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15+ Years Ambien, 1 yr clonazepam


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Hello. I am currently trying to taper off several meds. I know the ideal way is to not taper more than one drug at a time.


After being CT’d off my AD (been taking for 30+ years) last year (followed dr’s advice), I was put on a roller coaster ride from hell. I’ve finally been able to stabilize on a very small amount of my old AD, Effexor. I’m taking 22 beads, or 9mg.


Now that I have stabilized, I’ve decided to hold the AD where it’s at and focus on Ambien. I’ve been taking 10mg a night for at least 15 years. I am a female. I want to get down to 5mg before I continue with the Effexor taper. My CNS is VERY sensitized from all the CT trauma last year.


I also am on .125 clonazepam daily as a result of the Effexor CT last year.


I don’t really want to switch to another benzo, and would rather dry taper off these drugs individually. Am I right in thinking I should start with the Ambien taper since it has a shorter half-life?


I’ve been reading this forum for a while and have already gained a lot of knowledge from your experiences. Thank you for being such a help to so many.

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Hello WillDoThis, Welcome to BenzoBuddies!


I'm so sorry to hear about your cold turkey from Effexor, it seems to have started a cascade of misfortune and pain.  You're correct in your assumption that we suggest eliminating only one drug at a time so I'm glad to see you've reached a somewhat stable point with the Effexor so you can work to reduce or eliminate your other medications.


It's difficult to get a consensus about which drug to taper first, I'll typically suggest cutting out the Clonazepam first so you have the advantage of using the z-drug for the insomnia which generally ensues, but others will suggest the z-drug first because of the short half life.


I have a question, is it your intention to eliminate the Ambien or do you just wish to reduce it?


I'll give you links to our taper and withdrawal support boards so you can get started, I look forward to hearing more of your story.




Planning your taper (Taper Plans)


Withdrawal Support (during your taper)


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Thank you, Pamster, for the welcome and links. Yes, I do plan on eliminating Ambien as well as the rest of the drugs. I’m trying to figure out the best path forward ... which to elimate first, etc..


I’m thinking about going down to 5mg Ambien, then focusing on the Effexor.  I’m torn about when to tackle the clonazepam, as it could be a stabilizing force when getting offf the other two. But, it scares me to stay on it any longer than necessary. Somewhere in this mix, I will then taper off the final 5mg of Ambien.


I know how awful Effexor wd’s are. Trying to do this without upsetting the whole cart. Ugh.

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I'm glad to hear you're planning to eliminate the Ambien, I've not heard of anyone being successful in simply reducing it, it seems to be an all or nothing situation for many once the body goes into withdrawal, the same goes for Clonazepam.


Many people find an A/D helpful while going through withdrawal especially if they've been on it for awhile, it can help with the depression associated with benzo withdrawal but as with most other things, you'll find a variety of opinions.


I suggest you start a thread on the withdrawal support board asking for feedback on which drug to taper first, then you can sort through the responses hopefully helping you to make your decision.


As for being on the Clonazepam longer, I feel since you've been on it since last year it probably won't matter if you're on it for awhile longer if you choose to taper it last, your body may already be dependent.



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