✌️

  • Melissa December 11, 2015, 9:09 pm

    I was an intensive care nurse for 42 years. The stress of the job and things in my personal life made my anxiety unbearable. I ended up taking Xanax, against my better judgement. My psychiatrist persuaded me because other meds weren’t working. At first I began with the usual dosage of 0.25mg three times a day, but within a year I was on 1mg on the morning and 4mg at night just so I could manage the anxiety and get some sleep at night. It did work and I have to admit I don’t think I would have survived those last 3 years without it.

    I ended up having taken 5mg a day for about 4.5 years. Then I retired and my personal life was greatly improved. I asked to be weaned off and with my Dr’s help I got down to 1.5mg. At that point I started experiencing withdrawal symptoms, despite a very slow wean (a 0.25mg decrease every 7 days). We agreed to have me stay at that dose for a while and try again in a few months. Last winter I read several studies that found an 85% increase in Alzheimer’s disease for those taking benzodiazepines for longer than 3 months and at doses higher than 0.25mg 3 three times a day.

    I was on MUCH higher doses, for way longer than that! My mother has had Alzeheimers for 20 years and is now in a vegitative state. For that reason I wanted completely OFF! I was at 1.5mg for about 2 months. We slowly weaned me off, dropping 0.25mg every 5 days. My last dose was April 14, 2015. Withdrawal symptoms were minimal until after that last dose. That’s when HELL began. Luckily I experienced no psych symptoms during the withdrawal and to this point, 8 months later.

    I’m not experiencing ANY anxiety or depression. I’m sure that’s due to my improved home life and not working!! As a nurse I feel compelled to list the symptoms I did experience not using medical terms. Rate them on a 0 = no symptoms 10 = worst symptoms ever and state how long they lasted. I should also state that I am of normal weight for my height and am a very physically fit 64 year old.

    1. Rapid heart rate and pounding in my chest. These symptoms were a 10/10 for the first week, for the next 3 weeks they were about a 5/10 and then gradually decreased and were gone at about 8 weeks.

    2. Chest tightness. This symptom came & went and was about a 5/10 and was gone after about 3 weeks.

    3. Shortness of breath. I experienced this, about a 5/10 for about 3-4 weeks. It was worse with any physical activity.

    4. Runny nose. This annoying symptom continues. It was a 10/10 for 7 months and in the last month has decreased to about a 3/10.

    5. Ear pain – internal and external ear area ached. This was about a 5/10 for about 2 weeks, gradually receded and was gone by 4 weeks.

    6. Ringing in my ears. This was one of the most annoying symptoms and I still have it. The loudness of the ring was a 10/ 10 for about 6 weeks, decreased to a 7/10 and stayed there for about 3 months. Decreased to about 4/10 for about three months and I still experience it at about a 2/10 level.

    7. Dizziness. This was about a 3/10 and lasted about 2-3 weeks.

    8. Blurry vision and light sensitivity. This was about a 4/10 and lasted about 2-3 weeks.

    9. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea (felt like morning sickness). These started at a 8/10 level of symptoms and very slowly decreased over about 6 weeks and were gone by 2 months.

    10. Constant excessive salivation. This annoying symptom also continues to plague me! It was about a 6/10 for 6 months and now has decreased to about a 2/10 and is worse in the morning.

    11. Feeling hungover. 10/10 for the first 2 weeks and gradually receded and was gone by 6 weeks.

    12. Fatigue. Felt overly tired all the time. This was a 6/10 for the first month and slowly decreased over time and by about 4 months was gone.

    13. Loss of appetite. Is about a 3/10 and I still have it. This is very weird to me as I have always loved to eat! Now I never feel hungry and food doesn’t interest me.

    14. Muscle twitches. 5/10 When I yawn my right shoulder twitches. Happens every time and has not gone away!

    15. SEVERE sweating! 10/10. Around 3-4 am I find myself starting to sweat. Most especially the back of my head, neck, arm pits and trunk. I drip when trying to do any activity and showering makes it worse. As does coffee. By mid to late afternoon it stops, only to return again around 3-4am. Over just the past 4 weeks it had slowly receded to about a 3/10.

    16. Insomnia. 10/10. If I could just turn my brain off! Thinking, thinking, thinking! I’m taking Belsomra which has helped a little. But most nights it takes at least 2-3 hours to get to sleep and then I wake up every couple of hours and am lucky to get 4-5 hours of sleep in a night. Usually after a week or so I ‘might’ get 1 night of good sleep consisting of 6-7 hours with only 1 or 2 wake- ups and only 1 hour of trying to drop off!

    All in all, the runny nose, hypersalivation and ringing in my ears have been very annoying and I can’t wait for them to be gone. The sweating I would not wish on my worst enemy. And I am afraid I am never going to get to have a good night’s sleep again. NOTE: I had a total hip replacement 7 days ago. I asked not to be given any benzodiazepines but was told they needed to give me a dose for pre-anesthesia and muscle relaxation. I received a single IV dose of 5mg of Versed.

    I woke up in recovery room and was awake for the next 27 hours. At about 40 hours after that dose of Versed the sweating, rapid heart rate and shortness of breath returned with a vengence. Don’t let anyone talk you into a single dose of a benzo. Many of your withdrawal symptoms will return. I will post again to let you know when, or if I am finally symptom free.

    • Kathy downs September 10, 2016, 7:09 pm

      How long did your returned symptoms last after being forced to take the 5mg. for surgery?

  • J December 9, 2015, 5:24 am

    My first year in college aged daughter just told me she has been taking .25 to 1 mg xanax daily for a month, hasn’t taken it for 3 days, and has been too sick to get up and go to class for 2 days – nausea, vomiting, headache, can’t sleep – which took me all day to figure out it’s most likely connected and withdrawal symptoms. She only weighs 95 pounds and has a fear of vomiting, and the anxiety of going through this and missing classes is making it all worse. How long do you think it will last and might she be in serious danger?

  • Wondering November 24, 2015, 9:13 pm

    I am 41 yrs old and have been prescribed xanax since she 15. So I started taking one .10mg per day 26 years ago. In that time period I have been raised up to 5 2mg per day, however my tolerance is so high I normally take around 12-20mg per day. It’s there any hope for me after 26 years? Been through all the withdrawals listed in the first article about 2 & 1/2 yrs ago when I was having my 2nd child, my regular MD took me off of them child turkey as soon as he found out I was pregnant.

    I went through minor withdrawals about 3 days later so I started buying them off the street and yrs I read the risks of taking them while pregnant after all I have a 16 year old that took them as I did while I was pregnant pet me Dr at the time, both my children are perfectly healthy. I’m scared because my Dr now is dropping me rapidly and having to guy them off of the steer which is quite expensive.

    I don’t know what to do, tired off depending on them. Have no-one to watch my little one if I went through placement. If anyone had any advice for me… please help.

  • Betty November 12, 2015, 2:42 pm

    I have been taking 1 mg. of alprazolam every night for about 6 years in order to get a good night’s sleep. I am 72 years old and would like some advice about tapering off of it. I live alone and am afraid of the withdrawal effects that I have been reading about in the above comments. My doctor says to take .5 mg for 4 nights and then stop and I should be fine, but am not so sure of that after reading all of your comments regarding withdrawal issues. Could I get some thoughts from you all about his tapering of advice? I would appreciate it. Thanks.

  • Kim November 8, 2015, 1:42 am

    I stated taking 0.25 mg of Xanax in 1999 due to a divorce. I have been taking this drug for 16 years and have gotten up to 1.5 mg daily. I work as an Opiate addiction nurse and see people detoxing off Heroin daily. I started a taper about 6 weeks ago and am down to 0.75mg at bedtime. I was fine up until this week. I am able to fall asleep and although I wake up 3 to 4 times a night, I am able to fall back asleep.

    The withdrawal symptoms I am dealing with are constant tingling and pins and needle feelings all over my face, neck, gums, and legs. I also am blowing up and getting very agitated at the smallest annoyances. Had I known that I would suffer withdrawals like these I would never have gotten the prescription filled 16 yrs ago. It is an awful change your body is subjected to when your dose is decreased. I feel worse each day.

    I look at the Opiate addicts I work with and wonder how I could ever have gotten dependent on Xanax knowing what withdrawal does to people. Xanax is wonderful in low doses for short term periods, however, it only takes 15 days for your body to become dependent on a substance of this nature so my advice to anyone is Don’t Start Taking Benzos! The withdrawals are 24 hrs a day. My muscles twitch and spasm uncontrollably and I am becoming paranoid and anxious now.

    Please don’t take this drug… Find an alternative homeopathic med and work through your problems with a counselor and support groups. This is a horrible addiction. It is easy to get on Xanax but it is so hard to come off of it… I am going to continue a slow taper until I have completely detoxes but I fear it will take months if not years.?

  • Tony October 24, 2015, 7:29 am

    I have been on 10mg. For over 10 years and my doctor I guess got in trouble because he cut me from 10mg. To 4mg in about 2 months time! He put me in this position and because of his own failures has put my health in jeopardy I’ve already had one seizure and I won’t have another because I have no intention of stopping because I have been on every anti anxiety medication out there and they don’t work! And I couldn’t function without them before and I won’t be able to after!

    This doctor should have his license taken for making Xanax and my body as one I know I will start having massive seizures if I ever stop because of the extremely high dose for over 10 years! I know people will read this and think I’m just a junkie but that is far from true my demon was alcohol which I’ve been sober for over 18 years I haven’t had a cigarette in 15 years and marijuana for about 10 so far as quitting addictive substances is not a problem.

    But I would rather stay on the Xanax and function normally than go through years of withdrawal and seizures that could possibly kill me! I’ve never had a bad experience on them and they work exactly how they are supposed to! To me they are a miracle drug but I can understand the dangers but I feel I face greater danger being taken off them after such high doses for so long. Because like I’ve stated I’ve already had one seizure trying to stop myself but by the third day my son called an ambulance because of a seizure.

    It was recommended to me to stay on them by a neurologist because the damage had already been done! I don’t suggest anyone to start taking them but I feel because my extreme anxiety and panic disorder plus the dosage and length of time that my body will shut down no matter how I taper off because going from 10mg to 4 has already caused me social issues. And I’m in college for nursing and my social anxiety is extreme. If I quit I will become agoraphobic and my life will be worthless either way!

  • rick in Montreal October 10, 2015, 4:43 am

    Hi everyone, I started talking Xanax about 20 years ago for panic attacks. I am prescribed 2 x 0.5 mg bit only take a single dose of 1.5 mg at night.I feel it’s about time I free myself on the tyranny of benzos but am not quite sure how to do it. I’ve experienced some weird high anxiety feelings the few times in those 20 years when I had to go without my nightly doses but would quickly make up for it the next morning so the retrieval symptoms wouldn’t last too long. Has anybody here tried the slow tapering down using a longer lasting benzo? How did that go?

  • Alan September 16, 2015, 9:16 pm

    After being on Xanax for the last 10 years it has been a roller coaster ride. Started coming down from 5 mg per day to the present 1 mg at bedtime. Now how all this started was being diagnosed with hyperthyroid and all the symptoms that comes with it. I blame no doctor what so ever but kinda blame all for not telling me about the long term side effects plus a very long time to withdraw from the Xanax.

    It has taken me 3 full months to adjust without the high volume of Xanax. This medicine is far worse for withdraw than any type of pain pills. Have had experience with the withdraw from both. Folks please take plenty of time to adjust in your new life without using Xanax. Have no idea why Xanax is not a class 2 drug. Never knew what folks meant by using the term “take a chill pill”. Never intended on getting on such a high dose daily but made it through it and feel so much better every day.

    It has now been a full year since starting with a lower dose each and every week. Go very slow with this drug… so what if it takes you 6 months to fully withdraw.

  • Dean September 10, 2015, 4:19 am

    Well this is day 2. Coming off of 1 two 2 milligrams a day depending on the situation. I did not even realize I had become so dependent on a drug. But now looking back I can see how. Second day so far has been the worst for me not sleeping. nausea has been awful depression and mood swings as well. I’m going to try some other things to help sleep.

    The nightmares and nausea are the worst for me. What brought me to this siteare the symptoms that I think everyone seems to share some what in common. I’m 39 years old never did I think that the withdrawal symptoms from xanax would be this bad. I haven’t addictive personality and talk to speak no big deal let me tell you something it sucks. That being said I am willing to do what is necessary do not have to be on this drug.

    Xanax works so well but the withdrawal symptoms are a higher price to pay in the end… I will fight my way through this. And I’m glad this site exists. It made me realize and I understand that the withdrawal symptoms are just that the symptoms and I have to fight through.

  • Leslie August 30, 2015, 9:02 pm

    I’ve been taking 1mg Xanax for about 3 weeks now, as prescribed for my anxiety. I decided that I wanted to stop taking it because I can tell my tolerance is getting up and I can’t stand being dependent on a med. Anyway, is it too late to quit cold turkey? I’ve been tapering and I’ve gone from 2-3mgs a day to 1.5mg for the past 3 days. I haven’t taken one today and I can definitely already feel the withdrawal symptoms. They’re not pleasant, but seem manageable for now. I know it’s only day 1 of not taking one, but can I just stop taking the med now, or should I keep tapering and take .5 or 1mg today?

  • lucy August 2, 2015, 1:14 pm

    I’ve been on 1mg twice daily for 4 years. I take it in the morning and at night. I am ready to come off of it and have been cutting my dose. The biggest thing already is ear ringing, headache, muscle spasms and nightmares. I’m scared I’m going to have a seizure if I cut down any more. I’m trying to get pregnant but I’m scared to if I’m still withdrawing from xanax. My doctor recently gave me trazodone to take to help me sleep instead of the xanax which helps but I just wake up my ears ringing all over again. I want to get off of this any suggestions?

  • dan July 29, 2015, 3:01 am

    Well, my experience is a little different from others here. I take 1 mg of alprazolam daily (divided into 0.4, 0.2, 0.2 and 0.2 doses) and have been doing so for about a year in order to cope with social anxiety at work (I’m a teacher). However, I generally don’t take any on weekends unless I have to attend a social get together and on holidays my girlfriend and I generally travel somewhere and I don’t take any xanax.

    I find that the day after I stop taking xanax I don’t sleep very well and, of course, my social anxiety is worse, but other than that I haven’t really experiences any side effects. On holidays I sometimes stop taking it for 2 weeks at a time with no real withdrawal issues. Maybe that will change with time? I’m not sure but I intend to continue using it as I have been for the foreseeable future.

  • jenn brake July 22, 2015, 4:13 pm

    This is a sad and unbelievable situation. But real in every sense. I can’t even smile anymore without grimacing and having mouth tics. I tend to cover my mouth now when I smile. A constant reminder that after several years on Xanax XR 4mg for unbearable PTSD, a physician and pharmacist colluded and abruptly stopped my Xanax cold turkey while I was in a medical hospital. Many other things went terribly wrong as a result.

    My withdrawal has been horrible to the point where I became severely suicidal with a plan to check into a hotel and slit my wrists. I was admitted to the psych hospital a week after I was discharged from the medical hospital. That Dr. and pharmacist almost orphaned my children, made my husband a widower and made my friends miss me for life.

    As I have said, I can’t even smile at them anymore without shamefully covering my smile. I used to laugh a lot. Now it’s just an embarrassment. However, I am a survivor and have fought my whole life to become a healing wounded warrior. I don’t play, ever. Currently I am negotiating with the medical hospital now, full force. And believe me I AM a force for sure.

    That incident is just a minuscule example of my so called treatment. I have the means and gumption to bring that hospital to their knees. And if you knew me, you would more than believe it. I can prove all of their shenanigans and I never play unless I know I can win. Let the games begin! NEVER QUIT COLD TURKEY!

  • Wayne June 28, 2015, 8:16 pm

    Yep went cold turkey two weeks ago and after 48 hrs, called my Dr. I was on 1mg per day for two years because of an annoying head tic making ny back sore. I started feeling more anxious, vibration and tingle feelings and that “walking on a boat feeling” when walking. The. Dr stepped me down to 5mg three times a week for two weeks but I still have the weird sensations. I have been exercising and eating fine but DID have a day or two of nausea and diarrhea. I am also seeing a PT twice a week for stress reeducation/back exercises and deep tissue massage…ahhh…still, a scary withdrawal!

  • Tessa Pitman June 28, 2015, 3:53 pm

    I have been on Xanax 0.5mg for about 3 yrs once a day. It was originally prescribed 0.5mg 3x a day, but it made me so loopy I only took it once daily to help with my insomnia. I am on day 3 of not taking this medication due to refill expiring and forced withdrawal until Monday. I knew from this happening before that I was going to go through flu like symptoms, however I am on Gabepentin for herniated disc, I think its helping me.

    Usually I can go a day or so without it. This last time my 2nd day was crazy! I felt like I was out of my body, seeing things like shadows, couldn’t think, just numb beyond belief! I have the nasal issue like I have a cold. My head feels a bit funny…its hard to describe. I do have a slight headache too along with some vision blurriness. I’m not going back on this stuff. I’m not having any anxiety though I feel calm; just weird calm.

    I go back to work tomorrow and am worried about a coworker who really annoys me. I hope that I don’t wig out on anyone. I’m also going to tell my Dr to stop scripting Xanax to her patients. I happen to work in the clinic I’m a patient at. Never in my life did I realize the withdrawal is so bad for people. I’m hoping mine will be easier since my body tends to heal rather quickly. To think I feel like a drug addict. I don’t like it and more awareness should be made about this drug. Good luck to everyone!

  • Curtis Huff June 24, 2015, 10:56 pm

    My nightmare was I tried the cold turkey thing and per my cardiologist that is what caused me to develop LQTS. I had a cardiac arrest and was in a coma for 6 days and now I can never stop or I will die again. The timeline was 4 days then all hell he broke loose and my heart stopped. Thank God my wife held it together and saved my life. I have an implanted defibrillator and now a very bad heart. I have it to thank 34 times after cause my heart stops when it wants.

  • Stephen June 20, 2015, 1:03 am

    I was only on xanax for six weeks, I had been on it in the past but very short time. I am currently on day 51 of xanax cold turkey and it has been hell. Most symptoms have left, but fluctuating blood sugar is my current symptom which is awful, because it can spiral quickly into a terrible episode. Though, they are getting shorter and less common. My tips are meditating daily it will change how you feel and will be able to separate withdrawal from your anxiety issues.

    Eating in the morning is key and something that will keep your blood sugar level up such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. While staying hydrated and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables. Keep a granola bar on hand for emergencies. My experience will be shorter due to the dosage and time I used but this sucks and have learned my lesson to never take these f*****g things again. I truly sympathizes anyone who is going through this.

    • veronica July 27, 2015, 7:42 pm

      I’m in the same boat. I only used it 3 times a day .25 and weaned myself off by the end of one month, I’m 7 weeks into it and still having issues sleeping and some tingling that comes and goes with stress.

  • cheryl June 10, 2015, 9:56 am

    So glad I found this site…I have been on xanax for over 20 years. I increased my dose years ago and then was on .25 every night but sometimes would wake up in 4 hours and take another 1/2 to sleep. I went through a year of depression and would take more on those days. After reading how bad benzos are I decided to quit cold turkey 3 weeks ago…the side effects are getting worse.

    For me my body aches so bad I can’t move…I rollerblade 14 miles a few times a week and weight lift, I have a day or two where I can do this, but not regularly like I used to. The thing that is really bad is grinding my teeth,I am concerned about this as I’m pushing my new crowns out. Also tingling in my fingers, toes and tongue. Total loss of appetite or wanting to eat. I’m so tired I barely make it through work and come straight home and sleep a few hours and then am up for hours.

    My psychologist gave me something else (not a benzo) for at night which helps, but again for a short period of time. The body aches, more like PAIN, are increasing, that I thought I may have a serious illness, but I see it’s part of this withdrawal. I went cold turkey off of effexor years ago, it was a weekend deal, night sweats, horrid dreams and insomnia. It only lasted a few days. At three weeks I feel like I’m getting worse. I have no desire to start the xanax again, but am not sure if I can function.

    Also, my moods are up and down. No way I can be in a relationship right now so I’m becoming a loner and live alone. Just pushed a good guy away for no reason. I do need to eat better and am thinking of taking my week vacation off and go somewhere relaxing to see if that helps balance me off. I should have listened to my son who has been telling me to get off it for years, I had no idea what it was doing to me. Tired and sad in SRQ.

    • Karen November 29, 2015, 9:43 pm

      I have done the same things! This is horrible. I’ve simply tried to wean myself off of the small .25 3x/day dose that grew to a few more times/day. It has helped tremendously to have read these posts. It seems time is our friend.

  • jody6374 May 25, 2015, 5:51 am

    Whew! I decided to read about your experiences because (obviously) I want to wean myself off the .5 mg of Alprazolam that I’ve been taking for the last 3 years. I only take it once a day at bedtime. I decided last week to cut the pill in half every day and have been experiencing twitches each night. I was worried that it was a sign of having a seizure, but see that it’s probably not. It’s probably just a withdrawal symptom. So far it’s really the only one I’ve had, but thank you all for sharing since if more symptoms pop up I won’t be so freaked out about it.

  • Rodney May 10, 2015, 2:26 pm

    Thank you all for the comments here. I was taking xanax for approximately 25 years. I was on higher doses at times and got down to 1mg twice daily about a year ago. Recently I decided to try and stop all together. Lowered my dosage to .25 twice a day over a few months and stopped taking any 3 months ago in February. I don’t know what to do as I still have severe withdrawal symptoms and some are getting worse. Two in particular are constant ringing in my ears and a weird tingling pulsating like pressure in the top of my head.

    Both are making it hard to get through the day with a smile. At night the ringing is worse when I try to go to sleep. It’s hell. I am tempted to try a .25mg pill to see if I feel better but trying to stay the course and hope this all goes away but feel like it never will. Other side affects include teeth clenching, depression, aches and pains throughout body, weight loss, etc. Nothing is worse than the ringing and head feeling. If others had this, how long does it last and what did you do?

    • Kim H June 6, 2015, 1:12 am

      Rodney, You probably withdrew a little fast, but understandably wanting to just get it over with. You were on xanax a very long time and there’s no way your side effects will end quickly. I personally think a slower taper would work for you, but taking it again might seem like moving backwards. Sleeping with a loud fan will help the tinnitus and other “noises” you hear. Taking a small amount and tapering slower is not the end of the world and might take another year or so. Good luck don’t give up :)

  • David May 4, 2015, 5:10 pm

    I’ve been taking 10 mg of Xanax a day for about 15 years. I find it terribly uncomfortable if I miss a dose or if I wait too long to take my next dose but I’ve decided that it’s time to get off of this. Reading these stories that that everyone talks about just makes it very scary to think about the idea of what and how long it may take for me to eliminate the symptoms. I want to get off of it I’m just not sure that I’d be able to handle the significant side effects that I may experience on 10 mg a day as compared to people that have only been on .5 mg a day. I’m going to talk to my doctor and try it but just not sure I’ll be able to handle it.

  • Paul Perdew April 29, 2015, 11:12 pm

    I have been off of xanax for 10 years, I also was prescribed it for 10 years. At first I was prescribed 0.5 mg @ 3 per day. The psychiatrist moved me up to 1 mg @ 3 a day, then topping out at a 3 mg (XR)-Extended Release. I had to quit cold turkey (I do not recommend this) the withdrawal was absolutely distressing. The withdrawal physically was painful, no sleep and no relief. Full recovery took about 6 years. If you’re on it get a doctor, and get off of it.

  • Gloria April 27, 2015, 12:07 am

    I feel like the “expert” on Xanax withdrawal, but by no means an expert on what to do! I’m 59 and was on 10 mg/day for the last years 20 years by prescriptions. Like many people I did not know this was a ridiculously high dose. I simply followed doctor’s and it enabled me to feel “normal”. And OMG did it help! I could sleep, I could focus, I could even speak publicly in the professional capacity I was working. I accomplished incredible things! Then my Dr. retired and I was faced with a withdrawal hell! I cannot find any doctor who will even help me with a low dose of Ativan which I tried once and it was great (but NO refills).

    I’ve gone through all of the worst symptoms mentioned above. It puts my stomach in my chest to even think about the worst times. It has been 6 months and I still suffer from insomnia, confusion, muscle pain, horrible itching, blurred vision, nausea, headache, etc. etc. Now I have a psychiatrist who refuses to prescribe even a low dose of any benzos, but had me try seroquel for 2 weeks and it made me fall into a really deep depression and zapped all motivation and energy. Then I read about its withdrawals and they’re almost as bad as Xanax.

    I see her next week and will tell her I can’t take seroquel. I’m sure she’ll have me “experiment” with something else. I feel like a guinea pig. I can’t replace her with a new Dr. until August (no one is taking new patients in this town). From searching the internet I’ve started taking lysine which is supposed to help with anxiety. Also Arginine, valerian and melatonin. Antihistamines don’t help me sleep unfortunately.

    After reading all of the letters here and other sites’ info, I apparently am going to be one of the ones who takes years to finish withdrawal since I had such a high dose for so long. I’m angry yes! But more than that I’m scared! There must be some anxiety medicine that doesn’t have such a price to pay because I know after a whole lifetime of anxiety disorder I’m not going to change. If I make it through this you can. Don’t give up. Please!

    • Stefanie Plante April 29, 2015, 4:48 pm

      Gloria, YAHWEH BLESS YOU. Yahweh is Hebrew for God. I cannot believe your quack doctor had you in such a high dose. Shame on that doctor. How are you now? I feel bad for you. So you quit cold turkey? I am still withdrawing after 3 months! No idea how much longer. I cling to prayer each day, God helps, Jesus gives me strength, still I crave Xanax, especially when I feel intense waves of despair, claustrophobia, paranoia, inability to focus, remember, etc. I’ll be your quit Xanax pal on, one, we can share in mutual torments that take place because of this dangerous pill. Stay praying to stay strong! Sincerely, Stefanie.

  • Mrs.Stefanie Plante April 26, 2015, 10:31 am

    This is a deadly drug, Xanax. I overtook the medicine, but my addictive personality along with multiple illnesses, compelled me. This medicine put me in a hospital as I withdrew. A mental hospital. Where by the way they did not ween me off the drug at all. For a full week I was locked up having panic attacks, missing my kids, staring out of the window most the nights. Benzodiazipines should be off the drug market simply due the damage they can do to the human brain. God bless all of us going through forced protracted withdrawals. It is an inhumane position I am in. Don’t end up here!

  • J April 16, 2015, 10:32 am

    What Hell. Over 10 years on this medication. Severe panic attacks and anxiety. I turned 30 this year and have been determined to quit this drug. Dosage has been from 5mg 3x a day. One year I was up to 1mg 3x a day. Now I’m currently down to one .25 a day. What a damn roller coaster ride! Its been literally hell. I’m of average or above average health for my age. I stay pretty active and even run. Here’s my a quick rundown of my journey of quitting Xanax and symptoms.

    The winter was extremely horrible. There were days I felt like I wanted to die. The psychological problems were almost too hard to cope with. Anxiety increased. Panic attacks stayed the same weirdly enough. I would have one every two weeks roughly. Hard to focus. Hard to relax. Hard to work. Hard to be a husband. Hard to be a friend. Memory problems. When I first started tapering from .5 3x a day. I went to .5 2x a day for week and then down to 1 .5 a day.

    Eventually I’ve gotten down to 1 .25 a day, but it has taken me since October 2014 to get this far. Where I’m at now: My side effects seem to be lowering but it might be permanent damage I feel. The reason I say that, is bc I’m having issues that seem to not disappear. One side effect or possible long term issue is a tingling sensation in my face. It’s almost like my forehead and cheeks have went numb and that I’ve lost some control over facial muscles.

    I’m not a doctor, however this side effect has been lingering since the start of it. I’ve also went to doctor about it. He mentioned it could be caused by anxiety. MRI came back negative. I’ve also noticed it’s easier to cope, when I’m busy. Staying busy and keeping your mind on anything but this…will help you to recovery, IMO. Has anyone heard of the face issue or am I just completely crazy? One more thing – when I first started tapering, I thought I had everything known to man as diseases or mental problems.

    I’ve come to find out, as the months went on, it’s just your mind saying you can’t live without the pills. It’s a bad chemical reaction going on in your brain, dealing with the absence of its fix. I think of it like someone addicted to nicotine. Same concept but 100x more powerful and harder to cope with (I quit smoking 7 years ago). I would appreciate any and all comments. This journey truly is a hard one and I know this from personal experience!

    • Ray April 20, 2015, 4:41 pm

      I also had tingling in my tingue and lips for over a year. I’m now over a 1 1/2 years into withdrawals and still have problems with insomnia, memory and just a feeling of being uncomfortable most of the time. I was prescribed 1mg 3 a day but took up to 8 a day for many tears. Symptoms fade VERY slowly. Sometimes in can take a couple of months to notice any improvement. Sometimes things will improve for a few days and then return worse and regress for a week or 2.

      This last week has been the best so far. Last night I couldn’t sleep well and today my ears are ringing loudly. Only in the past week my ears felt bearable. Stay away from people and things that piss you off which will cause your symptoms to worsen. I still wonder if things will return to normal. On the positive side I feel like I have got my life back and look forward to future years without this terrible addiction. Good luck to all attempting quit and know the hell DOES get better but VERY slowly.

  • David A April 3, 2015, 4:51 pm

    I have a question for those of you who have successfully quit Xanax, have your original issues with anxiety and panic attacks returned? I’m afraid to quit this medication because I may not be able to cope with the symptoms it was originally meant for.

  • Daisy March 26, 2015, 5:51 pm

    I have been taking Xanax 1mg – 1x/night for about 3 years. I recently started weaning off of them, because over the weekend I ran out and had no refills, so I decided it was time to get off of them. But I had no choice than to stop “cold turkey.” My worst day/ night was the second day without taking any. I had extreme fogginess, the worst headache ever, especially that night before bed. I felt as if my head was on fire. Flu-like symptoms all day. Since I knew that I would suffer from insomnia, I took 2 benadryl and also made me a cup of Linden Tea.

    It helps calm your nerves and helps you relax. So I really recommend anyone who is going through this to consider trying out this tea. Along with benadryl or the generic antihistamine pills also help. You can find it at Walmart. There’s also other types of “bedtime teas” that you can find that has “Valerian Root” which also helps you sleep. If you prefer it in a pill form, you can also look for “Valerian Root” or “Melatonin” in the vitamins section. Since I know from personal experience that the insomnia is extreme, I take either of these along with 2 antihistamines so I can get some sleep.

    I have noticed that the other symptoms are at its worst when my body hasn’t slept. So for those of you who have had no sleep, I seriously suggest that you take something to help get some sleep and maybe your other symptoms will subside some. Its very difficult especially if you have small children who need you. Another thing I suggest is taking vitamins in the morning. Me personally, I take my prenatal. But Centrum is good for anyone.

    There’s also some ginko biloba drops that I get from my chiropractor which help bring you back some from that fogginess/ zombie like feeling. I hope this info is helpful for some of you. It doesn’t hurt to try different things that may help ease some symptoms. Good luck to us all who are really trying to come off of this awful medication. Please stay motivated and have faith that you can and will get through it!!

  • Camille March 23, 2015, 3:16 am

    I was taking up to 10-20 mg a day at my worst point. I had a meltdown and quit cold turkey about three months ago. After experiencing the absolute worst withdrawals, I finally started feeling human again…Until about a month ago. All I can think about is xanax throughout the day. I am now seeing a psychologist and have an appointment with a psychiatrist this week. I have no energy, I cry on a daily basis, I have had suicidal thoughts (although I’d never follow through with them), my mind is so foggy… the list goes on and on. This drug is poison and I cannot wait to finally overcome this horrible addiction. It is such a relief reading other people’s experiences who can relate, because absolutely no one in my life can.

  • Helena March 20, 2015, 3:20 pm

    I have been on xanax (upjohn 90s) for over three years, one tablet at night to help me sleep and help anxiety but I am self medicating (buying tablets from a friend who gets them) and have never been to a doctor about this as I find it too hard discussing my past and don’t want to incriminate myself. I am perfect while on that dosage, able to work and function normally but have cut down to half a tablet at night and want to come off them gradually. As I don’t want to go doctors, I have no idea how long or what kind of side effects I should expect. I desperately want to get off them but am very scared of what’s to come. Could someone please let me know if that is a high dosage or not as I have no idea?!

  • Ellen Sterling March 14, 2015, 9:34 pm

    Weaning off Xanax… Yikes!

  • Patty March 9, 2015, 3:07 pm

    My docs prescribed both ambien and xanax to me. I took ambien for 4-1/2 months not realizing at the time that it was making me so sick with gastrointestinal issues, my body started to shut down and I quit eating. I kept taking ambien because it relieved me from my daytime misery. I was anxious about my condition because it was undiagnosed. Doc said my problems were all in my head. Wrong!!!

    Went to another doc for help and explained all the symptoms: burning swelling in mouth and tongue, white tongue, stomach ache, nausea, gastric reflux. The new doc was also clueless and said she did not know what was causing my sickness. But she said you are anxious, so I will give you anxiety medicine and she prescribed xanax. I took xanax for 2 weeks and went crazy. I started stumbling, could not get words of mouth, had emotional breakdowns, had memory loss.

    I quit both ambien and xanax on 9/22/14 without medical guidance and it has been a hellish experience. I have suffered from chronic insomnia, chest pain, blurry vision and many other withdrawal effects. I continue to struggle every day and after 5 months, I still have insomnia and blurred vision although some of the other symptoms have subsided. I am 63 years old and was very healthy prior to taking drugs. These drugs are so dangerous especially for older people who don’t have the resiliency to make a comeback.

  • Lisa March 7, 2015, 6:12 am

    I quit CT almost 48 hrs ago. Took approx .5-1mg daily the past 2 years. I’m experiencing severe anxiety, chest heaviness, sinus pressure, tingling, visual disturbances, sensitivity to everything, and agoraphobia. I’m afraid of seizing and pray that I don’t. How does one even know if they’re going to? My biggest fear is feeling this way, everyday… or not living through it.

  • Tom Haverford March 6, 2015, 1:54 am

    I’ve been taking about 1 mg daily (recreationally) for almost 1 1/2 months. I know my duration isn’t as long as most people and so my withdrawal won’t be as hard but I cut my use down to 0.5 mg daily about a week ago and just noticed higher anxiety for awhile and constant foot tapping and a burst of depression, but yesterday was my last day to take it as I realized the dangers of taking xanax for protracted periods of time. It’s been 33 hours since I last took any. I know it’s not very long but I’m going cold turkey and although I don’t think it’ll be as bad as some people’s withdrawals and I’ll be out of town for vacation for 10 days, I’m hoping that I don’t experience many of the harsher symptoms.

  • Mike March 2, 2015, 2:01 pm

    I have been taking alprazolam for 15 yrs. I used them so I could sleep in the daytime for work. I also used 2mg at night for sleep. I decided to stop taking them. I quit cold turkey, and may I say, it wasn’t much fun!! Into week three of withdrawal and am steadily getting better!! I would not recommend cold turkey!! It was tough, but I made it!! Severe headaches and upset stomach!!! Senses also were altered, seems as if my body had to reset again!! Bad stuff, if you’re on it, you better get off of it!! Can’t wait to have control of my body again!

  • Coy February 26, 2015, 3:49 pm

    Hello out there. I took alprazolam for about 11 years. Started with 4mg per day and ended with about 6mg a day of the XR type for the last 3 years. It stopped controlling my anxiety and I found alcohol replaced the effectiveness of the Xanax. Then I became dependent on the 2 to be able to function. One morning on a day off I called my daughter at 9am stinking drunk. She called my wife and was admitted into a chemical dependency hospital for 4 days. That was the last time I took a Xanax or drank alcohol.

    After day 25 I am still having withdrawals. Increased heart rate, dizziness, out of body feeling like a rocking sensation, speaking clearly is a major problem, racing mind, sleeplessness, shakiness, I could go on. Went back to work after 3 weeks off and have difficulty functioning. I’ve read this could go on for up to a year. I am just happy to be alive. I know when this is all over that I’ll be normal again. Just takes time.

    Your brain has to learn processes all over again. Reading other people’s experiences from withdrawing from these 2 horrible drugs have eased my mind a lot. Know you’re not alone out there and life will return to normal. Each to there own is what I’ve came up with as to how long this will last. Drink lots of water! It helps. Also found that benadryl helps with sleepless nights. Good luck everyone!

  • Jack February 22, 2015, 12:10 am

    It’s been a rough 6 months. Out of no where, I had a panic attack one night and had severe anxiety after that. Started out on .5 mg 3x a day and when that wasn’t cutting it I got up to 3 mg a day. Doc then put me on Lexapro and after about a week that kicked in and I could tell that I didn’t need the Xanax anymore but had issues with stopping cold turkey. Over the course of a month I got down to taking .25 mg 2X and after doing that for about week.

    I then cut it down to taking .25 mg one time a day and then went to half that one time a day for about a week. At this point, I stopped taking it and have been off it for about a week and doing pretty good. My withdrawal symptoms while tapering down involved: nausea, feeling depressed, mild anxiety, trouble sleeping through the night, and loss of appetite. I’m glad I’m now off it and feeling pretty good.

  • Deborah February 17, 2015, 5:34 pm

    I went off of Xanax in December of 2014. I had been on it for over 30 years. I was taking 1 milligram per day, and then tapered it down to 1/4 Mill per day for a short time. I then stopped it completely in December. I am now suffering with a very unsettling experience on a daily basis. I feel like my body is coming off of a large shot of novocaine. My face feels tingly, and my scalp, and arms and hands. I am irritable and jumpy. I have a dull headache on a daily basis. I do not have problems sleeping, however I break out in sweats at any given time. Is anyone else having these symptoms?

    • Mary April 13, 2015, 6:31 pm

      Deborah I am glad to see someone else who has been on it as long as I have. I have started to get off Xanax recently. It is so very hard to do. You are describing how I feel now. What you are feeling is normal for Xanax. They say it takes a while to get over the withdrawals. I wish I had never been put of Xanax and I am so afraid of those panic attacks coming back. Good luck. Keep in touch. -Mary

  • Beejay February 10, 2015, 10:30 am

    Hi Guys, just an update on my progress, back in the 12th of January my dosage was .5 mcgs 3 x per day, on that date I halved my dosage down to .75 mcgs 3 x per day, then on 2nd February I decided I wanted of Xanax completely so I just stopped taking them. Since the 12th of January I’ve been going through some pretty bad withdrawal symptoms, but I’m managing them all pretty well. It hasn’t been the nicest of times but with each day that goes by things seem to improve.

    I’ve been completely off Xanax for 7 days now and I know I’m not completely done with withdrawals yet. While withdrawing, whenever I’ve felt like panic attacks and anxiety are coming on, I’ve been using my mind to talk myself out of attacks. Today isn’t one of my best days since coming off but I’m soldiering on. I’ve been working full-time while coming of as well which I think having something to do has helped take my mind off of withdrawal symptoms. Cheers! -Beejay

  • JC in California February 8, 2015, 7:47 pm

    I’ve talked to a number of people about this topic and I also work in the drug treatment industry. As such, I’m going to try to give everyone the “real deal” on withdrawing from benzo’s. Here’s what I’ve found and some tips for withdrawing (not always in this order):

    1. If you can, try to move to Clonazempam or another longer lasting but not as intense benzo to start a graduated withdrawal.

    2. Start taking the levels down at about .5 milligrams a week or 2 at a time so that you withdraw at a good pace while not overdoing it.

    3. Judge your withdrawal based on how your body and mind feels vs what you have to do for yourself, family, etc. If you don’t have anything to be accountable for you can try to quit at home or you should try to do an in-patient program. We all know which one is better of course.

    4. Taper down and make sure you hit a point of discomfort so you’re making progress. There’s a reason why it’s a withdrawal. There rarely is a withdrawal from drugs or alcohol without some pain associated with it.

    5. See if you can obtain (legally) a prescription for Clonidine, Gabapentin and your benzo (it’s much easier to withdraw if you know that there are plenty of Xanax’s, etc. left). Take the first 2 as directed and try to save your benzo’s for the long-term to use ONLY as needed, not everyday like you did before. Also take a multi-vitamin and eat right everyday. Get some exercise and do other healthy activities daily.

    6. Remember that YOU are unique and that you aren’t necessarily going to have the same symptoms as the next person. Try to stay focused and positive. Don’t “self-actualize” other people’s supposed “suffering” from withdrawal as being something you will have to endure because the fact is you probably won’t experience “hell on Earth” and other negative things unless you “psyche” yourself into it by telling yourself it will happen.

    7. You’ve read all of the symptoms from others so I won’t say exactly what you should expect plus there’s no telling what you should expect. Most people I’ve met tell me it wasn’t so bad in retrospect. Once you get there you’ll see the road wasn’t as tough as you thought.

    8. Stay positive and focused on treatment and recovery from this. Don’t focus on how supposedly “bad” withdrawal is. Try to put positive things in your head and not the negative things you read about. This post is intended to be positive for those of you withdrawing.

    9. Pray to God. Yes to God, because you will get strength from Him. If you don’t believe in God, you can meditate or do something else that brings strength.

    10. Think about the positive people in your life who have encouraged you to quit using. Think about the great things that will come to you once you’re off of medications. Once you do succeed at this make sure to help others so that you continue your recovery and make yourself feel like you accomplished something greater than yourself.

    11. Attend AA/NA meetings other self-help group therapy’s, out-patient treatment, etc. And bring a signature sheet to everything you do. Hang your signature sheet up on your wall so you can see what you’ve accomplished.

    12. Do your best and post you’re results in groups like this one so others can see how well you did and can seek advice from you.

    Overall, make sure you do what you need to do to quit. Stay healthy, take some other ancillary medications to help with the sting, stay focused, be determined to beat this, help others as you come across opportunities to help, seek help from those close to you and just make sure to stay positive in general. With drugs like Xanax which “play with your mind”, the drug itself and the symptoms of withdrawing are only as bad as your mind makes them out to be. Certainly there are things you will have to go through, but don’t overemphasize or dwell on them. You can turn the tables on many of the withdrawal issues by simply thinking about other things, etc. Good luck to all of you!

  • Joani January 25, 2015, 7:51 am

    My gratitude to each of you… Who knew when I followed my physician’s advice 20 years ago (!) by popping my first xanax that I could be writing my own ticket to Alzheimer’s?! Yep… I’ve been on it for 20 years, steadily building up from 0.25 1x/daily IF needed to 0.25 4x/daily ALWAYS needed because I became an addict. I actually took all four tablets at bedtime so I could sleep. But since the link to Alzheimer’s was revealed and my doctor tapered me off, sleep has become nothing but a distant memory.

    It’s 2:33am right now, my jaws are tight with tension, my joints ache and my mind races over all I should be doing right now, while I logically realize that even though I can’t sleep, I should try to rest. I’m exhausted. The rest of you sound so young. I’m 65. I need to sleep. I need the cures to stop being worse than the diseases. I need to be able to trust my doctors. I followed the rules, tapered off properly under my MD’s supervision, and I’ve been off over 6 weeks.

    I’m so silly!! I thought I’d kicked this monster when I stopped taking it. Until I did my own research I wasn’t certain all my symptoms were from the extended and ongoing withdrawal. Wow! I’d speculated that my insomnia was from the xanax and my doc didn’t fully commit. He prescribed another pill that was useless. As Ambien and the other drugs within its class have also been found to “cause Alzheimer’s” (according to my doc), I won’t be taking those either. I don’t know how long the human body can go without sleep and continue to function normally? Do any of you? Again, thanks for posting this.

  • David January 21, 2015, 8:04 pm

    First and foremost, I have no idea how anyone takes 5mg a day like Frank^ or 10-16mg like Jeff. Going cold turkey after that amount everyday is unimaginable. I have been taking Xanax on and off since 16. It has now been 9 years and I can take from 2mg a day to .5 mg a day. When I think about it, Xanax is worst than most controlled substances. From XR to instant release, yellow, green, white, blue all sorts. Recreational use turned into a everyday habit.

    I may add that I had anxiety but no panic attacks but I did request to receive this medication. I know how it feels to “try” and stop taking Xanax. It is a dreadful feeling but explained in the beginning, everyone is different. Friends have had seizures and I am scared of getting one. So I have been trying to taper off of it now, but it affects my life along with my work. I have not taking it today so far, my symptoms are anxiety, my legs feel like rubber, shaky hands, and more.

    I regret taking Xanax as it does affect your ability to think and act-when not on it. When I was off Xanax 2 years ago for an month or 2, thinking was sharper, your vocabulary increased, and I actually feel like a decent human being – this was before I would receive substantial withdrawal symptoms. Now if I were to stopo cold turkey, I would probably turn off my phone and just stay at home and not talk to anyone. I wish I stopped when I had the chance last year. I also drink when I take Xanax…every time.

    I need to get off, but deciding to taper off. One thing I noticed is that I actually had a dream. I do not remember having a dream in ages. A full night’s sleep is impossible if I do not take a Xanax of any certain amount. I also can’t eat nor can I work and I sit right next to my boss. I recommend exercising (if you can). I just wanted to share my story and will take everyone’s experience and feedback into consideration…which will be not to go CT. Everyone will have a different withdrawal, I hope mine doesn’t last to long. Good luck everyone.

    • Beejay January 26, 2015, 4:41 am

      It’s easy to end up on doses over 4 mg per day David. My doctor originally prescribed me 1mg tabs to use as needed, and 13 years ago I had a 4mg a day habit. I’ve successfully dropped my dosage from 1.5 mgs per day down to .75 mgs per day over the last 2 weeks with pretty bad withdrawals. Its been 14 days for me today and I’m starting to feel better even though I know there’s a long way to go yet. It’s completely do-able, you just need to be in the right frame of mind and use will power and healthy living while you are coming down of this “prick of a drug.” Good luck mate.

  • Beejay January 14, 2015, 8:13 am

    Hi Guys, I was put on Xanax after suffering panic disorder back in 1998, my dose was 1mg 3 x a day, fixed the problem first couple of years but ended up self upping my dosage to 1mg 4 x a day after 2 years because wasn’t getting the same buzz from the drug as I did when I first started taking it. In 2002 my doctor tried to get me to taper of and I succeeded and went from 4mgs a day down to 1.5 mgs a day and have been in 1.5 mgs a day from 2002 to 2014.

    I should have kept going with the tapering back then but thought I had come so far of the drug, I was happy to just stay on the reduced dosage. I’ve just decided that I want to get completely of this drug and I’m sure I will as I quit smoking (60 smokes a day) in 2009 while I was on Xanax so I know I have strong will power. In the last 3 days I’ve halved my .5 mgs 3 times a day down to .25 mgs 3 times a day or every 8 hours. The withdrawal effects are all there, dry mouth, numb face, lips, tongue, fingers, confusion you know the drill.

    Having been on 4 mgs a day and now down to .75 mgs per day and still suffering from withdrawals, I cant stress enough how important tapering of this drug is. I’ve been constantly on this drug from 1998 until now and I can tell you its not the end of the world and its definitely possible to get off, you just need to speak to your doctor first before you start coming off it to get the right advice. Good luck with your withdrawals guys, each day it gets easier…(:

  • Jay Evans January 9, 2015, 11:32 pm

    I’m on day 9 withdrawal of my low dose recreational use of Xanax. I’ve used off and on for a few years mostly off. I took between .25mg to 1mg Xanax a day for three weeks tops at a time. I am mostly not on this drug for weeks at a time but the last use of Xanax sent me into dependence. My symptoms are insomnia, tinnitus, mild depression but that has eased up mostly. I did a mild taper of .25mg for about a week then quit cold turkey.

    My sleep cycle is really messed up and the tinnitus is annoying. I have good days and bad days I suggest avoiding caffeine, sugar and processed foods especially msg. Take supplements like magnesium and eat healthy like protein, veggies and fruit. I have not tried to work out yet but will soon as I’m sure that helps out. Take it one day at a time and you will get through it. I will never take Xanax ever again I can promise you that.

  • Jeff M. December 28, 2014, 4:35 pm

    This was very well written and very informative, thank you. I have been abusing xanax, on and off, for over 15 years. I would go on a one month binge of an extremely high dosage. 10-16mg daily (throughout a 24 hour period). Sometimes, during theses binges, I would take up to and even more than 30mg throughout a 24-36 hour period. I would end up in complete blackouts especially if I drank alcohol on them. It’s amazing I never overdosed and that I am still alive!!

    I was a severe drug addict. These binges would only last a month because my family would see me in this sedated zombie like state and send me to treatment. After a month on these high dose binges the withdrawal was not that bad. Anxiety, nausea, and muscle cramps that did not last more than a week or two. From what I hear everyone detoxes differently though. Currently I am on day three of a two month binge. I convinced a doctor within two months to prescribe me 45 2mg xanex a month.

    And I had outside dealers who sold xanax at $4-5 for 2mg pills and $1 a piece for 1mg pills. I stayed on a high dose daily for two months. Like I said I am on day three cold turkey. The worst symptom so far has been nausea. It has been an awful flu-like symptom. I am also going through a very deep depression. I have been staying at my parents because I am to afraid to be alone. Some muscle cramps, knees are killing me.

    With all this being said, the withdrawal has not been as bad as I have read. Good luck to all of you out there getting off this horrible drug. The only reason they prescribe xanax is because it works for panic disorder like nothing else does. Otherwise I can’t believe they prescribe this drug. In the long run it is so bad for you physically and mentally!!

  • Kim H December 6, 2014, 9:55 pm

    I wanted to update everyone on my progress. First of all, I never said why such a low dosage affects me so severely. I’m very sensitive to any type of drug..ANY (except alcohol, can drink more than anyone and remain relatively sober). So, for me, a low dosage was the same as a person who can handle higher dosages. Secondly, I took well below what my Dr. prescribed which is why I thought it was safe.

    Anyway, after another 4 weeks, I adjusted to the .125. The ear ringing, confusion, lack of appetite, and severe insomnia backed down. Now, two days of half of that I’m feeling confident that the end of the drug all together is right around the corner. MY COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS ARE RETURNING. Very important for us in Xanax recovery to know that it does improve, but very slowly. The ear ringing and head pressure is getting better, too.

    Still fighting the agoraphobia that I never had until the withdrawal. Sleep is there, just broken all night, not great dreams. The most important thing to remember about stopping this drug is TAPERING. Do not stop cold turkey and expect not to have protracted withdrawal. I know quitting cold turkey is tempting because you just want to get out of this hell, but the brain and body will work more in sync with you if you taper. Don’t give up!

  • Miko December 6, 2014, 7:54 am

    I empathize with everyone who’s posted on this site as I’m in the same boat too. I’ve used .5 mg Xanax for years recreationally and for the past few months, attained 2mg bars in which I would take about 3 times per day, everyday. I’ve quit cold turkey 7 days ago and have literally questioned my sanity everyday since then. My hands and feet have felt swollen, my body has been surging with heat, I’ve been up for 3 days straight now and am still wide awake, my mind has been racing with thoughts that create the most intense anxiety I’ve ever experienced before, and the list goes on.

    My lust for life has faded and I’ve been asking myself why I’m still here (though I would never harm myself.) I know these are all temporary repercussions of abusing this drug and know that for all of us, this too shall pass. Stay strong my dear friends. We’ll get through this together and will emerge more willful individuals (to say the least!) Keep your heads high in anticipation that tomorrow is a new day. Love and Light to you all.

  • Chris C December 4, 2014, 1:47 pm

    I am so encouraged by everyone’s comments and experiences. I have been on .5 mg for over 20 years to help with sleep an panic attacks. My Dr. retired, so now I am seeing a new (younger) med professional. She has been against my continued use. Long story short, she wouldn’t renew my script, but nobody bothered to let me know that until I had been out of medicine for 3 days.

    I am on day 4 of CT, and am having a few weird experiences. Colors seem brighter, I’m having minor feelings of panic, but I figured out a good combo to help me sleep. Melatonin & Benadryl together did the trick and I was able to get a good night’s sleep last evening. Thanks again for everyone’s helpful words. I’m looking forward to getting through this.

  • RAY November 29, 2014, 2:59 pm

    Today I am so happy about my withdrawal progress! It has been aprox. 14 months since my last dose of 4mgs. daily and today I awoke with my ears ringing only a fraction of what has been normal and the intense feeling inside has finally diminished to a level that I can feel comfortable. I know things will return again for a few days at a time but knowing I can feel normal again means everything.

  • SarahB November 25, 2014, 10:02 pm

    I’ve been taking .25 xanax every morning for two and half years to help with my morning IBS-D. It’s generally enough to calm my intestines down and control the anxious thoughts. I typically never need more than .25, however, there are times I’ll need another .25 for several days, then I’m back down to .25. I’ll need .75 for a full blown PA (maybe every two- three months). I’d like to taper off, but I’m afraid of the W/Ds. Do you think my tiny dosages will cause W/D’s or a seizure? Thanks!

  • Alexis November 19, 2014, 7:04 pm

    Does anyone know what the long-term effects are after stopping Xanax? I was taking extremely high doses every day (seriously abusing the drug) for years, and I have been off of the drug for five years in February. I experienced 10 days of acute withdrawal symptoms, which lingered afterward for a bit (more mental than physical, and more as a result of drug use in general–I was a polysubstance abuser).

    I am 23, used to have an amazing short-term memory capacity, and now I cannot remember something someone told me to do 4 minutes ago. My long term and working memory are both completely fine, and function excellently. I am also wondering if there are long term alterations of neurotransmitter patterns in the brain. Please send links! Thank you.

    • GLOOM November 19, 2014, 7:27 pm

      Most notably, increased anxiety and memory impairment, but this is generally temporary. Additionally, there is sufficient evidence linking sedative hypnotics (e.g. Xanax) to development of dementia. Understand that this does not happen to everyone, it just increases risk 2-fold. My guess is that the memory impairment will eventually improve with time, you are still young. Best of luck.

  • Kim H November 9, 2014, 9:06 pm

    Thank God for this website and honest posts. I have been going crazy and was only on Xanax .5 for 7.5 months before trying to quit (since Aug. 20th 2014). I have had every severe side effect short of seizures, and go through hell with every little chop off of the little pink demons. Any doctor who would prescribe this medication for any thing other than a one time panic attack should be forced to get on them long term, then off just to teach them a lesson in ethics. I had no idea what I was getting into and now it takes every bit of strength not to just give in and up my current .125 back to .25 especially at night just to sleep.

    Here are just some of the symptoms I experience that my foggy brain and shaky fingers can muster for you: Insomnia, Shakiness, Cold-like symptoms (especially nasal), Intestinal distress and nausea, Impaired cognitive function (dropped my classes, but I’ve always been smart and sharp, now people can tell something is off), Blurry vision, Tinnitus, Head pressure, Muscle cramps (esp legs), Hallucinations, Sleep apnea, Impaired motor function (including driving or multi-tasking), Overly sensitive to sounds and smells, Depression and crying spells, Not enjoying anything that I use to. There is more to put on this list, but I’m too tired to write more. Thank you all, including the author of the article, for your help and honesty it gives me enough hope to keep going.

    • Kelly April 22, 2015, 5:25 pm

      I’m not sure when you wrote this post, but it has sure helped me tremendously because those are the exact same symptoms I am going through right now and I was thinking of taking a small dose to return to some sort of normalcy, but now I have been given the strength to continue on without. It’s so bizarre because I wake up and wonder where my personality, interests and hobbies, passion and drive went…

      I can barely drive let alone go to school because I simply do not care. My brain is in such a foggy state and although it gets better day by day, I feel that my days are more like weeks since I am no longer doing things that make my life meaningful. Never again taking this drug, evil.

      • Kim H April 30, 2015, 9:04 pm

        I just happened to go online and find this older post of mine to update after all this time (December 22, 2014 was my final .6 dosage, I know that’s low but for me necessary to maintain my sanity). After about 4 months of 0 mgs I am back to normal and only have a few occasional symptoms (esp. “trails” of things when it’s dark and my eyes have been working hard). I feel there are still some mild issues that will get better like a lack of motivation and slight fear of going out, but I had a bit of that before the xanax anyway, just not as bad.

        I would never wish the withdrawal I went through on anyone, but now that it’s over…DON’T GIVE UP…IT WILL BE OVER. I can’t stress that enough, you just have to be strong and take the smallest dosage you can handle and lessen it every week or two and deal with the side effects so that you can be free from that hell-to-get-off-of-drug. I am no longer a prisoner in my own brain watching everyone else in the world walk by wishing I could be them. It’s Over!!! Good luck and stay strong :)

  • Nick J October 27, 2014, 9:58 pm

    The best thing I can say to people who are experiencing the craze of Zanax withdrawals, is that it does pass. Here are a few things that made it bearable on the second time I quit cold turkey. Go for brisk walks, if you are fit, hit that gym hard – about 3 hours before you want to sleep. Avoid sugar and caffeine, and if you are a smoker, try not to smoke, you are better off not using ANY stimulants during this time. Cigarettes made me feel more manic, at least it was so in my case. Fresh cooked veg and protein, avoid breads and carbohydrates junk food during this time. Your body needs the veggies to heal. Do not take multivitamins, eat the real thing. The synthetic Vitamin B will act as a stimulant during this time.

    I know this sounds like ridiculous advice, but I assure you that I have been through it before, and this is what worked for me in the past 12 days. Your body is extremely sensitive to any stimulants and a can of coke can send you on a spin. Its tough, but you can do these things to make it easier. Avoid arguments, confrontations,watching hectic TV shows and people that p*ss you off. Good luck, it’s tough, but so are you. Kick its *ss.

    • Theresa November 3, 2014, 4:53 pm

      Thanks Nick J. I was beginning to think some of these feelings I have been having we’re just me. Now if I can convince my husband to understand. He doesn’t like these pills. Thanks again, theresa

    • Matt a November 3, 2014, 11:24 pm

      Nick j. Best advice I’ve seen.

    • Gloria November 9, 2014, 5:09 pm

      Great advice Nick. I have been off xanax for 9 years. I can still remember how the addiciation made me feel. It isn’t an easy battle to overcome but (IMO) is worth the fight. I look back to the person I was while taking xanax and wonder who that person was because it sure wasn’t me. Good luck to anyone coming off xanax, it will be worth it and you will be glad you did. I know I am.

    • adam January 5, 2015, 7:18 am

      Awesome advice nick! I have been off Xanax for 12 days and couldn’t figure out why, once I got up I felt OK but at some points throughout the day I would feel the symptoms come on HARD. IT IS THE DAMN SODA AND CIGARETTES!!!! Now that I think about it, I can deal with the withdrawals until I smoke or have a soda. Then it gets uncontrollable. I am going to try to have no soda and cigarettes tomorrow and see if I can get a day where I can control the symptoms. I was on 2mgs per 3x a day for around 2 and a half years.

      I went to an in patient detox for a 5 days and they gave me librium, which helped. And now I have been out of there for a week and feel ALL the symptoms of withdrawal and it is terrible, but I say F*** THIS DRUG!!!! I’M GONNA KICK ITS A**! I just wanna say to everybody that reads this… I have felt the worst of all the symptoms, and I feel like hell, including an episode of psychosis, but I keep telling myself that it’s all part of the recovery process. You are stronger than this drug. AND IT HAS HELP ME TONS! Don’t think about how you’re feeling right now, rather think about how you will feel once you make your full recovery. Like nick said: KICK ITS A**!

    • Barbara February 18, 2015, 6:23 pm

      I don’t want to seem rude and please don’t take this the wrong way but ARE YOU SERIOUS??? If I was that health conscience, disciplined and strong willed, I probably would never have had to use any of these types of drugs in the first place. This is day six for me CT and my dosage was up to (but as needed) 6 mg’s daily. A very major thing that isn’t mentioned much on these sites is that today’s doctors are not keeping their patients as well educated as they should about these meds, the possibility of physical addiction and what “could” happen if you stopped taking them CT.

      My eldest daughter who is an ER Nurse (and thinks she knows everything about the human body/mind) kept bugging me about taking Xanax in the first place that I went and dumped them out. So now b/c I thought I had something I had to prove to her, I seriously feel as if I need to be hospitalized. I would never have set myself up for possibly the worst physical trauma I’ve experienced so far in my 60 years (YES, including natural childbirth 5 times). This is horrible and I have no idea how to fix this.

    • Sherry February 21, 2015, 6:13 pm

      Have been on .25 mg for over 5 years now on an “as needed” basis. Would only take when anxiety or insomnia came on. I started having night sweats 4 years ago and could not attribute it to menopause (done with that 10 years ago). When I wouldn’t take the .25 I couldn’t sleep. I cannot take ambien or any other sleeping agent because it seems to totally mess up my body clock. Now that I’m trying to rid my body of this drug, I can’t sleep and have terrible night sweats. Nick (above) has given me the best advice. I will eat better, exercise more and beat this thing. My doctor never told me the down side of Xanax, but I’m determined to win anyway.

    • Anne Hill June 26, 2016, 7:50 pm

      Good advice Nick. I read that it is stored in your fat and a lot of water won’t really help that much but sure doesn’t hurt. Seems like zipping up the metabolism naturally by a lot of exercise should help a lot, also to help you get tired and sleep better. I only took .25 mg a night for sleep over 7 or so years. My body seemed to need more.

      I didn’t like that so I googled it and wow this is a bad ass drug. My friends were a little surprised my doc would prescribe it for so long. I won’t be going back to her. If I had known, I never would have taken it. I read that I should taper off so I did over 3 weeks Cuz I wasn’t taking that much. It has been 14 days since I took the last bit and I still have a low grade brain ache and trouble sleeping.

      I don’t want to take anything else like Amien…as IT is also a habit forming drug but not as bad as Xanax. I use Abra bath salts to help me sleep. It has valerian, poppy, lavender etc. Alternate that with 2 benadryls. Melatonin too… Less than 5 mg a night. Don’t ever want to have to take something like that for sleep again.

      I see the amounts some of you have taken and I can only imagine the time you must be having. My heart goes out to all of you. I see a lot of potential for malpractice lawsuits. Google your doctor too. Can be very informative…

    • Ally July 31, 2016, 11:48 pm

      Yup. I totally agree. Drink a lot of water too! Like a gallon a day. No caffeine. No refined sugar or HFCS. No cigarettes and stay away from anything that causes you anxiety. People. Sounds. Places.

  • Patty G October 18, 2014, 2:03 pm

    Im on week 2 of quitting CT. I had every withdrawal symtom described. Cold sweats, depression, seizures. I scared the sh#t out of my family with the seizures. I wish I would have never been prescribed this med for GAD. I’m worse off now than I have ever been.

    • Karen September 3, 2015, 3:03 am

      Oh I’m sorry to hear that Patty! I have been taking Xanax for apx. 10 years when my son went to war. I was a total basket-case and cry myself to sleep each night until I was prescribed Xanax. I had ran out of Xanax on a weekend and on the first night of not having one tablet in 24 hours I had a seizure that lasted over five minutes. I lost consciousness, I was then incoherent & confused once they revived me. I didn’t know the year nor the current president.

      Thank God my daughter was home and she called 911 although it terrified her! My blood pressure dropped to 79/48. I was quickly rushed to the ER by ambulance. They did 2 CAT scans. Today I saw a neurologist and now have to go thru a MRI & EEG. I have great medical insurance but my co-pays for the ambulance & these tests will be in the thousands. I would have never started this medication if I had known that this could cause potential lethal withdrawals.

      • Polly October 13, 2015, 7:37 pm

        How was the seizure treated???

  • Frustrated October 18, 2014, 6:05 am

    I have taken the alprazolam ER 2mg every morning and a 2 mg xanex at night for about 7 years now. I would like to get pregnant in the next year and am attempting to taper off. It’s been one month and I feel like the withdrawals haven gotten worse. I constantly feel like I drank a bottle of salt and drink water consistently all day. This has made my teeth start to hurt.

    My anxiety is so bad I feel like I’m going to shut down and sometimes feel like someone punched me in the chest. I really hope this doesn’t last for months or years. :/ One good thing is that I’ve noticed my vocabulary has increased (as I used to forget words often) and I do not fall asleep during the day anymore. I use to have to take naps in my car or could fall asleep mid conversation almost like I was narcoleptic. I’m scared this will effect me getting pregnant or having a healthy baby. I wish someone explained how hard it is to get off 7 years ago :(

  • Frank Van Arsdale October 6, 2014, 7:56 am

    I’ve taken 5mg. Every day for the past 10yrs. I quit cold turkey and wouldn’t recommend it. Can’t sleep for days at a time. Then might get a half hour then a hour over time and slowly start to get about 4 hours a night. Sweating, muscle jerking, startled by every noise, flinching at any motion near me, ringing in the ears, dizziness when standing up, winded from the slightest bit of movement, taste of metal in my mouth, watering eyes, feeling of being bloated, thoughts that I might never be the same as I was before I started taking Xanax, no motivation for work of any kind, hands feel swollen, mind races, fidgeting constantly, motor skills are totally off for everything, overestimate every movement. I’m still miserable after 5 weeks but not as bad as I was, so I’m hoping this will eventually go away completely and I will return to how I was before I started taking Xanax.

    • Michelle November 14, 2014, 2:09 am

      Hello. I have recently went cold turkey myself and by accident. I’ve been to the ER 3 times in 1 week. I have the pills, but refuse to put that poison back in my system since I found out what it is really doing to me! I’ve been on it a year and was recently taken (about 4 months ago) to 2mg a day, 3 x a day but only took it 2x a day, Thank God! Today is day 8 and I am still having horrible withdrawals, but not as bad as the first 3 -5 days. Can hardly type. I can’t believe this drug is on the market

      • Michelle November 14, 2014, 2:11 am

        I’m shaking so bad I accidentally sent without finishing. I was wondering how you are doing now. Getting any better? This is horrific!

    • robin December 20, 2015, 3:29 pm

      I am on day 9 of cold turkey withdrawal from benzos and what you describe is exactly what I feel. IT is making me suicidal that I will never feel normal again and just want to take something to help me sleep. The no sleep is horrible and my whole body feels like it is on fire and I don’t feel like I can even take care of myself. Are you any better? You have a few more days than I do.

      • Dusty December 21, 2015, 3:29 am

        I have been on this drug for the past 5 years. I’ve been trying to cut as much as I can for a long time, but am averaging 1 and 1/2 mg per 24 hour period. Over the past few weeks I have stopped taking it during the day and am only taking it at night as needed. I find I’m having trouble with sleep and will take it three times to get by before the night is over. I’m glad I came to this site, I had no idea why I’m experiencing all this nervous feeling, mostly in the evening. Now it all makes sense! Please go slow.

    • Jesse October 18, 2016, 5:15 pm

      Frank, I can certainly relate. I’m almost bedridden. However, a hormonal Dr decided I stop everything cold turkey. Needless to say, I had the seizure spell. Insomnia still and it’s been over 6 months. Worst was she decided to place me on an antidepressant and fatal reaction…

      There’s sooooo much more to these medications although they do their job. I wish I’d never had to start them. But, reading ALL these posts makes me want to wean off myself… Prayer’s for you all…

  • Ray September 25, 2014, 10:18 pm

    I was on 4mgs daily plus took many extra for aprox. 8 yrs. I have been in withdrawal for over a year and am still very uncomfortable. This has been total hell that I cannot describe. If I had known how long my withdrawal would last I don’t think I would have attempted it. If you attempt to quit I would recommend switching to valium and do a very slow taper. This has been a life changing experience that has made me appreciate life as never before. I feel lucky to still be alive after what I have experienced. You can only understand it if you have been thru it. Good luck to all of you attempting to quit. If I can answer any questions please let me know because I know how lost you can feel about this. God bless

  • Sandy September 24, 2014, 6:00 pm

    I had to quit cold turkey. I have to have my doctor authorize a refill, which means he will want me to make an appointment with him. I would, but I do not currently have health insurance, which is why I quit cold turkey. I had been on this medication for a year or two, taking as many as 3 pills a day (.25 mg). I didn’t even really think about the withdrawal I may have, but now that I am reading all of this, I am wondering if maybe this is why I am feeling so damn depressed! I have cried every day for the past 3 days, and just feel like something bad is about to happen. I hate feeling this way, but, based on what I have read, I’m not sure if going back on the medication is a good idea. I certainly think it would help my mood right about now, but I would really like to get through life without being dependent on some drug.

    • Theresa November 3, 2014, 4:48 pm

      Hi Sandy, I have been in your shoes without insurance and also had problems that others have had on this site. I have found that it is best to call doctor and just “see” what they would want to do. This happens and doctors have had to deal with this before. Explain to the nurse or doctor what happened and the situation. Now some are understanding… some use “tough love” and just say no… but they know the problems associated with cold turkey. They could be at fault so I would say give it a try. Hope you are well! Theresa

  • Drew September 23, 2014, 4:46 am

    I am currently on day 2 of Xanax withdrawal. I seem to feel fine during the day, however when night time rolls around I become miserable. I cannot sleep, tossing and turning and starting to fall asleep leads to brain zaps (does anyone else now what I mean by that). I really need some help here this is the worst.
    Thanks, Drew.

    • Ray September 26, 2014, 9:34 pm

      I had the brain zaps also which lasted for about 3 months. Mine happened while trying to relax also. If that is the worst symptom you are lucky.I spent the first 2 months that were hard to even walk due to being dizzy. The tremors and muscle spasams were also very bad. The worst part is impossible to explain because it’s as much mental as physical. I am over 1 yr into withdrawals and am still am very uncomfortable.

      I will have 4 or 5 decent days then the feelings return for several days. I still can only get about 5 hrs sleep and must stay busy to keep my mind off of things. I notice only slight improvements after weeks. I sometime wonder if I will ever feel normal again. Good luck with your progress and realize not everyone will experience severe withdrawals. I read about 14 % will have them severe and can last for up to 5 years!!

    • Diane Cerulli October 21, 2014, 12:54 am

      I also had brain zaps after going CT… they started about a week after I quit. I woke up in the middle of the night and felt these funny feeling in my head. They became torturous and my body was so shaky. I couldn’t stand the feeling and ended up in the ER. They gave me Ativan which helped. Sounds were soooooo amplified… I could hear things my husband couldn’t hear. It was nuts. It was awful to go through. I was on 2-4 mg of Xanax for 25 years. Took about 2 months for me to feel normal again. I have been Xanax free for 3 years and I feel wonderful.

      • Dolores January 4, 2015, 10:22 pm

        I have been on it more than 25 yrs. too and I try and come off and doctors give me more. I chip it down, but I have stomach pains, headaches and extreme nausea coming down on it. I don’t know what to do and I don’t have a doctor anymore as he put me on wellbutrin and latuda and both made me sick, so I stopped them CT. I will have to take trazodone with some xanax to sleep a little, but the trazodone has side effects too?

    • Earl June 15, 2015, 5:45 pm

      Brain zap. I get it. I have been talking less than .25 for a year. Have decided to go cold turkey. Been 5 days. So far so good.

  • Jaxson September 16, 2014, 6:26 pm

    Forgive the length of this post but hopefully it will be relateable to anyone who comes to this site. In the year 2000 at the age of 40 from out of nowhere I had a series of panic attacks. I am physically fit male, eat well, exercise 4-5x a week and had always slept incredibly well. GP put me on less than 1 mg. Xanax daily. He said I had General Anxiety Disorder. Did not tell me to take it as needed – just take it everyday. It worked perfect for two years. No side effects.

    Exactly two years after the first panic attacks I had another stress induced (put my 13 yr. old pet to sleep and bought my first house) panic attack. GP sent me to psychiatrist. Put me on Paxil. Big mistake! Good bye libido, good bye having emotions. Learned the meaning of ‘weaning’ – weaned off of Paxil and left his pdoc. New pdoc practiced poly pharmacology. Put me on combo of Prozac, Wellbutrin, and Trazodone. I guess it worked but after five years I did not think it was a good idea to stay on antidepressants (especially since I had never been depressed a day in my life).

    Began the weaning process off of Prozac/Wellbutrin and put back on Xanax. Worked up to 2.5 mg daily along with the Trazodone and now Ambien enters the mix. In 2009 a new pdoc prescribed Luvox along with the Xanax. Luvox causes Xanax to stay in your bloodstream twice as long so I cut back on the Xanax to 1.5 mg daily. Trazodone is the constant now – 100 mg nightly for sleep along with Ambien as needed.

    Fast forward to 2013. Changed pdocs in 2012 and she had me try Zoloft, Cymbalta, Requip, Inderal – all just made me sick. Finally I said enough. No more AD’s. Let’s find a level of Xanax and stick with it. Since Feb. 2013 I have taken 3 mg. Xanax XR Daily (1mg. taken 3x daily) along with Trazodone and Ambien.

    I had slowly stopped taking any Ambien over a few month and on the 4th of July I stepped down to 2.5 mg Xanax daily. I cut the afternoon dose to .5 mg XR. Various side effects have reared their ugly heads the past 1o weeks. Insomnia, depression, confused thinking, inability to concentrate, anxiety, sweating, vivid dreams, heart palpitations, irritability, and muscle twitching. And I have just cut .5 mg. daily from my regimen! I am a little loopy as I type this.

    As a side note my libido has never recovered to its pre-Paxil state. I am determined to wean myself off of Xanax even if it means .5 mg every six months for the next five to six years. The side effects are real after long time usage. I look forward to reading these posts. We are all in this together. The medical profession still remains fairly ignorant of the long term effects of AD’s and benzos and the side effects of withdrawal. But we soldier on.

    • Theresa November 3, 2014, 4:37 pm

      Thanks Jaxson…I don’t like these pills, but at least I can get through a day. I hope it is still going well. Thank you for posting, theresa

    • Valentine October 11, 2015, 9:55 am

      A few tips that may help. I was told if you’ve been on it a long time you should decrease .25 mg every 3 to 6 months. I’ve found d-phenylaline by doctors best works weird with it. It dulls the effect of Xanax so thinking this could help with withdrawal. I’ve taken 4 pills of it to help with pain and depression. It seemed to start blocking the Xanax. Since it helps moods and depression it seems like it would be a good addition to lowering your dose. Some doctors feel just switching to a different drug with shorter half life will help.

      I am not a fan of that but it might work for someone else. Xanax acts as a mild muscle relaxer so muscle pain is expected when going cold turkey. I’ve been pulled off for a weekend by a Dr mistake and highly recommend tapering off if you’re on .5 or more per day. Thank you Jaxson for the idea of how to split up the extended release pills. So 3mg er could be taken to 2mg er(or 1 mg er) and .5 mg er. A person might need some .25 for break through to lower but it’s an option.

  • Kevin September 15, 2014, 7:56 am

    I have been on Xanax 1mg (half a tablet in the morning and night) for fourteen consecutive years. Last Thursday morning was the last time I intended to take it. I have been prescribed Ativan 2.5mg (half a tablet in the morning and night) to help go off the Xanax immediately. People say it is difficult. It is SHEER HELL. I have never felt like this in my ENTIRE LIFE. The lack of sleep, the convulsions, I feel like vomiting, I feel as though I have a heavy cold, pains in the joints, I can’t co-ordinate my movements, my legs feel like rubber.

    The list goes on and on. I wish the Doctor I saw in 2000 never put me on the rubbish. My God, yesterday I lay down and wept openly at home. I called my Doctor this morning for help, he didn’t even take my call. Doctors prescribe this sh*t, then label a person an addict. They wash their hands of their patient. I wish I never had to see another Doctor again in my life. Tonight is going to be hell again. After 90 hours off Xanax, I had to get out of bed at almost midnight last night, and take half a table. I managed to get four to five hours sleep in fours days. I need all I can muster for this sh*t.

    • Roger January 2, 2015, 11:34 pm

      I hope your xanax withdrawals are long over, thank you for sharing. I stopped taking xanax 4 days ago, I was taking 2mg pills 3x per day, and have tapered to 2mg per day. So far day #4 is no fun and seems to be worse than day number 1. I started taking this due to a few small strokes… “this is no fun so far” and I hope the pain starts to slow down soon. But I feel I can do this, and I do not want to be taken over by this drug anymore! I wish the doctors had told me that this was a forever medication, and that you would become dependent on it. Hoping all is well, and that the tremors are gone…

    • Danielle October 29, 2015, 8:33 pm

      I know what you are talking about. I’ve been prescribed 4mgs of klonopin for 2yrs, 6mgs of xanax for about 2yrs and then the doctor upped my xanax to 8mgs a day for 5 yrs. I’ve been on benzos for a total of 9 yrs daily. Yes i’ve taken more than prescribed bcuz I have severe social anxiety, panic attacks daily and in my sleep and I was also taking them for sleep. Most years I was taking about 14-20mgs a day and I was fully functional.

      I tried detox and they did a 10 day taper. I was running on adrenaline for 3+ months. It was pure hell and had I not been stuck in rehab I would have attempted suicide. I slept 30-45 mins every 4-5 days and stayed up for the rest of the time…24 hours a day for almost a week straight for 3 months. I didn’t eat, drink or sleep. My resting heart rate was never under 125 BPM and my blood pressure sky rocketed.

      The place I was at had idiots working for them. I begged for 2 weeks before they rushed me to the hospital. People had seizures and the doctor never wrote standing orders for ativan to stop the seizure so 1 person seized for 19mins. Coming off of benzos should be weighed out by the good of your quality of life vs. wanting to die every single day. Needless to say that I got out of the rehab and my husband saw how bad I was doing and I’m back on xanax.

      I would rather have to take something daily and want to live and be able to drive, go outside, cook and clean, enjoy my kids etc…than stare at the ceiling and suffering so much that I couldn’t even watch TV and want to have a heart attack just to stop the misery. Doctors should never be able to cut anyone off of these meds.

      • chris November 20, 2015, 5:46 am

        I hear that been off and on benzos since 14 now 30 the last 7 years have been on 3 bars a day “2mg each” stopped by tapering down over 3 weeks doctor said its OK you’ll be good. Yeah, 2 months later lost job apartment and my daughter. Got 2 DUI’s for having an old bottle in my car twice in good old AZ cause the metabolite was in my blood. Back on them and now my doctor who writes me the 90 bars a month with 4 refills is moving out of state.

        Going to see him tomorrow as almost no doctor will ever write me refills let alone keep me on 6mg a day here in AZ. Not as needed my script is take 3 a day for anxiety / depression. Hope it works out or I’m going to be paddling down ‘ish crick looking for street drugs just to function. Finally a person with a real story not “I took .5 mg for years or 2mg as needed for a year.” They don’t know the half of it!!!

      • Angelina May 17, 2016, 12:43 am

        I feel for you and I know your pain and the misery of detoxing, Danielle you are not alone, I am in the same situation as you are. And I agree with everything you wrote on your comment. Doctors should never be able to cut anyone off of these meds!!! We are all going to die some day and I would rather die, having had a life, than to live in pure HELL!

  • C September 12, 2014, 6:14 pm

    Hi Sue!
    You might want to read the Ashton Manual (online), written by a UK psychopharmacologist named Dr. Heather Ashton. It clarifies how to properly taper off benzodiazepines, and it includes tapering schedules. I wasn’t on this particular benzo, but I used the manual — and even brought the schedules to my doctor — when tapering off. I had to switch over to Diazepam, which is a longer-acting benzodiazepine and then taper slowly from there — milligram by milligram. It’s a long process, but really, that’s the best way to do it. It’s important to allow the brain to adapt to the changes.

    Check out BenzoBuddies (online support group) too, and make sure you’re well informed before you start your taper.

    You can do it! It’s a very important step to take for your long-term health. Take care and best wishes,

  • Sue T September 12, 2014, 4:18 pm

    I have been taking .05mg Alprazolam 5 times daily for about 10 yrs. now. It was perscribed for me when my husband got cancer for the first time. I was having severe panic/anxiety attacks. Then I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I want to get off this medication but it terrifies me with all the withdrawal symptoms you go thorough. I don’t know how it would affect my body with the diabetes since I have to stay as stress free as possible. I would appreciate any advice you could give me regarding this.

  • Bonnie September 2, 2014, 9:31 pm

    Hello. I just want to easy some minds. I went off of Xanax Cold Turkey 10 days ago and am almost back to 100%. I was on Xanax 2 mg xr for two years. I accidentally through away my newly filled prescription and did not know it until the Friday night that I needed my first pill. I decided that since I could not get extras from the pharmacy due to it being a “controlled substance,” that it was about time to try going off. Previously I had gone off of Effexor cold turkey and read on the internet that Benadryl helped with the withdrawals.

    It worked with Effexor, so I figured why not Xanax. My worst days were the first 2. On the third day, I went back to work and read about going off Xanax cold turkey on the internet. I was very scared about the possible seizures and called my doctor. The doctor’s assistant called me back in the late afternoon and told me that the doctor was not worried about a seizure because it would have happened already. I was told to continue going cold turkey at this point, but that this was not the way the doctor would have recommended I start.

    I was relieved. Every day is better. I still have some shaking, some anxiety, and sensory problems. My touch, sound and taste are out of wack. The nighttime twitching has subsided, but I am still waking up about 4 a.m. and having trouble going back to sleep.

    I know this was not the right way to go off the drug; however, it is not as bad as most of the reviews on the internet make it out to be.

    • M Fine September 8, 2014, 6:47 pm

      I have the exact same experience. Took about 2 mg a day for two years and slowly tapered down to about .50 for two weeks. After this I went CT and I am now on day 8 without anything.m the worst part for me has been the crazy dreams, jerking awake, and a general twitch. It really is embarrassing to sit next to someone on the train the wham, full body spasm, but know this only really lasted 3 days to the point I was embarrassed. I also tap my foot constantly and noticed I did this more to stop and twitches.

      Anyway, you read all these reviews that it’ll take months, and I’m sure for some people it will. For me personally, I feel like I’m past the worst of it. No seizures or anything crazy. Good to know I’m not going to shave crazy dreams for a month. Also, smell and taste is for sure off a little bit, but I will get by. Best of luck to anyone quitting, just know, it’s possible!!

    • Sandy Iannazzone October 7, 2014, 6:12 am

      I am so glad that I am not crazy. I ran out of my meds on Friday, and I have been anxious, have not been able to sleep, have had strange smells and tastes, and have felt nauseated. I can’t believe that 2mg pills could be that powerful to cause this type of withdrawal. I have been on them for decades for severe anxiety and panic attacks.

      • Mike February 26, 2015, 10:45 pm

        Sandy, I have been on same stuff for over 15 years! Was taking 2 mg for sleep at night. I quit the other day cold turkey! Pretty rough for 3 days, but getting better everyday! I was tired of the crap running my life! Good luck!! Tell a friend when you do it, as they can monitor and help you!

    • Theresa November 3, 2014, 4:32 pm

      Thanks Bonnie, I separated my last prescription into 2 bottles. That way if I didn’t remember if I took a dose, I would not have to count through all of them. After 2 weeks I realized I made a mistake somewhere and could not locate the other bottle…did I throw it out…? I don’t know. My dose was 0.05 3x’s a day…as needed. But, I had been having a LOT of depression and panic problems for quite awhile.

      My family does not like me taking this medication, at all! So I have had a few bad days. I have gone through this before and have been on this for 6 years -since cancer diagnosis. I am 55 and have had anxiety issues since I was a kid, and I am too tired for long walks on the beach and hobbies to keep me busy. I admit I want a quick fix. But, here I am muddling through on my own and I have been worried.

      Don’t want to call doctor so that he doesn’t think I am lying or weak. So I am feeling a tad better that you’ve gotten through 10 days. But, I wonder how you are doing now. I hope alright. And if you have any other words of encouragement or wisdom, let me know. Thanks again, Theresa

    • James February 14, 2015, 9:10 pm

      Thanks Bonnie! Reading this really gave me some hope. I’ve been dealing with Social anxiety and I’m on day 3 without medication after about a year taking roughly 2mgs a day and a rather quick taper. I’m getting better day by day and I hope to stay strong and avoid another dose. To anyone reading this, stay strong! It’s no fun to get off Xanax but it’s possible. Just remember why you want to stop, don’t let a medication run your life.

      • Veronica Lynn Oliver January 13, 2016, 3:07 pm

        JAMES… I just read your comment regarding day 3 of your xanax withdrawal symptoms. I’m on day 3 and it is getting to be a little rough. I have all the symptoms people talk about. I was on a script 1mg four times a day. I only took 1mg in morning and 1mg at night. So how long before I feel ok again? Thanks.

        • Ljosie2733 May 22, 2016, 11:17 pm

          I was on Xanax for years. Started out taking 3, .05mg’s a day but obtained a tolerance so it was gradually increased to 4, 1mg’s a day. Finally had had enough and went of cold turkey. On day six I had grand mal seizures and landed in the hospital. I’m so grateful and blessed there was no permanent damage to my brain!

          So based on my personal and painful experience, it is not a good idea to go cold turkey!!! It is best to taper off. I did so with Serax many, many years ago and did fine. God bless all of you, my friends! I so understand your pain!

          • Leslie June 12, 2016, 6:07 pm

            I moved to Oregon aka “Horegon” in Feb 2015 to be closer to my son and 2 grandsons. I came up here with 1 Rx of Xanax 1mg; taken 4 times a day for over 30 years. As soon as I sought out a new doctor here, she said she didn’t believe in prescribing Xanax and to always beware the “beans and pines!” I was thrown in to seizures, one a gran mal and for 14 months battled doctors from one alternative drug to another.

            I’ve been thrown into COLD TURKEY and withdrawals are still persistent after 3 months. Xanax works wonders as long as the doctor and patient understand the risks involved and that it is in fact a temporary solution. I nearly died from medical malpractice as any doctor should know that this drug cannot be substituted nor stopped on a whim – or textbook logic! Please be careful out there and know what you are getting into. ;)

          • Constance January 17, 2017, 8:52 am

            Leslie. Just read your comment. I also had the unfortunate experience of moving to Oregon. Doctors there do not believe in Xanax or any pain medication. I learned this the hard way. I had been on a low dose Xanax 30 years and low dose Vicodin for 15.

            Just told to quit and take naproxen. I am allergic to naproxen. Went through a year and a half of hell. Pain, withdrawals, panic, blood pressure almost killed me. Moved back to old state and was immediately seen by doctors and represcribed my old meds. I am now doing well.

    • chris November 20, 2015, 5:28 am

      2mg XR a day woo hoo. No wonder it’s not bad. I have been on 6 mg a day for 7 years. It’s bad!!! Would rather detox off my gram of heroin and 1/2 gram of coke a day I was shooting. Hit the bricks!

      • Ayemee April 1, 2016, 4:07 am

        I totally agree. I have detoxed off of a lot of things in life. Idk if I will ever make it off of Xanax. I was using between 4-6 milligrams a day. I am down to 1mil in morning & 1 @ night & My anxiety & depression is so bad that I’m considering going back up to @ least 4 mills a day.

    • Me February 1, 2017, 1:29 pm

      You have NO idea how much reading this has helped ease MY anxiety about coming off xanax XR. I was taking 0.5mg 1x/day. I made it through day 3 cold turkey and I am starting to feel better. Thank you so much for taking the time to write your comment. For people like me who are frantically searching the Internet, it can be a lifesaver.

  • KM August 4, 2014, 7:01 pm

    Thanks, this is really well-written and accurate. I started taking unprescribed xanax recreationally years ago, with other drugs too, but the xanax was the only thing that was impossible for me to quit. I built up a serious physical tolerance and addiction, was taking anywhere from 6 to 14 mgs a day. Maybe more… I don’t remember, hah. It’s brutal. It makes you really think you can’t live without it, and actually, you can’t. Withdrawals can and will kill you if you don’t get help. I’ve done pretty much every other drug and this was the one was really stuck. I finally got sick of ruining my life and blacking out on a daily basis and got help around a month ago. I’ve been off for 23 days now. I’m taking Gabapentin (Neurontin) through the withdrawal process and it really helps a lot. The first few days were pretty terrible. Shaky/sweaty/nervous/nauseous, confused, massive headaches, fever… but honestly, it’s doable. As bad as it was – it still wasn’t as bad as I thought. If it’s ruining your life, do something about it. It’s bad, but living in a blackout is worse. xox

    • Larry January 1, 2015, 9:52 pm

      I’ve been taking 0.5 MG for about 15 years when my Dad died to primarily to help me sleep. Went through a separation and increased my dosage on my own to about 1.5-2 mg a day. Now it’s all I think about as it wears off I get panic attacks. I’ve tried tapering and its REALLY hard! I’m in for any ideas on how to do this because I HATE how I feel when the Xanax starts to ware off. HELP! HELP!

      • PAA August 21, 2015, 3:55 am

        Larry, I have been on Xanax 0.25 mg three times a day for the last twenty years (20) for Panic Disorder. I had my initial Panic Attack while a student in Air Traffic Controller School. My max daily dosage is 1.5 mg-1.75 mg, and I can feel myself building up a tolerance to it. If I come off it, I will have lost my second career job w/9 years before retirement. Eventually, I will have to go up or come off.

        I’m not sure if there are many options after all the reading I have done. I fully expect severe to extreme physical symptoms when and if I come off slowly and I am not really sure if my body can handle it. I am 5o, and in relatively in good health, but over the years prior to Xanax, anxiety was beating me up. That’s why I went on Xanax and I got a good productive 20 years out of it w/minor setbacks. We are kind of in the same boat my friend.

        I am just trying to learn as much as possible from others to see my best course of action. I tried to deal with Panic Disorder for 5 years before taking any meds. I was housebound for the entire 5 years. I started Xanax, and I was fully functional in about a week. I hate the thought of going up, and I hate the thought of going down. I wish there were somebody knowledgeable out there to give us guys some very good advice! Best Regards, PAA

        • Sharon April 3, 2016, 7:36 pm

          I thought I was alone and can relate. I have been on it for 15 years for panic and stopped taking it the withdrawals were never ending even after three months I couldn’t make decisions nor think clear. I was a mess and lost my kids during the process.

          Turnt suicidal went inpatient and got put back on it. I’m tired of fighting this struggle and the meds makes me normal but am tired of depending on it. Nobody can relate the ones who don’t need it. Just venting and trying to stop it again. Wish me luck.

        • Jean April 15, 2016, 10:30 am

          Greetings: I was on Xanax for 2 and a half years, .25 three times a day. Took the pills the way I was supposed to for anxiety disorder & panic attacks and STILL I became addicted. My doctor slowly tapered me off, thought I would lose what mind I had left after taking Xanax those years. Went through withdrawals ALONE (no moral support & no one by my side).

          I’ve been off my last dose close to 3 months now. It’s either get off or increase… IMO, there’s no in-betweens. I’m doing good. Body & mind is LEARNING how to be the REAL me AGAIN… Good luck and God bless.

          • Cindy June 21, 2016, 1:57 pm

            Good day All, DO NOT do this alone. I am the exception and not the rule. I just quit Xanax cold turkey about 3 weeks ago. I was on .25 for 2 years and normally took as needed. This usually meant 1/2 of a .25 pill 2 x a day. During PMS I would take more 1 to 1-1/2 a day. Began taking when moved for first time in 25 years, new place, new job, Dad fell ill and passed away with Cancer all within 6 months.

            My Rx ran out and they wanted me back in but lately I had felt I was not who I use to be. No energy just a shell of myself on the couch after work and on weekends. I figured since I was feeling that way and my Rx ran out – let’s see what happens. No weaning off, no support or help. DO NOT do this alone. I am the exception and not the rule. Occasional nausea.

            Taking Advil PM to offset any chance of not being able to sleep. No sense trying to do it without PM meds for now. Also, I smoke MJ daily (evenings during the week) and I think that helps with other symptoms that are typical. I began taking DHEA too, not sure if it is helping or not. I do have a tingling sensation at times and some stiffness – however I have a bad neck and upper back so it might be that I “feel” more in general not taking Xanax. I have no history of addiction.

            I do not believe I was ever addicted clinically to Xanax probably more of a placebo effect mentally and the physical withdrawal symptoms are minor so far for me. Very much feel more alive and in my skin and am beginning to do more and more things than I was. My mental clarity has not been compromised at all. I have always monitored anything I do or take closely and believe it is important for everyone to.

            Today I am starting Lipotropic B-12 Injections which I believe will aid in the remaining detox and aid in my body recovering at a faster rate. DO NOT do this alone. I am the exception and not the rule. I wish everyone the best of luck!

          • Washington October 9, 2016, 4:51 pm

            Dear Jean, I have a very similar story to yours. Are you feeling much better now that it has been many months? I feel better with 4 months off, but not myself yet. Thanks so much.

      • Priscilla Martin December 6, 2015, 7:38 pm

        I took Xanax for 15 yrs, .50 twice a day, for anxiety and insomnia. I’m 55 and have a lot of health issues. I started becoming forgetful, brain was very foggy, wasn’t sleeping well these last few years of taking Xanax. I decided to do everything possible to be the best I could be, starting eating healthy, exercising and am drug-free. I tapered off Xanax and it was very hard, not sure if mental or physical, I think both.

        Did a lot of reading on natural remedies for anxiety and insomnia. Added vitamins, herbs and essential oil and haven’t had Xanax in a month. I give God praise BC I know I couldn’t have done it without Him! Do whatever you have to to stop Xanax before it messes up your brain. I’m in bed today feeling bad but it’s ok, tomorrow will be better! Good luck!

      • Rich April 20, 2016, 2:21 pm

        I don’t know when you wrote this but hang in there. The panic is coming from NOT having the Xanax. First thing I would do is switch to a longer acting benzo like Xanax XR or Valium. This way, instead of having that insane withdrawal 3-4 times a day, the withdrawals are less up and down and helps break the habit of taking regular Xanax 4x a day.

        There is a conversion for this and it is found in the benzo quitting bible “Ashton Manual”. I’m 4.5 months off my last dose after taking about 1-2 mg a day for 8 years. It can be done! Good luck.

    • Chantell May 23, 2016, 7:13 am

      I honestly have to say that reading your post has hit home with me. The difference is, I guess I had absolutely no idea that quitting my bars would actually kill me, or cause death. Granted, I feel as if I’m dying when I don’t have one. Honestly, I have been taking them for about 24 maybe 25 years now.

      I experience very hard seizures if I don’t have at least a 1/4 of one for the day. I used to take handfuls, but I can’t afford that with no insurance. I am so very sick and I am so scared that I may not wake from a seizure, so I’ve cut myself back as much as I can. I didn’t know death was associated with withdrawal.

      I just decided to Google to see if I would have any side effects. I have never been to professionally helped before. I can’t afford that. Should I not just cold turkey and stay in bed, sweat it out and seize until it’s over??? I’m confused about quitting now. And so very nervous.

      • Maria October 11, 2016, 4:57 am

        Please seek help. Do not go cold turkey it could kill you. Do they have a free clinic where you live or a charity hospital? Go there for help, Xanax is very dangerous.

    • KB May 27, 2016, 4:19 pm

      I really appreciate your story… I started taking the yellow 2mg Xanax bars and have been taking them everyday for almost two months now. I want to get off of them and have researched that tapering off is the best way… My question is, should I start taking .25 when I start feeling bad or should I make a schedule and spread it throughout the day??

    • cindy January 7, 2017, 8:26 pm

      You took the words right out of my mouth.

  • Jes July 28, 2014, 1:11 am

    I have been using 0.25 mg Xannax for around 15 years for panic attacks. I have always used never more than half a tablet at night before going to sleep. I was working away for a weekend and forgot to take my Xannx with me. I did worry when I realised I had forgotten them but resigned myself to the fact that I couldn’t do anything about it. I had 2 horrible night sleeps or lack there of but it inspired me to try and get off it for good. I halved my regular dose down to a quarter of a tablet for the first week with very little side effects if at all any and for the last 2 nights I have halved that again so I am taking very little. Surprisingly I have been sleeping very well but today I awoke with a huge headache and feel a little light headed. I’m determined to keep going and use Xannax only when absolutely necessary during a severe anxiety attack and all other natural techniques fail. I expect things will be a little uncomfortable for a while during the detox but I will feel far more comfortable knowing I am no longer reliant on the drug. I think it’s very important to be sensible about it and work with your doctor to safely detox.

  • Alba June 8, 2014, 8:42 am

    Thank you for this. I’ve been using Alprazolam (Tafil is the commercial name) for longer than 7 years to treat anxiety, I suffer of Panic Disorder and got rid of the Paxil but this one is different, very tricky one. My dose has been 0,5 mg and I never need more than that. My first attempt to taper was for sure scary, the headaches and dizziness won and were nasty, I only cut a tiny piece for three days (maybe 1/8 of the pill off), now I am planning on giving a second try, cutting an even smaller piece and stay with that for at least three weeks or more if required for the body to adjust but to read you did it brings high hope. Thank you again and wish me luck.

    • wondering December 8, 2015, 7:18 pm

      I have been taking Xanax for 5 years. I am prescribed 4 MG per day (1mg 4x a day) I am currently taking 2mg at bedtime. I have tapered down my dose over a 4 month period of time. I have not had withdrawal symptoms yet. Is this because I am still taking this drug? As of last night I have dropped to 1.5 MG at bedtime. I will wait until January 1 to drop to 1 MG at bedtime.

      Does this seem reasonable? I have no desire to go cold turkey I have just started a new job and definitely can’t lose it. Am I still looking at hard withdrawal symptoms doing it this way? Good luck to all of you

      • Chris February 3, 2016, 1:12 am

        Hi I was taking Xanax for 10 years. I was weaned off. Yes the side effects are still here after a month. Headaches, daily. Blurred vision sucks. Dizzy if you want to call it that. More vertigo I would guess. Goes with the dizziness I would guess. Weak muscles. No nausea or diarrhea which is good!!! Yeah, it’s been over a month I think. Hope it ends soon! The vertigo sucks!!!

      • Brenda February 15, 2016, 10:59 am

        Hey Wondering. Just read your post and wondered how you are doing. Saying a prayer for you that it’s going well. I’m just getting started weaning off 0.5 mg, 4 x a day, for 18 years. Take care. Brenda

        • Lawrence April 24, 2016, 1:23 am

          Brenda, Thank you for your sharing. I have been taking this same level dose for 16 years. Became scared this week when I was told by Dr. she would no longer prescribe unless I began step down. Side effects and length of time taking this medication gave me immediate anxiety.

        • Louisa January 16, 2018, 3:08 am

          Hi Brenda, I am just starting to develop a plan to come off my Xanax. I have been taking 1mg daily for 16 years. What was your experience with withdrawing? Did they prop you with other drugs? How are you coping? May I ask did you experience continual weight gain over the many years of taking this drug?

      • Clifton May 22, 2016, 7:59 am

        Four times daily? That sure was a lot. When I started, I was taking 1mg three times daily. But I have now tapered down to img daily and have been tapering down for a month and down to .05mg once a day. But these withdrawals are no joke.

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