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

@gman007 I no longer take klonopin and I certainly was not informed as I believe I ought to have been about how addictive it is-no mention was even made of it being addictive as well as the antidepressants and antiphyschotics which were to enhance the antidepressants. I would like to believe they did not know and only had my best interest in mind. Not true at all. There were so many things I was not told and now it is too late to change the harm that has been done by well (?) educated doctors.
Now another 10 years off of my life because of 8 years of this poison. I may as well stop seeing doctors because so many of them are pill pushers. All of this uproar about opiates when there are things that are eagerly prescribed that are even more harmful.
Sick, sick, sick all of this and also scary realizing my days have been shortened even more!! I am death on a horse eating a cracker. How can anyone with depression or any other mental illness ever expect to get help? Knowledge is power and the truth will be the demise of many. Sad to think how many who are desperately seeking help are being made sicker.
Yes, the truth hurts.

Liked by kygirl25

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they took me off benzo's and due to the anxiety, insomnia and shakes I turned to alcohol and tons of it. They finally put me back on kladapin. These drugs are here for a reason. I will never go off again, putting me on gaba pentin was an absolute joke.

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@nikki1234

they took me off benzo's and due to the anxiety, insomnia and shakes I turned to alcohol and tons of it. They finally put me back on kladapin. These drugs are here for a reason. I will never go off again, putting me on gaba pentin was an absolute joke.

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Not trying to be too personal, but why do you say putting you on Gabapentin was a joke? I'm considering coming off. Have cut back. Were you on it for pain?

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Gaba didn't do anthing for anxiety. I was in sweats, pure panic, insomnia when they switched. I have social anxiety and severe panic disorder. I felt so horrible on gaba I ended up drinking like crazy to get rid of the sweats and anxiety I don't ever want to go through that again. I am on 1mg/4 times a day and I can't cut back. That is as low as I can go.

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I am wondering if anyone has had the unfortunate experience of withdrawing from klonopin/clonazepam and discovered any hacks? I have been tapering for about ten weeks and have about six weeks to go. Most of my reading suggests a timeline of 1/2 mg every two weeks and I have been following this, but am attempting to shorten the total time by doing 1/2 mg every week and I am currently at 2.5 mg. It will likely make me a horrible person to be around for 6 weeks, at least, but hopefully well short of the ten weeks if I only reduced every two weeks. So, if anyone has any tricks to make the process more bearable, I would love to hear them.
Gary

Liked by kygirl25, youngsally

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Hello, @gman007 — My sincere apologies for the tardy response, but it's an important question you've asked about any hacks, tips or tricks others may have about withdrawing from klonopin/clonazepam.

Please note I've merged your post with this discussion in order to bring more members into the conversation about dealing with the tapering process.

Wondering where you are at now in the tapering down schedule you mentioned and how it's going?

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@lisalucier

Hello, @gman007 — My sincere apologies for the tardy response, but it's an important question you've asked about any hacks, tips or tricks others may have about withdrawing from klonopin/clonazepam.

Please note I've merged your post with this discussion in order to bring more members into the conversation about dealing with the tapering process.

Wondering where you are at now in the tapering down schedule you mentioned and how it's going?

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To All: Just curious why everyone wants to withdraw from Klonopin? Thank you.

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@lisalucier

Hello, @gman007 — My sincere apologies for the tardy response, but it's an important question you've asked about any hacks, tips or tricks others may have about withdrawing from klonopin/clonazepam.

Please note I've merged your post with this discussion in order to bring more members into the conversation about dealing with the tapering process.

Wondering where you are at now in the tapering down schedule you mentioned and how it's going?

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Hey@lisalucier. I started with a new psychiatrist and she was not very excited about some of the ideas the intern I was seeing wanted made. I was down to 2.5, but she did not see a cut and dried reason for me to be off benzos, even though the theory my medical student had learned was correct. The new person aspires to treat the patient and not some predetermined pill number or FDA warning and I would love to take that "radical" idea and transplant it into my Pain Management doc's head. I switched to Ativan and it takes 1mg of A to be equivalent to .5 mg of K, but I had terrible withdrawals trying to do a 1 for 1 swap and ended up needing about 6 per day to alleviate that. I am currently at 5Ativan a day and am attempting to get to "as needed" because that is the best way to dose benzos.

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Did any of the pro-benzo psychiatrists address the problem of tolerance withdrawal?

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@lisalucier

Hello, @gman007 — My sincere apologies for the tardy response, but it's an important question you've asked about any hacks, tips or tricks others may have about withdrawing from klonopin/clonazepam.

Please note I've merged your post with this discussion in order to bring more members into the conversation about dealing with the tapering process.

Wondering where you are at now in the tapering down schedule you mentioned and how it's going?

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Hello @ayankeeinnm. I was seeing a medical student/resident while waiting to see the Psych I really wanted to work with and her "theory" said that you don't prescribe Benzodiazipines with opiates and that is where I was and had been for many years. My new psych said that in theory you would prefer not to combine the two, but she was more concerned about treating me than what theory teaches. Of course she cautioned me to not take above prescribed dosage and switched my to Ativan, which is a benzo with a much shorter half-life. The shorter half-life would make it easier to kick if I ever noticed any signs of cognitive impairment as benzos will almost always make the memory worse. Do you take klonopin? If so, have you ever tried to cut back or stop taking it? It is a more difficult withdrawal than I have ever experienced with opiates.

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@cperaino

Did any of the pro-benzo psychiatrists address the problem of tolerance withdrawal?

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@cperaino, I think that phrasing means if it is no longer effective, then you would want to stop and take something new for anxiety? I have not had that discussion, but I am sure it could become a problem if I were to take the same dosage for a number of years, but benzo's are recommended for short periods of time (I know now) when anxiety spikes and taken as needed. If they are used in that fashion, I am not sure that tolerance would become a problem. Have you had to withdraw for that reason?

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Yes, the reason benzos are so insidious is that they almost invariably lose their effectiveness over time and require progressive increases in dosage, an unsustainable situation. Withdrawal then becomes necessary and extremely difficult, as I can attest. It's frustrating, and perhaps unconscionable, that many prescribing physicians have disregarded this problem. I would be wary of taking them as needed because many who start out under that protocol progress to daily use.

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@cperaino

Yes, the reason benzos are so insidious is that they almost invariably lose their effectiveness over time and require progressive increases in dosage, an unsustainable situation. Withdrawal then becomes necessary and extremely difficult, as I can attest. It's frustrating, and perhaps unconscionable, that many prescribing physicians have disregarded this problem. I would be wary of taking them as needed because many who start out under that protocol progress to daily use.

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@cperaino, I get all of the negatives, but there are quality of life issues if your are paralyzed by anxiety. I realize there are many other non-drug treatments for anxiety, but in my case, I need meditation, CBT, and a drug to hold off the demonic forces of mental health disease. I have a brother who has been on the same dosage of Ativan for about 20 years and it is still very effective for him. I am content to live five years less, if that is the end result, and being a happy, functional husband, Dad, and Grandpa. Others will choose to do otherwise and I am at ease with them making that decision. It sounds as if you have been through w/d and I guess that means you don't currently take a benzo? What have you found that allows you to slay the anxiety dragons, or at least hold them at bay?

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Yep, I totally sympathize. How do you rein in a runaway limbic system. I've always had that problem, but it became debilitating as a consequence of work-related stress when I was in my 40s. The coping method I stumbled on, almost literally, was running. It worked like a charm; after running 12 miles from 3:30 to 5:00 AM I was able to face all work-related problems with aplomb for the rest of the day. Nothing bothered me; in fact I was borderline euphoric. I thrived for about 5 years in this fashion (running 12 miles every morning) completely without medication or counselling. Then, one Summer vacation, when I was running downhill in the Rockies I suffered an explosive herniation of a lumbar spinal disc and my running days were over. For the next 25 years I subsisted on 2.5 mg of Klonopin/day, as I underwent a total of 5 major back surgeries. The klonopin was not nearly as effective as the running had been but I was able to function. However, as time went on anxiety and insomnia gradually re-emerged along with the appearance of novel symptoms (see benzo withdrawal symptoms in Wikipedia) despite my continuation on the stuff. So a little over 3 years ago I weaned myself off over a 1 year period and have been benzo-free for about 2 years. Life post-benzo has been challenging but doable. To cope, I've reverted to my pre-benzo exercise strategy, which now involves walking (pushing a walker) for about an hour as vigorously as my 83 year old decrepit bod (with a very bad back) will allow. In the final analysis that's the only therapy that gives me any real relief and enables me to enjoy a loving relationship with my wife, kids and grandkids. I no longer take any meds whatsoever, nor do I see a therapist. The latter never worked for me. So I highly recommend daily vigorous aerobic exercise to get those endogenous endorphins up, as an alternative to messing up your GABA receptors with benzos. Whatever you do, all the best.

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@cperaino

Yep, I totally sympathize. How do you rein in a runaway limbic system. I've always had that problem, but it became debilitating as a consequence of work-related stress when I was in my 40s. The coping method I stumbled on, almost literally, was running. It worked like a charm; after running 12 miles from 3:30 to 5:00 AM I was able to face all work-related problems with aplomb for the rest of the day. Nothing bothered me; in fact I was borderline euphoric. I thrived for about 5 years in this fashion (running 12 miles every morning) completely without medication or counselling. Then, one Summer vacation, when I was running downhill in the Rockies I suffered an explosive herniation of a lumbar spinal disc and my running days were over. For the next 25 years I subsisted on 2.5 mg of Klonopin/day, as I underwent a total of 5 major back surgeries. The klonopin was not nearly as effective as the running had been but I was able to function. However, as time went on anxiety and insomnia gradually re-emerged along with the appearance of novel symptoms (see benzo withdrawal symptoms in Wikipedia) despite my continuation on the stuff. So a little over 3 years ago I weaned myself off over a 1 year period and have been benzo-free for about 2 years. Life post-benzo has been challenging but doable. To cope, I've reverted to my pre-benzo exercise strategy, which now involves walking (pushing a walker) for about an hour as vigorously as my 83 year old decrepit bod (with a very bad back) will allow. In the final analysis that's the only therapy that gives me any real relief and enables me to enjoy a loving relationship with my wife, kids and grandkids. I no longer take any meds whatsoever, nor do I see a therapist. The latter never worked for me. So I highly recommend daily vigorous aerobic exercise to get those endogenous endorphins up, as an alternative to messing up your GABA receptors with benzos. Whatever you do, all the best.

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@cperaino, I have heard others talk about the benefits of getting huge boosts of endorphins from running or some other exercise routine. Until I became physically sick and unable, I hit the gym every morning, 6 days a week at 5AM, and had less anxiety and no depression. Without it and along with my physical issues, I became anxious to the point of repeated panic attacks on a daily basis and severe depression over my life having been so abruptly changed. It sounds as if you are in a better place than many who rely on chemistry to get by, but the differences in all of us is what keeps the world so very interesting.
Best wishes, Gary

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