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Clonazepam no longer available in Australia direct switch to diazepam Help!!


[Gy...]

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Hi

 

My hubby has been taking clonazepam for 12 years due to MVA has managed to come down to 0.5 mg clonazepam. Yesterday went to drs to get prescription only to be told that as of 1 October 2016 clonazepam is now a schedule 9 class drug and unless you suffer epilepsy or are in palliative care it cannot be prescribed.

 

Having no clonazepam left have had to make a direct switch to diazepam, 0.5 mg clonazepam is equivalent to 10 mg Valium, even though both are long acting, diazepam has a longer half life. He is only at day 2 and already feeling heaps of aches/pain breaking through. Should he up the diazepam a little more?

 

Any help appreciated

 

Gypsygal :smitten:

 

 

 

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Hi.

 

First of all ... I tried to verify that information, but I have been unable to.

 

Are you sure the doc is right ?

 

'epilepsy only' is actually a great idea although I believe an exception should be made for people already on the drug.

 

Clonazepam to diazepam is not for everyone ... but if the doc is right .. it's still a different drug.

I wouldn't state categorically that it has a longer half life. it depends on the individual, and it's also complicated.

Some people say that diazepam takes longer to build up.

 

I find it's really hard to say if a dose increase would be better. What I know is that clonazepam itself is more effective against pain ... Sorry this is not more helpful.

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Wow.  I wish that law would have been passed here in the USA before I took clonazepam!  Australia seems to be ahead of the game.  Though, they shouldn't force current users off of it! 
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I find it's really hard to say if a dose increase would be better. What I know is that clonazepam itself is more effective against pain ...

 

Generally concur. Withdrawing from K brought on intense muscle and nerve pain of which I'm working through 9 months out. Updosing Valium may not help. I would do everything possible to avoid taking more Benzo, and treat symptoms as best as possible.

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Given the situation you are in with the prescription, you are doing the best you can. The amount you have crossed to should be high enough. If the doctor agrees, you could add another 2-5 mg one day and see if it helps. If it makes a big difference it may be worth it, if you try it one day and it doesnt help you could go back to 10. It may take up to three weeks for things to settle down from the abrupt cross. Hopefully knowing that there is an end in sight will help.

:thumbsup:

JKS

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Hi  JKS, Benniejets, Liberty

 

Thank you so much for your input, it's now 2.45 am and clearly it definitely does not work the same as he has woken up with pain and nerve twitches mainly in his feet. Have just given an extra 2 mg of diazepam.

 

Liberty. I checked the TGA here equivalent to FDA and yes guidelines have changed. And yes you are right that it is more effective against pain, just finding that out.

 

benniejets any other medications that we know for muscle and nerve pain, we are meant to be flying out on vacation in 3 weeks, if he stays like this we will have to cancel.

 

Cannot believe that TGA would do this with no notification or warning, it is so irresponsible that these big decisions makers in these organisations have zilch knowledge of what these drugs do if they are withdrawn too quickly.

 

Thankyou all so much for your opinions, if you have any more keep them flowing, any added info is greatly appreciated.

 

Gypsygal

 

PS will be contacting the TGA come Monday

 

 

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I'm no expert but I do lead an in person support group here in my city and we are finding out that the equivalencies are guidelines and the actual range is probably closer to 10 - 20 mg, depending on how you metabolize the diazepam.

 

Obviously, you want to shoot for the lowest dose that stabilizes your husband but it may be higher than 10 mg. Just FYI.

 

Some people take 4 - 6 weeks to stabilize on the crossover dose, where their blood levels are completely stable.  And valium is a very different beast.  We've had a few people cross over and have real issues with uncontrolled weeping, depression and suicidal ideation.  This is a tough situation, fingers crossed.  Others found the valium to be better for their tapers, a "smoother" ride down.

 

So sorry this has transpired.  You sound wonderfully loving and supportive.  How great for him to have you on his team.

 

:smitten:

 

SS

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Actually I tried to look up that TGA information, but obviously I'm no aussie :)

 

Is the doc unable to make an exception ?

 

Other drugs for nerve pain ... touchy subject (I didn't look up his condition): gabapentin and Lyrica can be used (but hey may be cross tolerant up to a point or complicate withdrawal), sometimes certain antidepressants can be used ... but generally not advised in benzo w/d.

 

Opiates are better avoided too, but perhaps an option at least in the short term.

 

Don't rely on this ...

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Actually I tried to look up that TGA information, but obviously I'm no aussie :)

 

Is the doc unable to make an exception ?

 

Other drugs for nerve pain ... touchy subject (I didn't look up his condition): gabapentin and Lyrica can be used (but hey may be cross tolerant up to a point or complicate withdrawal), sometimes certain antidepressants can be used ... but generally not advised in benzo w/d.

 

Opiates are better avoided too, but perhaps an option at least in the short term.

 

Don't rely on this ...

 

Hey Liberty

 

https://www.tga.gov.au/book-page/21-benzodiazepine-derivatives

 

Above is the link to the page at TGA, it took me ages to find it as well lol I really needed that proof that the dr was telling the truth.

 

He is already on other heavy med for pain but for some reason his feet are a problem he describes it is like restless leg but only in his feet and the clonazepam was the only med that helped.

 

I know about some antidepressants being used for pain as that is what I am on and I have has major dramas trying to cut down my dr wants me to get off the Valium first but my problem with that is that it takes approx 8 weeks to feel a cut with the antidepressant and then to up dose back to where you could cope takes another 8 weeks just did all that myself starting in May and only just now feeling somewhat normal, A&E thought I was having a TIA in May had to go have MRI etc so I think he would be very reluctant to go the same road as me.

 

You'think that the TGA would have give drs prior warning but apparently they didn't, as all prescriptions here are now computer generated the dr just types away as normal and then gets a popup stating not gonna happen. Just plain irresponsible IMO.

 

Here's hoping the 2 mg extra will do the trick and we are only on day 2.

 

Anyway thank you for the suggestions it is all very much appreciated.

 

Gypsy :smitten:

 

 

 

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Wow.  I wish that law would have been passed here in the USA before I took clonazepam!  Australia seems to be ahead of the game.  Though, they shouldn't force current users off of it!

 

Hey SleeplessMT

 

You are so right the powers that be should not force current users off, or at least give some time to be able to crossover safely, I am just thankful that over the past few years he had actually halved his dosage otherwise we would be in deep shit. Typical pen pushers making decisions with no thought to those already on this drug, not only that we have strict laws as to how much can be prescribed so his dose of 10 mg diazepam is actually double the allowed amount so how we will get around that one is going to be fun.

 

Many thanks

 

Gypsy :smitten:

 

 

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I'm sorry, I just don't see it. Is it just me ?

 

'following substances, not previously scheduled, be separately specified in Schedule 9: dicyclazepam, pyrazolam, clonazolam, deschloroetizolam, flubromazepam, nifoxipam and meclonazepam.

current scheduling of benzodiazepine derivative (Class entry) otherwise remains appropriate.'

 

Clonazepam is not listed as such.

 

'current scheduling of benzodiazepine derivative (Class entry) otherwise remains appropriate.'

 

I don't want to bother anyone, but that is what I read.

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