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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2592
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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Is it ok that my psychiatrist stopped me cold turkey from

Customer Question

Is it ok that my psychiatrist stopped me cold turkey from taking xanax for the past 10 years at 6 mg a day?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Captain replied 8 months ago.


Welcome to the question/answer interface.

I am a Family Medicine doctor, board certified with active licenses and certification in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as Integrative Medicine & Naturopathy, with advanced training in Neurology, Cardiovascular Medicine, Gastroenterology, Endocrinology, and Psychiatry. I am also well-trained in Functional Medicine. — For your review, here is my direct link with my current ratings:

— I have read your post and wow- cold turkey after 10 years! That is pretty rough going! Very surprising, to be perfectly honest - Would you prefer a summary response to your question, or would you prefer more back-and-forth, where there will be a series of more questions and more details clarified? There is no difference in charges for your preference. You can continue to ask questions and receive answers without additional charges.

Either way, the goal is for your satisfaction, and I’ll do my best to take the appropriate time to help you.

— In case you were not aware, there is no charge for the time it takes for us to reach an answer that meets your satisfaction. I generally try not to rush any answers, and I hope you will not feel rushed either.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I'm really afraid of the withdrawls, I have previously had a seisure when I stopped taking xanax. My PCP said he couldn't help me because that would be conflict of interest. Now what do I do? I'm scared to death.
Expert:  Dr. Captain replied 8 months ago.

I completely understand your fear! If I were in your position, I'm sure I would feel just as you do. I would certainly not put my own patients in this position. Are you in an area with access to emergency room care?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I am, but I'm scared they won't help me either since my PCP didn't want to help me. Now I feel totally alone and scared!
Expert:  Dr. Captain replied 8 months ago.

I completely understand. Particularly given your history of seizures, it's important that we prevent that from happening again. You really should be seen in an emergency room. It's perfectly reasonable for you to explain to them the circumstances, both with your regular use of the xanax, and your history of seizures with withdrawals, and ask them what they think you should do. Most often, we taper people off of them, and do not cut patients off cold-turkey. I'm so sorry you've been put into this compromising position. That is so frustrating!

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I filed a complaint against this doctor because I feel that it is completely inappropriate for him not even wanting to wind me down with close montoring.
Expert:  Dr. Captain replied 8 months ago.

I agree with you completely.

Expert:  Dr. Captain replied 8 months ago.

do you think it was malicious? what was the intention?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
He just told me that I was at a dangerous amount of 6mg a day and I just needed to stop for my own well being.
Expert:  Dr. Captain replied 8 months ago.

I see. Well, on some level, there is truth to that, I suppose, generally speaking. it is not an ideal medication, but the immediate stopping seems unkind, and seems to engage more danger than safety

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hello, we spoke a few days ago. Exactly what is happening that I didn't want to, I'm losing a day of school and I feel horrible. I won't go to the E.R. because they will put me in a facility. I don't want that, Ischool has brought my self esteem. AMAny suggestions?
Expert:  Dr. Captain replied 8 months ago.

Hello again! How many days has it been for you, without xanax?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I'm going on almost 2 days.
Expert:  Dr. Captain replied 8 months ago.

Wow! That's a long time - have you had any seizures?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No, I haven't but I am way overboard with anexiety. I'm not a drinket, but I just had a glass of wine hoping that would help with what I am feeling. DID NOT HELP!
Expert:  Dr. Captain replied 8 months ago.

Once you hit 2 days, your risk of having withdrawal seizures goes down, but there is still a window within 4 days where you could still develop "the shakes" (Delirium Tremens) which is quite dangerous.

Expert:  Dr. Captain replied 8 months ago.

Do you think your doctor would be open to your concern about the dangers of Delirium Tremens, enough to offer you some tapering options? Even 6 pills, which you could take one every other day, then one every 3 days... might be able to help you feel better.

Expert:  Dr. Captain replied 8 months ago.

Was I able to address the question you provided to your satisfaction? Can I clarify, or address any other related questions for you?