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, Ellen

@nikki1234

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 take 1mg/4 times a day and can't cut back either. I take them for BMS. Without clonazepam I would be in absolute horrible pain. I also take Cymbalta 40mg. and Ambien to sleep. Even so, I am almost always at least dealing with some level of pain.

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@parus

@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.

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gman007, I just came off 4 years of Klonopin for neuropathy of the feet and it was ROUGH! I wear a Herbst appliance for sleep apnea and the Klonopin masked how difficult it was to sleep with it in. I couldn't get 3 hours of sleep without Klonopin, but since I also take Norco for the neuropathy, the DEA no longer allows the two, so I had to make a choice. The result is vertigo and tinnitus. I'm back sleeping with Ambien and am generally getting better. PT helps with the vertigo; I'm habituating to the ringing. I can feel my balance coming back, the balance lost with extended use of Klonopin. My memory is still sketchy in recalling the right words when I speak, can only hope time will overcome that.

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@gman007

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

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It took me months to get use to .5mg from 1mg at bedtime. I had been taking this for about 20 years. The cold sweats at night were really hard. The increase in anxiety in the afternoon and evening and waking up at 5 in the morning were difficult and add the not sleeping through the night anymore. I hope to come off of klonopin altogether, but very, very slowly. I tried to go down to .25 but it was pure hell. You wouldn't think that a small amount like that would make such a difference. I think everyone is different and needs to tailor their taper schedule to their own body.
Lately I have been taking some nootropics and adaptins to help. L-Theanine about an hour before bedtime has seemed to help me be more calm and sleep more than two or three hours. The cold sweats at night are almost gone as well. I don't attribute the slowing of the cold night sweats to the L-Theanine, but just my body getting use to not having klonopin on board.
I also take L Carnitine and Alpha Lipoic Acid and Ubiquinol as well as GABA. They seem to have helped me with the extreme fatigue that ensued after going down off of the klonopin.
I am happy to be down to .5mg as feelings have returned which have been dormant forever. My senses are returning as well. It is a hard road, but I am sure by now that .5mg that I am on is just keeping the withdrawals at bay and not doing anything to help me with anxiety.
I cannot take ambien as it gave me extreme thought blocking. Lunesta gave me periods of amnesia, so not an option either.
Do a lot of research on Nootropics and Adaptins. It will pay off I believe. I did try Rhodiola, but I became agitated on it, I think, so backed off of it. I may try to add it back into my regimen at another time. But it is important to try just one thing at a time so that you can guage how it affects you. I'll stick with my regimen for a while. I am not brave enough at this point to try to go down again on the klonopin to .25mg. I have to have a couple of minor surgeries so don't want to stress my body.
I think at this point it is so very important to be kind and gentle with yourself.

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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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oh my gosh. switching to a benzo with a shorter half life does not make it easier to withdraw from. many people switch from klonopin to valium as valium has an even longer half life and you can go down in smaller increments than klonopin.
After 20 years I am tapering myself off of klonopin as benzos do impair your cognitive ability and those on benzos are more likely to experience dementia.
I am down from 1mg for 20 years to .5 mg at bedtime. It was extremely hard. Took me three months at least. But I am at a place where I am very comfortable now. I did start a regimen of nootropics and adaptins which has helped a lot with anxiety, cognition and sleeping.
Whatever you do, please be kind and gentle to yourself. I look at it that I have been on klonopin for 20 years. If it takes me even a or more to get off of it, the time it takes is okay. I cannot take the time away from my family to go into the hospital and do a fast withdrawal that will be hell. Some people can go faster and it takes some more time. I know that .25mg decrease is awful for me. I have read that once you get to a very low dose, that going down is even harder. I did try to go down to .25mg and it was so horrible. I had to go back up to .5mg for my sanity.

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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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I took 1mg of klonopin for 20 years and had no problem with tolerance. It worked for me. But as I age, and deal with autoimmune issues, getting off as many drugs as possible became necessary. I also had severe issues with antihypertensives, so cleaning up my diet and getting off of any drugs absolutely not necessary was essential.
I started taking a few nootropics that have helped me since tapering down to .5mg of klonopin. The withdrawals were horrible even going down .25mg at a time. .75mg was much easier to do than .50mg. And .25mg was an absolute nightmare.
I am back up to .5mg with a few nootropics and am feeling better than I have in a very long time. I want to stay comfortable for a while before trying to go down again from .5mg of klonopin.
Whether to take a benzo or not is a personal decision. Living a hellish existence inside is not worth it. Taking what we need to be comfortable and not "gorked" is healthy.

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@judith2

I took 1mg of klonopin for 20 years and had no problem with tolerance. It worked for me. But as I age, and deal with autoimmune issues, getting off as many drugs as possible became necessary. I also had severe issues with antihypertensives, so cleaning up my diet and getting off of any drugs absolutely not necessary was essential.
I started taking a few nootropics that have helped me since tapering down to .5mg of klonopin. The withdrawals were horrible even going down .25mg at a time. .75mg was much easier to do than .50mg. And .25mg was an absolute nightmare.
I am back up to .5mg with a few nootropics and am feeling better than I have in a very long time. I want to stay comfortable for a while before trying to go down again from .5mg of klonopin.
Whether to take a benzo or not is a personal decision. Living a hellish existence inside is not worth it. Taking what we need to be comfortable and not "gorked" is healthy.

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@judith2 – I've been on klonopin for about 15 years and similarly have had (what I still think is) no problem with tolerance. My dosage has been 0.5BID – but usually take 0.5-1mg most nights. I recently saw a psychiatrist to help me taper off Effexor (which has an awful reputation) – because the Effexor had stopped working for me about 5 years ago – and my diagnosis changed to ADD (which still haven't figured out what the right drug will be).

The reason I mention this, is that the psychiatrist (and because she was so concerned I told my therapist) was alarmed at how long I have been taking the klonopin – and that I take it daily – so they both want me off it….my therapist thought I took it a couple times a month – and believes that taking it more than four days in a row indicates a tolerance/habit etc. So my therapist is alarmed…which of course has me alarmed – ick.

I'm in my early-mid 50s – but so far healthwise have few issues (lipitor 10mg and 1500mg metformin to help with residual PCOS after I got fat on Paxil almost 20 years ago)…but I also want to get off what I can. I love the idea of getting off klonopin completely AND be able to fall asleep without too much trouble….but of course now I am anxious that I won't be able to do it…but I agree with you. If a little bit makes one comfortable without affecting one's functioning – then I am all for it. But also if one wants to get off and it takes a bit longer than expected – that's okay, too.

It strikes me that the challenge is figuring out what's right for you…and reaching a consensus with one's medical team.

Good luck with your journey and I hope to catch up dosage-wise soon.

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@judith2

It took me months to get use to .5mg from 1mg at bedtime. I had been taking this for about 20 years. The cold sweats at night were really hard. The increase in anxiety in the afternoon and evening and waking up at 5 in the morning were difficult and add the not sleeping through the night anymore. I hope to come off of klonopin altogether, but very, very slowly. I tried to go down to .25 but it was pure hell. You wouldn't think that a small amount like that would make such a difference. I think everyone is different and needs to tailor their taper schedule to their own body.
Lately I have been taking some nootropics and adaptins to help. L-Theanine about an hour before bedtime has seemed to help me be more calm and sleep more than two or three hours. The cold sweats at night are almost gone as well. I don't attribute the slowing of the cold night sweats to the L-Theanine, but just my body getting use to not having klonopin on board.
I also take L Carnitine and Alpha Lipoic Acid and Ubiquinol as well as GABA. They seem to have helped me with the extreme fatigue that ensued after going down off of the klonopin.
I am happy to be down to .5mg as feelings have returned which have been dormant forever. My senses are returning as well. It is a hard road, but I am sure by now that .5mg that I am on is just keeping the withdrawals at bay and not doing anything to help me with anxiety.
I cannot take ambien as it gave me extreme thought blocking. Lunesta gave me periods of amnesia, so not an option either.
Do a lot of research on Nootropics and Adaptins. It will pay off I believe. I did try Rhodiola, but I became agitated on it, I think, so backed off of it. I may try to add it back into my regimen at another time. But it is important to try just one thing at a time so that you can guage how it affects you. I'll stick with my regimen for a while. I am not brave enough at this point to try to go down again on the klonopin to .25mg. I have to have a couple of minor surgeries so don't want to stress my body.
I think at this point it is so very important to be kind and gentle with yourself.

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After 2 1/2 years of klonipen, I ended up in the hospital with a full nervous breakdown trying to get off this stuff. This is dangerous, please be careful

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@judith2

It took me months to get use to .5mg from 1mg at bedtime. I had been taking this for about 20 years. The cold sweats at night were really hard. The increase in anxiety in the afternoon and evening and waking up at 5 in the morning were difficult and add the not sleeping through the night anymore. I hope to come off of klonopin altogether, but very, very slowly. I tried to go down to .25 but it was pure hell. You wouldn't think that a small amount like that would make such a difference. I think everyone is different and needs to tailor their taper schedule to their own body.
Lately I have been taking some nootropics and adaptins to help. L-Theanine about an hour before bedtime has seemed to help me be more calm and sleep more than two or three hours. The cold sweats at night are almost gone as well. I don't attribute the slowing of the cold night sweats to the L-Theanine, but just my body getting use to not having klonopin on board.
I also take L Carnitine and Alpha Lipoic Acid and Ubiquinol as well as GABA. They seem to have helped me with the extreme fatigue that ensued after going down off of the klonopin.
I am happy to be down to .5mg as feelings have returned which have been dormant forever. My senses are returning as well. It is a hard road, but I am sure by now that .5mg that I am on is just keeping the withdrawals at bay and not doing anything to help me with anxiety.
I cannot take ambien as it gave me extreme thought blocking. Lunesta gave me periods of amnesia, so not an option either.
Do a lot of research on Nootropics and Adaptins. It will pay off I believe. I did try Rhodiola, but I became agitated on it, I think, so backed off of it. I may try to add it back into my regimen at another time. But it is important to try just one thing at a time so that you can guage how it affects you. I'll stick with my regimen for a while. I am not brave enough at this point to try to go down again on the klonopin to .25mg. I have to have a couple of minor surgeries so don't want to stress my body.
I think at this point it is so very important to be kind and gentle with yourself.

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Now I'm very scared. I'm weaning myself off klonopin and it's been only 4 days.

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@cmgsic best of luck…hang in there!

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This was the worse thing I’ve ever done was coming off klonipen. Meditation and prayer helps, lavender and anything you can do for yourself. God speed

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Hello all. It's been 4 days that I am weaning myself off klonopin. I've been on it firc18 years 1.5 mg everyday.. any advice for withdrawals

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@cmgslc

Hello all. It's been 4 days that I am weaning myself off klonopin. I've been on it firc18 years 1.5 mg everyday.. any advice for withdrawals

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It's definitely something to do with medical supervision. Unlike tapering off the SSRI's which will make you miserable but isn't dangerous….tapering off benzos can be dangerous. It's very unpredictable and there doesn't seem to be any real correlation to length of time used or dosage….

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Hi guys. I need help also. I have been on Klonpin for 30 years. At this time I am on .75 mg. I have a very hard situation at home. I have a bi-polar 2 daughter that is under mental help that I am supporting while raising her two girls. My husband also suffers from the mood disorders which has caused me much anxiety over the years. Recently, my daughter went on a mania high and took 20 of my klonpins. For two weeks I had to go on half doses and it has about killed me. My doctor said there was nothing he could do about it. I have an appointment with him today to discuss getting off this med. I have not had over 4 hours sleep in the past 1/1/2 weeks. My husband takes trazadone at night. I was wondering if there was someone that is on trazadone and something else besides Klonpin to control the anxiety. I feel like crap today and I have so much to do. What do we do?

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@imabamagal

Hi guys. I need help also. I have been on Klonpin for 30 years. At this time I am on .75 mg. I have a very hard situation at home. I have a bi-polar 2 daughter that is under mental help that I am supporting while raising her two girls. My husband also suffers from the mood disorders which has caused me much anxiety over the years. Recently, my daughter went on a mania high and took 20 of my klonpins. For two weeks I had to go on half doses and it has about killed me. My doctor said there was nothing he could do about it. I have an appointment with him today to discuss getting off this med. I have not had over 4 hours sleep in the past 1/1/2 weeks. My husband takes trazadone at night. I was wondering if there was someone that is on trazadone and something else besides Klonpin to control the anxiety. I feel like crap today and I have so much to do. What do we do?

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Hello @imabamagal and welcome to Mayo Connect

I appreciate that you shared your story with us. It does sound like you have a lot on your plate right now with many responsibilities. I can certainly understand that you need to sleep well at night in order to keep up with your busy schedule.

Trazodone is an antidepressant medicine (non addictive) and is primarily prescribed for sleep issues. Here is an article about it from Everyday Health website,

https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/trazodone. If you click on the link you can learn more about Trazodone.

Here is a link to another article from the National Institute of Health regarding Trazodone,
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0012504/
Many of our Members on Connect have used it for sleep and have also used it when coming off addictive meds.

Have you ever had a sleep study done to determine if you might have another problem contributing to insomnia?

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@imabamagal

Hi guys. I need help also. I have been on Klonpin for 30 years. At this time I am on .75 mg. I have a very hard situation at home. I have a bi-polar 2 daughter that is under mental help that I am supporting while raising her two girls. My husband also suffers from the mood disorders which has caused me much anxiety over the years. Recently, my daughter went on a mania high and took 20 of my klonpins. For two weeks I had to go on half doses and it has about killed me. My doctor said there was nothing he could do about it. I have an appointment with him today to discuss getting off this med. I have not had over 4 hours sleep in the past 1/1/2 weeks. My husband takes trazadone at night. I was wondering if there was someone that is on trazadone and something else besides Klonpin to control the anxiety. I feel like crap today and I have so much to do. What do we do?

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I'm a tapering off Effexor and klonopin kinda gal right now….so I can only tell you what has been suggested to me…but not tried. I'm not aware of any true anti-anxiety drugs that work better than a good ol benzo…or bad ol benzo. Valium has a longer half-life than klonopin (which is why it is sometimes used to help people who are having problems getting off klonopin)…but it is still a controlled substance like klonopin. Your MD might be able to write a prescription for a different dosage of klonopin if the problem is getting it filled without looking like you are med-seeking and getting caught up in the FDA compliance web; however, if the MD isn't willing to write the scrip, then they might be uncomfortable with how much you are taking — but it is worth an ask.

In my case, we are considering both Wellbutrin and Trazodone if I need something once I've tapered off. Trazodone will help you sleep but I don't know how it affects anxiety. Wellbutrin has a reasonable reputation as an antidepressant with some anti-anxiety effects. But as I'm sure you know – every person reacts differently.

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