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As I have stated in the past....I'm in charge of mom's meds and try to stay on top of this the best I can. I call in refills as necessary since auto refill caused too many problems. Mom has been on Xanax for the past five months......taking one every evening. When she was down to five pills I called in for refill. I found out today that her PC would not refill the prescription and I am concerned about possible withdrawal. Doc is not in office tomorrow, so I'm at a loss until Monday. Just curious if anyone else has experienced stopping this med abruptly? Am I overreacting by being concerned about potential withdrawal?

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I'd halve the ones you have left to stretch things out and help with any withdrawal side effects.
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Drs are under SUCH scruntiny with so many drugs. My own PCP talks with me every single month about the Tylenol with codeine that I take for arthritis (and now bone pain from cancer) The pendulum has swung so far from the middle--My PCP is really frustrated about his inability to care for his chronic pain patients. Same with benzos. Those are highly addictive and it can take YEARS to de-compress from them. Your dr is being a jerk. Sounds like you did a safe go-around for mom.

Personally, until you have walked in my shoes and felt MY anxiety and insomnia and pain, you don't KNOW what I'm feeling. Sometimes you have to dr shop to find one who is willing to help you and do so in a compassionate manner.

My KIDS were super, super judgmental about my need for a mild benzo, until THEY started having anxiety problems. Shoe on the other foot changed it all for them.

We do not know another's person's pain and problems. Don't judge.
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GraceNBCC Jul 22, 2019
I waited 4 months for a new patient appt for a new PCP. In the first 4 minutes she says, ' I don't prescribe benzos!"
No suggestion on what doctor or specialist in town I should go to for them. She acknowledged I should not just stop after 10 years at same dose.
I'm a retired MHP, and I know the danger. This is hurting patients.
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I'm an Internist. I'm Somewhat permissive in my current practice, but used to blow benzo patients off in my last one. "I've been on it for Thirty years." But-I don't LIKE that type of drug, and it shouldn't be my problem. Also-addiction is not the only issue. Seniors can have Bad falls on that drug (there's a whole list of drugs-DeBeer's Criteria) that the Elderly should not take. Buspar helps anxiety without the addiction.

That SAID-this class of drugs (which includes Ativan, Klonopin, Valium and Xanax) is like Booze. Going off too fast is very dangerous. You need to wean them.
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Upstream Jul 22, 2019
Thank you for your professional opinion. I took Ativan for a couple of years for sleep. Being young, I blew off reading the side effects. I had never really been on any prescription before, and I assumed side effects only happened to a very small percentage of the population. My family doctor told me one day he wanted me to taper off and he could no longer prescribe me the medication in good conscience. He told me it caused balance issues and I din't want to become a little old lady walking into a doctor and demanding my drugs. Fast forward a decade - my parents have been taking this stuff for decades and now it has caught up with them. Dad is in a dementia care home. Mom has been having abrupt & bizarre falls since she was in her mid 60s: broken hand, shoulder, back, black eye, etc. She goes over like a leaning tower, one time face-first into the lawn mower in the garage (that was the back eye and she wasn't even 70 yet). She's now on a walker and still in her 70s. Refuses to get off of the drug. I am so, so glad my doctor intervened. I tapered off without drama, felt a little wired and had trouble sleeping at first.
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I was just going to begin the 3 year (yes, 3 YEARS) tapering off of Klonipin when I was dxed with cancer. My dr didn't feel that I could hendle the chemo AND the PTSD I suffer from and come out the other end OK.

You need Psych doc to be dealing with psychotropics and a PCP to be working with them on any other needs.

Drs who pull the 'I know more than you do, sucks to be you' and simply stop you cold turkey from some of these meds are causing people to get very, very sick.

We have to be our own doctors in many cases. While my oncologist is handling my cancer, he is not involved in my depression meds or my anxiety meds. I am to simply take those as directed--in fact I am told to bring them to chemo days and use my own meds. I just tell my infusionist that I am taking a Klonipin of my own and he charts it.

I hope by age 65 to be off everything but a vitamin. I can hope, right?

A dr who doesn't listen to me is an ex-employee of mine. I have had to learn to be tough and also listen to the dr and do what's best. Right now, it's very, very hard.
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rovana Jul 28, 2019
But did the doctor want mom to go cold turkey? Has mom been in for regular doctor visits? A doctor can hardly be expected to act like a pill shop, handing prescriptions to whoever asks for them. Have to have cooperation here.
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My mom was on Xanax for 10 years - totally addicted. Her doctor put her on it when she found my stepfather's body when he collapsed from a fatal heart attack while chopping wood. No one ever even suggested she wean off. She changed doctors along the way and her new one decided to stop the Xanax cold turkey. That poor woman went through horrible withdrawal with no idea what hit her. Nausea, headache, tremors, hallucinations. I called the doctor's office after hours and got the on-call doc. He okayed a prescription for a week's worth and I doled them out one pill, then a half pill, then a half every other day over several days until she was safely weaned off. Definitely call the office or go to an emergency room.
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Abby2018 Jul 19, 2019
Had a standing appt. with Rheumatologist for today who wrote a script for 30 days. Will call her PC on Monday. Thank you for the feedback.
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A heart Dr. put my mother-in-law on the very lowest dose once a day. Five months later when she saw her primary care Dr., she took her off. She put her back on Buspar & when that got in her system she quit the Xanax. The drugs work differently & I was afraid of withdrawal issues, but it went smoothly.
Can you speak to the DR. About putting your Mom on something non-addictive & with little side effects before just quitting cold turkey?
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Abby2018 Jul 19, 2019
Thanks Molly....my plan for Monday since I was able to get a 30day script from her rheumatologist
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I take xanax but not very often. You can't " call in" that rx.,you have to physically go get the prescription.,maybe that is what is going in?
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Midkid58 Jul 22, 2019
Actually, you CAN call in Xanax. It's a benzodiazepine---and in all the states I know of, it can be phoned in.
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Have you spoken to the doctor? Is s/he refusing to renew because she needs to be seen before another script is written? Most psych drugs cannot be renewed for long without the physician examining the patient.

I would Google "xanax withdrawal" and check Mayo Clinic and Web MD for accurate information.

Does mom's insurance company have a nurse line you can call?

Put a call into the doctors office tomorrow and talk to her or him about what needs to happen to get a new script.
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Abby2018 Jul 19, 2019
The way her insurance works is that you can only request refills when you are 5 days out. The pharmacy has to call the PC monthly for approval, which has not been an issue since she a visits every six weeks. I have no idea why she was declined, since he never mentioned tapering her off or stopping the med. She saw her rheumatologist today her authorized a 30 day supply. Will be contacting PC on Monday.
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My mom has been on that garbage drug for decades. She's been hospitalized twice in the last two months for mis-managing the medication. The first time, she had doubled-up and then ran out, so had withdrawl symptoms within 24-48 hours and had to be taken to the ER. Just this week she took a little too much, washed it down with wine, was hospitalized again and is now in a mental health ward. This drug is horrible and I believe has caused significant damage to both parents, who have been on it since the 1980s. Dad is in a dementia care home and basically a zombie. He swore by this drug and took it 365 days a year for sleep. Read the list of side effects, they really do result from use of this drug.
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anoni0000 Jul 22, 2019
It depends on the dose and whether they're taking it round the clock. It's the shortest acting anti-anxiety med. That's why it's good if only taking a low dose for sleep. I've been on it at night for sleep disorder due to PTS. It also depends on what else a person is on, whether one drinks, etc. Some people have serious side effects, but for those who need it, it's a life saver. For me it was a life saver. Nothing else worked. I'd no sooner fall asleep and I would be wide awake - it was the only thing that enabled me to stay asleep once I got there. I'm truly sorry your parents had negative outcomes.
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I just want to throw this in, which is not helpful in a concrete way....but many years back, in the old days as I started this social work career I was interested in so many topics and to learn so much. So I went to a number of meetings of the American Psychiatric Assn. Have you ever been to a car show where there are multiple displays, sensory overload with noise, lights etc? This is what it's like in the exhibit hall with all the drugs and their manufacturers there. They would sponsor sessions and follow them with dessert receptions...I still can recall people that would grab a plate, stack it up with goodies, and head back to their hotel room. Just to say that the drug companies are more interested in selling and profits then they are about the well-being of patients in many instances. I hear things have changed, but as I have not been back, I can't verify it all. And beware that when you start asking for something in particular they may be suspicious, think you are looking for a quick fix. Terrible situation and I would not be going back to the MD who started all this grief. Idiots and politicians have generated this BS and are clueless to the grief and pain they cause for patients and their caregivers and loved ones.
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