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klonopin to ativan?


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My doctor lowered my dose from 2mg to 1.5mg about 21/2 weeks ago.  He told me the lower we go he's going to add ativan into the mix to help me with withdrawal. Is this pretty common? I'm staying on 1.5 mg for another 1 1/2 months. Then we drop to 1.25mg. 
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I've never heard of using one benzo to get off another. And then using a shorter acting one to replace a longer acting one?? It doesn't make sense at all. I have no idea how you're going to get off the Ativan again? Personally I would not even consider this.
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Oh my goodness!  No, this is NOT common. Personally, I wouldn't do it It makes no sense. If it were me, I would run not walk, away from that doc who evidently doesn't know beans about benzos.

 

I agree with keagan. Just concentrate on getting off the K. Never mind the voodoo pharmacology your doc has in mind.

 

Katz

 

 

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My doctor lowered my dose from 2mg to 1.5mg about 21/2 weeks ago.  He told me the lower we go he's going to add ativan into the mix to help me with withdrawal. Is this pretty common? I'm staying on 1.5 mg for another 1 1/2 months. Then we drop to 1.25mg.

 

 

Your question above was is the practice of replacing a benzo one is tapering off of with another benzo.  In the 2.5 years I have been here, I have never heard of this practice so no, not only is it not common, it is unusual.  Did your doctor explain why he wants to do this??  All benzos need to be tapered from, whether they are short-acting or long-acting.  Withdrawl symptoms are part and parcel of letting benzos go but if you go slow as the Ashton Manual suggests, the symptoms can be manageable and you can maintain your daily life as you go.  I do hope that at minimum you speak with your doctor and question his plan before you proceed with it - after all, you are the one who have to live with it, not him.

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He's not replacing the klonopin with the ativan.  He wants me to continue with slow withdrawal off of klonopin. He would use the ativan to replace the amount of klonopin that he's weaning me of off. does that make any sense? I had no clue that this is not to be done. I don't have to do it. Yes, I"m having side effects but I have meds for the nausea and dizziness to help. 
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We all understand what you're saying corgimom and we're in disbelief that a doctor could suggest this course of action. If he's replacing the amount of Klonopin he's lowering with another benzo then you're not tapering. You're just staying at the same dose on two different benzos.

 

It's great to hear you don't have to follow this plan. Hopefully this is not something you want to do. We all want the best for you and we all want to see you succeed.  :smitten:

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No, it does not make sense to replace one benzo with another one  unless your goal is to continue taking benzos.  If you wish to completely get off benzos then I hope you will reconsider the 'replacement' plan and either speak with your doc/tell him this plan is unacceptable to you (you do have that right) or find another doc.
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I see my psych doctor this week.  I'm going to tell him I don't want the Ativan.  Why do that? I agree. It makes no sense.  Supposedly it's supposed to help with withdrawal...ease the symptoms. But then I would be hooked on Ativan. No thanks.  I will manage on my own.  I just wish I had more options for psych doctors in this town.  We don't have good mental health care here. I don't have many options.  The big city next to us has a lot of psych doctors are all full. They either aren't taking new patients or they don't accept insurance. I could get into the teaching hospital here, but it takes months to get an appointment.  But...NO Ativan for me.
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I see my psych doctor this week.  I'm going to tell him I don't want the Ativan.  Why do that? I agree. It makes no sense.  Supposedly it's supposed to help with withdrawal...ease the symptoms. But then I would be hooked on Ativan. No thanks.  I will manage on my own.  I just wish I had more options for psych doctors in this town.  We don't have good mental health care here. I don't have many options.  The big city next to us has a lot of psych doctors are all full. They either aren't taking new patients or they don't accept insurance. I could get into the teaching hospital here, but it takes months to get an appointment.  But...NO Ativan for me.

 

I'm relieved to hear this corgimom and I'm glad you are taking care of yourself.  We at BenzoBuddies will support you as you proceed through your taper/withdrawl.  This process isn't easy but it isn't impossible either and facing another withdrawl after finishing one would be dreadful.  Good on you girl!    :thumbsup:

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Hi Corgimom,

 

It's not good to use a faster benzo, to cross over. Librium and valium are slow and much better to cross over to.

 

That Dr sounds very benzo-unwise to me.

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Corgimom- you said you could get into the teaching hospital?  Even if it takes months, make an appointment.  Keep seeing your pdoc while you wait and seek another opinions.  It literally took my 8 years to find a Doctor who would help me!  I completely understand your struggle and frustration!  You can do this and can find a doctor who is at least open to listening or the Ashton method.
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Is there a possibility of seeing a GP or Nurse Practitioner for your Klonopin prescription?  Many of our members have had luck when they haven't found an understanding psychiatrist.
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Actually the guy I currently see is a nurse practitioner.  He seems to have a lot of experience.  Worked in prison system and at a detox center. He seemed wise at first, but not so sure now.  He wants to take me off so many meds. I don't want to go this fast.  I'm going to try to get an appointment with the teaching hospital. It will probably take months, but it's worth a try. He acted as if he never heard of the Ashton manual before, but I'm sure he has.  He was just lying. UGH! I so wish they had better medical care in my town.  He's not very sympathetic.  I'm supposed to go in for psych testing soon. I've never had that done, so it should be interesting.  He wants me to do a sleep study as well. Not sure about that.  My insurance won't pay for the machines, etc.  So not worth it.  WE did do the gene testing though.  I'm learning a lot from this board.  Very helpful. It's nice to know there are others out there who are going through this or have gone through this.  Thanks so much for all the advice.
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corgimom, could you list your meds in your Signature? 8 meds? Wow. What are they for? I'm interested as I was polydrugged a number of years ago.

 

I agree with you that the Ativan is a bad idea. Who wants to end up addicted to yet another drug? Does he have a plan to get you off it? Also, and most important, a short-acting benzo ought not to be prescribed to help the (maybe) s/x of a longer-acting drug.

 

Thanks and good luck,

 

Katz

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Oregonkatz,

 

I will list the meds on the signature.  I'm also on meds for blood pressure, fibro, arthritis and acid reflux.  I hate taking all these meds.

 

HE does have a plan to get me off Klonopin.  I have one more month on 1.5 and then we jump down to 1.25.  He mentioned something about alternating days.  One day I take 1.5 and the next 1.25.  Not sure where we go from there.  I talk with him tomorrow and will find out more. 

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Alternating days to taper from benzos is not ideal and should be avoided so your nervous system isn't jerked around.  A slow, gradual, and daily decline in dose is the best way to taper in my opinion (and likely most everyone here).  Perhaps you could share The Ashton Manual with your prescriber?  It sounds like he could use some reliable information in how this is best done.
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Kate

 

I'm talking with my doctor this afternoon. I'm really nervous though. I had a good first impression with him, but the second time I saw him he was a bit rude and standoffish. Not sure why.  He acted like I wanted to give up and he would hand me over to a doctor who will prescribe benzos.  I'm like...I did not way I wanted to give up. I've mentioned the Ashton manual to him and he acted as if he had never heard of it before.  I know he has.  He was lying.  I still have one more month of being on 1.5 mg.  So far.....no major side effects.  Just the mild dizziness, nausea and that odd feeling in your head. Some days I feel fine and some days I feel pretty bad. Weird.  I think his plan is to bring me down to 1.25mg.  He wants to alternate between me taking 1.5mg one day and the next take 1.25.  At least that's what he said. We shall see what he has to say today.

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He mentioned something about alternating days.  One day I take 1.5 and the next 1.25.

 

This is a bad idea. Kate 08 has told you why. (Your doc sure could use some reliable info!) In any event, I hope you advocate for yourself.

 

Best,

 

Katz

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The doctor appointment went well. We had a good talk. I'm staying on klonopin for another month at 1.5mg.  We really didn't talk detox yesterday. He went over my genesite test.  We discussed my sleeping med.  I take Trazadone. He said it has a half life of 12 hours and that's one reason I feel so drowsy the next day.  So we are going to try Ramelteon instead. It doesn't work for everyone.  We shall see.  I don't know what the plan is for tapering.  Maybe I misunderstood him. I don't know.  We will discuss it more at my next visit. For now I'm staying at 1.5mg and that's fine by me. The withdrawal effects haven't been severe.  It will be a month This Sunday since I started the taper.  This is all new to me. I'm still learning. I've received a lot of great info from everyone.  Next time we will discuss tapering down more. I'm not going to worry about it right now. I will bring up the Ashton Manual. I do understand why going from 1.5 one day and 1.25 the next will mess with you. It doesn't make sense to me. Believe me we will discuss it the next time. I've spend a long time advocating for my parents and now my father in law. But, advocating for myself is harder for some odd reason.
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While going to 1.25 next month is a larger reduction than we like to see (16.67%), many members have noticed that it's a bit easier to make reductions from large doses like yours in the beginning.  It typically gets more difficult the lower in dose you get, although that too depends on the person.

 

If you're concerned about that big reduction next month and you feel fairly stable, you could reduce by .125 now then when he drops you next month you'll already be halfway there.  The other advantage would be you'd have extra pills to work with if he starts to taper you too quickly. 

 

Instead of starting you on new sleep medication, can you lower the dose of the Trazadone?  I hate to see you add in another unknown at this time but of course, I'm not your doctor and this is a decision between you and he.

 

I'm glad to see you have experience advocating for others but another way of looking at advocating for yourself is, if you don't take care of you, you won't be able to take care of your loved ones.  They need you to be okay so they can be okay too.

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Pamster,

 

I like your idea about tapering lower now and having extra to work with.  I think I might try that.

 

This new sleep med works like melatonin.  Regular melatonin doesn't do anything for me.  Plus, I don't want to cold turkey off Trazadone at this time.  Too much to handle. I'm on 200mg.  The lower doses work better for sleep. The higher does work well for depression. I might try lowering it to 150mg.  See how that works. I had no problem going from 300mg of Trazadone to 200mg.

 

Advocating for myself is so hard for me.  I need to work on self care.  I  have let that slip big time over the past few years. 

 

I had my knee replacement over a year ago and I'm still in moderate pain. I'm unable to do a lot of what i used to do.  I just sit around. I'm out of shape and I don't eat well.  My surgeon doesn't take me seriously. I did tell him off and he wants to see me next week. I'm going to demand an MRI. I want to know what is wrong with and go from there.  Then I'm getting a second opinion.  Any way this has really added to my depression/anxiety.

 

I've let myself go.

 

I feel so overwhelmed by life right now.  All I know is I need to get off the klonopin. And go from there.

 

It's been hard to care for my family in the state I'm currently in.  I know I need to be there for them and the only way I can do that is by taking care of me.

 

 

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I wasn't aware of your knee surgery, I know that surgery is a nightmare to recover from, I hope you can get some answers.  I understand letting things go when you're in constant pain and can't do what you've always done, I had a bout of sciatica last fall and I was a mess mentally and physically being thrown off my routine.

 

I like the idea of lowering the Trazadone, I hope that will still offer you a bit of sleep without feeling so drugged out the next day.  I tried it when I was recovering and didn't care for that feeling the next day either. 

 

I know you're overwhelmed, this process makes us feel unable to handle what we seemed to deal with effortlessly and the weird thing is, when we recover, it all become effortless again.  We go from being afraid of everything to who we were before, our brains are miraculous. 

 

I can see you're on the right track, you understand that in order to care for them you have to put on your oxygen mask first, its not selfish, its practical.  :thumbsup:

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