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Derealization & visual distortions X & K cross to Valium to stabilize? Help


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Hi, whoever has thoughts on what I could possibly do to stabilize from this ongoing Derealization & visual distortions & also taper, please chime in. I'm tolerant to clonazepam, that's why I crossed out half for alprazolam because Xanax is effective & I've been suffering & making no taper progress from clonazapam. Was trying to make life more bearable for self & loved ones. I forgot what I'd learned here, that a straight switch like that isn't wise & also, that Xanax not good for tapering due to short half life. I don't know if op I'm having side effects or withdrawal from cutting the kpin or interdose from X, but I have a long way to get off & need to figure out a doable, sustainable way to stabilize & taper. Get rid of the DR & visual distortions.

 

I know I need to read about it, but brain won't today..sorry. Not asking medical advice, just your thoughts, opinion, experience...Just want to know if I'm in right ballpark. In your experience & knowledge, if I were to try to crossover from x & k to v, it would be done something like, 10mg v for subbing out just one .5K for a week, then do the same with another .5k to 10v the next week?

My doc always said he wouldn't cross me to enough equivalent amounts of V, but I'm  still stuck with DR & visual distortions 24/7, have tried finding another p doc in area, no luck yet & is hard & risky as my doc usually doesn't push(although this could spook doc)just not benzo wise either. So I'm thinking I need to figure something ASAP to chance proposing.

But it would be weird & messy trying to cross off 2, seems given that, I may need a different approach, faster crossover, I e taking X .25 4 times per day & 1.625K bed 1X @ bed-would that screw my brain up more, being on 3 benzos at same time while trying to cross following ashton?

Need to stabilize out of the DR & visual distortions that started after cutting half of my klonopin all at once for equal amounts all Xanax/alprazolam(because tolerant to k pin & xanax more effective for panic, anxiety, & 𝗦𝗹𝗲𝗲𝗽). I didn't realize my symptoms were from benzos until a month or so ago...thought it was something else.

 

Also, Leary, as Xanax is very effective for both Panic & 𝗦𝗹𝗲𝗲𝗽, but don't think sustainable nor good for taper? And maybe is part of my side symptoms?

 

Or ideas of any other crossover ideas to stabilize?

Thanks

Scaredie

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'Til now, I've resisted replying, since I can only offer what I've gleaned while supporting my partner's alprazolam and clonazepam tapers.  And I realize you already know everything I'm about to say--but I can't sit mutely by while you're suffering so desperately.   

 

Could you be experiencing interdose Klonapin withdrawal?  Have you considered splitting your K dose into three or more roughly equal doses through the day (.5, .5 and .65, for example), since it sounds like it isn't really helping you sleep anyway? 

 

And, if your schedule and lifestyle permit, maybe try to stagger those K doses with your Xanax doses so you can stabilize the amount of benzo in your system at any given time?

 

Also, it might be helpful to defer tapering K until you're stable, then make a decision as to which benzo to stay on.  Conventional wisdom suggests that it's easier to quit X while continuing longer-acting K--a strategy that worked for my partner.  If there's a chance that you'll choose that option, continuing to taper K might be self-sabotage. 

 

Substituting V while taking K and X sounds like a bridge too far, even if your prescriber were willing to cooperate.  You're already juggling a lot of variables without adding one that sometimes fails people, even under optimal circumstances.     

 

Take care, Scaredie.  I hope you feel better soon!  :smitten:

 

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'Til now, I've resisted replying, since I can only offer what I've gleaned while supporting my partner's alprazolam and clonazepam tapers.  And I realize you already know everything I'm about to say--but I can't sit mutely by while you're suffering so desperately.   

 

Could you be experiencing interdose Klonapin withdrawal?  Have you considered splitting your K dose into three or more roughly equal doses through the day (.5, .5 and .65, for example), since it sounds like it isn't really helping you sleep anyway? 

 

And, if your schedule and lifestyle permit, maybe try to stagger those K doses with your Xanax doses so you can stabilize the amount of benzo in your system at any given time?

 

Also, it might be helpful to defer tapering K until you're stable, then make a decision as to which benzo to stay on.  Conventional wisdom suggests that it's easier to quit X while continuing longer-acting K--a strategy that worked for my partner.  If there's a chance that you'll choose that option, continuing to taper K might be self-sabotage. 

 

Substituting V while taking K and X sounds like a bridge too far, even if your prescriber were willing to cooperate.  You're already juggling a lot of variables without adding one that sometimes fails people, even under optimal circumstances.     

 

Take care, Scaredie.  I hope you feel better soon!  :smitten:

Thanks so much Kokolee,

 

I don't expect you to have a reply for this, just thinking in print.

 

I actually don't know everything you shared, as I have been away from this site for awhile focusing on other health issues & literally forgot pretty much everything. I had benzo brain when I first came on here, so it was a struggle getting info in to begin with. On that note, please bear with me-cog fog etc. All you said & your kind generous reaching out is so appreciated.

 

You've given me much to think about. Very good ideas. Yes, I suppose it could be interdose clonazepam withdrawl. I just, even though I'm tolerant, it is a sedating med, so I was glad to get it to all bed time & all at once. I'm really bad with trying to learn scales, liquid etc so more doses= more measuring, ya know? if it worked, would be worth it, great idea.

 

I'm not sure how my brain would like taking both clonazepam & xanax during the day? At bed time I just go to bed, so unfamiliar with mixing those while awake, nor how I'd stagger them? I used to take clonazepam every 6 Hours~7a, 1pm, 7pm, bed. I think at some point in this journey, I lost that 7pm dose(either tapered part or moved it to bed?)& moved the 1pm later?..can't remember right now sorry, but I think I saw it as a victory. So, super idea, but not sure how I'd fit the Xanax in. This is great discussion starter & perhaps the plan itself. Clonazepam is sooo hard fir me to taper, though.

Yes in this case holding onto it would make sense.

 

I guess I was thinking I've had such a hard time with it, & diazepam is more simple, at least numerically for people to wean, that maybe at least crossing my k to V could help me get stable & taper, but I know so risky...maybe that's why I'm not getting much feedback or perhaps it's because going on Xanax was foolish.

I'm just not knowledgeable enough, but then maybe could sub out Xanax later or the V could make the Xanax wean easier? Not sure how that would all play out either.?. Guess one doesn't know how V is going to effect them till they take it, physically, mentally, emotionally, & how long each dose would be active for an individual. Just desperate to feel even bad normal with the DR & visual stuff & really get a start on a taper that doesn't require rocket science, at least rocket science for my brain.

But V could be a flop. Just frightened I'll never get better. I want off.

 

So your husband took both X & K during the day?

 

Yes, you're right is a messy proposition to taper 2 over to V. V just sounding simple & aluring right now.

 

In gratitude,

Scaredie  :smitten:

 

 

 

 

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'Til now, I've resisted replying, since I can only offer what I've gleaned while supporting my partner's alprazolam and clonazepam tapers.  And I realize you already know everything I'm about to say--but I can't sit mutely by while you're suffering so desperately.   

 

Could you be experiencing interdose Klonapin withdrawal?  Have you considered splitting your K dose into three or more roughly equal doses through the day (.5, .5 and .65, for example), since it sounds like it isn't really helping you sleep anyway? 

 

And, if your schedule and lifestyle permit, maybe try to stagger those K doses with your Xanax doses so you can stabilize the amount of benzo in your system at any given time?

 

Also, it might be helpful to defer tapering K until you're stable, then make a decision as to which benzo to stay on.  Conventional wisdom suggests that it's easier to quit X while continuing longer-acting K--a strategy that worked for my partner.  If there's a chance that you'll choose that option, continuing to taper K might be self-sabotage. 

 

Substituting V while taking K and X sounds like a bridge too far, even if your prescriber were willing to cooperate.  You're already juggling a lot of variables without adding one that sometimes fails people, even under optimal circumstances.     

 

Take care, Scaredie.  I hope you feel better soon!  :smitten:

Hi there again, koko,

Just for clarification. May I ask:

 

Was your partner taking all X at bed & clonazepam throughout the day & at night?

 

The opposite of me taking Xanax during day & both at bed?

 

Was/Is your partner tolerant to the beneficial effects of clonazepam? I don't know if I'm completely tolerant, but it's lost effectiveness for sure.

 

Reason I ask is if I'm too tolerant to it, it may not cover me / help soften a taper off of X, just because it's long acting, due to my tolerance.

 

What a mess.

Thanks again for being so kind to take the time to share

SC

 

 

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Hi there Scaredie:

 

Hope today finds u feeling a bit better....You know, a few days ago I wrote a reply to one of the posters in here, Koko..and I am going to re-write here in your thread as his response is "spot on"..I was curious about his ability to taper from Xanax so quickly...I am currently at .875, feeling relatively ok at that level..am just always hesitant to down dose..just don't like those wd's..(am sure u know what I mean)....without further bantering on my part, here is the message I had written to Koko earlier this week and I believe he will paste his response(s) afterwards...

 

ORIGINAL MESSAGE TO KOKO:

 

"Good morning Koko.

My name is Lindy and am sorry to intrude with a few questions re: your Xanax taper.  am not sure if I read correctly but u tapered down from 2 MG of Xanax to ZERO in less than 2 months?? How did you do it??

 

I have been tapering since 3/5 of this year from a start point of 3.0 mg and am only NOW at .875 mg..I usually stay at a dose for about 2 weeks (Yes I am a chicken)  :):-\

 

How long were you on the 2 mg Xanax? See, I had been on X since r/2018 (bout 2 yrs) sometimes reaching 5-6 mg/day. :(

Iam direct tapering--no crossing over for this gal..(at least not yet) hav pretty much had no problems but now I am wondering whether I should be a bit more "aggressive" in down dosing..did you have wd's after reducing your dose, about 3-4 days after?

 

I am 60+ years old so no spring chicken here..Just a chicken in general..:)

 

I was NOT prescribed the X..purchased off the net (yes, bad girl!) ..after coming clean with hubby he has now been relegated to be my "pill police"...dividing out daily/weekly doses as such..

 

I am in awe of your accomplishment!

 

Please, if you have a chance, enlighten me with ur X experience and such..would love 2 hear and boy do I need inspiration today!!:/

 

Thank you kindly and warm greetings from Cali..:)8)

 

Lindy :brickwall:

 

**This was the content of the private message I sent to Koko...am sure he will post in responses to me soon..** 

 

Have a good weekend folks!!

 

Lindy

 

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Hi Cinnabar58!

 

To be clear, I joined BB on in support of my 68 yo partner (born in CA, btw).  So I'm not speaking from my own experience but from my intimate knowledge of his.

 

The other thing I need to clarify up-front is that cutting dosage by anything close to 50% is NOT RECOMMENDED for the vast majority of benzo users.  His circumstances were atypical and he happened to be lucky, but I urge others not to try it. 

 

He was initially prescribed 3 mg clonazepam and 40 mg citalopram in about 2008.  After a few years, he developed tolerance withdrawal, at which point alprazolam was added.  He was on all three for close to a decade.

 

When he was ready to try to taper off, his doctor suggested reducing alprazolam first, the rationale being to eliminate the shorter-acting alprazolam while allowing the longer-acting clonazepam to keep blood levels somewhat constant during the taper.

 

The first cut the doctor suggested the was 1 mg--a full 50% or the original 2 mg dose.  This strategy floored me, because everything I had read and heard about tapering off of benzos said it must be done by no more than 5-10% decrements.  When we confronted the doctor about this, he insisted that it would work out just fine because "people do it all the time" and the clonazapam would continue working in the background as explained above.

 

I'm no fan of this doctor--his approach has always tended toward the reckless and experimental--and I was terrified that my partner might have seizures or something.  But luckily, what the doctor recommended did seem to work in this particular case.  The other two alprazolam reductions were also 50% of the preceding dose.  At each step, I continued to be apprehensive, but it all seemed to work out without so much as a hint of WD symptoms.

 

My understanding is that some people can sometimes get away with making slightly larger cuts early in the tapering process, depending on total benzo dosage, age, liver function, and some other factors I can't remember off the top of my head.  At 5 mg combined alprazolam and clonazepam dosage (equivalent to 100 mg of valium), my partner's benzo load was so enormous that, as he got older and his metabolism slowed down, it became increasingly obvious that he was way, way overmedicated, as evidenced by stumbling, slurred speech, cognitive decline, memory lapses, etc.  So--just speculating here--there may have been SO much surplus benzo sloshing around in his system that some of it wasn't even being utilized or processed, such that cutting his dosage, even by steep decrements,  had minimal impact.  But I also think that clonazepam, with its long half-life, is what made it possible to get off the alprazolam without any significant side effects.

 

It remains to be seen if there will be any regrettable consequences to repeatedly cutting the dose so ruthlessly early on.  After eliminating alprazolam, and following subsequent steep physician-driven cuts to clonazepam, my partner is beginning to experience resistance at between 1.5 and 1.75 mg daily dosage.  His body now seems to be so sensitized to even smallish (<10%) cuts that he has chosen to updose to his previous 1.75 mg dosage, where he plans to stabilize for 2 months.  Maybe this sensitivity would have manifested regardless of the the size of the earlier cuts.  My impression is that the lower the remaining dosage, the harder the taper gets, and the smaller the cuts and the longer the hold times must be.

 

My partner is probably at that point now, and it sounds as though you are, too.

 

As you are evidently aware, you're finding alprazolam hard to taper from because it's a short-acting benzo and you have no longer-acting one working in the background to keep you stable.  I have no first-hand, or even second-hand, experience with tapering from alprazolam alone, but other BB members do.  Since you've been stuck at your current dosage and unable to make any progress for months, valium substitution seems like a promising option.

 

In closing , let me say that you're not a chicken in the least!  On the contrary, you've taken the courageous step of quitting benzos, and cutting more aggressively at this point in your taper could result in your having to updose and could reverse some of the great progress you've made. 

 

Hang in there, and best of luck to you!

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I'm so sorry, Scaredie, I somehow missed your notification and only a bit ago saw your post. 

Was your partner taking all X at bed & clonazepam throughout the day & at night?

The opposite of me taking Xanax during day & both at bed?

As I recall, he was doing his best to space everything as evenly as possible while alternating the two drugs throughout each 24 hr period.  But since there were 3 clonazepam and 2 alprazolam, I'm not sure of the details.  He's in bed at the moment,  but I'll write you tomorrow as soon as I find out how he did it.  

Was/Is your partner tolerant to the beneficial effects of clonazepam? I don't know if I'm completely tolerant, but it's lost effectiveness for sure.

Reason I ask is if I'm too tolerant to it, it may not cover me / help soften a taper off of X, just because it's long acting, due to my tolerance.

From day one, my partner said he couldn't perceive that it was doing anything whatsoever.  (This from a guy who is so sensitive to medications, he claims to be able to tell when an aspirin kicks in.)  But at 3 mg, it must have been doing something, at least initially.  However, he was prescribed citalopram at the same time, so it may have been hard to distinguish which was doing what.  Still,between the two drugs, his anxiety seemed to ease for awhile. 

 

Within a year or two of starting them, though, he began to experience what, in retrospect, were classic symptoms of tolerance withdrawal, though we didn't recognize them as such until just recently.  And by the time alprazolam was added a few years later, he definitely felt as though none of the meds were having any effect.   

 

That's one reason I was skeptical that the clonazepam would be any help as a "backup" during the so-called alprazolam "taper" schedule that the doctor insisted upon.  Of course, that involved a whopping 3 mg of clonazepam working in the background, compared with roughly half that much in your case.  But if I had to guess, I'd say it's doing more than you think it is. 

 

What a mess.

Thanks again for being so kind to take the time to share

SC

Yes, getting off of this stuff seems to be a mess for everyone on here.  And BB members are relatively knowledgeable.  I get so furious when I imagine all the people who have no clue what's happening to them and no support of any kind.

 

Talk to you again soon. 

   

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Hi koko & cini,

I so appreciate your input on here. I'm sorry I'm going to have to come back to it, when feeling better with multi health issues, right now. Just wanted to give you a heads up that it may take me a few to tell back to you. Hope you have a great weekend. This is great support going on here.

Thanks

SC

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Hi Scaredie,

 

I understand you're taking a little break, but I'm going to post this now while my notes are in front of me. 

 

My partner said that, prior to tapering, he took 1 mg alprazolam twice nightly, four hrs apart, then took 1 mg clonazepam every five hrs until it was time for alprazolam again.

9 pm  1 mg alprazolam

1 am  1 mg alprazolam

6 am  1 mg clonazepam

11 am 1 mg clonazepam

4 pm  1 mg clonazepam

 

With the first taper step (50% cut), clonazepam doses were spaced 8 hrs apart, with a bedtime alprazolam wedged between two of them:

9 pm  1 mg alprazolam

1 am  1 mg clonazepam

9 am  1 mg clonazepam

5 pm  1 mg clonazepam

 

2nd taper step:

9 pm  0.5 mg alprazolam

1 am  1 mg clonazepam

9 am  1 mg clonazepam

5 pm  1 mg clonazepam

 

3rd and final taper step:

9 pm  0.25 mg alprazolam

1 am  1 mg clonazepam

9 am  1 mg clonazepam

5 pm  1 mg clonazepam

 

Soon after eliminating alprazolam, he noticed interdose WD and began taking 0.5 mg clonazepam 6 times daily at 4 hrs intervals.

 

Hope this helps. 

 

Feel better soon!

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Hi Scaredie,

 

I understand you're taking a little break, but I'm going to post this now while my notes are in front of me. 

 

My partner said that, prior to tapering, he took 1 mg alprazolam twice nightly, four hrs apart, then took 1 mg clonazepam every five hrs until it was time for alprazolam again.

9 pm  1 mg alprazolam

1 am  1 mg alprazolam

6 am  1 mg clonazepam

11 am 1 mg clonazepam

4 pm  1 mg clonazepam

 

With the first taper step (50% cut), clonazepam doses were spaced 8 hrs apart, with a bedtime alprazolam wedged between two of them:

9 pm  1 mg alprazolam

1 am  1 mg clonazepam

9 am  1 mg clonazepam

5 pm  1 mg clonazepam

 

2nd taper step:

9 pm  0.5 mg alprazolam

1 am  1 mg clonazepam

9 am  1 mg clonazepam

5 pm  1 mg clonazepam

 

3rd and final taper step:

9 pm  0.25 mg alprazolam

1 am  1 mg clonazepam

9 am  1 mg clonazepam

5 pm  1 mg clonazepam

 

Soon after eliminating alprazolam, he noticed interdose WD and began taking 0.5 mg clonazepam 6 times daily at 4 hrs intervals.

 

Hope this helps. 

 

Feel better soon!

Hi koko,

Thanks so much for taking time to share this & everything that you have.

 

My brain is mush right now, so I'll have to look it over more than once, but every bit of input is helpful in this fight.

 

Has your partner ever had Derealization or visual distortions throughout this?

 

May I ask what your partners withdrawl symptoms are? I know we are all different.

 

How is he cutting? Dry cutting with scale? Compound? Etc.

 

So the 5 times per day dosing Took away interdose withdrawl?

 

Sorry I don't have your sig in front of me.

Is he still on antidepressants?

 

Benzo withdrawl causes me worse depression than my pre existing depression.

 

You are such an awesome partner for how you are advocating & supporting SO through this.

I hope he's partner & you are doing well.

 

I know I need to stabilize again, so its confusing & I know you don't have all the answers, but, recently I've been thinking you may be right that I may be in clonazepam interdose withdrawl.

 

I'll post update, in case anyone cares to read & just to keep the dialogue going.

 

Thanks again

Scaredie

 

 

 

 

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Koko, I think you May really be onto something. But not sure, as I have no pattern. Your initial reply about the clonazepam interdose withdrawl is definitely something to think seriously about. I think, when one does such changes, they are supposed to be done gradually, Like one clonazepam dose of a certain amount moved at a time, then hold etc, not sure... wish my brain would work better.

 

Great plan that maybe some mods or others with experience could chime in on too. So thank you.

 

Here's my most recent update for whomever. To keep dialogue going with any who choose.

 

Ugh well my copy paste didn't work..

 

 

 

 

 

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Try again

 

ended up, probably bad mistake, but making another klonopin cut of .125=on 6/12. So from ~1.625-1.5k. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I had been holding that uneven dry taper 1.625 k last cut dose K cut for a month & it was so uneven etc I just wanted to be rid of it & though I was ready. So it seems it ended up being too large of a cut(esp. since I was just then trying to stable my doses as described last) And I've been miserable & dysfunctional since with that withdrawal. Sobbing meltdowns, hopeless, irrational irritability, cog fog, fatigue. Have just felt that CNS couldn't take much, so fragile, sobbing off & on all day..

Simultaneously, I've been dealing with extreme level 10 pain from a chronic pain condition that flares worse on some days than others & it's been bad daily lately-bedridden, feeling toxic & OD'd on  otc pain relievers around the clock etc. This in itself drives people to severe depression, fatigue, anxiety.

 

I'm going to have to learn use scale from now on I believe for cuts.

 

Also, trying & failing to quit & or wean coffee over & over...

 

Anyway, I've been taking all 4 of my day .25 X doses, but not exactly at same times each day, but at least all 4. K cut helped that! I wake early due to my other health issues & beteween that & withdrawl sometimes I need to dose at like 5am & other days I've waited till anxious from caffeine, pain, & or withdrawl to take.

 

So, Sometimes ~7Am has been first dose & therefore last dose ends right before bed dose & or overlaps with it. Not Ideal, as that would/could effect how I fall asleep.  And have been times I had to force the 4th dose, but not too often due to k cut withdrawl.

 

I'll have to go through my calendar to track accuracy of dosing & Im just not up to that right now, sorry. But I've stayed within daily limits & not taken more nor less except for my .125 k cut on 6/12 & I accidentally skipped .5K on 6/16! I just didn't see it left in pill boc(no doubt threw a wrench into things) So-day .25X times 4 every 4 hours-starting 5-7am for first dose. Bed 1.5K, 1X.

 

I have noticed over at least the last 3 days until this morning, for some reason, that my vision, although somewhat distorted(letters looking big & bold & clear & colors looking bright & the reflections) has been moRe clear in the first part of the day & more blurry & sometimes double vision as I near bedtime, where I need my reading glasses to see tv less blurry & without double vision. This is what I journaled about that. On 6/16:

7:30am-I'm not sure what's going on right now but all my visuals seem pretty normal maybe some outdoor stuff looks a little bit fake like the neighbors house fake been going on so long I'm not sure but I'm not having blurry vision pretty clear nothing really seems very distorted right now and I'm anxious from coffee and having that body anxiety like I've been having RLS every night probably from my k pin cut. Water bottles are still sparkly and jiggly but not really bothering me.

5pm-just over past few minutes my vision has gotten really funky. They are going very blurry having a really hard time reading right now.

6/178pm-I think I'm starting to see a pattern of my visual distortion getting worse as the day goes on especially towards the evening at least in the past couple of days like my vision is getting blurry and glassy and Smeary, I feel like I need my glasses. So it either means, that the more I take my additional Xanax doses throughout the day, the Xanax is giving me visual side effects, somehow. Or the further I get away from my bed time clonazepam dose, withdrawal from that is causing my vision to go more blurry the day goes on. Or the further away from my morning coffee, the blurring gets worse. Maybe...that's my current hypothesis.

 

That said, this morning 6/19, I'm already having the blurry vision, but not as bad as it can get. Only main change is no OTC pain meds this am & a different coffee. Took first Xanax at 5:30am.

 

Feeling more stable, knock n wood than have all week, so far, emotionally,(also my pain hasn't flared up worse like it has been, which no doubt helps, but maybe starting to level out a bit from last cut?) but very tired. Yeah vision is quite off this am 10am 6/19 with the blurry stuff. Depression, pain starting to pick up.

 

Sorry long ramble. Had a little Sorta ok streak, there...Anyway, until the blurriness this am, I was  starting to think maybe moving some klonopin, in very small measured amount to the am might help. Even though I really don't want to do so. Thought I was seeing a pattern, of possible interdose klonopin withdrawal. But I guess too unstable still to see pattern to do that, yet.

 

Scaredie

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Hi koko,

Thanks so much for taking time to share this & everything that you have.

 

My brain is mush right now, so I'll have to look it over more than once, but every bit of input is helpful in this fight.

 

You're absolutely welcome, Scaredie.  Happy to help in any way I can, though I haven't much to offer. 

 

Congratulations on stepping down to 1.5 mg--you're a brave soul!  That daily dosage is my partner's short-term goal.  He has tried (and failed) twice.  The side effects were just too much.  We will have to go by smaller decrements next time.     

 

Has your partner ever had Derealization or visual distortions throughout this?

Not so far.  Back when he was so egregiously overmedicated, he complained of not being able to focus his eyes (similar to the blurry vision you mention?), and he would spend hours just staring into space.  I never ascertained what was going on in his mind during those times, and at this point, he no longer remembers even doing it. 

May I ask what your partners withdrawl symptoms are? I know we are all different.

He definitely suffers from benzo belly--or perhaps "SSRI-belly", if there is such a thing.  As I understand it, both drug classes affect that region of the body.  So--upset stomach, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation.  Since all of these symptoms presented within a year or two of clonazepam and citalopram being prescribed, we think in retrospect that they were tolerance withdrawal symptoms.  (The doctor has always maintained that these meds could not possibly be responsible, claiming that GI tract side effects are associated only with the first few weeks following the initiation of these drugs.)

My partner also suffers from a sore throat, headaches and muscle tension, the severity of which manifest in rough proportion to how recent and large his dosage cut has been.  These side effects usually show up 4-5 days after a cut and last for several days before slowly subsiding.  The sore throat seems to be related to the muscle tension--as though his esophagus is tightening down, if that makes any sense.       

How is he cutting? Dry cutting with scale? Compound? Etc.

He's been dry-cutting and is now at 1.75 mg.  He plans to hold there for another 6 weeks or so.  Eventually, it will be easier for him to taper using a compounded suspension, either prepared at home or at a pharmacy.

So the 5 times per day dosing Took away interdose withdrawl?

Yes--he actually doses 6 times a day nowadays.  Since you've stepped down to 1.5 mg, it would be possible to switch to three equal 0.5 mg doses every 8 hrs. 

If, after a couple of weeks, you don't feel it helps, you could return to taking K at bedtime.  Or you could go the other direction and dose 6 times daily at half a tablet every 4 hrs, though, honestly, I don't know how my partner avoids sleeping through his middle-of-the-night doses.   

Sorry I don't have your sig in front of me.

Is he still on antidepressants?

Yes, unfortunately, he is on 40 mg of citalopram--twice the recommended dosage for a person over 60 years old.  He is considering taking a longer-than-planned break from tapering clonazepam and turning his attention to reducing his citalopram to a more age-appropriate dose.  The survivingantidepressants website suggests that people taper off of at least some of their AD before completely ditching their BZD, the rationale being that many people tapering off of ADs wind up having to take a benzo to combat insomnia, anxiety, and other AD withdrawal effects.  Seems pointless to completely quit benzos only to have to go back on them.  But we found a doctor 2 hrs away who may be more helpful in advising us in this regard than my partner's current doctor has been.   

Benzo withdrawl causes me worse depression than my pre existing depression.

That's completely understandable, especially considering the severity of your symptoms.  Just the number of months (years?) all this tapering takes, and being unable to anticipate what side effects will show up next, is daunting for me, and I'm not even the one  experiencing the symptoms.   

You are such an awesome partner for how you are advocating & supporting SO through this.

I hope he's partner & you are doing well.

Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.  You're incredibly empathetic, even in the face of your own traumatic situation.  I hope that your schedule allows you time to rest and relax and eat well, insofar as your side effects allow you to, and that you have whatever emotional and physical support you need.  So far, my partner is doing better than expected, but he and I are both conscious of the tsunami of side effects headed his way--he has a long, long way to go before he's free of the effects of these cursed meds. 

I know I need to stabilize again, so its confusing & I know you don't have all the answers, but, recently I've been thinking you may be right that I may be in clonazepam interdose withdrawl.

In my partner's case, transitioning from 3 clonazepam doses to 6 was accomplished literally overnight with no negative repercussions.

In your case, going from a single nightly dose to three evenly distributed doses might be worth a try.  Given the long half-life, I wouldn't expect the change to be too disruptive, especially as you also have X to fall back on if acute symptoms arise.  Understand, I am not advising you to do anything differently--dividing up the daily dose over 24 hours is just what has worked out well for my partner. 

   

I'll post update, in case anyone cares to read & just to keep the dialogue going.

 

Thanks again

Scaredie

 

Glad you're beginning to adjust to your new K dosage.  I've missed you!

XOXO   

 

 

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