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!!!

Hi all,

I have heard (as others) that some supplements that many of us take *may* make it harder to wean off/taper off Klonpin ("K"). Below is a list of supplements I take on a semi-regular basis. Curious if anything jumps out at anyone as a potential flag to avoid. Please reply and help me and others. Thank you.

My Rx and Supplments (which I actually take to REDUCE my anxiety, but maybe not having desired effect?)
– Clonzapem 1.5mg throughout the day (usually 0.5mg x 3).; down from 6mg a few years ago
– Lutein softgel
– VItamin A + D3 combo softgel
– Colace (stool softener when I dont always eat greens)
– Calcium tablet
– Multivitamin (One a Day; OTC)
– Ginkgo Biloba
– Collagen
– Saw Palmetto
– Probiotics (I am Gluten Free, and have had GI issues in the past, so I monitor this carefully)
– L-Theanine
– B complex
– Vitamin C (1000mg per day)
– K2
– VItamin E
– Ashwagandha
– Turmeric

I take the above in tablet/capsule/softgel form throughout the day. I WAS taking fewer but recently added Ashwagandha and Turmeric ands K2. The Collagen is purely aesthetic/vanity. 🙂

Thoughts?

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@happy_ira

Hi all,

I have heard (as others) that some supplements that many of us take *may* make it harder to wean off/taper off Klonpin ("K"). Below is a list of supplements I take on a semi-regular basis. Curious if anything jumps out at anyone as a potential flag to avoid. Please reply and help me and others. Thank you.

My Rx and Supplments (which I actually take to REDUCE my anxiety, but maybe not having desired effect?)
– Clonzapem 1.5mg throughout the day (usually 0.5mg x 3).; down from 6mg a few years ago
– Lutein softgel
– VItamin A + D3 combo softgel
– Colace (stool softener when I dont always eat greens)
– Calcium tablet
– Multivitamin (One a Day; OTC)
– Ginkgo Biloba
– Collagen
– Saw Palmetto
– Probiotics (I am Gluten Free, and have had GI issues in the past, so I monitor this carefully)
– L-Theanine
– B complex
– Vitamin C (1000mg per day)
– K2
– VItamin E
– Ashwagandha
– Turmeric

I take the above in tablet/capsule/softgel form throughout the day. I WAS taking fewer but recently added Ashwagandha and Turmeric ands K2. The Collagen is purely aesthetic/vanity. 🙂

Thoughts?

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Hi, @happy_ira – I wanted to let you know I moved your post on supplements and tapering off clonazepam here into this discussion you've posted in previously called "Tapering Off Clonazepam." I did this as there are many members here talking about this subject I thought you might like to talk with – like @mmussak @annfsd @thankful @pankaj @bvgrammy @gettingbetter75 and others – about whether supplements taken may make tapering off clonazepam harder.

Ultimately, this is a pharmacist or physician question about the impact of any supplement or prescription medication on tapering off clonazepam. Has your doctor or pharmacist weighed in on this? If so, what did they say?

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I also take .5 three times a day. I would be horrified to be taken off quickly. Have you talked to your new doctor about how your old doctor was weaning you. I know it must be so hard to start over with a new psychiatrist.

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I just want to say I'm praying for everyone on here that's going through benzo withdrawal.. I have just 1 question? Let me know if anyone has had this experience, can a person have withdrawal symptoms from just staying on a regular prescribed dose & not coming off of it?? I take 1mg at night & .5 in the morning.. & I'm having extremely bad sleep problems, headaches, nausea & agitation but i haven't even came off of any of it.. Just wondering if anyone has went through this or heard of this happening.. I really appreciate any feadback.. Thanks so much..

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@num1boxer1919 Yes.

Without getting into the science (so we can speak as plainpeeps), I have long understood that as we take Benzos, our minds get rewired and dependent on it (getting off the Benzos help us rewire back to initial state)…. as such, if one is take 1mg daily, after an amount of time (different for each person), the brain gets used to the 1mg and needs MORE for same effect, so people up accordingly…. this is a vicious event as you up and up and up, it gets harder to wean off and off and off…. so, you MIGHT be experiencing that effect. Have you tried tapering down slowly, as hellish as we all know it might be?

Personally, I still struggle from a root bipolar disorder and clinical panic and generalized anxiety disorder, sadly, that I battle daily. 🙁 I am on supplements (vitamins etc , though looking into which ones might be having an adverse effect–see my posting a few posts above). I take 1.6mg of Klonopion daily and it feels im possible to get off this. I was once at 6mg daily. Then 3mg dailty for a year. Then 2mg daily for a year. Now at 1.5mg and it feel impossibly hard to get down to 1mg where I feel "normal" daily. Absolutely living hell if I do not take 1.5mg regulary, as we know the long half-life and withdrawal implications,.

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@num1boxer1919

I just want to say I'm praying for everyone on here that's going through benzo withdrawal.. I have just 1 question? Let me know if anyone has had this experience, can a person have withdrawal symptoms from just staying on a regular prescribed dose & not coming off of it?? I take 1mg at night & .5 in the morning.. & I'm having extremely bad sleep problems, headaches, nausea & agitation but i haven't even came off of any of it.. Just wondering if anyone has went through this or heard of this happening.. I really appreciate any feadback.. Thanks so much..

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@num1boxer1919
What you are describing sounds a bit like tolerance withdrawal. Please google benzodiazepine tolerance withdrawl symptoms. You might find a link to a publication called the Ashton Manuel, if so click on it. The AM does a pretty good job of explaining things. Bottom line is you need to get with your dr or psychiatrist and talk about what’s going on. If you are in a place in your life where you can consider tapering off the benzos safely and slowly then I would if I were you. You might find that you feel way better off the benzo than on it. I don’t know the reason you are on it, but taking a higher dose may only help for awhile, then you may have symptoms again. Go online and really do some research, but go talk to your dr for sure. Read the Ashton Manuel…
FYI: if your pill is generic and has recently been changed to a different brand of generic that too can cause symptoms such as you describe, generics do vary as to manufacture. I have only recently learned that lesson.
Hope this helps!
Best wishes

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@annfsd

@num1boxer1919
What you are describing sounds a bit like tolerance withdrawal. Please google benzodiazepine tolerance withdrawl symptoms. You might find a link to a publication called the Ashton Manuel, if so click on it. The AM does a pretty good job of explaining things. Bottom line is you need to get with your dr or psychiatrist and talk about what’s going on. If you are in a place in your life where you can consider tapering off the benzos safely and slowly then I would if I were you. You might find that you feel way better off the benzo than on it. I don’t know the reason you are on it, but taking a higher dose may only help for awhile, then you may have symptoms again. Go online and really do some research, but go talk to your dr for sure. Read the Ashton Manuel…
FYI: if your pill is generic and has recently been changed to a different brand of generic that too can cause symptoms such as you describe, generics do vary as to manufacture. I have only recently learned that lesson.
Hope this helps!
Best wishes

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Okay I just read all your posts and yes you def sound like yur body is in WD. You need a dr who is educated in benzo WD. Here’s one suggestion call your local compounding pharmacy (call as many in your area as you can) and ask the compounding pharmacist if they can recommend a dr that has experience in tapering patients off benzos. Who have they worked/compounded for in that capacity. That info is golden!

Liked by num1boxer1919

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@annfsd

Okay I just read all your posts and yes you def sound like yur body is in WD. You need a dr who is educated in benzo WD. Here’s one suggestion call your local compounding pharmacy (call as many in your area as you can) and ask the compounding pharmacist if they can recommend a dr that has experience in tapering patients off benzos. Who have they worked/compounded for in that capacity. That info is golden!

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ps : Stay positive! You will figure this out with help from the right dr. Do some research and ask the pharmacists for advice!!!

Liked by num1boxer1919

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@annfsd

Okay I just read all your posts and yes you def sound like yur body is in WD. You need a dr who is educated in benzo WD. Here’s one suggestion call your local compounding pharmacy (call as many in your area as you can) and ask the compounding pharmacist if they can recommend a dr that has experience in tapering patients off benzos. Who have they worked/compounded for in that capacity. That info is golden!

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Thanks u so much for your answers I appreciate it so much… & I've been trying for years to try to find a doctor to explain this to me & figure out a way to get off of them but they always want to prescribe me more & i tell them if you do that i will just get use to that higher dose just like in the past so they just get angry I don't understand.. It ain't my fault they put me on that stuff I had no clue what that medication was about I was pretty much still at kid & had no idea if it woulda kept working I wouldn't even be having this conversation lol but it didnt & I woulda never gotten on it in the first place if I knew it woulda put me in this spot.. My main question is tho will my natural sleep drive come back after I get off the meds because before I started I never had any sleeping problems what so ever & now I'm so tired but I cant get sleepy to actually fall & stay asleep without the medications but like i said the meds arent even doing that now they just barley work now.. & omg trying to come off of them feels literally impossible if I wasn't having so much sleep difficulties it probably wouldn't be so bad but like I said the sleep issues is basically my main issue.. I just wanna be able to sleep good again.. Are there any specialist that specialize in withdrawals & knowing what is actually going on in the brain besides psychiatrist.. Because like I said I dont know if my psychiatrist just doesn't know what's going on or if she just wants to put me on more meds but like you said its only going to work for a little while & I'll be right back in this same shape I'm in now.. But if I do have a mental illness I would definitely want it treated.. That's why I'm so frustrated because it's making me feel like I have a mental illness when I dont believe I have one I'm just a normal person that can't sleep because of an issue.. Yes I agree I had mild anxiety at the beginning but all these sleepless nights have been torcher with all those symptoms on top of it, it's rough.. Just want to know what to do & where to go to get help.. Because it's physically kiling me.. Thanks again so much for your reply..

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@num1boxer1919

Thanks u so much for your answers I appreciate it so much… & I've been trying for years to try to find a doctor to explain this to me & figure out a way to get off of them but they always want to prescribe me more & i tell them if you do that i will just get use to that higher dose just like in the past so they just get angry I don't understand.. It ain't my fault they put me on that stuff I had no clue what that medication was about I was pretty much still at kid & had no idea if it woulda kept working I wouldn't even be having this conversation lol but it didnt & I woulda never gotten on it in the first place if I knew it woulda put me in this spot.. My main question is tho will my natural sleep drive come back after I get off the meds because before I started I never had any sleeping problems what so ever & now I'm so tired but I cant get sleepy to actually fall & stay asleep without the medications but like i said the meds arent even doing that now they just barley work now.. & omg trying to come off of them feels literally impossible if I wasn't having so much sleep difficulties it probably wouldn't be so bad but like I said the sleep issues is basically my main issue.. I just wanna be able to sleep good again.. Are there any specialist that specialize in withdrawals & knowing what is actually going on in the brain besides psychiatrist.. Because like I said I dont know if my psychiatrist just doesn't know what's going on or if she just wants to put me on more meds but like you said its only going to work for a little while & I'll be right back in this same shape I'm in now.. But if I do have a mental illness I would definitely want it treated.. That's why I'm so frustrated because it's making me feel like I have a mental illness when I dont believe I have one I'm just a normal person that can't sleep because of an issue.. Yes I agree I had mild anxiety at the beginning but all these sleepless nights have been torcher with all those symptoms on top of it, it's rough.. Just want to know what to do & where to go to get help.. Because it's physically kiling me.. Thanks again so much for your reply..

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Hello,
I’m so sorry you are in this position and feel so lost. The thing you must know as you move forward to resolve your health issues is that you must act as your own best advocate. You are worried you have a mental health problem, and we are not health practitioners so we can’t enlighten you there. A doctor of psychiatry must do that. However, you are on multiple psychotropic meds and everyone reacts differently so it is very possible that these psychotropic drugs in combination are causing your to experience symptoms that mimic mental health issues. That’s a very real possibility and if you start researching you will read over and over about others who are on multiple meds and are weaning off them one by one and gradually feeling better.
As for sleep, from what I have read in my researching, it will return gradually over time as your brain heals from the benzos and other meds. I am currently on 1.09mg of clonazepam and no other psychotropic drugs. I have been on this benzo for 12 years. It has wreaked my sleep. I take 10 mg of time released melatonin( Naturol brand) plus 2mg of melatonin drops (KAL brand) and 30mg of (Elixinol brand) CBD oil with my doctors approval. I am usually able to sleep 6 to 7 hours, sometimes well, sometimes not. I think brands are important and I research them. You should talk to your dr before you add anything to what you are taking.
If you are taking vitamins and supplements you should google their use during benzo withdrawal as they might be making your symptoms worse: Google gabergenic supplements and do some research, you might be surprised by what works against you. If you drink alcohol, it most likely is working against you. I was a casual/social drinker and figured out it depressed me as I tapered. I do not drink alcohol now under any circumstance. Look at your diet too.
Again, ask pharmacists if they know of any drs working to SLOWLY taper patients off benzos. Tell them your history and tell them you want off the drugs. They know who is good/successful with their patients. They witness drug treatment everyday. It doesn’t hurt to ask and costs you nothing but time and effort.
If you want to reclaim your health it can happen but you will have to develop a suuport network. Psychiatrist, therapist, primary care physician all working for you in your corner, supporting your recovery and you will need to address “the issue” you mentioned, that is preventing your ability to sleep. I’m a 54 year old woman who started dealing with the issues at 42, it took awhile and it was not easy, but in the end it helped and I let go of a lot of stuff dragging me down. Now I just have to get off the benzo (slowly)!
Best
Ann

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@num1boxer1919

Thanks u so much for your answers I appreciate it so much… & I've been trying for years to try to find a doctor to explain this to me & figure out a way to get off of them but they always want to prescribe me more & i tell them if you do that i will just get use to that higher dose just like in the past so they just get angry I don't understand.. It ain't my fault they put me on that stuff I had no clue what that medication was about I was pretty much still at kid & had no idea if it woulda kept working I wouldn't even be having this conversation lol but it didnt & I woulda never gotten on it in the first place if I knew it woulda put me in this spot.. My main question is tho will my natural sleep drive come back after I get off the meds because before I started I never had any sleeping problems what so ever & now I'm so tired but I cant get sleepy to actually fall & stay asleep without the medications but like i said the meds arent even doing that now they just barley work now.. & omg trying to come off of them feels literally impossible if I wasn't having so much sleep difficulties it probably wouldn't be so bad but like I said the sleep issues is basically my main issue.. I just wanna be able to sleep good again.. Are there any specialist that specialize in withdrawals & knowing what is actually going on in the brain besides psychiatrist.. Because like I said I dont know if my psychiatrist just doesn't know what's going on or if she just wants to put me on more meds but like you said its only going to work for a little while & I'll be right back in this same shape I'm in now.. But if I do have a mental illness I would definitely want it treated.. That's why I'm so frustrated because it's making me feel like I have a mental illness when I dont believe I have one I'm just a normal person that can't sleep because of an issue.. Yes I agree I had mild anxiety at the beginning but all these sleepless nights have been torcher with all those symptoms on top of it, it's rough.. Just want to know what to do & where to go to get help.. Because it's physically kiling me.. Thanks again so much for your reply..

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@num1boxer1919
Hi again,
Have you considered seeing a sleep specialist, perhaps a sleep study would be beneficial. Also, why do you find it necessary to take anxiety medicine?
”Life isn't always a bowl of cherries, sometimes it's the pits.” You have to learn to cope with whatever disappointments, stress, heartache, tragedy etc comes your way. There are knowledgable trained professionals who can help you if necessar.
Back to sleep, (You wish) I obviously didn’t know why your having these issues but maybe these tips might help.
No tv, music, cell phone or computer use on in bedroom.
Sleep in a cool room preferably with some fresh air.
Get plenty of light during the day to help your body efficiently use Melatonin.
No caffeine at least 4hrs before bed.
Go to bed and get up at the same time every night/morning.
Don’t nap
If you decide to take a Melatonin supplement be cautious, less is best. Start out with half a milligram and increase. Have you tried an otc sleep aid?
Wishing you the best,
Jake

Liked by ainsleigh

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@annfsd

Okay I just read all your posts and yes you def sound like yur body is in WD. You need a dr who is educated in benzo WD. Here’s one suggestion call your local compounding pharmacy (call as many in your area as you can) and ask the compounding pharmacist if they can recommend a dr that has experience in tapering patients off benzos. Who have they worked/compounded for in that capacity. That info is golden!

Jump to this post

@annfsd
Hello Ann,
If you ever find a doctor trained in Benzo withdrawal please let us know, Anyone looking for a knowledgeable person in the Benzo field will be looking long and hard I’m afraid.
Jake

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Jake,
Do you live in the state of Arkansas?? I have a very good dr who is well educated in benzo tapering and withdrawl. She practiced at the University of Arkansas School of Medical Science In their chemical and drug dependency clinic for 10 years. She is now in private practice. Let me know if you live in state. Not sure she treats patients long distance or from out of state.
Ann

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@annfsd

Jake,
Do you live in the state of Arkansas?? I have a very good dr who is well educated in benzo tapering and withdrawl. She practiced at the University of Arkansas School of Medical Science In their chemical and drug dependency clinic for 10 years. She is now in private practice. Let me know if you live in state. Not sure she treats patients long distance or from out of state.
Ann

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@annfsd
Wow Ann, the search is over. No I live in California. I don't need a benzo doc. Took care of that problem years ago. Nice to know someone is around who can help.
Take care,
Jake

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Hi, all. I’m late to the conversation and new to the site. I was recently in a psych hospital for about 5 days due to meds not working with me. They “tapered” me off of Klonipin, added some meds, took some away. And by that I mean that within 3 days I was tapered off klonopin from .75 mg 2 times a day to .5mg 2 times to .5 for 1 day. They took away the drugs causing the issues (pristiq and Latuda) and I wasn’t taking them more than 2 weeks at MOST. There was no weaning of Latuda. Only cymbalta. And they added Abilify 5mg.

So to make this make sense…
They took my Klonopin down from .75 twice a day to: tues and Wednesday .5 twice, Thursday .5 once and Friday none.
They took me off of Latuda cold turkey after taking it for about 2 weeks (I think?).
They weaned me off of Pristiq.
They put me on 5mg of Abilify.
They gave me Visteril for anxiety and insomnia.

So my question is, is it normal to feel absolutely awful and anxiety ridden? I feel like my site is delayed, my anxiety is worse than it’s ever been (obsessed with if I’m medically okay, shaking, can’t sleep, mind racing, tingling, head feels like a band is on it, etc). And I’m out of it. Is this withdrawal from weaning too quickly?

Danielle

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