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Would like your input regarding my taper plan to minimize terrible tinnitus.


[Be...]

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Hello everybody,

 

I'm desperate since I've developed very loud tinnitus after just a few months of taking Alprazolam (0.25 mg 4 times a week from March to June), after weaning off abruptly in June, a very high pitched tinnitus kicked in.

 

I resumed a lower dosage, following a taper plan since July as it follows (dosage reduced every 2 weeks):

 

From July 6 to July 19:

 

0.125 mg of alprazolam everyday except: Mondays and Fridays.

 

From July 20 to August 2:

 

0.125 mg of Clonazepam (changed from Alprazolam) Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

 

From August 3 to August 16:

 

0.125 of Clonazepam: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays.

 

After August 16. STOP.

 

Even though I was taking a low dose before developing withdrawal symptoms, doesn't this taper schedule seem a little abrupt?

 

My tinnitus is driving me crazy and I'm afraid things are going to get much worse.

 

I do have other symptoms besides tinnitus (a little bit of sweaty hands, difficulty swallowing, and insomenia), but my worse symptom is without a doubt, tinnitus.

 

Looking forward to hear your input. It would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Your taper is different than we typically see so it's hard for me to comment on your rate.  I guess it all boils down to how you're feeling and it looks as if your symptoms are manageable except for the tinnitus.  I have to tell you that for many, this is the last symptom to leave with many suffering for far too long.  In fact, we have a support group thread for folks to discuss it, it's located here:  http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=96554.0

 

 

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Dear Pamster, I recommend that tenacious tinnitus club be archived instead of directing every newbie there. It's a black hole of negativity and directing newbies there is not good for them.

 

Ben. Hang in there man. It is a symptom that may hang around for a while.

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Dear Pamster, I recommend that tenacious tinnitus club be archived instead of directing every newbie there. It's a black hole of negativity and directing newbies there is not good for them.

 

Ben. Hang in there man. It is a symptom that may hang around for a while.

 

Thanks for your input 50shades.  :)

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Hello Pamster,

 

Thank you for your input.

 

Yes, you're not the first person to think my taper is different, and that concerns me a little bit. I need to consult a Dr. before Friday next week.

 

Regarding the Tinnitus  Group, I've had some trouble finding a success  story, so I guess I'll have to wait and see. Hope I can provide one in the future, but for now, I'm somewhat scared.

 

Your taper is different than we typically see so it's hard for me to comment on your rate.  I guess it all boils down to how you're feeling and it looks as if your symptoms are manageable except for the tinnitus.  I have to tell you that for many, this is the last symptom to leave with many suffering for far too long.  In fact, we have a support group thread for folks to discuss it, it's located here:  http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=96554.0

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Might I point out what Professor Ashton suggests if you decide your taper isn't working for you.

 

(1) Dosage tapering. There is absolutely no doubt that anyone withdrawing from long-term benzodiazepines must reduce the dosage slowly. Abrupt or over-rapid withdrawal, especially from high dosage, can give rise to severe symptoms (convulsions, psychotic reactions, acute anxiety states) and may increase the risk of protracted withdrawal symptoms (see Chapter III). Slow withdrawal means tapering dosage gradually, usually over a period of some months. The aim is to obtain a smooth, steady and slow decline in blood and tissue concentrations of benzodiazepines so that the natural systems in the brain can recover their normal state. As explained in Chapter I, long-term benzodiazepines take over many of the functions of the body's natural tranquilliser system, mediated by the neurotransmitter GABA. As a result, GABA receptors in the brain reduce in numbers and GABA function decreases. Sudden withdrawal from benzodiazepines leaves the brain in a state of GABA-underactivity, resulting in hyperexcitability of the nervous system. This hyperexcitability is the root cause of most of the withdrawal symptoms discussed in the next chapter. However, a sufficiently slow, and smooth, departure of benzodiazepines from the body permits the natural systems to regain control of the functions which have been damped down by their presence. There is scientific evidence that reinstatement of brain function takes a long time. Recovery after long-term benzodiazepine use is not unlike the gradual recuperation of the body after a major surgical operation. Healing, of body or mind, is a slow process.

 

As for the tinnitus group, it wasn't intended to scare you and I'm glad 50shades alerted me to it's nature.  I had hoped you'd find understanding and camaraderie but it's a good idea to avoid scary stuff because we're so filled with fear during this process.

 

 

 

 

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Thank you Pamster, I'm sure your intentions were good. I am a little scared since I saw a lot of negativity (which is totally natural, people are scared and desperate and want to feel better).

 

My doses and time on Alprazolam were somewhat lower from what I see in general. But each body and person is completely different. I believe I'm very overly sensitive to benzos.

 

I tried to look for success stories and cases similar to mine regarding their tinnitus, but I didn't see many.

 

My tinnitus is fluctuating a lot. Even on the same day can go from almost silent to electric buzz, or to a hiss.

 

Might I point out what Professor Ashton suggests if you decide your taper isn't working for you.

 

(1) Dosage tapering. There is absolutely no doubt that anyone withdrawing from long-term benzodiazepines must reduce the dosage slowly. Abrupt or over-rapid withdrawal, especially from high dosage, can give rise to severe symptoms (convulsions, psychotic reactions, acute anxiety states) and may increase the risk of protracted withdrawal symptoms (see Chapter III). Slow withdrawal means tapering dosage gradually, usually over a period of some months. The aim is to obtain a smooth, steady and slow decline in blood and tissue concentrations of benzodiazepines so that the natural systems in the brain can recover their normal state. As explained in Chapter I, long-term benzodiazepines take over many of the functions of the body's natural tranquilliser system, mediated by the neurotransmitter GABA. As a result, GABA receptors in the brain reduce in numbers and GABA function decreases. Sudden withdrawal from benzodiazepines leaves the brain in a state of GABA-underactivity, resulting in hyperexcitability of the nervous system. This hyperexcitability is the root cause of most of the withdrawal symptoms discussed in the next chapter. However, a sufficiently slow, and smooth, departure of benzodiazepines from the body permits the natural systems to regain control of the functions which have been damped down by their presence. There is scientific evidence that reinstatement of brain function takes a long time. Recovery after long-term benzodiazepine use is not unlike the gradual recuperation of the body after a major surgical operation. Healing, of body or mind, is a slow process.

 

As for the tinnitus group, it wasn't intended to scare you and I'm glad 50shades alerted me to it's nature.  I had hoped you'd find understanding and camaraderie but it's a good idea to avoid scary stuff because we're so filled with fear during this process.

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Thank you 50shadesofdre,

 

I'm trying to hang in there. Sometimes is difficult though. Like I mentioned to Pamster, my tinnitus is fluctuating a lot. I'm glad you've been able to improve many of your symptoms. I understand you still have Tinnitus. Has it gotten any better?

 

I'm just desperate for success stories/cases similar to mine.

 

The day where I have to completely cut off Clonazepam is coming, and I don't feel my current taper plan is appropriate (it skips some days during the week instead).

 

My current dose is 0.125 mg of Clonazepam 4 times a week (taking a day off in between). After tomorrow, it would be 0.125 mg 3 times a week (will keep this plan for 2 week until August 16). After that day, will stop.

 

As you can imagine, I'm scared of what might happen next week, and even more scared after August 16 (completely off benzos).

 

I'm trying to find a psychiatrist in my area, but most of them have been dismissive about my benzo intake for they consider it very little. They either say: is just fine, or they just prescribe more medications.

 

I do not want any more medication, I want to break free from benzos, because I'm convinced it was because of it that I'm experiencing this tinnitus.

 

I don't go to loud concerts, take recreational drugs, exposed to loud noises, or have an exciting life...the only think I could think of is having taken benzos for over 3 months and then stop cold turkey. It was 0.25 mg 4 times a week, but still, enough to create havoc and get me in in this situation.

 

I've read parts of the Ashton Manual, but they tackle tapering from higher doses. It's incredible how even with relatively small doses, withdrawal effects can be so bothersome.

 

Again, thank you for your support.

 

 

 

Dear Pamster, I recommend that tenacious tinnitus club be archived instead of directing every newbie there. It's a black hole of negativity and directing newbies there is not good for them.

 

Ben. Hang in there man. It is a symptom that may hang around for a while.

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I just wanted to chime in and say that as I’ve tapered lower my tinnitus has gotten much better, but I am doing a very slow taper. I have a friend who just finished their Klonopin taper after 1.5 years and they’re tinnitus is also much better. I occasionally had tinnitus before benzos, but certainly more so after. It is not intolerable though. I hope that my story and my friends give you a little encouragement.  :smitten:
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yah man. it's gotten better after 8 months. most days i only notice it when i think about. first thing in the morning or before bed but doesn't stop me from living or sleeping. first 2, or 3 months were the hardest. it would be nice if it went away completely. dont fear man. time is on your side.
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Thank you Kitsune556,

 

Glad your T is under control with the slow taper. Thanks for the advice. I'm not sure how to slow down, considering my current doses are pretty low (0.125 mg  of Clonazepam): These 2 last weeks my schedule is 0.125 mg: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Rest of the days> Free.

 

Each 2 weeks the weekly dosage is 25% less than the previous ones.

 

However, my T today is bothering a lot, I have a loud hissing, almost electric. The Ashton Manual advices changing to another benzo, but I'm changed from Alprazolam recently (too much change).

 

I was wondering if I split the pill even more...in 1/8s. Of course I'd have to calculate relying on my naked eye...

 

I just wanted to chime in and say that as I’ve tapered lower my tinnitus has gotten much better, but I am doing a very slow taper. I have a friend who just finished their Klonopin taper after 1.5 years and they’re tinnitus is also much better. I occasionally had tinnitus before benzos, but certainly more so after. It is not intolerable though. I hope that my story and my friends give you a little encouragement.  :smitten:

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Hi BenThrottle, I noticed you put your username in your signature line, but it would be helpful to members responding to your questions if you used that space to give a brief history of your medications and timeline.

 

Here are the instructions if case you've forgotten. Add your history/signature 

 

As for the Ashton manual, Professor Ashton had good luck with her patients crossing over to Valium but most of our members taper directly from their benzo, you should be able to complete your taper on the Clonazepam. 

 

Have you considered purchasing a jewelers scale and weighing your pills to get the small dose you're looking for?  Or perhaps your Dr could prescribe the liquid version.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I also have bad tinnitus. I had it for many years before the taper but now it's a lot louder. I'm hoping it will get better in time. I just wanted to mention that most people don't seem to recommend tapering where you are skipping the drug some days. I think the reason for this is that it's better to keep a consistent level of the drug in your system while you are tapering. Just something to consider.
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Thank you SRR for your input,

 

Hope your tinnitus gets better. Like you, I had it before, but it has become a living hell. It's a very debilitating symptom. Add that anxiety, and it's a sweet cocktail of pain.

 

That's exactly what I want to do. I'm now on a relatively low dosage (0.125 mg of Clonazepam per day). I'm not sure how to take it from here. I've watched some videos on dry tapering (they use a scale and shaft the pill a little day by day).

 

 

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Hi BenThrottle,

 

I'll respond to your PM here since it's against forum policy to discuss taper advice.  How are you, I know you're concerned about taking the Clonazepam every day because it increases your total dose, are you still worried about this?  I wonder if you could still take it every day but make two days a week a little bit lower.  Or you could do as has been suggested and begin to use a scale to get more accurate dosages.  Our team member Bob7 is really good at doing this and has perfected using capsules to make things as easy as possible.  Bob7 Benzo Dry Taper Method 

 

I think I've suggested to you before that you could get your Dr to write you a prescription for a liquid version at a  compounded pharmacy, but it's up to you.

 

As for supplements, some members swear by them but others have run into problems.  The issue is our sensitized central nervous system, we don't react like we used to so all bets are off when it comes to experimenting on ourselves during this time.  Whatever you decide to do, do a search on the Alternative Therapies & Supplements board or start a thread asking for input.  What works for one won't work for another so tread carefully.

 

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Hello Pamster,

 

Today I feel really anxious, I can barely concentrate. It could be because I took a pill that contained Ginko Biloba...in any case, I have a very loud tinnitus and terrible anxiety. Have shoved food down my throat so I don't faint.

 

Yesterday I talked to another psychiatrist over the phone and she told me that it is impossible I could've gotten tinnitus from benzo withdrawal. Then again, checking my habits, and YouTube, I saw a couple of videos about kindling and that confirmed why I feel like this.

 

Still, I'm doubting everything, and I wish someone could save me...I don't have the energy to be organized and make a rescue plan. Sorry if I sound dramatic, but I feel extremely lousy today, to say the least.

 

Two questions to finish this long message:

 

Do you think I'm experiencing kindling effect since I"m taking just one 1/4 per day? My second question: you mentioned I could reduce the dosage 2 days a week...you mean to 0.0625mg?

 

Thanks for everything.

 

I took the 0.125 mg and it has done nothing. I'm anxious, and the night is coming...and I don't feel ready to sleep.

 

My Doctor didn't give me that option of the liquid solution. I should ask again to some other Doctor, once I gather the strength to book an appointment.

 

I do have a jewelers scale I recently bought.

 

I'm planning to take 0.125 mg every day this week, but I'm not sure about the tapering.  I weighted the whole rivotril pill (.50 mg) it weighted 153 mg.

 

So I divided that amount by four: 38.5 mg and from there I'm planning to scrape off a little bit every week to make it approximately: 38 mg, next week 35, next 30, next 27, next 25 mg and so forth.

 

I'll check the supplement with the link you gave me...I was planning to take melatonin, and 5HTP...but as you mentioned, the nervous system is so hyper sensitive that I feel whatever I do can create a great deal of symptoms.

 

Please let me know if you personally know of a harmless supplement to help me sleep (I know you're not a doctor and is not medical advice), also if you think my taper plan sounds good.

 

I will check the resources when I feel better. Lately I'm noticing I'm feeling worse. The other problem is that I feel extremely scared and hopeless.

 

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