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Klonopin taper?


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This is my first post.

 

I am in withdrawal from klonopin which I have taken 1 mg at night for 8 years to help with sleep. I also was taking Ambiem.

 

Please excuse my rambling. I really am having a hard time thinking straight.

 

Last year, with what seemed like something out of the blue, I began to have feelings of fear when I woke up . My shrink just summarily took out his prescription pad and wrote me a prescrption for 2 mg of Klon twice a day...up from the 1 mg just at night.

 

I felt drugged out from this so I called him and he just said stop taking all klonopin...which I did...not having ANY idea what I was playing with.

 

I started in with the the fear feelings after this. The Ambien has also been stopped in favor of Roserem.

 

I told my regular doctor and he gave me 1 mg of klon a night. I still had  the feelings of fear, and I had awful pains in my stomach, as well as heart palpitations. My doctor tested for these sysmptoms....I had a "high tech" stress test for my heart. I had a tube put down my throat and up my butt to investigate the addominal problems. All came up negative. My doctor now started to look at me as some kind of hypochondriac. He frankly seemed upset with fact his medicine hadn't worked on me.

 

I then read about klonopin and benzos and realized all the things I had been experiencing was from withdrawal from the Ambien and the klonopin. I brougth the Ashton manual to my doctor and he get pieved with me, and said he wouldn't give me Valium..

 

So I am trying to taper myself off klonopin. I am now taking .5, and have all this fear.

 

I am afraid to go out of the house, and be with people.

 

I simply am at wits end about what to do. I must suffer this all in silence becaseu I have kids ranging from 7 to 15 . I don't want them to know their father is afraid to go outside. Luckily I am retired an can stay at home.

 

Don't know what to ask here. Am so confused and frustrated, and plan unsure of my future.

 

Can a person wean himself off klonopin by just using klonopin? I have no choice since my doctor won't change me over to valium.

 

Would like to hear form anyone who had done this.

 

Thanks in advance

 

INB

 

 

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Hi INB,

 

I tapered myself of 4.5mg of Klonopin. However, I did have 0.5mg tablets (do you use 1mg or 2mg tablets?), and I did not have a family to care for. It is possible to taper off Klonopin very gently, even with larger dose tablets using titrations (making a liquid from your benzo pills), but you probably would still benefit from using 0.5mg tablets.

 

Your history lacks a detailed timescale - how long have been on your present dose of 0.5mg Klonopin? Is this the only benzo you now take? Can you provide a rough outline of your tapering history!?

 

To reassure you - yes, you can certainly taper off Klonopin. You do not need to substitute with Valium.

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Hi INB,

 

Many of us either choose to or have no other option but to taper directly off of klonopin. I've read Ashton and I decided to stay with klonopin. I was worried about replacing the known evil with the unknown one...

So, yes, of course you can do a direct taper. My recommendation is to go slowly. We can help you with that.  :thumbsup:

 

You said you've been on it for 8 years or so, right? I am not surprised about your wakings with fear. I've been on it longer than you before started tapering and have had them so often. I think that's what's been termed 'tolerance withdrawal'. I also had all the tests (cardio, gastro) you mentioned (and some) and everything was negative, like yours. Finally, it became clear to me what the main culprit is. Similar story here.  ;)

 

Just taper slowly IBN. Don't rush it. Fears will go away. Well, I hope so. I've had them several nights in a row now but am forcing myself to get ready and make it to work. For some reason, early mornings are the worst, anxiety wise, for lots of us.

 

Take care.

Tanya :)

 

 

 

 

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Colin, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your message. I have been reading everyplace I turn that the Ashton valium method is the only way to go, and have been very despondant about that...being that my doctor got mad at me when I showed him the manual. Finding out that you actually came off more klonopin that I have ever taken has given me some hope.

 

My history:

 

I had been taking klonopin 1 mg per night for eight years. I also was taking ambien, I think it was 15 mg. (it was whatever the doctors subscribe). I watched a commercial on TV about lunesta and asked for that one, and it didn't work, so I asked for sonata , and that didn't work, so we tried rpzerem, etc . Nothing worked.

 

In the meantime (and these are the symptoms I still have) I am getting feelings of fear, and my body would jump to the sound of a telphone, or even the sound of my wife walking into our bedroom. My body will also jerk if I lay down....like spasmodic jerks. Also I will jump if someone touches me when I am resting. I think now tht it was withdrawal from Ambien.

 

When I told my doctor that I had fear, he raised my klonopin form 12 mg at night to 2 mg twice a day. When i told him this cause me to feel drugged out he just said, Stop taking the klonopin.

 

I just cut the klonopin from 1mg to .5 three days ago. I seem to be holding the same since doing so....but I don't know what will happen tomorrow.

 

I am also taking Suboxone for a ultram addiction I developed. 8 mg per day. It is working for that, and it causes me to be relaxed. Maybe that is also holding down the nervousnes of klonopin withdrawal. Just don't know. To tell you the truth I am starting to feel worse and worse as I am writing this letter. Maybe the withdrawal is kicking in.

 

I also take remeron 15 mg to sleep with and it works great, and I am taking 2400 mg of neurontin for chronic pain (the thing that got me started on this road of drug dependence in the first place).

 

I only have 2 mg tablets of klonopin, but I think the doctor will give me .5's  if I ask him next time I see him in two weeks. Should I do that?

 

Will await your advice...just know that I sure appreciate this ray of hope. I ahve three kids and I must suffer this withdrawal without anyone knowing it...thus I must act all the time like I am well. This is getting hard to do, and I just don't how I can keep it up. Need help badly, and doctor isn't answer. He doesn't even seem to know that there can be withdrawal from benzos.

 

INB

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Hi,

 

Perhaps you should give yourself a break and reverse this last cut. I certainly didn't cut my daily dose from 1mg to 0.5mg per day in one go, but then again, I was using 0.5mg tablets. Why not just take the 1mg that (from reading between the lines) was working for you, and stick to this dose until you manage to get hold of the 0.5mg tablets - they will make a big difference! You have already made big inroads to your dose, but you appear to have hit a bit of a wall. Most people need to make smaller cuts as their dose diminishes.

 

Ashton developed her schedule for people than had mostly already failed to quit: they tended to be tough cases. This doesn't mean that it not a valuable method of withdrawal, only that plenty of people do manage quit without substituting for Valium. If you should need to make even smaller cuts than you can mange by pill-splitting the 0.5mg tablets, we can devise a titration plan for you (making a liquid from your Klonopin) that makes very small divisions of dose possible. The chances are though that you will be able to taper off just by pill-splitting 0.5mg tablets.

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Thanks, Tanya for telling me that you have had the same problems as me. It's reassuring to know that I am not uniqie.

 

I am glad to know the the Ashton method is not the only method. Phew, that's a relief...since I am stonewalled there.

 

Colin, I can see you really know what is going on, and what to do. I just went into my bedroom and crushed a quarter of a 2mg table, and used a razor blade to measure half of that. I just took that so that means I am at .75 for the day. If that doesn't help me, I'll take your advice and go back to the 1 mg. and just wait until I can get the .5's from doctor.

 

I was jsut wondering...could it be that the klonopin is not causing this feeling of fear, and hyper vigilance, and it is still the ambien withdrawal. It's been about a year since I stopped taking it, and stomach cramps ahve gone away. The fear though is still there. Don't look forward to lying down or going to sleep at night.

 

Thus, am confused why I am I still experiencing agorophobia, and fear of going out. Again, is it the klonopoin or the Ambien? Is ambien that bad of a drug? Isn't Ambien related to a benzo? Could it be okay to take klonopin for the rest of one's life?

 

Have learned so much today from you guys in only one day, and hope has sprang back.

 

Thanks a million, again.

 

INB

 

 

 

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Hi INB,

I directly tapered from 1.25mg of klonopin, with not too much of a problem.MY doc wouldn't give me valium  either, and now I'm glad he didn't. It just would have prolonged things, and possibly caused new problems.

I did .125mg cuts, though this might be a bit much for most. I have been benzo free for 3 weeks now, and I'm still alive and functional! :laugh:

 

You'll do fine.

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I am sure it is the klonopin taper which is causing your fears and agoraphobia. I had this off and on thruout my taper. Mostly on. It's very common in wd of any benzo.

Ambien is not a benzo, but it acts on the same brain receptors and can be addicting.

Some people do fine staying on benzo's their whole life, but the truth is, they are only supposed to be prescribed for a few weeks. All the medical and pharmaceutical literature states this. They actually stop working in most cases in just a few months or less. So either it becomes a placebo, or you need to take more. Or it begins to cause paradoxical effects which is what happened to me. I took it for horrible insomnia and it worked great for several weeks before it turned on me. But once I began my taper, I started feeling better.

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Thanks, Eljay. I have a feeling a lot of my problem is due to the Ambiem, especially since you say the same brain receptors are affected as with benzos. Wonder if anyone there has had similar experience with this drug?

 

If I could merely stay on the klonopin I would. It never seemed to affect me until last year when my present condition started. For some reason I think it might really have been the ambien. But then again, I just remembered, I always took

ZYPEXA (2.5 mg) with the klonopin. I cut that out last year also. It was making me depressed. Maybe that is what started this whole nightmare. Wonder if anyone knows anything about this drug.

 

All I know for sure is that these mind drugs are very powerful, and can ruin your life.

 

Just can't figure this whole thing out. Which one is the culprit?

 

Anybody know if neurontin has any affect on WD's. I take 2400 mgs of that a day.

 

I just layed down and felt immediately the body jerks, and the mere noise of my sife downstairs made me jump.

 

Has anyone else there had body jerks? It like a startle response. Phew, very scarey and uncomfortble. It's bad when you are afraid to even lay down.

 

I know I am just repeating the same thing over and over. It make me feel a little better to do this. Must be a bloody bore for you moderators though. 

 

I enjoy going back to my computer and always finding a message. What great moderators, and membes. Is there a way to directly contact other members?

 

As always, thanks :yippee:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi INB,

 

Many people have had what you describe so know that you are not alone.  The klonopin can do strange things to the brain.  I had horrible fears that I knew were not logical or rational but they were still there.  The body jerks are very common but when they are happening to you it is quite scary.  I would get shock like feelings in the brain.  I thought I was having a stroke but it turned out to be the klonopin.

 

If you go to the area that says "Blogging Area" you will find others stories.  What you are experiencing is normal, horrible but unfortunately normal.

 

You will get through this.  It's scary but you have a lot of people here to help you. 

 

Tropicalsoul

 

 

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Thanks, Tropicalsoul. Will go to blogging area. Helps me to read about all this. I ahd thought that I was the only one going through this nightmare. Phew. :crazy:

 

INB

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Hi INB,

 

Yes, partially reversing your dose to 0.75mg is a sensible approach. I recommend that you save the other 0.25mgs from the crushing and dividing for you next dose. This way if one dose is slightly high or low, the next will help to counteract the previous dose.

 

If you you quit a very hight dose very quickly a year ago, and you were very unlucky, then I guess it is possible that you would still feel some effects from the withdrawal. However, I do think it unlikely, and a vanishingly small likelyhood if you dose was more modest and/or tapered at a reasonable rate. What has been happening to you fits with your recent withdrawal, so I would not worry about what you did a year ago or more.

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I forgot to mention: the exaggerated startle response is pretty common with withdrawal of benzos. Actually, the reason I was prescribed Clonazepam is because I have a neurological disorder characterised by an abnormal startle response. It should come as no surprise that a withdrawal effect could be similar to a condition for which the drug is sometimes prescribed.
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Hi and welcome!!

 

Just wanted to chime in and say I also tapered directly from Klonopin.  I was on Xanax for five years and was put on Klonopin when I checked myself into a psych hospital.

 

It is very possible to taper without Valium.  I know this because I did it!!  I also did it VERY successfully!!  In January 2005 I was in the fetal position begging for help in a hospital and by August of 2005 I was working a full-time job!!

 

You WILL heal from this...and you can do it from Klonopin!!

 

Lots of Love and Support,

 

Jen

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Thanks, Tropicalsoul. Will go to blogging area. Helps me to read about all this. I ahd thought that I was the only one going through this nightmare. Phew. :crazy:

 

INB

 

Just want to let you know about this wd symptom.  Above in your quote you wrote "I ahd" instead of "I had", that is so common in wd.  That is one of the funny symptoms.  Well, actually none of them are really funny, so this one can be amusing. :laugh:  It really freaked me out until I found out a lot of people had it.  I thought my brain was scrambled. :idiot:

 

Ts

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Still more people have chimed in to add support to me..a stranger. Just goes to show how sympathetic, empathetic, and kind this group here is. Maybe we should count this as a tiny blessing conscerning this nightmare we are or have experienced...we have grown more kind...a trait that cannot be purchased in a store.

 

But I must say that after reading Hobson-Dupont's book, the Benzo Book, and noticed how people here feel crumby even months after stoppiong klonopin, I am not that sure that I really want to try it. I am thinking now that I might just stay at the level I am at, and forgo all the misery of tapering.

 

In other words, I am not sure that being off the drug is that much better than suffering with it. Does it make you a new person to be off it, or are the problems you had in the first place still there to torment you anyway.

 

A big question. I am scheduled to take a trip to Texas for the Srping holiday in April. The whole family will be going. Really the kids don't want to go becasue they don't want to move there from New York. I am a nervous wreck right now, and just don't know if I can do the trip. I wake up each morning with fear about it. About a month before we go is when I see my doctor and ask him to give me .5's of klonopin, and it's when I want to start the taper. Would going on the trip be a wise thing to attempt at this time...or might it be therapuetic?  Right now, all I want to do is stay in the house, and I dread going on this trip. I relly don't know if my nervous system can take it. Would take a whole weeking of "acting" like I am okay.  Advice?

 

 

Thanks,

 

INB

 

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Tough question.  By the way, that hobson book is very discouraging and I had to quit reading it...does nothing for attitude and is not necessarily the truth.

 

Going on the trip?  hard question....will you put your taper on hold during this time...I would suggest this if you are going to do it.  If you are going on the trip it might help distract you...alot of people have had trouble with this kind of decision and most have been glad they did it after all.  I think we have to try and stretch ourselves when we feel yucky, the point is how much?  Only you  know what you can take... I know worry can increase cns vulnerability so if you make a decision just tell yourself to relax with it.  And try to do that.  If you don't go will it be hard on you?  These are questions you have to ask yourself. 

 

As far as the problems you have on the drug and going off.. the worst anxiety is when you are on the drug.  For most it quits working after a  time and then there are problems.  When you are going off and are off there are ups and downs but inevitably there is a sense of freedom and release, and health can and does come.  Janus

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Hi,

 

Well, I think you should go for it! You need to take positive attitude to this. If you look at the worst case scenario: you suffer an anxiety attack. Well, it won't kill you, and if it should happen, you will deal with it and be stronger for the experience. Anxiety/agoraphobia is tackled by confronting it. What if you make the decision that you fully intend to go, but allow yourself the option to opt out on the day? If everyone understands this in advance, then it should take some presssure off all of you. Think about it; is this really as big a problem as you think it is? It would be shame to miss out on the trip, so why not say 'I would like to go, I intend to go, but it is OK to decide to not go on the day'. Try to remove the pressure from yourself.

 

Additionally, make sure that you have stabilised your dose for a couple of weeks before the trip, and do not taper during the trip either. It is OK to suspend the taper if there extra pressures at some particular stage.

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Just want to let you know about this wd symptom.  Above in your quote you wrote "I ahd" instead of "I had", that is so common in wd.  That is one of the funny symptoms. 

 

TS, I do this all the time too, but I've been doing it for long before I ever touched benzos. :2funny:

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Still more people have chimed in to add support to me..a stranger. Just goes to show how sympathetic, empathetic, and kind this group here is. Maybe we should count this as a tiny blessing conscerning this nightmare we are or have experienced...we have grown more kind...a trait that cannot be purchased in a store.

 

 

 

What a great and true statement!

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INB,

I"ve only been off Klonopin for 3 weeks, and I'm beginning to feel better and better everday. I'm sure there will still be bumps, but I would way rather be drug free. I've learned a lot about life and how to handle things this past year, and I feel pretty confidant that I can take life as it comes with having to reach for sedatives. It's an absolutely free and wonderful feeling.

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I cancelled the trip this morning. Just can't face it. Just too mcuh for me at this time. I am in my little relatively safe haven now in the house. Trying to be the father of a family of 5 and make everyone have a good time on the trip would take too mcuh acting on my part.

 

Am still too up in the air about too many things to go on trip. Trip was April 9-17. Have to see doctor March 15 and get the .5 mg klonopons, and then decide if I have courage to do taper. Yes, that Hobson-Dupont book has got me hestitant, and discouraged. He talks about the unbelievable agony he went through and now it seems that he still has it, almost as bad...even after he has tapered off. Doesn't seem like he is happy, and out of pain yet. I'm thankful that others chimed in and told me they feel well now. Wish I had more assurance, though.

 

I feel pretty crumby right now so it's hard to be positive...it's my pain talking. Time goes by so slowly when you are in this situation. I am frankly hesitant...jsut plain "scared" is better word... that I will make it worse.

 

Sorry to be so negative. Don't mean it, jsut can't help it.

 

 

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I read that book at the beginning of my taper and I was like, "what?"  "All this for that?"  I had to let it go as it just really ain't the way it mostly goes.  Things heal and repair.  You have to believe this.  Janus
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Sorry to be so negative. Don't mean it, jsut can't help it.

 

 

 

It's ok, believe me, this is the place to be anyway you need to be. Just try and relax and not think too much ahead. That will only stress you out. Take one day at a time, and your decision will come to you naturally. In most cases that I have seen since I began this journey, tapering off benzo is a doable proposition. It's not always easy, but I don't think in most cases it's nearly as hard as you are thinking it will be. Really.    

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