How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. K Your Own Question

Dr. K
Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 357
Experience:  15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. K is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What is the best way to wean myself off of xanax when I have

Resolved Question:

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.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. K replied 3 years ago.
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.
______________________________________________________________________
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 3 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.
Expert:  Dr. K replied 3 years ago.
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?
______________________________________________________________________
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.


Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 357
Experience: 15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.
Dr. K and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education