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help! what am I doing wrong?


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Hi folks,

I've been going through excrutiating panic attacks and depression every day, the likes of which I never experienced prior to Klonopin dependency.  I've been on 0.375 mg/day since July, built up from occasional use since spring.  I've been holding at this dose, but I don't seem to be stabilizing at all.  If anything I'm getting much worse.

 

Every day I carefully dry cut a 0.375 dose (3/4 of a Klonopin 0.5 mg pill) into 0.0620 each, and take them at 3:30 am, 7 am, 10:30 am, 2 pm, 5:30 pm, 9 pm.  This continuous coverage is intended to cover any breakthrough or rebound anxiety.  But it's not working.  Sometime during the day or night, or sometimes both, I go through this physical/mental torture.  It makes me wonder if I was Klonopin intolerant to begin with and feeding this dragon just makes things worse!!!

 

I am anxious to taper, but without a solid plan or help, I am just in a hold.  So why am I going through such hell every day?  What am I doing wrong?  Where can I turn for relief?  This is exhausting and unendurable. 

 

My psychiatrist is unavailable and my primary would not have the time or inclination to address.  Just a thought......it occurs to me that benzos cause neurological dependence, not psychological addiction, and might be more the realm of a neurologist?  If I went to an ER, mental facility or detox center, they don't understand benzo issues and would probably screw me up worse.  So who, what and where can help?

 

thank you,

 

clearbluesky

ps........not to sound irritable, ha, but is there some way to permanently remove the row of horrid little animated emojis above the message window?  They are not helping.

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Hi folks,

I've been going through excrutiating panic attacks and depression every day, the likes of which I never experienced prior to Klonopin dependency.  I've been on 0.375 mg/day since July, built up from occasional use since spring.  I've been holding at this dose, but I don't seem to be stabilizing at all.  If anything I'm getting much worse.

 

Every day I carefully dry cut my daily 0.375 dose (3/4 of a Klonopin 0.5 mg pill) into 0.0620 each, and take them at 3:30 am, 7 am, 10:30 am, 2 pm, 5:30 pm, 9 pm.  This continuous coverage is intended to cover any breakthrough or rebound anxiety.  But it's not working.  Sometime during the day or night, or sometimes both, I go through this physical/mental torture.  It makes me wonder if I was Klonopin intolerant to begin with and feeding this dragon just makes things worse!!!

 

I am anxious to taper, but without a solid plan or help, I am just in a hold.  So why am I going through such hell every day?  What am I doing wrong?  Where can I turn for relief?  This is exhausting and unendurable. 

 

My psychiatrist is unavailable and my primary would not have the time or inclination to address.  Just a thought......it occurs to me that benzos cause neurological dependence, not psychological addiction, and might be more the realm of a neurologist?  If I went to an ER, mental facility or detox center, they don't understand benzo issues and would probably screw me up worse.  So who, what and where can help?

 

thank you,

 

clearbluesky

ps........not to sound irritable, ha, but is there some way to permanently remove the row of horrid little animated emojis above the message window?  They are not helping.

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Hey, Clearblue. Sorry you're going through so much anxiety. Are you saying you've only been on K since this spring? Have you been tapering at all? It might be helpful to add your profile. Maybe you're right, that you just can't tolerate K and need to try something else. I don't have any experience with the newer generation benzos which are much more powerful and short lived than valium but I did go through a period of extreme anxiety, panic and fear to the point I thought I was losing my mind. I found myself just pacing the floor all day long but eventually it subsided and I hope it will for you.
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If I understand correctly the most you've taken in a single day is .375mg..and only started in the spring initially?

 

It sounds like you have hit tolerance quickly or are having a paradoxical reaction to the medication. If this is the case, spreading the dose out over the day may not help.

 

We recommend a slow taper on here, but some ppl in your situation have done a more rapid taper bc the med has just gone so wrong for them.

When is the soonest you can get int to see your psychiatrist? This should always be a discussion for your doc (even though most seem to no be benzo-wise).

IF a person does a rapid taper bc the med is paradoxical ..that person will need to have supports, lessen stressors, and someone to check in on them definitely for the first bit to be sure they are safe.

 

I had to do a rapid taper off of ativan. My dose was around .375 and .25mg. Rapid taper is no joke, but living in tolerance and pardoxical symptoms is another hell on earth too. Weigh your choice carefully and be sure to check in with the doctor.

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Hi Jwl and Trina,

 

Thank you for your response!  Yep, the most Klonopin I've taken in a single day is .375 mg.  Up until this spring my Klonopin use was so sporadic, rare and low dose it would have been impossible to evaluate  cumulative effects and suitability!  It was only in the last few months that I started taking it daily (description below) and from all indications that level of use may have caused or aggravated, rather then alleviated, my anxiety.  Seems to me that if I just don't tolerate this drug well, I will never stabilize.  I will only get worse.  If so, wouldn't a hold increase and prolong damage?

 

Actually it gets even more complex. I'll continue in another frame......

 

blessings to you,

 

clearbluesky

 

(I always took Klonopin sporadically in the past, and did again this spring as stresses started adding up in March and April.  Not daily.  It wasn't until May, I believe, that I started taking one-quarter (0.125 mg) of a 0.5 mg pill daily as an anxiety preventative.  Then I upped it to two one-quarter segments a day (total 0.25 mg daily) when I quit smoking in early July.  I thought it might help with cig withdrawl, but when things became worse, I upped it to three one-quarter tablets (total 0.375 mg) a day. 

 

Then when I read about Klonopin horror stories online I dropped back to two one-quarter segments (0.25 mg total) a day.  For three days I was okay, then on the fourth day I was clobbered by panic attacks that felt like seizures!  So I went back up to three-quarters (0.375 mg) of a 0.5 mg Klonopin a day.  That's where I remain........in a hold dry cutting the 0.375 mg into tiny portions to take 6 times a day.  But every day I suffer hours of constant tension, severe depression or panic attacks, so I don't think this method is covering rebound anxiety very well, and I have to wonder if I'm not a paradoxical case.)

 

 

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My sister called today.  She had told my Klonopin problems to her psychiatrist and her psychiatrist said 0.375 mg a day Klonopin started so recently would not require a long taper, nor did she believe such a low dose would be causing my acute reactions. 

 

My sister also talked to a friend who is a registered pharmacist working in the controlled substances (inc. benzos) lab of one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the country.  My sister is a chemical engineer who used to work in R+D herself at this company until retirement.  Her friend said that at 0.375 mg/day I am "basically not taking Klonopin at all."  She suggested a quick taper of 1/8 (0.0620) of a 0.5 mg Klonopin 3X a day for 3 days.  Then 0.0620 mg once a day consistently morning or evening for 3 days.  Then stop altogether.

 

After reading horror stories here, no way would I risk this fast a taper!  But might they have a point that 0.375 mg started recently is actually pretty negligible?  It makes me wonder if my panic attacks are psychosomatic, unrelated or paradoxical.  It's true, I've always been pharma-phobic..........

 

Thank you for your thoughts and input,

 

clearbluesky     

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Hi folks,

I've been going through excrutiating panic attacks and depression every day, the likes of which I never experienced prior to Klonopin dependency.  I've been on 0.375 mg/day since July, built up from occasional use since spring.  I've been holding at this dose, but I don't seem to be stabilizing at all.  If anything I'm getting much worse.

 

Every day I carefully dry cut a 0.375 dose (3/4 of a Klonopin 0.5 mg pill) into 0.0620 each, and take them at 3:30 am, 7 am, 10:30 am, 2 pm, 5:30 pm, 9 pm.  This continuous coverage is intended to cover any breakthrough or rebound anxiety.  But it's not working.  Sometime during the day or night, or sometimes both, I go through this physical/mental torture.  It makes me wonder if I was Klonopin intolerant to begin with and feeding this dragon just makes things worse!!!

 

I am anxious to taper, but without a solid plan or help, I am just in a hold.  So why am I going through such hell every day?  What am I doing wrong?  Where can I turn for relief?  This is exhausting and unendurable. 

 

My psychiatrist is unavailable and my primary would not have the time or inclination to address.  Just a thought......it occurs to me that benzos cause neurological dependence, not psychological addiction, and might be more the realm of a neurologist?  If I went to an ER, mental facility or detox center, they don't understand benzo issues and would probably screw me up worse.  So who, what and where can help?

 

thank you,

 

clearbluesky

ps........not to sound irritable, ha, but is there some way to permanently remove the row of horrid little animated emojis above the message window?  They are not helping.

 

It's time to switch to Valium.

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Yes my dose was considered "low" too and I was advised to do a few days taper... so thats what I did. I was flooded with symptoms afterwards.

Most professionals are not benzo wise bc they have not been exposed to the info out there warning of how these meds can go really wrong. I took my share of psyche pharmacology course and was only told there was a "possibility" of addiction, basically eluding that if taken as prescribed a person would be fine, but if taken on the streets thats how it goes bad.

So that info is wrong....

 

i would not switch over to a different benzo bc you seem to have gone paradoxical, and you're not even at .5mg. You prob won't even get a Dr to agree to it bc of your "low" dose.

 

Do what you feel is right for you and your situation. Rebound anxiety is difficult. wd anxiety is difficult. But it does get better.

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Maugham - is there a reason or advantage to switch to Valium?  Would it be for easier tapering?

If I have bad reactions to Klonopin, would it be the same with all benzos?

 

I'm wondering if the physical side effects are the same as I tend to get a headache and heart palpitations 1/2 hour after taking a dose of Klonopin.  Also, I have a Wellue overnight oximeter, and have noticed a pattern where my heart rate tends to do an extreme spike about 4 hours after my last Klonopin dose.

 

My case worker says I need to stop playing doctor......

 

clearbluesky

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Trina, I so much relate to you, especially after reading your blog.  Would love to hang out with you if you lived nearby!

 

I think you're right about low dose rebound anxiety, but hope my Dr will not prescribe a higher dose of Klonopin to address it.  To me that would be a step in the wrong direction.

 

As is, would my low dose "rebound anxiety" be likely to go away on its own eventually?  Or not until/unless I've either increased dosage or quit Klonopin entirely?

 

Kinda Sisyphus-like as is....

 

clearbluesky

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Trina, I so much relate to you, especially after reading your blog.  Would love to hang out with you if you lived nearby!

 

I think you're right about low dose rebound anxiety, but hope my Dr will not prescribe a higher dose of Klonopin to address it.  To me that would be a step in the wrong direction.

 

As is, would my low dose "rebound anxiety" be likely to go away on its own eventually?  Or not until/unless I've either increased dosage or quit Klonopin entirely?

 

Kinda Sisyphus-like as is....

 

clearbluesky

 

Awe thanks!

Know that even with a "proper" taper people can still have wd symptoms after..many times it just can't be avoided, but the idea of tapering is to make things less severe and not be a seizure risk.

 

FYI: If I hadn't "played Dr." and did research via "Dr. Google" they psyche community would still be polydrugging me to death. So I'm so glad I did it. But since then I have learned to slow down on the health searches as it can be all consuming. Balance is everything:)

 

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Maugham - is there a reason or advantage to switch to Valium?  Would it be for easier tapering?

If I have bad reactions to Klonopin, would it be the same with all benzos?

 

I'm wondering if the physical side effects are the same as I tend to get a headache and heart palpitations 1/2 hour after taking a dose of Klonopin.  Also, I have a Wellue overnight oximeter, and have noticed a pattern where my heart rate tends to do an extreme spike about 4 hours after my last Klonopin dose.

 

My case worker says I need to stop playing doctor......

 

clearbluesky

 

Valium would likely be easier to taper. Ashton says that. And more importantly, I say that:) Joking aside, I was in a bad shape when I reached 0.375 Klonopin, and when I took my dose (3 times a day), I felt no relief, maybe even worse. I don't know if I can call that paradoxical, but it was no fun. Then I switched to Valium and it has been smooth sailing (kind of) since then.

 

If your doctor doesn't want you to switch, find another one. I specifically looked for one who advocated for switching. Again, people will say lots of things here, but I rather trust Ashton than people here.

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I think you nailed it, Maugham.  That is exactly what I need!  My sister and BF roughly mapped out Klonopin - Valium plans according to the Ashton charts, which we agree is the way to go.  But I need a doctor to work with, and every lead turns into a dead end.  I'm physically exhausted by days of high anxiety, fruitlessness and discouragement.  No help is beginning to feel like no hope.  I live right outside a large metro area, there are many hospitals and health care providers and I have Medicare.  Yet help doesn't seem to be available and my searches all fall through.  Sorry to sound like such a bummer.  It's all I can do to hang in there...... 

 

 

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Do you have a proper scale so that you can get the cuts just right? I hope so. It's more difficult as you get to the end, so be aware of that.

 

Please don't listen to people who are pharmacists, doctors, anyone in the medical community! They may know what they're talking about for "normal" people, but we're talking about pills that have turned into neurotoxins that are harming the CNS, and once you cross over that threshold, you have to be very, very careful about your choices. I listened to pharmacists and doctors, and that was hopeless. And yes, 0.375 IS a sizable dose for a very sensitive CNS. You'll want to be very steady in your choices from now on.

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Oh my.  I for one would not be able to come up with a Klonopin - Valium crossover or taper plan on my own.  I don't have a Valium prescription, and I'm not that good at math.  If we're talking about drugs that affect the central nervous system, what about consulting neurologists? 
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Here's a crossover support group to Valium: http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=101814.1350

 

Here's a support group for Klonopin: http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=163449.0

 

And here's a daily micro-tapering support group: http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=135284.11560

 

Within those groups there are usually people who will be able to figure out the math and get you started.

 

GOOD LUCK!!!

 

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