Yet Another Benzo Withdrawal Thread

Discussion in 'Support' started by inadmin, Aug 30, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. inadmin

      inadmin Member

      Hi all, after more than 3 years and a dose of 0.75mg daily xanax, I think it's time for a change.

      I know about the ashton manual and read most of it. I think however that i'll be lowering the xanax dosage slowly.

      Is there any known connection between benozos and hearing? Can it cause damage?

      Should i expect difficult withdrawal syndromes considering the dosage and duration of usage?
       
    2. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Short video clips with insights into meds and brain influences ... very interesting. I think I will order his book :) (so much for advertising :) ) anyway I think it is good to know the technicals of the meds we put in our bodies ... a while lot more going on than popping a pill.
      Fragmented Memories: Benzos, Narcotics, and...
       
    3. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Hi ,
      Please make sure your doctor is aware you want to reduce your medication and the reasons why .
      Medication can have side effects and medication leaflets list them to make you aware of them .
      You might need to change to another medication if it's not helping you as stopping them might bring back anxiety and low moods etc...have a chat with your doctor first....Hope that helps...lol glynis
       
    4. inadmin

      inadmin Member

      The doctor asked long ago to drop them, and prescribed remeron. It is a consensus that benzos are not for long term.
       
    5. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
    6. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      They can become very addictive and hard come off .
      Very slowly is the key and if your tinnitus spikes a little it will settle as you get use to each decrease .
      Keep positive and you will be fine with your doctor's support too and the forum and family.....lol glynis
       
    7. gevanko

      gevanko Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      playing in loud bands to long
      Wow I never new
       
    8. inadmin

      inadmin Member

      @nills thank you for taking the time to answer but those links are probably horror stories right?
      I'll skip them...
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. After 3 years on Xanax, you will have to take is SLOWLY. I was on Xanax for a much shorter period of time, and here is what I did.

      First, I switched to Klonopin. There are stories that it is even harder to get off than Xanax, but it is longer lasting so I only take it twice a day and maybe could have gone to once a day. I did not try for Valium as Ashton recommends. The dose is a bit different but there are rules of thumb.

      Second, I dropped from 1.5 mg to 0.5 mg WAY too fast. Tremendous increase in anxiety (the reason for the prescription in the first place) and other symptoms. I survived that and then got smarter.

      Third, I have been doing a liquid titration. I started by crushing tablets but switched to the orally disolvable tablets (ODT). Initially I mixed 0.25 mg in 50 ml of water (twice a day). Then I started withdrawing 1 ml of water at a time. Once I got down to 25 ml twice a day, I moved from the 0.25 to the 0.125 mg ODT, I went back to 50 ml of water. This cuts the concentration in half. The challenge is that, as you get down to smaller amounts of liquid, a 1 ml change becomes a larger percent change so I wanted to slow that down.

      I pause when symptoms showed up or every few days. (Others will suggest a bigger drop then a 2 week hold.) Most commonly, I drop 1 ml, hold for a day or two and then drop another ml. I am still moving along with the expectation that it will take a year or so to get off 0.5 mg of Klonopin. I would expect you to take longer.

      Make sure that every time you change something you hold for a little while to make sure things are stable.

      There are times when I get frustrated with the pace and just want to be done. The goal is to let your body heal and let your Gaba system return to normal. As far as I can tell, I have no withdrawal symptoms - and given that T is a common symptom of withdrawing too fast, I'm willing to take my time.

      All of that said, I was only one Xanax for a few months prior to switching to Klonopin so I recommend you go very, very slowly. As you have read, the consequences of not doing that can be unpleasant. You probably know this, but there is support (and very scary stories) at benzobuddies.
       
    10. Inge
      Cool

      Inge Member

      Location:
      california
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      benzodiazepine withdrawal
      I went to a rehab facility to detox from 10 year klonopin use. The withdrawal symptoms were brutal with T being the worst. T is one of the gnarly protracted benzo withdrawal symptoms. Taper down slowly ( I went cold turkey) to avoid a spike in your T.
       
    11. inadmin

      inadmin Member

      How much did you take?
       
    12. Inge
      Cool

      Inge Member

      Location:
      california
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      benzodiazepine withdrawal
      The last two years I became addicted and I took up to 10 mg of klonopin a day. However, on the forum benzobuddies you can read many stories of people who have nasty protracted withdrawal symptoms from moderate benzo use. Be careful with benzodiazepines.
       
    13. Steve721

      Steve721 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2015
      The guy in the second withdrawal video said he took 4 to 8 mg of xanax per day for two years. He didn't say how he got that much of the drug--was a single doctor prescribing this? Or did he go to multiple doctors or buy it off the street? And then he quits cold turkey with no tapering???
       
    14. Steve721

      Steve721 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2015
      10mg of Clonazepam per day is a huge amount. Did a single doctor prescribe that much of the drug for you?
       
    15. inadmin

      inadmin Member

      Is it equal to 10mg of xanax?
       
    16. Steve721

      Steve721 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2015
      Based on the prescribing information, the maximum recommended dose of Clonazepam for panic disorder/anxiety is 1.5mg per day, but in some cases the dosage can be higher, but it should never exceed 4mg per day. By comparison, the recommended dose of zanax for anxiety is no more than 4mg; for panic disorder, the average dose is 6-7mg per day, but for some people the dosage can go as high as 10mg per day.
       
    17. Inge
      Cool

      Inge Member

      Location:
      california
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      benzodiazepine withdrawal
      Prescribed dose was 6 mg a day. Mind you I had been taking it for ten years. Over time I developed tolerance and I needed more to achieve the same effect. This is the problem with benzos. They slowly creep up on you.
       
    18. Davo
      Curious

      Davo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sydney, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      00/02/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert
      Tolerance is inevitable for everyone it seems. Taper off and avoid if possible. Some antipsychotics have been used in very very low does to help people sleep. Personally I found them useful. I can't say that I every developed a tolerance and needed more to sleep. Downside: weight gain and once I stopped I had poor sleep for a couple of nights. Trick one isn't it? Most doctors are pretty negative about benzodiazepines for good reasons. Anyone with tinnitus knows that we need our sleep! Currently trying to exhaust myself at the pool and gym which tends to get me off to sleep at night. Good luck - hey we need it!
       
    19. Steve721

      Steve721 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2015
      As I understand it, Benzos are supposed to be prescribed for anxiety or panic disorder. I'm surprised that doctors would prescribe them as sleeping pills; it seems to me there are much better options for that. When my T first became a problem, my anxiety went through the roof--I've never experienced anything like it. I was on Clonazepam--two .5 pills for a day--for about 4 weeks. As my anxiety dropped, I stopped taking the morning pill; I didn't like how it made me feel so sedated during the day. I now take half a pill (.25) when I occasionally still feel anxiety about sleeping. My psychiatrist prescribed Trazodone as a sleeping aid, and it works well for me.
       
    20. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hi, @Steve721: Yes, some docs to prescribe benzos for sleep, although that is not what they technically were designed for. However, some people (like me) have sleep problems due to the similar brain chemical imbalances taht cause anxiety. Anxiety and insomnia often go hand in hand.

      Have said that: I decided against taking benzos as an ongoing sleep aid, although I used Xanax (alprazolam) as such in very low doses (no more than 1.5 mg daily, no more than .5 mg at a time) for about a year and a half. I agree that benzos are not for long term use, unless there are absolutely no other options. At this point, I alternate between using a low-dose sedative (Lunesta) and not sleeping. Natural sleep aids (melatonin, etc), improving sleep hygiene, etc do very little to help me.

      Also, re. my Xanax use: I had little trouble weaning off after my 1 1/2 year of use. I think what's crucial is to find a qualified doctor to administer these drugs, have that doctor set safe minimum and maximum dosage levels, and take the lowest effective dose possible.

      As others here have noted, one problem with benzos is you can build up tolerance over time. Your body then becomes "dependent" on the drug (in other words, you need a benzo to keep from becoming anxious), versus "addicted" (which means you are taking the drug recreationally, taking more than you need or for uses for which its not prescribed). I think there is some confusion here at TT about these two terms.

      I also worry that the scare stories we hear about benzos keep some newcomers to T from seeking short-term relief that could help them greatly in the beginning. Taking an anti-anxiety pill does not automatically turn you into an drooling addict. Having said that: if you have a prior history of addiction to alcohol or recreational drugs, you probably should avoid benzodiazepenes. Ask your doctor about other options.
       
    21. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Is it equal to 10mg of xanax?

      @inadmin: It takes about about two clonazepam to equal one Xanax. The big difference is how the two drugs act. Xanax enters the body very quickly, but is eliminated more quickly. That is why it really is one of the best drugs for panic. When a panic attack starts coming, you can shut it down.

      Clonazepam has a more longer half life (34 hours, vs 12 hours for Xanax) which is why you need to take it a bit to notice its effects (as I understand. Never have taken it). But that's why it is considered a better medication for people who have GAD, OCD and other more chronic anxiety disorders.
       
    22. Inge
      Cool

      Inge Member

      Location:
      california
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      benzodiazepine withdrawal
      Try trazadone, it is not habit forming and it will knock you out after 20 minutes of taking it. I take 150mg at bed time.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    23. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Thanks, @Inge. I did try trazodone, and have recommended it to others for the reasons you cite. Alas, for me it did no good at all. I hung in there for a miserable sleepless month, because my neurologist said it takes time for it to do the trick. No go.

      My brain chemistry seems unresponsive to anti-depressants in general.
       
    24. Roundhouse

      Roundhouse Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Sorry to resurrect this thread but it is what brought me to this site. After 20 years on Kolonopin for restless legs I am in the last stage of quitting because of the benzo link to Alzheimer's.
      My tinnitus started when my dose increased to 3 mg and a year before I found out about the link or started withdrawal. Per Dr.s orders I went from 3 to 2 to 1 mg. and quit followed by the worst week in my life. Screaming T, total insomnia, major body temp issues and more. I went back to 1 mg and stabilized for a month, did research and started a slow tapper.
      I'm down to 1/8 mg. of K and hope to quit in 2 weeks. I take 600 mg. of Gabapentin for RLS but hope to one day get off that too. I will be so glad to have this behind me.
      My T has gotten worse during withdrawal with some days worse than others. I hope that the T will get at least get better once off benzo. I think it may be what caused it but I have not taken good care of my ears.
      All I can say about K withdrawal is tapper very slowly. I dropped 1/4 mg. a month and 1/8 mg. this last time. The Dr. expected me to go from 1 to 1/2 to 1/4 in a month and quit again. Dr. also told me "now you know what a junkie feels like". Sheesh.
      Best of luck to anyone going through withdrawal.
       
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