Xanax and RLS-WED

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rlsidaho
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Xanax and RLS-WED

Post by rlsidaho »

I have a question that I am hoping someone who has had a similar experience can help with. I have severe RLS and am on a long acting opioid for this. The long acting opioid (methadone) does a great job with controlling about 90% of my creepy-crawly RLS symptoms, however it does not help much with the leg pain that accompanies my RLS.

I have found that taking Xanax to reduce anxiety also takes away my leg pain. Here is my theory. I'm sure that everyone on this site who has severe (refractory) RLS will agree that increased stress also makes your RLS symptoms worse. I certainly will attest to this. Well, I have tried Tylenol, Aleve, (I'm allergic to ibuprofen), and aspirin to mask the pain but with no help. When I take a Xanax to reduce my stress/anxiety, my leg pain also disappears. I think this is due to the relief of the stress and anxiety, which in turn lowers the severity of my pain (one of my RLS symptoms). Essentially I am treating the cause and not just masking it which is what the methadone basically does, to a degree.

I would love to hear any feedback on this by anyone who has had similar success with treating leg pain by reducing stress. By the way, when I go on vacation and am not parenting my four kids and at work full-time, my leg pain also disappears.

Thank you to all who respond.

ViewsAskew
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Re: Xanax and RLS-WED

Post by ViewsAskew »

I consider myself fortunate in that I don't have pain with my symptoms. I take methadone and as long as the dose is on time, it's high enough and it's not during my menstrual cycle, and all symptoms are gone.

It's got to be hard to know if it's part of RLS/WED or if it's something else.

Interesting that the anti-anxiety medication takes it away. They use anti-depressants to take away pain of people who have fibromyalgia - also something non-intuitive. According to a medical website, "Anti-anxiety drugs work on pain in three ways: they reduce anxiety, they relax muscles, and they help patients cope with discomfort."

I also wonder how these affect the brain's chemistry. It could be that they increase or decrease something that contributes to the pain perception.

Hope it works for a LONG time!
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

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QyX
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Re: Xanax and RLS-WED

Post by QyX »

Well you can try taking Xanax for a longer period but I have to "warn" you. Many people get severe problems when they take Benzodiazepine over a longer period. For example symptoms like memory problems, depression, addiction and paradox reactions like more pain and anxiety are common. Tolerance often occurs and when this happens withdraw is a pain in the ****.

I have been through all of this a couple of times and I decided never to take Benzodiazepines more then 3 days per month.

Why don't you try a higher methadone dose?

ViewsAskew
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Re: Xanax and RLS-WED

Post by ViewsAskew »

QyX wrote:Well you can try taking Xanax for a longer period but I have to "warn" you. Many people get severe problems when they take Benzodiazepine over a longer period. For example symptoms like memory problems, depression, addiction and paradox reactions like more pain and anxiety are common. Tolerance often occurs and when this happens withdraw is a pain in the ****.

I have been through all of this a couple of times and I decided never to take Benzodiazepines more then 3 days per month.

Why don't you try a higher methadone dose?


For what it's worth, I get dependence in a very short time - a few weeks - and then stopping takes many months for me. About 50% of people have no difficulty stopping. Go figure...

If I needed a benzo, I'd take it for 5 days and off 2 or 2 weeks then off a week. Something like that.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

QyX
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Re: Xanax and RLS-WED

Post by QyX »

When I stop Benzos after I took them longer then 2 weeks I switch to Diazepam. The long half-life of Diazepam makes the withdraw manageable.

A good website about this hole benzo withdraw problem is http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzcha00.htm

This website is done by Professor Ashton, a Psychiatrist who specialised in treating benzodiazepine dependence.

Professor Ashton is a graduate of the University of Oxford and obtained a First Class Honours Degree (BA) in Physiology in 1951. She qualified in Medicine (BM, BCh, MA) in 1954 and gained a postgraduate Doctor of Medicine (DM) in 1956. She qualified as MRCP (Member of the Royal College of Physicians, London) in 1958 and was elected FRCP (Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London) in 1975. She also became National Health Service Consultant in Clinical Psychopharmacology in 1975 and National Health Service Consultant in Psychiatry in 1994.

Wayne
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Re: Xanax and RLS-WED

Post by Wayne »

I can agree with your analysis. I took Xanax, now Klonapin which is what really eases the symptoms (I don't have pain, just creepy crawlies). It's strange though I don't feel that I'm a stressed out guy. I have no wife or children to stress me out and my job is also mostly stress free. I do feel my job has become a big daily grind and haven't really been happy for the past 5 years. I have been considering applying for a different position, something that is more challenging. I wonder if that would lessen the RLS, with something new to look forward to each day.

And when I go on vacation, definitely less severe symptoms.

ViewsAskew
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Re: Xanax and RLS-WED

Post by ViewsAskew »

QyX wrote:When I stop Benzos after I took them longer then 2 weeks I switch to Diazepam. The long half-life of Diazepam makes the withdraw manageable.

A good website about this hole benzo withdraw problem is http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzcha00.htm

This website is done by Professor Ashton, a Psychiatrist who specialised in treating benzodiazepine dependence.

Professor Ashton is a graduate of the University of Oxford and obtained a First Class Honours Degree (BA) in Physiology in 1951. She qualified in Medicine (BM, BCh, MA) in 1954 and gained a postgraduate Doctor of Medicine (DM) in 1956. She qualified as MRCP (Member of the Royal College of Physicians, London) in 1958 and was elected FRCP (Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London) in 1975. She also became National Health Service Consultant in Clinical Psychopharmacology in 1975 and National Health Service Consultant in Psychiatry in 1994.


I used the information on Ashton's site to get through withdrawal. It took me six or seven months. I actually had to shave a teensy bit off each time I'd reduce it or I'd go into full-fledged withdrawal - vomiting, pain throughout my body, fever, shivering, and so on.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

badnights
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Re: Xanax and RLS-WED

Post by badnights »

rlsidaho
I find it interesting that you have both pain and creepy-crawlies; does anyone else here have both? I think most of us have one or the other? I have felt the RLS pain, but only for a day or two on rare occasions; mostly I just have the creepies.

Since you have both, you can notice the difference in their reaction to meds, which is fascinating. I take hydromorphone (extended release), and it seems to remove the urge to move, but requires a higher dose to remove the nasty sensations; whereas gabapentin removed the sensations but left the urge to move. These (and other) observations emphasize that the urge is something separate from the sensations; and your observations seem to suggest that the pain sensations are separate from the creepy sensations. I'm not sure what it all might mean, but it's interesting.

Stress is a huge trigger for worse symptoms for me.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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I am a volunteer moderator. My posts are not medical advice. My posts do not reflect RLS Foundation opinion.

badnights
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Re: Xanax and RLS-WED

Post by badnights »

I actually had to shave a teensy bit off each time I'd reduce it or I'd go into full-fledged withdrawal - vomiting, pain throughout my body, fever, shivering, and so on.
Blows me away, Ann.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
Click for info on WED/RLS AUGMENTATION & IRON
I am a volunteer moderator. My posts are not medical advice. My posts do not reflect RLS Foundation opinion.

ViewsAskew
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Re: Xanax and RLS-WED

Post by ViewsAskew »

badnights wrote:
I actually had to shave a teensy bit off each time I'd reduce it or I'd go into full-fledged withdrawal - vomiting, pain throughout my body, fever, shivering, and so on.
Blows me away, Ann.


It was surreal. I literally would shave off teensy bits once a week. Any more that that and it was truly horrible. I actually lost 35 to 40 pounds because I was still somewhat sick most of the time.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Wayne
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Location: Virginia (USA)

Re: Xanax and RLS-WED

Post by Wayne »

ViewsAskew wrote:
badnights wrote:
I actually had to shave a teensy bit off each time I'd reduce it or I'd go into full-fledged withdrawal - vomiting, pain throughout my body, fever, shivering, and so on.
Blows me away, Ann.


It was surreal. I literally would shave off teensy bits once a week. Any more that that and it was truly horrible. I actually lost 35 to 40 pounds because I was still somewhat sick most of the time.


How much per day were you taking? I'm at 0.5mg per day.

ViewsAskew
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Re: Xanax and RLS-WED

Post by ViewsAskew »

Wayne wrote:
ViewsAskew wrote:
It was surreal. I literally would shave off teensy bits once a week. Any more that that and it was truly horrible. I actually lost 35 to 40 pounds because I was still somewhat sick most of the time.


How much per day were you taking? I'm at 0.5mg per day.


1 mg. Many people routinely stop taking 2 mg or higher without issue. I was shocked at how much my body reacted. I stopped it and within 3 days I was feeling pretty bad. By day 4 or 5, I thought I was dying! I hurt everywhere, deep in my bones, particularly hips. I went to see my doctor and was vomiting as we were meeting, lol. It was really crazy. I figured it out - my doctor hadn't a clue. Without that Ashton site, I'd have had NO idea what to do.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

veldon7

Re: Xanax and RLS-WED

Post by veldon7 »

I also have pain and RLS with PLMD, I take Mirapex and low dose of Cymbalta right now, but I am not sure if the Cymbalta is making the RLS worse, or if it's just augmentation. I was taking Gabapentin, I think it helps with the pain some. Maybe the Xanax helps because your muscles relax. Sometimes I take muscle relaxers. My calves and thighs hurt really bad sometimes and I have to get up and walk around. Sometimes I take Lortab, but it doesn't help much, and I am already taking so much medication, I try not to :(

badnights
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Re: Xanax and RLS-WED

Post by badnights »

veldon7 do you have both "creepy" RLS and painful RLS?

I wonder if the Lortab doesn't work because it contains a pretty mild opioid, and perhaps your dose is too low? A stronger opioid might be safer than raising the Mirapex, if it comes to that.

Do you have muscle cramps as well as RLS/WED? Muscle relaxants aren't really known to help RLS/WED.
Beth - Wishing you a restful sleep tonight
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I am a volunteer moderator. My posts are not medical advice. My posts do not reflect RLS Foundation opinion.

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