Klonopin taper

Posted by dawgbone @dawgbone, Jul 31, 2017

I have been on some kind of benzo for almost 40 yrs. I am trying to taper from 1.5-2 mgs of klonopin daily . Began in mid may 2017 and my last cut was very small on 7-2-17 to get to 1mg. Honestly feels like i am dying. I also take trazodone 75 mgs and 4 drugs for high blood pressure. I have been researching gabapentin and seroquel to help with the withdrawal symptons. Please offer any suggestions or help. I am 69 yrs old and cant even leave my house to visit my kids and grands. Thank you for any help!

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@lisalucier

Hi, @lizaa, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect.

Since you said you'd been taking clonazepam (Klonopin) for myoclonic movement disorder prior to starting your taper, I thought you may also be interested in this Mayo Clinic information on myoclonus, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/myoclonus/symptoms-causes/syc-20350459.

You mentioned that you developed a tolerance to Clonazepam (Klonopin) about a year ago. How did you and your doctor find out that you'd developed a tolerance?

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I was experiencing strange muscle spasms, quick jerks while awake, extremely vivid dreams, and breakthrough myoclonus. My family doctor, at first wanted to rule out MS. My MRI of the brain and spine came back normal. Finally, I found Dr Heather Ashton's information, and realized the symptoms were tolerance symptoms. My neurologist's nurse practitioner agreed, and said I should slowly taper off. We are hoping my myoclonus may be tolerable without medication.

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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@lizaa

I was experiencing strange muscle spasms, quick jerks while awake, extremely vivid dreams, and breakthrough myoclonus. My family doctor, at first wanted to rule out MS. My MRI of the brain and spine came back normal. Finally, I found Dr Heather Ashton's information, and realized the symptoms were tolerance symptoms. My neurologist's nurse practitioner agreed, and said I should slowly taper off. We are hoping my myoclonus may be tolerable without medication.

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Hi, @lizaa – I also wanted to encourage you to consider posting in the Brain & Nervous System group on Mayo Clinic Connect, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/brain-and-nerve-diseases/, about your myoclonus.

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I was put on klonopin a low dose at age 17 by an old psychiatrist. I am now almost 38. I remember trying other medications and nothing worked. I was diagnosed with GAD and had horrible panic attacks and needed home tutoring for the rest of my senior year of high school. i changed drs. And over the years my dose got higher and higher i guess my body was building a tolerance to it. Im now on 2 mg 4 times a day. The max dose. I have been on this dose for around 8 years now. I saw my psychiatrist the other day and he told me he is becoming concerned because im developing major cognitive problems. Major Memory, thinking, speaking, walking, etc. and as i was responding he asked me to repeat what i said because it made no sense. I wasnt aware of it. I was looking at all of the long-term side effects and i have almost all of them. Its been hard to take care of myself, my son, my dog and even small tasks. I noticed a severe decline in 2013 of numerous things. i have never abused this medication. Ive been so upset since seeing my psychiatrist. i tried weaning off 3 years ago with His help and i failed. Its upsetting to be 37 years old and having so many difficulties because of a medication. Im at a loss. I cried all the way home after my appointment that day.

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@michele81

I was put on klonopin a low dose at age 17 by an old psychiatrist. I am now almost 38. I remember trying other medications and nothing worked. I was diagnosed with GAD and had horrible panic attacks and needed home tutoring for the rest of my senior year of high school. i changed drs. And over the years my dose got higher and higher i guess my body was building a tolerance to it. Im now on 2 mg 4 times a day. The max dose. I have been on this dose for around 8 years now. I saw my psychiatrist the other day and he told me he is becoming concerned because im developing major cognitive problems. Major Memory, thinking, speaking, walking, etc. and as i was responding he asked me to repeat what i said because it made no sense. I wasnt aware of it. I was looking at all of the long-term side effects and i have almost all of them. Its been hard to take care of myself, my son, my dog and even small tasks. I noticed a severe decline in 2013 of numerous things. i have never abused this medication. Ive been so upset since seeing my psychiatrist. i tried weaning off 3 years ago with His help and i failed. Its upsetting to be 37 years old and having so many difficulties because of a medication. Im at a loss. I cried all the way home after my appointment that day.

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@michele81

Welcome to Mayo Connect Michelle. I'm sorry you're suffering from your medication. Many people become addicted to medications and it's hard to withdraw from them. You will need all the help you can get from your doctors and pharmacist in order to withdraw. You will also need patience, perseverance, and a strong desire to be free from the klonopin. However, you can withdraw from it over a long period of time.

I recommend that you ask for a DNA test to determine an antidepressant that might help you with your anxiety. For me, Celexa has worked wonders, but it's not for everyone. I had panic attacks before that interfered with my life. I've not had one since taking the generic version of Celexa. I was taking Ativan for my anxiety at the time. I'm not a doctor, so my recommendation is based on my own experience. Each of us is different. I don't think you should try Effexor or Venaflexine as people have a terrible time with it and with getting off it.

I want to give you hope and to encourage you to regain the cognitive and motor skills that can add joy to your life. You can do this, and those of us on Mayo Connect will support you any way we can. I recommend that you read through some of the other threads about various withdrawal processes others use for their medication.

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@lisalucier

Hi, @lizaa – I also wanted to encourage you to consider posting in the Brain & Nervous System group on Mayo Clinic Connect, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/brain-and-nerve-diseases/, about your myoclonus.

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Thank you Lisa! I will do that!

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@michele81

I was put on klonopin a low dose at age 17 by an old psychiatrist. I am now almost 38. I remember trying other medications and nothing worked. I was diagnosed with GAD and had horrible panic attacks and needed home tutoring for the rest of my senior year of high school. i changed drs. And over the years my dose got higher and higher i guess my body was building a tolerance to it. Im now on 2 mg 4 times a day. The max dose. I have been on this dose for around 8 years now. I saw my psychiatrist the other day and he told me he is becoming concerned because im developing major cognitive problems. Major Memory, thinking, speaking, walking, etc. and as i was responding he asked me to repeat what i said because it made no sense. I wasnt aware of it. I was looking at all of the long-term side effects and i have almost all of them. Its been hard to take care of myself, my son, my dog and even small tasks. I noticed a severe decline in 2013 of numerous things. i have never abused this medication. Ive been so upset since seeing my psychiatrist. i tried weaning off 3 years ago with His help and i failed. Its upsetting to be 37 years old and having so many difficulties because of a medication. Im at a loss. I cried all the way home after my appointment that day.

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Hi Michele, have you tried a microtaper/Liquid Titration, or the Ashton Method ,and wean off the Klonopin? When you are at tolerance, you develop withdrawal symptoms, even though you are still taking it. Your symptoms that you are taking Klonopin for return as it is no longer providing you with much benefit-your body and brain have become used to it. I would definitely discuss a very, very slow taper as the ones I mentioned, and as Gail said, look for other medication options to help you with the anxiety. I have tolerance too and my neuro condition I take it for is returning. So I have been slowly tapering at my own speed the last few months, and it has been manageable.

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@michele81

I was put on klonopin a low dose at age 17 by an old psychiatrist. I am now almost 38. I remember trying other medications and nothing worked. I was diagnosed with GAD and had horrible panic attacks and needed home tutoring for the rest of my senior year of high school. i changed drs. And over the years my dose got higher and higher i guess my body was building a tolerance to it. Im now on 2 mg 4 times a day. The max dose. I have been on this dose for around 8 years now. I saw my psychiatrist the other day and he told me he is becoming concerned because im developing major cognitive problems. Major Memory, thinking, speaking, walking, etc. and as i was responding he asked me to repeat what i said because it made no sense. I wasnt aware of it. I was looking at all of the long-term side effects and i have almost all of them. Its been hard to take care of myself, my son, my dog and even small tasks. I noticed a severe decline in 2013 of numerous things. i have never abused this medication. Ive been so upset since seeing my psychiatrist. i tried weaning off 3 years ago with His help and i failed. Its upsetting to be 37 years old and having so many difficulties because of a medication. Im at a loss. I cried all the way home after my appointment that day.

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@Michele, are you taking any other medications? I am taking 1mg 4 times per day because I have Burning Mouth Syndrome or atypical trigeminal neuralgia. Klonopin is the recommended med for this condition. I take Cymbalta twice ((2mg) per day also. I've checked this out with several doctors and they are in agreement. I agree that other medications should be evaluated, perhaps by another doctor. Generally speaking, I am wondering after my research if one doctor I spoke to is correct. He said there is an over reaction to the effects of Klonopin based on one small study and people need to move slowly if they decide to taper off. What do other people think? I do not plan to take a higher dose of Klonopin.

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Very desirable to familiarize yourself with the Ashton Manual for Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, available on the internet.

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@thankful

@youngsally– As I said in my earlier post I have been taking 1mg Klonopin or Clonazepam for over 20 years and for some reason without building up a tolerance. I started because of panic attacks that began robbing me of the many things that I took for granted doing on a regular basis. Whether it was driving on freeways or over bridges or flying to my favorite vacation spots, my panic attacks began to rule my life. After working with a Psychiatrist for about 6 months he introduced me to Klonopin and for me that changed everything! I love the fact that I am not aware I am on any drug and yet it seems to provide that edge that prevented me from doing the things I enjoyed. I started taking back my life one thing at a time. Even to this day there are still things that are still make me a bit uncomfortable, but as I am ready to take them on and suceed, it makes it that more easier and gives me the confidence to go for it! Often I will take a half a pill with me "just in case" but I seem to never need to take it. I think this helps again to reinforce for me I can do this. I do feel if I forget to take a pill in the morning that by early afternoon I am feeling a bit edgy like I had a double espresso, but once taking it within a 1/2 hr. I'm back to myself. I don't like that I "need" this little blue pill, but as I said in my earlier post "why fight what works for me"! Jim@thankful.

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I'm new here and am have many questions and thoughts. First, my doctor put me on .5mg of generic Klonopin 3 times a day 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer. I've taken the same amount all that time and it's been a real blessing. Before Klonopin, I had what my gastro called Chronic Disease PTSD. I saw a doctor of some sort 82 times in one year after the cancer dx. I often got up 100 times a night to look at an old mole or check some symptoms out of fear of health / dying. After a year on Klonopin, I was able to rationalize that 'no my lips were not purple and me dying' type thoughts were anxiety and eventually I seldom had health fears. In 2012 I had a met to my liver and had 80% removed so Stage IV Colon Cancer and no cancer for 6 1/2 years since then. I've never needed a dosage increase and once in a while will forget to take the middle of the day dose. The doctor who prescribed Klonopin was my primary (now working at a walk in clinic) and my oncologist took over and wrote the scripts for 9 years. I'll be discharged from his care in 11 months. He gave me a script for 6 months of refills and suggested I try to wean off them and see if the health anxiety returns. His suggestion was to start by skipping the .5mg in the middle of the day for 2 months, then skip another pill .5mg for 2 months and then just stop. From what I'm reading, that's not a good wean! Also, Klonopin gave me back my life and causes no side effects (I'm 68). I take no other medications for anything except a small dose of levothyroxine for my thyroid. I do not drink at all. I'm on Medicare only and see just a new primary who wanted me to use Paxil and Klonopin to wean off the K, and then wean to something else, etc. That was scary to me. I refused. Thoughts?

If Klonopin controls my severe health anxiety/ hypochondria with no increase in dosage ever needed and no side effects, is there really a need to stop taking it? @thankful

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@healthfear

I'm new here and am have many questions and thoughts. First, my doctor put me on .5mg of generic Klonopin 3 times a day 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer. I've taken the same amount all that time and it's been a real blessing. Before Klonopin, I had what my gastro called Chronic Disease PTSD. I saw a doctor of some sort 82 times in one year after the cancer dx. I often got up 100 times a night to look at an old mole or check some symptoms out of fear of health / dying. After a year on Klonopin, I was able to rationalize that 'no my lips were not purple and me dying' type thoughts were anxiety and eventually I seldom had health fears. In 2012 I had a met to my liver and had 80% removed so Stage IV Colon Cancer and no cancer for 6 1/2 years since then. I've never needed a dosage increase and once in a while will forget to take the middle of the day dose. The doctor who prescribed Klonopin was my primary (now working at a walk in clinic) and my oncologist took over and wrote the scripts for 9 years. I'll be discharged from his care in 11 months. He gave me a script for 6 months of refills and suggested I try to wean off them and see if the health anxiety returns. His suggestion was to start by skipping the .5mg in the middle of the day for 2 months, then skip another pill .5mg for 2 months and then just stop. From what I'm reading, that's not a good wean! Also, Klonopin gave me back my life and causes no side effects (I'm 68). I take no other medications for anything except a small dose of levothyroxine for my thyroid. I do not drink at all. I'm on Medicare only and see just a new primary who wanted me to use Paxil and Klonopin to wean off the K, and then wean to something else, etc. That was scary to me. I refused. Thoughts?

If Klonopin controls my severe health anxiety/ hypochondria with no increase in dosage ever needed and no side effects, is there really a need to stop taking it? @thankful

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@healthfear– As my original post mentioned I've been on 1.0 mg of Klonipin for well over 18 years. I have had those conversations with my GP for years and I continue to decide "if it ain't broke, why fix it". I take it in the morning and have no side effects other than when I forget to take it till later in the day, which fells more like I missed my morning coffee. There has been much written on this topic and I wholeheartely agree that the taper needs to be spread out much further than what your Dr. is recommending. The Ashton Taper has often come up and I would recommend bring this to your Dr.'s attention. All the best to you! Be Well! Jim @thankful

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@thankful

@healthfear– As my original post mentioned I've been on 1.0 mg of Klonipin for well over 18 years. I have had those conversations with my GP for years and I continue to decide "if it ain't broke, why fix it". I take it in the morning and have no side effects other than when I forget to take it till later in the day, which fells more like I missed my morning coffee. There has been much written on this topic and I wholeheartely agree that the taper needs to be spread out much further than what your Dr. is recommending. The Ashton Taper has often come up and I would recommend bring this to your Dr.'s attention. All the best to you! Be Well! Jim @thankful

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Thanks Jim. I think I'll search for a GP locally who will support me in this and allow me to continue use it. I had NO LIFE when I was in panic mode 24 hours a day. The health anxiety was so horrible! I could see a news cast on a super rare disease and immediately was sure I had every symptom. The last years have been normal and I have certainly not needed a dose increase. I 'feel' nothing from the pill so no 'high' or 'sleepiness'. I am on day 3 of skipping the middle dose and reading this forum caused a bit of panic so I took the pill. My parents are 91 and 86 so I hope to live many years. Neither have health problems. Daddy has been on a valium type pill for about 60 years for Meniere's Disease. It was all they had to control the vertigo when he was in his 30's. If I remember correctly, it's 5 mg daily.

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@scruffy1

@linda66 The device must be kept totally submerged in water whenever it's not in my mouth. I'll have to check with the manufacturer to see if the ingredients will harm it, as it was quite expensive. Thank you!

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@linda66 – I left for Europe shortly after your suggestion and couldn't find biotene there but bought it immediately after getting back and it works great! Thanks for the suggestion!

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Hi, everyone,
It’s time to open a new group dedicated to depression and anxiety.

So many of you are connecting on the topics of depression and/or anxiety — coping, tapering of medications, etc. — that it was time to give you a space dedicated to Depression & Anxiety. All current discussions about depression and anxiety have been moved to the new group, and you will continue to get notifications about the discussions you participate in.

See the new group here: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/depression-anxiety/.

– Follow the group
– Browse all topics
– Add a reply
– Start a new discussion

If you’re not sure how to do any of these things, see this step-by-step guide https://connect.mayoclinic.org/get-started-on-connect/.

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Thanks for info all! I also recommend we speak to God he is THE healer and i pray he gives us all the help we need weather its his intervention or he puts the right people in our path

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@kylemarshall04

Thanks for info all! I also recommend we speak to God he is THE healer and i pray he gives us all the help we need weather its his intervention or he puts the right people in our path

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@kylemarshall04– Amen to that! Jim @thankful

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