Between 10 to 35 percent of patients will experience the rebound of anxiety symptoms, especially panic attacks, when they discontinue the BZs too rapidly. One approach is to remain at each new lower dose for two weeks before the next reduction. About 10 to 20% of panic disorder patients fail to respond adequately to Xanax.
Tapering a BZ over a two- to four-month period can lead to significantly less withdrawal symptoms. Helpful for phobias, social anxiety, OCD, and panic disorder. To block panic attacks, two to four weeks of treatment may be needed. Do not take if planning to get pregnant, while pregnant or while breast-feeding.
If you have difficulty with this regimen, then your doctor may suggest that you switch to a longer-acting benzodiazepine, like clonazepam (Klonopin), or a barbiturate called phenobarbital (Luminal). Be cautious, and never drink alcohol if driving a car or operating dangerous equipment. It is also fast-acting, so you can feel some relief within thirty minutes.
An alternative is to add a medication to alprazolam that would reduce some of the bothersome symptoms during the withdrawal period. Some patients develop depression while taking Klonopin. You can divide the dose and take it in the morning and evening, or take it all at once.
They also have been used “off label” for anxiety, restless leg syndrome, and a host of other experimental treatments.
The 3 primary groups of z-drugs are Imidazopyridines (zolpidem), Cyclopyrrolones (zopiclone, eszopiclone), and Pyrazolopyrimidines (zaleplon).
A higher dosage of a BZ, as well as longer use, can increase the intensity and frequency of the withdrawal symptoms.
Short acting drugs (Xanax, Serax, Ativan) are more likely to produce withdrawal reactions than BZs with longer half lives (Valium, Librium, Tranxene) if they are discontinued rapidly, although the difference is usually small if they are tapered in an appropriately slow manner. Relapse means your original anxiety symptoms return after reducing or stopping the medication.
If you have been taking alprazolam for many months, it may be best that you gradually lower your dose over eight to twelve weeks. Alcohol increases this drugs absorption and it depressant effects on the brain. Valium is a long-acting benzodiazepine, so one or two doses can last the whole day. Do not take if planning to get pregnant, if you are pregnant or if you are breast-feeding. These could be carbamazepine (Tegretol), propranolol, or clonidine (Catapres). Best to avoid taking this drug during the first three months of pregnancy. Frequent use in later pregnancy can cause symptoms in the newborn. Alcohol will increase the drug's depressant effects on the brain and can result in excessive drowsiness or intoxication. Start with a .5 mg tablet per night on the first night. Can be increased .5 mg every two or three days or more. There can be some overlap of drugs between the sedative class, benzodiazepine class, tranquilizers, hypnotics and anxiolytics.However, while some drugs fit into other classifications of drugs, there are several types of drugs that only fit into the sedatives class; examples of-which would include Z-drugs such as Intermezzo, Sonata, Ambien, and Lunesta. We provide general and clinical information on these drugs, as well as FAQs, resources, and clinical information on quitting sedatives, sedative withdrawal, and assistance on how to safely taper sedative drugs.
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