I started taking Klonopin in January of 2006, at 1mg, for anxiety disorder. I was taking 450mg of Wellbutrin already. This was before peripheral neuropathy entered my life.
The first few years with neuropathy I didn't need any medication, but around three years ago, I began experiencing increasing pain in my feet. I tried every medication for neuropathy, and then the neurologist recommended seeing a pain specialist. He took me through a bunch of meds that are off label for neuropathy, but are known to help some people. Nothing was helping. In the meantime, my pcp had me start taking morphine sulfate contin, and over the course of a year or so, I gradually worked up to 30mg tid. I finally found relief from the pain.
Last year I had a spinal cord stimulator implant in June and it reduced my pain by 80%. After that, I weaned off the morphine, to figure out if it was the morphine or Cymbalta that was helping my residual pain. After being off the morphine for 2-3 weeks, I knew that it was the medication I needed. I later weaned off the Cymbalta and didn't observe any effect, positive or negative, on the neuropathy pain. When I restarted morphine, I was able to get relief at 15mg bid.
Over the past couple of months, I've been having increased pain, and the stimulator is adjusted to its strongest setting, so I plan to ask my doctor to increase the morphine, beginning with adding a third pill at lunch. That's still a relatively low dose.
Back to the Klonopin, I tried several years ago to wean off it and went from 1mg to .75mg. After a few sleepless nights, I gave up. One of my doctors recommended that I continue taking it because it keeps me from acting out my dreams, specifically leg motion – read that, kicking my wife. She doesn't want me to stop taking the Klonopin. But, as I said, it's only 1mg.
My takeaway from the opioid/benzodiazepine discussion is that I will continue taking them because morphine is my last resort. I've run out of options. I think that my BIPAP will lower the risk of stopping breathing.