Tapering off clonazepam (Klonopin, Rivotril)

Posted by mmussak @mmussak, Dec 19, 2018

Hi my name is Mary and I am a first time user of ever using a discussion blog online but have felt in my heart I need some advice and help with an issue I am having. My dr I have seen for many years moved out of state and referred me to another phychiatrist within his office. At the time of his moving away he had me weaning off clorazapam slowly and doing it as slow to not make it not so difficult as you all know , and I was doing well at it until I was having extreme chest pain and they put me in the hospital for 2 days to check to make sure it wasn’t my heart, with all this happening I knew it was the weaning off the meds that was causing it so i went back up in dosage and it all went away again, and I was almost off it…My old dr started me on this med 27 years ago and I had no idea what it was but my body anxiety was shutting down my body and it helped it all go away so i didnt question it, well not until I went to school for nursing did I find out what it was all about. He put me on .5 mg three times a day and that stayed that way for 27 years not knowing what It does later in years, so I asked my dr to help me with the weaning off it, so our weaning process was as follows: Take .5 in a.m. ,25 afternoon and ,5 evening dose for 2 weeks then cut morning dose to .25 afternoon to .25 and evening .5 for 2 weeks then finally .25 three times a day for 6 weeks and then starting the last of the wean at this point the same as we did the first .25 till i was off. My new dr went from .50 3 times daily to .25 two times a day starting right away to get off it, that is over 1.0 mg a day off it all in one day and forward , I am already sad and crying because I dont know what to do, I have been there and I know how hard it was just to get off the way my old dr did slowly…..anyone out there that can help me with what to do I am so scared and I don’t think she knows how extremely hard it is to get off this stupid stuff or that I really do want to do it, but please make it as painless as possible if there is such a thing with these meds. At 56 I didnt think I would have to go through menapause and this hell(sorry about the word but so true) all at once…at times I think it would be easier to just get cancer or something and die. Sorry but its true if you have been there you will understand. PLease help me!!!

Liked by Leonard, falon

@meka

New to this group, and hope it is at least supportive. I am back at Mayo this week for lung cancer follow up, CT on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the hell of withdrawal from Clonazepam, (started August 2016) and then my psychiatrist totally dropping my sertaline this summer is wreaking havoc on my body, emotional state and my brain. I so need another human being to connect with as it seems VA and other providers just don't want to admit that it can cause so many problems. Knowing how much stress affects everything I am seriously worried about my cancer. Will someone at Mayo at least consult on this issue???

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I have tapered off of klonazepam safely, with a doctor's guidance. I am still taking sertraline. Did your doctor say why they were taking you off of Sertraline? I have taken antidepressants for over 20 years with no known problems from doing so. I am sorry that you are having so many problems. We certainly try to be supportive. We are not Mayo employee, but people who love to help people with problems similar to what you have.
If your doctor will not give a reason for cutting you off of Sertraline, I would ask about seeing another doctor. Please let us know how you are doing and how the cancer treatments are working.

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@meka

New to this group, and hope it is at least supportive. I am back at Mayo this week for lung cancer follow up, CT on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the hell of withdrawal from Clonazepam, (started August 2016) and then my psychiatrist totally dropping my sertaline this summer is wreaking havoc on my body, emotional state and my brain. I so need another human being to connect with as it seems VA and other providers just don't want to admit that it can cause so many problems. Knowing how much stress affects everything I am seriously worried about my cancer. Will someone at Mayo at least consult on this issue???

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Hi @meka, good to hear from you. Our paths usually cross in the Lung Cancer group, but I noticed your message here. May I ask why your psychiatrist has recommended tapering off your medications? I also encourage you to tell your cancer care team at Mayo about your emotional state and the current medication tapering that you're doing. Your health is as much about your mind as your body. Please tell them and let us know how it goes. Will you be seeing your oncologist this week?

Liked by johnhans, Leonard

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@rosebookay

What makes any of you think the SSRI Medications are safer than benzodiazepines? This has been a false impression created by drug companies an perpetrated by physicians who believe frug companies. Pick your poison. Many take Benzos for years with no problem. Just try coming off an SSRI after years of use. And two together??? Just asking for serotonin syndrome

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Hi, @rosebookay – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I'm wondering if you have had previous experience tapering off clonazepam or are tapering currently? If so, will you share more about how this went/has gone for you?

Liked by johnhans, Leonard

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@colleenyoung

Hi @meka, good to hear from you. Our paths usually cross in the Lung Cancer group, but I noticed your message here. May I ask why your psychiatrist has recommended tapering off your medications? I also encourage you to tell your cancer care team at Mayo about your emotional state and the current medication tapering that you're doing. Your health is as much about your mind as your body. Please tell them and let us know how it goes. Will you be seeing your oncologist this week?

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Colleen, thank you, hope all is well with you. When my retiring psychiatrist told me I had to taper Clonazepam, she dropped me .5 from 2.5 after 15 years in August 16. Knew nothing at the time about tapering or side affects. Have had to take breaks since then because of health, and even lost 35lb at the start amid all the other crazy. Finding VA records, at that time I know I was dealing with seratonin syndrome. Then in May my current psychiatrist said we're dropping sertaline completely, maybe because of my current taper Clonazepam difficulty?? Have gained 45lbs, so many other physical and emotional changes and the VA just doesn't understand. My tapper was as small as a .5 tablet can be cut. More later

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@meka

Colleen, thank you, hope all is well with you. When my retiring psychiatrist told me I had to taper Clonazepam, she dropped me .5 from 2.5 after 15 years in August 16. Knew nothing at the time about tapering or side affects. Have had to take breaks since then because of health, and even lost 35lb at the start amid all the other crazy. Finding VA records, at that time I know I was dealing with seratonin syndrome. Then in May my current psychiatrist said we're dropping sertaline completely, maybe because of my current taper Clonazepam difficulty?? Have gained 45lbs, so many other physical and emotional changes and the VA just doesn't understand. My tapper was as small as a .5 tablet can be cut. More later

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@meka, sounds like you have more questions than answers at the moment. Your health situation is also different. I encourage you to keep asking questions of your psychiatrist until you're clear about the goals of treatment and why she/he suggests discontinuing. I know I said it before, but it bears repeating. Also mention the situation to your oncology team. They can help.

Liked by johnhans, Leonard

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@meka have you been able to get an answer from your doctor yet about why your Sertraline was discontinued? Serotonin poisoning means you had too much Sertraline in your system so maybe the doctor felt discontinuing for awhile was the best way to get back to a starting point. It does take a while to get the serotonin reuptake inhibitors out of your system as they have a long half-life.

Liked by Leonard

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@doorman

Anyone here have any experience weaning of Klonopin (or any benzo)? I was on .25 mg 3 times a day for 2 weeks. I made the mistake of coming off on my own…too fast. Pure hell for 3 days. My Dr. told me to go back on, and another Dr. will set me up with a schedule. You must come off them SLOWLY. EVEN FROM A LOW DOSE LIKE MINE.

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I know it’s a small dose, but I’m still afraid.

Liked by Leonard

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Anyone here have any experience weaning of Klonopin (or any benzo)? I was on .25 mg 3 times a day for 2 weeks. I made the mistake of coming off on my own…too fast. Pure hell for 3 days. My Dr. told me to go back on, and another Dr. will set me up with a schedule. You must come off them SLOWLY. EVEN FROM A LOW DOSE LIKE MINE.

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@doorman

Anyone here have any experience weaning of Klonopin (or any benzo)? I was on .25 mg 3 times a day for 2 weeks. I made the mistake of coming off on my own…too fast. Pure hell for 3 days. My Dr. told me to go back on, and another Dr. will set me up with a schedule. You must come off them SLOWLY. EVEN FROM A LOW DOSE LIKE MINE.

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Hi, @doorman – wanted to let you know I moved your post to this existing discussion on tapering off clonazepam (Klonopin) so that you can talk with others discussing this topic.

Hoping that @meka @johnhans @1mountaingirl86 @jakedduck1 @amy10 and others will have some thoughts for you on coming off clonazepam (Klonopin) too fast and experiencing side effects.

What prompted you to decide to go off this medication, doorman?

Liked by Leonard

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@lisalucier

Hi, @doorman – wanted to let you know I moved your post to this existing discussion on tapering off clonazepam (Klonopin) so that you can talk with others discussing this topic.

Hoping that @meka @johnhans @1mountaingirl86 @jakedduck1 @amy10 and others will have some thoughts for you on coming off clonazepam (Klonopin) too fast and experiencing side effects.

What prompted you to decide to go off this medication, doorman?

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I don’t want to get hooked on this stuff. Even the quick withdrawal was horrendous. I can’t imagine being on this stuff for years.

Liked by Leonard

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@doorman

I don’t want to get hooked on this stuff. Even the quick withdrawal was horrendous. I can’t imagine being on this stuff for years.

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I came off of Klonopin by my doctor's direction. I came off by gradually tapering off and I had no problems. I took 1 mg a day for many years and then increased to 1.5 for a short time. After this I got the doctor who wanted me off the benzo. I do not recommend anyone making any changes to their medicine without doctor's direction.

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@johnhans

I came off of Klonopin by my doctor's direction. I came off by gradually tapering off and I had no problems. I took 1 mg a day for many years and then increased to 1.5 for a short time. After this I got the doctor who wanted me off the benzo. I do not recommend anyone making any changes to their medicine without doctor's direction.

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Can you remember any details? How long did it take?

Liked by Leonard

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@johnhans

I came off of Klonopin by my doctor's direction. I came off by gradually tapering off and I had no problems. I took 1 mg a day for many years and then increased to 1.5 for a short time. After this I got the doctor who wanted me off the benzo. I do not recommend anyone making any changes to their medicine without doctor's direction.

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I agree. Only a doctor should be involved.

Liked by Leonard

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@doorman

Can you remember any details? How long did it take?

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Everyone is different in how they respond to various meds. I am someone who does not absorb meds very readily so it was easier for me. I cut down by .5 each time and I had about 2 weeks between cuts. Others in here have had to cut much less at a time and for much longer periods of time between cuts.

Liked by Leonard, doorman

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Most people do best by cutting their taper schedules by 10% or the nearest 1/4 tablet increment. I followed this schedule to get myself off of 2.0mg Rx for the last 20+ years. I also used CBD to help with side effects. I've been completely off since mid-June. My doctor also wanted me off Benzos. In retrospect, I'm glad I broke the dependence. Now I only need to deal with these sleep issues which I hope is only part of the process. I'm taking gabapentin 2 x 200mg + 1/2 tab of UNISOM + 5mg melatonin to help combat insomnia, it seems to be working to some effect.

Liked by Leonard, doorman

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