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Almost 3 decades of benzo use


[Mi...]

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I have used benzo's for all of my adult life. Prescribed for panic attacks/social anxiety disorder. Alprazolem initially(for about 5 years or so). Clonazepam for over 20 years. Prescribed as needed up to 2mg/day. In the past few months I have stabilized my dose to 1.5mg/day. 0.75mg in the morning and 0.75mg in the evening.

 

About 2 months ago i began ketamine infusion treatments for treatment resistent depression. The ketamine is effective but can be made less effective by the clonazepam. My doctor has been great at trying to work with me on getting the ketamine dosage right. However, we both agree that tapering off the clonazepam is vital. I am curious to see who, if anyone, here has experience with working with these two medications.

 

I have tried to taper off of clonazpem a few times but I really didn't understand the potency of this medication. I tried recently to cut out just 0.125mg per day and it was a painfully noticeable change. I am glad to have found this forum and hope to learn as much as I can so that I can taper off wisely.

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Hello Minmaxer - Welcome to BenzoBuddies!

 

We're glad you joined us and that you have made the decision to quit Klonopin. You will find guidance, information and support here to help you with a plan for a successful taper. This is a community of members who understand what this process is like. There are many members who have taken benzos for decades, made multiple attempts to quit and gone on to taper successfully and recover fully.  This forum has been a lifeline for many, including me.

 

We recommend a slow, careful taper with cuts of no more than 5-10% every 10-14 days or longer.  This helps keep withdrawal symptoms to a minimum so you can function as well as possible in withdrawal.  Many members choose to taper even more slowly, letting their taper be guided by symptoms, making cuts when symptoms have become more manageable. 

 

Please explore the site and feel free to post.  Here are some links to help you get started:

 

Planning Your Withdrawal (Taper Plans)

 

Withdrawal Support (during your taper)

 

It’s helpful to create a signature so other members who want to reply to your posts can see where you are in the process. Here’s how to add your benzo info automatically to your posts: go to Profile, then Forum Profile, write your info (which benzo, dose, taper history) in the text box and save. Thanks! Let us know if you need help with this.

 

We're glad you're here - please reach out for support,

Brighterday  :) 

 

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[90...]

Hi. Consider a micro taper of your benzo. It is usually symptom free though it does take time.

 

Can you tell if ketamine helped? I'm benzo free (I micro tapered) and am considering it for my depression.

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[f0...]

Hi minmaxer,

 

I was also a long-time Klonopin user, took 3mg a day for 21 years.  I recently tapered off over six months so it can be done.  I found that my mood improved after I was halfway through my taper and it continues to improve now that I am 2+ months off.  I hope that will be your experience also.

 

Welcome to BenzoBuddies,

 

Kate  :thumbsup:

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Hi. Consider a micro taper of your benzo. It is usually symptom free though it does take time.

 

Can you tell if ketamine helped? I'm benzo free (I micro tapered) and am considering it for my depression.

 

I think Ketamine can be very helpful for depression. I can't stress enough though, that having the right doctor and staff is just as important as receiving the ketamine itself. Because ketamine affects people in so many different ways it's important that the doctor and staff administering the treatment are willing to listen to the subtleties of your response to the medication and adjust accordingly. Two important questions to ask(and followup questions): 1. What is the dosing strategy?(pharmacological, therapeutic, psychoactive?).  What is the long-term game plan for sustaining the anti-depressant effects?(do they offer at home micro-dosing options, i.e intranasal, oral to extend the time needed between booster infusions(infusions needed after the initial 6-8 that is the most common treatment protocol)?

 

The ketamine has helped but not in the ways I thought it would and what I'm realizing for myself still taking klonopin is I may have been resistant to anti-depressants in general because of the side-effects of klonopin. This also may have limited the benefit I may have received long-term from the ketamine. Still trying to figure that out. Or really if I was benzo free if I even need medicinal treatment for depression. That is yet to be determined and I'm working with the ketamine doc in real time to figure that out.

 

If you are benzo free and your depression at this point is not related to the side-effects of another medication you may be a great candidate for ketamine.

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Hi minmaxer,

 

I was also a long-time Klonopin user, took 3mg a day for 21 years.  I recently tapered off over six months so it can be done.  I found that my mood improved after I was halfway through my taper and it continues to improve now that I am 2+ months off.  I hope that will be your experience also.

 

Welcome to BenzoBuddies,

 

Kate  :thumbsup:

 

That is very encouraging news! If I may ask, at what point in your 6 month taper where you at 1.5mg/day? Thank you!

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I tapered after 15 yrs use. I feel after a few months or a year of use, withdrawal is the same for all.

 

That is good to hear and encouraging to hear seeing as I have felt the 3 decades of use has my inner critic telling me this may be insurmountable.

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Hello Minmaxer - Welcome to BenzoBuddies!

 

We're glad you joined us and that you have made the decision to quit Klonopin. You will find guidance, information and support here to help you with a plan for a successful taper. This is a community of members who understand what this process is like. There are many members who have taken benzos for decades, made multiple attempts to quit and gone on to taper successfully and recover fully.  This forum has been a lifeline for many, including me.

 

We recommend a slow, careful taper with cuts of no more than 5-10% every 10-14 days or longer.  This helps keep withdrawal symptoms to a minimum so you can function as well as possible in withdrawal.  Many members choose to taper even more slowly, letting their taper be guided by symptoms, making cuts when symptoms have become more manageable. 

 

Please explore the site and feel free to post.  Here are some links to help you get started:

 

Planning Your Withdrawal (Taper Plans)

 

Withdrawal Support (during your taper)

 

It’s helpful to create a signature so other members who want to reply to your posts can see where you are in the process. Here’s how to add your benzo info automatically to your posts: go to Profile, then Forum Profile, write your info (which benzo, dose, taper history) in the text box and save. Thanks! Let us know if you need help with this.

 

We're glad you're here - please reach out for support,

Brighterday  :)

 

Thank you, Brighterday! I'm already very encouraged by the wealth of knowledge and encouragement provided in this forum. There is hope. I'll update my profile shortly.

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[90...]

Hi. Consider a micro taper of your benzo. It is usually symptom free though it does take time.

 

Can you tell if ketamine helped? I'm benzo free (I micro tapered) and am considering it for my depression.

 

I think Ketamine can be very helpful for depression. I can't stress enough though, that having the right doctor and staff is just as important as receiving the ketamine itself. Because ketamine affects people in so many different ways it's important that the doctor and staff administering the treatment are willing to listen to the subtleties of your response to the medication and adjust accordingly. Two important questions to ask(and followup questions): 1. What is the dosing strategy?(pharmacological, therapeutic, psychoactive?).  What is the long-term game plan for sustaining the anti-depressant effects?(do they offer at home micro-dosing options, i.e intranasal, oral to extend the time needed between booster infusions(infusions needed after the initial 6-8 that is the most common treatment protocol)?

 

The ketamine has helped but not in the ways I thought it would and what I'm realizing for myself still taking klonopin is I may have been resistant to anti-depressants in general because of the side-effects of klonopin. This also may have limited the benefit I may have received long-term from the ketamine. Still trying to figure that out. Or really if I was benzo free if I even need medicinal treatment for depression. That is yet to be determined and I'm working with the ketamine doc in real time to figure that out.

 

If you are benzo free and your depression at this point is not related to the side-effects of another medication you may be a great candidate for ketamine.

 

Thanks for the well thought out reply.

 

Yes, I'm a good candidate then because I'm 2 years benzo free (not counting the 1.5 year taper). I'm from Kolkata, India and the only clinic that does ketamine here is in Mumbai. I can't travel 'cos of covid restrictions yet.

 

Your strategy is very good. If I were you I'd do the same. Benzos, I believe, can cause depression. Search for groovejuice -- his depression lifted after he quit his benzo. There are many others with similar experience in BB.

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[f0...]

Hi minmaxer,

 

I was also a long-time Klonopin user, took 3mg a day for 21 years.  I recently tapered off over six months so it can be done.  I found that my mood improved after I was halfway through my taper and it continues to improve now that I am 2+ months off.  I hope that will be your experience also.

 

Welcome to BenzoBuddies,

 

Kate  :thumbsup:

 

That is very encouraging news! If I may ask, at what point in your 6 month taper where you at 1.5mg/day? Thank you!

[/quot

 

I think it was halfway through (three months) that I was at 1.5mg. And I was starting to feel better then, too.

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Hi minmaxer,

 

I was also a long-time Klonopin user, took 3mg a day for 21 years.  I recently tapered off over six months so it can be done.  I found that my mood improved after I was halfway through my taper and it continues to improve now that I am 2+ months off.  I hope that will be your experience also.

 

Welcome to BenzoBuddies,

 

Kate  :thumbsup:

 

That is very encouraging news! If I may ask, at what point in your 6 month taper where you at 1.5mg/day? Thank you!

[/quot

 

I think it was halfway through (three months) that I was at 1.5mg. And I was starting to feel better then, too.

 

Thank you, Kate!

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Hi. Consider a micro taper of your benzo. It is usually symptom free though it does take time.

 

Can you tell if ketamine helped? I'm benzo free (I micro tapered) and am considering it for my depression.

 

I think Ketamine can be very helpful for depression. I can't stress enough though, that having the right doctor and staff is just as important as receiving the ketamine itself. Because ketamine affects people in so many different ways it's important that the doctor and staff administering the treatment are willing to listen to the subtleties of your response to the medication and adjust accordingly. Two important questions to ask(and followup questions): 1. What is the dosing strategy?(pharmacological, therapeutic, psychoactive?).  What is the long-term game plan for sustaining the anti-depressant effects?(do they offer at home micro-dosing options, i.e intranasal, oral to extend the time needed between booster infusions(infusions needed after the initial 6-8 that is the most common treatment protocol)?

 

The ketamine has helped but not in the ways I thought it would and what I'm realizing for myself still taking klonopin is I may have been resistant to anti-depressants in general because of the side-effects of klonopin. This also may have limited the benefit I may have received long-term from the ketamine. Still trying to figure that out. Or really if I was benzo free if I even need medicinal treatment for depression. That is yet to be determined and I'm working with the ketamine doc in real time to figure that out.

 

If you are benzo free and your depression at this point is not related to the side-effects of another medication you may be a great candidate for ketamine.

 

Thanks for the well thought out reply.

 

Yes, I'm a good candidate then because I'm 2 years benzo free (not counting the 1.5 year taper). I'm from Kolkata, India and the only clinic that does ketamine here is in Mumbai. I can't travel 'cos of covid restrictions yet.

 

Your strategy is very good. If I were you I'd do the same. Benzos, I believe, can cause depression. Search for groovejuice -- his depression lifted after he quit his benzo. There are many others with similar experience in BB.

 

Thank you for the advice and suggestions. I will check out groovejuice. I wish you well with ketamine treatment if you go that route. If you have any other questions regarding ketamine treatment don't hesitate to ask.

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