Starting Klonopin Taper, Scared of the Horror Stories

Posted by njp1013 @njp1013, Jan 26, 2020

Hi all- I am expecting to get a plan from my psychiatrist to begin tapering down .5mg of klonopin 2x daily that I have been on for 4 months (I have been taking buspar for a month and hope to use that as my anxiety med, also am on 225 mg effexor daily), the stories on the internet about doing this are horrifying and right now i feel like the prospect of doing this is the #1 cause of my anxiety, feel like I’m getting ready for surgery or something. Has anyone gone thru this process and found it manageable? I need to hear it’s possible. Thanks.

OK, I confess. I am confused as to why, If the medication is working,why is there such a concerted effort by many to taper off clonazepam. I’m 72, and take 1mg most days. Some days I take two. I have no negative issues of which I am aware. I took as many as four when I had a negative response to Trintellix, and it helped to transition to Prozac, at the instruction of my psychiatrist. Is there some problem fo which relief is sought? I am not downplaying the issues, but I am curious as to what the end game is. Look on this as a teaching moment…

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@elwooodsdad that is actually a great question and one I struggle with. I don’t know 🤷‍♂️. I do know the last couple of days I’m seeing some warning signs telling me to slow down so I’m gonna hold at .5mg until I see my psych again in 2 weeks. Ultimately I will either need to feel well enough to go completely off, or make peace with the fact I do better on it. I’m not in either place yet. Kinda sucks.

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@elwooodsdad

OK, I confess. I am confused as to why, If the medication is working,why is there such a concerted effort by many to taper off clonazepam. I’m 72, and take 1mg most days. Some days I take two. I have no negative issues of which I am aware. I took as many as four when I had a negative response to Trintellix, and it helped to transition to Prozac, at the instruction of my psychiatrist. Is there some problem fo which relief is sought? I am not downplaying the issues, but I am curious as to what the end game is. Look on this as a teaching moment…

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Good Morning, @elwooodsdad, @njp1013, You are right that is a great question, I never even thought about side effects and dependencies until now. I never used any depression and/or anxiety meds….just post-surgery meds. Here is why I chose to taper off Nortriptyline.

Did I need it after 4 years? I spent considerable time learning to accept my diagnosis and to replace depression with activities, distractions and lots of mindful meditation.
Was it truly the cause of the Intolerable digestive issues?
Will the pain still be manageable?
Do I really need so many meds every day?
Can I conquer the depression and then work on the anxiety?

I wanted to travel and spend time with friends and family. My med case looked like a Doctor’s bag from the days of at-home visits.

My PCP and I had a chat. My life partner chimed in with a commitment of support.
What was there to lose?

So I am still in learning mode every day. My goal is to do whatever I can to improve the quality of a life that I share with the realities of small fiber neuropathy. Thank you and other members of Connect who continue to ask questions and advocate for themselves along this journey.

What are you learning now? What still eludes your understanding of the purpose of your medication program?

Be free, safe and protected. Chris

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@elwooodsdad

OK, I confess. I am confused as to why, If the medication is working,why is there such a concerted effort by many to taper off clonazepam. I’m 72, and take 1mg most days. Some days I take two. I have no negative issues of which I am aware. I took as many as four when I had a negative response to Trintellix, and it helped to transition to Prozac, at the instruction of my psychiatrist. Is there some problem fo which relief is sought? I am not downplaying the issues, but I am curious as to what the end game is. Look on this as a teaching moment…

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I’m trying to figure this all out myself! Tapering, not tapering, I’m a nervous wreck!

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@artscaping @sears I think it’s a control thing. With Benzos I just feel like as long as I’m taking them then I’m not well yet, and getting off them is the monster at the end of the book that I have to live in fear of. I want to be well and I don’t want to live in fear. But man it is not easy.

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@njp1013

@artscaping @sears I think it’s a control thing. With Benzos I just feel like as long as I’m taking them then I’m not well yet, and getting off them is the monster at the end of the book that I have to live in fear of. I want to be well and I don’t want to live in fear. But man it is not easy.

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I hate living in fear of not being able to control my anxiety. It’s debilitating. I do so many things to help myself without them. Meditation, tapping, sun, walking, etc. Nothing really works. I’ve been like this since I was a baby. I’m 67 now. I really don’t know how to cope. Can they just leave the older people alone? Same with the opioids. Leave us alone.

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@elwooodsdad

OK, I confess. I am confused as to why, If the medication is working,why is there such a concerted effort by many to taper off clonazepam. I’m 72, and take 1mg most days. Some days I take two. I have no negative issues of which I am aware. I took as many as four when I had a negative response to Trintellix, and it helped to transition to Prozac, at the instruction of my psychiatrist. Is there some problem fo which relief is sought? I am not downplaying the issues, but I am curious as to what the end game is. Look on this as a teaching moment…

Jump to this post

@elwooodsdad, @njp1013– I too have taken Klonopin/ Clonazepam for over 20 years and I just turned 68. I started taking 1.5 mg and after getting past much of my panic attacks and anxiety, I dropped down to 1 mg. and have been on that dose for close to 18 years. I have been keeping up with most of the posts about this drug on this site and much has been said about getting off because of possible issues with Alzheimer's and other memory issues. There has also been a fair amount of posts related to tapering to quickly and then not finding the same relief when going back to the original dose.
For me I don't want to find myself in that kind of situation, but nor do I want to look back and wished I had tapered off this drug.
My PCP & I have had these kind of discussions and in the end he leaves the decision in my hands. He doesn't have a strong opinion of getting off, but said he would support my decision and help with the taper if I decide to go that route.
I have posted on this before and said "If it's not broke why fix it" yet there is always that thought in my mind of do no harm.
Seems like every time I get close to making a decision to taper a trip is planned to fly some place, etc. and I decide to put this off till after the trip. This is where I am. Don't have any difinitive decisions as yet so sounds like I'm thinking like so many of you.
Open to your thoughts! Jim@thankful

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@sears

I hate living in fear of not being able to control my anxiety. It’s debilitating. I do so many things to help myself without them. Meditation, tapping, sun, walking, etc. Nothing really works. I’ve been like this since I was a baby. I’m 67 now. I really don’t know how to cope. Can they just leave the older people alone? Same with the opioids. Leave us alone.

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Tell your Doctor.

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@thankful

@elwooodsdad, @njp1013– I too have taken Klonopin/ Clonazepam for over 20 years and I just turned 68. I started taking 1.5 mg and after getting past much of my panic attacks and anxiety, I dropped down to 1 mg. and have been on that dose for close to 18 years. I have been keeping up with most of the posts about this drug on this site and much has been said about getting off because of possible issues with Alzheimer's and other memory issues. There has also been a fair amount of posts related to tapering to quickly and then not finding the same relief when going back to the original dose.
For me I don't want to find myself in that kind of situation, but nor do I want to look back and wished I had tapered off this drug.
My PCP & I have had these kind of discussions and in the end he leaves the decision in my hands. He doesn't have a strong opinion of getting off, but said he would support my decision and help with the taper if I decide to go that route.
I have posted on this before and said "If it's not broke why fix it" yet there is always that thought in my mind of do no harm.
Seems like every time I get close to making a decision to taper a trip is planned to fly some place, etc. and I decide to put this off till after the trip. This is where I am. Don't have any difinitive decisions as yet so sounds like I'm thinking like so many of you.
Open to your thoughts! Jim@thankful

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Hi, Jim @thankful

I'll be 70 in August and I've been taking Clonazepam since 2016. My prescription is 1mg at bedtime and a second as needed. I rarely take the second one, mostly if I can't get to sleep. Initially it was for anxiety, and I suppose it's helpful for that, but along the way I found that it has stopped my flailing and kicking, acting out my dreams. It may not be doing anything for my anxiety, but it's really effective for my wife's anxiety. Of all of the meds I've taken, that's one she doesn't want me to stop.

I did try to taper off it a few years ago, cut down from 1mg to.75mg for a week, but decided that I needed sleep more than I wanted to be off Clonazepam.

Jim

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Sleep is more restorative than not taking a perfectly good medication. I have taken clonazepam since 1995, and my anxiety is not an issue, and I sleep 7-8 hours a night. The medication is inexpensive, and I have no negative reactions. Pleased to see you and I are on the same or similar page.

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@thankful

@elwooodsdad, @njp1013– I too have taken Klonopin/ Clonazepam for over 20 years and I just turned 68. I started taking 1.5 mg and after getting past much of my panic attacks and anxiety, I dropped down to 1 mg. and have been on that dose for close to 18 years. I have been keeping up with most of the posts about this drug on this site and much has been said about getting off because of possible issues with Alzheimer's and other memory issues. There has also been a fair amount of posts related to tapering to quickly and then not finding the same relief when going back to the original dose.
For me I don't want to find myself in that kind of situation, but nor do I want to look back and wished I had tapered off this drug.
My PCP & I have had these kind of discussions and in the end he leaves the decision in my hands. He doesn't have a strong opinion of getting off, but said he would support my decision and help with the taper if I decide to go that route.
I have posted on this before and said "If it's not broke why fix it" yet there is always that thought in my mind of do no harm.
Seems like every time I get close to making a decision to taper a trip is planned to fly some place, etc. and I decide to put this off till after the trip. This is where I am. Don't have any difinitive decisions as yet so sounds like I'm thinking like so many of you.
Open to your thoughts! Jim@thankful

Jump to this post

Breathing air is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, and whatever else lurks out there to escort us off this spinning orb…If medication is working, and absent sure and certain knowledge that taking them under care of a physician that continued use would absolutely cause an avoidable physical/mental issue, I support taking medication. Taking medication responsibly is not a sign of weakness any more than self tapering is a sign of strength. I get that some just have an issue regarding taking pills. They are prescribed for a reason…

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@elwooodsdad

OK, I confess. I am confused as to why, If the medication is working,why is there such a concerted effort by many to taper off clonazepam. I’m 72, and take 1mg most days. Some days I take two. I have no negative issues of which I am aware. I took as many as four when I had a negative response to Trintellix, and it helped to transition to Prozac, at the instruction of my psychiatrist. Is there some problem fo which relief is sought? I am not downplaying the issues, but I am curious as to what the end game is. Look on this as a teaching moment…

Jump to this post

Hello ellwooodsdad,

Some who take Clonazapam for prolonged periods develop memory and mood issues.

I was taking 4-5 a day for many years. My ability to remember some things decreased. I repeated myself and sometimes did not remember what I said. ( I took a lot of notes at meetings!)

Then the change of mood: who wants to hear “I just told you.” 🤦

Slow Titration off a pharmaceutical:
I NOW Take 1 tablet a day …(2 halves)
My memory has improved. My husband said my mood has improved!

I have a wonderful neurologist who said I have a mild cognitive impairment but “You do not have Alzheimer’s!”

My husband thinks my memory is fine, especially when he is trying to find a word and I supply it🏆.

Titrating off of Clonazapam has to be done slowly.
I am hoping the psychiatrist who I am scheduled to see will provide medical and psychological support.

All the best on your journey.

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