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Anyone used benzos during withdrawal?


RoxanneS
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Will taking benzos 2-3 times a week get me dependent?

The withdrawal from Paxil made me panic and had a relapse of social anxiety which the drug was initially prescribed for. Now I am stuck with withdrawal symptoms and worse social anxiety than before. I am trying very hard not to go on benzos to be able to cope and started psychotherapy again :(

Was on Paxil 20 mg between 2007-2016 for social anxiety.

 

Off Paxil since 29 february 2016, after 9 years on the drug.

Tried to reinstate 6 weeks later with no results, tried then Prozac and Zoloft on advice of psychiatrist with bad results. Meds free since 1 of june and in withdrawal which I don't know any more what it is caused by. ( Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft).

 

Withdrawal symptoms: severe insomnia, nausea, weight loss, anxiety, brain zaps sometimes, strange pains in different places on my body (could be caused by the anxiety though),gastrointestinal issues, jaw pain (gone now), poor memory (could be the lack of sleep), poor concentration, irritability, depression, hopelessness, rumination, tinnitus (gone)

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Roxanne, we don't recommend starting a new psych drug to deal with the effects of withdrawal symptoms from discontinuing another psych drug.  Some people who start taking a benzo on an as-needed basis develop dose tolerance and dependency. If that happens to you, you'll be looking at a benzo taper. :(
 
If there was pharmaceutical that worked to eliminate withdrawal, we'd tell you.  Some of our members find some relief by using magnesium and/or omega 3 fish oils.  Here are two topics that discuss those supplements:
 
Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)
 
If you'd like to ask questions about your situation, please create a topic for yourself in the Introductions forum.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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Im just visiting this page and saw this topic. I am withdrawing from both ad and benzo's. I would not take any risk if I were you. Some people get dependend from only using benzo's a few times a week for short periods.

I know it is hard to cope with symptoms but for now you know it will pass. If you take more drugs you might end up needing to go through another wd.

 

Wishing you strength!

'96 - sept 2006 Paxil 20 mg > Sept 06 - feb 07 paxil 10 mg

Feb 07 C t Paxil because liquid solution to taper interfered with anti-acids and no-ne knew

Major depression after 6 weeks

May 07 - spring 08 Lexapro

Spring 08 - sept13 mirtazapine 15 mg, later 7,5 mg, most time 4 mg

Due to interactions upped to 7,5 mg

Dec 13 - april 13 because of interactions 15 to 60 mg a day depending on withdrawal symptons

April 13 1 week Trazodone

April 13 back mirta, 15 mg was too much, looking for the right dose, down to 7,5 - 6 - 4,5 - 3,75

Bloodlevel was below therapeutic. Down to 3 mg, could not bear the effects and stopped

Clonazepam 3- 8 drops since 2008

Desloratadine 1/2 or 1 mg

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Thanks Scallywag and Spring.

 

The thing is I was not aware of withdrawals after ad and I stopped the med in a bad period in my life, I have small kids to take care of :(

 

Thanks for your support.

Was on Paxil 20 mg between 2007-2016 for social anxiety.

 

Off Paxil since 29 february 2016, after 9 years on the drug.

Tried to reinstate 6 weeks later with no results, tried then Prozac and Zoloft on advice of psychiatrist with bad results. Meds free since 1 of june and in withdrawal which I don't know any more what it is caused by. ( Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft).

 

Withdrawal symptoms: severe insomnia, nausea, weight loss, anxiety, brain zaps sometimes, strange pains in different places on my body (could be caused by the anxiety though),gastrointestinal issues, jaw pain (gone now), poor memory (could be the lack of sleep), poor concentration, irritability, depression, hopelessness, rumination, tinnitus (gone)

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I agree! I was only on Benzos as needed for 10 days during Lamictal withdrawals, and it's now been three weeks of trying to withdraw from the Benzos themselves! I'm still only halfway there as well!!

Lexapro (10-20mg): 2010-2016

Lexapro 5mg: 2016-September 2017

Lexapro 2.5mg: September 2017-November 2017

Lexapro 1.25mg: November 2017-December 2017

Lexapro 1.25mg (every other day): December 2017-January 31 2018

Quick taper since I thought I had sfx, was actually withdrawal

Reinstated Lexapro .25mg: March 10, 2018

 

Lamictal: May 1-July 1 2016

Klonopin: July 1, 2016-August 1, 2016

Seroquel, Clonazepam, Xanax, Paxil, and others: 2010-2016

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Will taking benzos 2-3 times a week get me dependent?

The withdrawal from Paxil made me panic and had a relapse of social anxiety which the drug was initially prescribed for. Now I am stuck with withdrawal symptoms and worse social anxiety than before. I am trying very hard not to go on benzos to be able to cope and started psychotherapy again :(

I asked for the longest acting benzo to deal with breakthrough anxiety and panix (clonazepam, because the shorter acting and shorter the plasma half life, the more intense withdrawals seem to be) - however, I have complex PTSD and flashbacks, so I asked for a limited benzo supply specifically for those emergency situations.

1999 - Wellbutrin 150 mg ~ 4 months - cold turkey withdrawal (adverse reaction)
2001-2002 - Lexapro 10mg, lorazepam 1mg - cold turkey withdrawal induced a 2 week subacute seizure cluster
2002-2006 - Clonazepam 1mg, Prozac 40mg
2007 - Added Abilify (adverse reaction - hand tremors) 
2007-2008 slow wean off everything
2014 - Zoloft/Sertraline 50mg, increased to 200mg over the course of a year. 
2015 - Added Atarax 50mg
2016 - Added Gabapentin/Neurontin 1200 mg

June 2016: Rapid Gabapentin wean, rapid sertraline taper 200 - 100 mg

Current meds: 100mg/day of sertraline, 50mg atarax. 0.25mg klonazepam as needed (usually every other day or two)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Benzos with ultimately cause you more harm than good. When I was going through the worse of Paxil withdrawal, I used a beta blocker instead of a benzo, which worked rather well. Essentially blocked that terrible physical panic feeling/tunnel vision/etc. YMMV

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

10) March 2020 - done with Paxil, 2.5mg Prozac

11) April 2021 - 0.03mg Prozac

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Yes I now have benzo dependency after using only 2times a week :(

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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I also used a benzo (xanax) for what I didn't know at the time were antidepressant withdrawal symptoms. Tolerance built up fast and I ended up using them daily, giving myself a dependence on those too, which I also didn't understand at the time.

 

Ultimately, using a benzo has made my withdrawal and recovery much worse than it would have been because I feel I'm having to recover from the effects of both of them now. Even though I was only taking the benzo regularly for a few months, it seemed to set back my recovery process long term.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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I have been on Xanax for about 10-12 years so I know what dependence means.

I had a dr that gave them to me because my throat was closing.

Now I'm WD from Lexapro then onto Xanax.

Then Prilosec and Zantac and I'll be done.

I came off 3 meds in 2015, very proud of myself.

Now I just want this over with so I can be "normal" again.

 

Good luck on your adventure:)

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal, Prilosec and Zantac from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, Krill oil.

Xanax 1mg 3x day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) 3x day to .003 grams 3x day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

I am not a medical professional.

The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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