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!

Liked by Parus, Leonard, clutch

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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@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

I'm not sure if I really need the Klonopin for anxiety, but I continue taking it for my wife's sake. Without it, I act out my dreams, which could be painful for her. I don't just dream about kicking a ball. I actually kick. That doesn't promote marital harmony.

I can't imagine taking 4mg. I think I'd be a zombie!

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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You are spot on! I have been told that I can not get a new klonopin script because I also take opiates for my chronic pancreatitis and they are both Central Nervous System depressants and I may stop breathing. My body has been used to both for at least 8 years and I only stop breathing with my sleep apnea and wear a BiPAP for that issue.

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Unfortunately, one builds up a tolerance to clonazepam pretty quickly so that, at this point, 4 mg does nothing to relax me! BUT if I miss a dose or something, I get the jitters, insomnia, hellish! That's why, for me, I want to taper off benzos.

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I have been on 1mg klonopin for 20 years. I'm in my 60s and no longer work outside the home. I have decided to taper off as I no longer have the stresses and asthma that I once had. My asthma was caused by smoggy city and food allergies. Those have all been resolved. No longer running a business and working additionally as a nurse while being a single parent was super anxiety causing.
I reduced from 1mg to.75 mg and then.50 mg which wasn't too difficult. I did have withdrawal S/S but they leveled out. Luckily I have been able to sleep. I have found that reducing to .25mg is much more difficult. So I am just cutting off about 1/4th of half of a 1mg tab. My psychiatrist got angry with me when I tried to taper off in the past so I haven't asked him for a .5mg tablet. I have read that the last and smaller doses are the most difficult as far as withdrawal symptoms go. I'll try to stay on approximately.365mg for another 2 weeks and then down to .25mg. I really an hoping to hang in there until I am off Klonopin for good.
Has anyone stayed at.25 mg and then jumped off or should I plan to go down to.125 mg and then off? Thanks so much

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@judith2

I have been on 1mg klonopin for 20 years. I'm in my 60s and no longer work outside the home. I have decided to taper off as I no longer have the stresses and asthma that I once had. My asthma was caused by smoggy city and food allergies. Those have all been resolved. No longer running a business and working additionally as a nurse while being a single parent was super anxiety causing.
I reduced from 1mg to.75 mg and then.50 mg which wasn't too difficult. I did have withdrawal S/S but they leveled out. Luckily I have been able to sleep. I have found that reducing to .25mg is much more difficult. So I am just cutting off about 1/4th of half of a 1mg tab. My psychiatrist got angry with me when I tried to taper off in the past so I haven't asked him for a .5mg tablet. I have read that the last and smaller doses are the most difficult as far as withdrawal symptoms go. I'll try to stay on approximately.365mg for another 2 weeks and then down to .25mg. I really an hoping to hang in there until I am off Klonopin for good.
Has anyone stayed at.25 mg and then jumped off or should I plan to go down to.125 mg and then off? Thanks so much

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Thanks for that info (I'm presently on 4 mg clonazepam!) and looking forward to a taper starting with my new Doctor in April. I've read that some people / most people need to do the tablets AND the clonazepam drops to get really exacting dosages, esp, near the end of the taper, as you discuss. I will ask about the drops so I can be exacting in my taper but stay flexible enough as per my withdrawal.

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@judith2

I have been on 1mg klonopin for 20 years. I'm in my 60s and no longer work outside the home. I have decided to taper off as I no longer have the stresses and asthma that I once had. My asthma was caused by smoggy city and food allergies. Those have all been resolved. No longer running a business and working additionally as a nurse while being a single parent was super anxiety causing.
I reduced from 1mg to.75 mg and then.50 mg which wasn't too difficult. I did have withdrawal S/S but they leveled out. Luckily I have been able to sleep. I have found that reducing to .25mg is much more difficult. So I am just cutting off about 1/4th of half of a 1mg tab. My psychiatrist got angry with me when I tried to taper off in the past so I haven't asked him for a .5mg tablet. I have read that the last and smaller doses are the most difficult as far as withdrawal symptoms go. I'll try to stay on approximately.365mg for another 2 weeks and then down to .25mg. I really an hoping to hang in there until I am off Klonopin for good.
Has anyone stayed at.25 mg and then jumped off or should I plan to go down to.125 mg and then off? Thanks so much

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My experience with Ativan, which is the same family as Klonopin was similar in that the last .25mg was the most difficult to get off. I Reduced to 0.125 ( sharb blade needed to cut the tablets!) However, it is a sub therapeutic dose and as such I wonfered at the time if the withdrawal symptoms were psychological rather than physiological. Exercise and sunlight helps of course.

As an aside, your Dr has no right to get angry with you. You are paying his salary… by virtue of your membership in a health care insurance scheme. He can advise against weaning off and even refuse to give you a presciption for 0.5 mg but angry…..no! Uu

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@judith2

I have been on 1mg klonopin for 20 years. I'm in my 60s and no longer work outside the home. I have decided to taper off as I no longer have the stresses and asthma that I once had. My asthma was caused by smoggy city and food allergies. Those have all been resolved. No longer running a business and working additionally as a nurse while being a single parent was super anxiety causing.
I reduced from 1mg to.75 mg and then.50 mg which wasn't too difficult. I did have withdrawal S/S but they leveled out. Luckily I have been able to sleep. I have found that reducing to .25mg is much more difficult. So I am just cutting off about 1/4th of half of a 1mg tab. My psychiatrist got angry with me when I tried to taper off in the past so I haven't asked him for a .5mg tablet. I have read that the last and smaller doses are the most difficult as far as withdrawal symptoms go. I'll try to stay on approximately.365mg for another 2 weeks and then down to .25mg. I really an hoping to hang in there until I am off Klonopin for good.
Has anyone stayed at.25 mg and then jumped off or should I plan to go down to.125 mg and then off? Thanks so much

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I am very interested in this discussion. I have been on 4 mg clonozapam for six years. It is very helpful for the pain I have from BMS, atypical trigeminal neuralgia and TMJ. What are your plans for replacing this med? Perhaps others in this situation can share information. Thanks!

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I'm on 4 mg daily clonazepam for about 15 years!!! Too long! It's a short-term med ONLY! But when your insurance changes and you see new Doctors every couple of years, there's no continuity and so I start with a v good new Psychiatrist in April, her first opening, will stay with one Doctor, a great one, and I will insist we begin the taper off. I do not want any Benzo in my body. However long it takes to get safely off. I'm upset that they never told me benzos are 1) habituating (you need to keep taking more to get the same effect) and 2) it creates a wicked bad physical dependence that can cause seizures and death..

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@stressedmesseddepressed

I'm on 4 mg daily clonazepam for about 15 years!!! Too long! It's a short-term med ONLY! But when your insurance changes and you see new Doctors every couple of years, there's no continuity and so I start with a v good new Psychiatrist in April, her first opening, will stay with one Doctor, a great one, and I will insist we begin the taper off. I do not want any Benzo in my body. However long it takes to get safely off. I'm upset that they never told me benzos are 1) habituating (you need to keep taking more to get the same effect) and 2) it creates a wicked bad physical dependence that can cause seizures and death..

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Hi @stressedmesseddepressed. I was wondering how your taper went/is going. If you have learned any hacks or things that make the w/d symptoms less painful, I would love to hear them. Like you, I never received either of those warnings and am tapering down from 6 mg/day and just getting to 2.5 has been hellish. While I have railed about my psych of the time not warning me and the next one upping my dosage despite my opioid use, I am the first one to say that every individual is responsible for being their own advocate and getting the correct information from the doc or researching enough on your own to understand what you are taking. At the time I started taking it, I would have likely signed off if I had been told it would take ten years off my life, because in the depths of depression you are only thinking about surviving the day and not years down the road. Anyway…if you or anyone else reading this has found anything to be helpful, please share.
Thank you, Gary

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