The Benzodiazepine Medical Disaster

2Cor.12:19

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Tonight I will be taking the last tiny crumb of Xanax. I have been on Xanax daily for the past 23 years. It has taken over two years to slowly wean off it.

I have had ME/CFS for 36 years. A number of my neurological problems began a few years after starting Xanax and I have no way of knowing whether they were caused by Xanax either directly or indirectly. But I do know this: Had I known when I started taking this drug class of the many dangers of benzodiazepines and how incredibly difficult it would be to quit them, I never would have taken them for more than a couple of days.

The following documentary features the late Professors Dr. Malcom Lader and Dr. Heather Ashton whose pioneering works have helped thousands of people to come come off these drugs.

 
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SlamDancin

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How chronic administration of benzodiazepines leads to unexplained chronic illnesses: A hypothesis


https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30037616/

Abstract

It is thought that an ill defined biochemical cascade may lead to protracted withdrawal symptoms subsequent to discontinuance of routine use of benzodiazepine class drugs and establish chronic illness in some patients. In this review, published findings are presented that support the novel concept that withdrawal from benzodiazepine class drugs can trigger elevated and sustained levels of a potent oxidant called peroxynitrite via potentiation of the L-type voltage-gated calcium channels, and in the later stages of withdrawal, via excessive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activity, as well. Potentiation of L-type voltage-gated calcium channels and excessive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activity both result in calcium influx into the cell that triggers nitric oxide synthesis. In pathophysiological conditions, such increased nitric oxide synthesis leads to peroxynitrite formation. The downstream effects of peroxynitrite formation that may occur during withdrawal ultimately lead to further peroxynitrite production in a system of overlapping vicious cycles collectively referred to as the NO/ONOO(-) cycle. Once triggered, the elements of the NO/ONOO(-) cycle perpetuate pathophysiology, perhaps including reduced GABAA receptor functioning, that may explain protracted withdrawal associated symptoms while the vicious cycle nature of the NO/ONOO(-) cycle may explain how withdrawal becomes a chronic state. Suboptimal levels of tetrahydrobiopterin may be one risk factor for the development of the protracted withdrawal syndrome as this will lead to partial nitric oxide uncoupling and resultant peroxynitrite formation. Nitric oxide uncoupling results in superoxide production as calcium-dependent nitric oxide synthases attempt to produce nitric oxide in response to L-type voltage-gated calcium channel-mediated calcium influx that is known to occur during withdrawal. The combination of nitric oxide and superoxide produced, as when partial uncoupling occurs, react together in a very rapid, diffusion limited reaction to form peroxynitrite and thereby trigger the NO/ONOO(-) cycle. The NO/ONOO(-) cycle may explain the nature of the protracted withdrawal syndrome and the related constellation of symptoms that are also common in other illnesses characterized as NO/ONOO(-) disorders such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
 
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Tonight I will be taking the last tiny crumb of Xanax.
OMIGOD !!!! That's incredible !!!! :trophy::trophy::trophy::trophy::trophy: :star::star:

It's been a long, hard slog, 2Cor, and you've managed an heroic achievement that few others can claim, or are still struggling towards....

You're one of the few people who haven't given me grief over my strongly held opinions of benzos generally, and its little cousins from Z-drugs to most anti-d's, and I've always been grateful to you for that !!!


In the aftermath of all that damage, it might be helpful to boost your magnesium a bit since that's one of the things that's seriously depleted by benzos, along with some Vit C in conjunction with it.

I'm soooooooooooooo happy for you, and so deeply impressed by your sheer grit and determination in getting yourself off that shite !!!! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: :woot::woot: :hug::hug::hug:
 

2Cor.12:19

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Thank you @YippeeKi YOW !! . I’ve had some pretty bad experiences with AD’s as well. I know what it’s like to be so desperate for help that it seems the only way we can cope is to take these meds. I have family members whose lives were literally saved by AD’s , so I would never want to pass judgment on them. But for me, I just can’t go down that road again. For me the risks far outweighed the benefits. By God’s grace I hope I’ve learned some coping skills along the way that will help pull me through whatever rough patches lie ahead.
Bless you Yippee.
 
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By God’s grace I hope I’ve learned some coping skills along the way that will help pull me through whatever rough patches lie ahead.
congratulations on your major progress.... celebration in order!

I will never forget my two days on Zoloft. And the months it took to recover. And my left jaw popped out..its never been the same since.
 

LINE

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Tonight I will be taking the last tiny crumb of Xanax. I have been on Xanax daily for the past 23 years. It has taken over two years to slowly wean off it.

I have had ME/CFS for 36 years. A number of my neurological problems began a few years after starting Xanax and I have no way of knowing whether they were caused by Xanax either directly or indirectly. But I do know this: Had I known when I started taking this drug class of the many dangers of benzodiazepines and how incredibly difficult it would be to quit them, I never would have taken them for more than a couple of days.

The following documentary features the late Professors Dr. Malcom Lader and Dr. Heather Ashton whose pioneering works have helped thousands of people to come come off these drugs.

Great information, thanks for sharing.
 

sunshine44

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Thats incredibly amazing. I agree. My health really plummeted in 2008 after starting benzos (daily xanax ER, klonopin for some years). Its took me 1 1/2 years to wean off. I unfortunately had to wean off ativan a few years later after i was forced to be on them for when i became severe with me/cfs. I absolutely did not want to take them. I knew the horrors. But i found myself in the perfect storm. The Dr. really thought this was in my head...and it was not, obviously. I became much worse on daily ativan use.. Benzos are incredibly tricky.

Anways, what you are doing is not easy and i send my support.
 

2Cor.12:19

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Thats incredibly amazing. I agree. My health really plummeted in 2008 after starting benzos (daily xanax ER, klonopin for some years). Its took me 1 1/2 years to wean off. I unfortunately had to wean off ativan a few years later after i was forced to be on them for when i became severe with me/cfs. I absolutely did not want to take them. I knew the horrors. But i found myself in the perfect storm. The Dr. really thought this was in my head...and it was not, obviously. I became much worse on daily ativan use.. Benzos are incredibly tricky.

Anways, what you are doing is not easy and i send my support.
Oh wow @sunshine44. That’s sad. 🥲
 

lenora

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Hello @2Cor.l2:19.....As many of you are probably sick of hearing it, I'm now 75 yrs. of age, a female and went on Xanax approximately 8-10 yrs. ago when I had 3 rounds of shingles in a row. This took me more than a year to overcome. A 4th outbreak when I was young did not have the same effect. Each outbreak seems to cause more neurological damage than the one prior.

I'd had anxiety for what was probably a good part of my life, but it really became out of hand after I had my first surgery. I was determined that willpower would overcome it....along with the blue book from AA (no, I've never been an addict of any kind, but it encompasses many aspects that are good to live by.) I also attended a group called Recovery, Inc. once/wk. I was then fine for a number of years.

My second round wasn't as easy and I was placed on a drug that worked only on an as needed basis. This also worked for many years.

Fast forward to the shingles outbreak. Nothing worked and my anxiety attacks had long become panic attacks. My neurologist (who has been my best Dr. for 35 years now) felt I had no choice but to go on low dose Xanax. I can tell you that it prevented me from committing suicide. I've been through a lot, but that was the worst. Bear in mind that I was vaccinated by the first vaccine available for shingles, but it didn't have a very good success rate. I've also had the second vaccine....highly successful @ 95% for life. I'm sure there are many side-effects, but it was worth it to me to not have shingles again if possible.

During a recent hospital visit, a new doctor took me off Xanax and wanted to place me on a drug that my husband discovered was just as addictive. Even stopping it suddenly, I didn't have what I would describe as really bad side-effects and yes, they may have come later.

My neurologist was furious and put me right back on Xanax and I was grateful. No, I'll never go off this drug, but then I'm 75 yrs. of age. I'm up at night and yes, while I may fall b/c of two different types of epilepsy, it's not the low dose Xanax that's causing it. I cannot and will not live with the panic attacks I was having....I understand how they can lead to suicide even if you really don't want to do such a thing.

My psychologist and psychiatrist (only for diagnosis purposes) say the same thing. Many friends my age, especially widows or widowers, are also on it. None of us expected to be in "this place." Again, it all depends upon the degree of symptoms. I tried.....was I a failure? Yours, Lenora.
 

2Cor.12:19

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I tried.....was I a failure? Yours, Lenora.
Hi @lenora Of course you were not a failure! Every persons circumstance is different. And I certainly understand what it is to have severe panic disorder. It is absolute torture. I've been hauled away by ambulance more than once. I think the tragedy of benzos lies in the fact that too many doctors dish them out like candy without even trying to investigate the cause of the anxiety, and they do so without warning of the addictiveness and side effects. In the 23 years I was on xanax, not one of the 5 prescribing drs thought to check if my thyroid and other hormones might be the underlying cause of my panic attacks. Nor did anyone ever suggest I think about trying to get off. It wasn't until I suffered memory loss that I decided to go off (and my memory has improved since then).

Many of the stories on benzobuddies.com are so tragic because they were given benzos indiscriminately and too often unnecessarily.
 
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not one of the 5 prescribing drs thought to check if my thyroid and other hormones might be the underlying cause of my panic attacks. Nor did anyone ever suggest I think about trying to get off.
my friend good friend has found she cannot get a single Xanax out of any doctor she ever visits. She got agoraphobia at 20, after her brother died in an accident. Nobody knew what agoraphobia, even was then.

My doctor sort of suggested I should not take them, while he gives my husband, without anxiety, constant refills.
 

2Cor.12:19

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Yea @Rufous McKinney . They’re really starting too crack down on controlled substances. I was nearing the end of my taper when my doctor suddenly quit. The new one refused to refill and I would’ve been in a real pickle had I not had enough on hand to finish my taper.
It’s crazy that they’re giving them to your hubby when he doesn’t even have anxiety.
 

Rvanson

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my friend good friend has found she cannot get a single Xanax out of any doctor she ever visits. She got agoraphobia at 20, after her brother died in an accident. Nobody knew what agoraphobia, even was then.

My doctor sort of suggested I should not take them, while he gives my husband, without anxiety, constant refills.
It's insane with Benzodiazepines these days, I would get no sleep without Xanax, and have taken the same amount before bedtime for many years. I don't get a high, I just get some wonderful sleep. Yeah, if my doctor retires, I am going to have to buy them online. Ambien and the other "non-addictive" sleep meds are worthless and very expensive as well. The doctors all follow one another like a herd of sheep these days. Worthless.