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.

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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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@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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@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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It is a dilemma for sure!

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@njp1013

Hi all..just wanted to update, I’m on day 8 having gone from 1 mg to .75 and things have been thankfully very uneventful. 2 more days then I reduce to .5, fingers crossed this is not a video game where the levels get progressively harder, we will see…

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Stay the course. Congratulations!

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thanks @helenfrances I talked to my psych yesterday he wants me to get off but to do it slowwwly. Give my body lots of time to adjust to each cut and build confidence so I know how my body reacts to one and what to expect. He says hold for now, I’ve cut by 50% in two weeks and that’s a lot so I’ve done good and my work is done for a while. 🙃now wait and adjust and let some time pass. Then cut again when I feel good for a while.

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@elwooodsdad

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…

Jump to this post

@elwooodsdad hi I completely agree taking meds has nothing to do with strength or weakness. I don’t want to give the wrong impression or pill shame. I’m trying this because my psych recommends it and also bc I have ocd and my current fixation seems to be klonopin, so if I’m not taking it then I don’t have to worry about it and I think that would help me more than the med does (which it does). if I could take it without worrying about it like I do effexor and buspar id probably keep taking it, but for me and the way my brain works just can’t seem to do that. It’s a net stressor for me. But every body is different and needs to do what makes them ok.

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