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Can I Do Clonazepam WDs and still Function Daily?


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[mo...]
Posted (edited)

I am 7 weeks into Clonazepam taper off 1mg. I am down to .375 and WDs are kicking my butt. I am 68 and caretaker for 90yr dad and 49yr disabled son. I have no help. I HAVE to be able to function while withdrawing. How do I do this. Do I slow my taper to lowering dose to 3 weeks or how do I make smaller doses when it doesn't come in any smaller dose than .125mg  I have to cut my .5mg in half plus a .125 pill. The cuts are not accurate because the cutter makes little crumbles. Please help me how to get through this and still handle life and my responsibilities.

Added.....

Should I go back up to .5mg until I stabilize then micro taper at a slower rate? I just ordered a scale to do smaller dose tapers?

I'm so scared and desperate. My disabled son really needs me around and functioning to care for. He knows something wrong and it's upsetting him

Edited by [mo...]
Updose question
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[or...]
Posted (edited)

Hi @[mo...], welcome to BB.  So glad you have joined us. 

I was lucky to find BB and have been doing a slow-micro-taper.  I'm well able to function with my normal activities and feel I have a lot of my quality of life going on ;) oregonlady

PS here's my taper history if interested: https://benzobuddies.org/profile/243292-[or...]/?tab=field_core_pfield_34

I'm 71 by the way :)  and I would suggest going slower/smaller tapers.  Do you use a scale? I do, and just shave off to each new dose.  I hold my doses about 10 days to make sure I am stable, and as sx-free as possible.  I always still have sxs but they don't stand in my way.  My anxiety can be the worst sx, and second I guess would be my tremor.

Edited by [or...]
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[Ad...]

Welcome @[mo...]. There is lots of help here. I'm not surprised the withdrawal sx are so severe for you, but a taper from 1 mg to .375 in 7 weeks seems much too fast. Doctors may tell you it's fine, but most here at BB try to do 5% at a time, at the most, and hold each lowered dose until stable. I'm 77, have been on clonazepam for 22 years. I started tapering a year ago at about 3% every two weeks or so, depending on how I feel. I'm out about 41% of the original dose at this point and although I do experience some symptoms after each cut, they're not too bad. But I'm prepared to take another year if necessary to completely taper off.

The moderators on this board can probably better advise you whether or not you should go back up and then start a slow taper. 

Most of us doing this dry cut and hold method use small jewelry scales available from Amazon. They measure to .001 g accuracy.

The important thing though is not to confuse grams with milligrams. I'd use the .5 mg tablets for this. Weigh 10 of them and divide by 10 to get the average weight of one. Let's say it's .170 just as an example. To get a 3% reduction, you would multiply 0.170 by 97%, to equal .1649, rounded to .165. Use a single edge razor blade to shave off a tiny bit at a time and keep weighing until you get to .165 or very close. Then you would wait until you feel stable, and multiply that .165 by 97% to get the next dose. 

This would involve an updose because you'd be just under half a milligram, and even that may be too much, but I'm certainly not qualifying to advise you about an updose. The moderators on this board can probably better advise you whether or not you should go back up and then start a slow taper. 

If none of them chime in on this thread, you could start another one asking "should I updose"or something like that.

It sounds like you've got an awful lot on your plate. I sure hope Benzo Buddies is able to help you and that you have a doctor who understands that a slow taper will help with withdrawal symptoms. 

 

 

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[Ct...]
22 hours ago, [[m...] said:

I am 7 weeks into Clonazepam taper off 1mg. I am down to .375 and WDs are kicking my butt. I am 68 and caretaker for 90yr dad and 49yr disabled son. I have no help. I HAVE to be able to function while withdrawing. How do I do this. Do I slow my taper to lowering dose to 3 weeks or how do I make smaller doses when it doesn't come in any smaller dose than .125mg  I have to cut my .5mg in half plus a .125 pill. The cuts are not accurate because the cutter makes little crumbles. Please help me how to get through this and still handle life and my responsibilities.

Added.....

Should I go back up to .5mg until I stabilize then micro taper at a slower rate? I just ordered a scale to do smaller dose tapers?

I'm so scared and desperate. My disabled son really needs me around and functioning to care for. He knows something wrong and it's upsetting him

@[mo...] My heart goes out to you in your difficult situation. Possibly @[je...] can stop by to give you advice on an updose and proceeding with your taper. She is very knowledgeable about Clonazepam and tapering off it.

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[mo...]

Please help. I was sooo sick last nite  12 am with WDs I almost called ambulance. I felt like electrical currents were going off in my head and legs. Instead I updosed back to .5 from .375 clonazepam which had lowered to 8 days ago. I don't know how to do this and survive it.

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[Ct...]

I think you were wise to updose to .5 mg.  I see in @[Ma...]’s history, he went down to .375 mg Clonazepam and had to updose to .5 mg. It took him awhile to stabilize at that dose. I  hope you feel better, but I have read it takes time.

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[Ma...]
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, [[m...] said:

Instead I updosed back to .5 from .375 clonazepam which had lowered to 8 days ago. I don't know how to do this and survive it.

This exact dose was where the rails fell off for me last fall.  I updosed to .5 and stayed there for a couple months and felt much better eventually, started tapering again.  I’m now down to .25 and while still very difficult, it’s been better.  Doing another hold here and I’ll taper again when I’m ready.  

Edited by [Ma...]
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[mo...]

What size were your tapers and how long in between

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[Rh...]

I would defiantly hold for now until you stabilize and once you feel more stable then proceed with your taper, BUT slow down and take longer time between cuts.

I forgot, do you have liquid? If not, maybe consider making it or having one compounded then you can do very small cuts and hopefully that helps.

i also don’t know if anyone mentioned possibly going back up in dose a little to stabilize?!!

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[mo...]

I did go back up to .5 from .375 today after 8 days on lower dose. Am i in the acute stage. I dont understand any of this. They don't have liquid in US. I don't know how to use this site, or how to reply to certain replies and I can't think.😮‍💨

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[ji...]

You are getting a lot of good advice here.  Your taper has been way too fast.    Hold or updose for several weeks until you have stability, then resume the taper at a much slower rate of 10% per month.

You can do this!  And yes, my heart goes out to you as well given your situation.

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Keep it slow and steady.  Hold as needed.

I went way too fast towards the end.  My 7 month taper should have been a 14 month or longer taper.  But I was ready to get it over with and get my life back.  I experienced immense amount of suffering because of tapering too fast.  I had to go on temporary disability and ultimately lost my job because I was not functional and incredibly ill.  Luckily things are finally getting better.

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[mo...]

OMG...im suffering. I updosed 4 days ago back to .5 clonazepam because I went from 1mg to .375 in 8 weeks. Thought I was dying so went bk to .5 and WDs still unbearable. Psychiatrist told me to hold at .5 until stable then taper at a much smaller dose for longer time. How do I get through this. It's like the acute stage of WDs. How long will it take to stabilize...I have 2 family members I have to caretake and I just want to curl into a ball. Can't function

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[je...]

You might need to go up a bit higher. Maybe another 0.125mg?

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[Cr...]
5 hours ago, [[m...] said:

OMG...im suffering. I updosed 4 days ago back to .5 clonazepam because I went from 1mg to .375 in 8 weeks. Thought I was dying so went bk to .5 and WDs still unbearable. Psychiatrist told me to hold at .5 until stable then taper at a much smaller dose for longer time. How do I get through this. It's like the acute stage of WDs. How long will it take to stabilize...I have 2 family members I have to caretake and I just want to curl into a ball. Can't function

Like @[je...]said, you may need to up your dose a little bit more. You cut from 1 mg down to .375 pretty fast. And while the symptoms got really bad a few days after you cut from .5 to .375,  i suspect that a lot your suffering is from the full effect of the 1 mg to .5 mg cuts catching up to you.

You may have to try going to .625 for a few days. If no improvement then .75 mg. I'd hate for you to need to return to your original dose, but some people are more sensitive to rapid cuts than others and you may need to get back to a higher dose in order to stablize in preparation for a slow taper.

I am so sorry you are going through this. Hang in there, it may take some more time.

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[mo...]
31 minutes ago, [[C...] said:

Like @[je...]said, you may need to up your dose a little bit more. You cut from 1 mg down to .375 pretty fast. And while the symptoms got really bad a few days after you cut from .5 to .375,  i suspect that a lot your suffering is from the full effect of the 1 mg to .5 mg cuts catching up to you.

You may have to try going to .625 for a few days. If no improvement then .75 mg. I'd hate for you to need to return to your original dose, but some people are more sensitive to rapid cuts than others and you may need to get back to a higher dose in order to stablize in preparation for a slow taper.

I am so sorry you are going through this. Hang in there, it may take some more time.

If I try to push through, how long before these severe WDs calm some. I don't want to back slide anymore

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[Cr...]

 

Just now, [[m...] said:

If I try to push through, how long before these severe WDs calm some. I don't want to back slide anymore

While holding at .5 mg? I can't say for sure. There are several factors at play. 

- The rapid pace of your taper (7 weeks)

- The amount you tapered (.625)

- The small amount you backtracked (.125 back to .5)

Staying at .5 mg and going no higher means that stabilization would basically be your symptoms becoming more manageable. Possibly reversing the .5 to .375 cut symptom intensity in a few more days but you will still be experiencing the 1 mg to .5 mg level of intensity for quite awhile.

Are your side effects constant throughout the day or do they get worse at certain times? You only dose once a day correct?

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[mo...]
1 minute ago, [[C...] said:

While holding at .5 mg? I can't say for sure. There are several factors at play. 

- The rapid pace of your taper (7 weeks)

- The amount you tapered (.625)

- The small amount you backtracked (.125 back to .5)

Staying at .5 mg and going no higher means that stabilization would basically be your symptoms becoming more manageable. Possibly reversing the .5 to .375 cut symptom intensity in a few more days but you will still be experiencing the 1 mg to .5 mg level of intensity for quite awhile.

Are your side effects constant throughout the day or do they get worse at certain times? You only dose once a day correct?

Yes they are throughout the day. I take dose at night. But it's day 6 of severity.

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[Cr...]
Just now, [[m...] said:

Yes they are throughout the day. I take dose at night. But it's day 6 of severity.

Ok, reason I asked was because some people find relief by splitting their dose up. In your case it would be .25 am and .25 pm. But you don't seem to have issues with interdose withdrawal.

It is day 6 of severity but only day 4 of going back to .5 mg.  While I understand your desire to rid yourself of this med asap, I also understand that you need to remain functional  to take care of your father and son. If the symptoms don't improve over the next couple of days you may really want to consider going up a little bit further (to .625 of .75).

Also, is switching over to Valium something you would be interested in trying? Due to its long-half life and lower potency it is generally the easiest benzo to taper off of relatively speaking.

Since .5 mg klonopin = 10 mg Valium it would be much easier to do cuts.

If that isn't an option for you a direct taper from klonopin is very possible, but once again you may need to wait a bit until symptoms subside from your previous cuts.

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[je...]
29 minutes ago, [[m...] said:

If I try to push through, how long before these severe WDs calm some. I don't want to back slide anymore

It’s all about how you think about it. If you’ve cut too fast and you updose to recover it’s not backsliding. You are recovering from a rapid taper that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. 

If you drive a car and you take the wrong exit and you then go back to make a course correction there’s nothing wrong with that. Same principle here. You didn’t know you were going too fast. Now you’re making a correction, not backsliding.

If it’s any consolation I updosed twice in my taper because I had no idea what I was doing. And I’m so glad I did because I recovered from severe withdrawal and was able to become functional and then resumed my taper. Once I understood how to taper properly it was never necessary to updose again.

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[Cr...]
14 minutes ago, [[j...] said:

If you drive a car and you take the wrong exit and you then go back to make a course correction there’s nothing wrong with that. Same principle here. You didn’t know you were going too fast. Now you’re making a correction, not backsliding.

Really good analogy :thumbsup:

Monmar don't think of going back up in dose due to the need to function as failure. In this case it would be a learning experience, not any short-coming on your part. You learned that your taper rate was way too fast for your body to handle and now you have a chance to do it a better way.

 

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