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

@linda66

I started with a dosage of 200mg of quetiapine at night and 200xr during supper. I started tapering the nighttime medication at a rate of 50 mg every two weeks until I was completely tapered off this dosage . Then I stared tapering the quetiapine xr at a rate of 50 mg every two months. I am now only on 50 mg of quetiapine at supper. I also take 0.5 mg of clonazepam twice a day. I missed a few dosages of clonazepam a week ago and noticed difficulty sleeping at night. I also am having difficulty falling asleep and I am waking up earlier than I used to ( around 6: am ). I have had about 5 hours of sleep during the past two days instead of my regular 8 hours. Everything was going smoothly until I forgot taking the pills at night. I am following this tapering schedule from my psychiatrist.

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Hi, @linda66 – that is wise that you got this tapering schedule from your psychiatrist and that you are trying to taper off the clonazepam and the quetiapine one at a time.

Hoping members discussing clonazepam here, like @mel6415 @thankful @beatester @imabamagal @gman007 and others may have some insights for you as you navigate the tapering process with both medications.

Wondering if your psychiatrist is planning to put you on different medications after these tapers or move to another type of treatment?

@lisalucier

Hi, @linda66 – that is wise that you got this tapering schedule from your psychiatrist and that you are trying to taper off the clonazepam and the quetiapine one at a time.

Hoping members discussing clonazepam here, like @mel6415 @thankful @beatester @imabamagal @gman007 and others may have some insights for you as you navigate the tapering process with both medications.

Wondering if your psychiatrist is planning to put you on different medications after these tapers or move to another type of treatment?

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I will only start tapering the clonazepam once I finish the quetiapine taper. I probably will start next year depending on how this quetiapine taper goes. Actually this is the third medication that I have tapered since November 2017 after I came out of the hospital in October. It is a long story , but I went there since I was unable to sleep which was caused by severe back pain. Instead they put me on several different medications and didn't treat the pain. ( trazadone 50 mg, quetiapine 200mg, quetiapine xr 200mg , clonazepam 1mg and tramazapam. As well as baclofen and naproxen. They even suggested that I try ECT to treat my depression and misdiagnosed me with manic depression. During this time the doctors continued to increase the dosages to the point that it will take me at least two years to completely taper off these medications. As well they never discussed any of the negative side effects of these drugs with me before they increased the medications.

Liked by mel6415

@linda66

I will only start tapering the clonazepam once I finish the quetiapine taper. I probably will start next year depending on how this quetiapine taper goes. Actually this is the third medication that I have tapered since November 2017 after I came out of the hospital in October. It is a long story , but I went there since I was unable to sleep which was caused by severe back pain. Instead they put me on several different medications and didn't treat the pain. ( trazadone 50 mg, quetiapine 200mg, quetiapine xr 200mg , clonazepam 1mg and tramazapam. As well as baclofen and naproxen. They even suggested that I try ECT to treat my depression and misdiagnosed me with manic depression. During this time the doctors continued to increase the dosages to the point that it will take me at least two years to completely taper off these medications. As well they never discussed any of the negative side effects of these drugs with me before they increased the medications.

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Wow! Sounds like you are a very strong person to be able to have tapered off what you have so far. Regardless of the medicine it seems like getting off of them is so hard. In regards to the clonazepam – I am currently taking 3mg. & this is the lowest dose I have ever been on for the 25+years I have been on benzos. I have tried to get off of them 3 times in the past 10 years to go in-patient & taper down. They tapered me down WAY TOO FAST every time – 7-14 days total. The last time was in 2015 & I was on 5mg. of clonazepam & went in-patient and they took me off in less than 14-days. DON'T DO IT THIS FAST! I know you are only on 1mg., but you need benzo. withdrawal is the absolute worst & can cause mental psychosis.
Google "The Ashton Taper" & look at the taper schedule for clonazepam. This is a "substitute taper" where valium is used to taper down the dose. Or do a "gradual taper" by .125mg. every 2-3 weeks, stop 1-week, then continue.
I am about to start a taper & my psychiatrist and I TOGETHER decided that I am going to taper .125mg. every 3-weeks, then go 1-week with no changes, then continue. It is going to take me about a year & a half to get off of them completely. This is completely fine with me, because considering I have been on them for over 25+ years & have been through the 3 "fast-tapers" that resulted in horrible withdrawal I would not do it any other way!
Wishing you the best of luck!

Same to you with your tapering schedule. I will mention the Ashton taper to my psychiatrist during my next appointment with him.

@cmgslc

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

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Make sure you have the care of your physician. My internist knows that I am tapering down. I am still….after months at .5mg at bedtime. I have had a bit of an upset with my health, so am not going to taper down again until I get that figured out. I just don't need to deal with the added stress. While I am quite sure that the .5mg of klonopin is doing nothing for me but keeping the withdrawals at bay, I am not strong enough emotionally to withstand the withdrawals. But at least I know how my body reacts so it won't be so scary. The L-theanine has actually helped and I am sleeping very well now. In fact, sleeping too much due to wonky blood issues. But, it shouldn't be a horrible thing and should be able to get back on track with a taper within a few months. I do need a meniscus repair, so there will be that. Maybe when I am down for a few weeks after that. I don't know. But I do know that going down .5mg at a time is way too much. And every two weeks is way too fast. I'll have to do .125mg for at least a month. When I get down to .25mg I will feel ecstatic. But, that may not happen for a while. I'm not pushing it and I don't think anyone should. If you have depression, panic disorder or anxiety disorder then do not do it alone. And make sure that you are under the watchful eye of a physician. One who is well informed. Be careful. Let us know how you do.

@linda66

I started with a dosage of 200mg of quetiapine at night and 200xr during supper. I started tapering the nighttime medication at a rate of 50 mg every two weeks until I was completely tapered off this dosage . Then I stared tapering the quetiapine xr at a rate of 50 mg every two months. I am now only on 50 mg of quetiapine at supper. I also take 0.5 mg of clonazepam twice a day. I missed a few dosages of clonazepam a week ago and noticed difficulty sleeping at night. I also am having difficulty falling asleep and I am waking up earlier than I used to ( around 6: am ). I have had about 5 hours of sleep during the past two days instead of my regular 8 hours. Everything was going smoothly until I forgot taking the pills at night. I am following this tapering schedule from my psychiatrist.

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Thanks Linda. Why did your psychiatrist want you to stop taking clonazepam? Also, I keep a daily record of what I take and review it every night, It really helps me with keeping track of my scheduled doses. I also make comments if something happens I think is important. I appreciate your help.

@youngsally

My guess is that knowledge varies from MD to MD….a lot depending on age, training, specializations and clinical beliefs. Your psychiatrist sounds very conservative — and that isn't bad. It strikes me that the Ashton taper is well known – at least among people on this thread. It is certainly worth trying. If you can go more quickly great…if it takes longer…that's fine, too. Keep working with all your doctors – I find it's good to email or VM to keep everyone in the loop – and good luck!

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@youngsally– Thank you for your encouragement & sage advice! Jim@thankful

@lauren123

Thanks Linda. Why did your psychiatrist want you to stop taking clonazepam? Also, I keep a daily record of what I take and review it every night, It really helps me with keeping track of my scheduled doses. I also make comments if something happens I think is important. I appreciate your help.

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This was discussed with my psychiatrist after I came out of the hospital. I was there for a month due to insomnia , I wasn't able to sleep because of severe back pain and they put me on several different medications . As well they misdiagnosed me with bipolar. I am mainly tapering these medications one at a time because I don't want to be dependant on them for the rest of my life and I don't like the negative side effects of each of them. All of my medications are in a blister pack which makes it easier for me to remember to take during the day. I was somtimes forgetting to take them when they were in bottles. However , I have occasionally forgotten to take the nighttime medications which made it difficult to sleep the next day.

@judith2

Make sure you have the care of your physician. My internist knows that I am tapering down. I am still….after months at .5mg at bedtime. I have had a bit of an upset with my health, so am not going to taper down again until I get that figured out. I just don't need to deal with the added stress. While I am quite sure that the .5mg of klonopin is doing nothing for me but keeping the withdrawals at bay, I am not strong enough emotionally to withstand the withdrawals. But at least I know how my body reacts so it won't be so scary. The L-theanine has actually helped and I am sleeping very well now. In fact, sleeping too much due to wonky blood issues. But, it shouldn't be a horrible thing and should be able to get back on track with a taper within a few months. I do need a meniscus repair, so there will be that. Maybe when I am down for a few weeks after that. I don't know. But I do know that going down .5mg at a time is way too much. And every two weeks is way too fast. I'll have to do .125mg for at least a month. When I get down to .25mg I will feel ecstatic. But, that may not happen for a while. I'm not pushing it and I don't think anyone should. If you have depression, panic disorder or anxiety disorder then do not do it alone. And make sure that you are under the watchful eye of a physician. One who is well informed. Be careful. Let us know how you do.

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I have never heard of L theanine, are there any drug interactions with the clonazepam and Seroquel ?

Hello, Martyman. I would like to know how you are doing with your Klonopin taper. I am 59 y.o. & have been on Clonazepam 1mg for 20+ years. I have begun a 10% reduction for 4 weeks today. I have read that reducing from 0.5mg is the toughest part. Thanks in advance for your reply.

@lisalucier

Hi, @linda66 – that is wise that you got this tapering schedule from your psychiatrist and that you are trying to taper off the clonazepam and the quetiapine one at a time.

Hoping members discussing clonazepam here, like @mel6415 @thankful @beatester @imabamagal @gman007 and others may have some insights for you as you navigate the tapering process with both medications.

Wondering if your psychiatrist is planning to put you on different medications after these tapers or move to another type of treatment?

Jump to this post

Hi. I just joined this forum. I was wonderingwhere to find posts about withdrawal Oxazepam (Serax) and Zopiclone? Short halflife meds I feel horrible tappering Serax and hope to "meet" more people in the same situation and support. Thank you

@annesj

Hi. I just joined this forum. I was wonderingwhere to find posts about withdrawal Oxazepam (Serax) and Zopiclone? Short halflife meds I feel horrible tappering Serax and hope to "meet" more people in the same situation and support. Thank you

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Hi, @annesj – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Here are some posts that might interest you:

– on weaning off of oxazepam (Serapax) with CBD oil, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/using-cbd-oil-to-help-withdraw-from-serapax-benzo/?utm_campaign=search

– on benzo (benzodiazapine) withdrawal, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/benzo-withdrawal/?utm_campaign=search

– on benzodiazapine risks, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/strongest-fda-warnings-out-on-opioid-benzodiazapine-risks/?pg=3#comment-102601

I'd also welcome you to start a new discussion, if you'd prefer, in the Mental Health group. Go to Groups>Group Directory>Mental Health, then under the top banner, you will see a gray box to the upper left that says "Start a New Discussion." Click on that to start a new conversation.

Liked by annesj

Much goodness I wish to you.I am tapering off of Klonopin as well.I was placed on 2mg tabs twice a day for several years.Im having the same horrific withdrawal symptoms.I was told that it would take 3 to 4 months to complete the weaning process.The med has damaged my frontal and prefrontal cortex (problem solving area of the brain)I hope the best for you.Oh and meditation,lots of cardio exercise, drink lots of water,keep a gratitude journal, watch as much funny and light natured movies as you can find,and any other positive distractions that you can find.Im pulling for you Miss.

@amberpep

Thank you all for your kind replies. I know,in my head, you’re all right … I think it’s just being alone so much, too much time to think, and there has been a lot of upheaval in my life the passed 12 years …… first 12 years ago I left my husband of 40 years – he has a personality disorder and I could no longer live with the emotional and verbal abuse, I moved in for 2 years with a girlfriend from my church, after 2 years I bought a condo. and was blissfully happy there ……. all the while my kids were hounding me to move closer to them – about 4 hours away …… I finally relented and moved; I’ve hated it here for these 2 years, so I now am moving again to a smaller town. It seems like all I do is pack, unpack, pack, unpack. And now this whole thing with my therapist has me very ill at ease. When I had the breakdown, about 5 years ago, a girlfriend took me to the hospital, and they evaluated me for a day. If I was suicidal, I would have been admitted. I actually was on the edge of suicide, but told them no. Then they enrolled me in a 4 week day program from 9 – 3 at the hospital which was a group with folks with all sorts of issues, but we were all there for the same reason …. we needed additional help and we were hanging on the edge. It was a wonderful 4 weeks. That probably sounds crazy, but from the first day we all connected and no two of us were alike ….. there were people on drugs, a man who was gay and had a “wife”, a girl who periodically hallucinated, people like me with either cyclothymia or bi-polar. It was a wonderful group of friends.
If I had my choice of anything …. I’d move back to Frederick, rent a condo in the same complex I was in (I sold my other one), keep going to my therapist and psychiatrist, and possibly go back to that group for another 4 weeks. Once you’ve been in it, you can come back. On top of that, I feel very old, useless, and that there’s nothing left for me anymore. So what’s the point? I had a knee replacement and revision about 5 years ago, but otherwise, I’m very healthy …… except for my brain. I just feel like I’m taking up space.
abby

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I pray that you can taper off successfully.Im slowly tapering, and I do suffer as well with horrific withdrawal symptoms.Im attempting to taper slowly.This process will take 3to 4 months(I'm hoping).Remember to consult your doctor before making any changes in your dosage.

@lisalucier

Hi, @annesj – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Here are some posts that might interest you:

– on weaning off of oxazepam (Serapax) with CBD oil, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/using-cbd-oil-to-help-withdraw-from-serapax-benzo/?utm_campaign=search

– on benzo (benzodiazapine) withdrawal, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/benzo-withdrawal/?utm_campaign=search

– on benzodiazapine risks, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/strongest-fda-warnings-out-on-opioid-benzodiazapine-risks/?pg=3#comment-102601

I'd also welcome you to start a new discussion, if you'd prefer, in the Mental Health group. Go to Groups>Group Directory>Mental Health, then under the top banner, you will see a gray box to the upper left that says "Start a New Discussion." Click on that to start a new conversation.

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Thank you

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