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Help! Need advice for Klonopin withdrawal


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Please, could use some advice.


I've been in what I recently learned was low dose interdose benzo withdrawal for about 4 years.  Was never comfortable from the get go and always had GI symptoms, daily brain fog, heart palpitations, nausea, muscle aches, etc..  Finally learned that because of the low dose of benzos and the fact that I refused to increase the dose, I was in a constant state of withdrawal for the past 3-4 years. I know that I'm on a very low dose of benzo and always have been, but I'm supersensitive to any of these drugs and have always had exaggerated responses to these low doses and any minute changes in the dose.  Was taking .125mg xanax 4x/day for 5 years, along with 22.5mg Remeron. The Remeron likely contributes to the dizziness, but I can't reduce this at the same time as the benzo.


I was always in discomfort from the get go, got off these drugs 3 different times with bad results, and had to go back on the xanax and remeron each time. Sleep disappeared, great anxiety, GI problems, etc.  Saw multiple specialists over the past 3 years to find out what was wrong with me, but never found anything wrong with heart, GI, etc.  Psych docs consistently recommended additonal psych drugs, and to take more of the benzos, since obviously I needed more!!


Last October I saw a naturopath who said that clearly I was in benzo withdrawal.  This was the first time I had heard this after dozens of medical visits and tens of thousands of dollars trying to find out what was wrong with me.Since xanax was so short acting, it was decided to go to Klonopin to do the taper.  My doctor felt that in older people valium might not be the best choice for me. I'm 66 years old. 


  Started a taper of 5% (.03mg) off klono every 2 weeks since 11/2011. I have now reduced my original .625mg of total daily klonopin down to .45mg  in 4 doses with the most taken at night to help with sleep. This is a 25% reduction.  I know that 5% of .45mg seems ridiculously low, but for me even this small amount makes a major difference in worsening the  awful withdrawal symptoms.


I just realized recently that taking away one capsule of .03mg klonopin (originally 5%) became a greater percentage than 5% with each taper as the amount of .03mg remained the same, but the base amount of klonopin was getting less each time, therefore the percentage of reduction increased each time.  So, if I were to continue with the .03mg  reduction this week, for example, it's almost a 7% reduction, rather than the original 5%.  I am doing this with a compounding pharmacy, and the smallest they can make is the .03mg capsule.  So, if I am to stay at the 5% reduction, I will have to open the capsules and start dividing the powder visuallly.


Recalculating this new taper schedule, I find that sticking to the 5% reduction every 2 weeks will take me 18 months.  If I were comfortable physically, without all of these nasty symptoms, I wouldn't care how long it takes, but I have never felt comfortable before the tapering began, and since I began this journey, all the withdrawal symptoms have become overwhelming each day.  The idea that this is the way it will be, or worse, for another 18 months or longer, is pretty disturbing.    Does anyone actually feel comfortable and stable during their tapering withdrawal???


I am now trying to go 3 weeks instead of 2 weeks before the next reduction to see if my symptoms abate a bit, but they pretty much are getting worse each day.  I've tried clonodine,  vistaril, otc calming agents, relaxation breathing, GI meds ,  pain meds,  to no avail.  Nothing seems to touch the daily nausea, heart palpitations, chest fullness, brain fog, dizziness, agitation, anxiety, and muscle aches. 


Has anyone out there had any experiences like this, and if so, what did you do?  Don't know how much more I can bear of this.


Incredible that doctors prescribe this stuff so cavalierly with no clue what they do to people.


I want to get this over with ASAP. but even this low dose taper is pretty unbearable. What do you do when you never get any relief from these symptoms??  Keep the taper up, stretch it out??  I realize that the GABA receptors have to regenerate and that this takes time, regardless of how fast you taper, but what to do when there's never any relief??


Just got the book Benzo-wise by Bliss Johns . Realize I need a change of attitude  in my acceptance and interpretation of these  symptoms, and my response to them, but many of you probably know how tough it is to do that when you're feeling so crummy.


I'm really stuck and would appreciate any advice anyone has who has been there.  Many thanks.







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Hi D,


I've been tapering the k from 1.5 down to .25 now.  Went with relative ease until getting under .5 where its been tough.  The sxs you described are quite common and i can relate to all of them.  I have felt like garbage for the last few months at this dose.  There's a couple schools of thought....hold until feeling stable, or in other words the sxs are tolerable.  Continue with your schedule with the small.% reductions.  I think the compounding is an excellent idea.  The third would be a rapid taper as you may not feel better until you are completely off.  I personally will not advise anyone on what exactly to do as we are all different.  Many times it comes down to your gut feeling, and thats what ive used during this process. 


I can empathize with not feeling well day in and day out.  It gets old really fast.  Hang in there and im proud of you and what you've accomplished so far.





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DK - it is good that you read the book Benzo-wise.  I would suggest reading "The Benzo Book" by Jack Hobson-Dupont  as well.  It really helped me understand what in the world was going on in my body.  I also wanted to get through it asap and thought I'd be FINE in 6 months.  Ha!  I am about 90% now and just hit the 1 year mark.  It is different for everyone.  Hang in there....better days are coming! 
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