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Time to get off this poison


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placed on clonazepam by my doctor for muscle relaxation and sleep problems....worked great first 2/3 weeks then all it did was just turn me into a zombie

 

Dosage: .5 mg morning

           .5 mg night

 

used first prescription as prescribed then the second prescription lasted me twice as long as i didn't take it all the time only 3/4 times a week.

Then after the third month realized I began relying on it to get through my day and began taking the .5 mg morning and evening. Two months of .5 morning and .5 evening worked to control my hand tremors but i began to notice my thumb would sometimes twitch or clench slightly.  I began to taper off as my doctor advised .5 mg morning and .5 mg night and eventually go to .25mg morning and .5mg night....I did this and it worked somewhat okay as long as i stayed away from high stress situations. I felt sluggish  but continued to fight through it. Went an entire 2/3 weeks at .25 mg and .5 mg. Then i finally decided to cut the night portion by .25 and began taking .25 mg at night and .25mg in the morning. I was able to function close to normal but felt spaced out often and began to feel like i was stoned or something. stayed like that for 2 weeks.

      Finally I got a bunch of job interviews and decided to take the .5 mg before sleep to make me feel more normal. then for three days ended up taking .5 mg at night and .25 during the day. Today I decided enough is enough of this shit because I didn't have any of these problems when i started this stuff. I decided I'm going to discontinue it all together and deal with 2/3 weeks of hell rather then continue taking this stuff and feeling like a zombie.

 

I have cut it cold turkey before due to a false diagnoses of HBV. I went cold turkey for 2/3 weeks and really didn't feel any side effects except for the first week which i laid in bed all day and night drinking POM juice. but after finding out I was immune to HBV I started taking the clonazepam again but I never took it as prescribed I always took less or deliberately skipped doses. This is month 3 on clonazepam since my cold turkey cut. My total time on it on and off is 5 months. Never took anything prior to that not even ordinary over the counter sleeping meds or used any recreational drugs beyond smoking cigarettes.

 

Everyone tells me don't do cold turkey, but I don't understand how bad it could possibly be if I just stop taking it all together and spend my mornings jogging and dealing with the withdrawal symptoms. I understand the withdrawal symptoms, but as my doses are .25 twice a day and sometimes skipping them with no real effects how bad could the withdrawal be. I'm more concerned with the convulsions and long term harm that could come from it, but if I can go cold turkey without convulsions and long term damage to my body I am very much willing to ride out the other withdrawal symptoms.

 

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[e4...]

zombie207,

 

Welcoming you to BenzoBuddies,

 

You will find support and plenty of help here, how to taper off the Klonopin.

 

Sigma.

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Well, you are .5 morning and night... I did a dry taper.  I cut the .5 pill in 4's.  So I took .375, then .25, then. .125, .06 and then i jumped at .03. I held each dose 7 to 5 days.  

When I got to .125, I got a prescription for a .125 wafer, that i cut in 4's again, this is how i got to .03.

 

Now these look like small cuts, but they really are not.

.5 of clon is equal to  10 mg of Valium. , so you are 1 mg of clon which is equal to 20mg of valium.   Now a cut from 1mg to .5 is like dropping 10 mg of valium. A rather big drop in dose. Your brain may not like it!  Everyone is diff and I have heard some people c/t and be ok BUT this is not the norm.  

 

The real question is why suffer?  A sensible taper will allow you to stay functional and exp. less pain.

If you can handle a dry taper, then do that and listen to your body.

 

Also,  many buddies  suggest a 10% drop every 7 to 14 days, impossible to do with a dry taper.  

 

 

 

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zombie,

 

I was on 2 mgs of clonazapam for years. 3 weeks ago I dropped 50% to1 mg (.5 twice a day). I had a week of w/d symptoms...tremors, trouble sleeping..etc. I was very worried about seizures but I happen to be one of the rare people that can make a cut of 50% with little trouble. And considering how long I've been on this bloody drug, that's even more rare.

 

I finally found this place and know now that I need to slow down. Generally, the faster you taper the longer it will take your body to adjust. If you do a slow taper and allow your body to adjust slowly I think you'd be much better off. You might want to read The Ashton Manual if you haven't already. Just google it. You'll find it.

 

Having said that, I totally get why you want to just come off it. I'd love to as well but I know that I'll be more comfortable and safe doing a slow taper.

 

My plan is to dry cut about 11% (that's what the math turned out to be) every 3 weeks or so. As I get lower I'll need to do titration because I'm not going to go through months of tapering only to end up flat on my back because I can't cut 1/8 of a pill lower.

 

Btw, there are videos on youtube about how to do different types of titration. It's easy enough to do.

 

You and I chatted a little this morning in the chat room so I know why you want to come off it so quickly but I urge you to reconsider c/t. There is lots of info on this site. Please inform yourself before you do anything. That was my mistake. I didn't know what I was doing when I cut 50%. Thank God for the people here for helping me through my fears of seizure.

 

My advice...slow down, get informed and keep in touch.

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Thanks for the advice and support....

 

    I'm on day 7 on cold turkey and the bodyaches have subsided. Biggest problem is insomnia and dizzy/drowsy spell that seems to have hit its peak on day 4 but is getting less and less. I spoke with a pharmacists about possible sideeffects before doing so and he advised me to go cold turkey and go through 7-14 days of insomnia dizzy/drowsyness and my biggest problem extreme abdominal pain which was very likely. He suggested this because of the manner I was taking it (4/6 days a week usually between .5 and .25 mg twice a day and have used it less than 6 months and not even the entire 6 months but with gaps lasting 1-3 days and one 2 week stretch without it.)

 

 

 

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Good Luck Zombie, keep us posted.. I get the dizzy drowsy stuff, not as bad but its there ...

I hope you heal fast Zombie!

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Its actually taken a turn attempted to go to borders to read a book and felt sick to my stomache....dazed almost to the point i couldn't drive.....and stumbled out of there basically....physical symptoms have all secedeed but the psychological ones have hit an all time high.....wow its a nightmare...how long is this suppose to last....

 

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Zombie,

 

I would like to be able to tell you how long it will last but everyone is different.  Because you had built up the drug in your system it may finally diminished enough to show you what it is capable of.  If you can tough it out great.  But if it becomes unbearable you should try to stabilize on .25mg twice a day for a couple weeks and then begin a slow taper of 10% every 7 to 14 days.  I hope you can make it through without reinstating but I know you can make it through one way or another.

 

Keep checking in with us.  Lot's of support here for you.

 

Warmest regards,

 

Kelly

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well update and hopefully last time I'm on this site closing this chapter and on to the next...

I got off again from clonazepam after 2 days of using it since my initial attempt to quit....This time though I just filled a brand new prescription and took the whole bottle and dumped it in the toilet and flushed it....So it would be impossible to get more of it from a doctor... now its going onto 3 weeks and I have had no symptoms for over a weeks and feel better then i did using the damn things...I can actually feel things and sleep on my on time.....Cold Turkey one week of hell and another week of being dazed/ that water feeling in your head like someone is pushing against your brain....Shit I thought it would never be over until I realized I didn't have any symptoms....Well worth it...in my case to cold turkey if you been using it for less then 6 months...and not as directed I actually was going a bottle every 1.5-2 months....So thank god I realized something was not right....Hope the best for all of YA....this stuff is not good for anyone and there is no reason someone should be even allowed to prescribe more then 10 pills of this stuff let alone a month supply.....god damn they trying to kill people..All the body does is increase brain function to combat sedation caused by this stuff So ur brain is running at like 150-200% to combat this shit...So when you get off your going to feel the effects of 150-200% of what ever you were taking it for....but its all good cause in due time the body has to return to homeostasis whether that means 100% without the benzo sedation or 200% combating the effects of benzo sedation....

 

Just remember once you get off what your experiencing is the level your body was working to maintain balance with all the benzos in the system....So once your off your experiencing heightened levels of everything so give your body time to put everything back to optimal functioning range...take it easy benzo buddies....and the key to this is don't look back and don't linger on the symptoms...I stopped thinking about it and just considered myself stoned everywhere I went and laughed at everything.....and before I knew it all side effects subsided.... and my eyes were actually not bullshot red and lips weren't dry no more cleareye and lip palm to be lugging around...

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Hi Zombie207,

 

I'm not sure if you'll check and see my reply, but I wanted to say I'm happy for you.  :thumbsup:

 

Pam

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Thanks Pam...All physical symptoms were completely gone since last time I posted and so were the psychological symptoms (hypersensitivity, and feeling out of body) but I never really had another serious problems with the withdrawal aside from the physical ones where I would twitch for no reason and above my eye I had to facial twitch that stayed persistent at first I thought I was just being hypersensitive until one day I was looking at the mirror and saw the area between my right eye and temple was twitching and it was none stop for days. The twitch was similar to a pulse. Sad think is I never had any anxiety or sleep issue when my doc prescribed me the benzos. I had developed a hand tremor a few years ago after I picked up smoking, I was about 22 years old at the time. I didn't connect the dots that the smoking might be the reason I had the hand tremors even though they usually appeared only when I smoked. He prescribed me benadryl .25 mg twice a day at first. I laughed at him and didn't bother taking it. At the time I worked in Housing PD in Manhattan and dealt with a lot of everyday BS but I always excelled. I was going to school doing extra curricular activities even did several oral presentations at the University I attended no sweat I actually enjoyed the attention. Court appearances were a common occurrence and testifying in front a jury was no problem. I realized it was the cigarettes because on Christmas of 2009 I quit smoking went back to the Gym and back to powerlifting. My hand tremors were completely gone (note my father and older brother are heavy smokers and have shaky hands). The more I worked out the more I forgot about the shaky hands problem. Even during stressful moments my hands were excellent. Then June of 2009 I went back to smoking and there it all started again but I knew it was the cigarettes or at least they were exasperating the tremors to the extent I couldn't hold a cup of water steady. But 20 minutes after my last cig the shaky hands and the anxiousness drastically reduced. So I just managed my smoking around my day. If I had to go to court I didn't smoke until after the court date if I had a presentation I didn't smoke at least a few hours before it. So I never had a problem until I took on a research project working in a lab which made it necessary for my hands to be steady. I went to my doctor explained to him the certain scenarios make my hands shaky he knew I didn't have any anxiety problems as he was my doctor since 93. He said since the other stuff we prescribed you (benadryl and some other med which I never took after the 1st or 2nd day) I'm gonna prescribe you something else only use it when you need to and come back to me in 30 days. The first prescription lasted me about 1.5 months. He wrote me another and said just use it as you need it. That prescription lasted about 2 months and some days as I would use it only in lab and that lead to chain smoking as my hands were perfectly steady even after smoking. I got two more prescriptions and realized they were lasting less and less instead of going 1.5-2 months I was going 1 a month and a few days. So after my research was over I decided okay time to stop. It ran out I figured it may have some withdrawal and aimed it towards my days off. Well three days after not taking it is when I became extremely hypersensitive I was in Central Park and could hear everything. So I went to my Doc the next day and told him I stopped taking it and was feeling sick. He explained it to me and said you need to taper off. He said take it as usual for a few weeks then start cutting down your morning dose by quarters or half which ever I felt comfortable then a few weeks later cut the nighttime one by the same. He said to do this and I would be free with minimal symptoms. I tried cutting it as he prescribed but along the way I was laid off and living off of unemployment I found a nice job that fit me perfectly. Well job required a drug test and needed the stuff out of my body within 3-5 weeks. So I went cold turkey and all hell broke loose head aches, body aches, delirium, tremors, twitching extremely hypersensitive, anxiety, weakness, and  I thought I was dying. Well, after a few weeks most of the symptoms were gone and I managed to go out and carry on everyday tasks as usual. No problems everything was going smooth no twitching and tremors to worry about no weird sensations, no anxiety and racing heart. I began smoking more often and the usual shaky hands business returned and subsided as usual. Then I guess what you guys call a second wave hit me after 4-5 weeks of being benzo free. Well I was willing to deal with anything accept the physical symptoms as I could not function in public, but the problem was just that I didn't know how bad the psychological symptoms could get until a few days ago. I literally began to notice myself getting slower and slower as in my cognitive skills having a hard time apprehending what people were saying at times or having a hard time replying to people even holding a half decent conversation. No anxiety no tremors no dizzy/dazed feeling even that feeling of your brain pushing against the top of your skull(which I considered one of the most annoying symptoms if not the worst). Now I just feel slow I mean I'm watching a comedy show and laughing 10 seconds after a joke. I've noticed I'm more and more forgetful and have an extremely hard time holding a good conversation without me pausing looking for words or trying to remember things. Its not as frustrating as the "brain pressure feeling" but it most definitely is something I wanna get over real quick. I mean damn I have to stop and focus on having a conversation rather then my usual self multitasking and jumping from story to story...

 

Well all in all its drastically improved and actually had a moment of no symptoms where I thought I was out of the woods but now I am "sloooowwwwwwwwww" loool. I know its temporary and hopefully won't last more then a week or two as all the other symptoms were gone in that time frame....

 

Next step quit smoking and back to the gym....but I'll definitely visit benzobuddies now and there even after I put this behind me and try to makeup for the time I lost sitting around.

 

 

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Hi Zombie,

 

I'm glad your next move is to quit smoking because it looks to be the source of all of your troubles.  I'm glad things are better now benzo wise, it's amazing how the symptoms can come back with a vengeance, or brand new ones take center stage.  It sounds like you understand this stuff and are rolling with it, I'm glad.

 

Let us know how you're doing when you can.

 

Pam

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That was very helpful to read about your story. I'm at same dosage just can't start wean now due to another medical issue.These pills are for short term use not daily. Everyone who takes them long term is going to run into trouble they didn't ask for.
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Thanks Pamster....I ended up traveling to a few southern states hoping by the time I came back I would be functioning 100%.....lool and it didn't happen, but i did experience a few days symptom free and felt like a million bucks....only for it to creep back...Right now I can manage leading a semi normal life but multi-tasking especially as I walk seems impossible....just been feeling dizzy and head pressures that seem to stay all day and start after breakfast.....I hope they go away soon because I start work soon and its not going to be pretty at all....but loool i guess its another life lesson....atleast now I know i'm gonna take full advantage of every good day that comes along.....

 

(P.S. twitching around the temple area hella embarassing.....lol)

 

Quick question Pamster I guess its more for reassurance but this shit does end eventually,right? I mean I get 2/3 days here and there feeling like my old self but this coming and going shit makes you question the notion that this will all be gone one day.....

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Symptoms wax and wane, it's frustrating because just when we think we're past it, it comes back around again.  It will pass, our bodies have an amazing ability to heal, even our poor brains and central nervous system.  
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Well...I got up around 6am today and layed in bed all morning just wondering where life was heading....It seems there is no better day to quit smoking then today so i'm gonna give that a try last cigarette yesterday at 2pm...I'm gonna go jogging and see how that goes.... the least I can do is try to be fit and eat as healthy as I can....

 

The way I look at people has changed drastically...People I thought were good seem to be opportunists and have no hearts, and those I used to brush off is where my sympathy lies, I only wish I would have known this sooner because I would never have brushed them off..All I can hope is to brush this off...

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  • 2 weeks later...
How are you doing, did you quit smoking?  Try not to form opinions of people while undergoing benzo withdrawal, it really skews our perceptions.
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  • 3 weeks later...
yea been a couple of weeks now without a cig in my mouth....but this week experienced a rebound of symptoms...not as bad as the ones before but they were able to stop me dead on my tracks when it came to going out and what not...hope this goes away soon been a week now in this state but damn its funny how we tend to forget how hellish this experience is when we get a window or two of half decent feeling.....
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The windows make the waves that much harder to endure, but it's sure good to have them nonetheless.  You've done great with quitting smoking, wow! 

 

I hope you still trust that this will end, and you'll be able to climb back in your skin and be you again.  It's really great when you finally get past this, you begin to appreciate just being able to take a deep breath, or to sit and relax, talk about an eye opening experience.

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Thanks Pam...just been hit with some physical sxs today.....atleast the cog fog is diminishing...but this physical stuff is not what I was expecting like a body twitch and this weird head shake not constant but it comes and goes through out the day and lasts for a few seconds...
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  • 2 weeks later...
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