I had a seizure from Xanax withdrawal. - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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I had a seizure from Xanax withdrawal.

Well, I went to go take a bath on Tuesday evening and the next thing I remember is waking up in the ambulance with 5 faces around me staring down at me. I was completely freaked out as you can imagine seeing as I had no idea what happened. After staying in the hospital for 2.5 days and having an EEG, MRI, and CATscan, they concluded that there was nothing wrong with me. I had been taking Xanax for about 4 months (though I've taken it before for longer periods) and the doctor, in his infinite wisdom, said that my body had become tolerant to it and had suffered a withdrawal seizure. So I guess I am just putting it out there for those of you (like UltraShy) who have been taking benzodiazepines for anxiety for a over a month; I have never had a seizure, I've always been very healthy and taken care of myself for the most part so it was completely out of the blue. Of course the doctors want me to wean myself off of it (even though it's the only thing that actually works and improves my quality of life somewhat, which I told them) and try Lamictal. So I guess my point is to be careful, and if you've been on benzo's for over a month, DON'T MISS A DAY or you might end up in the ER.
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 11:37 AM
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your doctor didn't warn you about that? if its the case, that is very very irresponsible of them.

sounds scary, especially since you were in the bath at the time.


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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 11:44 AM
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Did they take your license?
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 11:47 AM
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how much were you taking daily?
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Haha, no, but they told me not to drive for 6 MONTHS. I just drove over to Walgreens to pick up my prescription lol. I was taking around 2mg a day, which was my prescribed dose.
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 12:20 PM
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are you going to keep taking it and up your dose or come off it?
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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It is a very tough decision. On the one hand, I don't ever want this to happen again, but on the other, Xanax is the ONLY drug that's ever really had any effect for me. I think that as long as I am very careful I'll be okay. Do you think it's foolish to keep taking it?
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilbertgrape View Post
It is a very tough decision. On the one hand, I don't ever want this to happen again, but on the other, Xanax is the ONLY drug that's ever really had any effect for me. I think that as long as I am very careful I'll be okay. Do you think it's foolish to keep taking it?
As I posted in another thread, i think you may benefit from switching to a longer acting benzo such as klonopin or valium, if you need to keep taking them.
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 07:35 PM
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I get tolerance withdrawal even from klonopin, but never had a seizure unless I was quitting. Mine actually happened in the emergency room though because they didn't take me seriously when I said "I think I'm about to have a seizure.".

Definitely gotta be careful with this stuff. Sorry you went through that. I know how weird it feels to wake up with doctors all around you, or in my case, to them putting stitches in your head.

I wonder if it was the heat and dehydration from the bath that actually triggered it for you while the tolerance withdrawal made it possible. Just a thought.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by gilbertgrape View Post
It is a very tough decision. On the one hand, I don't ever want this to happen again, but on the other, Xanax is the ONLY drug that's ever really had any effect for me. I think that as long as I am very careful I'll be okay. Do you think it's foolish to keep taking it?
I would say it's pretty foolish to keep taking it just from the standpoint of that you can't be "careful and you'll be okay". I don't think it works like that. From your description of the seizure, it sounded like it happened out of the blue, so what's to prevent it from happening again?

If you take Lamictal concurrently though, I don't see any problem, because it's an anticonvulsant.
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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 11:02 PM
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I am curious what does it feel like just before you are going to have the seizure?

I am about to start withdrawing from klonopin and i want to be careful.
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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
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I am going to try the Lamictal; I took one last night before I went to bed and don't really feel any different this morning. Hightimes: I honestly don't remember anything. I did feel really nauseaus (sp?) and was projectile vomiting in the ambulance and ER afterward. Good luck to you in your pursuit to quit the Klonopin
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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-22-2009, 07:42 AM
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I am curious what does it feel like just before you are going to have the seizure?

I am about to start withdrawing from klonopin and i want to be careful.
For me it felt sort of like having the stomach flu while you're having a bad lsd trip and a hangover.

I pretty much knew there was something wrong at that point, but I wasn't able to express it well enough to scare the hospital staff, I guess.

I started waking up with it getting worse and worse every morning until it reached that point where I was so sick I just called a cab and went to the ER.
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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 03:08 AM
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gilbertgrape: what dosage of xanax were you taking daily before the seizure anyway? were you taking it every 4 hours?
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 05:53 AM
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Thomas Paine's post has a good point.

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I wonder if it was the heat and dehydration from the bath that actually triggered it for you while the tolerance withdrawal made it possible. Just a thought.

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post #16 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 06:51 AM
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This is fairly common I think from xanax isn't it? That's why tapering off all these drugs we talk about here is the safest way.

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post #17 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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gilbertgrape: what dosage of xanax were you taking daily before the seizure anyway? were you taking it every 4 hours?
I was taking 2 mg/day: that is, one 1 mg pill in the am and one in the pm, but sometimes I admit, I would take 3 or even 4 in one day depending on severity of anxiety. I guess I had the seizure because I WAS taking it everyday with no "benzo vacations" to give my body a rest from it. I've been prescribed longer-acting benzo's before (i.e., Ativan, Valium, Klonopin, and even Librium), but I would just end up taking more than my prescribed dose to compensate. I've noticed that a lot of you guys seem to like Klonopin. Is there any particular reason? Like have you tried other benzo's and concluded that Clonazepam works best for you?
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post #18 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 04:30 PM
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This is fairly common I think from xanax isn't it? That's why tapering off all these drugs we talk about here is the safest way.
It's not very common at doses under say 4mg/day. It's also not common to happen within a day of missing a dose. Usually people start feeling withdrawal symptoms well before they have a seizure.

To gilbertgrape, were you taking or recently stop any other medications at/around the same time? Also, have you had seizures in the past or any head injuries? Once you have a seizure it lowers you seizure threshold and the same thing is true with head injuries.
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post #19 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 05:37 PM
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It's not very common at doses under say 4mg/day. It's also not common to happen within a day of missing a dose. Usually people start feeling withdrawal symptoms well before they have a seizure.

To gilbertgrape, were you taking or recently stop any other medications at/around the same time? Also, have you had seizures in the past or any head injuries? Once you have a seizure it lowers you seizure threshold and the same thing is true with head injuries.
I agree DMBfan, it's not very common from what she said in her circumstances, but knowing the mechanism of action of Xanax, it's not uncommon to see seizures, especially if you're tolerant to the drug. But yeah, there has to be some precipitating factor like head injury or seizures...
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post #20 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 07:40 PM
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So the fact that I've had a seizure after being knocked out in a fistfight, had a seizure after doing that stupid make yourself pass out for the high thing, had a seizure from huffing paint fumes, and had a klonopin withdrawal seizure, puts me at what type of risk for another one?
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