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Tapering off Klonopin after thyroid cancer


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Hello all,


I am 3 months out from partial thyroid removal for cancer surgery. Inasmuch, my CNS is under a great deal of stress. Not an ideal time to deal with Benzodiazepine withdrawal, but such is life.


Leading up to the surgery, I was prescribed 2mg of Xanax every other night for sleep. Approximately 2 months after the surgery, during a particularly difficult time, I took Xanax nightly for approximately 14 days. Completely unaware what was happening, I began experiencing horrendous Xanax hangovers and lost approximately 10 pounds in 1 week. Spreading the dose out over the course of the day did little to help the withdrawal symptoms and things became very, very dark. Have now been taking benzos nightly for 6 weeks.


Recently switched to 2mg Klonopin and am slightly more functional and sleeping more hours. I'm presuming the fatigue and lethargy may improve after a few more doses (only 4 thus far), but am unsure whether to attribute that to the longer half life as well.


Regardless, I am very determined to taper off the drug, but am also very mindful of the stress my body is under after surgery and the potential necessity of remaining on my current dose. Elsewise I've considered doing a medical detox because the mental fogginess associated with the drug is becoming unbearable. Unsure which tapering protocol is best suited to my situation given the recent surgery and the relatively short timeframe of being on the drug.


If anyone has experience with thyroid conditions and benzo tapering/detox/withdrawal, please let me know.


This is a wonderfully supportive community and thank you for reading.

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Hi CNSmischief


Welcome to BenzoBuddies.


We’re very glad you found us!


I’m so very sorry you’ve found yourself in this situation after going through an already difficult experience with your surgery. I know it must be terribly rough on you.


I’ll try and cover as much as I can here, just so you have a good understanding of where you’ve been, where you’re at right now, and where you're heading…


I’m sure you already realise… your body became dependant on the Xanax over that 14 day period (not unusual), and once this occurred, you began to experience intense inter-dose withdrawals because of the very short half life of the Xanax.


It’s good that you’ve now been switched to a much longer half life benzodiazepine, but, it will take some time for you to adjust and stabilise on the clonazepam. Although Xanax and clonazepam are both benzodiazepines, they are still different medications, so you could look at it as withdrawing from one medication whilst adjusting to the other. However, you were only on the Xanax for a very short time, so it shouldn’t take too long to adjust. It’s probably more about the time it will take to stabilise from the accumulative impact the inter-dose withdrawals have had on your system. It sounds like you’ve only been on the clonazepam for a few days, so just hold on this dose and wait for your CNS to stabilise. Your symptoms will continue to calm over a period of time… you’ll know when you are feeling reasonably comfortable again.


* The fatigue and lethargy are likely the result of your body adjusting to the new medication whilst withdrawing from the old, rather than anything to do with the half life.


Once you have stabilised, you can then decide how you want to proceed…


I would certainly stay well away from any kind of medical detox, as they have LITTLE to NO understanding of how to bring someone off these medications safely. They will simply detox you over a 10 day period and send you home to suffer, often before you’ve even entered the acute withdrawal phase. You’ll basically go through the worst of the withdrawal at home on your own. It’s really nothing more than a cold turkey, and does nothing to help you through the severe acute withdrawal phase to follow.


However, I suggest you post on the Withdrawal Board asking other members about their own personal experiences going through a medical detox…


Once you have stabilised on your current dose, we can then help you taper off the medication sensibly. All you would need to do is post on the Planning Your Withdrawal (taper) Board for assistance devising a taper plan.


You will find plenty of information and resources here at BB, as well as a community of members happy to provide you with support and feedback to any questions you may wish to ask on the forum boards.


If you have any questions in regard to this intro, please feel free to ask.


Again, welcome!


Here are a few links to get you started…


Colorado Consortium Benzodiazepine Deprescribing Guidance


Withdrawal Support (during your taper)


Planning Your Withdrawal (Taper)


Cold Turkey, Detox & Rapid Withdrawal


If you could just fill out your history/signature, it will really help admin and members provide you feedback to your questions.


Add your history/signature



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