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I just wanted to re-introduce myself! I am from BC, Canada!


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Hello There!

 

My name is Clay and I live in BC, Canada! I came to this site over 2 years ago but have posted very little and have not taken steps to get off clonazepam until this year. I am using y family doctor to help and she has switched me from Clonazepma 0.5mg/3 times per day to Diazepam 10mg/3 times per day. I showed her the Ashton manual but she didn't like the idea of introducing a new benzo with the old. She went straight for a switch for two weeks. I started January 11th and so far I feel pretty much like I did on the clonazepam. I guess that is a good thing. I see her January 30th and we will come up with more of a plan. I will show her the Ashton manual again and I think I will try and stay on diazepam for some time to get my brain/body used to it before slowly tapering off it.

 

It would be great to meet other Canadians going through similar situation or anyone for that matter. I am just glad to be here. Thanks for reading my story.

 

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :)

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Hi Zippo

 

Welcome back!

 

Your doctor really should’ve crossed you slowly from clonazepam to diazepam following the Ashton manual. It makes the crossover much easier. However, going by your calm intro, it sounds like it could’ve gone much worse, as stopping the clonazepam and directly switching to Diazepam means a long wait for your blood serum levels to reach an effective therapeutic level. The direct switch could have destabilised your CNS and put you into acute withdrawal which can mean battling through quite a long painful road back to stabilisation. No two benzodiazepines work the same, and therefore it can be very difficult to just switch from one to another because you often go through withdrawal from the previous benzo whilst adjusting or acclimatising to the new benzo, which is just another reason why the crossover should be a gradual decrease in one and a gradual increase in the other until the crossover is complete.

 

I’m just hoping your doctor isn’t going to try and taper you too fast. General guidelines suggest a 5-10% reduction calculated from each new dose (to avoid reduction percentages climbing) every 10-14 days, or better yet, following a symptoms based taper, only reducing again once symptoms from the previous reduction have decreased or settled to a tolerable baseline level.

 

Please read the Colorado Consortium Benzodiazepine Deprescribing Guidance to gain an overview of a sensible and safe taper, as well as the different methods available to you. Please also feel free to print this document out and take it to your doctor so she can see that benzodiazepines should never be fast tapered unless it’s absolutely necessary. A slow taper is always the sensible/safe option.

 

Here are a few links to help you out, Zippo  :thumbsup:

 

Colorado Consortium Benzodiazepine Deprescribing Guidance

 

Planning Your Withdrawal (Taper)

 

Withdrawal Support (during your taper)

 

Cold Turkey, Detox & Rapid Withdrawal

 

Ashton manual symptom list

https://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzcha03.htm

 

WS

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Hello Winters Sun,

 

Thanks for the welcome back and nice reply. Yeah I was very surprised she just made me switch up from clonazepam to diazepam with the equivalency amount. She told me it wasn't her first time doing this for patients. She literally doesn't know how bad it can be though. I guess I am lucky that so far I feel no worse and maybe slightly better on diazepam than the clonazepam.

 

I will read through the links you gave me and print some more info for her to read. I will insist we go very slow with the diazepam taper. I think I want to try and just keep stable on diazepam for a month or two maybe, then try the slow reductions. I think she is more open to the slow taper of diazepam by itself but just wasn't keen on mixing two benzos to taper me onto the straight diazepam. She is my family doctor and that is all I have access to living in a super tiny town. We are lucky to have a Hospital and roughly 6 doctors here. The Hospital is basically a clinic, ER and laboratory that can do x-rays too. Not much but better than nothing, eh!

 

Thanks again and I will try and keep you all updated here. I just never know where to post here. I see this post got moved from Introductions which is fine as I am not 100% new here just had a two year break. LOL.

 

Chat again soon and have a good one!  :thumbsup:

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Hi Zippo!

 

I too am from BC Canada - Lower Mainland. Where about are you in BC?  I tapered with an Amazing Benzo addiction doctor in Mission, BC. The clinic contact is in my signature. Originally I was working with my GP and it did Not go well.

 

Hope you are doing ok, nice to meet someone from my home Province on here :)

 

 

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Hello Winters Sun,

 

Thanks for the welcome back and nice reply. Yeah I was very surprised she just made me switch up from clonazepam to diazepam with the equivalency amount. She told me it wasn't her first time doing this for patients. She literally doesn't know how bad it can be though. I guess I am lucky that so far I feel no worse and maybe slightly better on diazepam than the clonazepam.

 

I will read through the links you gave me and print some more info for her to read. I will insist we go very slow with the diazepam taper. I think I want to try and just keep stable on diazepam for a month or two maybe, then try the slow reductions. I think she is more open to the slow taper of diazepam by itself but just wasn't keen on mixing two benzos to taper me onto the straight diazepam. She is my family doctor and that is all I have access to living in a super tiny town. We are lucky to have a Hospital and roughly 6 doctors here. The Hospital is basically a clinic, ER and laboratory that can do x-rays too. Not much but better than nothing, eh!

 

Thanks again and I will try and keep you all updated here. I just never know where to post here. I see this post got moved from Introductions which is fine as I am not 100% new here just had a two year break. LOL.

 

Chat again soon and have a good one!  :thumbsup:

 

It’s great to hear the direct switch didn’t cause any real issues for you (as it can do for others) and that you actually feel better on the diazepam than the clonazepam. These are both incredibly positive signs for your taper and recovery.

 

The main forum boards for you at this time will probably be the ‘Planning Your Withdrawal (taper) Board’ and ‘Withdrawal Support (during your taper) Board. The planning your withdrawal board is for you to gain help devising a sensible taper plan, and the withdrawal support board is for general support throughout your taper.… you may wish to ask questions about certain symptoms you experience or you may be just looking for support and encouragement from other members of the community. We’re all here to support each other!

 

 

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Hi Zippo!

 

I too am from BC Canada - Lower Mainland. Where about are you in BC?  I tapered with an Amazing Benzo addiction doctor in Mission, BC. The clinic contact is in my signature. Originally I was working with my GP and it did Not go well.

 

Hope you are doing ok, nice to meet someone from my home Province on here :)

 

Hello Tikvah!

 

Nice to meet you too! I live in the Okanagan area. Tiny town of Princeton. For me it would be difficult to go anywhere out of town as I don't drive and am pretty much disabled from my cervical dystonia. It would be nice to use a specific clinic but I will insist my GP follow what I want to do now. I think she will be more okay now that there is no concern in her mind of mixing benzos!! That was her biggest hangup! Oh and she didn't know the source of where I got my taper schedule I showed her!! I will print a better copy of where I got the info and Dr. Ashton manual from. I will see if she has time to read the website and maybe understand more. I still can't believe she thought diazepam (Valium) was stronger than clonazepam!

 

It is great to see others from BC, Canada on here indeed.  :thumbsup:

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Hello Winters Sun,

 

Thanks for the welcome back and nice reply. Yeah I was very surprised she just made me switch up from clonazepam to diazepam with the equivalency amount. She told me it wasn't her first time doing this for patients. She literally doesn't know how bad it can be though. I guess I am lucky that so far I feel no worse and maybe slightly better on diazepam than the clonazepam.

 

I will read through the links you gave me and print some more info for her to read. I will insist we go very slow with the diazepam taper. I think I want to try and just keep stable on diazepam for a month or two maybe, then try the slow reductions. I think she is more open to the slow taper of diazepam by itself but just wasn't keen on mixing two benzos to taper me onto the straight diazepam. She is my family doctor and that is all I have access to living in a super tiny town. We are lucky to have a Hospital and roughly 6 doctors here. The Hospital is basically a clinic, ER and laboratory that can do x-rays too. Not much but better than nothing, eh!

 

Thanks again and I will try and keep you all updated here. I just never know where to post here. I see this post got moved from Introductions which is fine as I am not 100% new here just had a two year break. LOL.

 

Chat again soon and have a good one!  :thumbsup:

 

It’s great to hear the direct switch didn’t cause any real issues for you (as it can do for others) and that you actually feel better on the diazepam than the clonazepam. These are both incredibly positive signs for your taper and recovery.

 

The main forum boards for you at this time will probably be the ‘Planning Your Withdrawal (taper) Board’ and ‘Withdrawal Support (during your taper) Board. The planning your withdrawal board is for you to gain help devising a sensible taper plan, and the withdrawal support board is for general support throughout your taper.… you may wish to ask questions about certain symptoms you experience or you may be just looking for support and encouragement from other members of the community. We’re all here to support each other!

 

Thanks again for the reply and info! Yeah I guess so far so good! I am really hoping the taper from valium will go smoothly as I do see it having easier to deal with tablet sizes. I will be going slowly and probably trying to just keep on the current dose for a while to see how symptoms go and stuff. I am in no rush as 22 years of clonazepam kind of flew by. I just worry about any brain damage due to this long of usage! I know my memory is pretty bad. We shall see how it goes.  :thumbsup:

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Yes, please hold for a while Zippo, as you could potentially experience a symptom onset in the coming days. I noticed your switch to diazepam was on Jan 11. It’s possible you haven’t been hit by withdrawal from the clonazepam yet. When I C/T’d from clonazepam, I didn’t experience symptoms until day 11 or 12, after which I was hit like a sledgehammer. I also know one of the other team members made a very large reduction in her clonazepam dose and didn’t experience the onset of very intense acute like symptoms until day 15. So I’m just saying you may not be out of the woods yet. You probably want to hold for at least 3 weeks before you begin tapering, and potentially longer if you do experience the onset of withdrawals in the coming days. If you do get hit, it could take some time to stabilise again.

 

Just trust that once you’re off the medication and in recovery, your brain will make its repairs and your memory issues will resolve.

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Hi Clay,

 

Just wanted to say hello, as I as am a fellow Canadian- I am next door- Calgary, Alberta. Also coming off 1.5 mg clonazepam, but didn’t do the Valium switch.

 

All the best in your taper.

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Hi Zippo!

I, too, am in CA ( formerly a praire person, now in the East). Please go VERY slow with your taper. This is the best advice I could give anyone. Good luck!

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Thank you fellow Canucks and anyone else reading this and in a similar boat! I appreciate the kind words and advice. I am still feeling pretty good with my direct switch from clonazepam to diazepam. Maybe one thing I notice is I feel a bit more sluggish/tired than normal but can usually get over it during the day. I think I never slept much when I was on the clonazepam. Max sleep would be maybe 5 or 6 hours!!

 

I am certainly going to tell my doctor I want to try and keep level on the diazepam dosage I take now. Maybe I will try tapering in a month or so. It is a tough decision as I want off these sooner than later but also know I was taking clonazepam for over 20 years!! I can't rush this taper.

 

Thanks again folks and hopefully I can keep updating here soonish...lol. Take care and bye for now!

 

Zippo- aka Clay  :thumbsup:

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Very sensible plan, Clay!

 

That’s why you’ll get through this with the minimal amount of suffering. Just maintain that patience. It’s so important.  :thumbsup:

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Okay guys so today I am seeing my family doctor about some blood work and also asking her about tapering off the diazepam now. I think I can go to a stage of gradually reducing it. I feel pretty good on the 10mg - 3 times/day. I actually wouldn't start my taper until about Feb. 7/2023 as I have enough of the current dosage until that date. :)

 

I will show her the Ashton Manual and maybe try and get her to do some research about it if she has time ever. I am willing to try the Stage 6 according to my initial clonazepam dosage in the Ashton manual. I will link to the chart if anyone wants to see: https://benzo.org.uk/manual/bzsched.htm#s5

 

I hope she is willing to help me slowly taper off the diazepam now that I have made the drastic instant switch from clonazepam to diazepam. If she doesn't think it fits her plan I am not sure who to see who can help as I live in a super tiny town with only family docs!! I just want her to understand it probably won't be quick or simple!!

 

I will let you know how it goes later today or maybe tomorrow. Thanks guys!

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Okay guys so today I am seeing my family doctor about some blood work and also asking her about tapering off the diazepam now. I think I can go to a stage of gradually reducing it. I feel pretty good on the 10mg - 3 times/day. I actually wouldn't start my taper until about Feb. 7/2023 as I have enough of the current dosage until that date. :)

 

I will show her the Ashton Manual and maybe try and get her to do some research about it if she has time ever. I am willing to try the Stage 6 according to my initial clonazepam dosage in the Ashton manual. I will link to the chart if anyone wants to see: https://benzo.org.uk/manual/bzsched.htm#s5

 

I hope she is willing to help me slowly taper off the diazepam now that I have made the drastic instant switch from clonazepam to diazepam. If she doesn't think it fits her plan I am not sure who to see who can help as I live in a super tiny town with only family docs!! I just want her to understand it probably won't be quick or simple!!

 

I will let you know how it goes later today or maybe tomorrow. Thanks guys!

 

Thanks for the update, Clay!

 

Best of luck with the Doc!

 

I hope she’s sensitive and accomodating to your needs.

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