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tapering off klonopin


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So, several people on here have advised me titration is probably the way to go, so here I am.  My full story is here: http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=33892.0

 

After that roller-coaster ride, I'm planning to stabilize at 0.375 mg until next Friday night, when I would like to make the first cut to 0.35 mg using titration.  (I'll be dry cutting until then.)  From there, I'm hoping to go down in 0.05 mg increments about every week (if I can manage every five days so I can be off the stuff before I go back to college on August 20, I'd love to, but that may be too fast -- I'm looking for opinions.)  But my next cut would be from 0.35 to 0.30 -- I figured I'd take the first cut small since I've had to stabilize after being on a weird dosage schedule (I was pretty consistent up until 2.5 weeks ago, when for some reason my doctor decided quickly throwing me on a couple mgs of Klonopin for a week (see the other thread) was the way to go after I had an anxiety attack because he took me off cold turkey off 5 weeks of 0.25 mg and 1.5 weeks of 0.5 (all at night) and prescribed me Ambien -- if I had known that would just make it worse, I swear! -- for sleep.  My original Klonopin prescription was for insomnia, but he insisted the Ambien would help me sleep deeper and I could safely cut cold turkey.  Right.  If I'd only known.

 

Anyway, after a lot of trying to figure out where my stable dosage would be after that mess, it seems I'm pretty decent at 0.375 mg, which I started taking last night, 3/4 of an 0.5 mg tablet.  Problem is, I only have about 20 more 0.5 mg tablets on hand and then probably the same amount of 1 mg tablets.  I go back to the doctor Tuesday -- I'm hoping he can understand what in the world is going on with me and get him to write another script for 0.5 mg tablets.

 

I've just ordered a 100 ml graduated cylinder with 1 ml markings.

 

Can anyone who's been through this tell me how difficult the withdrawal was for them?  I know it varies from person to person, but I'd like to live as "normal" of a life as possible while going through this -- I'm working a part-time job right now and I go back to college in August like I said.  I've had terrible insomnia for a week now -- will this get better as I stabilize and cut back slowly?  Will I be able to handle college classes, etc, as I come off the last little bit of the stuff?

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graduated cylinder is supposed to get here Wednesday.  I'm thinking of starting to cut 1 ml that night and Thursday night (since my dry cuts aren't precise I'm hoping I won't even notice this that much), and then if I feel well enough cutting 2 ml Friday night so I'll start at 0.35 mg Friday night like I wanted to.  I'll then cut 1-2 ml per day, seeing how I feel and holding if necessary.

 

I know milk is the best thing to use, but can you safely use water and still get an even distribution?  I'm living at home for the summer and my dad and especially my brother do not understand what I'm going through; I'd be able to make the mixture pretty quietly using water but not so much milk.  (Weird situation, I know.  I have several supportive friends but not so much my family and I'd rather do this on my own without them asking what I'm doing; it'll just make the anxiety worse.)

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I know milk is the best thing to use, but can you safely use water and still get an even distribution?

 

It's thought milk is a good option due to the notion that a fat soluble benzo will more readily bind to the milk's fat content.  But I don't think it has ever been established that milk is the best thing to use.  Water works fine.  I used it to titrate both Klonopin and Lexapro with no problems.  Personally, I think the milk vs. water issue comes down more to what makes someone feel emotionally comfortable.  Either way, you always want to do the titration fairly quick in order to prevent the benzo in the suspension from settling to the bottom of your glass.

 

Draftsman

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thanks, Draftsman.  do you think my plan for tapering 1-2 ml/day (0.005-0.01 mg) seems to be an okay plan?  I'm prepared to hold as need be (given my doctor cooperates on Tuesday and gives me the necessary prescription, if not, I've got enough for about 15 days and I'll have to see if I can't find another doctor in that time!).  It would have me off of 0.375 mg in about 2 months.  I'm thinking of trying to alternate days (cut 1 ml 1 day, 2 ml the next) so that I'd be cutting about 10 ml/week.  I realize this is a little more than 10% of my current dose but like I said if I feel I need to hold I will.
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thanks, Draftsman.  do you think my plan for tapering 1-2 ml/day (0.005-0.01 mg) seems to be an okay plan?  I'm prepared to hold as need be (given my doctor cooperates on Tuesday and gives me the necessary prescription, if not, I've got enough for about 15 days and I'll have to see if I can't find another doctor in that time!).  It would have me off of 0.375 mg in about 2 months.  I'm thinking of trying to alternate days (cut 1 ml 1 day, 2 ml the next) so that I'd be cutting about 10 ml/week.  I realize this is a little more than 10% of my current dose but like I said if I feel I need to hold I will.

 

Your plan sounds good ajm523.  Try to get your script refilled, just so you don't have to be stressed out about it.  Ideally you should titrate according to how you feel, not by how many tablets you have left.  If you're thinking of cutting 1ml day one, 2ml day two, then 1ml day three, that's not such a good way to do it.  That's probably not what you meant.  When you cut, keep moving forward.  Holding for a few days when needed is okay.  You want to keep benzo blood levels from bouncing around too much.  Don't go too fast, go by how you feel.  Good luck with it.

 

Draftsman

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Okay.  I think I'll start by trying to take off 2 ml per day and hold as necessary, and then if it gets to be too much after a certain point drop down to 1 ml/day (i.e., if I notice I'm having to hold almost every single time.)
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Went to the doctor today and I'm going to have 45 0.5 mg pills when I start titration tomorrow.  If I can go at 2 ml/day, this will be more than enough, but if I can't, what would you recommend storing unused benzo liquid in once I get below 50 ml?  I've heard you can store for up to 3 days, so I should be fine getting off without asking for another prescription...I just am curious as to the "proper" way to store it.
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oh gosh, I'm not sure I did it right...I think some of it may have well settled at the bottom...I hope I can do it better tomorrow and that I don't notice it too badly tomorrow since I think I messed up tonight...
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  • 2 weeks later...
You can your unused portions in a bottle in the fridge, use whatever you have handy.  It sounds like you may not have kept the particles agitated, how are you doing now, are you getting the particles mixed in properly?
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Yeah, I've gotten better at getting them mixed properly.  It was more of a first night scare than anything.
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It looks like a cumbersome process, but I hear people get pretty proficient at it.  I'm glad you got over your first night jitters.  ;)
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It is a little rough at first and you do have to be really careful, but I've mostly found a certain joy in the fact that it gives you the ability to make daily cuts, so each night I'm taking a little bit less and getting a little closer to my goal.  0.27 tonight.  Less than four weeks, hopefully.
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ajm I think we have very similar issues. I am starting a taper with limited number of pills before i have to go and try to covince my psych to prescribe more. he thinks I shoud have been able to do this in 10 days. The new doc I tried wanted me in a 10-30 day rehab. Neither see the point of tapering, but both will prescribe a different benzo or Seroquel.

I have 80 .5's and have ordered all my stuff. I am waiting on advice, but plan to try taking 2ml off each time.

I cant figure out when I will run out of pill. My mind is so screwed up.

Anyway, best wishes to you!!!!

Ev

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twinmommy, what dosage are you on?  If you're only on .5 and you're planning on taking off 2 ml at a time (which is what I'm doing), you've got way more than enough.  If you're on a higher dosage, someone here will be able to help you figure out how much you need (I may even be able to).  Also, once you get past halfway, you'll be able to store leftovers in the fridge, which will help conserve pills.  As far as if that's a good rate to go, again, it depends on how much you're on, how you feel, how long you've been on, etc.  I've been able to do it fine so far using a single 0.5 pill (I started titration at 0.37 mg though, I dry cut from 0.5 to 0.375), but I was also only on Klonopin about 2 months before starting my taper.  I never feel 100% but I mostly just get "spells" of an hour or two where I get moderately dizzy, nauseous, etc.  Other than that my symptoms are mild enough that I'm able to function pretty normally.  I've been working part-time (I'm a college student with a summer job) about 3 days a week and the other days I'm still able to go out, even spend time with friends.  Again, the rate varies from person to person though.  If you try 2 ml and it seems like too much, I'd go down to 1.

 

My doctor thought I should be able to do it in 10 days too when I went to him, I told him I would like to go a little slower, could he give me a month's supply, and he did.  I was lucky with that and the fact that he didn't ask a lot of questions, just told me he wanted me off the drug.  The doctor who originally prescribed the Klonopin was at school, so I'm not sure what kind of situation I would have been in if I'd had to go to that doctor.  I hate that both of your doctors will prescribe a different benzo though -- my problem was I knew mine was anti-benzo and I thought he'd try to make me go cold turkey again. 

 

I'd start a thread on this board -- if you haven't already -- and I'm sure lots of people will be along to offer their advice.  Since you've already looked for a new doctor you may just have to do so again, unfortunately -- it doesn't sound like the one you found is helping you anyway if he/she wants you in rehab.

 

Best wishes to you as well!

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I have dry cut down to.25 mg but am not really stable on that yet. I was advised here to crush my tablet, mix with milk, and day 1 draw off 1ml. day two 2 ml etc. I plan to start this as soon as I get back from vacation. Then I will have one more week until I start school. God help me.

I am shakey and have horrible insomnia. When I first wake up, I just stare without blinking and feel freakishly like a zombie. Good luck to you. I know i am going to kick this.

The drug my doc gave me instead of more Klonopin was Librium. I have i it in case of emergency, but haven't touched it.

Ev

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Yikes.  I would go slow if I were you then, if you are already feeling like that.  I too am scared of going back to school.  I hope you get stable soon and maybe you will be able to take it slow enough that things get better.

 

I'm sure you've already heard it, but don't take any of the Librium since it's another benzo.  It will just set you further back in withdrawal.  If things get really bad, I'm sure there are safer drugs out there you can take for emergencies. 

 

Good luck!  Your determination is always a good thing -- knowing you will get past this is the best attitude to have.

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Actually starting feeling better yesterday at .25mg. Fell asleep at around 2 and felt fairly rested when I woke up. I am still able to sleep late. Getting up at 6:30 in two short weeks will be hell. Start my taper in one week from .25. Can't wait to see how I feel.
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  • 5 weeks later...

I know this has been asked a lot already, but I want to make sure I understand correctly about how long you can store the liquid.  I have very few pills left and I'm near the end of my taper (.04 mg Klonopin) but I've been feeling a little worse (not non-functional) lately and I'm heading back to school on Sunday so I think I need to slow down again.  I was doing fine for a while tossing 2 ml/.01 mg every day, but then that got rough so I went down to 1 ml/day, and now that's getting a little rough so I think I might switch to every other day or so. 

 

It says on here you can store the liquid up to 3 days.  I mix up my dose around 9 at night.  I haven't been using the same mixture more than 2 nights in a row so far because I've been scared to.  But in order to save pills, would I be able to use the mixture a third night (i.e. 48 hours after I originally mixed it) or not?  Has anyone done this and been okay with it?

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I think you'll be fine to use the mixture a third night.  This is just a guideline really, I don't think anyone has actually done a study to see how long it will remain viable.  I could be wrong though.  :D
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I put the pill in the milk overnight,  use it the next day, the day after that, and the day after that. That's 4 nights. I'd keep going, but I am paranoid. I have absolutely no issues doing this. :)
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Thanks Xeno, I was paranoid at 2 nights, but I need to slow down at least a little, so I'm going to try to go to three.  I used the mixture for a third night tonight, so here's hoping tomorrow won't be horrible because of it.  (Of course then, if it is, I won't be able to tell whether to blame it on the mixture or the magnesium supplement I took this afternoon.  Let's just hope tomorrow isn't horrible!)
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I plan to, but I'm hoping I won't have to blame anything.

 

Need a good day tomorrow as I'm moving in for senior year of college!

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I really need advice.

 

I think I went too fast at the beginning of my taper.  I was reducing .01 mg/day.  I felt fine doing it, I had maybe a rough day or two.  But as I've gotten closer to the end of my taper, I've mostly felt worse and worse despite slowing down.

 

I don't know what to do.  Do I try to go very, very slow?  Will it make a difference?  I held .035 mg of Klonopin for 3 days already.  I was planning on trying to do .0025 daily reductions from here until the end.  But I have no idea what's going on because I almost feel worse today than I did yesterday.  Maybe it's because I was busier yesterday and didn't notice my symptoms as much...maybe it's because I overdid things yesterday when I was feeling okay...maybe it's because I've slept very poorly the last two nights.  I just feel like it doesn't make a difference if I hold or cut, I've had bad days after holding and good days after cutting.

 

Will it help to stretch the bottom of the taper out a little bit like I'm doing or has the damage already been done by tapering too fast earlier on and is there no hope for me having a "soft" landing?  I start college classes tomorrow...I really don't want to get slammed so hard I can't function!  I don't know what to do at all because I've looked around this board and seen people taper off more than where I am in under a week (I'm planning on taking at least another week and a half) and then I've literally seen people take a year to come off 10 mg of Valium (which is the equivalent of .5 Klonopin.) 

 

Does it matter that I wasn't on it as long?  I only was on for about 9 1/2 weeks before starting a taper.  But I think I'm really sensitive to it because I was looking back at some stuff and noticed I'd written something down about waking up at 5 am one morning short of breath and restless...I realized the date corresponded to when I'd upped my dose that night from .25 to .5.  Tolerance set in for me at five weeks.  Does that mean I'm going to have a really rough time once I'm off?

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I really need advice.

 

I think I went too fast at the beginning of my taper.  I was reducing .01 mg/day.  I felt fine doing it, I had maybe a rough day or two.  But as I've gotten closer to the end of my taper, I've mostly felt worse and worse despite slowing down.

 

I don't know what to do.  Do I try to go very, very slow?  Will it make a difference?  I held .035 mg of Klonopin for 3 days already.  I was planning on trying to do .0025 daily reductions from here until the end.  But I have no idea what's going on because I almost feel worse today than I did yesterday.  Maybe it's because I was busier yesterday and didn't notice my symptoms as much...maybe it's because I overdid things yesterday when I was feeling okay...maybe it's because I've slept very poorly the last two nights.  I just feel like it doesn't make a difference if I hold or cut, I've had bad days after holding and good days after cutting.

 

Will it help to stretch the bottom of the taper out a little bit like I'm doing or has the damage already been done by tapering too fast earlier on and is there no hope for me having a "soft" landing?  I start college classes tomorrow...I really don't want to get slammed so hard I can't function!  I don't know what to do at all because I've looked around this board and seen people taper off more than where I am in under a week (I'm planning on taking at least another week and a half) and then I've literally seen people take a year to come off 10 mg of Valium (which is the equivalent of .5 Klonopin.) 

 

Does it matter that I wasn't on it as long?  I only was on for about 9 1/2 weeks before starting a taper.  But I think I'm really sensitive to it because I was looking back at some stuff and noticed I'd written something down about waking up at 5 am one morning short of breath and restless...I realized the date corresponded to when I'd upped my dose that night from .25 to .5.  Tolerance set in for me at five weeks.  Does that mean I'm going to have a really rough time once I'm off?

 

ajm these are the types of questions I dance around in my head all day long... I wish I had some answers for you, but I don't.... Whatever you do at this point is a roll of the dice. I would taper slowly rather than hold, at .00125mg/day or less.

 

Good luck to you!!

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