Increasing GABA naturally

Wayne

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i seem to get weirdly stimulated by it without heavy relaxation.
Kava dirupts my sleep and gives me weird dreams. I've wondered if it acts similarly to the amphetamine-type drugs that are prescribed for ADD/ADHD to paradoxically calm down the system. Because I do notice somewhat of a calming effect, but feels stimulating once I go to sleep
 

bjl218

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Are you using 0.25 mg of Xanax occasionally? If so, I'll bet you'll have no problem stopping. Xanax has a relatively short half-life. Some constant Xanax users find that they start having inter-dose withdrawal symptoms because of this. If you're using it occasionally and not already experiencing some level of withdrawal symptoms, I think the chances are that you'll either be able to stop cold turkey or do a relatively short taper.

I use 0.5mg Xanax to help me sleep. I gave in. Cannot deal with the not sleeping. Very occassionally I might take a 1/4 during the daytime, but not often. So for the last year I have done this. Now i have cut back to 0.25 before bed and I seem to be ok. Not sure if I cut them off if I'd have withdrawals, i hope: not.
 

Hip

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@Hip I remember enjoying kava before I got sick, and I often use gabapentin or more infrequently ativan to help w me/cfs symptoms, but even though I have good kava (borogu and a couple of the others from kwk) i seem to get weirdly stimulated by it without heavy relaxation.
That's strange that you should get stimulated on kava. I found a comment here that may be relevant:
From a general drug comparison, I view high kavain as the 'stimulant' type kava and high dhm as the 'depressant' type kava
I don't know if you find the stimulant effects good or not, but if you don't find them desirable, then perhaps a low kavain kava might suit.

Though looking at the chemotype list, it seems most commercially available kavas have 4 in the first or second position (kavain = 4). It does not look like low kavain kavas are common. But a kava with 4 in the second position in the chemotype figure should be slightly less simulating than a kava with 4 in the first position.



the thing is I mainly want to use it to keep my gabaergic tolerance somewhat low. I wonder if there are other things that actually reduce gabaergic tolerance. could the overstimulation be from alkaloid 1/mao-b?
I've never found anything that can reduce the tolerance build-up of benzodiazepines or other GABA system drugs. There is an interesting article here about possible strategies to reduce opioid tolerance, ethanol tolerance, stimulant tolerance and nicotine tolerance — but unfortunately it says nothing about reducing GABA system tolerance.

I found this story of a patient who took both Xanax and kava for 3 days in a row interesting: that combo caused so much GABA activation that he/she went into a coma! It suggests that kava can have strong GABAergic effects, but we know that kava is not addictive, so it may be a better alternative than benzodiazepines for some people.



Absolutely AWESOME, terrific, extremely helpful post
Glad you find it useful. Actually, all that info I posted was just online research on kava kava I did for myself, and which I noted down on my computer. So it was just a case of copying and pasting it.

I've made notes on my computer on so many subjects, so my computer has ended up being infinitely more knowledgable than me! Due to ME/CFS my memory has become so bad that no matter how much research I do, I always forget 90% within a few weeks. But my computer never forgets.
 

Hip

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By the way, although the billion to one chance of getting liver failure from kava is thought only to occur if you consume kava leaves or kava stem, and high quality suppliers should only sell kava root which is considered safe, nevertheless, just to be extra cautious, it may be advisable not to take acetaminophen (paracetamol) with kava, as this can increase the risk of liver toxicity, if you were unfortunate enough to be sold some kava leaves by a dubious seller. Ref: 1
 

Hip

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Here are some more kava contraindications:
This is not recommended for those with Parkinson’s, liver disease, lung disease, depression, or bipolar disease. Kava has negative interactions with acetazolamide, amiloride, furosemide or with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as benazepril, captopril, lisinopril, quinapril, ramipril, levodopa-based medication, alcohol, Xanax, barbiturates, or other mood-altering drugs. It is contra-indicated in these cases.
 
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@Rufous McKinney , @bjl218
I think the chances are that you'll either be able to stop cold turkey or do a relatively short taper.
I disagree emphatically. Xanax has the same diazepam equivalence, and a much shorter half-life than Ativan. If someone has been taking even 0.5 mgs (5 mgs valium equivalent) for an extended period of time, that's 5 mgs of valium/diazepam on a steady basis, boring into your CNS and neurotransmitters.

Granted that doesn;t seem like much, but to the brain, which slowly restructures itself to accommodate it, it really doesn;t matter. The effects become hardwired. And because you take it every nite, even with its short half-life, you still have enough in your system to get to the next dose. And that's not even taking into consideration how effective your CYP2C19 liver enzyme pathways are. If you turn out to be a slow metabolizer, the effects of Xanax would be extended and magnified, sometimes considerably.

The effect of Xanax lasts about 5 hours or so. Its half life is about 11 hours, so it can take up to two days to fully leave your system. That's assuming your P-450 system is humming right along, tip-top. ANd a lot of that could depend on what other meds you may be taking, and whether or not they're inducers or inhibitors of the specific pathway that metabolizes Xanax, the CYP2C19.

Like all benzos, Xanax works through your GABAa receptors, and will substantially down-regulate them the longer you take it. It's regarded as one of the most difficult and damaging of the benzo family in terms of withdrawals. Many doctors have stopped prescribing it for that reason, and because of its elevated potential for dependence.

Tolerance withdrawal symptoms on a low dose are particularly hard to pinpoint, usually being subtle in their expression and often mistaken for other things, but some of the longer-term effects are: brain fog, memory problems, cognitive impairment, muscle weakness, tremors, light-headedness/dizziness, and on and on.

Xanax is a much tougher drug than simple Valium/diazepam, and potentially much more destructive. With all due respect to @bjl218, you really need to have a caution when going off this. Neither bjl nor I know how long you've been taking Xanax, but that could have an effect, as well.

Please be careful with going off this devious, nasty little brain-scrambler. You probably have no idea how much worse things could potentially get.
 
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@Hip
Due to ME/CFS my memory has become so bad that no matter how much research I do, I always forget 90% within a few weeks. But my computer never forgets.
Church !!!

Nonetheless, you have some awesome posts, whether from memory or accumulated knowledged stored in the 21st century equivalent of your file cabinets. Very grateful !!
 

Wayne

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Please be careful with going off this devious, nasty little brain-scrambler. You probably have no idea how much worse things could potentially get.
Just one reason things can get much worse is that it's not uncommon for people to develop tinnitus while withdrawing from benzodiazapines. Also interesting, is that when people get tinnitus for other reasons, they're often prescribed benzos to quiet it down, and help them sleep. It actually does that fairly well, but once they start to try withdrawing, the tinnitus volume can then go off the charts.

I personally think benzos should--for the most part--be used extremely judiciously--if at all--and only in relatively microscopic amounts. And restricted for very selective situations, and for very short intervals. I keep some on hand for just these kinds of "emergencies", but only use it a handful of times--or less--per year. And my dosage is just .5 mg. of diazapam (1/4 of the smallest dose of 2 mg. that's made).
 

bjl218

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I disagree emphatically. Xanax has the same diazepam equivalence, and a much shorter half-life than Ativan. If someone has been taking even 0.5 mgs (5 mgs valium equivalent) for an extended period of time, that's 5 mgs of valium/diazepam on a steady basis, boring into your CNS and neurotransmitters.
Unless I misunderstood, @Rufous McKinney' s use of Xanax was occasional at 0.25mg (2.5 mgs valium equivalent which is a relatively low dose). And there were no reported problems moving from a dose of 0.5 to 0.25mg. This leads me to believe that there would not be significant withdrawal either by going cold turkey or by doing a relatively quick taper. The latter obviously being less risky than the former.

I don't mean to diminish the risks of discontinuing benzos. I had my own "adventure" discontinuing clonazepam during which I scoured benzobuddies.com for information and advice. Consequently, I am definitely not a fan of benzos by an means. However, I don't want anyone to be scared off from discontinuing benzos because of the fear of withdrawal symptoms.
 

HABS93

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Cannabis is a funny one to be honest. On one hand it relaxes me and help anxiety, but also amplified certain anxieties when I was ‘sober’. Very strange. (I’m assuming the CBD you try is derived from the cannabis plant and not the hemp plant).
@SmokinJoeFraz93 I just smoked two bowls yesterday and today. My eyes didn't glitch out or anxiety. Have no idea what's going on with my brain. However when sober I feel my symptoms are worse so there is that . Like a paradox
 
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@bjl218 , @Rufous McKinney
I use 0.5mg Xanax to help me sleep. I gave in. Cannot deal with the not sleeping. Very occassionally I might take a 1/4 during the daytime, but not often.
Now i have cut back to 0.25 before bed and I seem to be ok.
Unless I misunderstood, @Rufous McKinney' s use of Xanax was occasional at 0.25mg (2.5 mgs valium equivalent which is a relatively low dose). And there were no reported problems moving from a dose of 0.5 to 0.25mg.
I believe that you did misunderstand. As the quote from @Rufous McKinney 's post in this thread indicates, she's been taking 0.5 mgs of Xanax (5 milligrams of valium equivalent) at night to sleep, and adding the equivalent of 0.25 mgs 'occasionally' during the day for what may possibly be the first signs of tolerance withdrawal. Apparently, the 0.5 mgs at nite for sleep has been an on-going thing, based on other posts, though neither you nor I know for how long.


We also don't know what other medications or drugs @Rufous McKinney may be taking, or may have taken, that might have impacted the functionality of CYP2C19, or might be inhibiting or inducing that metabolic channel.
I don't want anyone to be scared off from discontinuing benzos because of the fear of withdrawal symptoms.
I agree. Getting off this shite is paramount, but getting off the wrong way can have very very long term repercussions, and can guarantee a lifetime of seesawing back and forth, with doses inevitably climbing gradually, until getting off is no longer the issue. Surviving it at all is the issue.


Xanax is particularly horrible, in a constellation of truly awful drugs. It's potential for tolerance, addiction, and withdrawal problems is epic and not to be taken lightly. I know that we all want to beleive in the "everything will be fine fine fine" fairytale, but to ignore the Big Bad Wolf hiding in the deep dark forest is dangerous folly.

Having gone through what you describe as your own 'adventure' discontinuing clonazepam, and having scoured BenzoBuddies as a result, I have to assume that you understand my cautionary approach to all this, and the number of other factors that may be in play.

And with the effects of ME added into the effects of a Protracted Withdrawl Syndrome, life becomes pretty dim and hopeless. That's something that I'd very much like @Rufous McKinney to avoid, having become friendly with her on other threads.
 
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@SmokinJoeFraz93 I just smoked two bowls yesterday and today. My eyes didn't glitch out or anxiety. Have no idea what's going on with my brain. However when sober I feel my symptoms are worse so there is that . Like a paradox
It works differently with everyone. If it helps your anxiety and you can afford it, take it.
 
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However when sober I feel my symptoms are worse so there is that .
So cannabis is another gift but gifts come with taxes. I observe a huge reduction in symptoms and huge reduction in misery index post use. So I resist because Guilt is hard wired into the 1960s survivors..., and my daughter begs me to go have a couple of puffs Mom. She observes how much better I am afterwards. What she observes has led her to view my illness as psychological to some degree, altho she insists she does not think that.

She cannot see: the fog, pain, nausea, dessication, stagnation.

Once it has directly reduced the inflamed reaction and the histamine reaction: a bunch of stuff calms down. I have the energy to wash dishes at 10 at night. Not in pain. I observe this repeatedly and feel it really does suggest that inflammation in the cervical spinal area and brain induce the worst symptoms quite quickly that seem to drive a cycle here.

It also stops weirded chemical drip feelings that I cannot really describe....and nauseated. So this weirded, off yucky thing stops and quesy stops.

But there can be longer term issues with cannabis use and anxiety, generally. So I likely have had to pay that tax.
 
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But there can be longer term issues with cannabis use and anxiety, generally. So I likely have had to pay that tax.
Hey, that’s fantastic regarding the symptom reduction with cannabis. I, too find cannabis the most helpful medicine for me as I’ve found nothing that works.

Without the cannabis I am house bound laying in silence all day with what feels like my entire being is just shut down, but my conscious awareness is awake.

With the cannabis I go out two days in a row driving my car with the light and sound sensitivity masked until the the effects of the herb go (which is pretty quick unfortunately).

May I ask where you got the information from that suggests long term cannabis use brings problems? It’s not that I don’t believe you, because I do. It’s just I’ve never seen concrete scientific evidence and would like to see for myself.

Smoking cannabis on its own can heighten my anxiety, but when I add a little CBD to the mixture, the CBD counteracts the THC effects, so I feel more level-headed. Have you tried CBD with THC?