Protracted Benzo withdrawal

Posted by aarniek @aarniek, Oct 30, 2016

Taken of 8mg of Ativan daily in 3 weeks and suffering terribly nearly 4 years now! Unable to walk ,have insane muscle tightness,no memory,tinnius is unbearable,unable to picture things in my mind ! After 45 months it’s worse than ever and 2 neurologists have tried only medications which all made me even worse!

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@johnhans

I successfully got off a benzodiazepene in January. It took a while to get off of, but I am very happy I did. I have much clearer thinking now. Slow tapering and being positive of the results happening are key to getting off of these meds. Dosage will determine how long it will take. Plan on months.

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@johnhans– what was the dosage you were on before you began tapering? Ji @thankful

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@thankful

@johnhans– what was the dosage you were on before you began tapering? Ji @thankful

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I believe that it was 1 mg but I'm not really sure what the exact dose was.

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After almost 6 years off my benzo ,I am actually getting worse and if I didn't have friend on other benzo sites,I would not believe it's still protracted benzo withdrawal! My muscles are so tight It takes all I have too get to the bathroom and my head pressure along with the severe tinnitus is maddening, What I want to know is has anyone found any food or drink that helps even a tiny bit or any OTC medicine that helps? If I had the ability to get to the Mayo Clinic in Florida I would go there but I don't think there is anything they could do as I have seen 4 neurologists and the best one did was tell me to go back on klonipin for 30 days and my symptoms would abate and I could stop it after 30 days !( did not do that) and my normal neurologist has done thousand of dollars worth of MRI's and MRA's plus blood tests,all normal and has scheduled a 72 hour EEG and wil comment on the results next month!

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@aarniek

After almost 6 years off my benzo ,I am actually getting worse and if I didn't have friend on other benzo sites,I would not believe it's still protracted benzo withdrawal! My muscles are so tight It takes all I have too get to the bathroom and my head pressure along with the severe tinnitus is maddening, What I want to know is has anyone found any food or drink that helps even a tiny bit or any OTC medicine that helps? If I had the ability to get to the Mayo Clinic in Florida I would go there but I don't think there is anything they could do as I have seen 4 neurologists and the best one did was tell me to go back on klonipin for 30 days and my symptoms would abate and I could stop it after 30 days !( did not do that) and my normal neurologist has done thousand of dollars worth of MRI's and MRA's plus blood tests,all normal and has scheduled a 72 hour EEG and wil comment on the results next month!

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Have you ever asked a doctor for the old muscle relaxer Soma? I know you mentioned a few didn’t work but I didn’t see that one. I too am going through a very difficult benzodiazepine taper my doctor is giving me Soma to help me sleep. It’s perhaps why I don’t have the muscle symptoms although I cannot say for sure. Certainly my heart goes out to you. I also don’t see how Klonopin at this point would help. Sending prayers to you. Three weeks of tapering is inhumane. I’ve taken Ativan, then Klonopin, now my taper is Valium but it’s months.

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@johnhans

I believe that it was 1 mg but I'm not really sure what the exact dose was.

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@johnhans– Did you do this over 4 tapers and over how much time? Jim @thankful

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@thankful

@johnhans– Did you do this over 4 tapers and over how much time? Jim @thankful

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I first started by actually forgetting to take it for about 3 days and then going to tapering down. I went down by .5 mg each time. It took 2-3 months, but do not remember exact time.

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Reply to @aarniek. I have gone through a similar experience which I can share with you. But for doing so I need to know which Benzo were you taking, and in what dosage, before you stopped taking it six years ago. I, too, suffered from tinnitus and severe pressure in the head, but it's gone now. Look forward to hearing from you. God bless you.

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@pankaj

Reply to @aarniek. I have gone through a similar experience which I can share with you. But for doing so I need to know which Benzo were you taking, and in what dosage, before you stopped taking it six years ago. I, too, suffered from tinnitus and severe pressure in the head, but it's gone now. Look forward to hearing from you. God bless you.

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I think he mentioned 8mg of Ativan at the beginning and was “tapered” in 3 weeks. I just joined this group a few days ago I’ve been particularly concerned about this man. I myself am going through a benzodiazepine taper I’m glad to hear you’ve healed. God bless us all for the amount of sheer misery tapering benzodiazepines and symptoms created from them.

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In reply to @aarniek and @hopeful123. Whether a benzo is needed or not depends on the severity of the illness. In certain very severe cases, a benzo, in addition to antidepressants, may be required for an indefinite period of time, perhaps for several decades, or even the rest of one's life. In such cases, it may simply not be possible to taper the benzo to zero. If that is attempted, as appears to have happened in the case of @aarniek, the result may be extreme, unbearable misery, as described by him. So one has to make a choice: live a miserable life without a benzo, or take a benzo–at the lowest necessary dose–and lead a normal, bearable, life. There are many people who have opted–wisely, in my view–for the latter. Quality of life is a very important consideration, and if that requires taking a benzo, so be it. Of course, the best option would be to stop the benzo altogether, but as explained above, that may not be possible in all cases. The case of @aarniek appears to be one such case. His anxiety appears to be very severe. In addition to a benzo and an antidepressant, his doctor could consider prescribing a low dose of Pregabalin, say 150 mg at bedtime. My doctor prescribed it to me about 10 months ago, and after taking it there was a significant improvement in my sleep. My anxiety was reduced, and my tinnitus was gone, after I had suffered from it for more than 5 years. I hope this is of some help to @aarniek and others suffering from severe anxiety. Reducing benzos to zero just for the sake of reduction, without considering its impact on the quality of life of the patient, is neither here nor there. It only inflicts more suffering and pain on him/her. This has been my own experience. I hope others will find it of some help. Thanks.

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@pankaj

In reply to @aarniek and @hopeful123. Whether a benzo is needed or not depends on the severity of the illness. In certain very severe cases, a benzo, in addition to antidepressants, may be required for an indefinite period of time, perhaps for several decades, or even the rest of one's life. In such cases, it may simply not be possible to taper the benzo to zero. If that is attempted, as appears to have happened in the case of @aarniek, the result may be extreme, unbearable misery, as described by him. So one has to make a choice: live a miserable life without a benzo, or take a benzo–at the lowest necessary dose–and lead a normal, bearable, life. There are many people who have opted–wisely, in my view–for the latter. Quality of life is a very important consideration, and if that requires taking a benzo, so be it. Of course, the best option would be to stop the benzo altogether, but as explained above, that may not be possible in all cases. The case of @aarniek appears to be one such case. His anxiety appears to be very severe. In addition to a benzo and an antidepressant, his doctor could consider prescribing a low dose of Pregabalin, say 150 mg at bedtime. My doctor prescribed it to me about 10 months ago, and after taking it there was a significant improvement in my sleep. My anxiety was reduced, and my tinnitus was gone, after I had suffered from it for more than 5 years. I hope this is of some help to @aarniek and others suffering from severe anxiety. Reducing benzos to zero just for the sake of reduction, without considering its impact on the quality of life of the patient, is neither here nor there. It only inflicts more suffering and pain on him/her. This has been my own experience. I hope others will find it of some help. Thanks.

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I agree. I cannot tolerate Lyrica I’m thrilled you’ve found some relief with it though. I can’t remember anything on it. I did add the antidepressant Celexa a few days ago because the quality of life I am experiencing is so poor. I also become tolerant to benzodiazepines very quickly for some reason so if I tried to stay on them for good I’d need enormous doses. I have high hopes for the Celexa which I could see being on the rest of my life. It’s possible he does need them for good as I think he said he’s in his 80s. Thank you for posting your thoughts.

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@pankaj

In reply to @aarniek and @hopeful123. Whether a benzo is needed or not depends on the severity of the illness. In certain very severe cases, a benzo, in addition to antidepressants, may be required for an indefinite period of time, perhaps for several decades, or even the rest of one's life. In such cases, it may simply not be possible to taper the benzo to zero. If that is attempted, as appears to have happened in the case of @aarniek, the result may be extreme, unbearable misery, as described by him. So one has to make a choice: live a miserable life without a benzo, or take a benzo–at the lowest necessary dose–and lead a normal, bearable, life. There are many people who have opted–wisely, in my view–for the latter. Quality of life is a very important consideration, and if that requires taking a benzo, so be it. Of course, the best option would be to stop the benzo altogether, but as explained above, that may not be possible in all cases. The case of @aarniek appears to be one such case. His anxiety appears to be very severe. In addition to a benzo and an antidepressant, his doctor could consider prescribing a low dose of Pregabalin, say 150 mg at bedtime. My doctor prescribed it to me about 10 months ago, and after taking it there was a significant improvement in my sleep. My anxiety was reduced, and my tinnitus was gone, after I had suffered from it for more than 5 years. I hope this is of some help to @aarniek and others suffering from severe anxiety. Reducing benzos to zero just for the sake of reduction, without considering its impact on the quality of life of the patient, is neither here nor there. It only inflicts more suffering and pain on him/her. This has been my own experience. I hope others will find it of some help. Thanks.

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In my case my tapering after 30+ years of 6mgs of Clonazepam daily, was suggested by my GP. After ending up in the hospital twice, because I was such a wreck, he still wants to try it again! so I asked to have a referral to a psychiatrist, to help me understand why 3 of us siblings suffer the same symptoms, only they are not being pressured into a taper. He did not even give me a reply to my request! So now I feel like I do not have a choice, but I know I could not go through this again!

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@lorraine59

In my case my tapering after 30+ years of 6mgs of Clonazepam daily, was suggested by my GP. After ending up in the hospital twice, because I was such a wreck, he still wants to try it again! so I asked to have a referral to a psychiatrist, to help me understand why 3 of us siblings suffer the same symptoms, only they are not being pressured into a taper. He did not even give me a reply to my request! So now I feel like I do not have a choice, but I know I could not go through this again!

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That is quite a predicament. Just wondering, @lorraine59, have you tried tapering off Clonazepam by using an antidepressant? Many people on Connect have spoken about that. Also, can you make an appointment with a psychiatrist without your GP's referral?

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