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!!!

@jakedduck1

@clonazepamxxx
I’m not judging anyone. I personally don’t believe it should have ever been legalized. One reason is the 400 or so chemicals in it and how the molecular structure may be altered by heating, processing and chemicals used for pest control etc. Anything that alters the how it functions can’t be a good thing. Also a major concern is that people get high and drive and cause accidents. The death toll keeps rising but states still legalize it. How many more have to die? There is not nearly enough research proving it’s safety. Although there are thousands of studies, only a handful are backed up with scientific proof. According to the Federal Government marijuana is still illegal and banned in all National Parks and on Federal Lands. We live in a free Country and are allowed freedom of choice. Obviously I disagree with some of those choices. Unfortunately people are allowed to get high on various substances and jeopardize innocent people. That’s 1 of my 2 cents worth.
Hope your feeling better soon,
Jake

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JAke- Here is a great site that I found that tells about it: https://www.namaste.com/blogs/news/what-is-cannabis

I was on clonazepam for 15 years for panic attacks then put in a detox where they took me off c/t. I thought I was dying. I had brain saps, my face and parts of my body would go numb, my bp and pulse would skyrocket, felt like a rubber band was around my head and upper parts of my arms, my anxiety was tripled, i dread and am so scared i have some awful disease, my eyesite changed, my muscles are sore and hurt, etc. I am 19 months out and my neck and thigh muscles are so stiff and sore and I'm afraid it's something awful which puts me in a panic attack. Has anyone else experienced this? I think people get sick of me talking about it and saying I should just get over it..really makes you feel helpless and useless…
Thank you💕

@jennifersue1

I was on clonazepam for 15 years for panic attacks then put in a detox where they took me off c/t. I thought I was dying. I had brain saps, my face and parts of my body would go numb, my bp and pulse would skyrocket, felt like a rubber band was around my head and upper parts of my arms, my anxiety was tripled, i dread and am so scared i have some awful disease, my eyesite changed, my muscles are sore and hurt, etc. I am 19 months out and my neck and thigh muscles are so stiff and sore and I'm afraid it's something awful which puts me in a panic attack. Has anyone else experienced this? I think people get sick of me talking about it and saying I should just get over it..really makes you feel helpless and useless…
Thank you💕

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I have my family for support and go outside and just breath the fresh and pray for God for help. Good luck

Yes, I am weaning off these MEDs and still feel sick but just do deep breathing and get fresh air, and pray to God for help!

My muscles in my head,neck,shoulders,,back and legs are so constantly contracted that it's now been 6 years since I had a life outside my recliner. Can't walk without hanging on to things for support and head pressure keeps me in a maddening state( tinnitus adds to that) . Most all say it takes only time ,nothing else will help,but I need to see some improvement,not worsening every year ! I just posted about the Ashton Manual and flumanizil as I am desperate and it's the only thing in her manual that was said to reset our damaged GABA ,yet no one seems to have tried it!

Hi @clonazepamxxx,

So sorry you didn't know about the need to taper, I've missed taking my Rx a few times in the 20 years or so I've been taking it and yes, looking back, just missing my dose by a day was agony. I could not imagine just quitting cold turkey off these potent drugs. I'm curious, what was your clonazepam dose before you quit cold turkey.

Cannabis has certainly helped me immensely on this second part of the journey (1.5mg to 0.75mg) which is the least amount of clonazepam I've taken since starting this drug in early 2000. You should consider looking up the benefits of CBD specifically. CBD specific strains, tinctures, and even gelcaps have helped curb the side effects of withdrawal almost entirely, I still working on my sleep but melatonin tablets are helping with that. Not sure where you live but if you're here in Canada, yes, there are many options available through the online government store. If you're in the US, there are some good brands that can be obtained through Charlotte's Web as well as Elixinol as a member here has already mentioned. Also look up the benefits of CBD online, there are a lot of good resources that deal with Anxiety specifically and you might find comfort that these are out there. I posted briefly about my experience so far up top about 24hrs ago.

Wishing you all the best with your withdrawal symptoms and also a return back to regular life for you.

@jennifersue1

I was on clonazepam for 15 years for panic attacks then put in a detox where they took me off c/t. I thought I was dying. I had brain saps, my face and parts of my body would go numb, my bp and pulse would skyrocket, felt like a rubber band was around my head and upper parts of my arms, my anxiety was tripled, i dread and am so scared i have some awful disease, my eyesite changed, my muscles are sore and hurt, etc. I am 19 months out and my neck and thigh muscles are so stiff and sore and I'm afraid it's something awful which puts me in a panic attack. Has anyone else experienced this? I think people get sick of me talking about it and saying I should just get over it..really makes you feel helpless and useless…
Thank you💕

Jump to this post

@jennifersue1

I am so sorry you are still feeling so horrible. I have been going through the same symptoms but starting to feel hopeful they have peaked bc I do notice dissipation a little each day where I can function again for a few hours at a time… enough to get done what absolutely must get done day to day. I have to take lots of breaks… like I aged 20 plus years in less than 3 weeks… I hope that subsides too. I am only 41 years young 🙁

I do feel like the more active I am, the more I can do and get through the next day, so I’m trying to keep moving and active a few hours at a time… just so much fatigue no one would understand.

Right now, the following are what is providing me temporary comfort and relief to push through to the next day:

Planet fitness membership- I canNOT work out right now. There is no way today at least. I have to sit for a half hour just from doing a little laundry. BUT- my leg pains and arm numbness and tingling are better if I just walk on the treadmill at a super slow pace for 15 minutes or a few more if I can. Same if I just spend 15 minutes outdoors but it is SO cold this time of year. What has really helped is the red light therapy in their total body enhancement machine that comes with the upgraded membership. That ten mins a day has been wonderful. Then I do their hydromasssage lounge or chair for another ten min therapy session. For $20 a month, just using those has been so worth it and helpful.

Caffeine- I realized it really flames up my symptoms. I feel better substituting juice for coffee. Then I realized hydrating makes the symptoms lessen a lot too, even the head pain. I’ve been doubling my intake of fluids and it still seems like I could not get hydrated enough.

Pain relief and ability to eat dinner and sleep at night – small amount of marijuana before dinner and then early bedtime. Don’t do anything too stimulating after dinner until bed and take your sleep when you can get it.

Don’t turn back- those pills were killing us! Keep positive and hope you feel better soon!

@gettingbetter75

Hi @clonazepamxxx,

So sorry you didn't know about the need to taper, I've missed taking my Rx a few times in the 20 years or so I've been taking it and yes, looking back, just missing my dose by a day was agony. I could not imagine just quitting cold turkey off these potent drugs. I'm curious, what was your clonazepam dose before you quit cold turkey.

Cannabis has certainly helped me immensely on this second part of the journey (1.5mg to 0.75mg) which is the least amount of clonazepam I've taken since starting this drug in early 2000. You should consider looking up the benefits of CBD specifically. CBD specific strains, tinctures, and even gelcaps have helped curb the side effects of withdrawal almost entirely, I still working on my sleep but melatonin tablets are helping with that. Not sure where you live but if you're here in Canada, yes, there are many options available through the online government store. If you're in the US, there are some good brands that can be obtained through Charlotte's Web as well as Elixinol as a member here has already mentioned. Also look up the benefits of CBD online, there are a lot of good resources that deal with Anxiety specifically and you might find comfort that these are out there. I posted briefly about my experience so far up top about 24hrs ago.

Wishing you all the best with your withdrawal symptoms and also a return back to regular life for you.

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I was prescribed only .25 mg in the AM and then .50mg at bedtime- so .75 mg total a day for a little over a year. I had no idea that a small dose for a somewhat short period would have resulted in any withdrawal symptoms. But this has felt like murder. That tells you how powerful this drug is. I will NEVER take any type of Benzo medication again!
I really think that patients that legitimately need such a medication are being done a disservice by doctors who do not try all other non addictive alternatives first!!! And warn patients about what really happens when you stop. This needs to happen upfront and have requirements for doctors and patients to sign an acknowledgment saying they have been properly counseled on how to stop being a junkie when you no longer need the meds. Because that is reality and what happens when they write you that script… they know you will have to withdraw one day and what that can do to people who they are supposed to be helping.

Liked by fluffykitty

@clonazepamxxx

I agree with you 100%, a consent form should be filled out by both the patient and the prescribing doctor explaining how truly dangerous these benzo medications are. The extreme withdrawal effects should be reviewed with the patient quarterly at the least to help cement the fact that this a dangerous drug to taper from. So dangerous that it's often referenced against heroin as being worse. This is what got my attention when I switched doctors due to a move. He was very apprehensive about renewing my prescription on our first consultation. I was prescribed this medication in my early 20's for general anxiety disorder (GAD) and I'd be lying if I said they didn't work. I was in a negative loop of insomnia and anxiety. OTC sleep aids were making it worse and this was the only thing that helped. The worse my insomnia got, the worse my anxiety was.

So with that being said, these medications have their window of time in which they are truly useful and beyond that, they do more harm than good. Looking back, I can see so many times (years after initial Rx) where the medication was backfiring and making my anxiety worse. Without knowing any better I would up my dose on those occasions but I was never reckless with this medication considering the knowledge I had at the time. I was just trying to lessen the anxiety.

I would like to share I video I watched on the benefits of CBD which really got me interested in this plan. I'm not associated with any CBD company (although I wish I were, perhaps I could get free product!!).

I found this explanation and the 'mobile' analogy to be very clever and informative:

CBD is the ultimate reset and should be considered a wellness product. My only gripes at this time are the cost which will eventually come down. It's just a matter of time.

Liked by annfsd

@gettingbetter75

@clonazepamxxx

I agree with you 100%, a consent form should be filled out by both the patient and the prescribing doctor explaining how truly dangerous these benzo medications are. The extreme withdrawal effects should be reviewed with the patient quarterly at the least to help cement the fact that this a dangerous drug to taper from. So dangerous that it's often referenced against heroin as being worse. This is what got my attention when I switched doctors due to a move. He was very apprehensive about renewing my prescription on our first consultation. I was prescribed this medication in my early 20's for general anxiety disorder (GAD) and I'd be lying if I said they didn't work. I was in a negative loop of insomnia and anxiety. OTC sleep aids were making it worse and this was the only thing that helped. The worse my insomnia got, the worse my anxiety was.

So with that being said, these medications have their window of time in which they are truly useful and beyond that, they do more harm than good. Looking back, I can see so many times (years after initial Rx) where the medication was backfiring and making my anxiety worse. Without knowing any better I would up my dose on those occasions but I was never reckless with this medication considering the knowledge I had at the time. I was just trying to lessen the anxiety.

I would like to share I video I watched on the benefits of CBD which really got me interested in this plan. I'm not associated with any CBD company (although I wish I were, perhaps I could get free product!!).

I found this explanation and the 'mobile' analogy to be very clever and informative:

CBD is the ultimate reset and should be considered a wellness product. My only gripes at this time are the cost which will eventually come down. It's just a matter of time.

Jump to this post

Thank you for your support and encouragement!

@clonazepamxxx

This was also quite informative, also a very comprehensive explanation broken down in less than 10min:

I wish I had known about CBD when my symptoms first emerged in my early 20's however it simply wasn't "a thing" back then. When I think about, the internet was in its infancy back then and I don't believe the extraction and cultivation practices were known to isolate CBD at the time.

I should add that I do sometimes add a little THC (Indica or Sativa) depending on my needs at the time.

Regardless, this is where I am now and this plant is going to get me through this taper!!

Hope this useful to some and all the best to ALL with getting off these powerful benzos!!

Liked by annfsd

Hi
Someone mentioned Fumazenil for GABA receptor up regulating. I have done some research online about this. The Coleman Institute does a initial rapid benzo detox with Fumazenil and it sounds promising. They are the only treatment program I can find here in the US that does this type of treatment, they have been around since 1989. You can go online and visit their website, they have 2 treatment locations here in the US. It is an 8 day outpatient program and seems to have a high rate of success. There can be some protracted withdrawal symptoms but from what I’ve read nothing debilitating. The clinical treatment costs approximately 8,725.00 Does not include travel costs, hotel and meals. You must have a family member or care person with you 24hours a day to keep an eye on you. From what I’ve read there are no follow up treatments after, they get you to the point of being benzo free and then you follow thru with your psychiatrist and drs from there. You must commit to having a psychiatrist and therapist for continued support after detox. Those requirements sound pretty non negotiable. They do have a company that finances the detox treatment, but I don’t know anything more about that end of it. Yes, I have called and talked with them.

Mary
How are you doing?? Prayers being sent your way.
Sending thoughts of peace and strength.
Ann

@annfsd
No way would I do that. That isn’t the purpose of that drug. Are you abusing Benzos? My personal opinion is that if you slowly decrease your dose you can get off Clonazepam with NO! withdrawals. I was on almost the max dose and it took time to get off but what’s the hurry. Did you ever wonder why no other detox center offers this treatment? You need to give it a good think!!! I don’t know what your dose is but your brain isn’t going to stabilize in a weeks time.
Health and happiness,
Jake

I agree @jakedduck1, @annfsd. With everything I've read and watch regarding a slow taper, this sounds pretty risky mostly for your mental health but also your wallet. I would pass.

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