Member Gallery    Games   Member Groups   Member Blogs   Health News    Bored?

Author Topic: Getting off alprazolam...  (Read 195 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline davey713

  • Just Joined!
  • Posts: 1
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Male
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Getting off alprazolam...
« on: June 25, 2014, 02:20:25 PM »

After being on alprazolam for about 10 years now, I talked to my doctor about getting off of it and possibly switching to a different med. After my first panic attack, he prescribed .25mg pills and said to take 2 to 3 per day, depending on need. At first, I wasn't taking them much. Then my anxiety got much worse, due to different things going on in my life. Eventually, he switched me to the extended-release pill. Started at .5mg, went up to 1mg, went up to 2mg, back down to 1mg, back down to .5mg, and now I am back at 1mg. We talked about tapering down and then starting on buspirone. I also have hydroxyzine pills to take when needed, and I find they help somewhat. I figured he would cut me back to one .5mg pill per day instead of the 1mg, then eventually cut that dose down by half, etc. Instead, he told me to take the 1mg pill every other day for two weeks, and then every three days for two weeks, and then go from there. I didn't think to ask at the time, but how long does the extended-release last? 24 hours, since the directions are to take one every morning? If so, isn't taking one every other day somewhat dangerous? I've read about the dangers of alprazolam withdrawal and just wondered if these seemed like strange instructions to anyone else. I did not take the pill this morning, and have already had to take two hydroxyzine pills because my anxiety is absolutely rampant, and I feel like tiny electric shocks are buzzing through my brain and body. Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thank you.
Bookmark and Share

Offline insights

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6641
  • Country: au
  • Rec's: 135
  • Gender: Male
  • Mood: Curious
    • Poke This Member
Re: Getting off alprazolam...
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2014, 06:27:10 PM »
That is not the way to wean off alprazolam. The easiest way for most is to switch ti diazepam (Valium) and wean off it. Diazepam has two advantages, it has a very long half-life which gives a smoother ride, especially at the lower doses, and it come in relatively large, easily quartered 5mg and 2mg tablets which make it very easy to taper down by small amounts.

1mg alprazolam is about equal to 20mg diazepam. I suggest you switch to that for 2-3 weeks, then cut the dose every 3 weeks in the following sequence: 15mg, 10mg, 8mg, 6mg, 5mg, 4mg, 3mg, 2mg, 1mg, 0.5mg, zero. Don't be tempted to taper any faster as the body needs time to adjust after each dose drop and this takes some time because of the long diazepam half-life, however, you might be able to reduce the dose by a little more than I've suggested.

The alternative is to switch to a liquid formulation of alprozalam, and slowly cut back the dose, however, once you get down to small doses you could face a yo-yo effect as the med cuts in and out which can be very unpleasant.

Bookmark and Share
NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all suggestions are general in nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.