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!

@aarniek

I read it's a symptom of stress/ anxiety so if we can take something for those,like the benzo I am suffering from the protracted benzo withdrawal from,the muscle issue would be relieved and what can we take that is not a benzo or benzo like medication?

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There is nothing to take for Benzo WD.

You could take something for the tight muscles that doesn’t work on GABA.

Some people find magnesium helpful but that is GABAergic.

If you are in a country that prescribed it some people find Flexeril helpful, some find Tizanidine helpful.

It depends why your muscles are tight.

If it is tightness rather than true spasm the above probably eon’t Help.

The best thing is cold (ice packs wrapped to prevent burning) alternated with moist heat.

Also trying to gradually increase very gentle exercises (look up stuff you can do in bed if necessay such as those for people with ME CFS).

If at all possible see a good physio who does rehab with people who are very debilitated or recovering from strokes or works with people with other neurological conditions or brain injuries. You ought to be able to get someone to come to your home for that.

It won’t be easy and it will be painful but it is the only way I think.

I see a physio and massage therapist but as I taper down again the sensory, perceptual and muscle stuff gets worse and worse as does the terror of everything in my own house.

I don’t think you will make any progress without physio/rehab help.

Also, what is your diet like. Many people find either the Keto or wholefood plant based diet helps a lot.

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Saying there's nothing you can take for benzo withdrawal isn't factually correct. Alot of people fear magnesium out of the chance of having a setback. I've been on it for three months, and it's consistently relieved 'some' symptoms. When you combine a small amount of THC and CBD, the effects are alot better. I have a full window about three days a week thanks to that combo. And that has allowed me to get back to studying and continue in my pursuit towards graduating college

Before these two supplements I was in chronic torture. I'm currently 4 years and 8 months off of 2mg of Xanax (3 years use)

If you're suffering for that long, you should start the process of opening your mind towards supplements or therapies. Very glad I took the risk

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@james88

Saying there's nothing you can take for benzo withdrawal isn't factually correct. Alot of people fear magnesium out of the chance of having a setback. I've been on it for three months, and it's consistently relieved 'some' symptoms. When you combine a small amount of THC and CBD, the effects are alot better. I have a full window about three days a week thanks to that combo. And that has allowed me to get back to studying and continue in my pursuit towards graduating college

Before these two supplements I was in chronic torture. I'm currently 4 years and 8 months off of 2mg of Xanax (3 years use)

If you're suffering for that long, you should start the process of opening your mind towards supplements or therapies. Very glad I took the risk

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@james88– Way to Go James! Jim @thankful

Liked by james88

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@james88

Saying there's nothing you can take for benzo withdrawal isn't factually correct. Alot of people fear magnesium out of the chance of having a setback. I've been on it for three months, and it's consistently relieved 'some' symptoms. When you combine a small amount of THC and CBD, the effects are alot better. I have a full window about three days a week thanks to that combo. And that has allowed me to get back to studying and continue in my pursuit towards graduating college

Before these two supplements I was in chronic torture. I'm currently 4 years and 8 months off of 2mg of Xanax (3 years use)

If you're suffering for that long, you should start the process of opening your mind towards supplements or therapies. Very glad I took the risk

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I’m glad you have found something that helps you. Unfortunately I have tried all of those things.

Magnesium makes the movement disorder I have developed in WD much worse.

I will certainly try it again once I am off again completely and given it a good 6 months.

Thanks for letting me know.

I took it for years prior to WD and found it helpful.

Liked by james88

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Hi:) just a quick bit about what brought me here. I have been on 10 mg Lexapro since my special needs daughter was born (9 years)…originally to just help me cope with the extra stresses. I functioned great all this time, then in August, out of “nowhere”..I was hit by a panic attack. Didn’t know at the time so called 911…thought I was dying. Ended up in ER many times throughout August. I refused to believe there wasn’t something more happening. But I had ALOT of testing and all was normal. Beginning of September, a doc in ER prescribed me .5 Clonazepam twice a day, after I came in begging to be admitted. Originally it was to just get me through the long wkd and the. Follow up with family doc. Family doc only gave me 5-10 pills at a time due to the long term affects of this med. It took the panic away completely and I got my life back. I also started seeing a therapist because I didn’t want to keep relying on meds, as well as my own research into why the first attack may have occurred. I was referred to a psychiatrist to oversee the rest of treatment. He kept me on Clonazepam, so I have been on it for 3 months plus my 10 mg Lexapro. A few weeks ago we started discussing the wean. It’s been 7 days now, and I cut back from .5 to .25 twice a day. I feel a bit lightheaded and headache off and on, but of nausea, but overall I’m doing pretty well I think.
I’m looking for people experience successfully weaning off a benzodiazepine…
Thanks!

Liked by Leonard

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@taras12

Hi:) just a quick bit about what brought me here. I have been on 10 mg Lexapro since my special needs daughter was born (9 years)…originally to just help me cope with the extra stresses. I functioned great all this time, then in August, out of “nowhere”..I was hit by a panic attack. Didn’t know at the time so called 911…thought I was dying. Ended up in ER many times throughout August. I refused to believe there wasn’t something more happening. But I had ALOT of testing and all was normal. Beginning of September, a doc in ER prescribed me .5 Clonazepam twice a day, after I came in begging to be admitted. Originally it was to just get me through the long wkd and the. Follow up with family doc. Family doc only gave me 5-10 pills at a time due to the long term affects of this med. It took the panic away completely and I got my life back. I also started seeing a therapist because I didn’t want to keep relying on meds, as well as my own research into why the first attack may have occurred. I was referred to a psychiatrist to oversee the rest of treatment. He kept me on Clonazepam, so I have been on it for 3 months plus my 10 mg Lexapro. A few weeks ago we started discussing the wean. It’s been 7 days now, and I cut back from .5 to .25 twice a day. I feel a bit lightheaded and headache off and on, but of nausea, but overall I’m doing pretty well I think.
I’m looking for people experience successfully weaning off a benzodiazepine…
Thanks!

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Hi, @taras12 – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Thanks for the background about what brought you to this site. You may notice I moved your discussion and combined it with a discussion titled, "Protracted Benzo Withdrawal." I did this so the members discussing benzodiazepine withdrawal would see your message and so you could read some of their previous posts. If you are replying by email, you can click on VIEW & REPLY to be taken to the new location.

You mentioned wanting to see a therapist so you would not have to be as reliant on medications and do do some research on why the first panic attack may have occurred. How is your talk therapy going so far?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @taras12 – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Thanks for the background about what brought you to this site. You may notice I moved your discussion and combined it with a discussion titled, "Protracted Benzo Withdrawal." I did this so the members discussing benzodiazepine withdrawal would see your message and so you could read some of their previous posts. If you are replying by email, you can click on VIEW & REPLY to be taken to the new location.

You mentioned wanting to see a therapist so you would not have to be as reliant on medications and do do some research on why the first panic attack may have occurred. How is your talk therapy going so far?

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I successfully got off of at least 1 mg of clonazepam. Your .5 should be relatively easy since you have not been on it long. Keep us updated on how it is going.

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@taras12

Hi:) just a quick bit about what brought me here. I have been on 10 mg Lexapro since my special needs daughter was born (9 years)…originally to just help me cope with the extra stresses. I functioned great all this time, then in August, out of “nowhere”..I was hit by a panic attack. Didn’t know at the time so called 911…thought I was dying. Ended up in ER many times throughout August. I refused to believe there wasn’t something more happening. But I had ALOT of testing and all was normal. Beginning of September, a doc in ER prescribed me .5 Clonazepam twice a day, after I came in begging to be admitted. Originally it was to just get me through the long wkd and the. Follow up with family doc. Family doc only gave me 5-10 pills at a time due to the long term affects of this med. It took the panic away completely and I got my life back. I also started seeing a therapist because I didn’t want to keep relying on meds, as well as my own research into why the first attack may have occurred. I was referred to a psychiatrist to oversee the rest of treatment. He kept me on Clonazepam, so I have been on it for 3 months plus my 10 mg Lexapro. A few weeks ago we started discussing the wean. It’s been 7 days now, and I cut back from .5 to .25 twice a day. I feel a bit lightheaded and headache off and on, but of nausea, but overall I’m doing pretty well I think.
I’m looking for people experience successfully weaning off a benzodiazepine…
Thanks!

Jump to this post

Klonopin has a long half life, so you won't feel the cuts directly after. Maybe 7-10 days in some instances from my personal experience/observations. But at that dose and length of time on Klonopin, I wouldn't expect a bad WD

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I am also having protracted withdrawal from klonopin. I weaned off .50 at bedtime that I took for 14 years. I did that in 1 month. Was terrible, took me 3 to 4 months for the major fog and ringing in my ears to get bearable. I thought I was finally breaking through it all but now 9 months off it's worse then before. My memory is gone and ringing in my ears are back plus depression has gotten worse. I am already on wellbutrin, trileptal & vyvanse because I am bi-polar but because these werent helping my depression dr added triutillix. That was a few weeks ago and its helping the depression but that's when all my symptoms got really bad again. How do we know if its Alzheimer's or really withdrawal?? I am trying so hard to work through this and act fine when inside I feel like my life is over. I am 64 and I wished I was told more about how bad benzo's are so I could have gotten off them years ago. My psychiatrist said maybe you need then and we can start u back on then if u want!! No I dont want too!!!! I cant find anyone who knows about this and can help me here, my area has a shortage of mental health drs also.

Liked by Parus

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@beckysn

I am also having protracted withdrawal from klonopin. I weaned off .50 at bedtime that I took for 14 years. I did that in 1 month. Was terrible, took me 3 to 4 months for the major fog and ringing in my ears to get bearable. I thought I was finally breaking through it all but now 9 months off it's worse then before. My memory is gone and ringing in my ears are back plus depression has gotten worse. I am already on wellbutrin, trileptal & vyvanse because I am bi-polar but because these werent helping my depression dr added triutillix. That was a few weeks ago and its helping the depression but that's when all my symptoms got really bad again. How do we know if its Alzheimer's or really withdrawal?? I am trying so hard to work through this and act fine when inside I feel like my life is over. I am 64 and I wished I was told more about how bad benzo's are so I could have gotten off them years ago. My psychiatrist said maybe you need then and we can start u back on then if u want!! No I dont want too!!!! I cant find anyone who knows about this and can help me here, my area has a shortage of mental health drs also.

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It's benzo withdrawal. Not Alzheimer's. I understand your fear. It's debilitating. What you're going through, unfortunately, is normal considering your dose and time-frime. I'm very sorry you're going through this. It's not right. We should have been given people caution before taking this med.

Liked by Parus, beckysn

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@james88

It's benzo withdrawal. Not Alzheimer's. I understand your fear. It's debilitating. What you're going through, unfortunately, is normal considering your dose and time-frime. I'm very sorry you're going through this. It's not right. We should have been given people caution before taking this med.

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I am really scared in the last 3 days my memory went from a kind of bad to almost non-functionable. I am about 2 week on a new antidepressant triutillax and havent been sleeping well the last 3 or 4 nights. I have had something similar to this happen to me about 4 years ago I got so bad I couldent barely work. I went through all kinda of tests and they didnt find anything. My ears also hurt a little with this, and said maybe a small amount of fluid in one but not an infection. They gave me antibiotics just because I was desperate to try anything to help. A few days later it went away as fast as it happened. That was 3 years before I weaned off the benzo's. I also worry that being on different anxiety meds and all the different meds I tried
For bipolar and depression the last 26 years have damaged me. No drs i have been to have no idea on what these meds can do to you even a neurologist. I have been working 2 part time jobs through all this. But so hard some days. 😓

Liked by Leonard

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@beckysn

I am really scared in the last 3 days my memory went from a kind of bad to almost non-functionable. I am about 2 week on a new antidepressant triutillax and havent been sleeping well the last 3 or 4 nights. I have had something similar to this happen to me about 4 years ago I got so bad I couldent barely work. I went through all kinda of tests and they didnt find anything. My ears also hurt a little with this, and said maybe a small amount of fluid in one but not an infection. They gave me antibiotics just because I was desperate to try anything to help. A few days later it went away as fast as it happened. That was 3 years before I weaned off the benzo's. I also worry that being on different anxiety meds and all the different meds I tried
For bipolar and depression the last 26 years have damaged me. No drs i have been to have no idea on what these meds can do to you even a neurologist. I have been working 2 part time jobs through all this. But so hard some days. 😓

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Hi, @beckysn – I'd like to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Sorry to hear you are feeling scared with your memory going to almost non-functional during your protracted withdrawal from clonazepam (Klonopin). I imagine it's scary to see your memory capacity go down like this.

I'm tagging members @johnhans @taras12 @jossm @thankful and @gailb to provide some input for you.

Since you are now fully off of the clonazepam (Klonopin) and are adding Trintellix (Vortioxetin), as well as taking bupropion (Wellbutrin), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal) and lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), sounds like there would be a variety of factors in play in the symptoms you are experiencing that would best be deciphered by your psychiatrist.

What has he or she said about this memory problem you are experiencing through these medication changes?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @beckysn – I'd like to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Sorry to hear you are feeling scared with your memory going to almost non-functional during your protracted withdrawal from clonazepam (Klonopin). I imagine it's scary to see your memory capacity go down like this.

I'm tagging members @johnhans @taras12 @jossm @thankful and @gailb to provide some input for you.

Since you are now fully off of the clonazepam (Klonopin) and are adding Trintellix (Vortioxetin), as well as taking bupropion (Wellbutrin), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal) and lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), sounds like there would be a variety of factors in play in the symptoms you are experiencing that would best be deciphered by your psychiatrist.

What has he or she said about this memory problem you are experiencing through these medication changes?

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My psychiatrist is not much help, he does not understand the benzo withdrawal, when I asked to get off of it he said your dose is low so you can just stop it. No it doesnt work like that!! He is more like try this if u want and tried to put me on a second ADD medication. There are no other drs in my area to go to, there is a shortage in my area. The neurologist I went to was also no help and suggested I may need to get back on the benzo because my body may need it to feel better. She also feels the benzo are out of ur system in a few months time so what I am feeling isn't from that!! I have no support from drs I tried!!! Only option is if a cash pay psychiatrist in my area can get me in for advice but I dont have the income to see him on a regular basis if he can even fit me in. And no guarantee he understands this either. Is this normal that drs dont know how to treat this??

Liked by Leonard

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@beckysn

My psychiatrist is not much help, he does not understand the benzo withdrawal, when I asked to get off of it he said your dose is low so you can just stop it. No it doesnt work like that!! He is more like try this if u want and tried to put me on a second ADD medication. There are no other drs in my area to go to, there is a shortage in my area. The neurologist I went to was also no help and suggested I may need to get back on the benzo because my body may need it to feel better. She also feels the benzo are out of ur system in a few months time so what I am feeling isn't from that!! I have no support from drs I tried!!! Only option is if a cash pay psychiatrist in my area can get me in for advice but I dont have the income to see him on a regular basis if he can even fit me in. And no guarantee he understands this either. Is this normal that drs dont know how to treat this??

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It's interesting how you had something similar four years back, and taking an antibiotic cleared it up.

Which antibiotic? Did they give you blood work? Any spinal taps?

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@beckysn

My psychiatrist is not much help, he does not understand the benzo withdrawal, when I asked to get off of it he said your dose is low so you can just stop it. No it doesnt work like that!! He is more like try this if u want and tried to put me on a second ADD medication. There are no other drs in my area to go to, there is a shortage in my area. The neurologist I went to was also no help and suggested I may need to get back on the benzo because my body may need it to feel better. She also feels the benzo are out of ur system in a few months time so what I am feeling isn't from that!! I have no support from drs I tried!!! Only option is if a cash pay psychiatrist in my area can get me in for advice but I dont have the income to see him on a regular basis if he can even fit me in. And no guarantee he understands this either. Is this normal that drs dont know how to treat this??

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I am sorry you are not doing well with your doctor. Having a doctor who you feel comfortable with is important. Yes it does take a while for your body to adjust after discontinuing a benzodiazepene. They can have a long half life and so some can stay in your system. Then your body goes through an adjustment to deal with no longer having the medication. There can be a psychological association with this as well as physical. You now have to deal with relying on yourself rather than medication. This stress can cause forgetfulness. I found that getting rid of my benzodiazepene actually increased my attention. I am retired now so did not care if I had a stressful situation. I just said I can deal with this at home.
You may not have that situation so maybe therapy would help. Talking can help reduce stress. Hopefully your talking about this here is helping some.
Also some antidepressants can cause memory loss. So it may be the antidepressant. Depression can also cause memory loss so maybe can get an increase from your doctor. These are all things to discuss with a doctor and hopefully you can talk to your doctor about why you feel he is not as helpful as you wish. Maybe you two could work on improving your communication. If not I hope you can see the other doctor. And something I do not have, patience to wait, may help as it may just take longer for you to get over the withdrawal and longer for the antidepressant to kick in. Please let us know how you are doing as we do care about you.

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