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!!!

@dallison1189

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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@dallison1189 Hello and welcome I feel like they use us as little pigs sometimes. They switched my meds when I went into the hospital every which way but loose. When I look back, they had no right to do this to me. You probably are going crazy due to the meds. Call your doctor right away. If you must go back to a different hospital. Cymbalta going from 60 to 30 just like that made me completely crazy and I still have 30mgs to go. So look at all the withdrawal of Cymbalta-It is a drug needed to be off the market. Unless you are Bipolar and angry a lot, why are they using abilify to help you? Just my thoughts God Bless and Good Luck!

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@mmussak Hello and welcome Hang in there and lots of prayers for you Stay strong Stay on this site We will help you day or night God Bless!

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@jakedduck1

@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

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Hi, well I've been to a sleep specialist, I've had 2 sleep studies one at the hospital & one at home, & all he could say was yeah your not sleeping good so he sent me back to my psychiatrist lol, wow was that a waste of time.. & you ask me why is it necessary for me to take anti-anxiety meds well it really wasn't my choice in the beginning to go on them I was young & my doctor proscribed it for mild anxiety which I use to be able to control but he just kept prescribing them for a long period of time & now being on the drug for almost 9yrs of my life it is almost impossible to get off.. Not only does it cause Psychological dependence but it causes Physical dependence.. Have you been on a benzodiazepine for long-term before? There extremely hard to come off of because it gives you the worst withdrawal symptoms you can ever imagine, there's really no difference between being an alcoholic for years & trying to stop, because both benzodiazepines & alcohol effects the same chemicals in the brain, the GABA, GABA is the calming chemical in the brain which controls your whole central nervous system so when you come off of it your brain literally goes haywire & instead of being relaxed it stimulates you, you can't relax, sleep, or hardly even think right because you literally can't shut your mind off with out the drug.. & That's why its extremely hard to get off of if you have been on it long-term everyday.. It's a good short-term med but long-term it's lethal & can ruin a person's life.. I've tried literally everything to try to get myself better & nothing works.. & now being on it for so long I have built up a tolerance so now I have to just take it to just help the withdrawals effects from it, it's called benzo tolerance withdrawal.. I'm not sure everyone gets it but a certain % do & I'm one of them lucky ones that got it & it sucks extremely bad..

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@dallison1189

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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@dallison1189-Hi Danielle- I am not a doctor but I do wish the doctors who did this could have the same experience as you are having!! I would think what you are feeling is entirely related to what they have done with you. I totally agree with catcatanzaro60 that you need to get back to the doctor and if necessary to a different hospital. If you are able to get genetic testing for psychotropic drugs done I would really recommend that as well.
Hang in there and know you have an army of supporters out here in cyber space who are wishing you success in fighting the battle for mental health!
Best wishes
Ainsleigh

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Mary. I am sure you will be able to get back your old self and taper off Clonazepam. Three things are important here. First. Reflect on why do you need it at all? the medicine was probably given over a long period to deal with your anxiety states. Second, you know every individual is different, sensitive and reactive. Each one of us have our spaces. Negative and positive. Try to to identify this and move into the positive space. Third, After such a long use tapering off will need patience and an alternative minimum medication assisted living. I suggest you reflect on what makes you happy. Music. Reading. Maybe a walk. A pet perhaps? Absorb your conscious mind into these positive things. Try to ignore the negativities. Its always there. And..please consult an experienced physician and try "slow tapering" regimes. I am sure it will work. All the best and take care.

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@annfsd

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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Thank you so much.. I appreciate all the information you gave me & I believe you hit it right on point.. I wish you the very best & hope you get feeling better as well.. 😊

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I just want to thank the Mayo Clinic personally for making this site possible for people that are going through a lot of the same things so we're able to talk with each other to help give us a better understanding about how to get better & knowing were not the only ones going through this Battle.. Its been an amazing day for me & I thank God for every single one of them.. I'm trying my best to stay positive that God bless's me with more better days & I'm praying for everyone going through adversity right now & health problems whether it's Mental or Physical or substance related illnesses.. I believe God is going to heal us so we can all live a better life.. I think to myself everyday if I can get through this, anything is possible, sky's truly the limit.. Going through adversity like this has really opened my eyes on how small the things I use to complain about wasn't even worth complaining about lol.. Life is truly amazing when your healthy that's 100% a fact.. Thanks again & God bless 💙

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@num1boxer1919 So uplifting ! and Awesome! God Bless you Cat

Liked by num1boxer1919

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@thankful

@mmussak– Mary, my name is Jim. Sounds like you are having a difficult time and I'm sorry to hear that.
What was it that made you decide after 27 years that you needed to get off it? I only ask that question because it sounded like those years were somewhat problem free at that dose? I have been on 1.0 mg. for over 20 years and as I have said in many of my posts on this subject, this drug allowed me to take back my life. I've never increased or decreased my dose through all these years and I do not even realize I'm on it meaning no side effects as best as I can tell. I've had discussions with my GP it seems every few years in order to satisfy the insurance company I suppose to consider going off it and my answer has always been "If it is doing what I need, why bother"? I used to ask is it doing me harm long term? Will I regret taking this for all these years? The answer was no. I like that phrase, Do no harm! Stay away from those harmful thoughts and fill yourself up with things that bring joy into your heart. Jim @thankful

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THIS IS FOR EVERYONE…..
This past week or so has been rough. Monday of last week I started a new bottle of clonazepam( .5mg tablets) from my local Walgreens. I started to feel really sick and nauseous, benzo flu symptoms, increased anxiety, not sleeping as well as I normally can. Tuesday I woke up feeling depression, which I normally don’t have, as well as being even more nauseous. I had some really strong chest pains after my morning pill (.125mg). Couldn’t eat much due to my stomach and a migraine headache. Wednesday, same thing. I felt so awful Wednesday night and I told my husband I felt like I was in acute WD, but it’s been 8 days since I reduced my dosage which was tiny and I’d been thru the hard part for that cut. Thursday night I slept 3 hours and started vomiting at 5:30 am. My husband thought maybe I actually had the flu, but no fever and no body aches like flu. So I googled the generic pill that I have been on since my taper started and WOW what many people said wasn’t good. I have been taking the ACCORD brand .5mg clonazepam tablet, it’s peach colored. I had a script of Solco .5mg clonazepam that the pharmacy had filled and replaced bc I only use the Accord pill. It cuts better, shatters less. So I took Solco and i realized pretty quick it was different. I didn’t feel drugged like I do after I take the Accord pills, which I always thought was my reaction to tapering and WD. Long story short I have been on the Solco generic since last Thursday and I feel so much better. Slowly these crazy WD side effects that have been dogging me for the last 9 months are easing up. This is now feeling more like my first taper which was very mild in comparison to now. Plus I made my scheduled cut on Saturday only it was 3.5xs bigger than my normal micro cut (which usually puts me in beds for a few days) and I had NO big side effects. Just a mild headache and kinda irritable for 36 hours. No nausea, no stomach ache and I could still eat. I’m 3 days out from my cut and still no big crash. I called the pharmacist and told him what was going on with the 1 brand vs the other. He told me the brands are different, while the active ingredient is the same the rest of the pill varies from manufacturer to manufacture. Also, leagally they can be + or – up to 6% of the active ingredient. Not good in a taper. He said I was probably sensitive or allergic to one of the inactive ingredient in the Accord tablet.!Maybe so but the pills I got definitely came up short on the clonazepam, why else would I go into withdrawal??? Turns out most generic meds are made in India or China with no oversight in the manufacturing process from the FDA. All these companies do is submit an analysis of their drug formulation and get approval to manufacture from the FDA. Yes I’m over simplifying it but that’s the short of it. So if you are feeling horrible maybe consider switching brands and see if you improve. It never in a million years occurred to me that the actual clonazepam pill might be causing some of my misery but I really think it has as I have been on the Solco pill 5 days now and I feel so much less sick and drugged. Kinda makes me 😡 I will now be switching over to entirely simple syrup liquid suspension made with Solco brand clonazepam. Hopefully I can gain some ground in tapering and continue to tolerate a little larger cut as I continue to taper. Hope this helps in some way, definitely food for thought.
Love & Strength
Ann

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Hi – just wanted to let you know I've added the brand name Klonopin to the title of this discussion, just so members can find it easily if they call the medication clonazepam, the generic name, or Klonopin, the brand name.

Liked by annfsd

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@dallison1189

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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Hi, @dallison1189 – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. That is a lot of change in medications. I know from my own experience changing from citalopram (Celexa) to buproprion (Wellbutrin) years ago and from what members have shared in this community that any change in antidepressants (or anti-anxiety meds) can truly be a challenge, and potentially include some real setbacks along the way.

If you click on VIEW & REPLY in your email notification, you will see the whole discussion and can join in, meet and participate with other members talking about their or their loved ones' experiences. I believe you will see that many members have had some tough times with their tapers.

Have you had the chance to report back to your doctor about how you are doing now with the symptoms you mentioned – worsened anxiety, shaking, insomnia, mind racing, tingling, head pressure? If so, what did the doctor propose to get you through these transitions with your medications, now that you are back at home?

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@annfsd

THIS IS FOR EVERYONE…..
This past week or so has been rough. Monday of last week I started a new bottle of clonazepam( .5mg tablets) from my local Walgreens. I started to feel really sick and nauseous, benzo flu symptoms, increased anxiety, not sleeping as well as I normally can. Tuesday I woke up feeling depression, which I normally don’t have, as well as being even more nauseous. I had some really strong chest pains after my morning pill (.125mg). Couldn’t eat much due to my stomach and a migraine headache. Wednesday, same thing. I felt so awful Wednesday night and I told my husband I felt like I was in acute WD, but it’s been 8 days since I reduced my dosage which was tiny and I’d been thru the hard part for that cut. Thursday night I slept 3 hours and started vomiting at 5:30 am. My husband thought maybe I actually had the flu, but no fever and no body aches like flu. So I googled the generic pill that I have been on since my taper started and WOW what many people said wasn’t good. I have been taking the ACCORD brand .5mg clonazepam tablet, it’s peach colored. I had a script of Solco .5mg clonazepam that the pharmacy had filled and replaced bc I only use the Accord pill. It cuts better, shatters less. So I took Solco and i realized pretty quick it was different. I didn’t feel drugged like I do after I take the Accord pills, which I always thought was my reaction to tapering and WD. Long story short I have been on the Solco generic since last Thursday and I feel so much better. Slowly these crazy WD side effects that have been dogging me for the last 9 months are easing up. This is now feeling more like my first taper which was very mild in comparison to now. Plus I made my scheduled cut on Saturday only it was 3.5xs bigger than my normal micro cut (which usually puts me in beds for a few days) and I had NO big side effects. Just a mild headache and kinda irritable for 36 hours. No nausea, no stomach ache and I could still eat. I’m 3 days out from my cut and still no big crash. I called the pharmacist and told him what was going on with the 1 brand vs the other. He told me the brands are different, while the active ingredient is the same the rest of the pill varies from manufacturer to manufacture. Also, leagally they can be + or – up to 6% of the active ingredient. Not good in a taper. He said I was probably sensitive or allergic to one of the inactive ingredient in the Accord tablet.!Maybe so but the pills I got definitely came up short on the clonazepam, why else would I go into withdrawal??? Turns out most generic meds are made in India or China with no oversight in the manufacturing process from the FDA. All these companies do is submit an analysis of their drug formulation and get approval to manufacture from the FDA. Yes I’m over simplifying it but that’s the short of it. So if you are feeling horrible maybe consider switching brands and see if you improve. It never in a million years occurred to me that the actual clonazepam pill might be causing some of my misery but I really think it has as I have been on the Solco pill 5 days now and I feel so much less sick and drugged. Kinda makes me 😡 I will now be switching over to entirely simple syrup liquid suspension made with Solco brand clonazepam. Hopefully I can gain some ground in tapering and continue to tolerate a little larger cut as I continue to taper. Hope this helps in some way, definitely food for thought.
Love & Strength
Ann

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@annfsd– Wow, had no idea their was different "brands"? Seems like I have taken the small blue pill forever? I'll have to check to see what brand it is?
Continued success to you as you tapper down! Jim @thankful

Liked by annfsd

REPLY
@annfsd

THIS IS FOR EVERYONE…..
This past week or so has been rough. Monday of last week I started a new bottle of clonazepam( .5mg tablets) from my local Walgreens. I started to feel really sick and nauseous, benzo flu symptoms, increased anxiety, not sleeping as well as I normally can. Tuesday I woke up feeling depression, which I normally don’t have, as well as being even more nauseous. I had some really strong chest pains after my morning pill (.125mg). Couldn’t eat much due to my stomach and a migraine headache. Wednesday, same thing. I felt so awful Wednesday night and I told my husband I felt like I was in acute WD, but it’s been 8 days since I reduced my dosage which was tiny and I’d been thru the hard part for that cut. Thursday night I slept 3 hours and started vomiting at 5:30 am. My husband thought maybe I actually had the flu, but no fever and no body aches like flu. So I googled the generic pill that I have been on since my taper started and WOW what many people said wasn’t good. I have been taking the ACCORD brand .5mg clonazepam tablet, it’s peach colored. I had a script of Solco .5mg clonazepam that the pharmacy had filled and replaced bc I only use the Accord pill. It cuts better, shatters less. So I took Solco and i realized pretty quick it was different. I didn’t feel drugged like I do after I take the Accord pills, which I always thought was my reaction to tapering and WD. Long story short I have been on the Solco generic since last Thursday and I feel so much better. Slowly these crazy WD side effects that have been dogging me for the last 9 months are easing up. This is now feeling more like my first taper which was very mild in comparison to now. Plus I made my scheduled cut on Saturday only it was 3.5xs bigger than my normal micro cut (which usually puts me in beds for a few days) and I had NO big side effects. Just a mild headache and kinda irritable for 36 hours. No nausea, no stomach ache and I could still eat. I’m 3 days out from my cut and still no big crash. I called the pharmacist and told him what was going on with the 1 brand vs the other. He told me the brands are different, while the active ingredient is the same the rest of the pill varies from manufacturer to manufacture. Also, leagally they can be + or – up to 6% of the active ingredient. Not good in a taper. He said I was probably sensitive or allergic to one of the inactive ingredient in the Accord tablet.!Maybe so but the pills I got definitely came up short on the clonazepam, why else would I go into withdrawal??? Turns out most generic meds are made in India or China with no oversight in the manufacturing process from the FDA. All these companies do is submit an analysis of their drug formulation and get approval to manufacture from the FDA. Yes I’m over simplifying it but that’s the short of it. So if you are feeling horrible maybe consider switching brands and see if you improve. It never in a million years occurred to me that the actual clonazepam pill might be causing some of my misery but I really think it has as I have been on the Solco pill 5 days now and I feel so much less sick and drugged. Kinda makes me 😡 I will now be switching over to entirely simple syrup liquid suspension made with Solco brand clonazepam. Hopefully I can gain some ground in tapering and continue to tolerate a little larger cut as I continue to taper. Hope this helps in some way, definitely food for thought.
Love & Strength
Ann

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@annfsd
Hello Ann,
Do not try and make up for lost time in your taper.
What and how often is your regular decrease dose?
Jake

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@jakedduck1

@annfsd
Hello Ann,
Do not try and make up for lost time in your taper.
What and how often is your regular decrease dose?
Jake

Jump to this post

Hello Jake,
Previous cuts were .0010mg once every week or so. Very micro as I have been able to cut less and less as I became more sick with the progression of the taper. Last cut on Saturday was .0450mg. Still feeling decent compared to last week. Shooting for another cut Saturday after next.

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@thankful

@annfsd– Wow, had no idea their was different "brands"? Seems like I have taken the small blue pill forever? I'll have to check to see what brand it is?
Continued success to you as you tapper down! Jim @thankful

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Thank you Jim!! My fingers are crossed for continued slow success. I will say this much, tapering off Clonazepam has been very educational to say the least. Best to you!
Ann

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