Starting Klonopin Taper, Scared of the Horror Stories

Posted by njp1013 @njp1013, Sun, Jan 26 7:54am

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.

@sears

If you don’t mind my asking what medication are you now taking?

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Effexor 225 mg/day, buspar 20 mg/day and klonopin .25 mg/day

Liked by sears

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@njp1013

@helenfrances thank you for the encouragement! I’m on day 6/10 of my second cutdown, now taking .5mg/day split into two doses, so far it has all been manageable, there is some increase in anxiety for me but mainly just in the mornings when my cortisol levels are high, thank you for the kind words and your inspirational story! it means a lot!

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njp:
Let us know how you are doing. This is a time of stress, but we are strong.
I think of our ancestors who came to this country and built a new world.
Carry on! We are stronger than we sometimes know💪 helen

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@njp1013

Hi all, I saw my psych yesterday and he wants me to continue to hold at .5 mg/day. Not really sure how I feel about that but I promised myself I would follow his advice. he said sometime in the next two months try another cut but there is no rush and that it’s not a race or a challenge. He also said at that low of a dose the klonopin isn’t really doing much for me and that it’s mostly placebo. so anyway that’s where it stands, I’ll probably give .25 mg a try before the end of March. it seems like the plan is cut, hold, adjust, recover and when I feel strong enough repeat. So I guess I’m ok with that.

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nj,
How are you doing?
I bet you are adjusting well to the 2 halves. I have to admit that I took an extra 1/2 on one or two occasions. Now strictly 2 halves a day. Some days I only take one half!.. and find the second half in my pill case.
A pill case is a great tool… available in some version from pharmacies. I have a small case which has a plastic container for each day of the week.
Each day is divided into
Morning
Noon
Evening
Bed

They may also be available on line.
————————————————————
This titration down made me realize that I looked for medication when I was anxious.
I am looking forward to seeing a new doctor who treats anxiety. He is very thorough and contacted the doctor who prescribed Clonazepam. 👏🏼
Keep us posted.
You have a plan!! Hooray 🙏

Liked by sears

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@helenfrances

nj,
How are you doing?
I bet you are adjusting well to the 2 halves. I have to admit that I took an extra 1/2 on one or two occasions. Now strictly 2 halves a day. Some days I only take one half!.. and find the second half in my pill case.
A pill case is a great tool… available in some version from pharmacies. I have a small case which has a plastic container for each day of the week.
Each day is divided into
Morning
Noon
Evening
Bed

They may also be available on line.
————————————————————
This titration down made me realize that I looked for medication when I was anxious.
I am looking forward to seeing a new doctor who treats anxiety. He is very thorough and contacted the doctor who prescribed Clonazepam. 👏🏼
Keep us posted.
You have a plan!! Hooray 🙏

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Hi helen actually I’ve only been on one half now for about ten days but we will see might go back to two halves. This lockdown is rough stuff but I’m hanging in there. Good to hear that you are doing well!

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Also I really miss the days where my klonopin taper was my #1 concern 🙄

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@njp1013

@helenfrances thank you for the encouragement! I’m on day 6/10 of my second cutdown, now taking .5mg/day split into two doses, so far it has all been manageable, there is some increase in anxiety for me but mainly just in the mornings when my cortisol levels are high, thank you for the kind words and your inspirational story! it means a lot!

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How are you doing in your taper?

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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@thankful

@njp1013 – This is the best way to go about the taper! Good Job! Stick with it and I'm sure you will be happy with the results!
Jim@thankful

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Thank you for writing! I am also tapering off a med.
No support from prescriber who is on vacation.
I have tapered from 4-5 pills a day to 1 (2 halves)
Per day. I keep saying that I am going to take 1/2 daily next week!

My Gastroenterologist was SO helpful!
She told me that I may get stomach cramps from withdrawal and not to think it was from the celiac (wheat allergy)………..and to go slowly. Thank God for her.
—————————
Bravo! for
connect.mayoclinic.org
We all need the support from others who have or are experiencing tapering from a pharmaceutical from which we have developed a dependence. Thank you to all who have shared your efforts and wisdom.

Thanks also to Mayo mentors!

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Njp,
How are you doing? I read through this thread and was following your progress. After March 20th there were only a couple comments and we are at the end of April. I am just hoping all is well and stress over this covid -19 hasn’t gotten the best of you. I am joining this group because I also take clonazepam, 1 mg at night before bed. Once I learned about how highly correlated it is Alzheimer’s I decided to wean myself. That was five years ago. I got down to 0.5 mg once, but it always seems my anxiety worsens and I go back up to 1 mg. But now, I can’t remember things in the past to save my life. I’ve developed panic attacks. I became less effective at work as a result and am on medical leave. Instead of getting better or at least remaining the same my condition has worsened dramatically. I want to get off of clonazepam once and for all! Now I have panic attacks just thinking about it. I’m happy to hear not everyone on here has had these side affects as I know many who have.

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@jody01

Njp,
How are you doing? I read through this thread and was following your progress. After March 20th there were only a couple comments and we are at the end of April. I am just hoping all is well and stress over this covid -19 hasn’t gotten the best of you. I am joining this group because I also take clonazepam, 1 mg at night before bed. Once I learned about how highly correlated it is Alzheimer’s I decided to wean myself. That was five years ago. I got down to 0.5 mg once, but it always seems my anxiety worsens and I go back up to 1 mg. But now, I can’t remember things in the past to save my life. I’ve developed panic attacks. I became less effective at work as a result and am on medical leave. Instead of getting better or at least remaining the same my condition has worsened dramatically. I want to get off of clonazepam once and for all! Now I have panic attacks just thinking about it. I’m happy to hear not everyone on here has had these side affects as I know many who have.

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Hi @jody01, good for you for reading through 6 pages of messages. I'm tagging @njp1013 by his/her @username to make sure they got your lovely message and concern for how they are doing.

Jody, one thing that I've learned from reading the posts in this forum, is the importance of tapering slowly. It's not a race. Given your concern about the correlation to Alzheimer's, have you considered talking to your doctor about changing medications?

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@njp1013

I always carry 1/2 a pill with me for emergencies , never had to use it, some people carry a gun I carry a pill lol.

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🦧Don’t let him win.
Sounds like you are doing a great job… nothing wrong with a back up pill. Soon you will not even remember that you need/want it!
Stay the course and say one for me… I have proudly arrived at 1/2 a day. Yay me😇

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Hi all, I’m the original poster on this thread, just want to let you all know I have been completely off klonopin for 30 days now, I came off slowly over 5 months from .5mg 2x day that I was on for three months, so not a high dose and not a long time on it but nevertheless I did do it 😊. happy to say I did not experience anything too horrific. I would have physical pain in the first week at each step down (flu like aches which is why I paused the taper for a while at the beginning of COVID) and some increased anxiety symptoms the second week which mostly subsided. Overall I feel ok, still taking effexor and buspar. I’m glad to know that I don’t have to fear a klonopin taper anymore bc it’s done, so that is the main benefit I get. My advice would be klonopin is a life saver when you are waiting for an anti depressant to kick in. It made my life livable during that time. but I also reached a point where I felt ready to try life without it again bc the fear of going without it was a barrier to my full recovery, for me, that may not be the case with every one. Work with your doctor and take what you need to take to feel like yourself. When you want to try coming off make sure your doctor approves go slow and don’t be afraid to pause or go back if you need to. This was my third try. Ok well thanks everyone I didn’t want to leave you hanging, feel free to dm me or email me if you have more ?s
Nick

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@njp1013

Hi all, I’m the original poster on this thread, just want to let you all know I have been completely off klonopin for 30 days now, I came off slowly over 5 months from .5mg 2x day that I was on for three months, so not a high dose and not a long time on it but nevertheless I did do it 😊. happy to say I did not experience anything too horrific. I would have physical pain in the first week at each step down (flu like aches which is why I paused the taper for a while at the beginning of COVID) and some increased anxiety symptoms the second week which mostly subsided. Overall I feel ok, still taking effexor and buspar. I’m glad to know that I don’t have to fear a klonopin taper anymore bc it’s done, so that is the main benefit I get. My advice would be klonopin is a life saver when you are waiting for an anti depressant to kick in. It made my life livable during that time. but I also reached a point where I felt ready to try life without it again bc the fear of going without it was a barrier to my full recovery, for me, that may not be the case with every one. Work with your doctor and take what you need to take to feel like yourself. When you want to try coming off make sure your doctor approves go slow and don’t be afraid to pause or go back if you need to. This was my third try. Ok well thanks everyone I didn’t want to leave you hanging, feel free to dm me or email me if you have more ?s
Nick

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@njp1013 I'm so glad that you checked back to share your success story, Nick. I like your comment, "…Klonopin is a lifesaver when you are waiting for an antidepressant to kick in." That was a great use of this drug. I'm glad that you anticipated some of the difficulties and that you were able to "ride it out."

I hope that your success will encourage others who are using this med until their antidepressant med begins to work.

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@njp1013

Hi all, I’m the original poster on this thread, just want to let you all know I have been completely off klonopin for 30 days now, I came off slowly over 5 months from .5mg 2x day that I was on for three months, so not a high dose and not a long time on it but nevertheless I did do it 😊. happy to say I did not experience anything too horrific. I would have physical pain in the first week at each step down (flu like aches which is why I paused the taper for a while at the beginning of COVID) and some increased anxiety symptoms the second week which mostly subsided. Overall I feel ok, still taking effexor and buspar. I’m glad to know that I don’t have to fear a klonopin taper anymore bc it’s done, so that is the main benefit I get. My advice would be klonopin is a life saver when you are waiting for an anti depressant to kick in. It made my life livable during that time. but I also reached a point where I felt ready to try life without it again bc the fear of going without it was a barrier to my full recovery, for me, that may not be the case with every one. Work with your doctor and take what you need to take to feel like yourself. When you want to try coming off make sure your doctor approves go slow and don’t be afraid to pause or go back if you need to. This was my third try. Ok well thanks everyone I didn’t want to leave you hanging, feel free to dm me or email me if you have more ?s
Nick

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Congratulations!

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Good job.

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Big congratulations! You give me hope,

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