Author Topic: Help with Xanax to Valium crossover and tapering  (Read 1441 times)

[Buddie]

Help with Xanax to Valium crossover and tapering
« on: November 01, 2022, 12:40:31 am »
Hey guys,

I have an ND that has agreed to switch me over to valium from Xanax for a taper. I have the appointment on Thursday so i need to come up with a plan to tell her, i dont think she knows how it works so id like to have some suggestions.

I take .5 at night now and have been for 2 months. Yeah not too long, but im ultra sensitive to this crap and am having all kinds of horrible reactions and need off it now. So my plan is to tell her to switch me over to 10mg valium, i guess i would take that once at night like i do now for the xanax... and i should wait about 2-3 weeks on valium until i feel stable enough to start the taper. I did this before about 10 years ago so if i remember it was an easy transition for me. Once im ready to taper, then i get two prescriptions one for 5mg and one for 2mg. Then i can go down to 9mg and stay there for two weeks, if i feel stable i go down to 8 for two weeks, and on and on until im down to zero. If im having a hard time at one particular MG then just stay there until im ready to move again. I believe this is what i did last time. Does that sound about right?
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[Buddie]

Re: Help with Xanax to Valium crossover and tapering
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2022, 03:20:56 am »
Hey guys,

I have an ND that has agreed to switch me over to valium from Xanax for a taper. I have the appointment on Thursday so i need to come up with a plan to tell her, i dont think she knows how it works so id like to have some suggestions.

I take .5 at night now and have been for 2 months. Yeah not too long, but im ultra sensitive to this crap and am having all kinds of horrible reactions and need off it now. So my plan is to tell her to switch me over to 10mg valium, i guess i would take that once at night like i do now for the xanax... and i should wait about 2-3 weeks on valium until i feel stable enough to start the taper. I did this before about 10 years ago so if i remember it was an easy transition for me. Once im ready to taper, then i get two prescriptions one for 5mg and one for 2mg. Then i can go down to 9mg and stay there for two weeks, if i feel stable i go down to 8 for two weeks, and on and on until im down to zero. If im having a hard time at one particular MG then just stay there until im ready to move again. I believe this is what i did last time. Does that sound about right?

Okay, Iím going to try to say this in what hopefully comes across as understanding and tactful; Please think really hard before crossing over to Valium. You are at whatís considered a low dose of Xanax. I was where you are, except my dose was extremely high and for over a decade. If Iím reading correctly, you have been taking 0.5 milligrams of Xanax for 2 months at night? Is that right? If you were to switch to Valium itís not just ďswitchingĒ, you have to spend weeks to crossover, while slowly adding Valium each week and reducing the Xanax. You are then, after weeks, only on Valium. Valium has its own issues, too, and is not for everyone. In my personal opinion only, so take it as that, I would slowly micro taper off Xanax directly. Again I say that because I crossed from Xanax to Valium, granted it took me longer than it would take you, and I hit a wall. Iím certainly not implying that my experience is going to be yours, and Valium does help some people, no argument there. I would just caution you to read some otherís experiences with Valium, do your own research, etc, before you commit to crossing to Valium. The Ashton manual was what I followed and what Iím pretty sure everyone does here, but what I didnít know was that itís not a set in stone list of guidelines, although some people do follow it to the t. I personally spent months just crossing over that could have been spent slowly tapering Xanax (I was in hindsight tapering at too high cuts) and avoided 6 months of h**l, to be back where I started.

I guess what Iím saying is unless thereís an emergency pushing you to crossover to Valium right now, please think about it first. If you are ultra sensitive to Xanax, and again I canít say this will be the case, but thereís a good chance that you may find Valium intolerable. Just my 0.02 . Whatever you decide you will have support here. And Iím sure someone can give you some crossover advice should you be set on going to Valium. 
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Help with Xanax to Valium crossover and tapering
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2022, 04:30:13 am »
Thanks for the info and i get it. 10 years ago i went through this, lord knows why im here again. The big problem is i get extremely bad interdose withdrawls. Well its going on 3 months now ive been on it, but my days are now filled with extreme anxiety and rage fits, and crying fits during the day. I never had that before starting xanax 3 months ago. I get that the valium taper is not all roses i started on 20mg 10 years ago and it took me a year to taper. Every 2 weeks doing the cut, and about on 3rd day having symptoms for a few days until it went away. That whole experience gave me PTSD. I remember thinking" jesus i should have just stayed on xanax and tapered from there...i would have been done in 3 months tops instead of a year of pain" the problem is i forgot how for some reason i become a maniac when on xanax, its almost like im allergic to it. I need off of this stuff ASAP, and am willing to spend the next 5-6 months tapering off of valium just to get off it now. Thats how bad it is, its not just kinda bad....its crippling cant work, cant think, cant eat, cant survive bad. I dont know what it is about xanax, but it just kills me. Believe me ive done this before, if there was any way i could hang for the next 3 months on xanax to taper off i would.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Help with Xanax to Valium crossover and tapering
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2022, 06:11:27 am »
Thanks for the info and i get it. 10 years ago i went through this, lord knows why im here again. The big problem is i get extremely bad interdose withdrawls. Well its going on 3 months now ive been on it, but my days are now filled with extreme anxiety and rage fits, and crying fits during the day. I never had that before starting xanax 3 months ago. I get that the valium taper is not all roses i started on 20mg 10 years ago and it took me a year to taper. Every 2 weeks doing the cut, and about on 3rd day having symptoms for a few days until it went away. That whole experience gave me PTSD. I remember thinking" jesus i should have just stayed on xanax and tapered from there...i would have been done in 3 months tops instead of a year of pain" the problem is i forgot how for some reason i become a maniac when on xanax, its almost like im allergic to it. I need off of this stuff ASAP, and am willing to spend the next 5-6 months tapering off of valium just to get off it now. Thats how bad it is, its not just kinda bad....its crippling cant work, cant think, cant eat, cant survive bad. I dont know what it is about xanax, but it just kills me. Believe me ive done this before, if there was any way i could hang for the next 3 months on xanax to taper off i would.

Iím so sorry youíre going through so much suffering. Oh boy, do I completely understand. I had quite a bit of the same symptoms as you did when I was tapering Xanax so I really do get it. Itís awful.  You have to do what feels right for you and clearly you know your body and symptoms better than anyone else. I hope you arenít beating yourself up mentally for ďbeing here againĒ. Life happens, things happen, but please donít feel like you somehow failed.  :therethere:

One question: Are you going to do a crossover to Valium or is your dr just going to switch you directly? Iím pretty sure the general consensus is that a crossover is recommended. I hope someone with more knowledge comes along who can help you out with this. Take care
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Help with Xanax to Valium crossover and tapering
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2022, 02:09:23 pm »
The crossover is recommended, but i am going to try just a direct one and see what happens. Thats what i did 10 years ago and it worked, just stayed on it for a few weeks before starting the taper. Im only at .5 xanax once a day so hoping it wont be too bad.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Help with Xanax to Valium crossover and tapering
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2022, 11:03:53 am »
Well this sucks. First night taking valium 10mg instead of .5 of xanax and i didnt sleep at all not one minute. I havent taken valium in along time, it made me very dizzy and just felt not good on it. I guess i am use to the xanax knocking me out every night. This did nothing, so i just laid there for hours then started to get anxiety from it all as i watched the hours slip by. Is this normal during a cross over? Makes me want to take the xanax again so at least i can sleep. This last 7 days actually have been pretty good on xanax, no interdose withdrawls. Im wondering if it just took me a while to get stable on it...i was all over the place taking it until i gave in 3 weeks ago Dr.s orders and started taking it every night same dose same time ect. She was trying to get me stable so i could then cut down.... maybe i jumped the gun here...sigh.  :-[
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Help with Xanax to Valium crossover and tapering
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2022, 05:37:14 am »
Well this sucks. First night taking valium 10mg instead of .5 of xanax and i didnt sleep at all not one minute. I havent taken valium in along time, it made me very dizzy and just felt not good on it. I guess i am use to the xanax knocking me out every night. This did nothing, so i just laid there for hours then started to get anxiety from it all as i watched the hours slip by. Is this normal during a cross over? Makes me want to take the xanax again so at least i can sleep. This last 7 days actually have been pretty good on xanax, no interdose withdrawls. Im wondering if it just took me a while to get stable on it...i was all over the place taking it until i gave in 3 weeks ago Dr.s orders and started taking it every night same dose same time ect. She was trying to get me stable so i could then cut down.... maybe i jumped the gun here...sigh.  :-[

How are you feeling now? It sounds to me like you could have a good chance of slowly tapering directly from the Xanax. You might find as you get lower in your dose that taking it more than once a day helps some, but it sounds like if you have been feeling pretty good the last week prior to taking the Valium it is definitely possible that maintaining a set time for your dose helped you. The body craves consistency with benzos, especially when tapering. Iím sorry to hear that the Valium didnít work like you were hoping for, but it wouldnít hurt to keep trying to direct taper from the Xanax from reading your post. Wishing you well with whatever you decide.  :)
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Help with Xanax to Valium crossover and tapering
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2022, 07:09:36 am »
Well this sucks. First night taking valium 10mg instead of .5 of xanax and i didnt sleep at all not one minute. I havent taken valium in along time, it made me very dizzy and just felt not good on it. I guess i am use to the xanax knocking me out every night. This did nothing, so i just laid there for hours then started to get anxiety from it all as i watched the hours slip by. Is this normal during a cross over? Makes me want to take the xanax again so at least i can sleep. This last 7 days actually have been pretty good on xanax, no interdose withdrawls. Im wondering if it just took me a while to get stable on it...i was all over the place taking it until i gave in 3 weeks ago Dr.s orders and started taking it every night same dose same time ect. She was trying to get me stable so i could then cut down.... maybe i jumped the gun here...sigh.  :-[

Hi [...],

I just read through this thread and also went back to your intro to refresh myself with your situation. There are a few issues that I feel I should bring to your attention and the first thing is in relation to your history/signature which we didnít have when I did your intro.

1) I see that your doctor advised you to stretch your doses out to every other day as you tapered. This should not ever happen with any benzodiazepine taper, because all it succeeds in doing is putting your system through a continuous cycle of inter-dose withdrawals because your blood serum levels continually drop dramatically between doses, and this is especially so with Xanax, because it has such a short half life. It mustíve been horrid stretching the doses out like that. Continual cycles of inter-dose withdrawals also increase the risk of Kindling, which only makes future withdrawal attempts even more difficult.

Kindling - Benzodiazepine Information Coalition
https://www.benzoinfo.com/kindling/

2) To successfully taper, blood serum levels need to be kept very stabile, and I find it very difficult to believe you could be dosing Xanax only once per day and not go through at least some level of inter-dose withdrawals. I suspect this has possibly been an issue for quite a while. If you decide to taper from the Xanax, I expect you will need to dose multiple times per day to keep your blood serum levels stabile enough to avoid inter-dose withdrawals.

3) In regard to the valium, please understand that it wouldnít have been the valium causing the anxiety when you switched directly from the Xanax to the valium. The Xanax has such an extremely short half life, and valium such a long half life, that the Xanax was leaving your system very quickly, whist the valium takes a very long time for blood serum levels to build up. What happened was you were going through withdrawals from the Xanax, which is why the anxiety came on, and the Valium simply couldnít compensate because it takes so much longer to build up in your body. This is why itís important to do a slow crossover from Xanax to Valium. Because you did a direct switch, you actually put yourself into withdrawals from the Xanax, and the blood serum levels of the Valium were nowhere near the level they needed to be to at to buffer the withdrawal symptoms from the Xanax. Itís also important to understand that although both are benzodiazepines, they are very different drugs and swapping one directly for another will not stop you from going through withdrawals from the one you stopped dosing, this is why a slow crossover is necessary and also comes with its own set of challenges.

It sounds like youíre now leaning towards a Xanax taper again , which is absolutely fine, but I just want to make sure you are not putting yourself through inter-dose withdrawals unnecessarily by only dosing the once per day. Thereís nothing wrong with splitting your dose and dosing twice a day or more to keep your blood serum levels even throughout a 24hr period.

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Help with Xanax to Valium crossover and tapering
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2022, 02:38:07 pm »
Thanks for all the info, yes her plan just does not make sense to me on any level. She told me she was a pharmacist for many years, then worked in a drug rehab center and now specializes in benzo withdrawls. I think its very important to trust your Dr., so i thought for a while well she must know whats shes doing. she does support me getting off these but sorry with benzos im just not willing to go with this plan. I am a sensible person and it makes zero sense to cut to .25 every other day for 30 days. So what are you left with at the end of that 30 days? You go through all that and in the end your mind is still use to taking that .5 every other day...when if you cut out 1/8 of your dose and held for 7 days ...at least by end of that 30 days youd be down to .25 Shes not really willing to share what the 2nd part of the taper plan is "until we get there" which is also a red flag to me. Anyways i have no choice but to figure it out myself.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Help with Xanax to Valium crossover and tapering
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2022, 12:03:03 am »
Hi [...]

I just want you to know you can trust the information provided here on BB. Youíre also not just trusting one person, because anything we post here is clearly open to scrutinisation. If one of us makes a mistake with the information we provide, then someone else will pick up on that mistake, as innocent as the mistake may be. This is one of the reasons why we donít provide taper advice or information via the PM.

Iíve had doctors and hospital psych doctors with self professed 30 yrs experience in benzodiazepine withdrawal whom within minutes I immediately know they have absolutely no idea how to taper patients off benzodiazepine medications. I expect this is because they have been doing the wrong thing over and over for 30yrs, and god only knows how many patients have suffered because of that. I had one psych who didnít even know the conversions between the different benzodiazepines and tried to put me on double the equivalent dose in a crossover. I called them on it and they just denied that I had any idea what I was talking about. I just had to dismiss her advise and follow my own knowledge. If I hadnít have known, she would have caused me to taper for another year or two longer. Iím not bashing doctors, Iím just saying we have to be extremely careful when it comes to their knowledge of benzodiazepine withdrawal, which is why itís so important we educate ourselves. 
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.