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Prescribed medicines for anxiety. Taking Xanax for many years. Can I continue or reduce the dose?

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Practicing since : 2000
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I'm impressed! Thank you. My doctor just retired and I now have a new one. My 0ld doctor prescribed 4 mgs.for anxiety or "as needed" for close to 7 years. My new doctor says that even the current 3 mgs. I'm taking is too much. I have cut back from 3 mgs. to one and a half a day, I'm going through a withdrawal stage I'm sure. How long should I expect this to last? I have taken Xanax for close to 8 years and when I first started it, my doctor said it was a "take as needed" drug. I have varied the dosage somewhat over the years according to my environment and the stress I experience. I am now cutting the 1 mg. pill in half and am taking these 3 halves 3 times a day every 8 hours. My usage over the years has varied between 2 mgs. a day to 4, once again according to the "need". My symptoms now vary from malaise to anticipatory anxiety to depression fueled by the reduction. How long will this last?
Posted Thu, 25 Jul 2013 in Mental Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Payman Hajiazim 41 minutes later
Hi there, thanks for asking. Usually when it is decided to decrease the dose of Xanax or any other medication from its class, they decrease it by 20 percent of the dose every three weeks or more. It means if you have been taking 3mg of xanax in average in the past, you can decrease just 0.5 or 0.75 mg of it and then you should be patient until the symptoms of withdrawal fades away. It sometimes takes more than several weeks. If it is bothersome, the doctor can add a low dose of a long acting medication from this class to cover the fluctuations of the dose during the day. They can add a medication such as clonazepam or diazepam or any other medication which is acting long in body. Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Prescribed medicines for anxiety. Taking Xanax for many years. Can I continue or reduce the dose? 9 minutes later
Thank you. So if I have been reducing the total dosage from 3mgs to one and a half mgs. for 1 week now, I can STAY with my plan and just be patient? I'm encouraged that you have said that it can take only as long as "several weeks" even for someone who has been taking it as long as I have. This means I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and thinking this way makes the task seem less formidable, less-challenging, and maybe even less painful.

Did you receive my recent response to your reply?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Payman Hajiazim 15 hours later
Hi again, you may pardon me for the delay in response. That is true. You can expect the symptoms will disappear after several weeks. You can also increase the dose a little now and decrease it in the fashion that was mentioned. Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Prescribed medicines for anxiety. Taking Xanax for many years. Can I continue or reduce the dose? 1 hour later
SO glad to hear back from you. Just as it happens on my cell phone, I "lost" you!Forgive me for tying you up with another question: You say I can "also increase the dose a little now." This is ALSO good news from you because although I'm hanging in there with my 50% daily reduction with 3 one and a half pills a day" I'm feeling the anxiety to depression sequence about 6-8 hours into the next 8 hour cycle and it's almost unbearable waiting until it's "time". This IS good news that I can take a larger dose (1 mg. in my case) OR take it early when I REALLY need it. Thank you so much for getting back to me. God bless you AND this service. My question is: How can I make sure I have this entire sequence of dialogue on your website if my doctor refers me to another doctor - which he might?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Payman Hajiazim 27 minutes later
Hi there, thanks for asking. If you have a query for the future, you can write that you have query for Dr. Hajiazim. Then it will directed to me. Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Prescribed medicines for anxiety. Taking Xanax for many years. Can I continue or reduce the dose? 8 hours later
Sorry. I just wanted to be sure you received my last reply/question and that I am accurate in my understanding of your information. I will just assume that no reply from you means I am accurate in my description. Thank you again....
 
 
Answered by Dr. Payman Hajiazim 32 minutes later
Hi again, your descrition as you mentioned is accurate. all the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Prescribed medicines for anxiety. Taking Xanax for many years. Can I continue or reduce the dose? 1 hour later
Dr. Hajiazim,

I have completed the evaluation, very much want you to see it, but do not know what is meant at the completion of my
evaluation when told to "click on the stars above." I have no starts on my screen OR the evaluation format.
Please assist. You may call me on my cell if you'd like at 540-383-8518.

Sincerely,
XXXXX
 
 
Answered by Dr. Payman Hajiazim 23 hours later
Hello XXXXXXX it means how many stars you score the answer you have received. All the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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