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!

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety group.

Totally agree. I had been on Clonazepam/Rivotril/Klonapin 15 years and psychiatrist , very nice, in training at hospital, never seen before said to go off the meds 0.5 a day, after my last five pills in the container! His idea, break them in half and take one every other day. I was shaking all over etc. etc. at age 75! Luckily my family dr. said no, too fast, but halved the dose and provided no help… see you in three months he said; and I still went into withdrawal. No one had ever told me it was addictive or that it would be hard to stop taking, no one!! Gave it to me like candy and I used as a sleeping pill. Now back on it because its the lesser of two evils!

REPLY

@lacy2
I don’t know why doctors stop some drugs virtually cold turkey. I don’t know why you were taking Klonopin but I took it for seizures. Stopping seizure medication can cause Conulsive Status Epilepticus which is a serious medical emergency which can be fatal. I’m sorry you experienced these symptoms. If you believe you no longer require this medication getting off it is simple to do provided you go slowly enough.
I can’t guarantee you will have an uneventful, symptom free withdrawal but I feel safe in saying even if you have symptoms they will be significantly reduced and less severe.
I remember someone tapering so slowly it would have taken them 17 years to be off the drug and he/s still had some side effects. I’m not saying no one will ever have side effects on a slow taper but it seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
Take care,
Jake

REPLY

In tapering off Clonazepam, I was a 1 1/2 Mg user each night before bed. I can't even remember when I started tapering, it was shortly after I had tried to quit cold turkey and suffered nearly every withdrawal symptom on record but fortunately not the most critical ones. This was easily resolved by taking 1mg and resuming it's use at a medical site recommended tapering at a rate of 1/8 mg per week. This is still way to fast as by time I was down to 1/8 mg dose I experienced some pretty significant withdrawal symptoms. I kicked it back up to 1/4 milligram about 2 weeks ago and outside of some discomforts I've been holding up pretty well, but discovered something that never seems to be discussed hear and felt it interesting to convey. The slight discomfort I was feeling was in the lower left quadrant of my abdomen, in the Colon area. I had a bowel movement that seemed to relieve the discomfort but then it returned hours later and slightly magnified from before.
Here's where things get interesting. I suspected irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) so I searched that illness. To my surprise, without even mentioning Clonazepam, the first link was an article stating that this drug is being considered for treatment of IBS. The illness isn't listed as an effect of withdrawal (Constipation and diarrhea is, but never relating it directly to IBS). So since taking the drug it seems that I have actually developed IBS but because of taking the drug I never experienced the illness of IBS (my own self diagnosis) till I started tapering off. I started taking the drug to treat RLS (restless leg syndrome) but with this new found element being unveiled through tapering, it's quite possible I my just be stuck at the 1/4 mg dose. Of course, I'm not sleeping well and that's the effect of my RLS, I'm thinking now I may just have to bite the bullet and increase my dose to at least 3/4 mg, at least every other day to get a decent nights sleep, why I even started the drug in the first place. Has anyone else had this type of experience with tapering?

REPLY

Well, last night wasn't good. I had to split another 2 mg tablet into 8ths (1/4 gm each). I ended up with 6 doses and of course crumbs that didn't equal 1/4 gm dose so apparently 1/4 gm went missing while cutting. Anyway, I just took the shavings and crumps as my next dose. Woke after sleeping 4 hours feeling exasperated and something new, what I believe to be Tinitus. A constant sound like air conditioner and like a generator running off in the distance. I am hard of hearing from nerve defect from birth and medical sites refer to this constant noise as being common with people with my hearing defect. The other problem was this fear (anxiety?) of not being able to breath if I were to fall asleep. I have COPD so breathing can be a real problem between dosages of my inhalers, but this attack seemed to be like the anxiety attacks I had before starting Clonozepam. Even still, I have trouble believing that is my dose last night was scant that effects could be so severe, but severe they were. I did eventually got back to sleep and slept another 4 hours. The generator noise was gone but not the air conditioner and my anxiety level was much reduced. Still hanging in there but feeling sorry for those around me that have to suffer from my lashing out due to the effects of anxiety. Little more than a month before I'm back in the States and hopefully I can start using another med (THC) to get me completely off the pam. Funny, all this crap that I've experienced started when I quit using pot after a life of using it on nearly a daily basis. My preference is to use pot instead of all the other crap Big Pharma wants you to be hooked on.

REPLY

The person that literally wrote the book on benzo tapering is Dr. Heather Ashton. (The Ashton Manual)
https://www.benzoinfo.com/ashtonmanual/
Anyone wanting to get off benzo's should take a look at it. (free online) It's well researched.
I wish there was a way to 'paste' this link to the general anxiety / pain forums as I think it would help a lot of folks.

REPLY
@dinoman

The person that literally wrote the book on benzo tapering is Dr. Heather Ashton. (The Ashton Manual)
https://www.benzoinfo.com/ashtonmanual/
Anyone wanting to get off benzo's should take a look at it. (free online) It's well researched.
I wish there was a way to 'paste' this link to the general anxiety / pain forums as I think it would help a lot of folks.

Jump to this post

Excellent method and the method allows you to hold for awhile if needed.

REPLY

I know this is a old thread but I needed to get someone to help me out. I want to taper off my klonopin. I am at 4.5 mgs a day I have been considering taking cbd to help but don’t know where to start. My dr is no help. Please anyone ty.

REPLY
@katj77

I know this is a old thread but I needed to get someone to help me out. I want to taper off my klonopin. I am at 4.5 mgs a day I have been considering taking cbd to help but don’t know where to start. My dr is no help. Please anyone ty.

Jump to this post

@katj77 Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, a place to give and get support.

It sounds like you are in-between a rock and a hard place. Members @sears @dinoman @stanof53 @lacy2 have recently discussed this topic and may be able to offer support.

It sounds like you are not satisfied with your doctor/provider. It's not advisable to attempt to ween off a medication without medical supervision. Have you considered transferring doctors? As a side note, a doctor may be able to offer other temporary treatments to lessen the withdraw symptoms.

REPLY
@katj77

I know this is a old thread but I needed to get someone to help me out. I want to taper off my klonopin. I am at 4.5 mgs a day I have been considering taking cbd to help but don’t know where to start. My dr is no help. Please anyone ty.

Jump to this post

Hello @katj77,

I would like to join Erika, @erikas, in welcoming you to Connect. I am sorry to hear that your physician isn't helping you with your withdrawal from Klonopin.

To offer you support in this undertaking, could you share with us what you have tried to do to taper off this medicine? Are there any other meds, such as antidepressants (that can calm anxiety or help with sleep), that your doctor has prescribed that might help you as you taper? Do you have an exercise program to help deal with anxiety?

As Erika mentioned, this might be a good time to get a second opinion or in other words find a new doctor. Perhaps a psychiatrist, who has medication withdrawal skills, would be a good option for you now.

I look forward to hearing from you again.

REPLY
@katj77

I know this is a old thread but I needed to get someone to help me out. I want to taper off my klonopin. I am at 4.5 mgs a day I have been considering taking cbd to help but don’t know where to start. My dr is no help. Please anyone ty.

Jump to this post

I'd suggest by first reading this "manual" written by a specialist in the field, Doctor Ashton.
https://www.benzoinfo.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Ashton-Manual.pdf
And then work out a plan, showing them the manual, with your doctor personalized to your
situation and other medications. Most doctors aren't experts in weaning off of additive drugs, unless they are specialists in that area. Working with them, from a plan from a respected doctor in the field, I think would help them out, especially in these days of 15 min drive by doctor visits in the USA. Doctors are really pinched for time, with insurance payments driving their schedules to see everyone in 15 minute segments.

REPLY
@katj77

I know this is a old thread but I needed to get someone to help me out. I want to taper off my klonopin. I am at 4.5 mgs a day I have been considering taking cbd to help but don’t know where to start. My dr is no help. Please anyone ty.

Jump to this post

@katj77
I had a withdrawal free taper from Klonopin but I tapered very slowly. Most people taper too quickly and the most likely reason they suffer withdrawal symptoms. I am lucky that I seem to be more tolerant with taking & discontinuing medications.
Naturally its best to work with a clinician but regrettably they are often more the problem instead of the cure. Just read this thread and see how many patients took their doctors advice and what the outcomes were. You won’t like what you read. Sure you can change doctors but how long does that process take. Who's to say the new doctor will be any better? Sad as it is sometimes your your own best alternative. Sometimes you have no choice.
Some of these doctors take patients off these medications cold turkey which goes to show the level of incompetence that exists in the medical field.
In my opinion your best option is to use a Compounding Pharmacy. But your going need a cooperating physician. I am a big believer in the “5-10% method” or “cut and hold method.” You will need a prescription from your doctor stating what percentage and how long before lowering the dose. Usually 5-10% of original dose & every 2-6 weeks to the next lowest dose, some take less some more but remember, SPEED DOESN'T WIN THIS RACE.
I’d like to mention where I first heard about the “5-10% or cut and hold method.”

The following story is true. I'm not sure but I think it happen in France. There was a Psychiatrist in Europe who was depressed and if I remember he also had a drinking problem. He started taking (I believe) the Antidepressant Effexor, (but both these drugs are difficult to taper off of) unfortunately when it came time to stop he took his own advice he had been giving his patients and stopped it in a very short time. I believe 10 days. Needless to say he suffered greatly. He learned something from the experience though. He was tapering his patients far to quickly. Now he is an advocate of the 5-10% / cut & hold method.

Tapering off this medication free from withdrawals is very doable as long as it's done slowly.
Wishing you well,
Jake It

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment