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Carol Kryder LMFT
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience:  APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
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I have three great doctors family dr., cardiologist; and now

Resolved Question:

I have three great doctors: family dr., cardiologist; and now because of what I thought was a heart attack was a panic attic from anxiety...so now I have a psychiatrist. I am 5.5 months without nicotene and now 45 days without alcohol. I've been diagnosed with supraventrical tachycardia. My doc's all work well together; my bp andcholesterol and overall blood work, and fitness continues to improve. My pscyiatrist has me on cymbalta, which helps and agrees with my stomach, he has me on klonopin, which I have no trouble with and I think he wants to taper me slowly off of this over 6 or 9 months... Now I'm getting to my question. For about two months now I've been on Xanax which at one time or another all three doc's have prescribed me but now understandably that authority for that drug is with my pscyiatrist. I think he want to taper me off too quickly...I understand I don't need to stay on this drug for long periods but is 2 - 3 milligrams per day tapered for 3-6 months o.k.?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Carol Kryder LMFT replied 5 years ago.
Hello, and thank you for using JustAnswer.com

You are saying that you take Cymbalta (antidepressant) Klonipin (for anxiety) as well as Xanax (also for anxiety) and the doctor is tapering you off Xanax over a period of 3-6 months at 2-3 mg per day. You also are saying that you think this is too fast a taper. Are you getting any withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking, sweating, nervousness, agitation? Generally the taper you describe is not too fast and you are still taking the Klonipin, which should help with the taper off the Xanax. I believe your psychiatrist is doing the right thing getting you off the Xanax because you have a history of substance abuse and there is a real danger of cross-addiction between the Xanax and alcohol. Xanax has also been known to increase cravings for alcohol. If you are drinking in addition to taking the Xanax and the Klonopin, you could be placing yourself in danger. I know you have said that you are 45 days sober and congratulations!!!! It is very important for you to develop and keep a good sober support system, since 45 days of sobriety is still early in the process and with your taking Xanax you are at risk for relapse. Please respond and let me know if I have got the details correct on this. I really want to help you with this issue, but need to clarify some information. Thank you for your question, and take care.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you and good reply... My doc wants to taper the Klonopin very slowly (6-9 mo.) but wants to taper the Xanax really quickly (30 or 40 days) and that's what makes me nervous. I chose on my own to stop drinking, my dad died of it; and I have a great carreer and family. I also chose to get off nicotene. Both addictions are in the 30 year range... I'm just looking to safely buy a longer taper off on the Xanax...that's the main concern. No shaking or panics for several weeks now. I feel good but I'm nervous to get of the xanax too quickly...I want to win this battle and I've put too much into it now to turn back.

Thanks,
Expert:  Carol Kryder LMFT replied 5 years ago.
Good for you! I like your attitude. I think you are just fine tapering the Xanax in 30-40 days. Remember, Xanax has a shorter half-life than Klonipin, and will be out of your body more quickly. That is why the doctor is keeping you on the Klonopin, for a safety net and you should not experience withdrawal symptoms because of that. You seem to be worried about the anxiety,and you can certainly ask your doctor about using Buspar, which is a non-addictive anti-anxiety drug, used for alcoholics. BotXXXXX XXXXXne, I think your doc is doing the right thing, given your particular situation. You need to get off the Xanax ASAP. It is too much of a risk for someone with a genetic predisposition to alcoholism as well as a 30 year drinking habit.

I wish you well. Keep going forward one day at a time. Let me know if I may be of any further assistance. Take care.
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience: APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
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