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!

@imabamagal

YoungSally, I have tried so hard all these years to stay away from anti-depressants. I have seen my daughter on many. Unfortunately, I did not mention, I have to dispense all her meds to her and keep them locked up as she will not take them correctly. That is another thing in my plate that I would rather not have to do. I am not sure if I want to take them, I'm not a fan and I am aware that Trazadone is a type of antidepressant, so I am on the fence on that.

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Hello @imabamagal

Since you were "on the fence" about taking antidepressants I thought you might find this post interesting. It was written by a pharmacist at Mayo Clinic:

"The goal to be “addiction-free” is admirable! I commend your motivation to improve.
Taking antidepressants for MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) and GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) shouldn’t be considered “addictions.” Antidepressants aren’t addictive, but missing doses or stopping abruptly can cause withdrawal-like symptoms including sudden worsening of depression. MDD and GAD are often chronic diseases that can require lifelong treatment. Sometimes people feel so much better with treatment they think they don’t need treatment any more. Your clinician can help you try to taper off safely. Communication with your healthcare provider is important in providing a personalized taper and options for resuming therapy, if needed.
Extra care should be taken regarding tapering from clonazepam. It will be important for you to get tapering instructions from your psychiatrist. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines like clonazepam can be serious and may include tremors, anxiety, sweating, psychosis and seizures. The onset and severity of withdrawal depends on the which drug was used, for how long and other patient specific factors. If needed, you could ask about less addictive anti-anxiety medications."

@imabamagal, Will you let me know if this information is helpful to you?

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@imabamagal

I will, I have the determination to get off the benzos. I have seen this doctor for over 30 years. He knows all about my struggles, so he will help me.

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@imabamagal
Good to know! Having a long history with a doctor is wonderful.

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@hopeful33250

Hello @imabamagal

Since you were "on the fence" about taking antidepressants I thought you might find this post interesting. It was written by a pharmacist at Mayo Clinic:

"The goal to be “addiction-free” is admirable! I commend your motivation to improve.
Taking antidepressants for MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) and GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) shouldn’t be considered “addictions.” Antidepressants aren’t addictive, but missing doses or stopping abruptly can cause withdrawal-like symptoms including sudden worsening of depression. MDD and GAD are often chronic diseases that can require lifelong treatment. Sometimes people feel so much better with treatment they think they don’t need treatment any more. Your clinician can help you try to taper off safely. Communication with your healthcare provider is important in providing a personalized taper and options for resuming therapy, if needed.
Extra care should be taken regarding tapering from clonazepam. It will be important for you to get tapering instructions from your psychiatrist. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines like clonazepam can be serious and may include tremors, anxiety, sweating, psychosis and seizures. The onset and severity of withdrawal depends on the which drug was used, for how long and other patient specific factors. If needed, you could ask about less addictive anti-anxiety medications."

@imabamagal, Will you let me know if this information is helpful to you?

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This was very helpful. I think I am headed in the right direction, we will see how it goes. This morning I do not have any anxiety and I am down .25 on my Klonpin. I think the next step once the buspar kicks in, is to lower to.25 on the Klonpin and take 1/2 tablet on the buspar. What I understand the buspar will be continually raised. I think the highest dose is 60 mg, but he did not feel like I would need that much. Also, I started with 25 mg on the trazadone and it will be raised to 50 mg

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@lisalucier

Hi @amberpep. I can hear the concern in your voice. I’m sorry you are worried about Klonopin (clonazepam) and what might happen if you start tapering off of it. We understand some of these medications can be challenging to stop taking.

It’s important to know you are not alone. I’m tagging @jimhd, @janetdh , @hazelblumberg, and @lauren123 , who have experience with clonazepam, as well as some other members who have participated in our Mental Health Group here on Connect, @johnjames, @predictable, @blindeyepug, @gailb, and @contentandwell, in hopes they may be able to provide some support. We are here for you and want to discuss anything that is worrying you.

You mentioned sometimes you think it would just be better if you were dead. Please know we are very glad you are here and for your participation in this community. If at any point you start to feel like you may consider hurting yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for immediate help. Your safety is the most important thing to us.

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@lisalucier – Hi there Lisa and friends of Connect. I just noticed this topic and wanted to weigh in on my experience with Klonopin or Clonazepam. I started with Klonopin probably over 20 years back and moved to Clonazepam the generic when it became available. It was perscribed for me by a Psychiatrist for panic attacks. I have taken 1.0mg this entire time and it has done the job for the most part. I am still somewhat reluctant to drive accross tall bridges and would prefer to stay off freeways, but I am doing this again as long as my wife is riding with me. There was a period of time when I could not fly (not literally, ha ha) and I have been now able to fly which is wonderful!
Over all these years it often comes up from my Dr. about where am I at with this drug and have been given several options, but I have typically said "why change when something works"? Occasionaly I forget to take my little blue pill and if I go all day I am very spacie. I hate that I feel so addicted to it and would prefer that not be the case, but as I said why change what works.
More recently I have been giving it more thought and have had that conversation with my Dr. and he said he would put together a plan to do this if I want and I guess I need to take the next step. We will see where this goes. I will keep you posted if I do and I wanted to tell everyone I appreciate each of you and your transparency on this topic. Jim @thankful

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Hi Jim- My thought would be if it ain't broke why fix it. Panic Attacks are no fun!
Best wishes
Ainsleigh

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My thoughts on this @ansleigh, restrictions are soon coming on Benzos. I do not like the thoughts of being addicted to them, plus having to raise the dosage from time to time as your body adapts to them. I am going to try, I may not succeed, but I'll give it a whirl to see if I can let go

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@imabamagal– We are behind you & wish you much success! Jim @thankful

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@imabamagal

My thoughts on this @ansleigh, restrictions are soon coming on Benzos. I do not like the thoughts of being addicted to them, plus having to raise the dosage from time to time as your body adapts to them. I am going to try, I may not succeed, but I'll give it a whirl to see if I can let go

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Hi @imabamagal
I know we are all different and must do what we feel is best for us. In my case I have been on .5 mg. of clonazepam for a very long time. Have not been aware of any negative effects at all and have not felt any need to bump up the dose ever. I take it at night and get a good night's sleep. (I take it several hours before I go to bed).
Best wishes
Ainsleigh

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@thankful

@lisalucier – Hi there Lisa and friends of Connect. I just noticed this topic and wanted to weigh in on my experience with Klonopin or Clonazepam. I started with Klonopin probably over 20 years back and moved to Clonazepam the generic when it became available. It was perscribed for me by a Psychiatrist for panic attacks. I have taken 1.0mg this entire time and it has done the job for the most part. I am still somewhat reluctant to drive accross tall bridges and would prefer to stay off freeways, but I am doing this again as long as my wife is riding with me. There was a period of time when I could not fly (not literally, ha ha) and I have been now able to fly which is wonderful!
Over all these years it often comes up from my Dr. about where am I at with this drug and have been given several options, but I have typically said "why change when something works"? Occasionaly I forget to take my little blue pill and if I go all day I am very spacie. I hate that I feel so addicted to it and would prefer that not be the case, but as I said why change what works.
More recently I have been giving it more thought and have had that conversation with my Dr. and he said he would put together a plan to do this if I want and I guess I need to take the next step. We will see where this goes. I will keep you posted if I do and I wanted to tell everyone I appreciate each of you and your transparency on this topic. Jim @thankful

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benzo "addictions" — although I hate that word — because it has some negative connotations in our society — are starting to get the media's attention…in part because the benzos are difficult to stop – but more so because they are contributing to ODs for people with opioid issues. We do live in a world of judgement – but I think the real reason to trying to get off them — or at least not take every day — is that you will likely build up a tolerance…even if it doesn't lead you to take more than prescribed. Think of it like the antibiotics — tolerance is not dissimilar from resistance — so if there were a change in your emotional situation — the physicians might have to prescribe a more powerful drug or dosage to help you cope in the future.

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I am about to start tapering off of Klonopin. I was been on benzos. for 30 years. The current dose I take is 1mg. 3 times a day. I take 1mg in the morning, 1mg. at lunchtime & 1mg. at 6pm. I have tried 3 times in the past at short term in-patient facilities and the withdrawal was so unbearable that I just could not do it. My doctor is going to start a "substitution taper" using Valium. The 1st taper will be from the 6pm dose & I will take .75mg. of Klonopin & add 15mg Valium to this dose. The 2nd taper will decrease am dose to .75mg of Klonopin & add 15mg. Valium to this dose. The 3rd taper will decrease lunchtime dose to .75mg. of Klonopin & add 15mg. Valium to that dose. I will be tapering off .25mg. every 3-weeks, so this is going to be a very slow taper. The taper schedule is called "The Ashton Taper," which has taper schedules for every benzo. out there. I know this is going to take me 18 months, but I know this is the ONLY way I will be able to do it. Has any one else tapered off Klonopin in this way?

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In regards to PCP's I do have to differ. I feel that they are more understanding when it comes to knowledge that you can't do any kind of rapid taper off benozos. Especially after being on them for over 25 years like I have.
I have been seeing the same psychiatrist for 25 years & every time in the past 10 years I have asked to be taken off the benzos, because they are not helping my anxiety, but making it worse he has either told me I have been on them to long to ever get off of them or that I would have to go in-patient. I have tried the "in-patient approach" 3-times in the last 10-years, The last time was in October 2015. They took me off 4mg. of Klonopin in less than 14-days & sent me home the day they gave me my last dose of 1mg. Within 2-days the withdrawal was so severe that I ended up having 16 gran mal seizures back-to-back & ended up in the hospital ICU for a week. The withdrawals were horrific. After leaving the hospital, I went back to my psychiatrist & he put me right back on them. I was able to taper myself down to 3mg. It took a year.
Supposedly the Ashton Taper is the best way to go and everything I have researched on it states that you have little to no withdrawal. It may take 1 /12 to 2 years, but the way I look at it is I have been on them for over 25 years, so what's the big deal of taking my time getting off of them so I won't have to suffer with the terrible withdrawal.
You should google "The Ashton Report" & on the 1st page you will see the section on "Tapering Schedules."

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