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Dr. K
Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 358
Experience:  15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.
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What is the best way to wean myself off of xanax when I have

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What is the best way to wean myself off of xanax when I have been taking .5 twice a day? I will be drug tested for a DUI that I received and cannot use xanax anymore for my anxiety.
I would take 0.25mg 3X/day a day for 1-2 weeks (if you've been on this dose for several years you could go slower & take it for 4 weeks). Then I would go down to 0.25mg 2X/day for the same time frame. After that, if the changes are going smoothly, you could take 1 dose in the morning of 0.25mg for the same time frame...or just stop it.

If you are having problems, with lowering the dose, after taking 0.25mg twice/day, you could also lower it to 0.125mg 3X/day, then 2X/day, etc.

If just following a slow taper as I described is proving to be very difficult for you, you could ask your doc about using a long acting benzo (which is the group of meds that xanax belongs too) to help come off the xanax. Xanax is short acting so tends to have more withdrawals. Sometimes, taking a long acting benzo like diazepam (valium) or clonazepam (klonopin) can help reduce withdrawals.

If you go that route, usually you take a low dose of the long acting benzo, then lower the xanax. Once you get off the xanax, you then wean off the long acting benzo.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you need more feedback. Good luck & take care.
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Please let me know if you need more information. We can continue the dialog until you are satisfied. Once you are happy with the answers don't forget to hit the ACCEPT button & provide expert feedback. Also remember that this is not an official doctor patient relationship and not a substitute for a full live psychiatric evaluation. Thank you for using justanswers.com
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am not allwoed to take Benzos....what else is there that helps panic attacks and anxiety? I will not be allowed to have any Benzos in my system if I am ordered by the court as such.
One option would be increasing your zoloft which is approved to treat panic & anxiety. The usual max dose is 200mg.

Here a few other choices: antihistamines (vistaril or benadryl), neurontin (gabapentin), and buspar. The 1st 2 are more similar to benzos in that they often have a fairly immediate effect (although neurontin can have increased effect also as it builds up in your system). Buspar is a unique med that is sort of inbetween meds like zoloft & benzos.

Keep in mind the best approach to social anxiety is treating it holistically. Medications can be part of the solution. I also highly recommend 1) psychotherapy with a live therapist to address social anxiety, and 2) learning some formal relaxation therapy.

The last 2 treatments I mentioned are proven by sophisticated studies using brain scans (CT, MRI, EEG, pet scans) to improve brain function.

Also, by formal relaxation therapy I mean yoga, meditation, or similar methods. Having relaxing hobbies is also important, but not quite the same as formal relaxation therapy.

And remember you can't separate emotional health from physical health, so exercise & nutrition are vital.


There are also several self-help books you can read which can help including: 1) The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, 2) The Feeling Good Handbook by David D. Burns; 3) The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) by XXXXX XXXXX.

You could also try some over the counter products to help your anxiety like chamomile, kava kava, valerian root, or lemon balm.

Remember, even over the counter products can have side effects. If you taking any prescribed medications you should check with the doc who prescribes them to make sure the over the counter products won't interact with them.

And always start with low doses and increase them only if needed and slowly.

What else can I help with?
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Please let me know if you need more information. We can continue the dialog until you are satisfied. Once you are happy with the answers don't forget to hit the ACCEPT button & provide expert feedback. Also remember that this is not an official doctor patient relationship and not a substitute for a full live psychiatric evaluation. Thank you for using justanswers.


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