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Tried quitting .5 clonazepam cold turkey


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I was prescribed clonazepam after my hysterectomy for anxiety and sleep problems. Fast forward three years later and I was having more anxiety during the day. I read that Benzos can do this once you become hooked on it. I could t take the pain anymore so I quit, 5 days ago. Yesterday I ended up in ER feeling like my insides were on fire, tachycardia , massive headache . Dr said it was withdrawn from drug, gave me lorazepam .5 to taper for two weeks.  It is so terrible that I have lost 4 pounds in 4 days from the nausea. I’m afraid to take the lorazepam would t that just be a substitute .please help me through this
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Hello Parker4224,

 

Welcome to BenzoBuddies, we are glad you have joined the community!  Oh dear, I am so sorry you are in terrible benzo withdrawl right now but I'm glad you got checked out medically.  Do you have any benzos left from your origional stash or only the two weeks of lorazepam?  If so, you could consider going back on and doing a slow taper.  Some members have reinstated after a cold turkey and said they felt better in a few days.  And of course, you could use the two weeks worth of lorazepam to do a quick taper.

 

I've put some links below to get you started including the link to the taper support board should you decide to reinstate and do a slow taper.  Ask questions and speak up when you need help.  We are here to help and support you.

 

Again, welcome,

 

Kate08

 

Cold Turkey, Detox & Rapid Withdrawal

 

Planning Your Withdrawal (Taper)

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Yes I have a lot of clonazepam to taper. But I’m afraid to take it since I feel like it will cause more problems.  Do you think it would be better to taper with clonazepam than lorazepam. If so how much would I take. I have already been through day 6 of withdrawal. Still not able to eat and headache is bad along with anxiety and pacing .
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Hi Parker4224

 

It sounds like you've been using Clonazepam regularly for three years right? If so, can you tell us what your dose was? It sounds to me like you have developed physical dependence on the drug. I know this is extremely scary when you first realize what is happening to you. It happened to me too. I was on 2mg Clonazepam and after my doctor gave me the wrong script I reduced to 0.5mg Clonazepam. I was in agony for three weeks. I became progressively worse. After 3 weeks I couldn't take it anymore and then I increased my dose. I then stabilized and felt much better. I was able to function again. I'm now slowly tapering and almost finished.

 

What I can tell you is you are still early enough to reinstate if that is what you wish to do. The longer you wait the less likely it becomes for a reinstatement to be effective. It is also better to taper Clonazepam than Lorazepam. Clonazepam has a much longer half life so it stays in your system for longer than Lorazepam. Furthermore, your body is already used to Clonazepam. So I would suggest you go back to Clonazepam if you decide to taper.

 

I can only make a suggestion on your dosage, once I know how much your original dose was.

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I was on .5 mg tapered to .25 for two weeks than quit . It was for sleep so I took it at bedtime

Thank you for your help

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I agree with jelly baby and Kate08, going back on the Clonazepam is most likely your best option and to tell you the truth, I'd reinstate at your full dose of .5 mgs.  You won't feel better immediately because once this process starts it takes a lot to pull us out but hopefully in a few days you'll begin to feel better.  It also might be a good idea to take .25 twice a day to even you out.

 

Will your doctor support a slow taper using Clonazepam, this is very important. 

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I think the best solution would be to reinstate at 0.5mg like Pamster said. If you split it you might start feeling better a bit sooner and you can then combine it again after you feel you've gained some normality.

 

This sucks, I know, but you should feel better, you just need to give it a couple of days.

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I’m so worried about going back on. I feel like this week of withdrawal and hospital visits will all be a waste and I will have to go through this whole debilitating cycle again. Could I just try .12 of a tablet ? Please helps. It’s just an awful feeling. Not sleeping and sick to my stomach. Terrible electrical shocking feeling through my body  am I at least halfway through withdrawal yet .
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I understand your reluctance to give up on the suffering you've already endured, I quit cold turkey too but what I didn't know was how long it would take to recover, for me it was 14 months and this is fairly typical.  My symptoms lessened as time went on but I was still miserable. 

 

You have two choices and neither one of them are good.  You can go back on the drug, stabilize then begin a slow taper which will hopefully keep you functional.  Once drug free you enter the recovery phase which can last months after cessation.  Or you can continue your cold turkey and ride out the intense symptoms as best you can.  Either path you choose will involve symptoms, can you afford to be non-functional until your symptoms lessen enough for you to perform your daily tasks?  For reference, I was able to go back to work 3 weeks after my cold turkey but it was very difficult.  Others on the forum have not been so lucky.

 

You can certainly try .12 of a tablet but I doubt it will have much of an effect so not sure it would serve any purpose.

 

I'm very sorry to have to tell you all of this, I know how trapped and scared you're feeling right now and the prospect of your suffering lasting for months is disheartening but its important you understand where you stand so you can make the best decision going forward.

 

 

 

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Thank you to everyone for your help you have been a lifesaver. I started a taper journal. I took .25 of the clonazepam 2 hours ago. I am starting to feel better. My heart rate is down from 118 to 96. I actually was able to eat a few crackers and drink some water. I have along way to go. But I’m feeling more hopeful. I really thought I was going to die. My hands were trembling so much I could not hold a glass. Doctors prescribe these meds. But no follow up. Not until last week when my dr told me that the World Health Organization is cracking down on drs writing scripts for benzos. He told me since I used it for sleep he was going to substitute another sleep med.Now I know how misinformed drs can be. I called a psychiatrist who is going to help me with the taper. I will keep you updated. Please everyone take good care of your self. We are all human and have to love one another. I felt the care and love on this site. I truly appreciate all of you
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I'm so glad you're starting to feel better. I suggest you take a good couple of weeks to stabilize at this dose before starting to taper or you'll likely find yourself in this position again.

 

I'm glad you're finding yourself another prescriber but it's extremely rare to find medical professionals who understand withdrawal and can give you taper advice that will keep you functional. Please keep reaching out and reading here so you can empower yourself with knowledge.

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I will definitely stay on .25 for some weeks. Dr also gave me a script for Wellbutrin 100 sustained release . She said it will help with anxiety while tapering. Anyone ever use this? Also any ideas on how to cut the pills into smaller. I have a pill cutter but I can only get down from 1 mg size to .25 then I just get a powdery mess? Also any taper schedule you could provide would be helpful. I’m printing out fake ear now do I can keep track
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I too am glad you've reinstated and are feeling better, these drugs are so powerful and you're right, our prescribers don't understand what they can do to us. 

 

I want to caution you about taking Wellbutrin, yes, it might help but we've noticed that while going through this our central nervous system is so highly sensitized that we don't always react to medications and supplements like we normally would.  Some members have found other medications can make things worse because for one, they come with their own side effects so it can be difficult to know what is causing what.  Its just my opinion but I'd wait a bit before piling more medication on your already over stimulated brain.

 

We'll be happy to help you with taper information but asking on the taper board might be the better place to do it, Kate08 gave you a link, you'll probably want to choose the direct taper option.

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Thank you . I will wait til I’m done tapering to go in Wellbutrin. That’s why I quit cold turkey in the first place . Dr recommended Wellbutrin for anxiety and I did not want to take both medications. Since my hysterectomy I have been trying to get hormones back to normal. Another medical nightmare.
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I'm sorry to hear this all started over a hysterectomy, its so cruel that now you have to deal with this nightmare on top of your other issues.  I don't want to discourage you completely from taking the Wellbutrin because some members have said antidepressants have helped them but just as many have said they've caused more problems, I just wanted to make you aware.

 

 

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What a relief Parker, I am so glad to hear you've reinstated!  Wellbutrin is an atypical antidepressant which works well for some people and not for others.  The biggest caveat with it is it can cause anxiety/shakiness for a while until you adapt to it.  I'm glad you are pausing on that one - who knows, you may not need it.

 

Kate08    :thumbsup:

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I was wondering if anyone knows if being on clonazepam at night to sleep could cause break through anxiety during the day. When I first started it . It seemed to be a miracle drug. I had all over pain particularly at night after my hysterectomy. Then 6 months into it I was find that I would have these weird feelings late in the day when sitting at my desk at work. Slight headache then feeling of dropping and chest pain difficulty breathing. Have seen 31 doctors all testing comes back normal. Drs think they are anxiety attacks. Never had them before hysterectomy or clonazepam . I was healthy played tennis 5 days a week. Full of energy . Now I’m lucky if I leave the house three times a week. Hoping tapering off clonazepam and adjusting hormones will bring my old self back .
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It sounds like you're experiencing interdose withdrawal, your body needs the drug more often so you begin to have symptoms in between doses.  The answer is to split your dose so your blood serum levels stay on an even keel.  Be aware that your body will see this split as a reduction at first but hopefully you'll acclimate to the new dosing schedule.  If you decide to do this, please hold off on tapering until you are stable.

 

Gotta love those doctors who have all the answers, NOT!

 

You'll be back to your old self once you're off the drug and recovered from this nightmare.

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I was wondering if anyone knows if being on clonazepam at night to sleep could cause break through anxiety during the day. When I first started it . It seemed to be a miracle drug. I had all over pain particularly at night after my hysterectomy. Then 6 months into it I was find that I would have these weird feelings late in the day when sitting at my desk at work. Slight headache then feeling of dropping and chest pain difficulty breathing. Have seen 31 doctors all testing comes back normal. Drs think they are anxiety attacks. Never had them before hysterectomy or clonazepam . I was healthy played tennis 5 days a week. Full of energy . Now I’m lucky if I leave the house three times a week. Hoping tapering off clonazepam and adjusting hormones will bring my old self back .

 

Daytime anxiety started happening to me as well.  The anxiety I sought to treat begen getting worse as my body became tolerant to clonazepam.  Now that I am almost two years off I no longer have that pervasive feeling of angst that haunted me.

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Ok I am splitting doses. .25 at bedtime and .25 noon. Felt good yesterday after first but today I feel awful again . What is going on . How long is it going to take to feel somewhat normal again. I am so distressed. This is day 6 of feeling so bad. Lost 6 pounds can’t eat. Doing everything I can to drink so I don’t get dehydrated. Will today be better it will be my third dose back on clonazepam . I’m so angry with myself I can’t help it. I feel like I can’t breath. Any advise . I am lucky to be retired and not have to work . I cancelled all appointments for this week. But nothing seems to help me feel better.
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I understood that at first you only added .25 mg Klonopin back in but it looks like you've gone up to the full .5 mgs now split twice a day? 

 

Our symptoms wax and wane so we never know how we're going to feel from one minute to the next, this is typical and although its scary and painful, you're not in danger.  I hope I mentioned to you that it can take some time to get stable again but now that you've reinstated your full dose of .5 mgs of Klonopin I'm hopeful it will happen soon.

 

Try to distract yourself from the symptoms, this is one of our only tools for getting through this, the more we concentrate on them, the worse we feel.

 

 

 

 

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Thank you. It really is scary . I tried to exercise for awhile . Took my dog for a walk but then I felt sick to my stomach. I will try to do some cleaning to keep me busy. Thanks for re assuring me this will get better. But I am so determined that once I stabilize I taper the right way. I set up my journal and ordered items to split my pills and a scale.  I guess I will know when I stabilize. I will feel more like myself?
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I'm sorry you're in so much pain. Since you only recently went up to your full dose it will take some time. Just hang on it will get better. How will you know you've stabilized? Oh you'll just know, believe me. It's a magical feeling when suddenly everything feels back to some level of "normal".
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  • 2 weeks later...
Down to .25 ckonzepam at bedtime. Was doing great until I got strep throat. Anxiety over the top. Now I’m struggling again.  I’m wondering when I will be able to cope again. I cry all of the time. Every day including what I try to make good days. I struggle through so people think I’m happy. I’m tired of being the sick one who doesn’t go to events or even leave my house any more. Anyone recommend some anxiety techniques that work. I do the breathing and meditation on my calm app.
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