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Phenobarbital method ?


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Ok here goes, obviously I'm doing more research here, I'm referring to how I had posted the topic on the Ashton Manuel but my doc just responded and said he doesn't want to switch me over to another benzo BUT this was the option he did offer::

 

He told me I could choose to stop the klono all together while he prescribes me Phenobarbital to prevent me from seizures and then taper me off that over the course of the next two weeks. I don't know, it may be worth a try since I'm off for a week and three days. I don't know anything about Phenobarbital and how it helps with detox so if anyone's tried this let me know.

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I have heard its not the way to go....  try a different dr maybe ?? I  had an addictionologist offer me the same...I said No~
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I entered a detox but left that same night AMA when I started getting really sick, I'd been without Klonopin for 3 days by then.  They said that was the extent of my detox and I'd enter the general population to learn the 12 steps.($1500.00 later  :tickedoff:).  They gave me 2 doses of Klonopin that day and two doses of Phenobarbital.  When I left that night, they gave me a prescription for Pheno which I used at home for the next week to keep me from seizing.  It didn't help withdrawal symptoms, it didn't help me sleep, but it kept me safe.  

 

What your Dr is proposing is safe and it will get you off of the drug, and I'm glad he'll taper you off of that quickly as its addictive.  Hey, this way worked for me, but obviously a slow taper is best, but I wouldn't have been able to taper, even if I'd known I was supposed to, I have addiction issues.

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Hm thanks Pam for you immediate and forthright post, it helps to know what to expect.  Well ideally since I started this taper I wanted to complete it but I'm beginning to think I have addiction issues myself and since I have a week and three days to try this out with Phenobarbital then maybe I should take the leap of courage and do it. Or yes, I can still try and taper or find another doctor to try the ashton manuel, but finding another doctor and switching to another benzo will take time...and I'll still have to eventually detox off of that too when I'm completely off, it will also take many more months.  I'm may be leaning toward the phenobarbital method but I don't know what I will tell my room mate, jeez, when I'm just home sick w/d for all of my time off.
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Most that understand how benzodiazinpines work on the brain wouldn't recommend a rapid taper which is as good as a cold turkey. IMO mustdothis, I don't know how much time off you have but this method leaves many incapacitated for a great length of time and symptoms leave when they leave, not necessarily when you need to go back to work.

 

You may not feel the effect, until 7 to 10 days after rapid taper and then you get hit with symptoms that hold.

 

For less injury to the brain and functionablility you would be wise to slow taper. When one is in withdrawal, being the GABA receptor is downregulated/injured until it heals enough to slow things down, it is a very very uncomfortable process. 6-18 months. You really need to think about that. Doctors and Detox's that do not understand benzodiazpine withdrawal in the least, use Phenobarbital. I c/t'd from naivety and my physical symptoms prevented me from having a daily quality of life. Daily. Physical symptoms.

 

So is you can't handle the symptoms and reinstate to taper, you start the cycle all over again trying to figure out how to get off the drug PLUS your detox has further complicated the situation as it has totally shaken up your brain and central nervous system and it may be hard to find a point to stabalize upon reinstatement.

 

Slow taper or detox. Most would highly recommend the slow taper as detox is the dark ages. The only time I've seen detox or rapid tapers used is when people are toxic on a benzodiazpine and have to get off the drug. And of course, people like yourself who don't understand the process and follow the lead of the detox facilities who don't.

 

You said you "think" you may have addiction issues. That sounds pretty uncertain to me. Many of us are involuntary addicts. A common trend for people that detox is people reinstate as physical symptoms are too strong. They end up on these boards looking for help. The doctors think the reinstatement is due to psychological craving for the drug. The truth is, the symptoms are too strong and the patient needs relief to function. It does play with the mind as well.

 

Set a taper plan, and go slow. Detox and rapid tapers are as good a cold turkey's and you have no idea what you are in for. Really think about it.

 

Good luck with your decision okay? -Plenty of people slow taper and it is not painful. I have friends that are functioning well and controlling their taper using the body driven schedule not calendar. One reinstated after 7 weeks, she's stable, has been at it for a year, and is fine slow tapering living life. Some even dose 3 or 4 times a day to keep symptoms at bay and have no trouble.

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It's a big decision and one not easily made when we're confused and in pain, I was lucky, I didn't know any better.  Whatever way you choose will be painful, you already know that, so you have to make your decision based on your awareness of yourself and your work and living arrangements.  I hope you can find your answers soon, I know you've got to figure this out because of your Dr appointment and for your own peace of mind.

 

We'll be here to support you whatever you decide.

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The worst feeling I have ever experienced in my life came when I ran out of clonazepam for the first time. About 4 days after my last dose it felt like my brain was being sucked out of my head through my lower jaw.

 

I didn't know anything about benzo WD at the time but that experience was enough to let me know that I needed to taper myself off of the drug if I ever decided to stop taking it. When I finally decided to get off the drug I didn't taper properly. I did so over the course of 3 months cutting from 1mg to 1/2 to 1/4.

 

If I had it to do over again I would probably have still done a rapid taper but I would have made much smaller cuts. Having felt what I felt the first time I ran out of the drug doing a C/T or detox wouldn't be an option.

 

That said, and this is my personal opinion, but I can't see taking 8, 12, 18, or 24 months to taper unless you are highly functional during your taper. If you are going to suffer anyway you might as well get off the drug sooner rather than later. Get that healing started.

 

And even if you aren't "suffering" while on the drug you might be surprised at how much it is still affecting you. When I started to get windows it became very clear to me just how much clonazepam had screwed me up even when I wasn't feeling "bad". It killed my motivation and creativity and made me depressed. I would guess that I was only functioning at 65% of my capacity while I was on the drug.

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Florida--

 

Just my experience: had a bad way to go with the pheno/fast taper thing. Was in psych ward, and this was done totally against my will and despite the fact that I'd had nightmarish experiences with fast/no tapers 15 yrs ago, so bad that I wound up back on the Klon again.

 

Phenobarbital should prevent seizures, which can occur weeks, perhaps even months out--but two weeks is way too fast, IMO, to try to go off any benzo at all, any time, anywhere, ever.

 

If you're gonna do anything fast, perhaps you might want to think about finding a kinder, gentler Pdoc.

 

Regards,

 

juliad

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I went to a Holistic Detox and was taken off benzos in 3 days which threw me into into full blown psychosis and complete physical disability.  If I could go back in time I would do a slow taper.

 

I too would think long and hard before making my decision if I were you.

 

Best of luck!

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Thanks for all the info on these posts, much appreciated!

OH I JUST READ YOUR POST JULIAD I MISSED IT SOMEHOW ANYWAY THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCE.  I'M BACK N FORTH WITH THIS DECISION FOR SURE BUT AFTER READING YOUR POST IT MADE ME REALLLY THINK OVER THE PHENOBARB ROUTE.

FloridaGuy, just clarifying since I've been under much stress over this decision, did you say your personal opinion would be to go with the rapid taper with the phenobarbital? because in a sense I agree, I want to start the healing as soon as possible too.  on the same note of course, ideally, I would like to go with the slow taper and believe that I can do it, but, I've proven to myself over and over, that I can't resist the impulses when challenges come into my life to grab an extra dose and then only to screw up all my hard work.

And Pam yes the reality is hitting hard that this is going to painful no matter what, but the psychological pain lately has been worse and worse, like the windows I'll have for a couple hours then I'll look back that same day and wander why or how I was in that place and vice versa, meaning my head is now playing with me where I just don't trust myself and even my actions, I'm fine at work and all, but in my personal relationships and my breakup, it shows that I'm just not right and I can't stand the thought of continuing on like this for the next several months only to still w/d after my very last dose.

 

Yea I don't know what I'm in for either way, psychologically I just am beat with struggling with this drug so maybe it's best that I try this method out or I find a new doctor, which I've tried this before to taper me with valium. The valium option doesn't sit so good with me for some reason. I'm afraid of freakin any and all options at this point, so whichever one I go with, I need to face the fear of it and have the attitude that I will get off this and eventually be okay. so stressful making this decision. I can't try the pheno later b/c I'll have used all my vacation time. well I have a lot of thinking to do.

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yea I'm going back and forth with this decision.  JULIAD IF YOUR READING I MODIFIED MY LAST MESSAGE SINCE I SEEMED TO HAVE MISSED YOURS EARLIER.

 

Since this decision has caused me extreme stress and anguish, I'm thinking I'll have to try to get to a steady dose again, seriously put together some consecutive real time of one dose and start to go back down again, I'm going to check out a 12 step program to help with the urges when I want to abuse the drug, and hopefully there will be success in all this. if I didn't have a job that required so much socialization, communication and physical involvement then I would probably take the risk of going the phenobarb route, but unfortunately I do and I'm too afraid I won't be able to function for work. this seems to be the most reasonable decision that I can come up with to counter my past struggles and the fears of not functioning at work or just progressing in life. I will have to accept some changes in my life, like losing some friends, not getting into a relationship until I'm fully off this drug, accepting that I lost a relationship of two years to this drug which is taking forever btw, and accept my routine when tapering which at 32 sucks when you want to be out there living your life..

Anyway, many conclusions have been drawn so really thanks for all the posts; no detox, no valium taper although if I find a doctor I may try it, no rapid taper, and start going to a 12 step program to handle my cravings and urges I guess, and wait until this benzo sentence is over. not happy about this obviously but it's better than stressing over the crazy stories and warnings of rapid tapers, doesn't sound like i'll be able to do it with all the responsibilities i have.

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So sad you have to deal with this in the prime of your life.  But you really have so much time left after your off it if you start working on it now.  We have BBs who are in their 60's whose family and friends have deserted them, and they are worried of being alone in what was supposed to be their Golden Years.

 

We will be here to help you through this no matter what.  No one will judge you now or if you change your mind later on and want to try something different.

 

Tough decision, I know all too well.  I know you just want it to be over with already.

 

Hang in there, I wish you only the best.

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I am glad to hear you are going to try to slow taper. Especially if you need to work. And I wanted to add, I noticed you saying "wanting to heal faster" is the reason you would want to rapid taper. Unfortunately that sounds good in theory but that's not how it actually works. By going slowly, the brain repairs in between cuts as it can have"catch up" time between the cuts when you hold. You cut, get symptoms, hold, allow yourself to rest, you brain is keeping up. If you rapid or c/t, your brain does not get that chance. It cannot keep up with the yank off the pill, and it actually injures off as well with the yank before it settles in to healing.

 

Good luck, I can see you do wrestle with addicton and I hope you can do this with going to a step meeting if you have to then while tapering. That may be a very good idea for you. I am sorry how this has affected your personal life and just life in general. If you can do this, life will be GRAND for you!!!!!! I sincerely wish you all the best.

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Yes, the yank is very painful, and hurts a long time. Glad youll do a slow taper, I wish I would have. Is there someone you could put in charge of your meds or ration them out?
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My doc (addictionologist) put me on pheno and I am still taking it.  I started tapering myself off of 2mg of klonapin last fall. By mid Jan I was down to 3/4 mg and couldn't go any further.  At the end of Jan I began taking 60mg of pheno per day in order to be a little more comfortable. My last dose of K was 3/3/11.  I am in the middle of tapering pheno now and do another cut Tues to 33.75mg. This has been the most horrific thing I have ever had to endure.  I really didn't know any other method of tapering until I found this site after beginning pheno.  I am still suffering from many w/d symptoms and I imagine I will be for several more months.  I have had to work full time through this whole ordeal.  Whatever you do....don't taper quickly.  Do it slowly as others advise. There is no such thing as healing quickly. I had a goal of 6 months and decided my body was going to take as long as it needed so there is no reason to put a time limit on it.  Good luck and hang in there. It HAS to be better when we are healed!  I'll be happy to answer any more questions you have  about pheno  :)
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That said, and this is my personal opinion, but I can't see taking 8, 12, 18, or 24 months to taper unless you are highly functional during your taper. If you are going to suffer anyway you might as well get off the drug sooner rather than later. Get that healing started.

 

And even if you aren't "suffering" while on the drug you might be surprised at how much it is still affecting you. When I started to get windows it became very clear to me just how much clonazepam had screwed me up even when I wasn't feeling "bad". It killed my motivation and creativity and made me depressed. I would guess that I was only functioning at 65% of my capacity while I was on the drug.

 

I agree 100%. I'm glad I am in the process of going cold turkey with Pheno because the Klonopin was giving me horrible withdrawal symptoms even BEFORE I reduced a dose! (Because of the tolerance thing..?) I could not live on that drug. The brain fog was like I was in a coma 24/7. No sleep on it either. Why I didn't link these symptoms to taking Klonopin earlier (or why my doctor didn't!!!!!) ... I don't know.

 

So that's why I decided to drop it quickly... i feel i had to

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[8c...]

leighjay,

are you saying that without pheno, you could not have done this, or am i just reading wrong?

just wondering about pheno.

thanks.

 

 

My doc (addictionologist) put me on pheno and I am still taking it.  I started tapering myself off of 2mg of klonapin last fall. By mid Jan I was down to 3/4 mg and couldn't go any further.  At the end of Jan I began taking 60mg of pheno per day in order to be a little more comfortable. My last dose of K was 3/3/11.  I am in the middle of tapering pheno now and do another cut Tues to 33.75mg. This has been the most horrific thing I have ever had to endure.  I really didn't know any other method of tapering until I found this site after beginning pheno.  I am still suffering from many w/d symptoms and I imagine I will be for several more months.  I have had to work full time through this whole ordeal.  Whatever you do....don't taper quickly.  Do it slowly as others advise. There is no such thing as healing quickly. I had a goal of 6 months and decided my body was going to take as long as it needed so there is no reason to put a time limit on it.  Good luck and hang in there. It HAS to be better when we are healed!  I'll be happy to answer any more questions you have  about pheno  :)

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[8c...]

how is this all working out for you Holly?

 

 

 

That said, and this is my personal opinion, but I can't see taking 8, 12, 18, or 24 months to taper unless you are highly functional during your taper. If you are going to suffer anyway you might as well get off the drug sooner rather than later. Get that healing started.

 

And even if you aren't "suffering" while on the drug you might be surprised at how much it is still affecting you. When I started to get windows it became very clear to me just how much clonazepam had screwed me up even when I wasn't feeling "bad". It killed my motivation and creativity and made me depressed. I would guess that I was only functioning at 65% of my capacity while I was on the drug.

 

I agree 100%. I'm glad I am in the process of going cold turkey with Pheno because the Klonopin was giving me horrible withdrawal symptoms even BEFORE I reduced a dose! (Because of the tolerance thing..?) I could not live on that drug. The brain fog was like I was in a coma 24/7. No sleep on it either. Why I didn't link these symptoms to taking Klonopin earlier (or why my doctor didn't!!!!!) ... I don't know.

 

So that's why I decided to drop it quickly... i feel i had to

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how is this all working out for you Holly?

 

 

 

That said, and this is my personal opinion, but I can't see taking 8, 12, 18, or 24 months to taper unless you are highly functional during your taper. If you are going to suffer anyway you might as well get off the drug sooner rather than later. Get that healing started.

 

And even if you aren't "suffering" while on the drug you might be surprised at how much it is still affecting you. When I started to get windows it became very clear to me just how much clonazepam had screwed me up even when I wasn't feeling "bad". It killed my motivation and creativity and made me depressed. I would guess that I was only functioning at 65% of my capacity while I was on the drug.

 

I agree 100%. I'm glad I am in the process of going cold turkey with Pheno because the Klonopin was giving me horrible withdrawal symptoms even BEFORE I reduced a dose! (Because of the tolerance thing..?) I could not live on that drug. The brain fog was like I was in a coma 24/7. No sleep on it either. Why I didn't link these symptoms to taking Klonopin earlier (or why my doctor didn't!!!!!) ... I don't know.

 

So that's why I decided to drop it quickly... i feel i had to

 

So far it's not much worse than when I was on my "normal" dose of the Klonopin. I felt like complete crap on it, and I feel like complete crap off it right now (5 days out). The pheno is pretty good with helping me with the minor tremors I'm getting, as well as the dizziness, the racing/anxiety thoughts, other funky symptoms, and overall just helps my brain RELAX (although it does not help me sleep). It also does not help with the crazy mood swings. I'm only taking a small dose of pheno btw - 15-30mg per day. I do not want to go higher than that because I'm not very comfortable taking a barbituate... but this what I have to do for the moment. It seems that the Klonopin brain fog rears its ugly head whenever the pheno starts to wear off. But I'm not even a week in.... so I'm trying to be gentle with myself. Wish me luck

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[92...]

I was on Phenobarb when I was a kiddo. I had childhood seizures, and they would give it to me.

Really, I cannot say much about it but coming off it.. I have heard needs to be done slowly, its a Barbiturate.

I was jerked off it, but too young to care and don't remember any withdrawal.

 

S#

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Interesting Holly, thanks so much for sharing what your going through.  I'm going to see the doctor today, I have a feeling this going to be a very intuitive process as I'm not sure what's best for me right now, how can I unless I'm willing to take the risk of going on the pheno. I have crazy mood swings on the klono so I can't imagine how i'll be when i'm on the pheno, again, i won't know unless i try, i don't like to make decisions based on fear b/c you just never know but i'm still trying to figure out what i will do, again when i see the doc maybe something will strike and i'll give this a shot. either way Holly I hope for you that it will work out and your able to get off. If I don't do the pheno thing maybe i'll see if I can go back to work a little early so to still have the vacation time if I decide to try it later on. this is so difficult when you have a job but I think it would take a lot for them to let me go as long as i can keep my moods under control and not take anything out on a co-worker.
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Ok so I only ended up speaking with the doc on the phone and he said if I want to start the pheno, I would have to skip my morning dose and go in the morning to see him for the script, he said he'd start me on 30mg and have me off of it in five days, that sounds really really fast yea compared to Holly is this bad or good? then I would still have three days off from work to see how I do completely off the klono and pheno, if I'm completely not functional then he said he'd put me on a low dose of valium if it's so needed then taper me off that gradually. 
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Whatever you decide, we're pulling for you. I went through several failed attempts and methods before I found something that is working comfortably for me. It's hard to recommend anything really. I think I told you I went C/T without anything and I lasted 5 days. On day five I broke down and bought a six-pack. I was looking for relief. But c/t and withdrawal covered by pheno has worked for some. So you have a tough decision that you have to make quickly. I don't envy you. Stay strong.
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Thanks Benzene!!  I'm not sure why you would envy me, haha, but I know what you meant.

Yea my decision just got tougher I got an email to drop off paperwork to volunteer at my dad's hospital and I have a feeling that they will drug test me and if clono isn't coming up on tests then maybe the pendulum is swinging back to going the longer route. It's important that I volunteer to apply to grad school this fall, but on the other hand, I have to decide is it more important to me try this pheno route or stay where I am, either option there's a risk for me to fail or succeed.  Going the pheno route, if they drug test me then barbituates will def come up and so will benzos if i end up on valium in the end. man about to flip a coin on this decision. but seriously I very much appreciate everyone's input, comments and feedback on this topic!!!!!  It's all been very informative and even more motivating for me to get back on track on whatever I decide.

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Thanks Benzene!!  I'm not sure why you would envy me, haha, but I know what you meant.

Yea my decision just got tougher I got an email to drop off paperwork to volunteer at my dad's hospital and I have a feeling that they will drug test me and if clono isn't coming up on tests then maybe the pendulum is swinging back to going the longer route. It's important that I volunteer to apply to grad school this fall, but on the other hand, I have to decide is it more important to me try this pheno route or stay where I am, either option there's a risk for me to fail or succeed.  Going the pheno route, if they drug test me then barbituates will def come up and so will benzos if i end up on valium in the end. man about to flip a coin on this decision. but seriously I very much appreciate everyone's input, comments and feedback on this topic!!!!!   It's all been very informative and even more motivating for me to get back on track on whatever I decide.

 

Hold on. If they are drug testing you, aren't they looking for drugs that have not been prescribed; that is, illicit drugs. Just because you test positive for benzos or barbituates shouldn't disqualify you for volunteer work. I mean 1/3 of America wouldn't qualify for this volunteer position if they were disqualifying people over presribed drugs. You might want to verify what they are looking for before you make any decisions based on your assumptions. All you have to do is ask them if they are looking for anything that has been prescribed by an M.D.

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