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!

@blindeyepug

Abby, I agree 100% with Hazel! If you have something that works – stick with it! I have suffered from clinical depression for many, many years. I have tried several different medications. Some had great results but then stopped working and others had horrible side effects. I have been on my most recent medication for about 8 years. It is working just fine, and I don’t want to do anything to mess that up! Really, who cares if you’re an “addict” when your life will be miserable without your medication? It isn’t like it’s heroin or cocaine or some addiction that will ruin your life. Your clonazepam is helping you and is doing you good. I would stay on it. And though all of us on Mayo Connect are suffering with different issues, I believe NONE of us would be better off dead. There is still so much to life, even with my health issues. Please reach out to a suicide help line or a therapist or someone you feel you can trust if you are feeling suicidal. That is such a regretful final solution when there may be other help out there. Don’t cut your life short, please. I have been in a psych ward for attempted suicide. I know your desperation and pain. However, there is help and you are not alone. And, don’t stop a medication that is working. Doing so will just push you further down that dark spiral. Praying you are feeling better soon. Please keep in touch!

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@amberpep

Abby, I had a brain implosion in ’05, and after several suicide attempts, I went to a nice facility for survivors of attempts for 2 months. That first visit was the beginning of a difficult journey, guided by a string of therapists. After 18 months without therapy last year, I was able to get back to work with a new therapist, and none too soon, as I was having suicidal thoughts again.

I learned a lot of the basics during my 2 month stay. I really was ignorant about mental health issues, and I guess I’m a slow learner. It’s taken me a long time to assimilate what I’ve been taught, and I have to say that I’m in a much better place than I was 12+ years ago. Healing takes time. After having been clinically depressed for more than 13 years, I’m beginning to think that it’s pretty likely a lifelong condition. That would have freaked me out 20 years ago, but I think I’m able to be at peace with it, and I’ve found that to be freeing.

Be encouraged by the support you receive here. Believe that finishing the race is possible.

Jim

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@amberpep

OMG …. this is horrifying. I have cyclothymia and have been on Klonopin for several years, along with antidepressants and Lamictal (mood stabilizer). Most of the time they work well together, but now as I read this about Klonopin, it worries me. My anxiety goes through the roof at times if I’m not on it and the panic attacks start rolling. I’m afraid to stop taking it, and yet I don’t want to become an addict either. Sometimes I think it would just be better if I were dead.
abby

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Thanks, Jim, @jimhd

Yours is a post I wish I could “double-like.”

Teresa

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@blindeyepug

Abby, I agree 100% with Hazel! If you have something that works – stick with it! I have suffered from clinical depression for many, many years. I have tried several different medications. Some had great results but then stopped working and others had horrible side effects. I have been on my most recent medication for about 8 years. It is working just fine, and I don’t want to do anything to mess that up! Really, who cares if you’re an “addict” when your life will be miserable without your medication? It isn’t like it’s heroin or cocaine or some addiction that will ruin your life. Your clonazepam is helping you and is doing you good. I would stay on it. And though all of us on Mayo Connect are suffering with different issues, I believe NONE of us would be better off dead. There is still so much to life, even with my health issues. Please reach out to a suicide help line or a therapist or someone you feel you can trust if you are feeling suicidal. That is such a regretful final solution when there may be other help out there. Don’t cut your life short, please. I have been in a psych ward for attempted suicide. I know your desperation and pain. However, there is help and you are not alone. And, don’t stop a medication that is working. Doing so will just push you further down that dark spiral. Praying you are feeling better soon. Please keep in touch!

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Abby @amberpep

I applaud you for seeking out help it sounds like you took advantage of all of the “helping resources” available.

Teresa

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@blindeyepug

Abby, I agree 100% with Hazel! If you have something that works – stick with it! I have suffered from clinical depression for many, many years. I have tried several different medications. Some had great results but then stopped working and others had horrible side effects. I have been on my most recent medication for about 8 years. It is working just fine, and I don’t want to do anything to mess that up! Really, who cares if you’re an “addict” when your life will be miserable without your medication? It isn’t like it’s heroin or cocaine or some addiction that will ruin your life. Your clonazepam is helping you and is doing you good. I would stay on it. And though all of us on Mayo Connect are suffering with different issues, I believe NONE of us would be better off dead. There is still so much to life, even with my health issues. Please reach out to a suicide help line or a therapist or someone you feel you can trust if you are feeling suicidal. That is such a regretful final solution when there may be other help out there. Don’t cut your life short, please. I have been in a psych ward for attempted suicide. I know your desperation and pain. However, there is help and you are not alone. And, don’t stop a medication that is working. Doing so will just push you further down that dark spiral. Praying you are feeling better soon. Please keep in touch!

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Jim, @jimhd

Great insights, Jim.

Teresa

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I found out quite by accident that lyrica help me to get off years of klonopin. I took it as a pain med but quickly found that it was very good for anxiety I don't know what it's like trying to get off of it but I do know I am totally off the benzos!! I suggest you go on line and explore the drug on google. Good luck

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Hi. I have taken Klonopin for 25 years, mostly 3 milligram a day. A year ago, because of studies done on the tie of Klonopin to dementia in older folks, I am 66, I have tapered down to 1 mg with the goal to get completely off it. I saw a psychiatrist foe medication in DC who gave me some useful suggestions that have helped for me. Once I got to 2 mgs, I would taper off as follows: reduce .25 megs by reducing this amount every other day for at least 2 weeks. Stay at the reduced level for 2 weeks. Don't reduce if anxiety is up or life events are difficult. The plan now is to reduce 1/8 mg. using the same routine. It has helped me to follow the routine with very little impact. Some added anxiety for a few days, but nothing significant. It helps to know the anxiety is part of the drug withdrawal, not psychological issues. So, this has worked for me so far. Down from 3 milligrams to 1 and continuing .

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First, I am truly sorry to hear of the clonazepam "benzo" difficulties you're having. I'm in the same boat. I'm on 4 mg a day and feel I HAVE to get off it asap, if you miss a dose or run short, it's a living hell. I'm going to speak to my new Psychiatrist about tapering off. I read on the web, reliable sites, (but I'm NOT a doctor – went to law school) that you can taper .5 mg. every two weeks, then when you get down to 1 mg., you have to taper more slowly, by .25 mg. every 2 weeks. So, 2 weeks on 1 mg, then 2 weeks on ,75, then 2 weeks on .5, then .25 for 2 weeks, then off but this MUST be done slowly and under a Doctor's supervision. Wishing you the best with this and myself!

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@amberpep

OMG …. this is horrifying. I have cyclothymia and have been on Klonopin for several years, along with antidepressants and Lamictal (mood stabilizer). Most of the time they work well together, but now as I read this about Klonopin, it worries me. My anxiety goes through the roof at times if I’m not on it and the panic attacks start rolling. I’m afraid to stop taking it, and yet I don’t want to become an addict either. Sometimes I think it would just be better if I were dead.
abby

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Please hang in there. You CAN get off this under a good!!! Psychiatrist's supervision and enjoy life again. Best of luck to you (and me) and know that millions have managed depression / anxiety and you certainly can, too! : ) Be well!

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I ran short of clonazepam and had to have my GP doctor call in a few days' worth of pills – 4 mg a day, and the pharmacy treated me like a drug addict! Missing a dose(s) of clonazepam is a living hell and I felt like I wanted to die. Insomnia, jitters, etc. So, I've decided to talk to my new Psychiatrist about tapering off clonazepam as I don't want to be addicted to anything, especially something that can cause seizures (and even death) if you go off it too quickly. Tapering MUST be done under a Doctor's supervision and SLOWLY. I've read tapering is done .5 mg every two weeks, then, when you get down to 1 mg. to taper more slowly – 1 mg for 2 weeks, .75 for 2 weeks, .5 for 2 weeks, .25 for 2 weeks, then off if the Doctor sways it's okay. (I am NOT a Doctor). I don't want to be on ANY benzo and will ask about alternative medications that don't make you severely addicted.

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@blindeyepug

Abby, I agree 100% with Hazel! If you have something that works – stick with it! I have suffered from clinical depression for many, many years. I have tried several different medications. Some had great results but then stopped working and others had horrible side effects. I have been on my most recent medication for about 8 years. It is working just fine, and I don’t want to do anything to mess that up! Really, who cares if you’re an “addict” when your life will be miserable without your medication? It isn’t like it’s heroin or cocaine or some addiction that will ruin your life. Your clonazepam is helping you and is doing you good. I would stay on it. And though all of us on Mayo Connect are suffering with different issues, I believe NONE of us would be better off dead. There is still so much to life, even with my health issues. Please reach out to a suicide help line or a therapist or someone you feel you can trust if you are feeling suicidal. That is such a regretful final solution when there may be other help out there. Don’t cut your life short, please. I have been in a psych ward for attempted suicide. I know your desperation and pain. However, there is help and you are not alone. And, don’t stop a medication that is working. Doing so will just push you further down that dark spiral. Praying you are feeling better soon. Please keep in touch!

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I just wanted to say I agree and that clonazepam may be a good medication for you (promotes GABA in the brain, a Doctor told me) just maybe adjust the dosage as needed with you Doctor. For me, I want to at least cut my dosage sharply (currently 4 mg- 2mg am, 2 mg pm) and look at non-habituating and addictive substances but, at the same time, my Doctor said clonazepam may be a good medication for me. I think all we can do is pray on it, get the best medical doctors we can, and trust our guts! : ) Be well!

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@stressedmesseddepressed

I ran short of clonazepam and had to have my GP doctor call in a few days' worth of pills – 4 mg a day, and the pharmacy treated me like a drug addict! Missing a dose(s) of clonazepam is a living hell and I felt like I wanted to die. Insomnia, jitters, etc. So, I've decided to talk to my new Psychiatrist about tapering off clonazepam as I don't want to be addicted to anything, especially something that can cause seizures (and even death) if you go off it too quickly. Tapering MUST be done under a Doctor's supervision and SLOWLY. I've read tapering is done .5 mg every two weeks, then, when you get down to 1 mg. to taper more slowly – 1 mg for 2 weeks, .75 for 2 weeks, .5 for 2 weeks, .25 for 2 weeks, then off if the Doctor sways it's okay. (I am NOT a Doctor). I don't want to be on ANY benzo and will ask about alternative medications that don't make you severely addicted.

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@stressedmesseddepressed

My feeling is that if you need a medication that effectively treats a medical condition (mental conditions are included), it makes sense to take only as much as is necessary.

Addiction is a word that's thrown around too freely today. Needing a medication long term doesn't necessarily equate to addiction. Klonopin at 1mg has worked for me for 12 years. I don't feel any psychological addiction to any of the meds I take, though many people might.

Unfortunately, not only is there a stigma attached to certain illnesses, there's a stigma attached to many medications that serve a legitimate need. Being shamed (not here, thankfully) for taking any particular medication, or for needing a medication, is counterproductive. Antidepressants are a real Godsend, and there should be no guilt or shame associated with taking them. If one antidepressant treats your clinical depression, I say, thank God for it, and who cares what anyone else thinks about it. That's their problem.

Climbing off my soapbox.

Jim

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@stressedmesseddepressed

I ran short of clonazepam and had to have my GP doctor call in a few days' worth of pills – 4 mg a day, and the pharmacy treated me like a drug addict! Missing a dose(s) of clonazepam is a living hell and I felt like I wanted to die. Insomnia, jitters, etc. So, I've decided to talk to my new Psychiatrist about tapering off clonazepam as I don't want to be addicted to anything, especially something that can cause seizures (and even death) if you go off it too quickly. Tapering MUST be done under a Doctor's supervision and SLOWLY. I've read tapering is done .5 mg every two weeks, then, when you get down to 1 mg. to taper more slowly – 1 mg for 2 weeks, .75 for 2 weeks, .5 for 2 weeks, .25 for 2 weeks, then off if the Doctor sways it's okay. (I am NOT a Doctor). I don't want to be on ANY benzo and will ask about alternative medications that don't make you severely addicted.

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Jim, I'm so glad the 1 mg is helpful to you and that's my goal, too, to go from 4 mg daily to 1 mg. Thanks for the good point!

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