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Klonopin for 10+ years


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Hello.  I was prescribed klonopin for panic disorder over 10 years ago, and began taking as needed but spent the majority of this time taking .5mg 2x/day (so 1mg/day).  I didn’t think much of it until a year ago I got the idea that I wanted to manage my anxiety holistically and started tapering without guidance or a schedule which worked well at first.  I definitely struggled as I reduced it and it was clear that I was chemically dependent but I had successfully quit smoking and drinking  (and unsuccessfully caffeine) years prior and just powered through assuming it was like that.  I got down to .125mg throughout the year and had to stop abruptly.  My doc at the time said it would be no problem to stop at this level (or even the .5mg) and it looked like such a small amount I honestly believed that it wouldn’t be.  Unfortunately for me it was actually terrible and I winded up going back on at .25mg and was added Zoloft and Wellbutrin for depression, brain fog etc.   


It’s a long, sad story, but I didn’t think my symptoms were withdrawal when I stopped completely for a few reasons that I won’t get into. My doctor also didn’t think it was withdrawal or at least didn’t say as much.. And it took me another 6 months to really realize the trouble I’ve got myself in.  Finally my pharmacist didn’t want to dispense my prescription without first getting a treatment plan from my clinician and I finally decided to really look into the drug I’d been taking for years.  So here I am.  Trying once again to get off.  I don’t want to say I didn’t know something was wrong, I did.  My mental health has been declining for years and I knew klonopin wasn’t helping, I just didn’t really want to confirm it I guess.


So I’m currently at 300mg Wellbutrin, .25mg klonopin and I’m trying to figure out how to safely get off both.  I’ve told my doc my intentions but I think she isn’t really taking any of this seriously so I sort of feel like I’m on my own.  I’m reducing my Wellbutrin on Monday to 150mg. 


Im terrified, but grateful this forum exists. 

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Hello Zipidee,


Welcome to Benzo Buddies! Your experience, sadly, is very common. Doctors often dismiss the effects of withdrawal as "something" else, adding more drugs to the mix.  It is also not uncommon have more than one attempt to withdraw, it happened to me as well.


Klonopin is a very strong benzo and after 10 years of use, withdrawal can be challenging and stopping at .125 can bring on some strong withdrawal symptoms.


It is best to taper just one drug at a time. I would personally deal with the klonopin first and later on, taper the Wellbutrin.  A slow taper plan will be the best way to go, since your system was highly affected by the previous witdrawal.  We generally suggest tapering no more than 5-10% every 10-14 days.  Some people go even slower using a daily titration method, removing very small amounts at a time. I'll give you a link to the Planning Your Withdrawal Board for more information. Do some reading and ask questions, you'll a find a plan that will allow you to successfully withdraw from klonopin.


I'll also give you a link to the Withdrawal Support Board. It's good to know you are not alone in this process and can share experiences and kind words with others still in the process.


This is doable, with a sensible plan. Your doctor may not approve, but that's OK. Many of us did this alone, by ourselves. After all, this is our bodies and we should be in charge of our health.  You'll receive good support here as well as encouragement.  Try not to be afraid, read and learn.  We're here for you.


Planning Your Withdrawal (Taper)


Withdrawal Support (during your taper)


pianogirl  :)

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