≡ Menu

Klonopin (Clonazepam) Withdrawal Symptoms + Duration

Klonopin (Clonazepam) is a benzodiazepine drug that is commonly prescribed for management of epileptic seizures as well as anxiety and panic attacks. It is widely regarded as a first-line treatment option for seizures, but is not a viable long term treatment solution based on the fact that patients quickly develop a tolerance. In addition to being used to help treat seizures, it can provide major relief for individuals who are prone to panic attacks.

It works like other benzodiazepines by affecting the GABAA receptor to stimulate GABA (a calming neurotransmitter) in the brain. Although this drug is most commonly prescribed for epileptic seizures, it has a variety of other uses including: treatment of anxiety disorders (including social phobia), migraine headaches, mania, acute psychosis, hyperekplexia, parasomnia, alcohol withdrawal syndrome, as well as restless leg syndrome. It is also a valid short-term treatment option for bruxism.

Despite the fact that this drug works well to treat a variety of conditions, staying on it for a long-term is thought to be problematic. Long term usage of Klonopin or any other benzodiazepine has been linked to development of permanent memory problems as well as dementia. Additionally certain individuals may experience increases in depression as a result of this particular drug; it is thought that Klonopin may aggravate major depression in the long-term.

Even though this drug may work as a great short-term solution for epilepsy and anxiety, many people end up staying on it for lengthy terms. It has been found that one-third of all patients on Klonopin for longer than 4 weeks develop tolerance. When it comes time to withdraw from the medication, the withdrawal process can be overwhelming and riddled with unbearable symptoms.

Factors that influence Klonopin withdrawal

When it comes to withdrawal from any medication, especially a benzodiazepine, there are factors that will influence the severity of withdrawal. These factors include things like time span, the dose of the drug, your individual physiology, as well as how quickly you tapered off of the drug.

1. Time Span

How long were you taking Klonopin? If you use this drug consistently every day for years, you are going to have a significantly more difficult time with the withdrawal process. Generally the longer and more consistently you used a drug, the more gradually you will need to taper off of it. People that were on it for an extended period can expect a much longer withdrawal period and typically more severe withdrawal symptoms in comparison to someone who was on it for a shorter-term.

2. Dosage

Another factor that plays a huge role in determining the length and severity of withdrawal is that of dosage. How much Klonopin did you take? If you took the maximum daily dose of 20 mg for an extended period of time, it is likely going to take a significant amount of time to taper down and recover. Adults that take this medication for seizures typically take 3 doses of 1.5 mg. Individuals taking this for panic disorder typically take it in doses of .25 mg or 1 mg per day. Generally the higher the dose you take consistently over a long period of time is going to result in a more severe withdrawal.

3. Individual Factors

It is also important to consider individual physiology and environmental factors when it comes to withdrawal. Some people will naturally recover and experience less discontinuation effects than others. Certain people are hypersensitive to the withdrawal process and may experience more severe symptoms. Sometimes severe withdrawal symptoms can lead to major increases in anxiety and depersonalization among the hypersensitive. Social support and environment can also influence a person’s ability to cope with the withdrawal.

4. Tapering vs. Cold Turkey

It is highly important to taper off of this drug as opposed to quitting cold turkey. Cold turkey withdrawal may result in potentially dangerous symptoms such as experiencing a seizure. Some have stated that the proper way to taper off of Klonopin is by reducing the total daily dose by 0.125 mg (1/8 mg) on a weekly basis. So if you were taking 1 mg of Klonopin per day, it would take you approximately 8 weeks (2 months) to fully withdraw to 0 mg.

It is thought that tapering too quickly and/or cold turkey withdrawal can result in post-acute withdrawal symptoms. In other words, you may experience severe withdrawal symptoms that persist for months after your last dose. Additionally many people cannot handle the severity of the acute withdrawal symptoms associated with cold turkey withdrawal. Make sure that you always taper if you were on this medication for a reasonable length of time.

Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below are a list of common withdrawal symptoms that you may experience when you stop taking Klonopin. Keep in mind that your withdrawal experience will be unique and that you may not experience every symptom on the list. The list below can simply be used as a reference and for validation that what you are experiencing is in fact a result of medication withdrawal.

  • Anxiety: This is a medication that works on the GABAA receptor in your brain to decrease anxiety. When you stop taking it, your GABA neurotransmitter activity will be significantly reduced. Therefore you will likely experience pretty significant spikes in overall anxiety during your withdrawal.
  • Concentration problems: Many people report having difficulties with concentration and focus when they come off of Klonopin. This makes sense considering the individual is likely experiencing an array of withdrawal symptoms. Additionally this drug can have a detrimental effect on memory. If you are having problems with concentration, do your best to tough it out and understand that it will eventually return.
  • Confusion: Many people report feeling confused when they stop taking this particular drug. The confusion may be a result of poor memory and cognitive functioning upon discontinuation. Usually this will begin to improve within a few weeks of withdrawal, but may be longer lasting if the person didn’t conduct a gradual taper.
  • Crying spells: Some individuals report depression so severe that they end up crying. If you have crying spells, in all likelihood it is a result of mood swings and or depressed mood. Benzodiazepines are linked to aggravation of depression – so you may end up getting teary.
  • Depersonalization: During withdrawal, you may go through a phase where you don’t feel human or like your natural self – this is referred to as depersonalization. Typically this is caused by significant increases in overall anxiety. If you panic, it will likely cause this “depersonalized” feeling to persist. Take the time to accept how you feel and realize that you will return to feeling normal eventually.
  • Depression: It is extremely common to feel depressed while taking a benzodiazepine like Klonopin, as well as really depressed when you stop taking it. It’s almost like a double-edged sword because you may have found that it works wonders for your anxiety, but causes you to feel really depressed.
  • Dizziness: Withdrawing from any benzodiazepine can cause a person to feel really dizzy. If you feel unbalanced and as though you are dizzy all the time, realize that this is very common. The dizziness should gradually begin to subside within a couple weeks – but it may be prolonged if you withdrew too quickly.
  • Fatigue: Excessive tiredness, fatigue, and lack of motivation are common when it comes to withdrawal from a benzodiazepine like Klonopin. It may be tough to get out of bed and force yourself to do things, but your energy levels will eventually return.
  • Hallucinations: Some people experience hallucinations upon withdrawal from Klonopin and other benzodiazepines. It is not a common withdrawal symptom, but one that some people have experienced nonetheless.
  • Headaches: Another very common symptom upon withdrawal is that of headaches. The headaches may be pretty severe to the point of migraines and/or may be pretty mild. However most people experience them when they come off of benzodiazepines. You could consider taking over-the-counter headache relief and see if it helps. Headaches should lessen in intensity as your anxiety decreases and your body gets used to functioning without the drug.
  • Insomnia: Many people actually take this drug as a sleep aid and/or to help them relax so that they can fall asleep. Do not be surprised if you have difficulties with sleep and/or staying asleep when you initially withdraw. This is usually a result of significant spikes in anxiety following withdrawal.
  • Irritability: Do you notice yourself becoming increasingly irritable after you quit taking Klonopin? The heightened irritability is largely due to the fact that your GABA neurotransmitters are no longer receiving the stimulation from the drug – which would essentially help you stay calm. Little things may get on your nerves in the initial few weeks of withdrawal, but things should improve with time.
  • Memory problems: It is very common to experience memory issues when withdrawing from any benzodiazepine. This class of drugs has been linked to people actually developing dementia as well as permanent memory impairment. Most memory issues should resolve themselves in time.
  • Mood swings: Since this drug helps people stay calm, withdrawing from it can put people in a variety of moods including: anger, panic, depression, etc. Do not be surprised if you have difficulties with mood changes during withdrawal.
  • Muscle spasms: There are individuals that have reported muscle spasms and “shaking” when they quit taking this drug.
  • Nausea: Some people report feeling very nauseated when they first stop taking this drug. The nausea should ease up within the first week or two following your last dose.
  • Nightmares: Another (less common) symptom that certain individuals experience when they quit taking Klonopin is that of nightmares. Sleep disturbances and insomnia are more common, but some people notice “crazy dreams” as well as nightmares.
  • Palpitations: Some people notice that their heart beat abnormally quick and/or irregularly as a result of withdrawal. This symptom can cause some people to react with panic. If you notice your heart palpitating, your best bet is to accept it and not panic. It will eventually improve with time and acceptance.
  • Panic attacks: This drug is very effective at treating individuals that are prone to panic attacks. It is well known that GABA stimulation can put a rest to nearly all anxiety and panic. When you stop taking the drug, your GABA is not getting the same amount of stimulation and therefore you may experience panic attacks upon withdrawal.
  • Seizures: This is a medication that people take to help manage epileptic seizures. People that are prone to seizures have an increased risk of developing a seizure when they discontinue this medication – especially if they withdraw too quickly. Additionally, even non-epileptics have an increased risk of seizures if they quit the medication too quickly.
  • Sleep problems: In addition to having difficulty falling asleep (insomnia) many individuals experience difficulty staying asleep. If you are having sleep disturbances and aren’t able to get a good night’s sleep – it is likely due to the withdrawal.
  • Suicidal thoughts: Since it is common to experience depression when you stop taking Klonopin, in some cases this leads to a person feeling hopeless and suicidal. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, recognize that they are merely part of withdrawal and will improve in time. Additionally it is important to understand that if they are too severe to cope with, you should seek support from a professional.
  • Sweating: Many people report experiencing profuse sweating throughout the day and night sweats during sleep. If you notice that you are sweating more than average, it is likely due to the fact that your body is detoxifying itself and getting acclimated to functioning without the drug.
  • Tremors: Some people experience tremors or uncontrollable shakes when they stop taking Klonopin. Realize that this is caused because your physiology has developed a tolerance to taking the medication over a long term.

Note: Following discontinuation, Klonopin stays in your system for 5 to 14 days along with its primary metabolite 7-aminoclonazepam (7-ACLO).  Realize that many of the discontinuation symptoms may become most severe after the drug and its metabolites have been fully excreted.

Klonopin Withdrawal Duration: How long will it last?

The symptoms that you experience during withdrawal may subside within a few weeks or they may linger for months following your last dose. There is no exact recovery duration that you can expect when you withdraw. As was already mentioned, there are many factors that will influence both the severity of withdrawal as well as how long symptoms last. Some people that quit cold turkey may experience a post acute withdrawal phase in which they experience symptoms long after the drug has been out of their system.

Keep in mind that although you may have had Klonopin out of your body for weeks, it takes time for your brain and physiology to readapt to functioning without the influence of a powerful drug. Using this drug for an extended period of time changes things within your brain including neurotransmitter functioning (specifically GABA) and is well known to have an effect on cognitive functioning (specifically memory). If you quit cold turkey, you can expect both physical and psychological symptoms to linger for longer than if you conduct a gradual taper.

Quitting cold turkey can also delay the response of your brain to recognize that it is no longer receiving the drug. Therefore it expects to continue functioning the way that it did while on the drug, and its functioning is impaired. Assuming you properly taper, the withdrawal symptoms will likely last from several weeks to several months. Some individuals have reported it taking a full year or two before they are fully recovered. If you have an experience withdrawing from this particular drug, feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

Related Posts:

{ 331 comments… add one }
  • Laurie September 24, 2014, 9:33 pm

    I have been on .5 mg.clonazepam per day for 18 years, and after reading about the long-term effects, decided to quit. I am doing this on my own, as my doctor knows nothing about how to get off the drug except to “do it slowly,” and I don’t have the money to go to another doctor or a rehab doctor. For the past seven days, I have been taking 3/4 of a .5 mg. pill per night–by cutting the pill into quarters. I can function, but I have a host of the predictable symptoms listed on websites. I am strong-willed and will do this, but need advice, given my story above, on the rate of tapering down to zero. Many thanks.

    • C September 25, 2014, 8:32 pm

      Hi Laurie,
      You might want to read the Ashton Manual at http://www.benzo.org.uk (that’s not a link). It has excellent, detailed info about benzodiazepines and the safest ways to taper off them. Slow and steady is the way to go. I wasn’t able to come off this medication without switching to a longer-acting benzodiazepine — namely, diazepam. It required my doctor’s help for the prescription, of course, and doing it this way allowed my body an easier ride than I was having with clonzepam. However, you might be fine. I stayed at each dose for two-three weeks, before making the next cut. I’d been on it for 6 1/2 years — .5 mg twice a day.

      It IS possible, and you CAN do it! And you said you’re “strong-willed”, which is fantastic. I wish you well.

      • C September 25, 2014, 8:34 pm

        P.S. It looks like the website made the website address into a link. Bonus! Look for The Ashton Manual under the subheadings.

      • Laurie December 1, 2014, 10:45 pm

        Sorry I’m late to responding…didn’t check for this until now. I am so grateful for your intelligent and measured response. I am doing well–now at .125 mg. clonazepam in the a.m., and .125 mg. clonazepam before bed. I’ve been here for about six weeks now, and my plan is to bite the bullet after Jan. 1st and drop to .125 mg. per day. Any suggestions about whether to take the final .125 mg. per day in two doses (.0625 mg. in the morning and then again at night), or just .125 mg. at night?

        I am extremely glad I listened to online commenters and chose to do a very gradual tapering. The symptoms have lessened considerably, though I have occasional very bad days. When that happens, I slog through them, and generally the next day I am much improved. In any event, overall I am improved over what I was experiencing before I began withdrawing from the medication. I’m looking forward to a happy 2015!

        • Runnergirl123 December 30, 2014, 3:54 am

          I just successfully weaned off of Klonopin after 16 years. I wanted to come back and post hope, as I feel like what got me through my withdrawal was forums and hopeful notes online. You CAN do this. I had a pretty rough week and felt like I had a horrible flu. I was on 1.5 mg/day. I am very stubborn and wanted off. The withdrawal symptoms made me feel horrible but made me want off the drugs because I couldn’t believe how horrible I felt.

          My advice: go down as you feel comfortable. I’d take a little in the morning and if it’s possible, skip the evening. If you’re just too uncomfortable, take a small evening dose as part of your weaning off. My best friend was ibuprofen- I had to take some each day to fight the flu feelings (super achy, sore, sick) and each day I’f try to take it later and later. But I needed it for a out a week. Good luck- it felt great to be off of it after so long. Unfortunately I started taking Effexor and now I’m struggling to get off that – bit Klonopin is done!

          • jan February 5, 2016, 3:12 pm

            This is so encouraging, thank you. :)

          • Inez Sanders February 16, 2016, 12:04 am

            I am so glad I found this blog. I am 60 yrs old and tapering off clonazepam. I went on it 18 yrs ago because of anxiety after back surgery. A new NP wanted me to come off in 2014 and I was willing. I was on 1mg 2x daily.

            I did fine until the last 1/4 night tablet then went into severe withdrawal finally ending up with something called akathisia diagnosed by my old dr who had left the clinic. He treated me for the akathisia but couldn’t see me any more because he no longer took my insurance. He could not put me back on the clonazepam.

            I could finally sleep at night but the days were terrible. I finally found a new psychiatrist who put me back on klonopin partly because I was found to have breast cancer and I still was suffering from akathisia. I am tapering again.

            They want me to and I don’t want on such a dangerous med. I went down 1/8 of the morning pill for 2 weeks, then have started on another 1/8, and should start on another 1/8 this Friday. I am pretty anxious at times and seem to cry a lot.

          • Stephanie August 7, 2016, 6:48 pm

            I was wondering how slowly you tapered from? I have been on it for 6 months only taking at night .75mg for situational anxiety and panic. Would like to slowly taper with as little side effects as possible :). Read a lot of horror stories that I am scared lol :(. Thanks soo much!!!

        • LauraM November 6, 2015, 6:46 am

          Laurie, I am in the same boat. Same dosage. Feeling crappy and wanting to hold on this dose for a bit. How are you? How did you end up tapering? Laura

          • NancyL July 11, 2016, 6:11 pm

            Hi I am 55 years and have been taking 1 mg twice a day for 7 years. I recently changed Drs and this Dr wants me off of this medication as do I. He had me stop the morning meds and the next 2 nights .50 then stop. During that time I would not sleep after day 4 it was like I gave up the fight and just sat and laid. On day 6 he put me back on them to taper off in 7 days. My biggest fear is I cannot go back to that with withdraw feeling. It scares me. I cannot function. Can any one give me advice?

        • samiam January 7, 2016, 7:00 pm

          Laurie, congratulations! I am looking forward to a Happy 2016, especially beginning in a few months when I will have Klonopin out of my system…after 19 years on .5mg. (Actually a bit more a long time ago.) I decided to simply break off a tip of my half dose in the morning and also at night for a week or two, then break off the other tip for a couple weeks, etc.

          It worked with the Ativan, even though the tapering dosage was obviously not exact. With determination, reading online forums, and mostly through God’s grace and mercy, I successfully come off of Ativan several months ago, and it actually wasn’t too bad. Yayyy…be encouraged everyone!

          • Angie March 13, 2016, 9:41 pm

            Does anyone know of a callous doctor that refuses to step a patient down that has been on Klonopin for 20/years, peaking at 4/mgs a day? I was able to get to 2/mgs in the past 8/months, however for the doctor to say no more has put me in a place I term HELL. I think I am dying all day, and have not slept in over a week. What can I do. This EVIL woman will not help me. I have every symptom listed above, I think I am dying almost every second of everyday. Someone please help me. Angie

          • Richard May 31, 2016, 10:01 am

            Angie, I hope you are okay. I just read your post and know this is too late, but I hope you got to another doctor. Getting off of klonopin is hell. I certainly couldn’t go cold turkey. I had a similar situation when I moved to another island and the pharmacy would not honor my old prescription. I was without klonopin for about two weeks before realizing why I was feeling so ill.

            Now I’ve been through two psychiatrists: one wanted to put me on the same dose plus another drug but wouldn’t explain what this new one was going to do for me. I changed to another doctor who said, “Just keep taking it. It doesn’t hurt you.” I’ve tapered down to .5mg, once at night. It’s taken about a year now to get to that point. Anyway, I hope you found an answer to your problem. I feel for you.

    • deb forrest November 5, 2015, 4:09 am

      Hi Laurie. I just read your story. I am tapering off the same dose and have been on it just as long. How are you doing today? Deb

      • LauraM November 6, 2015, 6:56 am

        Hi Deb, We sent the same question to Laurie because we are on the same dose and trying to get off. Feel free to send me an email laurafloros[AT]gmail.com and we can compare notes. I am on the same dose she stated she was taking. Was gonna hold here for a bit. -Laura

        • Susan December 7, 2015, 1:31 am

          Hi. Just found this site after months of trying to figure out why I’m experiencing episodes of severe agitation and irritability. I have such little patience and blow up over the smallest things. I have had my hormones tested, changed my diet, been using supplements and vitamins, see a nutritionist and functional medicine Doctor etc. Well, finalllly realized it may be coming from my VERY gradual tapering off of Klonopin.

          I’m a 48 yo female and have been on a very low dose for 20 years. The highest dose was 1 mg and the lowest was .25. Right now I take a .5 mg pill and use 1/2 the pill daily (.25mg) split into 2 doses. I only removed 1/4 of the pill about 3 months ago and it has taken me until today, and 3 months of extreme bitchiness to discover I cannot tolerate the step down from 3/4 of the pill to 1/2. Wow. I can’t believe I’m going through such hell over this. Please reach out anyone who wants to buddy up on trying to wean off Klonopin.

          • joann masterson December 30, 2015, 1:47 pm

            I am in the process of weaning off of Klonopin at 57 years old. Have been on it for a year. First went on it due to anxiety caused by having a lot of head pressure due to an allergic reaction to an antibiotic. Had tubes put in my ears and that was 10x worse. I am weaning because I know it’s not a good drug and I felt by body being so addicted to it, just waiting to take my next dose. However it did help the head pressure. It’s only been a week.

            I was taking 0.5 mg morning and night. I cut that in half. Can’t sleep, body shaking and head pressure is worse than ever. My doc wants me to take nortriptyline for the head pressure but I was wondering if I should wait until I am completely weaned or should I slowly add it, taking it at night. Any suggestions? When should I start to cut this dose in half again? Would really love some support. Want to get back to the old “me”. Thanks.

          • Patrice January 9, 2016, 2:13 am

            Susan, I hope you check this regularly. I am at .17 in the a.m. and .17 in the p.m. using water titration. When I started I was on .5 in the a.m. and .5 in the p.m. This last bit has been the most difficult. I started in July 2015 and now Jan. 2016 still going. I exercise most every day or 5-6 days a week. I will say do not run out and start excising aggressively, take it easy. If you’d like to continue chatting please visit this forum regularly. God Speed.

          • Joann June 26, 2016, 1:07 pm

            Hi Susan I read your story and really feel for you as too am trying to find a way to wean or taper off. I’ve been taking 1mg’s for 10 years now. My doctor retired. I have been getting my pills from a friend who takes them too. I feel so ashamed but I am so afraid of the withdrawals so I went back to my primary caregiver who could only give me one refill or two – and also he put me on lexapro which I have not taken as a way to get me or wean me off of the Klonopin.

            I also just started seeing a psychologist now and of course they can’t prescribe anything for you so far she hasn’t said too much about me quitting the Klonopin. Anyway I’m really confused and scared because no one really seems to know how to you can’t just cold turkey so what do you do? I started taking the medication 1 mg a day because I had panic attacks whenever I would drive. Now I just feel stuck!

        • Dana January 4, 2016, 8:16 am

          Started my klonopin taper this past Monday from .5 to 3/4 of a pill. First 2 days the most insane migraines ever. I have been on varying dosages for 4 years…1 mg a day down to .5. Now having crazy memory loss…like don’t ever remember having the conversation memory loss. First, I would argue that we did not have the conversation, but it just became an 8-10 times a day thing and I started looking silly. I’m trying to hang tough and was hoping to slide to .25 in 2-3 weeks. I guess we will see what happens. This stuff is wicked bad.

          • Mag January 23, 2016, 12:52 am

            Hi. I hope you are doing ok. I am weaning off clonazepam 1 mg that I have been on and off over the last couple of years. I am down to .25 mg per day and I have been decreasing by .125 mg every 2 weeks. I have had some really rough days full of anxiety, sure hope I feel better once I get off this.

      • Patty August 5, 2016, 9:57 am

        I have one of those callous docs you mentioned. I broke my neck, back & ruptured several discs in 1993. I’ve had 9 neck and back surgeries, a host of other surgeries….a total of 30 which includes putting in an intrathecal pain pump, (I’m on my 5th pump). Last month at my visit to my pain care doc he said he wanted me to take “a holiday from my meds” 1 wk in the hospital and 1 wk at home to try to reboot my system.

        After talking to a nurse with BCBS she said that it can get me where LESS meds work better…so I was all for it. But HE wasn’t going to be the one to do. He said that I’d have to get my PM Care doc to handle it. I called them and they said that if they adjusted my meds in any way that it would VOID my contract with my pain doc. I called his office and explained to his head nurse what was going on.

        That’s when I found I had made a huge mistake…he told me just the narcotics but she said EVERYTHING. I asked for a list of exactly what to stop… I never got one. My PM care doc’s asked for the list they never got one!! The nurse who fills my pump asked for a list she never got one. So I stop the Morphine & Methadone cold turkey.

        Waited a week and stopped the Lortab’s, Robaxin and a few days later stopped the Klonopin, Valium (which I take for severe tinnitus) and Belsomra. I was doing great until I stopped the last 3…I’m pretty sure it’s the Klonopin that’s giving me the hardest time. My pain has gone from 5-7 on a normal day to about a 10 constantly!! But I’m so sick physically. No cravings just a lot of pain and other symptoms.

        I’m going back to see my pain doc today. I don’t know if I’m going to let him put me back on the Klonopin. I’ve been on it about 20yrs. Unfortunately I’m STUCK with him. I don’t trust him any longer but because of the pain pump no one else will take me. I’m glad I’ve been able to see I’m not going through some of this alone!! I’ve decided that those who know & love me know what I’ve been through over the last 20+ years.

        I’ve never failed a drug test. I take my meds exactly as prescribed. I’m NOT going to apologize for hurting ever again!! I make it to as many things as I can. And I have great times that last for long periods. Yes I still hurt but I’m beating the pain and then one day it knocks me on my butt and beats me for awhile. It’s battle I’ve fought many times & I know I’ll fight it many more.

        It’s just sad when your “Pain Specialist” is so uncaring. Thanks for listening and posting your stories…y’all helped me a lot.

    • Lisa May 9, 2016, 1:32 pm

      If you can’t afford to see a doctor for instructions on how to go off medications, you can call the Pharmacy, and they can be very helpful.

  • Meredith October 8, 2014, 5:13 am

    I am in the process of getting rid of this drag of a pill. It helped me with my anxiety but after 8 years, much growth, and meditation and mindfulness, I believe I can manage it now by myself. I was on 1 mg per day with an extra .5 mg thrown in if I needed help sleeping. I realized when I was off and on that extra .5mg pill, I was entering withdrawals, then taking a pill for a few days and stopping it because I was sleeping, thus entering withdrawal again. I got rid of that extra pill. After about 6 weeks, I take none in the morning and 3/4 of a pill at night.

    Three days after I dropped to 0mg in the morning, the anxiety hit me in some pretty strange ways. I’m staying here for 2 weeks then will more slowly drop the other 3/4. I’ve been doing 1/4 pill at time but maybe I will go even more slowly. Thank you for your blog. This is so helpful. I am surprised doctors prescribe this for so many years. I just changed doctors and my new psych suggested it at my first visit. I blog about all this kind of stuff. Yesterday I posted my anxiety experience while in withdrawal.

    • Lisa May 9, 2016, 1:34 pm

      Some other websites tell you it takes approx 2 months to get off this medication. Don’t rush it!

      • Vicky cheatham August 31, 2016, 3:55 am

        It took me 18 months using the Ashton Manual Method. I tried several times on my own and just couldn’t do it.

  • Lisette October 14, 2014, 5:05 am

    Hello! First, I’d like to say this is one of the FEW reads that I have come across that is actually helpful and POSITIVE. I’ve read so many bad things about getting off the Clonazepam and hardly hear that things will get back to NORMAL. Such a relief to hear that said because this is scary to go through. I’ve been on the benzo’s since coming home from Iraq in late 2007. I’d say steadily been on Clonazepam since 2009 (5years).

    Started at 3mg daily and eventually got it down to 1mg daily in 2012 and then to .50 daily in 2013 allowing an extra .50mg daily if I needed it (so 1mg sometimes a day). I have tried in the past two times to get off of it (cold turkey off of 1mg daily) and well I got to 14days max because I couldn’t take the withdraw. Recently I have become more strong willed to get off this medication as I’ve become aware it may be doing more harm to me than good as I’ve been taking it long term now which is not recommended.

    All my new doctors have said to “get off it” offering little to no guidance as to how to taper other than “skip every other day”. It was being prescribed by a doctor I can no longer see without paying $ since shes out of network now. The last time I seen her was 2013 and had been issuing me refills every 2 months w/out seeing her since she knew I had to pay $ to see her. She requires an annual check up to keep prescribing ANY medication. That check up was required recently. I decided I wanted to listen to my new doctors and get off the medication, so I never made an annual appointment.

    For the last 2 months I did what I “thought” was a taper. I took .50mg every other day until my last 2pills (.50mg). I held onto them until I couldn’t take it anymore. I took the first pill 4 days after a dose and then then last pill 5 days later… so 1mg total over a period of 9days. My last dose of .50mg was on Sept 20. I had no clue that this med could go lower than .50mg or else I would have done things differently.

    So I’m at a cross roads with things. I NEED ADVICE FROM OTHER PEOPLE THAT ARE EXPERIENCING THIS SAME THING. My husband thinks I’m crazy so I have no one to talk to about all this. It’s a very unique experience and not everyone can understand it. Did I make a mistake getting off of it the way I did? Was it too soon? Was it like cold turkey? I am experiencing 90% of these w/d symptoms. I’ve been off for 23days. Longer than in the past so I’m thrilled about that because I am doing better than in the past but I have this dreaded feeling that I’ll never feel “normal” again.

    Nothing seems to be “getting better”- like I’m at a plateau w/things or it does momentarily but comes back; leaving me w/little to no hope of the quality of my life returning. I’m shedding a significant amount of hair (a symptom I have heard others complain about as well) and its makes me so sad because I’m a woman- I love my hair. Even the texture seem dull and flat. That’s just the start of what I feel throughout the day. I have this 24/7 feeling of being “unbalanced” or “slight dizziness” that is persistent and annoying.

    I so badly want to be DONE w/Clonzepam and am determined to do it. I want to be SAFE & PRACTICAL about it. I guess I’m seeking the advice of others on if y’all think I should just keep pushing since its been 23days and hope for a better tomorrow until its all better or should I go back to my doctor and seek a more gradual taper? I mean would I be setting myself back putting that drug back into my system at this point?

    Or would it be beneficial and less of a life stripper if I went back on it w/a taper? I feel so confused at this point and just want to know what others think? I certainly don’t want to take any steps BACK but if it going back to maybe .025 then to .0125 and off will mean I won’t suffer as hard of w/d then is it worth it or is 23 days WASTED?! Bleh.

    I hope I wasn’t to confusing. I feel like I was all over the place but writing this all out has relieved some anxiety so that’s good. Happy w/d’ing folks!

    • Runnergirl123 December 30, 2014, 3:58 am

      I agree with the other posters – don’t go back. It’s too hard. You are doing great, especially without support, and you’ve got a lot of days off the drug under your belt! You can do this. Ibuprofen was my best friend during my Klonopin withdrawal. I’d highly recommend it for the flu-like achy symptoms. Good luck- you’ve got this. And if you have gone back on to taper slowly that’s OK too- just my personal opinion that I’d stay off but not the only way!

      • chantelle May 2, 2015, 11:09 pm

        Hi I hope you see this. I know this is old. But please if any one has advice, I had to quit cold turkey 7 days ago. Went down from 1 mg twice a day to .5 , ten days ago. So 10 days coming off so far. I have had symptoms since I stopped. Headache, stomachache, lightheaded, sensitive to light, nauseous, hot flashes, clammy feet, tingly sensation all over, etc. Praying for the best. Reading a lot of stuff its so negative. Doctor says first week is the hardest. I can do this with the Lord giving me strength and knowing it will get better. How are you?

        • Jim May 30, 2015, 3:37 pm

          Chantelle, First let me say I am not typical of any posters I’ve found so far. I was prescribed clonazepam by a neurologist for life-long problem with severe leg spasms. I have been on it for about 17 years starting with 1 mg and maxing out for the past 6 years on 3 mg at night. That’s a very long time on very high doses. So my experience is only mine. That said, my advice is to listen to your body and remain flexible in you approach to tapering. Find the “edge” between feeling bad and feeling awful and stay back from that edge.

          I have been tapering now for 17 weeks, dropping .5 mg per three-week period. I thought that was slow enough, and it was until I got to 1 mg. Until that point I’d learned that my body’s withdrawal reaction varied from day to day, but over all it was a downward trend. By that I mean I felt worse for the three weeks at 1 mg than I had at 1.5 mg. (I take very good notes, which has been invaluable to maintain perspective and to help guide decisions. A Fit Bit has really helped in tracking sleep trends, my primary objective gauge of what’s going on).

          The step down from 1 mg to .5 mg was more like a fall. I was caught off guard by how bad I felt by the end of that three-week period. I liked the term I read above “life-stripping.” That’s what it felt like and what it looked like to my wife. I couldn’t function. What I’ve learned is that clonazepam, having a very long half-life, is deceptive. Withdrawal has an “elastic” quality. If you get ahead of it the symptoms will eventually snap you in an accumulated delayed reaction.

          An easier way to put that: A “slow” taper, I’ve found, is not a straight downward line. At some point your body will tell you you’ve gone too fast. The taper steps need to become longer near the end, I think. For the last two weeks (weeks 4 & 5 at .5 mg) I’ve been taking 1 mg at night occasionally. I sleep better that night and feel better the next day. But that hasn’t been enough. So my plan is to start alternating between 1 mg and .5 mg at night.

          Clonazepam has a long enough half-life so that alternating is essentially the same as going to .75 mg. That’s where I am at the moment. This has been a sobering and humbling experience that has gone longer than I’d expected. But it has also been an interesting exercise in learning to listen to my body. I am determined to get off this stuff AND to do it without the “life-stripping” experience, no matter how long it takes. I am determined, but I’m now also more patient.

          • Christy August 31, 2015, 12:55 am

            Thank you, that is some very good information.

          • Traci February 8, 2016, 3:36 pm

            Hi Jim. Thank you for sharing your info… how are you doing now? I’ve been on Klonopin for about 4 years for panic/anxiety (.5 mg/day with an occasional .5 mg as needed). I decided to taper off a few weeks ago and I am down to 1/4 of a .5 mg pill per day. I’m generally doing okay but started having trouble sleeping and anxiety at night this past week. Between that and a few other symptoms, I’m feeling the withdrawal a little more than I expected to.

        • Chris February 16, 2016, 9:13 pm

          All I can say is never go cold turkey, by the 3rd day you will end up having a seizure from withdrawals, and you could harm yourself and others if you are driving. I have learned from experience. Ativan is probably the hardest benzo to come off of depending on your medical provider and the state. All doctors are different.

          My advice, stay with one doctor you trust and taper in an outpatient program. These drugs are as hard as illegal drugs and alcohol on your brain. Would you expect an alcoholic to go cold turkey with no support. You need to treat benzos the same way. Just as if you were drinking or doing heroin for that long. Unfortunately, you aren’t really warned about the side effects when you start.

          They will effect your brain the rest of your life and without professional help you can’t do it alone. I am just being completely honest and realistic. Trust me, I have been through withdrawal 3 times, have been on xanax, ativan, clonazepam, and even ambien is considered in the same class. Be careful, it is not something to take likely.

    • Eileen Sinclair April 9, 2015, 1:38 pm

      A new Dr decided I should stop this medication that a previous Dr started. I have many meds for many problems. The new psychiatrist did not wean me properly. The withdrawal symptoms have been severe and as I have just read, maybe long-term. At least you did a better job of tapering your meds than the psychiatrist did for me. So congrats on that! These symptoms are not fun. You are doing a great job of it though. Here’s to both of us for hanging tough. Good luck.

    • Natalie August 6, 2015, 7:33 pm

      I’ve been going through the withdrawal process for almost 3 months. I was on klonopin for a little over two years. I’ve experienced almost every single one of these withdrawal symptoms. The constant dizziness an unbalanced feeling is probably the worst. Reading this helps to remind me that it’s a process and I’m not alone.

      I’m happy to say that I’ve got my sleep a bit more under control, my appetite came back and I have more good days. It’s still so hard though because I don’t have a time line as to when the should end. I wish that was something that someone could tell me so that I know when the end is near for all this hell. I wasn’t even on it for as long as I’ve seen most people taking it. I can’t imagine what a process withdrawing from it after being on it for years is like.

      I cry a lot still. Hell the only reason I stopped crying was because I read this and it gave me a bit of hope to keep going and realizing that there are people who are dealing with so many of the same side effects coming off of this drug. I just wanted to thank everyone on this site actually for posting their experience so that someone like me knows that there’s still hope

      • Sammy November 30, 2015, 11:28 pm

        Hi Natalie, Wondering how you’re doing, I also find I cry a lot during withdrawal. I’m down to .625 mgs from average 1 and 1/2 mgs for almost 2 years. Worst thing I’ve gone through and it feels like there’s no end.

        • Dee December 8, 2015, 1:28 pm

          My heart goes out to anyone going through w/d from this diabolical drug. My journey began more than two years ago. I took the lowest dosage for about three years fire anxiety. When the source of my anxiety was removed, I unwittingly stopped cold turkey. After a few weeks, I had what I thought was the flu. It was downhill from there.

          I cannot adequately convey the absolute unrelenting hell I suffered for almost two years. My Dr. Down-played my situation and suggested my ailments were surely of another origin. To be on the safe side, he said, let’s resume the previous dosage. At this point, I was about 30 days post clonazepam so I decided to muscle through. It was the fight of my life! There were days that I felt that death was an attractive alternative, but I persisted.

          There were also days where I felt I would never be myself again. My story is not one of doom and gloom, but of hope. I am 25 months post c and I am a testimony that it DOES get better. You WIll return to yourself. With prayer and perseverance, I am feeling like my old me. Hang in there, this will pass.

          • Jane Spencer June 12, 2016, 7:03 pm

            Hi there…I’m on day four of cold turkey withdraw, I’m so scared and all alone and feel like I’m dying.I had a feeling it was going to be a long time feeling like this, almost makes you want to give in. I’m strong willed but not sure I can handle this much longer. I suffer from vertigo from loss of hearing as a child and blunt trauma to the head, so the dizziness and unbalance from stopping this drug brings me such anxiety and antic attacks. Can anyone help me? 😢

          • Sarah* September 22, 2016, 7:33 pm

            Hello, I would also like to thank every single person who took the time to write about their symptoms and experiences for the benefit of others. I have been taking clonazepam for approximately 10 years. I just “finished” a taper from 3mg/day to 0mg/day in a little under 4 months and I’m shaking so much it’s hard for me to type. My NP clearly doesn’t understand how traumatic this withdrawal is. This drug is ridiculous.

            I was addicted to pain meds for 3-4 years and in some ways this is much worse. I was taking an obscene amount of opioids and somehow benzo withdrawal is still the worst. My main concern right now is holding the medical professionals RESPONSIBLE who knowingly or worse, ignorantly, participated in every single person on this page’s addiction. I’ve felt almost every symptom that I’ve read about in the comments on this page and these symptoms are RIDICULOUS! I think that people who haven’t felt this way would find it all very hard to conceptualize.

            No one should feel this way. No one. Although I haven’t been feeling awesome, I’ve been doing exceptionally well considering the dose I was taking 3 months ago. My NP wanted me to stop at .5mg altogether. Bah! it makes me wonder if she’s actually an NP. Has this woman studied medicine? Or is she just prescribing addictive drugs and then abruptly stopping without any real knowledge of the havoc it reeks on the human body? Why is she doing this to me?

            I’ve decided that I want real answers to these questions. She needs to be held accountable for her prescribing history. Note re: Alternate Day Tapering. Instead of following her insane instructions I started hoarding pills. Then I began alternating days and now I’m 3-4 days between .5mg doses. I’m not even noticing when I take it, which is strange. I think I can go for longer between doses. I’m gonna try, that’s for d@mn sure.

            This is how I think about this: This is NOT defeating me. This is NOT defeating YOU. WE are stronger than we would ever believe until we are forced to rely upon that strength. And then we find it. Why are we participating in this forum at ALL? We are more resilient than we think. WHY HAVEN’T WE ALL JUST GIVEN UP? We are STRONGER than we think.

            It’s that strength that keeps you writing about this. It’s that strength that gets you out of bed. Believe me. I’m in the process of trying to hold my NP accountable for her negligent behavior. I’ll sue her if that would improve this situation. All I know is that if I don’t hold her accountable then she will, in all likelihood, continue to prescribe this drug and do this to other people. I don’t want that to happen.

            Thank you for making me feel better by sharing your experiences. Hang in there, everyone. -S*

        • Deborah August 12, 2016, 8:40 am

          All of everyone’s story of klonopin helps encourage me. My husband committed suicide 11 yrs ago and it took me until 2 yrs ago to go get help and the psychiatrist put me on this horrible drug not telling me about the side effects and hell my body would suffer. He started me on 2mg 3x a day. He moved his practice to another state and I moved to a very small town with just a nurse practitioner.

          Now she has me on 1mg 2x daily. I’m glad for all of your stories and knowing I’m not the only one going thru hell and pray none of you get thru this hell too. I’m determined to get off of it somehow. I’ve tapered myself down to 1mg 2x a day and finally down to 1mg a day, sometimes 1/2mg at night. I have the same symptoms like a lot of you do: nightmares, sweating, clammy, agitation and so on.

          If I don’t take this horrible and dangerous drug, my panic attacks get worse, so does the crying episodes. I feel hopeless and now I don’t get out of my dark room anymore. I also know closing myself off from society or even going outside sends me into a panic attack. Can anyone help me? No doctor will. I truly believe the medical field has no idea about PTSD and has very little compassion for anyone.

          Thanks friends, glad I found you. Suggestions welcomed and appreciate your time and help on any advice. I just turned 55. Struggling alone, but now at least I have all of you.

      • Michelle December 17, 2015, 2:33 pm

        I am on Clonazepam for the past 2+ years. My psychiatrist has decided to wean me off about two weeks ago. So we went from 1 mg a day to 1.5 mg. I started to feel the withdrawal a few days after I went 1 mg. I phoned the pharmacists and asked what do I do for these symptoms. She said since I was on a low dose to just quit!!!! So I did. OMG, what a roller coaster I am on.

        I did not take any for about 4 days, but broke down this morning and took a .25 mg tablet in hopes that this relieves my symptoms. If I had known this drug was going to do this to me I never would have taken it. I have however, felt so much better in the sense that I know I am not going crazy!!! And that what I am experiencing is quite normal. Normal HA!!! Good luck to everyone coming off this drug!!! And thank you to the many who have shared their stories and have given others some hope. Wish me luck….

        • Dana January 4, 2016, 8:23 am

          No one should ever go cold turkey. The pharmacist was being irresponsible by telling to just quit. This stuff is serious. Tapering is a painful but necessary evil. Go slow and read the rest of the posts where people offer little tricks on dealing with symptoms. Drinks tons of water and pray, we are all getting to the other side of this nastiness with the support of each other.

          • Warrior Princess September 19, 2016, 7:52 pm

            I have been on Clonazepam for 11 years starting at 3 mg. In the past 5 years I moved to 2 mg. I am not sure how I did that step. Now I have moved to 1.75 – Paresthesia (tingling hands), palpitations, exhaustion. The decrease is in full swing. I humbly discovered I could not move from 2.0 mg to 1.5 mg. Wow – like jumping off the Grand Canyon.

            We are in this together – we are not alone. I go to Narcotics Anonymous. I pray for endurance for each of us. It is not only our determination but the grace of God working in us. I surrender all. I know the terms “easy does it” is how this works. I support you as we gather wisdom and strength through this process.

    • Susan December 7, 2015, 1:32 am

      Hi. I just wrote a new post about this myself. How are you doing now??

    • Margot January 15, 2016, 9:26 pm

      I wouldn’t give up after 23 days. I agree with runner girl!

  • LH October 18, 2014, 8:58 pm

    Lisette, I would say stay off it! If you’ve been off for 24 days…then I would stick it out. I would imagine any danger of seizure would be past you after this amount of time. My experience was horrendous after only 1.5 months of Ativan use. Never had anxiety… but was misdiagnosed after a venom allergy reaction and systemic issues with heavy duty antibiotics.

    I had little to no support (my husband was actually convinced by the er doctor that I would never get better without taking Ativan and that I had general anxiety disorder). Never had an issue with panic attacks or anxiety up to that point at age 44. The Ativan made me a crazy person and I suffered massive weight loss, inability to sleep for WEEKS, jolting awake whenever I would doze off. Couldn’t eat anything.

    I started to believe I would never be the same or normal again. I was desperate for my old self! It did finally get better after about 2 months…and I think you are right around the corner, although I know length of time on the drug may or may not increase your recovery. It’s been two years for me and I’ve been completely MYSELF. These drugs are poison. YOU WILL BE NORMAL again! Stick it out.

    • C October 19, 2014, 12:41 am

      Hi Lisette, I was on the same medication for years too, and in order to get off it, I had to switch over to a longer acting benzodiazepine called Diazepam. Then I tapered down slowly from there. I still had intense withdrawal symptoms, including the hair loss that you mention and the dizziness/disequilibrium, plus many others. If you’re able to handle the level of discomfort you’re currently experiencing, then I’d say stick it out. You’re out of the woods in terms of things like seizures.

      I can suggest a great online place for support and information called BenzoBuddies. Just google it. You’ll find many, many people going through the exact same thing as you are. When I found that website, I read the various topics, including Success Stories. It was extremely heartening to see that people heal and move on — even if they’ve had a rough go along the way.

      There’s no clear timeline for how long it takes each person to get past the symptoms. For me, the disequilibrium has lasted a long time, but for others, it goes more quickly. My hair stopped falling out, though, and that was a huge relief. I”m sure it’ll happen for you too. Keep moving forward! I wish you well. C

    • Jan January 5, 2015, 5:31 pm

      I have been on .50 daily for several years. I know I am in tolerance withdrawal. The pill just isn’t working to help my anxiety and feel so many of the symptoms listed. Also lost a lot of weight and it concerns me. Has anyone else lost weight, and if so, how much?

      • Erica February 5, 2016, 7:06 am

        I’m so glad I came across this site. I’ve been taking .5 mg of the clonazepam for almost 3 years now. I’ve been struggling with leaving it completely alone but I’ve experienced some pretty intense side effects and withdrawal symptoms that make me know I need to really leave this stuff alone. I’ve lost almost 20 pounds. I had the worst case of vertigo ever just 2 weeks ago, cold symptoms, chills, fever at times, headaches, confusion, suicidal thoughts, just to name a few! I wish my doctors had told me how easy it was to become dependent on this drug because had I known, I wouldn’t have started taking it regularly.

  • Michael October 21, 2014, 8:14 am

    Hello All, I have been taking 2 mg almost every night of klonopin for the past 6 years. Recently I stopped taking it cold turkey for about 48 hours and I experienced some crazy shaking, tremors, felt sick as hell. I took 2 mg and felt normal again. How would you guys recommend my taper off the 2 mg klonopin for 6 years? Worst choice of drug I ever chose. I have anxiety at times, but this is the wrong med. My original prescribing doctor was totally wrong for this.

    I read the post and it says to lower the dose by 1/8 mg per week. I only have .5 mg tablets. Is it ok to lower the dose to 1.75 mg then 1.5 then 1.25 then 1… and so on? Or is that too quick? Plz all help and comments appreciated. This is horrible. I just graduated nursing school and studying for my nclex, I can’t handle withdrawal during this time, but I know it needs to come.

  • L.A.G. October 25, 2014, 6:38 pm

    I have been on 1 mg Clonazipam for 12 yrs. for insomnia. Recently my Dr. told me I need to get off b/c of the recent literature about memory loss, etc. I never knew this was habit forming and that a difficult withdrawal would result. I was told to take .50 mg for 1 week then quit. I took .50 mg for 2 weeks then quit. It has been a week since I took the last dose and, as you would predict, I have begun to experience the effects of withdrawal. I had heart palpitations several days ago along with shortness of breath.

    Fortunately, thus far I haven’t experienced that again. My stomach is queazy and I have no appetite, but I can deal with this. I am very mildly dizzy and, again, I can deal with this as well as “airplane” ear, sleeplessness, and mild headaches throughout the day. What I am having great difficulty with is the horrible headaches (heavy-headedness) I experience when I wake after dozing off for 2-3 hrs. It occurs in the middle of the night; my brain feels like it is swelling and neck (where it meets my spine) aches horribly.

    I have experienced this for the last two nights and expect this will continue??? I’ve noticed the headache dissipates when I get up, walk around, have a cup of hot decaf herbal tea. Unfortunately, those few hours of sleep are it for the night. Knowing I’ll likely experience this when I lay down at night is causing some anxiety about going to bed. Can you make a recommendation about whether I should take the medication again at .25 for several weeks. I now know I was relying upon this for way too long, and that this will make withdrawal that much more difficult. I don’t want to take it again…I prefer to plow through this, but I am not prepared to suffer these headaches for months…please help!

    • FO August 1, 2015, 10:53 pm

      Your story is nearly the same as mine LAG. I have been on Clonazepam .5mg to 1mg daily, since 2007 due to anxiety and depression. I experienced severe memory loss and inability to concentrate so I decided 14 days ago to go off cold turkey. My husband and I are trying to get pregnant, and we fear the negative impact this drug could have on the baby.

      I had no appetite for about 7 days and could only eat when I was able to remember that hours had past since I’d had a meal. My temper has been short with everyone. I have trouble getting and staying asleep at night. Dizziness also plagues me along with a never ending feeling of tension. But, I am NOT going back! I value my legacy too much and I will continue to deal with the withdrawal symptoms for as long as it takes. Please my friend stay encouraged.

    • Andrea H. November 16, 2015, 6:22 am

      Hello L.A.G., I’m not sure if you’ll get this, as it’s been over a year since you posted. But, I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m wondering how long it actually took for your headaches to subside…if each one became less severe as time went on? Other than ibuprofen, were there any other things you found helpful?

      After 11 years of taking .5 mg tablets up to 3 tablets daily (w/an extra .5 mg as needed) for Anxiety, Neuropathy, RLS and Seizures, I ended up with a physician who cut my dosage in half without notice 4 months ago (going from 90 tablets per month, to 45 per month); Then down to 30 tablets 2 months ago; And, zero tablets as of 2 weeks ago.

      I’ve been absolutely miserable throughout this whole process…dealing with pretty much all of the withdrawal symptoms mentioned in the article above. But, the past 3 days I’ve had frequent migraines that come on strong and fast without warning…similar to how you described yours. Any help or advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks! P.S. I sure hope you are doing better after being off this medication :)

      • mirage November 22, 2015, 12:28 am

        I found this taper schedule: High-potency benzodiazepines, such as clonazepam, are frequently used in the treatment of panic disorder (PD) because of their rapid onset of action and good tolerability. However, there is concern about their potential to cause withdrawal symptoms. We aimed to develop a protocol for safely tapering off clonazepam in patients with PD who had been receiving treatment for at least 3 years.

        A specific scale for judging withdrawal was also developed, the Composite Benzodiazepine Discontinuation Symptom Scale. We selected 73 patients with PD who had been asymptomatic for at least 1 year and who wished to discontinue the medication. The trial consisted of a 4-month period of tapering and an 8-month follow-up period. The dosage of clonazepam was decreased by 0.5 mg per 2-week period until 1 mg per day was reached, followed by a decrease of 0.25 mg per week.

        The mean dosage at the start of tapering was 2.7 +/- 1.2 mg/d. In total, 51 (68.9%) of the patients were free of the medication after the 4 months of tapering according to the protocol, and 19 (26.0%) of the patients needed another 3 months to be free of medication. Clonazepam discontinuation symptoms were mostly mild and included mainly: anxiety, shaking/trembling/tremor, nausea/vomiting, insomnia/nightmares, excessive sweating, tachycardia/palpitations, headache, weakness, and muscle aches.

        The improvement in PD and general well-being was maintained during both the taper and follow-up phases. Clonazepam can be successfully discontinued without any major withdrawal symptoms if the dose is reduced gradually. We recommend reducing the dosage of clonazepam after intermediate-term use by 0.25 mg/wk.

    • diane January 21, 2016, 3:46 am

      Yes, taper to .25 – I have been on this dose for 2 years, and it’s working well for me.

      • danielle June 12, 2016, 9:09 pm

        I’ve been on 0.25mg up to 0.5mg for about 4 years now. It was a last resort for me, as I could not fall or stay asleep, and the sleep deprivation was making me psychotic and not able to work. I’ve been on 0.25 I’d say 75% of the past 4 years, and I am more and more aware that even this small dose is making me feel like I have actual dementia.

        I repeat things to people numerous times, I forget everything people tell me, and most new people that I’ve met in these years. It’s a running joke in my friendships, but I’m honestly very embarrassed about it. I used to have a quick wit and now I feel so slow cognitively. I’m currently doing the every-other-day thing, and on the off nights using some natural sleep aid thing with GABA, HTP, melatonin, passion flower, valerian root, magnesium, chamomile…

        Anyone have any luck with supplements? I’m still not sleeping on the “off” nights. I started taking L-Theanine twice daily also.

        • Jan July 3, 2016, 3:14 am

          Danielle, I too am looking for the supplement replacement. I work in this area within the Veterinary field. I am without a Doctor to help my get off this medicine. Out of necessity I am weaning myself off. As I am getting to the end of it is causing a lot of anxiety, but also making me more motivated to get off it, if it causes this much anxiety, just knowing I am running out.

  • Paul November 11, 2014, 10:49 pm

    I may not make sense during this writing, but I have been taking .5mg twice a day for at least 8 months. I recently lost my job and my health coverage. When I ran out I was unable to get a refill. I have been cold turkey for 2 weeks and I find my anxieties are 3 fold. Racing heartbeat, gasping for air, confused, scarred, any number of the withdrawal symptoms listed. I am awaiting a refill authorization so I can taper off properly as its becoming unmanageable. I have been cold turkey for only 2 weeks and it feels like I’m going crazy.

  • Mel November 14, 2014, 3:32 pm

    I went through Klonopin withdrawal years ago and swore I would never go on it again. Somehow, about a year ago I ended up taking it again because I do have bad anxiety and my doctor said that Klonopin was long-lasting. I went off of it in 3 days, 3mg, then 2 mg, then 1 mg, then off. BUT he put me on Xanax, a different benzo, in it’s place. I have been off the Klonopin for 9 days now. I have headaches, nausea, memory loss and confusion, but at least I know that awful KLONOPIN is slowly getting out of my system. I am a trooper and I pray I will feel like myself sometime soon. Thanks for listening.

  • Pam November 15, 2014, 12:42 am

    I started .5mg Klonopin at night and first thing in the morning Oct. 1st because I stopped the Methadone I was taking for 6 years for pain from Lyme disease and multiple picc lines of antibiotics cold turkey in late July. I hated the Methadone and am very relieved to have stopped it but after stopping the methadone I experienced such anxiety that I woke up every morning nauseous and vomiting. My doctor gave me the Klonopin because I need to be able to function as a mother and I thought it would be very short term.

    The Klonopin is causing worse symptoms than it is helping to alleviate and I want to quit it as fast as possible. Since I’ve been only taking it for about 6 weeks what is a safe but quick way to stop. I’m experiencing a lot of depression, not able to control bad thoughts, unusual behavior and saying things that are very unlike me amount other symptoms. Please give me some advice as to how fast I can possibly do this for my family’s and my own sake. My doctor is not really sure how quickly I can taper or what is safe. Thank you!

  • Bill November 21, 2014, 2:22 pm

    The best thing in my experience is to taper by cutting the pills (pill cutter bought at most pharmacies) and reducing the dosage after 3-4 week intervals. Some have stopped after dropping slowly down to .10mg (about 1/4 of a .5mg pill) for about 3 weeks or more, depending on your comfort level. Just realize you will probably experience some anxiety, insomnia, etc… but others have done this and eventually improved to their old selves. The brain chemistry has to re-balance itself which takes time… which varies from person to person. Good luck and know you’re not alone.

  • Danny December 2, 2014, 12:46 am

    Been on clonazepam for 6 weeks, first two weeks at 0.5mg then down to 0.25mg since then. Im going to start a taper asap. The more I researched this drug the more side effects I found. It can change every aspect of the human body including Your immune system as it did mine. This drug should be outlawed ! I believe in doing things naturally however I had a case of total insomnia and made the mistake of taking this medication which slammed My depression even further into the ground each and every day.

    Digestive issues , lump on throat mucus buildup creating a chocking feeling, difficulty swallowing, constant urination,. body aches, I could go on and on. I was also told that due to the dose and short duration I would not have any problems getting off which has not been the case. Please warn other people of the hazzards of this pill. Good luck to all of You trying to get off and please remember to take it slow.

  • Mike December 4, 2014, 4:49 pm

    It is a shame that doctors do not know more about the drugs they are prescribing to their patients or maybe I should say clueless. And they should never leave them on this drug for 20 yrs. like my drs. did. My gosh we trust them with our health. My respect for them has dropped tons and I will question every thing now. Yep I was on them for 20 yrs. up to 6 mgs. per day for a temporary anxiety problem. I would go in and they would ask no questions and just give them to me.

    When I decided to quit my doctor pulled a number out of the hat and said, quit taking one mg. every three days. YA RIGHT! still being the trusting soul that I am I did it and it wasn’t all that bad until I got to my last dose and then all hell broke loose. I won’t list all of the symptoms I had for that would be redundant, but I had them all plus others in spades. After 5 days of this my wife called the nurse and said, you have to put him back on them.

    They complied, and I seem to be functioning on 3 mg. per day just fine. I have a tremendous amount of energy that I haven’t had in yrs. I will continue to taper off, but on my time schedule not the Drs. – they are not a god like many would like to have you believe they are as fallible as the rest of us, if not more. If you are thinking of going on these things all I can recommend is DON’T! Sincerely, Mike

  • Roy Spencer December 9, 2014, 2:09 am

    1.5 Mg a day. for ten years I had a disagreement with my Doctor. He cut off cold turkey. it’s been 6 weeks now sleep at the most 5 hours a week. I am so tired that I just can’t do any thing. It’s hell to be so tired I have to lay down but sleep doesn’t come all night long. I am truly at the end of my endurance.

  • Angela December 10, 2014, 2:50 am

    First, thank you to everyone here who is sharing. I need to hear what you are saying about your experiences. I’ve been starting to think there was something else terribly wrong with me. Long story short… 7 years on Clonazepam .5 mg once, sometimes twice/day. Forced to change dr’s as mine moved. New Dr. advised me to wean off by cutting dose in half for two weeks, then stopping completely.

    I did this and the anxiety spiked, panic attacks came back after only a few days at the half dose. I actually didn’t notice any more of a change after stopping completely until almost a month after being off of it. Now the trembling, palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath and anxiety are ramping up.. and I didn’t understand why until I started reading here. The fact that this med can still affect so severely after I’ve been off of it for a month is very scary and very disheartening.

    I wonder now if weaning off more slowly would have made this process easier, but now that I’ve come this far I’m thinking I should stick it out. I’m also going through this alone as my spouse is working away for at least 6 mos. He’s such a huge support when he’s here that I know I’d be less scared if I wasn’t alone. My next appt with the Dr isn’t until January. Any thoughts or encouragement would help me so much.

    • Runnergirl123 December 30, 2014, 4:09 am

      I’d recommend sticking it out. I tapered off a little too quickly because I’m stubborn and wanted off (it wasn’t working anymore and it scared me so much how horrible the withdrawal was that I wanted it to go faster). It was rough (really rough- but nothing you haven’t felt before if you missed a couple doses) for about 7-9 days and then it was fine. I took Advil for pain and took things really easy that week.

      By 8pm I’d be feeling so sick/tired I’d crawl to my kids room to say goodnight. But it was temporary – and yours is too – and once it’s over it feels amazing to be on the other side. I was always SO tired on Klonopin so to have energy is amazing. My main point is this: for me the last taper was easier to just cut it out, go through the week of flu-like symptoms, and then be done. DONE! Good luck- you can do this.

  • Kat December 13, 2014, 3:51 pm

    Thank you all for comments. I too have been on klonopin for 15 plus years for a history of generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks. After doing well for some time now, the physician assistant agreed that it might be good to go off. I took the year to do so and now have been off 30 days with some symptoms. My mind is constantly worrying, muscles tensed, etc. I often feel like a am short of breath. I have been meditating, relaxations exercises, sleeping, calming music, etc. Can anyone help with advice for anxiety management? I haven’t seen a psychiatrist for over a dozen years and there doesn’t seem to be many experienced in GAD in this area. Any help or advice is appreciated. I wish there was a support group to go to.

    • Jim Sproul May 30, 2015, 4:02 pm

      Don’t go to a psychiatrist for anxiety!! It has been well established since the ’70s that non-medical treatments for anxiety are at least as effective and lasting as benzodiazapines, and without side effects or addictions to worry about. A good counselor/psychotherapist who understands anxiety management can help you. A psychiatrist will very likely perpetuate the addiction. Unless a miracle has happened in the past year, there are no safe medicinal long-term treatments for anxiety. But there are treatments. RT (retired therapist).

      • Arlis June 24, 2015, 7:12 pm

        This may be ‘well established’, but it has not proven true for me. I have had anxiety issues all my life since childhood, and believe me I tried every natural treatment out there before finally at the age of 49 I was prescribed Klonopin. This was the first treatment that ever worked, including herbal concoctions and therapy. Now after 4 years I’ve been noticing memory problems, and have read about long term klonopin use leading to dementia and alzheimers, so I’m going to talk to my doctor about tapering off.

        I guess I will just have to live with the anxiety, though, because herbs and years of therapy did absolutely nothing for me, and I don’t think people ought to push these things as absolutely effective for everyone who tries them. Reality is a lot easier to take if you don’t have people recommending cure after cure that, for you, are ineffective. There are anxious/depressed people in the world. Not everything in life can be ‘made right’. Some things you just have to learn to live with. You may turn your emotional or physical pain into artistic expression.

        Many have. The fact that you have emotional issues doesn’t mean you are broken. I feel I made a mistake trying to cure my anxiety with medicine. When I go without it now, my anxiety is way worse than it ever was before I was medicated. By comparison, my level of anxiety 4 years ago was tolerable. Only now though, do I realize I could have lived with it, and I dread what I am going to have to go through getting off it.

    • Emma August 14, 2016, 8:53 am

      Dear Kat, I have the same problems with what you are going thru. Thanks for sharing. I haven’t seen a psychiatrist in years only recently a nurse practioner. I too am in a small town with no doctor. Migraines are bad, sleep hardly comes, etc. How are you doing now and managing? Any help would be appreciated.

      Are you taking other medications? I’m feeling like everyone else in their posts that this klonopin is dangerous and I wish the doctor who put me on this would have told the truth about the dangers of the drug. I have very bad anxiety and panic attacks. Now, the doctor retired and I am left with just seeing this nurse practitioner.

      Any advice will help. I wish the best for you. I know my surroundings play a factor with a lot of my anxiety along with trying to get off the klonopin. Thanks.

  • p.oED December 30, 2014, 1:49 am

    I found out that I have become dependent on this medication. I am disgusted that it was prescribed for me. I have been taking it since 2009. I am down to .5 mg or if I break that in half .25mg. I went without it for 4 days and last night I had a really bad moment. During this 4 day period, I was itching, I was very difficult to be around. Last night I was so tired and all I wanted to do was sleep and I could not fall asleep despite the fact that I was not able to fall asleep until 5:00am and then woke up at 7:30 am.

    I recently came to terms that I actually have a anxiety issues and am able to address that with a different medication. I really think that if I could get steady regular sleep, I would be much less anxious. Thank you for listening. I have never blogged before, some how being able to be anonymous is helpful. I shared with my older children and my siblings what I have been dealing with and I do not think I am really being understood. There are a handful of self medicaters in my family; the usual self medications, shopping, keeping up with the “Jones” and alcohol.

  • Marian Giorlando Cullen January 1, 2015, 1:52 am

    After many years on klonopin 2 mg/day, I successfully weaned off of it. Reduced it by .25 mg / day every 2 weeks. Experienced some withdrawal symptoms with each “cut.” Still experiencing some discomfort 3 months out. Recently have had to deal with a majorly stressful anxiety producing series of life events and have been tempted to take a Klonopin for relief, but don’t think it’s a good idea, even though my Dr. said I could. Has anyone, who needed to wean off Klonopin due to tolerance issues, ever taken 1 again and not have problems?

  • Bill January 8, 2015, 3:51 pm

    Like Laurie, quit 1 mg cold a week ago after 33 years. Am experiencing troubling memory gaps. Have Rx waiting when I get back home and will take 1/4 tab for a month and see what happens. Very troubling when you wake up with holes in your past memory. I love my kids but who are they?!

  • Aaron January 15, 2015, 8:07 pm

    I had been on .5 mg of clonazepam once a day for 18 years. At first it was very helpful. I have social anxiety (worse part is I love being social). It started out when I was 19 years old. I had a panic attack out of nowhere and didn’t really know what is was. That turned into anticipatory anxiety in a number of different situations- Presentations, job interviews, meetings, saying my name and my interests in class, and just the initial interaction of meeting up with my friends, peers, friends parents, etc… Anything where there was attention focused on me would make me anxious.

    That anticipatory anxiety would turn to panic where I noticed my cheek would start to twitch and that just made my panic worse as all I could think about was that everyone can see this and how nervous I am. This led to avoiding these situations and so on. Then I met klonopin/clonazepam. It seemed to be a magic pill. It helped me to function “normally.” I have a good job, marriage, kids, and friends but 18 years later I was somehow still being prescribed this (as I wanted it to be because I had no idea of the long term effects) by my doctor who basically required a check up every 6 months or so. No mention of any long term effects.

    The pill basically had just become a crutch, a security blanket and anytime I had a big meeting, interview, etc… I had to up my dose by 1 mg to feel comfortable. Finally after 18 years I read an article (benzos being linked to alzheimer’s) that scared me enough to want to make the commitment to get off this drug. I tapered down slowly from .5 mg for about 3 months (.125 mg every 6 weeks) and now am clonazepam free for the past 6 days (I know, not much). The first few days I experienced low grade dizziness, headaches and increased anxiety. The past 3/4 days I have mostly just experienced increased anxiety that comes in waves.

    My anxiety is mostly physical symptoms (I’m not really a worrier-as if I can’t turn my mind off), tingling, my head feeling tingly and tight, clenched jaw, my eyes feel sensitive to light and feel like they strain and have pressure behind them (does anyone else have this?). All of these symptoms are manageable and I have no desire to go back on the drug. My biggest concern is when the anxiety will go away and how I will manage it if it doesn’t. I have an appointment to start CBT. Hopefully this will work as I do not want to go on another drug if at all possible.

    • Swan May 13, 2015, 3:12 am

      Wow you are doing great! Your Cognitive class should help a lot. There are DBT classes too. Sure wish you the very best!

  • Lisa January 18, 2015, 5:41 pm

    I have been taking clonazapam for over 15 years. I take 1mg in the morning and 3mg at night. My psychiatrist told me to taper by .25mg at night. I have only been tapering. 25mg every other night. He and I talked about this and I’m going to email him tomorrow to let him know. I know he’ll be okay with it, he’s very compassionate and supportive of a slow taper. I tried a rapid taper last year and it was a disaster. With all of this being said, I’m still not doing well on this taper. I’m waking up with a headache every day and am not sleeping well. Also a lot of busy dreams and night sweats. I’m SO tired. Has anyone else been on this high of a dose for a long time? How did you get through the process of getting off? Do I just have to tough it out for a few weeks? Or is there a better way? Thanks. -Lisa

    • Lisa January 22, 2015, 1:03 am

      I admire your ability to taper off every 2 weeks. Since last year’s disaster, I have felt a bit discouraged. I’m thinking about tapering slower this time, maybe every 4 weeks instead of every two weeks. I saw my psychiatrist today. As I knew, he was supportive. He even said that I could slow down the taper by. 25mg every other day. It will take longer if I do it that way. I want to be as functional as possible. He also said that a small dose of Doxepin could help me with my insomnia, since sleep, more than anxiety was my problem to begin with.

    • Valerie January 29, 2015, 12:25 am

      Lisa, I have been on 3mg for 18 years for sleep problems. I first did a too fast taper and experienced so many withdrawal effects that I went back on 3mg. I didn’t quite get back to normal, even after 2 months. Then I started a slower taper, 0.25mg every few weeks. The side effects are less but still uncomfortable. I am going to ask my doctor for some 0.5mg tablets so that they will be easier to cut and I can drop down by 1/8mg increments. I hope this will help.

      • Sue August 3, 2016, 2:00 am

        Hi Valerie, I was wondering how the slow taper of .25 every few weeks went for you. I hope you are doing well. This was the taper from 3 mg I thought may work.

  • jkc January 21, 2015, 1:06 am

    I’ve been tapering for 2 months now. I was on 1 mg to 2mg for 7 years. I started doing a gradual taper as noted in the article above. I am now at .25. Will taper a little more in a week or two, depending how I feel. The slow taper works the best. The side effects I have been experiencing are nightmares, some anxiety (nothing I can’t handle), feeling fidgety and definitely mood swings. I told my husband what I was doing, and he supports me. He understands the moodiness, the restlessness. It’s important to let your family know what’s going on and have their support. I never thought I’d get down to .25 on my own, especially after reading so many scary stories. I am hoping to be off completely in a month! If I can do this, you can too!

  • Jeff January 22, 2015, 5:02 am

    I have been on Xanax and subsequently Klonopin (Clonazepam) since 1990. Most recently, I was taking 1-3mg per day. My psychiatrist has required that I taper off due to the risks. The only times I’ve been without were twice when I went “cold turkey” due to a work situation and drug testing. I’m lucky I didn’t die, but I sure felt like I was dying… Folks, I am happy to report that I am currently taking .25mg 3 x per day. I am experiencing anxiety, extreme emotional sensitivity, memory problems, and am mildly depressed.

    I was also told I’d be on this medication the rest of my life (I’m now 44). Though I’m now committed to getting off of this to prevent further damage to my mental status and memory, I am not sure at this point how I will live without it. Almost 25 years into benzos I wonder how a drug that seemed so appropriate and innocent when it was first prescribed became a widely sold illicit substance with long term hardcore side effects… Best of luck to all of you in similar circumstances!

    • Chris Jones January 26, 2015, 1:22 am

      I agree that prescribing this drug for long term use over 3 to 4 weeks is wrong. I feel like it should be a crime to put so many people into physical and emotional trouble which could cause job loss or be a total prohibitive cost factor. I told the people in a class I took recently to never take this class of drugs if they had anxiety for very long. Then I found out that the drug is already being abused by young people in most cities.

      Xanax was the drug that was a problem, but young people are using klonopin now as a substitute. Good luck with tapering. I am starting tomorrow after trying cold turkey. I’m going to go slow, and later go slower coming off this, and I discovered that going to a compound pharmacist or using pills that at .5 mg is best to cut. I am not sure if I will taper at .125 (1/8) or .25 (1/4) for 2 or 3 weeks, maybe longer. The success stories seem to take it really slow.

    • Susan December 7, 2015, 1:37 am

      My story is so similar. How are you doing now?

  • Brittani February 11, 2015, 9:48 pm

    Hi, I’ve been on .5 Clonazepam for about 6 years now. I’ve been taking a holistic approach to life and my overall general health over the past 2 years. Now I’m trying that with my mental health…so much more difficult in my opinion. My anxiety has comeback full swing slowly over the past 6 months and now after seeing a psychiatrist a few weeks ago(who recommended to me and my GP that I stop taking Clonazepam). I now completely agree that it’s no longer helping with my anxiety.

    Initially I was scared of the idea of not having this pill, but after reading all of the information on the amount of side-effects it can cause, I KNOW it’s no longer helping me and that it’s probably contributing to my overall depression and possibly other issues. I took this pill initially to help me with PTSD and all the symptoms that follow with it (insomnia, anxiety, dreams, anger, depression). Now I’m having to go through all of these crazy feelings again while getting off the Clonazepam. My counselor is really happy that I’ve decided to stop taking the meds though.

    So because I was initially unaware of the severity of the symptoms I was going to/or might experience if I were to stop cold-turkey, I just stopped…for about 14 days…and experienced a flurry of most of the symptoms listed – VERY intensely. Now, for the past 3 days I’ve been taking .25/day, of which I will continue for the next 2 or 3 weeks. Then I’m going to cut that in half for about 2 or 3 weeks and then cut that in half for the next an then I might skip every other day at the end.

    Since taking the .25 over the past few days, I’ve been able to sleep again, I’m not dizzy and my hand tremors have stopped, but it seems I still have a tolerance to this medication because my anxiety is VERY high still. I’m assuming it will go down through the few weeks and then I can lower the dose again, without experiencing the withdrawal so intensely. I’m looking forward to being off this medication for good. I’ve gone through that depersonalization feeling and it sucks; angry outbursts at my boyfriend lately (whom I must say is being EXTREMELY patient, thank goodness), of which are for no reason and I feel completely bad about; I’ve lost a ton of weight.

    I have VERY poor concentration skills; Conversation is difficult (I feel so spacey/far away); as well as CRAZY dreams/ insomnia. I have dizziness to the point of fainting last week (might be associated with stopping cold turkey); Extreme anxiety, to the point of sleeping about 1-2 hours a night, or morning. So yeah… I know it will be rough, but I think it’s going to be much easier now that I’m tapering off of it.

    I really wish I hadn’t taken it for so long, but I know I can do this. WE CAN DO THIS! I have hope we will all learn to cope on our own, without this horrible pill. I think this is one of the best and most honest and informative posts I’ve read on this topic, and I’m very grateful to have found it.

  • I February 25, 2015, 6:59 pm

    I am currently tapering off 0.5 Clonazopam a day. I dropped down by 1/4 of a pill 10 days ago and have had terrible insomnia, anxiety, most of the physical symtoms have gone away. Just wondering if I should do another taper? Do you start to feel better the longer you hold between tapers? Looks like people are suggesting at least 3 weeks.

    • Susan December 7, 2015, 1:38 am

      Same deal here. How are you doing now?

  • Lacy Dayton March 25, 2015, 4:54 pm

    Was prescribed 0.5 2x a day for about six years to help with sleep as I have to get up to go to the bathroom frequently at night because I have a bladder condition called IC. I split the tabs in half to 0.25 and that’s all I took at bedtime for all those years. So a months script would last four months! Then slowly last summer I started to feel real weird during the day. I then learned it was inter-dose withdrawal. Increased the dose on my own. Doctor had no clue about what I was going through.

    Finally found Dr. willing to proscribe to taper. Started at 3mg (slept great) but lost all motivation. Stuck at 2mg for three months. Always end up waking up in the middle of the night and taking the piece I cut off with the pill cutter. This stuff is almost ruining my once happy and very healthy life. wish I looked it up on the net years ago. Never start using a benzo for anything! I’m ready to go cold turkey and “roll the dice”. I’m scared as I’ve ever been at age 64.

  • tillerman02 March 31, 2015, 6:04 pm

    Hi all, I was prescribed Klonopin after a heart procedure at the age of 35. I was diagnosed with GAD in 2011. My primary care doctor prescribed Klonopin .5mg 2x daily. Due to Obamacare and the rise in my health insurance co-pays, I have begun using the Veterans Administration for my healthcare. My VA doctor has said that I have been on Klonopin entirely too long and it’s time to get off of it.

    Working with my VA primary care, counselor, and psychiatrist, I took my lost dose of Klonopin on March 20th after a tapered regiment. All I have to say is “Holy Crap”. I am normally a happy-go-lucky guy. I can live with the majority of the withdrawal symptoms (stiffness in neck, stiffness in upper back left shoulder blade and down my left arm, insomnia, dizziness, mood swings (I cried at the movie “Cool Runnings” and I have seen it a million times), grinding teeth, stabbing pain on the left side of my chest, all while my BP and pulse rate is perfectly normal.

    The one thing I can’t stand is the heavy beating heart. That one is the worst. That one gets my undivided attention and leads me to believe my ticker is on the fritz again. The VA psychiatrist did prescribe me 10mg of Vistaril as needed every 8 hours for anxiety, with 2 at bedtime. As I work the midnight shift, I try not to take any at all, though I keep one with me just in case. I hope these symptoms do not last for months on end.

  • matty April 7, 2015, 11:50 pm

    I have been on .025 mg of clonazapam off and on with my 10 mg of escitalopram for panic/anxiety as the escitalopram doesn’t help much unless for that unless I go up to 15 or 20 but then I have terrible side effects fro mt he increase. Recently that dose stopped working so it was upped another .01250 at night. Realizing I need to get off of it and being I am at a relatively low dose my doctor had prescribed me the .01250 tablets so I could work at a dose that was comfortable to reduce.

    I have tried to wean off at ever so slightly of a quarter several times now and can’t stand the gut-wrenching anxiety and mind racing after just a few days. I recently met with him and reluctantly he prescribed a very low dose of sertraline to help ease me off of the clonazapam. I have been on that before and gotten off with no problem. I wonder if anyone else went that root and how did it work out.

  • Dennis West April 11, 2015, 5:37 pm

    I have been taking clonazapam for a number of years (I can’t remember what dose or how long) and recently quit cold-turkey; because I got arrested for doing things I don’t even remember doing – though I have also been taking Ambien long term. These drugs – which were so helpful for years. Scared the sh*t out of me! The withdrawal has been tough, but I am determined.

    A total of 3 weeks in jail after two arrests (vandalism, property damage) was an extremely unpleasant experience, but since I had 2 weeks incarceration after the 2nd arrest, it was a good start on quitting. I was relieved to find I had dumped these drugs in the toilet ( tho I hardly remember doing it) when I was finally bailed out.

  • Erik April 14, 2015, 2:52 am

    So, yes. I too am tapering off of a 3 year 2mg dose of this nasty drug. It has been 3 months, down to .5 at night only. However, I am also taking a medical vitamin called Vayarin. Lots of info about it, but it did take me 2 months on the nose to gain benefit, which is weird because I read others who have talked about it taking exactly 2 months. Not sure why it takes so long to build up but it works flat out. The cloud brain that you get when tapering is not as bad as it was before this stuff kicked in, I can actually function and not be socially muddled.

    This to me was the hardest thing to deal with, trying to work and stay focused was really just a kick in the nuts for me. But I am about ready to drop my dose to .25 at night and I have actually been taking Benadryl 1 a night as a sleep aid. This has also helped and I can sleep which is good. Things aren’t as bad as they seem, I have focused on how much of a dumbass I was even taking this drug in the first place, once off of it completely, I plan on running, going to gym, and as much as I can.

    I will rage this drug out of my body by beating it down with health. I think that the more endorphins I can put into my body by working out will actually help GABA redevelop quicker. Most people who run get the runners high, which is a natural release of healthy brain excite. Hope someone else can look at it this way, because its taken me 3 months to get to the point where I can feel at least something other than foggy brain.

  • Alana April 15, 2015, 2:36 pm

    Hello everyone, I am so happy I found this web site and comments page. I have been on various sedatives/anti anxiety pills, and Lexapro, for almost ten years. I cut Clonozepam cold turkey about a month or so ago, and Lexapro from 40 to 20 mg daily. I used Clonozepam for at least several years, .5 mg a day, and sometimes more than that.

    For the past month: dizziness, constant nausea, feeling like losing control, not really there, and some other gastro issues. I am afraid I am getting anxious again, because I think something is physically wrong with me. I lost every faith into psychiatrists, because, after all these years, I have a feeling they are clueless and know only how to prescribe pills that are actually really dangerous – like clonozepam.

    I do not find my current psychiatrist helpful right now, or encouraging – he wanted me back on the pill! So, I think I am going to this on my own, somehow, and please, let me know if more of you are lightheaded and nauseous, because I am fearing now that I might have some horrible cancer or something. Also, if you have any advice on how to proceed, I will be very grateful.

    • Peggy April 30, 2015, 2:58 pm

      I, too, have had concerns that I have something horribly wrong with me. However, I find it too much of a coincidence that the timing is so soon after ceasing Klonopin. I’ve decided that until I’ve been off for a longer period of time (it has been almost 5 months), I’m going to give my best effort to not succumbing to my fears that I have something horrible wrong with me. I have experienced some crazy physiological symptoms – benzos do not just affect the brain/mind – in addition to increased anxiety, depression, etc. We have GABA receptors all over our body. When we stop taking a benzo after long-term use, our body has to re-learn some things. It’s been numb to so much. Keep plugging along.

    • Swan May 13, 2015, 2:31 am

      I am lightheaded with zero appetite. Been to every kind of doctor and there is nothing wrong with me…thank God. Clonazepam withdrawal has made me hyper-aware of everything my body does. It is going from numb to awake. Remember you are one day closer.

    • Lisa November 10, 2015, 6:10 pm

      Hi all! This is a fantastic forum! 20 years ago, I had what I like to call a “mini breakdown”. I ended up going to a 3 week partial hospitalization program which was a great help, however, they put me on prozac, and Xanax. After about 6 months give or take, I was able to just stop the Prozac, no problem. My sister had told me that Klonopin didn’t make you feel as tired and “foggy” as Xanax, so I switched to that.

      I was initially prescribed .50mg of Xanax 3x per day. I cut 1 pill per day on my own with no withdraw at all. Fast forward to now – I have been taking 1mg of Klonopin 2x per day for probably at least 15 years of not longer. 3 years ago, out of the blue I was diagnosed with diabetes. It has been determined I have the monogenic type, who I is an inherited gene. So, I have been experiencing all sorts of things – terrible neck pain, swelling finger joints, fatigue, headaches and more.

      For the past couple of years, I’ve been blaming my diabetes medications, even though I’m on tiny doses. Then, about a week ago, on a whim, I looked up the side effects of Klonopin, which, I had never done before. Wow! I called my doctor immediately and asked if he would switch me to Buspar and that I wanted to wean off Klonopin. He was more than happy about that! (I was diagnosed with GAD) I’ve read that Buspar is usually the first thing prescribed for this, but I believe the Prozac prevented them from putting me on that.

      I started taking 7.5mg of Buspar about a week ago. The pharmacist gave me some great advice. He said, stay on your current dose of Klonopin for 2 weeks until the Buspar can build up in your system. Well, I am very sensitive to medications, and I kid you not, I felt better after my first dose of buspar. I have started to wean off the Klonopin – I’m cutting a quarter per day, sometimes half, depending on how I feel. I am experiencing extremely mild withdraw, sometimes none – but it hasn’t been that long yet.

      I don’t know if I’m opening another can of worms with the Buspar, but I’m just thankful to finally be getting rid of the benzo! I like a lot of the brave souls here am determined and I will get off it! I’m not going to try to be a hero – if it takes a year, even more, so be it. I just want off! At the moment, I’m getting a little sweaty at times, experienced some wicked dizziness over the weekend, it how I’m feeling overall is worth it, so far.

      Thank you everyone for sharing your stories, and I wish everyone the best! I agree with the fact that doctors should not be prescribing these Benzos for so long and not having a gameplan! My best to everyone!

  • Melanie Cooper April 23, 2015, 9:28 pm

    I have been on klonopin for about four months for panic disorder. Only the 0.5 mg dosage. My doctor is now tapering me off and I take 0.25 mgs twice a day. I have headaches, dizziness, fatigue, concentration problems and flu like symptoms (nausea, etc). My anxiety is heightened but I’m sticking it out because I know my body will return to normal hopefully soon.

  • Joss April 29, 2015, 12:28 pm

    Hello everyone… I was prescribed .5 mg of klonopin 3 times a day for two years. Only I did not take them as prescribed; I found that after several months the 3 pills a day weren’t enough to touch my anxiety/panic anymore. So I started taking as many as I wanted a day (usually 3 or 4) and would usually end up finishing my bottle about a week too early to refill immediately. Several more months later I’m taking 5 or 6 a day, and several times have taken up to 14 pills in a day.

    The day I realized I had a problem though was when I tried to kill myself off of them. I took so many that I lost count and as I was on the verge of passing out I thought “I’d better not eat every pill… Then I won’t have any for the come down tomorrow”… THAT thought is what made me realize I had a problem. The past year now I had been in uncontrollable fits of rage, spitting hate towards everyone and everything. I became paranoid, angry (all the time), and I could never remember ANYTHING. One of my buddies calls them ‘forget-opins’.

    I began my taper off the pills (1/2 a month) after that pitiful night of attempted suicide; I took my last 1/2 pill exactly four months ago. The first withdrawal symptoms I experienced were nightmares (ones that woke me from my sleep nightly and make sleep feel threatening) and worse panic attacks than I can ever remember having before. Then began the stomach problems; no matter what I would eat, it made me sick and extremely bloated and without going into great detail I’ll just say my bathroom habits were NOT normal during this time of ‘IBS’ type symptom…

    That resolved itself only last month, followed by a slight round of kidney stones. What followed that (and what I am now experiencing) is extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, severe depression, moments of deep confusion, memory loss, loss of libido, tremors, uncontrollable sweating, and most recently, depersonalization. Even if I had not abused Klonopin and had taken it as directed it is still a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE DRUG. It stole my heart, mind, soul, and will. I felt as if I was being operated by a puppeteer whilst under the influence.

    I had been struggling with anxiety my entire life before I met klonopin; and even though it’s the only thing I’ve ever found that can make the anxiety truly just ‘stop’ for a minute, I would never ever take it again. I am now trying to gain control of my anxiety issues by just staying calm, breathing, and working through it in my mind… All while I slowly wait for myself to come back to me.

  • Peggy April 30, 2015, 2:52 pm

    I took Klonopin for about 6 years and was taking 1mg 2 times per day when I decided to wean off. My doctor prescribed a 4-week taper/wean, which I believe was much too fast. I’ve now been off of Klonopin for almost 5 months and am still experiencing many withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms and their severity definitely wax and wane. It has been and is still an unpleasant process, but I am really glad I made this decision.

    I have found it rather unbelievable just how much Klonopin affects the body in a myriad of ways. Don’t think you’re going crazy and be sure to do your own research. Chances are your doctor isn’t an expert in benzo withdrawal and hasn’t had the experience him/herself. The Ashton Manual was extremely helpful to me and gave me a realistic idea of what I could expect. I’m pretty sure my doctor and my husband both doubt my claims when describing what I have experienced and am still going through.

    It has been a lonely process and I haven’t had as much support as I would have liked, but I’m making it and am hopeful that by the one year mark (December 6, 2015) I will be able to permanently put this behind me. From what I’ve read, some people will experience withdrawal symptoms for up to two years, but it isn’t common. Just be realistic with your expectations and surround yourself with as much support as possible.

    • Jim May 30, 2015, 4:25 pm

      Thank you. It is a lonely road, isn’t it. Even when there are people who care, they can’t understand.

    • Rhonda Robinson December 7, 2015, 11:52 am

      You say that your one year mark is December 6, 2015 and that was yesterday’s date. Curious to see how you’re doing. I stopped Klonopin on October 3, 2015 and am still having a rough time. Still not sleeping much and anxiety is bad. One poster said that their heart beating is so loud that it’s all they are aware of and I can understand. Absolutely no help from the medical professionals who were quick to prescribe this and clueless or reluctant to offer any suggestions as to how to deal with the withdrawal symptoms. I’d really appreciate a response. Thanks.

      • D May 3, 2016, 6:11 pm

        I am so glad to have found this website! It is beginning to make sense. I was prescribed Clonazepam 1 mg for sleep after many years using a low dose of Xanax. I took it with 5mg of Ambien and did very well with no side effects but when I moved to another state I could not get an RX for either one and was forced to wean off both…

        What a nightmare!!! I tried everything including medical cannabis with zero result and not more than a few hours of sleep a night in one hour segments. Finally, my Orthopedic doctor took pity on me and gave me an RX for the Ambien but I still slept very badly and had basically all the side effects listed for withdrawal from the Clonazepam.

        Thought I was dying and sometimes wished I could but now realize it was all from going off the one drug that helped me sleep. I have been an insomniac since childhood and feel that sometimes taking the small dose [I had cut it down to 1/2 mg] is better than not sleeping and feeling nauseous, dizzy and totally fatigued all day every day. So, for me, I have decided to seek out a doctor in this area who will prescribe Clonazepam 1 mg so that I can get my life back.

        I will stop the Ambien though because I believe after doing research that it is the worse of the two evils. Thank you for all of your inputs on this subject and I hope everyone finds their way through this maze.

  • Charles May 6, 2015, 4:15 pm

    I was put on 1mg Clonazepam 36 months ago after a car accident which left me in shock and muscle spasm in the knees, which kept me awake at night. I took it for about 15 months and decided to withdraw as I felt a prisoner of the drug. It has taken me over a year to withdraw and I have been completely off the drug for 2 weeks. I have experienced tinnitus and giddiness, but the worst has been insomnia, which I started to get as soon as I cut down to half a milligram.

    I have also now experienced a recurrence of my knee spasms, but I have been given to understand that this rebound symptom is common after withdrawal. Clonazepam is an evil drug and I should never have been on it for even a year. I am hoping the withdrawal symptoms will go away with time. I have been assured they will, but I feel I no longer trust Doctors to do the best for me. It makes me so angry and it is this anger which is motivating my withdrawal. I congratulate those on a higher dose who are trying to withdraw, because even on 1 mg I know how difficult it is.

    My view is that the medical profession is dangerous to patients, No doctor has recommended withdrawal, in fact my guy asked me if I really wanted to come off the drug, because he knew what I would face. Bear in mind, that I had an accident which brought on shock. A short term treatment would have been appropriate IMO. However, I had no knowledge of the power of this drug when I started taking it. The medical profession has my total contempt. Those of you who are withdrawing have my admiration. Please stick to the program, but do it slowly.

  • Sylvaine May 11, 2015, 11:17 pm

    I took Clonazepam for 2 years, 1 mg at night for anxiety and sleep problem. I decided to stop slowly with the help of my doctor, from 1mg to 0.75mg for 8 weeks, 0.75mg to 0.5mg for another 8 weeks, 0.5mg to 0.25mg another 8 weeks, and 0.125 every second day for another 8 weeks. So I don’t take that pill since December 14 2015. It been 3 months now and I still have a lot of weird sensations that nobody could explain…

    Or saying it is not related to withdrawal. Headache like after drinking too much alcohol, inner vibrations at my feet, burning sensation legs / feet, when walking the floor is not level and I have more. At least I am sleeping in average 6 hours per night, but I am discouraged to see the day when those strange symptom disappears.

    • oleg December 25, 2015, 8:58 pm

      Hi, I am curious if you had rebound insomnia? I am afraid to go off Klonopin because of insomnia… that’s why I took this drug in the first place. Thanks.

      • E December 29, 2015, 6:17 am

        Thank you to all who have posted here. It is the first intelligent and positive place I have found in my research of klonopin withdrawal. I started taking .5 mg at night 7 years ago at the suggestion of my OBGYN for anxiety and sleep. My doctor told me it was safe to take every night. She even encouraged it, telling me how important it is to get a good night sleep.

        I can’t believe I never questioned or read up on klonopin before taking it nightly! During those 7 years I increased it to 1 mg at night. I realized I had a problem when I didn’t set my alarm and could sleep 15 hours straight. It also took me hours to feel fully awake in the morning – which is alarming because I would often drive that way. Concerned about the literature on dementia, last April I decided to taper and get off of the drug entirely.

        Every 3 to 4 weeks I cut the pill in 1/2 so by the time I reached July I was taking 1/8 nightly (pill cutter). This 3 month mark was when my symptoms of withdrawal hit the hardest. It didn’t matter how exhausted I was, nothing would help me sleep. I tried Benadryl, Advil PM etc but nothing would give me relief. I would finally fall asleep around 5:30am and wake up at 7:30am. This went on for 10-12 weeks.

        Just as the insomnia started to get better and I was no longer taking any klonopin I started to have excruciating stomach pains, bloating and rapid weight gain (10 pounds in 4 weeks) in October. I also started experiencing bad muscle cramps and ankle swelling at night. This is when I started to miss days of work. I finally had all that I could bear and defeatingly went back on klonopin at the end of October 2015.

        I started taking .5 every other night and that is where I am today. Symptoms subsided except for the weight gain (that didn’t budge). I am so frustrated with myself and this whole process. I know I have to try again. I just don’t where I am going to find the strength. Thank you for reading my story. This is the first time I have ever been compelled to leave a comment on a forum. Xoxo.

  • Becky May 15, 2015, 5:41 pm

    I have been taking 1mg of clonazepam 1 tab at night only for approximately 3 years now and I’ve stopped cold turkey and I’ve experienced rapid heart beat, panic attacks and insomnia. Its only been about 1 week since my last dose. I wish my doctor would have never put me on this bad drug. I hope these withdrawal symptoms will be gone soon. I will never let another doctor prescribe any drug like this again for my sleeping problems. This drug is hell to get out of your system. I never abused taking this drug so I sure feel sorry for those individuals that do and were prescribed higher doses.

  • Linda May 20, 2015, 7:38 pm

    I am almost 2 months Klonopin free. I had been taking 2 to 2.5mg per day for anxiety. I did the taper, not as slowly as others have suggested. I am still experiencing w/d symptoms but there is no way I’m going back. Be encouraged, there is life after benzos. You have to go through it making adjustments over time. Your body is waking up and evolving to a new state. Yes, it’s difficult, but anything worthwhile usually is. Stay strong my friends! You’ve got this!

  • Jennifer May 23, 2015, 10:55 am

    Hey all! I was just scrolling through the recent comments and noticed very quickly that, like my own MD, people’s doctor’s don’t seem to possess the knowledge about this class of drug that they need to. I finally insisted on going to a psychiatrist after switching MDs and having the second one still insist that after my being on clonazepam for three years at 2mg. a day, that it was a 21 day taper by halving the dose every week then being done.

    After starting there and realizing that wasn’t utter bunk (withdrawal symptoms being crazy), I said that I wanted to see someone who actually might know about this class of medication who could help me. So off to the psychiatrist I went. She and I talked it out and I when I told her of the MDs “21 day” taper, her mouth fell open she was so shocked.

    Now, in my town, I have a very reputable compounding pharmacy. I had already gotten myself down to .25 mg over the course of a year and needed help with the rest. My new psych doctor prescribed a liquid clonazepam taper to be compounded by the pharmacy and to be taken over the next 90 days. It was ABSOLUTELY the way to go. The taper started at .25 mg. then decreased by .1 mg. every three days until it was done.

    It still was not ‘easy’, but it definitely softened the blow and I have been able to maintain functionality in my life as I was doing this. I have now been clonazepam free for 27 days. I am still in withdrawal. I still have symptoms. I know the road is still in front of me. But I am free from this medication. I just wanted to write this here as I have heard no one mention doing a super gradual liquid taper, and it was a life saver for me.

    • Jim May 30, 2015, 5:34 pm

      J – Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have a compounding pharmacy close by. The hard part will be explaining the taper plan to my doctor (who is not really involved because he was clueless enough to Rx 4 mg of clonazepam per night in the first place.) I will route him to this site and to the Ashton Manual if he requires further education.

  • j May 25, 2015, 6:22 pm

    Nice article, thank you. I’ve been on clonazapam now for longer than I can remember, for panic attacks. I’ve been responsible and take 0.5mg no more than 3x a day and depending upon extrinsic factors (new job, or some stressor would push me to take 2-3 a day, but at times life was mellow and I’d take only one or two tablets a week. Lately I’ve come to realize that I’m having more trouble remembering people’s names and faces, as well as short term memory recall.

    I came across an article and now realize that the klonopin is the likely source of this. So, in my naivete I went cold turkey since I had only read about the memory effects not withdrawal. I went three days with no symptoms other than increased generalized anxiety and headaches. On the fourth day I did take half a pill (0.25mg)–darn. On the 5th day (now day 1 at zero pills) I became irritable, very irritable, even a bit irrational (thinking “no, it’s not me, it’s you that’s the problem” (poor person on the other side).

    Since I’ve now gone 6 days with only 0.125mg total dose over the 6 days, I think I’ll simply continue on cold turkey. Perhaps knowing about the irritability factor others may benefit. I realized that being off the klonopin I’d have somewhat of an anxiety rebound and I did, but knowing the cause/effect relationship helped a lot. Now knowing the irritability is likely from withdrawal, I’m hoping that it will be easier to cope with.

  • Amaryia June 2, 2015, 11:18 am

    I really appreciate this site and all the advice and comments given. I was on Klonopin, 1 mg every night before bed for 3 years following severe anxiety/panic attacks. I did the best taper I could ( I am an all or nothing type person) I first went from 1 mg to .5 every night before bed for 2 weeks then went to .25 for 2 weeks then did every other day of .25 for a week. I have been off Klonopin completely for 16 days and doing my best to hang in here.

    I have been experiencing every withdrawal symptom listed expect seizures. The worst at the moment is derealization/depersonalization – I am very uncomfortable within my self and hope I can recover from all of this and feel whole again. When I was on Klonopin I slept all the time and had no energy – it is nice to have energy again – I just seem to have too much now. I wish everyone the very best! I am living one day at a time and sometimes one minute at a time trying to stay positive that I will be successful getting off this evil medication. :)

  • Charles June 7, 2015, 9:53 pm

    Hello, I’m an epileptic withdrawing from Klonopin. My dose was 1mg 3 x a day. This dose was raised to the point that it was the cause of seizures. I have been on it for 14 years. With the help of 2 doctors I have gotten down to 1mg. They stopped it because I became manic. During this past month it has been horrible. All I want is to be off this horrible drug and I don’t know what to do. I can’t just quit – for within a few hours I begin to go into a seizure.

    The doctors are afraid I will go into a seizure – not come out of it – and die. I have now been on it for 8 weeks and begin again in a few days. The partial seizures are continuing. I at this point don’t really care. I am an OMMP – it does help with the: nausea and the unstableness, depression, shacking/tremors but that is it. I don’t even know why I’m posting this. Thanks.

  • Cari June 14, 2015, 5:26 am

    Well, like most of you I’ve been on .5 of clonazepam each night for over 2 years. I started tapering 1.5 weeks ago at .25 and tonight just dropped to .125mg. Laying here awake at 1:15 am with no desire to sleep. Felt better today, the nausea, dizziness, headaches, pain at the base of my neck sm better. The same terrible nightmare every night. People killing others with knives and then me killing them. Seems to last the whole dang night. Wondering if I should go back to .25 for a while longer.

    I’m a R.N. And starting a new job in one week. Scared to death about that, don’t know how I’ll manage the worst of the symptoms while trying to learn a new job. My psychiatrist suggested I start thinking of stopping the clonazepam 2 weeks ago and I decided I should quit because of the new job. Not sure what to do. Will definitely stay on the .125mg for longer than a few days hats for sure. I’m embarassed I didn’t know how bad this med is. Glad to hear there is light at he end of the tunnel! Keep at it everybody!!

  • Dena June 14, 2015, 3:18 pm

    I was on .5mil of Klonopin for 15yrs for anxiety. I was never told that this was a short term drug and should only be taken for a month. Also, being closely monitored by a doctor while on it. I decided I didn’t want to be on it anymore last year. I was tired of feeling out of it all the time and falling asleep during the day and after dinner. My mind essentially felt numb. I tried the cold turkey. Not a good idea.

    I started cutting the pills in half and stayed on that for six or eight months. I changed doctors and found a good one that helped me get off this drug. It was within a two to four week period. I decided to cut the half in half and take that for two weeks then, skip the weekend and take it Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Skip the weekend again and then take it Tuesday and Thursday and then stop.

    This way seemed to work for me and gradually is the key. You know how you feel and it’s up to you how you want to do it. I had all kinds of mood swings, feeling overwhelmed and the anxiety and worry crept back for a day or two. I also do Energy work or Reiki every three weeks which has helped tremendously! It relaxes you and takes away that anxious feeling which is not fun to feel at all! I’ve been off of this drug for about a week since I weaned off.

    I was glad to find this page! There’s comfort in knowing that other people are going through the same thing. I’m still feeling out of sorts and not sleeping through the night but am able to fall asleep on my own which toke along time! About twelve days, falling asleep after the fifth day but not deep sleep until the 12th day! Thank you everyone and good luck! Take care.

  • Leigh June 21, 2015, 1:21 am

    I have been on clonazepam for almost 20 yrs. I started with one mg per day but needed more to quell my anxiety and panic attacks so quickly worked up to 3 mg per day under the care of a psychiatrist . On my own, I slowly went down to one mg per day before bed and have stayed there for the last 9 years. The drug worked very well for me and it seemed like a small price to pay for the huge benefit I received; being able to live my life without the nearly constant, overwhelming, irrational fear that had been my norm for as long as I could remember.

    Through my own fault, I only received the monthly script from my doctor 2 days ago, when I was all out of medicine, and then found out the pharmacy is unable to fill the prescription until Monday! I took Benadryl that night and last night to help me fall asleep, with mixed results, and I’ve been feeling jittery and anxious. I decided to get online today and look into weaning off of it entirely as it’s been in the back of my mind lately that I don’t want to be dependent on any drug for the rest of my life.

    I found this blog and it’s the first I’ve heard about possible withdrawal symptoms. I was thinking I could get through the weekend, pick up the medicine on Monday and start to take half my normal dose to begin the process. I’m very grateful for the information here and will take it much more slowly than that and hope for the best. Any thoughts on how to stay calm until then? Thanks.

    • melonie July 1, 2015, 5:05 am

      Well, I’ve been without klonopin about a week. Here are some tips. Drink lots of water and stay away from caffeine all together. No stimulants. Also eat healthy and take natural remedies. Like melatonin and valerian and chamomile. Dollar tree sales a product called relax and sleep. For 1 $. I take one in the morning and afternoon and two at night. It takes the edge off. I did it cold turkey. I ran out of meds. So I got tired of having a pill control me and will not get them refilled. I’m getting fish oil tomorrow. It’s great for all types of mentality and vitamin d. Natural resources work. Good luck.

  • jeff July 1, 2015, 12:40 am

    1 mg for 15 years here. Its very powerful stuff. But I think you all know that. I didn’t sleep for years before my doc prescribed this. At the time and for many years it was a godsend, really. But of course it stops doing the job it once did after a while. Not taking it for a day lets you see how much more alive you feel if you don’t have it in your system but by the end of the day your body is very tense and I get dizzy. By the next night I’m very ready to take it. But love the energy I have when I don’t take it the night before.

    The problem I have found coming off it is reducing this and finding something you can add to compensate, herbs, amino acids, minerals etc. I have tried by now EVERYTHING and not much mixes well with clonazepam. Herbs are particularly bad for me. I have had marginal success with blood pressure medicine. I don’t need it but its incredibly relaxing.It did help me sleep with less clonazepam. It just can make you pretty listless all day. So while it helped a bit to wean off it didn’t help me to finally get off it.

    I mention it because you need to try everything you can. Different things work for different people. I discovered the blood pressure meds by my doc being a lateral thinker and it did help. Get a doc that will work with you. Integrative docs are the best for this I have found. So try until you get there!!! Seriously don’t give up.

    • Patrice July 28, 2015, 4:57 pm

      I have been on .5mg in AM and .5mg at bedtime for the past 11 years. I have decided to take myself off this med at a very gradual pace. I started July 4 by reducing from my dosage of .5mg to 1/4 less or .12mg for the past 3 weeks. I have had night sweats, horrible thoughts and stomach problems. I just started reducing my daytime dosage of .5mg to 1/4 less or .12mg. I will stay on that for the next 3 weeks.

      My experience has been that each time I reduce my dosage, my withdrawal symptoms change as well. Last night I had night sweats and insomnia. I am watching my body closely and I am being very gentle on myself. I’m not pushing anything at this point. My MD did suggest going from .5mg to .25 and finish in 4 weeks. I opted after reading my own to go at a much slower pace. God Bless us all. Best wishes.

  • Kate July 1, 2015, 10:50 pm

    I was on 4mg per day for a year. I had a major manic episode and was upped to 10 mg per day and doctor left me there for 7 months. It has been beyond the worst hell to taper down since January. I am now down to a 1/2 mg per day. I just cut from 1 mg to that around 9 days ago. I am shaking terrible today. I have headaches and loss of appetite today. Nightmares and intermittent insomnia last couple days.

    Does it take a week to 10 days for the withdraw to kick in? I don’t remember this happening so delayed before. Do the withdraw reactions tend to be more delayed the lower you go? Just curious. I am sorry for everyone that has had to deal with this. I am your sister in that hell. No one knows how hard it is. People make judgments too when they hear a high dose. I never liked the pills and resisted taking them. I didn’t know they were this addictive.

  • Dale July 22, 2015, 3:05 pm

    I started my taper in Jan from 1 mg clonazepam daily. I did the first .25 cut on my own and stayed at .75 for 2 months until I got a taper plan from my doctor. The plan was to alternate .75 & .5 for 3 weeks, then .5 every day for 3 weeks, then .5 & .25 every 3 weeks, .25 for 3 weeks, eventually alternating .25 with nothing and stop.

    I got to .25 daily and after reading some blogs realized I needed to slow down, so added 3 weeks of .25 alternating with .125 and now I am at my second week of .125 daily. I am determined, though have felt anxiety, buzzing, ears ringing and shakiness each time during the second week. By the third, I was ok, and at .25, I took a little longer to stabilize. My question is how to end the taper?

    Should I go a lot slower now, taking smaller cuts, or just alternate .125 with nothing and then stop. Anxiety makes it hard to decide! At what point is it safe and relatively comfortable to stop? I am taking 1/4 of a .5 mg tablet now. Should I get into crushing them, or just continue as I have been? Obviously the doctor’s plan was too fast, and she said just take my time.

  • Laurie July 24, 2015, 5:11 am

    I’ve been on .5 mg for about 6 years. It was prescribed in conjunction with other meds as a migraine preventative. One day I was really reading up on my medications, and I hated what I was reading about this drug. So when I saw my migraine specialist, I told him I wanted off. He wasn’t the doctor who had prescribed it, but he was on board to have me go off of it.

    He told me to take .25 for 2 weeks, then .25 every other night for 2 weeks, then stop. I just finished the first 2 weeks and have had no problems at all. Tonight I start the next part. I’m going to think positive and pray I don’t have all the horrible side effects I keep reading about.

    • Ed July 25, 2015, 3:29 am

      I’m having good success with the Klonopin water taper method. Dissolving tablets in measured water allows you taper more effectively (and gradually) than cutting pills into tiny pieces. I had my doubts, but it works! There’s even YouTube videos on how to do this (had to educate my own doctor on this method, but he was supportive). I bought a 100 ml graduated cylinder on Amazon (glass, not plastic). I also use a 10 ml plastic syringe to extract smaller and smaller doses…it works. Good luck!

  • Nicole July 28, 2015, 2:26 pm

    I have been on Klonopin for 3+ years. I got into a bicycle accident that resulted in 2 broken ribs. I am a massage therapist and couldn’t work due to the injury. I was unable to pay my therapist/psych doc and ended up having to go off the drug cold-turkey. I felt suicidal, mainly because I fell into a state of depersonalization that was constant; from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep. It was terrifying.

    I had been to the ER multiple times due to this withdrawal. And all they they was give me a script for some more Klonopin. It feels like a never-ending cycle. I finally got an appointment at a clinic close by. I have chronic PTSD, and extreme anxiety. So, I know that they are just going to keep giving this drug.

    I want it out of my life, badly. The withdrawal effects are horrible and I don’t want to end up in the ER again. They already know me by name; that’s how bad it is. I hate this drug. It’s horrible and works at the same time. A double-edged sword indeed.

    • Ed August 1, 2015, 4:19 am

      Nicole…you’re right; the drug is truly is a double-edged sword. It helped me greatly during anxiety spells, but now that I’ve got the anxiety under control (using magnesium and herbal remedies), getting off Klonopin is a whole other battle. I’ve learned the hard way that slow is the only way to go when tapering off this med.

      Many people report no withdrawal symptoms whatsoever as long as they go slow and give the brain ample time to adjust to lower and lower dosages. Tapering too quickly not only makes you miserable, it’s also dangerous and can actually prolong withdrawal symptoms. At one point, I actually thought my anxiety was coming back, but it wasn’t…I was tapering off the med too quickly. What is your daily intake?

  • Laurie August 1, 2015, 8:04 pm

    I am almost completely done with my taper that my doctor recommended. I have had zero withdrawal symptoms and have actually slept better than ever. I must be one of the few lucky ones. I will be off klonopin this Wednesday. I will never take it again. I pray the withdrawal symptoms don’t start after I’m completely off the drug. I feel confident that I’m going to be fine!!

    • AspenGal September 8, 2015, 4:18 am

      Laurie, A big CONGRATS! Could you specify the amount you were on, for how long and the taper plan your doctor composed? I am preparing to meet my Dr. in a couple of weeks and feel that she may not be properly equipped so I am amassing as much data as possible. Certainly, we all respond differently, but I am curious to know. I have been on 1mg for 12 years and then .5mg for two years. Thanks!

  • jaa August 4, 2015, 1:04 am

    I was on 3 mg a day for a year. Did not know about withdrawal until today. I took my last pill almost 3 weeks ago (cold turkey, 3mg to nothing) and have not been feeling well but until today never associated it to the pill. About 8 days ago started getting dizzy and light headed with nausea associated with it. Then vomiting. All the while not sleeping at night.

    Took Dramamine (gravol) for the nausea and dizziness. Started having bad dreams, and no sleep, then I had the choking feeling and twitches. Today was the third day of really bad tremors, stomach full of butterflies, oh, forgot to mention the jaw clenching and neck strain, which of course leads to the memory loss. This has been my worst day by far, so I started thinking about what had been happening to me and wondered if the clonazapam had anything to do with it. Found this blog and it all made sense.

    Just trying to find out if it is normal for the symptoms to come and go to be replaced with a different symptom. I wonder when the shakes and anxious feeling will go away, and when it does will it be replaced with something else? I have been reading this blog and seeing people just like me, panic anxiety and sleep problems and feel like I am not alone. Thanks for sharing, any advise will be appreciated.

  • jaa August 4, 2015, 8:07 pm

    Well after writing yesterday, I had a rough night. No sleep until the wee hours of the morning. Had the sweats, the shivers but my body was burning up. My stomach was upset this morning. For about the last 8 hrs, a few sweats but all the other symptoms are gone. No shakes, no shivers, no headache, no clenched jaw, nausea, vomiting, all gone. Let’s hope that this was the last of the symptoms.

    The ones I had this morning and last night seem to be what I would have expected withdrawal to be like. All the ones that were scary seem to be gone. I will write tomorrow and let you know if any others have come in there place. Cross your fingers for me. Hope that they are gone and maybe all of us will have a little piece knowing that they will go away.

    It is about 3 weeks since my last pill, if I had of known that it would be a big deal I would have kept better track of when I took the last pill. Hope this might help someone else who just doesn’t know what to expect. Good luck to you all.

  • Amanda August 18, 2015, 1:18 pm

    I was on 2mg for anxiety. I was taking about 5 of those a day for 4 months. I just recently stopped cold turkey which I know is very dangerous, but I felt I had to get my life back. Klonopin had taken who I was away. All I did was sleep, hardly ate, and not care much about anything. I was on a bad path. Possibly even death. I am now in day 8 of me being sober. I am having multiple panic attacks. My heart suddenly keeps racing, I am having trouble sleeping, having nightmares, mood swings, shakes, twitching, nervousness, and sweats at night, thoughts of going back on Klonopin.

    But, I refuse to get back on them. Even though I am going through hell, I will not take them again. They ruined my life. I am confident that I will return to normal again eventually. I will beat this. I refuse to give up. Who ever is trying to get off Klonopin, please, speak to your doctor first and do not quit cold turkey, you may experience life threatening withdrawals, coma or even death. No one told me I shouldn’t quit cold turkey, I found out after I had quit. Wish me luck guys.

  • Laurie August 26, 2015, 3:12 am

    I would like to give people some hope! I read a lot of these posts and was really nervous about getting off klonopin. I followed my doctors taper schedule and have been off for 3 weeks tomorrow! I feel fantastic! NO withdrawal symptoms ever! I will say, I eat very healthy and workout hard 6 days per week. I don’t know if that helped me or not. I was on klonopin for about 6 years; .5 mg at night. I have been sleeping good too. I really wanted people to read some positive stories too!

    • Lu Ann October 19, 2015, 12:28 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  • James September 1, 2015, 3:02 am

    I’ve done a lot of research on this, and I’m surprised how few here are following “The Ashton Manual”. The Ashton Manual is THE GOLD STANDARD for getting off benzos. Personally, I think that Klonopin is the absolute worst of the benzos and should be outlawed. I had a couple of major life tragedies last November which brought on a severe panic attack that lasted for a couple of weeks.

    I couldn’t sleep and was hyperventilating. Hate to say it but doctors are either ignorant or simply don’t care. I went to the ER and was prescribed 2.0 mg of Klonopin daily. The recommended starting dose for panic attacks is .25 mg daily. So, she started me at 8 times the recommended dose and never warned me that it can create a chemical dependency in as little as two weeks. The pharmacist never warned me.

    The panic attacks got better almost immediately, but I became really depressed and couldn’t stay awake. I read up on the medication after about a month, and tried to wean off by about .25 mg every 3 days. Bad move. I became so nauseous and anxious that it sent me to the ER. So, I went back up to 2.0 mg and stayed there for the next 4 months. I’ve never adjusted to the medicine, in that I can’t stay awake.

    I started weaning off much more slowly, in increments of 1/8 mg every two weeks, until I got to 7/8 mg a day. Following the Ashton Manual, I started 4 weeks ago, converting over to Valium from Klonopin. Valium has a much longer half-life, making the changes much smoother, and is available in smaller equivalent doses (.25 mg of Klonopin is equivalent to 5 mg of Valium). My biggest problems have been severe depression, inability to stay awake, lack of motivation, and muscle and joint pain.

    My plan is to be off of Klonopin completely and on Valium in about 3 weeks. At that point, the Ashton Manual gives a clear path for getting off. My suggestion to everyone is DO NOT GO COLD TURKEY! The symptoms after you are completely off the benzo will last much, much longer if you wean too quickly. The temptation is to do it fast, and get it over with, but it will be over much more quickly if you taper extremely slowly, follow the Ashton Manual, move from Klonopin to Valium, and realize that the symptoms will eventually pass.

    I’ve found that if I’m unusually stressed, I can take half of a Benadryl tablet and it will take the edge off. Exercise, getting outside, having a support system, and finding something to make you smile will make a big difference. Doctors should all be required to have real training on the effects of benzos and the damage and pain they cause. It may be that lawsuits are the only thing that will cause that to happen.

    • Mcm October 10, 2015, 8:53 pm

      Hi James your story is very interesting giving hope to everyone who wants to get off of a benzo.

  • John H September 6, 2015, 11:01 pm

    I was on Klonopin for 8 years and was a slave to it because its horrible withdrawal symptoms. I decided to quit about six months ago, but was very afraid because of the horrible withdrawal feelings I had when I ran out for a day or two. I was taking 2mgs a day and began by tapper with 1.75. From there I would drop .25 every seven days until I got down to .25. once I got down to .25 I went down in .125 increments and by the end I was just nibbling off a bit before I went down to nothing.

    I have been of for months now so please no you can do it and it wasn’t bad at all. Just know you will have to deal with your anxiety after you quit. I am hoping my anxiety is partly long term withdrawal but wont know for another 6-9 months off. Hope this helps someone because when I was researching quitting I didn’t see that many success stories but YOU CAN DO IT!!!

  • Jackie October 2, 2015, 3:33 pm

    I am off of three benzodiazapines (ativan, clonazapan and diazapam). I was on clonazapam for fifteen years. I was weaned correctly, however have every symptom in the book. I have been off now for a couple of months and the symptoms have actually gotten worse. I feel like giving up, but want to get through this and stay off of benzo’s for good. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Karen October 7, 2015, 1:15 am

      Jackie, I heard that you can experience symptoms 1 month for every year you’ve been on the drug. Please try and hang in there…it will be better in time. I would suggest to lower your stress with whatever alternative methods as possible such as tapping, sesame oil pulling for chemical removal and having a good kinesiologist check for other causes of stress such as your bite. Stay the course, you can do this!

  • Karen October 5, 2015, 12:29 am

    So happy to have found this site. I have been on Valium for 12 years and then klonopin for 20 years. I weaned off the klonopin slowly and my last pill was 3 weeks ago. I wasn’t as lucky 20 years ago when I came off Valium abruptly and felt like I was dying. I went on this class of drugs for unexplained spaciness and eventually, just last year, was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme.

    I can relate and have most of the withdrawal symptoms mentioned above. It is comforting to know why things are happening and answers to questions after all these years. I am so grateful to this website and everyone who shared their experiences. It’s great to know that after 32 years for me there is light at the end of the tunnel. And I don’t mean that light! God bless everyone and NEVER GIVE UP!

  • Luna October 18, 2015, 9:57 pm

    I had a couple anxiety attacks in Feb of 2013. The ER doc prescribed 1.5mg clonazepam. Believe it or not, I have been tapering off clonazepam since Oct 2013 a .125 per unit reduction starting at 1.5mg until I got to .125mg and then piecemeal since. This past year I tapered from .125mg to .06mg (Feb) and then to .03mg (May). At .06mg I started to experience extreme muscle fatigue, tremors and anxiety but I kept on this dose for 3 months.

    I teach and I almost could not write on the board my muscles were so weak and I trembled so badly. I then continued the taper to .03mg. At .03mg I had 4 or so anxiety attacks a week and had generalized anxiety all the time. I had to go back to .125mg in early Aug for 3 weeks just to function again. I know its hard to believe that such withdrawals can happen when doing a taper at such minuscule dosages.

    I’m worried that my system is too sensitive to this medication and that I may never be able to get off it. Its thinned my hair out terribly since I started clonazepam a few years ago and I believe that if I stay on it I will lose more hair. I’m caught between losing my hair, anxiety and withdrawals. Ugh, this medication is one of the worst things that’s ever happened to me.

    If I knew this would happen in that ER room, I would have never started the medication. Anyone else experience such trouble tapering toward the end where you wonder if you can get off of it at all? How am I to taper less than .03mg per 3 months? Good grief! Best wishes to you all.

  • Lu Ann October 19, 2015, 12:27 pm

    I am wondering if some of my memory problems are permanent. About four years ago my (former) doctor prescribed Klonopin for me for restless leg syndrome. I had no idea (shame on me for not looking it up) how powerful this drug was. I was on it for about 9 months. During that time, my doctor reduced her practice, so I began seeing the other doctor in the practice.

    My doctor never talked to me about this medication, and after 9 months, I thought to myself, “Why am I taking this? I don’t need this.” And I stopped taking it. Not long after I began having trouble concentrating at work. I would forget conversations I had with people. I would have these “blank” episodes where I would totally forget what I was thinking. We were learning how to use a new computer program for entering report card grades (I was a teacher), and I couldn’t concentrate on what we were being taught.

    At home I was an absolute witch. I’d lose my temper with my husband and say terrible things, then start to cry because I didn’t know what was wrong with me. It was so unlike me. I finally went to a psychologist (it had been about three weeks since I last took Klonopin) to see what was the matter with me. I had been to her before, so she knew me pretty well. We talked about the medications I was taking, and I told her how I had stopped taking Klonopin.

    She about had heart failure when she I told her I had stopped cold turkey. She was furious with my doctor, and I’m quite sure she contacted him about this situation. Now it’s four years later. I still have trouble concentrating for any extended period of time because I “blank” out. I have since retired from teaching because of this. Will this ever get better?

  • Adam October 22, 2015, 12:14 pm

    I can’t tell you how helpful it has been to read all of these accounts. I have been on klonopin for 20 years, at up to 2mg/day, though for the past 2 years at 0.75mg/day as part of a very slow taper. I knew from early on that one day I’d need to get off and face withdrawal, but my doctors have not been very aggressive about finishing that process.

    I recently lost my health insurance, and decided it was time to taper a little quicker. I’ve been on 0.25mg/day for 2 weeks, and have experienced most of the symptoms that have been mentioned here, especially panic attacks, heart palpitations/throat constriction, and cold sweats. I was very worried that I was having a heart attack, but reading here, and the Ashton papers, I now know these are common symptoms that I should not freak out about.

    And that has gone a long way towards easing the anxiety. Thank you all for your stories…I’m ready now to get off this dangerous drug once and for all!

  • Sandra October 26, 2015, 11:07 pm

    I know this thread is old, but the last time I had clonazepam was August 26th. My psychiatrist had tapered me off until it was .25 mg and then I stopped. I had been talking 1.5 a day. He tapered me down to .25 mg – it took a year. I have an uptick in anxiety and panic attacks, muscle spasms sometimes. Is this normal even after I took the last dose two months ago to feel like this? It’s not severe and it doesn’t warrant me to go to the emergency room. I finally settle down. Thank you. I forgot to mention that I was on clonazepam for five years. Took it after the death of my sister in law…

  • Global November 1, 2015, 6:33 pm

    Wow. I have been on 1mg of clonazepam for four years for restless leg syndrome. A week ago I decided to stop taking this med and to just cope with restless legs. Anxiety hit and I had never been anxious before as a rule. I did not realize I was experiencing withdrawal until I looked here. All I know is that years of meditation has taught me that nothing is permanent… including the withdrawal symptoms.

    So the anxiety, sleeplessness, headaches, and tingling in my mouth I find to be a relief after reading this forum. I thought I was going to experience a stroke which in my opinion would have been much worse. My husband died three years ago after a stroke and heart attack. At least I know that whatever withdrawal symptoms I have, they will end and I will be okay. Thanks so much for your posts.

    • Restless Legs November 23, 2016, 7:19 pm

      Hi Global, I am taking clonazepam for restless (RLS) legs as well, 1 to 3 mg depending on my RLS symptoms. I’d like to become clonazepam-free, but I am very scared about what it will do to my RLS. I absolutely cannot handle the feeling of RLS. I am currently taking 2 mg ER ropinirole (extended release). How did you handle your RLS while getting of the clonazepam?

  • Yana November 2, 2015, 8:17 pm

    Hello all. My name is Yana from Bulgaria. Here is my pain regarding benzo (Rivotril). I’ve been taken it for 3 years (1mg per day) and 4 month ago I cancelled it of course slowly (0.125mg per 2 weeks). But now I have all “gifts” – tinnitus (awful), insomnia – it is the hardest. I have days without sleep. I am scared if my body will stand it.

    I am scared of a heart attack. I tried zopiclone (worse), antihistamine (worse), melantonin (no effect). Please advise me is it normal days without sleep?? Even an hour?? Is there any drug to decrease this withdrawal symptom of insomnia? Thank you in advance!

    • Tere November 3, 2015, 8:02 am

      Really, withdrawal from clonazepam 1 mg a day for years has been quite the experience with lack of being able to sleep. I learned during meditation that nothing is permanent and even if one is not sleeping, giving the body a rest by just laying down and being quiet and restful, is a good thing and not to worry about whether one is able to sleep.

      Worrying about not being able to sleep usually means you won’t I have found. Allowing the body to rest takes away that worry thank goodness. In this way, withdrawal from clonazepam resulting in no sleep does not mean disaster. One just rests instead and waits it out. Withdrawal is not a permanent state.

  • Kirt November 6, 2015, 7:17 pm

    I been on this medication for 6 months and decided to stop completely. I didn’t like the way I feel and I learned how to control my anxiety without medication. I haven’t seen a doctor due to lack of funds and I have expirenced some of these symptoms. How long would they last for me seeing I’ve only been on it for 6 months?

  • Lawrence November 8, 2015, 8:18 pm

    Hello, starting my 5th Month of “no Clonazepam.” My main issue at this time is my hearing, so very sensitive, wearing ear plugs, listening to white noise. Am I alone with this side effect? Not much mentioned about this in any posts. Thank you all, Good luck… Stay the course.

    • GLOOM November 8, 2015, 11:04 pm

      I’ve experienced this same symptom in the past. Hypersensitivity to loud noises and bright lights was common for me during discontinuation of benzos.

      • Lawrence November 9, 2015, 2:41 am

        Hello Gloom, thank you so very much for the reply, If I may ask… as I am now very aware everyone has different experiences, did this “Hypersensitivity” subside for you? How long did you experience it?

    • D May 3, 2016, 6:31 pm

      Light and sound sensitivity are part of my experience as well as all the other side effects of withdrawal.

  • tracy November 11, 2015, 2:21 pm

    I feel I have a lot of willpower and was sick of taking tablets so decided to take control of my own life and stop taking tablets (clonazepam) that were to help me get rid of bad nightmares and sleepless nights. I just stopped straight away and did not consult my doctor…BIG MISTAKE!!! 2 weeks later I fainted and for the week after 4-5 times a day I would have symptoms of fainting, tingly lips and tongue, confusion and pretty much felt like a wreck.

    I did not think for one minute that it could be caused by the withdrawal of clonazepam as I did not feel I had an addiction and had not craved for it (my head hadn’t but my body had!). I ended up in hospital for an ECG and blood samples sent away before they put me back on clonazepam to see if it regulated things, which of course it did.

    I really want to come off these horrible tablets, if I had known they would do this to me then I would have never agreed to take them to start with. I just don’t believe that doctors let people have all the information before dishing out tablets. Hope this helps.

  • Dean November 13, 2015, 4:24 pm

    I thought I’d share my klonopin experience with the forum, since I am probably the MOST experienced person you will find – unfortunately. I was prescribed Klonopin for panic attacks when I was 37 years old. NO doctor ever explained to me the extreme hazards and dangers of long-term use. I am nearly 57 years old and only now am weening off the drug. This only came about because my current doctor casually mentioned that the medical community doesn’t want people taking Klonopin after 60.

    When I asked why, he then mentioned permanent cognitive impairment. Again, the first time I had ever heard this in 20 years! I began researching all this online and was shocked at what I discovered. I am now weening off Klonopin as quickly and safely as possible. I had actually ramped up to 4MG per day of Klonopin a number of years ago. Most recently, I was taking 1.5MG daily when my doctor suggested it was time to ween completely off.

    I have been taking 1MG for the past six weeks and I’m okay, but I am certainly experiencing most of the withdrawal symptoms noted on this web site. I would say the two most difficult withdrawal symptoms are insomnia and chronic headaches. Of course, the insomnia certainly exacerbates the headache issue. I will say that the one positive in the weening process has been that I have much more energy (even on less sleep) and actually feel more alert (no doubt to some increase in anxiety).

    However, during the hours preceding my afternoon dose (I am taking .5MG at 2PM and 11PM), I do have difficulty concentrating, feel confused, etc.. As soon as I take my afternoon dose, I feel somewhat normal within a half hour or so. Understanding the extreme dangers of my long-term Klonopin use, I am committed to weening off within the next few months – as quickly as my doctor recommends. I do understand all the dangers of weening off too quickly, so I won’t prolong my withdrawal symptoms while risking permanent cognitive damage by going that route.

    Bottom Line – it’s tough to ween off Klonopin after years of prolonged use, but I know I’ll stay the course. The most difficult aspect for me is the increased sleeping issues, which make dealing with all other withdrawal symptoms more difficult – a real catch 22. So, there is really no choice but to “bit the bullet,” accept sleep issues, chronic headaches, etc.. and remember that “this too shall pass.” Long-term, there is no other way but to endure and get the heck off this wicked and insidious drug!

    P.S. I do blame all the doctors who have been prescribing Klonopin to me for 20 years for NEVER clearly explaining the myriad dangers of long-term use. To me, doctors have the moral and ethical responsibility of making their patients aware of such risks. However, I blame myself, of course, for being so naive and not to have done my own research regarding Klonopin and any drugs prescribed to me by doctors.

    The lesson for me, and everyone (especially young people) is to NEVER take a medication prescribed by a doctor until you have done your OWN independent research and understand the short and long-term risks. To believe that “doctor knows best,” just isn’t true any more. Young folks – DON’T make my mistake. You have your entire lives ahead of you. Know what you are putting in your bodies and, as a rule, don’t take anything that you don’t need to live – unless it is on a very short-term basis.

    Any long-term use of medications is dangerous and, if nothing else, creates a psychological dependence which you don’t need or want in your life. Learn how to cope with life’s stresses and challenges without becoming a pill-popper. What seems like an easy short-term fix becomes a long-term nightmare. You can do better than me!

    • Susan December 7, 2015, 1:52 am

      Hi. I am in the same situation. I started Klonopin in my mid 20’s and am now almost 49. I thought my bad memory and dumbing down was just an unfortunate accident or part of the aging process. I’m going through horrible withdrawals just trying to cut down from .375 to .25 mg per day! AND it hit more than one month after I lowered it! Severe irritability and headaches.

  • Liz November 18, 2015, 2:46 pm

    Hi Gang, I have been on Dr. Klonopin for 14 years. I have tried to get off in the past but I blindly did CT (not realizing there are other ways to do this) and of course reinstated after a few days. Now, I am taking a liquid compound and reducing 5% every 7 to 10 days. So far, this feels like a softer way to land. I was on .5mg and am now down to .28. I hope this helps someone. It hasn’t been that expensive to do compounding.

    • Patrice December 3, 2015, 5:30 pm

      Liz, Please explain what compounding is and if there is information on internet please share. Thanks and God Bless.

    • Susan December 7, 2015, 1:53 am

      Thanks for the info. I had no idea you could get this in a liquid. As I’ve stated, I’m unable to bear the step down from .375 to .25 so not sure what I’m going to do.

  • CJ November 19, 2015, 3:36 pm

    18 years on / 2 months off. Thank you to everyone who has posted their experience here! It’s incredibly helpful to know I’m not alone when the withdrawal symptoms flare up again. I took 3mg of Klonopin daily for 18 years and have been off for 2 months now. I used a tapering method to get free. I cut my dosage by .25mg every 2-4 weeks depending on how I was feeling until I was down to 1mg, and then cut by .125mg each time after that.

    The last .5mg is hell to get off, but YOU CAN DO IT!!! Make the commitment! Then taper slowly and methodically. Be smart and safe, but never give up! How has my experience been? I would experience the following symptoms after each dose reduction: insomnia, anxiety, sweating, and strange sensations in my arms and legs (intense in the hands and feet). About a few weeks after being off completely, I had a couple panic attacks (a first for me).

    Sleep started improving some after about 4 weeks, but I still have some issues with insomnia after 2 months off. I tend to have a few nights of insomnia followed by a few nights of 9+ hours of sleep. I’ve felt incredibly weak and fatigued for about the last 4 weeks, even when I get sleep. I’m depressed more days than not, and I have zero motivation for just about anything. Last week (8 weeks off), I had the first kidney stone of my life – drink plenty of water! By far the worst symptom for me is the “depersonalization” (if that’s what it is).

    Basically, I feel like a robot. I’m emotionally flat and it seems as if my thoughts, speech, and actions are not necessarily my own. It is incredibly unnerving because I’ve lost myself somehow. But I have faith that my true self will soon return. How is life after 2 months off? I plan on finding out! I didn’t see a lot of posts here from folks enduring a protracted withdrawal, so I’ll try to post monthly updates. My understanding is that the withdrawal length and severity varies with the individual, but that things will generally start looking better 3-6 months after quitting as the body makes the required changes.

    I’ve read testimonies from people that have gotten through the protracted withdrawal, and they all guarantee that life on the other side is amazing and well worth all the pain of withdrawal Keep the faith! My heart goes out to anyone that has to deal with this drug. If you’re still taking Klonopin, my advice is to get a plan together to get off. It’s a slog, but life in tolerance withdrawal is not really living – it’s a muted copy of life. Let all your friends and family know that you’re quitting a drug as addictive as heroine. The support is so important! And remember – YOU CAN DO IT!!!

  • Lyn November 24, 2015, 1:20 am

    Hello. I have been on Klonopin for at least 20 years-after my son was diagnosed with a mental disorder. I have also been taking Zoloft for the same amount of time. .05 of Klonopin, 100mg Zoloft – both everyday. In the past year, I’ve had leg cramps (charlie horse), tinnitus, and GI problems. Have had all kinds of physicals – everything is fine! However, I am starting to have a lot of anxiety, depression, and tight jaw, tight muscles. Is it possible to have withdrawal symptoms even if on the same dose everyday? Thank you.

    • GLOOM November 24, 2015, 11:52 pm

      Assuming you’re still taking the drugs, your symptoms wouldn’t be properly classified as “withdrawal symptoms.” Withdrawal symptoms are symptoms experienced while discontinuing (e.g. tapering) or after complete cessation. You are most likely experiencing long-term side effects, or reactions that emerged after an extended term of treatment. Hope this makes sense.

    • Susan December 7, 2015, 1:55 am

      Yes, I have too.

  • Poppy December 1, 2015, 12:58 am

    Age of 26, I went through, a severe postpartum depression with anxiety. Doctor prescribed, 12mg Daily of Xanax. I was still taking 12mg Xanax, when I reached 40 years. Doctor sent me to rehab for xanax addiction. At rehab the doctor diagnosed me with severe anxiety. He put me on klonopin 8mg. Stayed on 8mg a day for 20 years. Klonopin 8mg/day, helps my anxiety, but now my doctor has taken me off CT. I am having severe withdrawal. HELP!

    • Patrice December 3, 2015, 5:21 pm

      Poppy, You have been on this website reading. Do as everyone here suggests. No Cold Turkey. You must go off of this medication slowly. Very slowly especially with the amount you have been taking and the length of time. God Bless you.

      • Karen December 5, 2015, 6:41 pm

        Patrice, please share if you’d like how you are doing now after 5 months. I am almost 3 months off and am still struggling every day. Emotional/mental, sweating, aches, insomnia are the worst symptoms along with anxiety big time. I know that there will be an end to this HELL and am keeping the faith!! Thanks for sharing your story. Be well.

      • Poppy January 6, 2016, 2:56 am

        Patrice, Thank you for your response. I have lost all control of my life. I am a sight for sore eyes. I am very unstable on my feet, (fall a lot) I have broken my wrist and now my foot is sprained from a fall. This is a difficult time to be in this condition, my father just passed away, my mom is ill and needs my help.

        My daughter, any day now, will give birth to my granddaughter. My family, (Brother, sister, daughters) are very angry that their mother is a drug addict. When I was given Xanax, it was fairly new, and my doctor, said “not addictive” and in rehab, I was told I would have to take klonopin for the rest of my life for crippling anxiety. Take care Patrice and God Bless you also.

    • Karen December 5, 2015, 2:25 am

      Poppy, sounds like your doctor doesn’t have a clue how to help you withdraw. You may have to go back on a maintenance dose for a while and then withdraw very, very slowly. There are many helpful suggestions above on how to do a safe withdrawal. Look up Ashton Manual as a reference. My heart goes out to you and I hope all goes well for you. Stay strong, you can do it!

      • Poppy January 6, 2016, 2:37 am

        Karen, Thanks for your advice. I am trying to convince a doctor, that I am going through withdrawal. All I hear, “the Klonapin, is no longer in your body.” I have read, withdrawal could last for years. My mom is ill, in a nursing home and really needs my help, but I am unable to drive. My children, do not want my grandchildren, around me, until I can control my physical withdrawal. Every day, I think, today, is going to be much better, no tremors, no sweating, etc. but just another day with more w/d. It seems hopeless.

  • Omar December 6, 2015, 3:23 am

    24 years old – 6 years total. 18-22 yrs recreational xanax abuser (never hooked)…. then it crept up on me. From 22-present I’ve had a problem with xanax and klonopin. I currently have a problem. Friends with similar habits found a legitimate doctor with a lazy office that fails to check new patient intake info. Finding this out I proceeded to the new doctor’s office and filled out that I was currently on 2mg of xanax and klonopin each per day as needed (only doing this to ensure I’d be mentally at ease and not have to deal with buying off the streets ever again, not ever taking 2mg of each per day).

    I began to live life taking .5mg-1mg of xanax in the morning followed by a similar dose after dinner or before bed. This recreational habit soon turned habitual and I found that as a full time college student the xanax was simply too heavy and overtaking and that although I never liked the klonopin because it made me oddly emotional which was clearly attributable to the drug, I would switch because it was less intense during my long days of class, and ultimately I was less groggy in the mornings.

    I initially saw this as the lesser or two evils but as my case is no different than any of yours over the course of time I saw my problem for what it was and have been somewhat hopelessly at terms with the fact that I’m drug dependent at this point in my life. I want badly to be off and have tried CT several times never making it more than 2-3 days before going back to my usual dose until this past week where I went 8 days CT until tonight when I decided I could no longer deal with the withdrawal.

    In addition currently I am rehabbing a shoulder injury and attempting to recover from a stomach infection neither of which are serious in nature but coupled with withdrawal symptoms were all three together (klonopin+stomach+shoulder) collectively unbearable. As it stands I’ve come considerably down in my dose in the last year since realizing the severity of what I’d done. I went from -5mg-1mg 2x a day to .5mg-1mg just at nights but am hopelessly lost as to the taper method. Can anyone give me an honestly answer should I taper with klonopin vs. xanax given that I have both.

    I just want to be done and have been telling myself that for other a year while trying to get off. This site is honestly the only help I have. I know this was far from a clear and concise post but considering I’m coming off 8 days CT from like 4 years of use 2 years of dependent abuse I’m trying to stabilize from the full run of symptoms I’ve been suffering through and first clear up my stomach infection and properly rehab my shoulder injury so I can plan out a taper schedule that will work, and can focus on getting off on it’s own.

    PLEASE reply with anything you feel may help or be helpful. I still have time but doing this alone is not easy and keeping it private is not helping. I’m really in limbo between asking for help and waiting to heal my stomach then attempting to taper more effectively on my own. Like everyone has stated there is so little known and help is few and far between in doctors. Obviously I may need to seek out a psychologist sooner than later if I need help tapering which will be a a first and another complete unknown.

    I know this post was a mess, I’m fine normally just very out of it right now after 8 days CT. Headache is still throbbing 20 minutes after caving and taking a 1mg dose. Neck still hurts a lot and I haven’t slept in three days. Hopefully I can get some healthy sleep tonight and check back in tomorrow. Thanks and hope to hear from anyone.

  • Omar December 6, 2015, 10:16 pm

    Got some legitimately good sleep last night (8-9ish solid hours) and feel back to the general state of normalcy one could be at in this condition. I see myself shaking off the depersonalization I was beginning to go through in the depths of the last 2/8 days I’d gone CT. I realize that to be the most severe of the symptoms I’d gone through along with being extremely light-headed with blurred vision which is the exact feeling I’ve felt before I’ve very briefly (waken within 2-5 seconds) unconsciously fainted in the past 6 years (all not drug/panic related, all in ironic and funny non serious situations so not something I’ve ever been concerned about) except I was propped up to faint onto my couch, but wasn’t fainting which was the honest reason I quit CT after 8 days.

    Because along with the headaches this onset fainting feeling was scaring me about the ideas of potential brain damage or a possible seizure given that I wasn’t fainting but I felt I was about to for hours and my headache pressure was increasing tremendously and I could at either in my mind or in actuality (in a withdrawal state who could be sure) feel that my brain was heating up yet I have no fever. I know that sounds reasonably silly but I feel that I definitively know the difference between legitimate pain vs. fatigue vs. the warm sensation of withdrawal (jelly legs, wobbly arms, odd feeling in feet and hands) and this feeling that I honestly thought my brain was heating up and could lead to who knows what.

    Then I began fearing that not fainting but feeling the feeling that usually has brought it on in the past wasn’t necessarily lucky as I felt maybe if I did faint this wouldn’t be one of norm where I popped right back up but could possibly be the seizure. This was all anxiety/paranoia brought on by withdrawal, yet still ironically something I felt withdrawal or not this could be a medical concern and I did not want an ER visit under an circumstances as I have no yet made any kind of a decision as to who to include in this process and how to go about it.

    Now that I am thinking clearly, my questions for going through withdrawal again in the near future after a proper taper once I’ve cured my stomach infection and done the recommended physical rehab to restrengthen my shoulder are what if anything can any of you recommend to combat any of the feelings. I understand exercise is great to help recreate the GABA you’ve depleted as well as healthy eating. Past that, can anyone say if they’ve had any success during their taper or after they’ve completely gone off with specifically, the headaches (taking anything besides tylenol or Advil) if so, what and how has it helped. Past that can anyone recommend things, foods, activities to stay away from.

    Also I know this sounds trivial in the grand scheme but I feel it’s worth asking. Even on a proper taper from everything I’ve read 99% of posters claim the first month is the roughest followed by potentially several more although everything is a case to case basis I don’t expect to be “normal” in a month and understand full well people are severely affected even multiple years after successfully taper off and being officially “in the clear”. That was a bit wordy but the question from that lead up was, what have any of you done to pass the time.

    Most people seem to make a sizable time commitment especially that first month to deal with their problem so even if you work/go to school all day or all night, when you’re free at home what do you do. My insomnia made sleep impossibly for multiple days and nights and the stomach pains led to zero appetite along with the hypersensitivity to sound and light TV and Music were pretty much out. So who had done what during the “worst of it” and how has it helped.

    I’m a huge fan of movies, new and old as well as a fan of good TV so I find trouble filling the void of time that would normally occupy as even though watching while feeling sh*tty is mildly enjoyable, doing it at minimum brightness and volume is beyond stupid which I’m aware of. I live alone, am 24, active and in shape, just finding it hard to figure out what to occupy my time with when the symptoms are are their worst and something like going for a run doesn’t seem doable with the light-headedness and nausea.

    THANKS to all for personal posts and any replies to my own. Good Luck to everyone in their respective situations.

  • Gregg December 7, 2015, 5:48 pm

    I am on 8 mg per day. Can you guys explain to me how to taper off? My doctor doesn’t believe in the Ashton method at all.

  • Pamela H Hazel December 10, 2015, 12:18 am

    I have had cold-turkey withdrawal from Klonopin imposed on me twice by the same hospital, when I was being treated on an emergency basis for other serious conditions. I had been taking 3 mg Klonopin daily for years. During the first withdrawal, I hallucinated for 3 days, including before and after major surgery. During the second, I experienced spikes in anxiety, scary spikes in blood pressure, memory problems, panic attacks and finally a seizure.

    The symptoms the second time were probably aggravated by my response to two other drugs I could not tolerate: Prozac and Norvasc. I find it astonishing that the hospital on neither occasion even considered the possible adverse effects of abrupt Klonopin withdrawal, and that none of my doctors (all of whom knew about my usage) found the continued use of Klonopin to be problematical.

  • Patrice December 13, 2015, 11:05 pm

    Karen, I’m sorry if there is some confusion, but I am 5.5 months into tapering. I was initially on .5 in the a.m. and .5 at night. So 1 mg daily. I began by cutting .25 a.m. the .25 in the p.m. – .25 in the a.m. and .25 in the p.m. – until I got to .25 total dose in the a.m. and .25 total dose in the p.m.

    Then I started cutting my pills .25 of .25 in the a.m. then .25 of .25 in the p.m. That is now where I stand and have been there for the last 4 weeks. I have been on YouTube and watched tapering by water. I’m going to start going really, really slow from this point forward because I’m not feeling the best. My anxiety level comes and goes.

    I have been resting frequently, using the app on my phone called Head Space for meditation, visiting the gym 5/6 days a week, and today I’m going to start taking Magnesium, B-complex and vitamins c & d. So I feel I have a ways to go. This is a miserable journey, but moving forward I will look at herbal and other remedies before pharmacist drugs anymore. I hope this helps Karen.

  • Barbara December 14, 2015, 7:40 pm

    This drug is the worst to withdraw from. I was on 4mg/day for 7 years. My physician moved out of state leaving me stranded. The pharmacies are so astringent to their rules because of all of the narcotic overdoses and deaths that have occurred. Despite my anxiety disorder, I want to come off of this drug. I have been able to cut down to 2mg/day, but it took me 5 months, and horrible withdrawal symptoms. I’m determined. Please get some help for your withdrawal symptoms. It’s very dangerous to go cold turkey. You could have a seizure. Hang in there. Best wishes to you.

  • Karen December 15, 2015, 2:56 am

    Thanks for clarifying, Patrice. I was just wondering how people are doing multiple months totally off the drug. Yesterday at 3 months 3 days off of it, I had a significant decrease in anxiety for the first time. Still having many symptoms but am confident that I am healing daily. I also go to the gym almost every day And meditate frequently which I think helps. I am looking forward to an end to this nightmarish journey and being able to live life to the fullest! I am keeping all of my benzo survivor friends in my thoughts and pray that each of us stays strong, positive and peaceful.

  • jessie greenacre December 16, 2015, 5:04 pm

    My son has been on clonazepam 1 mg for about a year or longer. He took 1/2 morning and noon and 1 at night… they recently took him off of BC they said it was very addictive and started him on zonegran. They started the weaning process gradually in September and by October he was completely off of it… and that is when everything changed with him. He is only nine years old and has numerous disabilities.

    Since being off the medicine, it is like he suffers from major paranoia, backs away from people, crawls under tables, and keeps his head down unless he is home. Everybody has seen a major difference in him and his anxiety and sensory issues are awful. We can’t go anywhere, and his anxiety was being controlled. Could his problems be from the withdrawal of the medicine or something else? Please help me.

    • GLOOM December 16, 2015, 10:18 pm

      His problems could be from an interplay of factors including: an underlying neurological condition, withdrawal from Clonazepam (it can be protracted), as well as the start of zonegran (e.g. side effects). I’d suggest seeking a reputable neurologist and/or psychiatrist for legitimate evaluation, as well as a quality psychotherapist for non-medicinal coping strategies. Best of luck.

    • Karen December 19, 2015, 2:09 am

      Since everything changed with him when he came off of the Klonopin, it seems that that could be the major factor in his symptoms. I agree that consulting a trusted reputable benzo doctor would be the way to go. If possible, consulting Heather Ashton would definitely be a plus as well. I hope it works out for your son and pray you both have strength to endure this process. God bless.

    • Carol Downes May 7, 2016, 11:56 pm

      Your son was taken off clonazepam much too quickly. He should taper off by 1/8 of a .50 mg tablet at a time. It takes me at least FOUR WEEKS (4 weeks) of cutting down 1/8 of a tablet at a time. (Tapering 1/8 of a tablet ONE week at a time is a cruel joke!) It sometimes even takes me 5 weeks after I’ve cut out 1/8 of a .50 mg tablet before I can taper down by another 1/8 of a .50 mg tablet.

      Whoever had this child cut down on clonazepam so quickly did not know what they were doing! I had a doctor take me off of clonazepam cold turkey. That happened 2 years ago. I had to go back on my full dose of 2 mg a day, four .50 mg tablets a day. Almost a year later I started to taper off slowly. I got down to one & one half .50 mg tablets a day when I had to stop due to withdrawal symptoms.

      Another doctor had me start tapering off the clonazepam again in late January, 2016. I got down to one .50 mg tablet, but have had a lot of withdrawal symptoms, so I didn’t start tapering again until 5 weeks later. Now I am taking 7/8 of a .50 mg tablet a day. I’ll wait 4 or 5 weeks or more, depending on withdrawal symptoms, before I taper down by another 1/8 of a tablet.

      My heart cries for your son. To have been taken off clonazepam by someone who doesn’t know how to taper off clonazepam properly, was cruel. You need to find a psychiatrist who specializes in tapering off clonazepam, who will put him back on the drug so he can go off of it properly. That is what I know about the clonazepam part of his problems.

      I know nothing about the zonegran he was put on or anything about any of his other problems. But to have a child add a clonazepam withdrawal problem, which is often a huge problem, to all of his other problems, is a crime in my book. Clonazepam is a horrible drug. My opinion is that NO NEW PATIENTS should be put on it.

  • R December 19, 2015, 6:43 pm

    Was on klonopin for 2 years 7 years ago for panic attacks and got off it, somehow. Took it recently for serotonin syndrome and stayed on it, thinking it would help my anxiety again for 10 doses over 14 days. 0.5 mg had always been my dosage, but realized I now had built-up a tolerance. I stopped since I had taken it for such short time, thinking staying on it longer to wean would add more drug to my system. It’s been 14 days and I have slept a total of maybe 12 hours. How long can the insomnia last after such a short duration? Anyone have insomnia like this?

  • Marcio rocha de Albuquerque December 22, 2015, 10:35 pm

    Hi from Brazil. Before you ask, I am posting here because there are very few people on the Brazilian blogs dedicated to subject at hand. Besides it is a chance to improve my writing skills. That doesn’t mean that the klonopin dependency problem does not exist in my country. 10% of Brazilians take antidepressants. My dependency on this kind of med started in 1982 when I had a nervous breakdown caused by work related stress.

    I also had insomnia, and I felt relieved after starting taking Bromazepan. I felt great, at ease, comfortable, more social, more open. I am a shy person and everybody noticed my mood change. Then in 2010 I developed tolerance for the drug and I switched to Klonopin, known here as Rivotril. A few years later, I become irritated.

    The doctor prescribed me Escitalopram. I used to take it in the morning and Klonopin 2 hrs before bed. I felt great , but my sex drive waned sharply. I apologize for bringing this subject of sex, but I do think it is a great part of our lives. I was increasingly disappointed with my lack of libido and then last Thursday, after my wife complained bitterly about it, I decided to stop taking all my antidepressants altogether. Cold turkey.

    The first 2 days were OK and I thought I could do without them. The third day hit me with an array of symptoms. Anxiety and insomnia came back with a revenge. To be continued. Dinner time.

  • MRAA December 27, 2015, 2:52 am

    Hello again. It has been one week now since I started tapering down. I am taking 1 mg of clonazepam every night 2 hours before bed. It was a big reduction from the 2 mg I had been taking for five years. The sailing is smoother now, contrary to what I feared. Pre syncope, a vague anxiety, sensitivity to sound, trouble sleeping are my symptoms. The upside: my sex drive is back, my mind is clearer, my memory is working better, I have more energy.

    Since I was taking an antidepressant and 2 mg of clonazepam, I am not sure if the symptoms come from going cold turkey on the first or tapering off steeply of the latter. What really matters is that I am doing great and I regard the symptoms as a sign of recovery from these insidious drugs. Best wishes of recovery to you all and a happy new year.

  • Deb January 1, 2016, 5:35 am

    I lost my insurance and am now in the process of tapering off. I was on 2mg at night for anxiety and sleep. I am now on 1mg at night for two months and my main symptom is waking up in the morning with some anxiety and some depression. However my husband also lost his job (that’s why we lost our insurance) so I feel some depression is expected. I see my doctor in two months and will talk to him about my next taper, but honestly I’m gaining weight like crazy!!!! I haven’t seen anyone else say this is happening to them. I work out at least 5 days a week (sometimes twice a day). Any insight would be appreciated.

    • Patrice January 8, 2016, 4:49 pm

      Deb, One of the side effects to this med is weight loss. Well, on the downside when tapering, the side effects is weight gain. I have gained 30 lbs and attend the gym, like you, 5 days a week. I can’t shake the weight. Not a fun thing especially when I truly enjoyed my 140 lb body. Now I hate my 188 lb body. God be with you, he’s been by my side the whole way, and what an awesome God he has been. Good luck.

  • Chris January 1, 2016, 10:14 pm

    Wow… I can’t believe I was prescribed this crap 6 months ago for bad insomnia when ambien wasn’t working well. I stopped cold turkey about 6 days ago and have been experiencing just about every symptom so badly I ended up at the hospital not knowing what was going on. I am very scared at what symptoms will be permanent, but I will not go back on it.

    Should I be worried about going cold turkey and having all these symptoms. I worry how long it will take for this crap to be out of my system and worry the worst is yet to come. Any ideas from anyone on what to do or expect? I haven’t slept 1 minute literally and just sit up all night with anxiety through the roof. I would tell anyone thinking of going on this…DON’T!! Tia

    • Marcio rocha de Albuquerque January 2, 2016, 11:20 pm

      Chris, the first days are the worst. Try melatonin.

      • Chris January 6, 2016, 5:32 pm

        Thanks. I did try the melatonin and have in the past too but it does not work one bit. It has been 2 weeks now and I am still having nausea, can’t sleep, heart palps, high blood pressure, and so on. I read that the withdrawals don’t even start until days 5-14 depending on the person. Every day I keep hoping this will be a better day, but it is hard to deal with so many symptoms at once. And I do understand why so many end up going back on, but I refuse to put that crap in me again.

        • Marcio rocha de Albuquerque January 10, 2016, 1:40 pm

          Chris, hang in there. I know it is hard, I skipped a dose the day before yesterday and did not sleep at all. I was irritated all day. One good way of dealing with the withdrawal symptoms is to focus on the positive side. My sex drive is back, my thoughts are clear, my decision making process is no longer impaired (I took some bad decisions under the influence of this drug).

          Over the years I was using 2 mg of clonazepam, I developed lactose intolerance and rhinitis. After two weeks into withdrawal, both ailments subsided. Whatever happens, don’t give up. The rewards are enormous. It’s worth the effort. You are crossing a desert. Just move on and you will reach the oasis.

  • Poppy January 6, 2016, 2:18 am

    I have been fainting, due to withdrawal and anxiety. I was taken to the ER two weeks ago with symptoms of a stroke. Told doc that I was unable to move my left side, unable to walk, perspiring profusely, etc. because I have been on high doses of Xanax and Klonopin for 30+ years and my Shrink stopped the meds CT.

    After spending the night and lots of tests, Doc said he had no clue what my problem was. I said, withdrawal from benzos CT. Doc said absolutely not, my w/d would only last 3 days. I have no control over my body or my life. I cannot afford to find a doctor, that really understands about withdrawal.

    • Patrice January 8, 2016, 4:59 pm

      Poppy, Fainting, as in completely blacking out? I don’t have that. Are you working? What about your blood pressure? Will your doctor not help you taper? So sorry about all of this. I’m having my own issues. Started on July 4th tapering from 1 mg. It’s now January and I am on my last .25 in the AM and .25 in the PM. I’m using water titration and have gotten my doses down to .19 in the AM and .19 in the PM. So approximately 1/4 less of .25 each dose.

    • James Swan April 28, 2016, 8:54 am

      Xanax and Klonopin… Fire the Doctor! I live in Thailand. My exposure to the family of Benzo’s, isn’t really important. The fact that you and Myself are currently visiting this Benzo’s help site, speaks volumes. I deal with Thai Doctors, they are definitely not trained in traditional Western Medical Practices!! Unfortunately, they prescribed the medications without asking questions… Basically.

      Myself, I’m on my approximately, four month of Tapering off both the above mentioned drug etc at 0.50mg Alprazolam and 0.50 Klonopin am/pm… 12 years of usage (these are the prescription levels, and I definitely kept them the same). (12 years, no abuse or whatever)! Having 30+ years of sobriety (Alcohol and Drugs). I am not happy to find myself in this position.

      To address your needs, I can only tell you how I feel. We are all human beings, and thus prone to making bad decisions. Letting anyone tell you how or what to put in your body, is a recipe for disaster. Seriously, having as many years in Sobriety, I should have been able to assess the situation. I did not. The Withdrawal Symptoms from the Benzo’s, are very scary and difficult to cope with.

      I have Tapered off the Klonopin in the past, without knowing about the withdrawal or Tolerance Withdraws as such. Like many others, I was told from the start “be prepared to take the drugs forever!” It does not matter why or whatever, I was prescribed the medications for a reason. 99.95% of individuals are in the same position as myself. I didn’t intend to get addicted or abuse the above mentioned levels, however I did and am addicted” 100%”…

      I’m almost 67, and living in the S.E. Asia with “0” support in dealing with the problem. My Thai Family Members don’t understand, and your not going to get support from the Thai Doctors. Unfortunately, I decided on my own to Taper off, without even thinking about the facts surrounding the issue. However, being four months into the process, I can’t go backwards.

      My best friends in my past life before Sobriety, were Drugs & Alcohol. It’s a matter of choices now. Having been down the very long road before, I can assure you, things can and will be better. Like many other people, I’m happy to help and be helped… James

  • Cindy January 7, 2016, 7:42 pm

    I have been on clonazepam for 25 years. Last January under my doctors advice I have gradually getting off it. This has been the hardest thing I have ever done! I have so many of the symptoms listed and people just do not realize how hard this is! The past 6 months have been the hardest. Currently I am taking 1/8 of a .25mg, twice per day. Hopefully I will return to living my life again… Can’t wait.

  • Jeannette January 9, 2016, 5:22 pm

    I started on klonopin about 3 years ago. Prior to that, it was xanax (started at .50 to 3mg extended release). So, it’s been 8 years total. I’m a 45 year old female and am currently being prescribed 3mg. Wonderful husband, no adorable children but two little fluff balls (cats) sisters named Faith & Joy. I have never (ever) submitted a post on any site before.

    This is new to me. I was actually doing research on “how to come off klonopin” and came across this site. It got my attention. Great facts! I want to go off this medication as well. I’m a stubborn person-cold turkey or continue. It seems that tapering is the way to go. I’ve heard horror stories about the withdrawals and experienced them myself. WOW everyone! They truly are nasty.

    You know what’s interesting though? when I did try cold turkey, I could feel myself coming back to life again (day 5) I felt happier. I could think more clearer. My tummy was feeling better (ibs), more energy…and I knew that this great feeling would be the end result. But the withdrawals forced me to go back on 3mg (brought be back to feeling depression, no motivation, fatigue and just BLAH)! I really want to taper off.

    My memory is starting to go and I’m so afraid of dementia. I’m to young. My grandmother was prescribed by her doctor; valium her ENTIRE life and she ended up with awful dementia her last 5 (?) years of her life. I have a great Doctor, but they said 1/2 mg each week when tapering and then out the door I go:(. I can’t do it. Oh, and I tried every anti/anxiety medication (Paxil, Effexor, cymbalta, Prozac, Wellbutrin, celexa, etc etc) and none worked over the coarse of my life.

    I want to head to the gym, diet and load myself with good vitamins. If there’s another lady out there that can relate to me and we can help each other, PLEASE keep me posted. Hope this post is still alive, because that’s how I want to feel again:). To all of you out there struggling? remember…it HAS to get better:)

    • Patrice January 13, 2016, 7:51 pm

      Jeannette, Id be happy to partner with you. It would be great sharing experiences. I am a lot further along than yourself, but that’s ok. I am alone in this situation other than my daughter and one friend. That is all the support that I feel I want. Family sometimes doesn’t always understand. I try not to burden my daughter with how I’m feeling on a daily basis.

      I’m not sure exactly what your battling at this time. If you’re wanting to taper off I can give you my advice. What I have learned from my experience and what my experiences have been. Just know that you are not crazy and not alone. This particular blog has helped me get through many a days. Please respond to me post so that I know you have seen it and we will try and touch base. Godspeed your recovery.

  • Marcio rocha de Albuquerque January 14, 2016, 11:21 am

    Hello everyone. I got a good nights sleep for Two consecutive nights since I started tapering down. This a major accomplishment for me because insomnia was one of the main reasons I started taking benzos. I’ve been in withdrawal for 26 days and this was the first night I could sleep properly. My reduction was abrupt: I cut my dose from 2 to 1 mg.

    All symptoms have subsided by now. I went through hell during the first week because I went cold turkey on Lexapro and started tapering off of clonazepam at the same time. I still feel pre syncope, that feeling I am about to faint, but it is getting less intense. Hang in there, folks. Just keep the positive attitude. Being on benzos makes you live an artificial life in which your true self does not show.

    Focus on the positive side, keep in mind that you will get your old self back, the real you, the real emotions. And think about dementia. It is a real possibility if you keep taking benzos for too long. The fear of dementia scared me into tapering down. I saw ppl with dementia who could barely get dressed. Don’t let a pill take away your self awareness, your abilities, your skills. There is life beyond benzos.

    YOU JUST HAVE TO FIGHT FOR IT. DO NOT GIVE UP.

  • Kool C January 14, 2016, 3:24 pm

    I myself am trying to come off rivotril (klonopin) after a year. I read BenzoBuddies and started weaning off .5 mg. I started initially at 1mg in the beginning at nights for around 2 months then went to .5mg at nights until now. I am off of it 4 days now. Although this drug helps with sleep, it makes me feel funny especially when trying to come off.

    I have tried a few times and was discouraged by symptoms and went back on. I am tired of going back and forth. Mostly all the symptoms listed above I got. The doctor told me it is too much of a small dose to cause these problems, that it is my mind reacting this way. I was placed on Paxil CR 25mg 5 months ago to see if I can successfully come of rivotril. I too have lost weight and eating is a problem.

    I cry and my eyes hurt me so much in fact my whole body. From reading the forum I will try to stick it out. It is only 4 days and I know I have a long way to go but I need all the encouragement I can get. My thoughts also seem out of whack. I wonder if I can take Kalms tablets during the process until I am better. Can anyone give me some advice? I am depressed, but I am praying everyday for a good outcome.

  • Don January 14, 2016, 4:10 pm

    I was on .5 mg per day for 2 years. I had a compounding pharmacist make it into a liquid in order to wean slowly. I started out in July of 2015 lowering the dosage by .04 mg every two weeks. I did that a few times and it became too difficult. I then started dropping at .02 mg every two weeks and am now down to .08 mg.

    I have a few more weeks and I’m done. Some of the doses you all are dropping are too big in my opinion. Slow and steady wins the race. Keep in mind that this drug is powerful. .5 mg of klonopin = 10 mg of Valium. Not such a small dose. Good luck!!

    • Kool C January 16, 2016, 6:49 pm

      Don, How did you feel on you low dosage of .02 every two weeks and what did you use to measure your dosage. -Kool C

  • Erin January 14, 2016, 4:38 pm

    I feel kind of stupid asking about this because I was on Klonopin for a very short amount of time compared to most folks I’ve read comments from…but I’m experiencing fairly bad withdrawal symptoms. About a month ago I took, based on the NP’s prescription, .5 mg 2 times per day. After a few days of that, I only took .5 mg one time per day because it left me too foggy/lethargic to work.

    I took the .5 mg one time per day at night for about 3 weeks and then tapered to .25 mg one time per day for about 5 days. The NP said it was fine to taper off. Since I felt fine going down to .25mg (no noticeable sleep changes or withdrawal symptoms), I stopped taking it completely last Friday. I felt fine until Monday morning, but then started shaking very badly. I really want to go off the drug because even in that short time it increased my depression and led to some difficult issues.

    I tried to just ride out the w/d symptoms (very shaky, rapid heartbeat, headaches, extremely jumpy, problems sleeping, dizzy, numbness in arms and legs, mind racing and problems focusing) thinking they would start to decrease, but I couldn’t fall asleep last night. So at 3:30 am, I took .125 mg and about an hour later, was able to sleep for 2 hours before I had to get up. My friend said that it couldn’t be w/d symptoms after being on it for such a short time and it was probably just a standard anxiety attack.

    But my anxiety attacks have virtually none of the above symptoms. I’m wondering, should I take .125mg for a week or so, and then go down to every other day and then stop taking it? Any advice on that? I’m doing my best to function today but am having a lot of difficulties being around people and not completely melting down. I also have an all-day work meeting tomorrow.

    I really don’t want to go back up to .25 mg (I know that’s a very low dose for most people, but I tend to have greater sensitivity to most drugs) because I’m scared it will cause more w/d symptoms when I do come off of it. Any advice would be appreciated. It seems like such a lot of symptoms to manage for such a short time on it and I feel like I’m losing my mind.

    • Patrice January 15, 2016, 4:02 pm

      Erin, Go back to the pill that gave you somewhat of relief and you could function. Next look up on YouTube… water titration. Start dissolving your tablets with 100 ml of water. Slowly, every 7 to 10 days lower your dose by 1 ml. It will take some time but it sure helps with the withdrawal. This is not going to be fast but it shouldn’t be. Look over the Ashton Manuel on the internet as well. Keep reading this blog and it will help you feel better as well. At least you won’t feel like you are alone. God Speed. Patrice

  • Gary January 15, 2016, 2:52 pm

    I’ve been on Clonazepam for 10 years at a dosage of 1.5 mg all at night for sleep. Just went off my second night cold turkey. Feel like I only slept two hours each night. Wondering if I should go back and start tapering or tough it out as I don’t really feel that bad. Just mainly tired throughout the day, a little dizzy, hard to concentrate, and don’t feel as intelligent. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Karen January 17, 2016, 6:31 pm

      Gary, everyone is different with this process but I’m pretty certain that cold turkey is not the way to go. I tapered down by 0.125 (1/4 pill) over 10 months and for me, I still don’t think that that was slow enough. I have many intense symptoms that still persist after 4 months completely off the drug. Do not underestimate the strength, potency and danger of this poisonous drug. Stay positive, go slow and take care of yourself.

    • Patrice January 18, 2016, 5:56 am

      Gary, You should read my post. I was on 1 mg for 11 yrs. I’ve been tapering since July 2015. You might want to re-think. Read the above post. This should help you. Good Luck.

  • Eve January 24, 2016, 12:13 am

    So any ideas if there is anything that one can take to at the very least take the edge off these withdrawal symptoms? This is hell! Any advice would be great. :(:(

  • Mike January 24, 2016, 10:42 pm

    I was on them over a decade, 1mg at bedtime for sleep. A doctor pulled me off cold turkey. I went manic… it was awful. I didn’t get more than 1 hr sleep for a month. I finally figured it was the Klonopin… she gave them back and I slept good. Now for the past week, I do 1/2mg one night, then 1/4 mg the next night.

    Normally I get 7.5hr sleep first night and 5 hrs second night. I had no chills, fever, aches, etc. Just insomnia. Now I added a melatonin and a benadryl at bedtime… works for me so far. I plan to drop all the K within a month. Then I’ll stop the OTC stuff one by one. Benzo’s are now said to cause Alzheimers if used over 6 months. (http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/benzodiazepine-use-may-raise-risk-alzheimers-disease-201409107397).

    • Linda January 27, 2016, 2:26 am

      I went off Klonopin 0.5 mgs 1-2 times if needed daily…Jan 15, 2016. I am getting heart palps and racing of the heart. The doctors ruled out a heart condition and saying it’s anxiety. Hang in there. You can do it. Any input on others going through this is appreciated.

  • Jackie January 25, 2016, 8:59 pm

    Hi I’m Jackie I am on 0.05 clonazepam for 8 years now and wanting off I read all the stories on this website and most are so promising and everyone is awesome support. I take 0.05 3X per day and I read slowly decrease someone mentioned 0.125 mg per day… I don’t understand if I’m taking 3 per day @ 0.05 do I do one pill at a time or cut .125 for all 3? I am having withdrawals and haven’t even started weaning, so I know the dose wants me to up it. NO MORE of the drug. Any help would be appreciated. GODSPEED.

    • Patrice February 1, 2016, 2:54 am

      Jackie, Cut one pill at a time. You might want to try water titration. Check out on YouTube. It works really well for me. I cut about 1 mg every 2 weeks. After this last cut a week ago, I’m going to start cutting 1/2 mg every 2 weeks. Meaning I will cut 1/2 mg at night for 2 weeks then cut 1/2 mg at day for 2 weeks. Moving back and forth.

      I’m down to .18 at night and .18 in the a.m. out of .50 in the AM and .50 in the PM. Almost at .25 total dosage (meaning .125 in the AM and .125 in the PM). Best of luck, but you must move slow. I’ve been tapering since July 4 of 2015 and its now Jan. 2016. VERY SLOW!!!!

  • Dwight February 1, 2016, 9:12 pm

    I have been taking Clonazepam 1mg for insomnia for the last 8 years. I finally have a CAP machine that is helping me sleep better. I am glad I found this site. I had no idea this stuff would have withdrawal symptoms like this. I stopped taking after my prescription ran out, its been 5 days with out, cold turkey. I feel horrible, headache, hot flashes, weak, nauseous, lite headed, shaky. I am gonna renew it and wean myself off slowly.

  • R February 2, 2016, 12:13 am

    Took klonopin 8 years ago for about 2 & 1/2 years as needed 2-3 times a week. Stopped not knowing any better and had no problems. Took it again for about 5 weeks recently (2-3 times a week), wasn’t working the same and quit 0.5mg… been off 4 weeks and have horrible anxiety, panic, tremors, even hypersalivation (anyone else have this?), which is terrible at night and keeps me from sleeping.

    Worried that kindling may take place from years ago and prolong my withdrawal. Anyone have any experience with this and did anyone else take as needed like me and suffer long term? The total I took in the 5 weeks was about 8mg. God bless.

  • R February 2, 2016, 12:26 am

    Psychiatrists for the most part use their power to control people’s lives. Mine would not even here of switching to Valium to taper, he said just go cold turkey from 0.5 mg… and he is an addiction specialist. Sad.

  • Janet February 2, 2016, 9:19 pm

    I’ve been taking Clonazepam since 2004, 2 mg at night to sleep. My new doctor wanted to put me on a non habit-forming medicine for sleep and asked me to cut back the dosage and wean myself off. I decided that I was going to quit cold turkey without telling her. I am experiencing everything everyone is describing in these posts.

    I am very strong willed and I exercised hard every day, or did until I stopped with it. I have not taken any for 6 days. Reading all this I wonder if I should start taking it again, but cut the dosage and continue? By doing this I wonder if it it will lessen the withdrawal, or hurt the fact that I started out cold turkey?

  • Marcio rocha de Albuquerque February 2, 2016, 9:36 pm

    It’s been 47 days since I started tapering off of clonazepam and I feel great. My sleep pattern is back to normal, about 6 hours of sleep. My dosage reduction was abrupt. From 2 MG daily to 1 MG. My cognitive skills were restablished, my memory is great. The pre syncope, that feeling you are about to faint, is gone.

    I sweat a lot now, that is the only annoying symptom. The vivid dreams are gone as well as the panic attacks. It is great to feel alive after decades of numbness. In a way, it is like stopping smoking. People who stop smoking after decades say they can taste the flavor of the food they eat.

    Comparatively, the taste of the food is the enhanced perception of the environment, the return of your emotions, the regained ability to sympathize with the plight of others. To sum it up, You just go back to being yourself again.

  • Vicky February 3, 2016, 1:01 am

    Another Clonazapam “victim” here! I started taking it last September for anxiety while awaiting an assessment by a psychiatrist who would most likely prescribe something for the long-term. At first I took it sporadically; half of a 0.5mg every other day or so in hopes that I wouldn’t become reliant on it. In December, still waiting for my appt, my Dr. said to take more if needed… so I went to 0.5mg every other day. Eventually it was only helping for a couple of hours so it was then that I knew I was becoming dependent.

    I was so freaked out I stopped cold turkey thinking it wouldn’t be too hard having only taken it every other day for just a few months… wrong! It’s been 2 weeks since my last dose and although I have had days since day 10 that I feel not bad, I still have days that aren’t so great. I saw my Dr. yesterday and told him that it’s been 2 weeks since my last dose and he said I shouldn’t at this point be having anymore withdrawal symptoms and that its just my anxiety.

    He wants me to go back on Lyrica (I took it for about 4 years for nerve damage but have been off it for almost 4 years now). I just wondered if there’s anyone out there that was taking a smaller dose like myself for a short time that stopped cold turkey and had withdrawal symptoms and if so how long did they last? I really don’t want to go on the Lyrica and I’m hoping that maybe giving this a bit more time, I will feel human again. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  • Deborah February 7, 2016, 1:58 am

    I am on a slow wean of Klonapin after being on .5mg/day for over 15 years. I have pretty significant generalized anxiety accompanied by panic attacks. On my first attempt, I just stopped cold turkey and was fine until day 3. On that day I felt that I could not breath and nearly drove myself to the hospital when I realized that I might be going through withdrawal.

    I then found this site and started a slow wean, cutting my dose by a quarter pill at a time. I did fine going from a full tablet to 3/4 of a tablet. I stayed on this amount for 2 and a half weeks. A couple of days ago, I went to half a tablet. This morning I woke up at 4 AM feeling the same way as I did when I went cold turkey…feeling like my heart is pounding and feeling like I can’t breathe.

    I got through the day but it occurred to me that these felt like the panic attacks that I had years ago and that is why I started Klonapin to begin with. I am thinking that maybe I am having break-through panic attacks on the lower dose. I am 62 and want to come off this medication but at the same time, these episodes are unbearable. I am also experiencing headaches.

    • Patrice February 8, 2016, 3:13 am

      Debrah, You might want to slow down a bit more. You need to go on YouTube and watch how to do water titration and dissolve your pills. You are going way to fast being on that low of a dosage. It generally takes me 2 weeks to adjust to dropping 1 mg, but I have been weaning since July 4, 2015 and it will take me quit a few more months until I’m finished.

      I exercise regularly, I do meditation(deep breathing) and also take Epsom salt baths to draw the chemicals from my body (as directed on pkg.). Slow and steady. Please read the post above by everyone. Sometimes your Dr. will give you Valium to help. The last .25 or .125 is the hardest to go. Sometimes I would wait weeks before tapering down again. I hope this helps.

    • J February 8, 2016, 2:56 pm

      It has been 24 days since I last took Clonazepam. I was prescribed it for social anxiety, and like others have mentioned, I wish I had never been prescribed it. I had been on it for approximately 15 years, and increased the dose (0.5mg) whenever I felt like I was going to be in a situation where my anxiety level would be increased. So, it became my crutch.

      It helped me to function at work and do other things like get married to my wonderful husband but my anxiety never went away. Other drugs that I tried never worked. I expected there would be symptoms of withdrawal, and after 2 weeks of not taking the pill some of the really bad feelings (dizziness, difficulty sleeping, night sweats, hallucinations, and intense shaking) went away.

      But my anxiety symptoms are ridiculous, I have difficulty swallowing, I feel intense pressure behind my eyes, feel hyper sensitive to noise, sweaty, and other feelings. I’m trying to remember if this is the way it was before I was taking this god awful pill. It has been interesting to hear what others are having to deal with. I too was concerned about research that suggested that taking the pill could lead to dementia. Yikes.

      I stopped taking clonazepam because I want to start a family. I have joined a therapy group that follows the principles of “Acceptance and Commitment” along the same lines as CBT. It incorporates Mindfulness Meditation. I hope for the best. Also to everyone who are struggling with the same thing, don’t lose hope, try your best. We’re clearly not alone in this fight.

      • Patrice February 9, 2016, 9:03 pm

        J, You never stated what mg you were taking on a daily basis, only that you increased .5 mg as needed. Also would like to know how long you have been tapering and what method you used. I’d like to know as well if the therapy has been beneficial? Thx.

        • J February 16, 2016, 8:31 pm

          Hi Patrice, I think I started with 2 pills a day and than ramped up to 3 (.5mg) daily. When I decided I needed to quit for good my family doctor had me go down to 2 pills for 2 weeks, and than 1 for 2 weeks (or longer if I needed it), and that was it. I didn’t go to half a pill although I had that option.

          So, yes, the symptoms of withdrawal were pretty severe but from what I’ve read tapering to a lower dosage over longer periods of time doesn’t seem to make a difference to the severity of withdrawal symptoms. I’m still feeling lightheaded, light/noise sensitivity, worse in the morning, gained weight, pressure behind the eyes, etc.

          My anxiety levels are still stronger than I remember but I can’t be sure since I had been taking clonazepam for so long. The group therapy is going well. I mean I have my ups and downs that is days where I feel hopeless and other days where I soldier on. It runs over 10 weeks and I attend once a week.

          I’m hoping to learn the tools that will help me manage my anxiety. I have to do homework anyways, I can tell you more once I’ve finished the 10 weeks. By the way I am Canadian. I gather this is an American website. Although very Happy to Share. Was very interested to read the other posts.

  • diane February 9, 2016, 4:36 am

    After 10 years on Clonazepam, a new doctor told me about the deleterious effects of long-term use. Like others on this site, I had no idea about the side effects. I just knew it cured the upper abdominal discomfort my then doctor said was anxiety related, after ruling out other causes. I reduced dosages and eventually came off entirely 3.5 months ago. I echo others who say, they couldn’t have stood it without this site.

    Some early, very upsetting symptoms have disappeared (I think/hope) but other annoying symptoms have cropped up which may or may not be related to Benzo withdrawal! I have no way of knowing for sure. I am now leery of any drug, including sleep aids, so I have difficulty dealing with the insomnia that still persists. I hope eventually my brain will have reordered itself and I can stop wondering if my memory is permanently damaged!

  • Allie February 18, 2016, 9:12 pm

    Hi, I had been taking .5mg of Klonopin for 5 months and tried to taper. Took 3/4 of a pill for 10 days, then 1/2 for 5. Started having weird symptoms: headache, metallic taste, fatigue, panic/anxiety, light-headedness, depression, etc. I am changing jobs and moving in the next six weeks, so I cannot afford to go through weeks of withdrawal symptoms. I returned to my .5mg dose yesterday. How long will these symptoms remain? Help!

    • Kelly P March 9, 2016, 11:09 am

      That is the trouble with this damn s**t the withdrawals are so horrendous, and last so long, you always end up going back to it. I don’t know what to do. I have a one year old son and should be returning to work and can’t even afford to pay the rent at this stage, but I cant do any of it because of the horrible withdrawals. I don’t know what to do mate I’m sorry, just keep at it, you’ve made it so far!!! Well done.

  • joe February 24, 2016, 2:19 pm

    It helped me to read all the comments on this. I suffer from general anxiety disorder. My psychiatrist put me on klonopin 3 mg daily. I stayed at this dose for a year. Finally I told him to taper me down to 2mg. Then I entered treatment to get off. I’m at 31 days and it’s been hell! I started getting migraines, sweats, and super high anxiety.

  • Rachel March 5, 2016, 5:09 am

    Thank you all for sharing your stories of dealing with this medication. I am in a difficult spot since I cannot find anyone else taking this drug for the same reason as myself. I was diagnosed 19 years ago with myoclonic epilepsy. I was prescribed clonazepam and also read that it is very effective for my type of seizure disorder. I was told I would likely build a tolerance and have to steadily increase my dosage over time and that I would be taking it the rest of my life.

    I feel that perhaps I am lucky in that I never had to increase my dosage to keep away my body muscle jerks. I have been taking 1mg daily for many years, occasionally increasing during stressful times but never for a long time. I also go a day or two without taking any, either out of forgetfulness or due to trying to not have to have it. Just recently I didn’t have any for a couple days, then had. 5mg and then noting for 2 days.

    The second day was horrible. It started with major muscle cramp in my leg, followed by a light headed spacey feeling, panic, heart racing, shakiness, and then later I felt as though I had a fever. At the onset I thought I might be having a stroke or heart attack. Felt absolutely awful. Headache set in after the first symptoms subsided. I ate food relaxed and did what I could to NOT think about it.

    It helped somewhat but not for the fever and leg cramp. My prescription was renewed (as I can’t risk a seizure) and what a difference in how I felt. Because of this and the long term negative effects, I would really love to not be taking this. I feel as though my myoclonic seizures could be controlled either by proper sleep and lifestyle, since I can go for some time without the drug and not suffer any seizure, but after having a few myoclonic jerks during this recent episode, I am unsure.

    Every person I’ve read about has taken this drug for anxiety and sleep disorders, mainly. Is there anyone out there taking this drug for something similar to my reason?

    • Restless Legs November 23, 2016, 7:58 pm

      Hi Rachel, I was prescribed clonazepam for my Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), an intolerable condition that I do not wish on anyone. I am reading this website now. I am preparing a tapering schedule as we speak. I’ll keep you posted on how it affects my RLS.

  • Shirley March 5, 2016, 4:01 pm

    I have been taking clonazepam 0.5mg a year Jan past. I have been trying to wean off this horrible drug started Jan 2016 by cutting back a little every two weeks. To date Mar 4 I am now taking 1/8 of the pill. I take 1/2 of the 1/8 pill at 9 and again at 1. Sometimes I can hardly wait for the 1 o’clock pill. I am experiencing tight head and dizzy with blurred vision. Anyone having these symptoms? Tomorrow I am starting to only take half of the pill. Wondering if this is ok.

  • Tom March 9, 2016, 12:31 am

    I have been taking 1 mg per day for about 30 years. It was prescribed for back pain due to muscle spasms. Honestly it works very well. However I hated being reliant on a pill to feel normal. There were a few times when the prescription ran out before I could obtain a refill and it was hell. I tapered off the pill by cutting the dosage in half for thirty days.

    Then cutting it in half again for the next 30 days. I continued doing this for three months. I tried stopping after a month on 1/8 of a pill but it was very uncomfortable. I then just put a few grains of a pulverized pill on the end of a dry finger and putting it on my tongue. I continue doing that for two weeks then I stopped taking it. The withdrawals after completing it have not been horrific they have however been uncomfortable.

    It has now been two weeks without any and the muscle pain has been very bad at times. My mood has been generally good and I am still very hopeful that the remainder of the withdrawal symptoms such as muscle pain and, I suppose, getting used to feeling the way I did in my head before taking it will not take too much longer. I will stick it out.

    After so many years taking Klonopin I expect it will take many months to feel comfortable without. Originally it was a rheumatologist who prescribed the Klonopin. She thought my joint and muscle pain would be helped. It did help but if I had known the very very strong brain addiction I was getting myself into I never would’ve taken it.

    Good luck to all of you and I know you wish me luck as well. While I am early In the game of being completely free of the pill I am very confident of success.

  • Marcio rocha de Albuquerque March 9, 2016, 10:12 pm

    It has been almost four months since I started tapering down. The only annoying symptom is the excess sweat resulting from physical exertion. Sex drive back to normal, sleeping ok, no anxiety, no headaches, just the occasional ouburst of rage when something bad happens, which was the main reason why I fell into this benzo trap. Hang in there folks, I thought I would not be able to get rid of those drugs, but here I am, alive and healthy at 60.

    • Shirley March 12, 2016, 3:34 pm

      How long were you on the drug and what mg dose?

      • marcio March 16, 2016, 3:31 pm

        Hi Shirley. I started taking clonazepam in July 2010,after 6 mg of bromazepam stopped being effective. The equivalency of 1 MG of clonazepam is 12 MG bromazepam. No wonder clonazepam is so effective. I used to take 2 MG daily 1 hour before bed. In 2012 I started taking escitalopram, an antidepressant. After learning about the danger of dementia for long term users, specially those older than 60 (I am 59) I tried to go cold turkey last December.

        I went without klonopin for two days. The withdrawal symptoms started on the third day. I found out later that the drug has an after life of 2-3 days. Thats why I didn’t have any symptoms in the first 2 days of withdrawal. I also found out that going cold turkey is dangerous. There is a high risk of convulsions and fainting. So I reduced my daily dosage to 1 MG.

        I stopped taking escitalopram altogether. It was hell but I got over it. Today I learned that the long-term use of antidepressants may cause type 2 diabetes. Next month I am going to reduce my daily dosage by 20%. I am gonna switch from tablet to liquid. One drop is the equivalent of 1 MG, so I am taking 8 drops.

        I hope this information has been useful to you. Thanks for asking. A piece of advice – Focus on the positive side of withdrawal, don’t worry about the symptoms. They are not you, they are just a result of your brain chemistry trying to readjust to the absence of this insidious drug. Good luck. Persevere and you will succeed.

  • Laura March 10, 2016, 10:38 pm

    4 & 1/2 months ago I was hospitalized for severe anxiety and depression. The doc got me on Escitalopram for depression and 2 mg clonazepam for anxiety. I was very grateful for the relief from anxiety. Unfortunately the only instructions I got on release were “wean yourself when you’re ready”.

    My first attempt was way too fast (2mg to 0 within a week – oops! Maybe she should have been more specific about tapering doses!) Within 5 days I was suicidal, terrified, crying nonstop and in Emergency because a friend insisted. Within 45 minutes of them giving me a dose, I was fine again. Still determined to get off, so a month ago I started tapering by half a dose every 10 days or so.

    That seems fast but I also have the support of the antidepressant, a naturopath experienced with withdrawal, and a craniosacral therapist. Also I only took the full dosage for less than 4 months. If I’m a little agitated as I transition to a new dose I take a passionflower tablet or lavender capsule. Right now I’m taking .5mg every other day. I plan to continue this for 2 weeks then go off. Thoughts?

  • Suzanne March 11, 2016, 5:10 am

    I am a 62-year-old retiree. Was on Clonazepam 1 mg./2x day for 10 years for anxiety/panic disorder. Due to the recent Canadian study suggesting a link between long-term benzo use and early Alzheimer’s, I agreed w/ my prescribing PA to get off the drug. Started my taper 6 months ago, reducing the amount by cutting tablets. Ended 1/27/16 @ .125 mg./day. Withdrawal symptoms started about 3 days later.

    Now, 5 weeks out, the withdrawal symptoms, both mental and physical, are so extreme I don’t know if I will be able to take much more. If I had a job to report to, I have no doubt that I would have to take a leave of absence or be fired. I am afraid to drive. I am often incoherent, and when I do attempt a conversation, I quickly lose my train of thought.

    The physical withdrawal symptoms are disabling and I struggle each day to try to maintain some sense of normalcy. However, I am afraid that I may be unable to continue. If I had any idea that this drug would so destroy my life, I would have never taken it. Too late.

    • Karen March 14, 2016, 12:50 am

      Suzanne, Congratulations! You are on your way! There will be tough weeks and months ahead but it will eventually get better. I am 6 months off completely and only now is my anxiety easing somewhat, and other symptoms slightly lessening. The psychological symptoms have been horrendous prompting me to refer to this process as my mental and emotional Aushwitz.

      This is no exaggeration as I’m sure you have been experiencing. Hang in there, white -knuckle it if you have to, but don’t give up. You will get through this! Deep breathing, yoga, exercise, mindfulness meditation and tapping are helping me to cope. Prayer has also been key along with a close friend/friends to support me.

      My doctor said it will take around 1 yr 3 months for this hell to end and that long for the neurons, receptor sites, and neurotransmitters to rebalance and completely change in the brain. So there is an end in sight. Stay strong!

      • Shirley March 18, 2016, 2:45 pm

        Karen, How long were you on this pill?

        • Karen March 18, 2016, 10:04 pm

          Shirley, I was on Klonopin for 20 years and before that I started on Valium and Tegretol for 11 years in 1984 for lightheadedness/spaciness. I eventually got CFS and then Lyme in the nineties, and have been disabled since 1995. Turns out I started out with emotional stress, PTSD, and was left untreated for that. By untreated, I mean without drugs.

          Unfortunately for me, I have lost a large chunk of my life. I hope that things will change in the near future with prescribing these highly poisonous, life destroying pills. Sharing on these sights to spread awareness is a good start.

          • Shirley March 19, 2016, 1:06 pm

            Karen, I was only on .05mg for 1 years. This is 13 days I have been off it. Having all of the withdrawal symptoms, been stomach sick now for over a week, unable to eat, vision is not clear… When will this ever stop?

  • Jeff March 22, 2016, 1:24 pm

    I was taking this crappy drug for dizziness that could not be explained, even went to UPMC for vestibular testing, Blah, Blah, Blah. I get the meds through the VA, who botched my prescription so many times, I would order it when I got down to 10 day supply, only to discover they never ordered it when I ease down to like 1 pill. This happened 6 times in 1 year. Then, I was urine tested and they said the clonazepam was not in my blood. I was taking it, so I decided screw it, this is causing more anxiety than being without, so I quit.

    The doc wanted me to take some other mind warping crap while I got off, they went down the toilet. I have not taken any clonazepam for 1 month or so, and though it was hellish, I am getting better. I run a lot, 30 miles a week, and that helps a lot, and I think you should lay off booze, and limit coffee. I am a stubborn man, perhaps too stubborn, but this can be done. Just have to gut it out.

  • Teresa March 24, 2016, 1:28 am

    I’ve been taking clonazepam, .25 mg in am and .25 mg in evening for anxiety since 12/2015. Almost 4 months. Wanting to taper off and stop taking this completely. Wish I’d never let my doctor talk me into taking this. Reading all of these post really frighten me. About 8 years ago I weened myself off of Paxil, but had to seek the help of a doctor other than the one that prescribed the paxil just to get off of it. Sounds like this stuff is even harder to quit. It was not easy getting off of the Paxil either.

  • elizabeth sarah March 28, 2016, 2:13 am

    I wanted to come back on here and post a success story. I was on 4mg of clonazepam over four years. I had to get a new psychiatrist and she doesn’t prescribe benzos. She weaned me off of it in TWO MONTHS! Way too fast. It was horrible. One of the worst experiences of my life. I had almost every withdrawal symptom. It was way intense. I cried twice during it because it was so bad. In the middle of it I didn’t think I was going to make it.

    I did get through it though. The entire experience lasted about four months (since of course I was still experiencing withdrawal after I was completely off of it). Now I’m back to normal. It’s been five months. Anyway, it does get better. Hugs to all of you who are going through it right now. I’ve been there. Oh, and needless to say, I’ve ditched the doctor who took me off of such a high dose in only two months.

    • Karen April 1, 2016, 12:46 pm

      That’s horrible. I’m in the same boat. I’m over the worst part but still have night sweats, insomnia and headaches. It’s been 3 months since I weaned myself off. I was on 2mg for 4 yrs. Karen

  • Jeff March 29, 2016, 7:28 pm

    Congrats to you Elizebeth Sarah! I am now almost two months without, and am feeling better little by little. Mornings are rough, but I just stay busy as soon as I can get rolling. And guess what? My dizziness is decreasing, too. Cannot explain, do not care, as long as I feel better. Everyone, hang in there, it does get better. I would advise not getting too caught up in scientific this and that, you know yourself, trust your head.

  • Shirley April 1, 2016, 2:24 pm

    Hey, been off this terrible pill for 25 days now. The withdrawal symptoms are wicked. Still having them, headache, dizziness, feels like I’m unable to swallow, no appetite. I think no matter how you taper you will have these withdrawal symptoms. Everyone just hang in there, hoping there is light at the end of the tunnel. Anyone know how long these symptoms will last? I took it for one year @ .05mg daily and tapered for three months.

  • Sue April 2, 2016, 6:52 pm

    I was on clonazepam rapid melts for 7 weeks 3 days for panic attacks and anxiety from a drug reaction to a proton pump inhibitor (used for three weeks). I was taking nightly dose .5 and .25 addition if some kind of attack daytime. I was told this would break the cycle. Somewhere in the middle of the course, I became resistant and did not know this. So I kept giving the .25 for the withdrawal muscle attack.

    Bad. Then psych raised level to .75 at night. With .25 if necessary during the day. Did the .75 twice and my heart pounded during the night. Knew not to do this again. Went back to .5 and did not take .25 for next two days and then started to taper at .375 bc I thought I was supposed to work off the night dose I was using. Next day, the neuro psych dr. said, ok continue with .375 and wean to .125 in next few days!!!!! Woah.

    So many symptoms at .375, stayed there for 9 days, 6 days at .25 (heart couldn’t take it the last day), horrible feeling, took .125 for one night, and off. Could not swallow one more of these pills. Strong attacks along the way. Now, abdomen has been rumbling past few weeks, and one long attack during the afternoon which tightens muscles and tingles legs and body.

    Rapid heartbeat and off beat. Am I to expect a major attack every day when the substance leaves my body? I can not go back on this drug. Since I wasn’t on it for that long, but did become tolerant, what can I expect at complete withdraw of drug from body? Thank you. I wish I never took this.

  • Edward April 4, 2016, 7:19 pm

    Hi, I’ve been on 3mg of Klonopin daily for five years. It wasn’t a long time, but the dosages were high. I’ve just began weaning, but any other useful tricks or tips to make this go by more smoothly would be MUCH appreciated.

  • Zach April 7, 2016, 4:54 am

    HELP: My Doc, who now seems to be an idiot for only giving me 5 days of 1mg to taper! My body is going through hell. That “life-stripping” feeling that some have posted above. She gave me two break in half for four days, and three to cut into 4 (.25mg) for 12 days.

    I am now on day three without it. Headaches, dizziness, confusion, intestinal issues, muscle twitches, insomnia, sensitive to light. The worst is that “increased sensitivity” to my nervs throughout my body. Sadly I don’t have insurance at the moment or I would go back to this doc and tell her my symptoms. Unfortunately, she charges me $75 per visit.

    So, should I continue to taper with more OR just keep riding it without ANY at all?

    • Shirley April 9, 2016, 1:55 pm

      Zach you did not say how long were you Taking this pill.. That seems a very short time to taper. I took 2 months to taper and still have withdrawal symptoms. It’s been 35 days off, someone said above it could take 2 months, not sure if this is correct, depends on how long you were on it. Good luck.

  • Bobby April 11, 2016, 5:28 pm

    Hello, I was prescribed .5 mg of Klonopin in 1999, so 17 years ago. I only took .5mg for about 6 months. Since then I have been cutting the .5mg pill into quarters and taking .125mg. I have been on the .125mg ever since. Now it seems it isn’t working anymore and I want to get off, but how do I taper from .125?? I know it is low, but I have taken it every morning for 16 years.

    • Shirley April 14, 2016, 10:57 am

      Shave off a little every week. Then stop after about two weeks. You may still experience withdrawal symptoms. Hopefully not for long.

      • Restless Legs November 23, 2016, 8:06 pm

        Look up on YouTube… water titration. Start dissolving your tablets with 100 ml of water. Slowly, every 7 to 10 days lower your dose by 1 ml. It will take some time but it sure helps with the withdrawal. This is not going to be fast but it shouldn’t be. Look over the Ashton Manual on the internet as well. Keep reading this blog and it will help you feel better as well.

  • Lena April 14, 2016, 3:14 am

    I’ve been wanting to get off this for a while. Ten days ago my doc suggested weaning from .5mg to .25mg for a week then done. I thought this seemed wayyyy short but here I am. So I’ve been off the meds completely for 4 days. I don’t really know what if any withdrawal symptoms I’m having as I started a new drug, buspar, at the same time I started weaning the clonazepam. I’m having some pretty serious (though not uncommon) side effects from the buspar and now I’m starting to worry that I’m just going to wig out any second now.

    • Max Rich May 9, 2016, 7:35 pm

      I took clonazepam for 12 years 5 milligrams a day I have been off it for 2 weeks. I feel so disconnected my head hurts I feel like I’m inside a shell. My wife doesn’t understand. She thinks I should just be better, but I feel like I’m having withdrawals from heroin or something like that. My body hurts hard to swallow, my head hurts, my muscles twitch, and I can’t concentrate.

  • Kevin April 17, 2016, 8:07 pm

    I’m going to need help. Last weekend, I missed 24 hours of Klonopin dosing. I am prescribed 1mg three times daily. So I missed Saturday and resumed dosing Sunday. I was nauseous; don’t know what stayed in my system. I had a sort of psychotic break late Sunday night followed by a gran mal seizure at 4:00 am Monday morning.

    I’m seeing my psychiatrist, who is demanding I taper due to physical dependence. I’ve been on 3mg daily for almost ten years. At one point, he wanted me to taper by 0.5mg every four days. I think that’s WAY too fast. I’ve sent him info in The Ashton Manual, hoping to cross-over to Diazepam and taper slowly. I doubt he’ll approve.

    He calls Valium “a dirty drug” – guess because it has active metabolites. Klonopin half-life ranges from 18-50 hours. I guess I metabolize it fast. Seeing him Tues – today is Sunday. I’m scared, but encouraged by what I read here. Any suggestions are WELCOME.

    • Karen April 19, 2016, 1:41 am

      Kevin, taper very, very, very slowly. I tapered down from 1 1/2 mg over 10 months after being on it for 21 years. I had horrific symptoms the first 6 months after complete withdrawal so 10 months was too quick for me. Glad you are consulting the Ashton Manual. If your dr. gives you a hard time find another one. Take care and go easy on yourself.

  • Kathryn April 22, 2016, 9:06 pm

    Does anyone use this med for bipolar disorder? With my doctor’s blessing I have reduced this med from 2 mg/day to 1.5 mg/day. I am still on a mood stabilizer and anther anti-anxiety medication. At first I was pleased to have a bit more energy and to be less numb and lethargic. But now I seem to have a greater emotional range than what I am prepared to deal with.

    With Klonopin having a half life of 40 hours, I can do the math and figure that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. I don’t want to relapse, and I don’t think I will. Yet there must be a way to reduce without becoming super overwhelmed. Ideas? Any other bipolar folks who have successfully reduced this med? I don’t think I will ever be off it 100%, I am just wanting to improve my quality of life.

  • Stacey April 26, 2016, 12:32 pm

    I stopped clonazepam cold turkey march 31st/16. Since I’ve been pregnant 4 times and each time I quit cold turkey I thought I would be do it again. Coming off of 3mg a day, I had instant dizziness. April 18th I had a seizure for the first time ever. It was a grand mal seizure.

    It was awful. My husband was crying and I was so confused. 911 was called and I was taken in. I’m still feeling dizzy at end of April. I’m wondering what are the chances of another seizure? Why this time did I have a seizure, when every other time I was dizzy but still ok?

    • Eddie May 13, 2016, 8:52 pm

      Hope you are doing better now.

  • Susan April 30, 2016, 3:30 am

    I wax prescribed Klonopin for eight years (following my daughter being in a terrible accident that left her with a lifelong traumatic Brain injury) after experiencing extreme anxiety over the situation! 20 days ago I ran out of my Klonopin prescription while my doctor was out of town… He did not return for a week!

    At that point I was in the throes of withdrawal and decided to never take the drug again due to the fact that withdrawal symptoms were so severe! Have never done anything to hurt her in my life and coming out of this medication cold turkey… I would not recommend it to anyone but I will continue on my journey because I cannot imagine turning back at this point!

    Is there anyone out there that has come off of this drug cold turkey who could express or share their experience with me?!

  • JJ April 30, 2016, 9:07 pm

    I was put on 2mg of Clonazepam to help me stay asleep at night. I was not aware of the addictive/withdrawal effects of this drug. Had I known I would have never gone on it. During a week of business travel, I figured out that I was going to run out over the weekend that I retuned home. I started cutting down to 1mg a night for 4 nights.

    I called my Doctor to get the written prescription on a Monday. It took to Wednesday to get the prescription. Then it took the pharmacy 1 day to fill it. So I had 3 days without any Clonazepam. I started feeling the withdrawal on Monday, Tuesday – Thursday was horrible. I didn’t know what was wrong until I looked this all up on the Internet.

    I picked up the prescription on Thursday at 5:00pm. I immediately took 1mg. I started feeling better in an hour. Never in my life did I think that such a low dose of a drug could have such a dramatic effect if you stopped taking it. I want to to stay on the 1mg and taper off of it, but for now by 5:00pm I really need to take that pill but I really want to take it when I go to bed.

    My job is very stressful so that doesn’t help the situation. I usually do my homework on prescriptions but at the time years ago I was desperate for sleep and was willing to try anything… Never again!!!

  • Shirley May 3, 2016, 8:02 pm

    Been off the terrible drug now for 60 days still having some issues. Hope it won’t be much longer and I will feel myself again. Only took this pill for a year, I can only image what people who took it long are going through. Everyone hang in there… Take a day at a time.

    • Karen May 12, 2016, 1:03 am

      Shirley, you are right about only imagining what people who have taken it for long are going through. I am living it and it is simply beyond words at times. I have been off of it for 8 months now after 21 years of this drug. I still have a multitude of symptoms: sweating, all over body aches, ringing in ears, buzzing, psychiatric symptoms such as concentration and thinking issues, depression, and intrusive thoughts to name a few.

      I am staying the course, though and taking it one day at a time. I am looking into any interest in starting a benzo support group in my area because I believe there is a need for it and the benzo problem is more widespread than many people realize.

  • O May 7, 2016, 10:50 pm

    In September 2015, I began having strange wave-like sensations in my head after suffering a pinched nerve in my neck earlier that summer. This caused health-related anxiety and panic attacks, both of which I’ve never had before. I was prescribed 10mg Lexapro daily and .25mg Xanax, just in case (I rarely took it – just having it readily available in my purse provided enough comfort for me). Still, the waves did not cease. In November, I returned to my doctor who then prescribed me .5mg Klonopin 2x daily, 12 hours apart.

    The waves went away! And I made it happily and comfortably through the holiday season. Then mid-January, the worst happened – the waves returned. I had a follow-up with my doctor in February, so I chose to wait it out. During my appointment, it was discovered that had gained 17lbs from the Lexapro. I was floored! I knew this was a side effect, but I’m 5’10” and it wasn’t as noticeable to me or anyone else.

    My doctor and I agreed to stop the Lexapro. Cold turkey. It was the worst thing I’ve ever experienced (the “brain zaps” were unbearable); however, with extreme determination, I overcame it and haven’t had waves in my head since! But with stopping Lexapro, came an increased dose of .5mg Klonopin 3x daily. This continued through the rest of February and March.

    After the horrific withdrawal I suffered after ceasing Lexapro, I knew I wanted to get off of Klonopin stat. This time, my doctor explained that it was necessary to taper so the first day of April, I went back down to .5mg Klonopin 2x daily. I did this all month without any problem. Now, here I am in May and I’ve cut my dose down to .5mg Klonopin 1x daily. Mind you, this is the lowest dose I’ve had in my system since November.

    It’s been 7 days and the withdrawal is borderline debilitating. Headaches, head pressure, feeling off-balanced, dizziness, confusion, fogginess, among other things. With the help of cognitive behavioral therapy, my anxiety has thankfully remained at bay for the the most part. It’s just these dreadful physical symptoms!

    I’m trying to level off at .5mg Klonopin 1x daily during this month and then finish my prescription off starting in June with .25mg Klonopin 1x daily, then hopping off once it runs out. Is this ok? Or am I going too fast? Or am I just drawing it out and making it worse for myself? I’m deathly afraid of having a withdrawal seizure, but I desperately want this drug out of my system for good.

    I never thought I could develop a dependence in 5 months, but I f only I knew then what I know now. No more antidepressants or benzos EVER again. Please help!

  • Max Rich May 9, 2016, 7:29 pm

    They took me off clonazepam 2 weeks ago at the hospital. They tapered me off from 5 milligrams a day to 0 in one week. I am having trouble remembering. I am having trouble concentrating. I have sweats, as well as my neck, back and head aching.

    • Eddie June 8, 2016, 8:44 pm

      How long were you on clonazepam?

  • Shirley May 10, 2016, 11:34 am

    Been off this drug now for 60 days, still have a few issues. Anyone still have withdrawal symptoms after 60 days?

    • Paula May 17, 2016, 1:50 pm

      Hay, Shirley, I too am getting off Klonopin. Did you gradually cut your dose back? How long did it take? I have a post here… on May 11.

      • Shirley May 20, 2016, 10:37 pm

        Paula, I tapered for two months.

  • Paula May 11, 2016, 1:29 am

    Hello, all! I am 71 years old and when my doctor prescribed Klonopin for a seizure disorder I felt great! That was 15 years ago. I continued to feel markedly improved in my level of functioning until recently, when, either due to the med., my age, or another condition, I began to experience confusion, memory problems, balance problems, etc.

    When I discussed eliminating the medication, my doctor sagely suggested I gradually taper off. For years I took 1.5 mg daily. For the last few weeks I have cut my dose by .5 mg. He suggested I stay at this level for two months, then we will reduce the level more. I don’t like the anxiety, irritability I am experiencing, but baring AD, I am hoping that my memory will improve, as well confusion, irritability, etc.

    I wonder how long it will be before I can decide if my “issues” are related to Klonopin withdrawal or some other insidious ailment???

  • becky May 12, 2016, 12:52 am

    I am so happy that I found this site. Last night was the worst night of my life. My mother recently passed and I had to put my dog to sleep just a month after. I attributed last night’s bizarreness to that. Little did I realize that it was do to coming off of clonazepam.

    I have been taking .5 mg for several years, not even sure how many to help with sleep, some days not at all. I thought this would be a relatively simple process, but it has turned to a struggle. Now, I know that it is imperative to wean gradually off of this sh#tty drug. Any advice is welcome.

  • KSmith May 30, 2016, 5:04 pm

    After having my first panic attack in 2003, I was prescribed Xanax; not knowing anything about it. Years later, I would begin to experience heightened anxiety; took myself off the medication (ill advised). Fast forward to today; about a month ago, had a panic attack; doctor prescribed Clonazepam – what a fool I was to take a benzo again.

    I honestly didn’t know what it was but boy would I find out. After having been able to function the entire year with only sporadic bouts of panic, on this medication, I experienced them daily as well as tearfulness, agitation, heart quickening, etc… I am a little over a month in and have decided to stop; Initially I was prescribed 3mg a day; but never took that amount; only took 1 1/2mg.

    This medication did nothing for me; made anxiety out of the roof. I asked my doctor to taper me off and this was his suggestion: We will wean by 1/2 milligram every week until free of that medication. My question is, isn’t this too much? I’ve taken myself to 1mg daily and it’s still hell – no relief whatsoever; am preparing myself from withdrawal from hell but I want off and will never trust a doctor again who offers these as solutions to panic/anxiety.

    I don’t want to die from the withdrawal; I have tachycardia and am not in the best physical shape. I’m a single-parent who before this, was on the verge of completing graduate school; one semester left and I’m a wreck – will have to back out… please can anyone let me know how long it will take to get this out of one’s system having taken it a little over one month and if the taper appears too fast.

    I question my doctor’s knowledge of this medication and feel he may just be ready to be done; he’s an internist.

    • Karen June 8, 2016, 12:47 am

      K, yes, your taper does appear too fast. It is recommended to taper down by .25 mg (1/4 pill) every couple of weeks. No one can predict how long it will take but on average you will experience symptoms 1 month for every year on it. Everyone is different with so many differing factors involved.

      I know of a friend who went to a doctor that gave her .04 pills from a compounding pharmacy that she is just beginning to taper with. Hang in there and taper slowly from this very dangerous addictive drug.

  • MsGMichel June 12, 2016, 2:45 am

    My new psychiatrist had me stop taking 1mg after over 10 yrs on this “stuff”. That was 10 days ago. He gave me Xanax .5mg to take instead. I called him at 7 days at my wits end. I have all the symptoms listed. At 10 days I am concerned as to whether or not I am still in danger of seizures?

    I can’t even get out of bed at this point except to go to the restroom or the kitchen. I also live alone. I had to find this out on my own. I cannot wait to speak to my doctor on Mon! I want off of the Xanax too! I take these meds for an anxiety / panic disorder. I am quite concerned about what I will be able to take for my disorder that won’t become addictive.

    I’m not sure if maybe I should go to the ER. I haven’t thrown up for 2 days but have had very little to eat in the last 7 – 10 days because of the nausea. I try to keep drinking liquids because of the excessive sweating. Not sure how long I can take these symptoms on my own. Any advice is appreciated.

    • MsGMichel June 21, 2016, 3:48 am

      I ended up at the ER and they sent me to a medical detox. I spent five days there until I was stable. For the next two weeks I’ll be going to an outpatient clinic to begin the tapering off process. I appreciate everyone sharing.

  • Kathy June 13, 2016, 12:24 am

    Hi there I have been on Clonazepam since Oct 2015 various doses. Presently I take .5mg at 7am, .5mg between 11-12pm, .5mg at 4pm and .25mg at bedtime. I am also on Remeron for sleep 11.25mg at bedtime. I am so fatigue most days starts around 2-3pm so I am trying to wean off the 11-12pm dose.

    I have cut the .5mg into quarters and taking 3/8mg for 1 week, then will try 2.8mg for next week, then 1/8mg for next week and then that should be one month and I should be off that dose. Hopefully no WD going slow and easy. Any suggestions? The other doses I will leave alone for now so will still have some Clon in my system so WD shouldn’t be too bad.

    • Ted July 1, 2016, 6:28 pm

      Kathy – You are really thinking this through – good for you. Hope all is going well. I am on day 2 of a taper involving 4 meds. I am going at it too fast, but I hope to just will through the first 3 weeks. I am so tired of being tired all the time. The oversedation has really made me sluggish and I am ready to start feeling good again. I will probably readjust my schedule once the wd starts to hit. You are doing it the right way – I am being impatient, but I will adjust as I hit the withdrawals. Ted

  • Charlene June 24, 2016, 7:30 pm

    I have been on meds for over 18 years for panic attacks (since I was 17). I was on 225mg or Effexor XR and .5 mg of Clonazepam. I have been weaning off of Effexor since Thanksgiving. My last dose was 34mg of Effexor and still the .5 mg Clonazepam. I stopped both 2 days ago. My last time taking it was Wednesday 6-22-16.

    This is my second day off of my meds. My withdrawal started kicking in last night. I had nightmares, anxiety and I can’t stop shaking. I feel like I’m constantly being zapped with electricity. This is a nightmare. I am with my husband, kids and both my parents during this detox, how long is this hell going to last? Has ANYONE been in this situation?

    • Karen June 26, 2016, 6:34 pm

      Charlene, you shouldn’t just stop Klonopin after 18 yrs. Reread info about “time span” above (#1). You need to taper very slowly off of it. You very likely could experience severe withdrawal for many months….

  • Mat June 26, 2016, 4:04 am

    Thanks! I literally feel sick to my stomach and have a headache all the time. Those are my symptoms two weeks out. I came off too fast. I have trouble falling asleep too. My concentration levels started to wean off after the first week. I hope to feel better soon.

    • Ted July 1, 2016, 6:14 pm

      Mat: I hope you feel better soon. Ted

  • Ben June 28, 2016, 5:26 pm

    I’ve been on 8mg of Clonazepam for years. My psychiatrist prescriber has unexpectedly passed away. Now I face the horror of having no where to turn. Nobody will prescribe anywhere near the 6mg I’ll need to continue tapering off. I’d be fired going to rehab. I take it for insomnia caused by MAOI antidepressants. As I taper off Emsam the prospect I face in about 6 days is a hellish (I know it’s not cancer).

    • Ted July 1, 2016, 6:04 pm

      Wow, Ben – so sorry things are the way they are for you. You have got to find someone who will keep your refills coming until you can slowly taper. Dropping off that much in a pretty much cold turkey way has got to be recognized by at least one provider in your area – stay on the phone until you find someone – please keep at it until you do. Ted

  • Parth Kaushik June 29, 2016, 6:58 pm

    Dear author/readers. Thank you for sharing this, I wish to know how long would it last estimated in my case? I took 15 tabs of 0.25 mg klonopin for around 25 days. I usually took it at interval of every 2 days. Now after leaving this I feel muscle twitching and insomnia. If you could help. Thank you.

  • Ted July 1, 2016, 6:12 pm

    Parth, I am on day 2 of Klonopin withdrawal, but have gotten off benzodiapines before. I dropped from two mg to one mg in about ten days- it was too fast, but I made it. going too fast I have read can cause protracted withdrawal – that didin’t happen to me – everyone is different, but the symptoms you mentioned seem to be commonly referred to. Using a forum like this daily has really helped me before when I have been doing a medication taper. Keep up the faith – things will get better – if you can’t bear it, take doses until you feel like you can retaper and retaper at a speed and amount that you feel good with. Ted

    • Patrice July 9, 2016, 2:37 am

      Ted, if you have done benzo tapers before, how do I taper off the last .25 daily of Klonz. out of 1 mg? I have been tapering for one year (July 4 last yr.) I am getting low on my last prescription. My Dr. is 100 miles from me and I really don’t care to go back since he was not happy about me getting off this drug.

      He treated me like a drug addict. I’m not, I’m going slow so that I can function while working. Just wondering how rough would it be to drop off the full .25 say within the next 90 days.

      • Anna July 24, 2016, 12:04 am

        I would jump to .125 mg. daily for 2-3 weeks then every other day till your pills are gone.

  • Janet July 4, 2016, 7:03 pm

    I am not typical of the people who have posted here (thank you for your input!) because I am 63 years old and have been on 6mg. of Klonopin for over 20 years. I have had massive panic attacks and extreme anxiety since childhood, with some years of relief in between, but I can say that I have had panic attacks most of my life. I was very resistant to medication, but finally realized that the quality of my life was horrible, and I spent most of my days trying to survive (the worst bout of panic attacks was after the birth of my only child, and lasted for many years…).

    I started seeing a psychiatrist, who put me on a modest dose of valium, but it only took the edge off my panic attacks. I took part in a panic attack study at a major hospital in NYC, and in the process of the study, saw a psychiatrist who started me on Luvox, which to my amazement, completely eradicated the panic attacks for two years (I later learned Luvox is only effective against panic for 1-2 years). I then saw a new psychiatrist, who started me on Klonopin, gradually increasing my dose to 6 mg. a day.

    I was panic-free on Klonopin for 20 years, and I am probably the only person here who is grateful to this drug for removing the attacks which tortured me for years. I think a lot of doctors put patients on Klonopin when they don’t really need it, or need a different, less aggressive medication, but in my case, I seemed to really need it, as it had an immediate and long-lasting effect on my mental condition. I can’t tell you what it was like to be panic-free after struggling with this condition for so many years. The problem is now, 20 years later, the Klonopin is finally losing its effectiveness, and I am building a tolerance to it.

    For a couple of years now, I have been experiencing “breakthrough” anxiety, but since it was nothing I could not deal with, I decided not to stop taking the Klonopin. However, at this point, the Klonopin has lost even more of its effectiveness, and although I am not having panic attacks, I cannot sleep, am hypersensitive to noise, and I am experiencing constant feelings of intense anxiety, unless I distract myself sufficiently, which is becoming more and more difficult. I seem to be the only person here who realizes I need to come off Klonopin, and VERY slowly – but the difference is I want to replace the Klonopin with another medication, as I am so prone to intense panic attacks, and I have no reason to believe that if I am off all medication, I will be done with panic attacks.

    So my question is: Has anyone here transitioned from Klonopin to another benzo or another medication to assist in the Klonopin tapering process? And if so, what was the new medication, and was the transition successful? I am planning on seeing a psychiatrist (and I will bring the Ashton Manual information with me) very soon, and I would greatly appreciate it if there is anyone here who can recommend a medication to help transition from the Klonopin. Thank you.

  • amy July 9, 2016, 6:28 am

    I have been on 2mg/day for about 5 years. Initially it was prescribed to help me taper my alcohol use. That part was easy in comparison. Last year I lost a friend to cancer and was taking more than prescribed. So I ran out with over two weeks until I could get more. I was having so much trouble and it only occurred to me on day 14 to look up withdrawal symptoms.

    I did try to call my doctor’s office to ask if they would allow an early refill before I ran out and she said no. She just left me hanging and not knowing what was to come. Ignorant or willful, I don’t know. Needless to say I have since found a new doc. New doc put me on an antidepressant (will have withdrawal from that too some day) and trazodone to sleep (more withdrawal) sigh. But all in effort to get me off of the clonazepam.

    Fatigue, depression and memory loss among many other things – at 45 I feel 95. I am grateful to read everyone’s stories and will try my best to do it right with the suggestions here. I’m hopeful and nervous. Thanks for your stories, everyone.

  • Neil July 9, 2016, 8:08 pm

    I have been taking Klonopin for about 2 years and during that time I have been a poly drug user also taking oxycodone or hydrocodone and occasionally using cocaine and drinking anywhere from 2-6 beers per day and also smoking pot. The klonopin might usually have been anywhere from .125mg per day to .25mg per day but never really more than .5 per day ever.

    Some days I didn’t use any drugs, and some days I used one or two different drugs or more so it’s really hard for me to say exactly how much of what I was doing, but the cocaine was more of an occasional thing every other week or so, and the opioids were like 10-20mgs per day but not every day and sometimes I’d go for a few days or a couple of weeks with none. I started on the klonopin first provided by a doctor because of some job stress anxiety I was having and she also prescribed Celexa which I didn’t take. Then the other drugs came along until March of 2016 I stopped taking the opioids and cocaine all together because I became very scared when I noticed withdrawal symptoms when not taking them.

    I kept taking Klonopin to help with the anxiety and on July 1 I stopped taking the Klonopin and stopped drinking beer cold turkey which I now know is not good but I have been dealing with it anyway. The past week has been pretty brutal but I do manage to get about 3 or 4 hours of sleep per night but I have to take 1/2 of an OTC sleeping pill to help. My job is pretty stressful and I have been having memory and confusion issues at work but the worst part is the morning anxiety.

    I go to bed at around 10 but I wake up at about 2 with some pretty bad anxiety which lasts all day till about 3 or 4 pm. The anxiety seems to subside greatly in the evening and I can get to bed no problem hoping that tomorrow will be better, but sure enough at 3 am the anxiety is back full force making it so hard to go to work. Is this pattern of anxiety anything that other’s here have been through and will it get better or have I broken my brain and this could continue for much longer?

    I have been off everything for a week now and I have absolutely no craving to use or drink anything in fact I still have pills, beer and pot here with no desire whatsoever to use any. My withdrawal symptoms have decreased a bit and I have less night sweat, less tingling in the extremities, less sweating, but still a pattern of heavy morning anxiety with decreased evening anxiety. Will that go away?

    The psychiatrist who gave me the klonopin said it’s ok to take it long term at .5 mg per day but I don’t think that’s correct or good advice. I really need to see a psychologist to deal with my anxiety that got me using all the drugs in the first place. I was bored, anxious, running from my problems, distracting myself, and trying to get my mind off of my work stress when I finally realized what a mistake I have been making.

    Now I need this all out of my system. Does anyone know how long the poly drug using withdrawal symptoms might last? I know it’s hard to say but maybe someone here has been in the same spot using the same? I am having some horrible depression and I feel very bad about all the drugs I’ve used in my life.

  • Alocasia July 9, 2016, 11:18 pm

    I’ve been on 1 mg. of clonazepam for over 20 years now. I made up my mind again to wean off this devil. This morning I took 3/4’s of the pill. This evening I had the crap scared out of me. I took my blood pressure, and it was higher than I’ve ever seen it in my life, 158/104. I read that high BP can be a symptom of withdrawal, but that fast?

    In any case, I was so freaked that I ended up taking another clonaz. Maybe I have to go down an 1/8th at a time. I’m just worried about the high BP. In the past, my doctor said ‘go slowly’. Thanks… that’s no help. Any feedback please?

    • Karen July 12, 2016, 12:15 am

      Definitely go down by at least 1/8 of a pill at a time. I have a friend who is now tapering by .04 mg at a time with the help of a compounding pharmacy. I have now been off it 10 months and am still experiencing protracted withdrawal. I only tapered by 1/4 pill over 10 months and that was definitely not long enough for me after being on benzoes for 33 yrs. It’s a hell only we can imagine!

    • Kevin July 22, 2016, 8:21 pm

      The best thing you can do for yourself is research. Make sure you read all you can especially the Ashton Manual. The more information you have for yourself the better it is for you.

  • Elizabeth July 13, 2016, 11:43 am

    Hello. I just found this wonderful site, got a little dizzy just reading so many posts, but am so proud of everyone, wherever you are in your
    journey from HELL. I was prescribed Clonazepam by my family doctor, excellent doc, but a little cavalier about prescribing this crap, I never questioned the wisdom of it, did NOT take responsibility for checking out side effects, et al., am in new state, new family doc, she wants me OFF the Clona, prescribed Effexor to help, that made things worse, i.e. symptoms, so I’ve stopped that before I have to get OFF IT TOO!

    I will call my new doc and ask about outpatient withdrawal clinic or specific advice on tapering off. ONE thing I haven’t seen addressed is how in the world you take the smaller doses. Are you-all cutting the pill, have you gotten prescribed the lower doses? I’ve been on 1 mg. a.m. and p.m. for…WAY too long, not even sure when we started it. Best I can do cutting-wise is in two, i.e., .5 mg.

    Started getting severe muscle spasms, thought it was my rheumatoid arthritis spiking, hard to parse out what is what but ultimately I know I have to get OFF Clona. I will call pharmacist, and my doc. Since she was one to tell me I have to get off Clona, seems like she bears some responsibility in how to do that with the least withdrawal symptoms. I will repost when I feel like I know how to proceed most safely.

    Tried playing pickleball yesterday, had to leave after two games, I was dizzy, unable to concentrate, achy… sounds like y’all know about that, which I am SOO sorry for. I know whereof you speak, my heart goes out to everyone, I know we will all be better caretakers of our bodies after we come out the other side, well and whole and lots of hair. :O)

    Meanwhile, thank you, everyone, for taking the time and effort when you’re suffering so terribly, to share your situations. Godspeed.

  • veronica banuelos July 14, 2016, 6:12 am

    Hello, my name is Veronica, I was on 4 mgs of Xanax for over 30 years. I suffered with severe panic disorder/anxiety and Agoraphobia, (also bi+polar disorder). I went to a new psychiatrist and he wanted me off the Xanax and on klonopin as it latest longer in my system thanXanax. We did a quick titration and weaned me off Xanax over a month and onto 1 mg of klonopin twice daily.

    I’ve been on 2mgs daily of klonopin for close to 2 years. I ran out of klonopin as my Dr. Had an emergency and was out of office for a week, so I didn’t have any pills for a week. I thought it would be fine, since I never had trouble when I ran out of Xanax. Well, klonopin is a whole different animal. The withdrawal didn’t happen for 3 days, then it hit hard. I suffered debilitating panic attack, insomnia body aches.

    I had restless legs and weird… my nose started running… literally down my face. I went online looking for signs of withdrawal and found this site. Reading everyone’s stories made me feel as if I weren’t alone. It also made me decide that I wanted to try to withdrawal from this medication. It is evil. I finally saw my shrink and he set up a slow long weaning schedule.

    I’m down to 1 mg daily. We cut the dose in half and will continue to drop the dosage at my confidence. I think I’m very lucky that I have an understanding shrink, Some of you weren’t in my position. I’m just taking it slow and easy and have a lot of the symptoms listed. It’s hard, but I want to be drug free and its worth all the bad side effects to get free of this. I hope you all remain strong and know you aren’t alone.

  • Kevin July 22, 2016, 8:13 pm

    I was on Clonazepam 1Mg at night to help me sleep for over five years. About one year after taking Clonazepam. I developed burning mouth syndrome. I went to everyone I could and no one had any answers for it. As time went on I developed a burning / creepy crawly feeling in my chest along with feeling bad on a daily basis. I was thinking I would have to get on pain meds because nothing was helping.

    I went to my Gastroenterologist about one year ago and the PA I saw mentioned that she had other patients with the same issues that were also taking Clonazepam (that is when the bells stated going off). I went back to my family Dr. and she said since your only taking 1Mg at night, I should cut it half for about ten days and then stop, big mistake!!! It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I found the Ashton Manual along with a lot of information that I now have.

    I knew it was going to be a long haul but didn’t know it would go on this long or be this severe. I am now nine months off the Clonazepam. Of course the first four or five months were just sheer hell and I was sure I was going to die. My Dr. went along with me and ran all the test I requested and everything was okay. Things have been doing okay for some time except for the sleep, even the burning mouth was doing better.

    About two weeks ago I started getting palpitations along with the burning mouth firing up again and the fatigue has been really intense. Last Friday the palpitations were so bad that I called 911 and went to the ER. All of the tests came back fine and I now have to go to a cardiologist to make sure the heart is okay.

    What I find disturbing is that out of all of the Drs. that I have seen over the years, not a one of them realized how bad Clonazepam is for long term use. Most of them are passing it out like its no big deal. I am grateful that my PA at my Gastroenterologist at least remembered that she had other patients with the same issues and that started me down the path to what I hope is a full recovery some day.

    There is no doubt that I share part of the responsibility for being in this position. I’m sure that I was like a lot of people and assumed that my Dr’s knew what they were doing.

  • anne July 23, 2016, 3:37 pm

    My heart cries for each of you stay strong and yes there is hope and peace ahead. My story. I was on Klonopin 1mg for 5 years. Nov. 2015 started to wean off on my own because my PCP had no idea how to wean from this drug. The drug he started me on for anxiety after my parents died 5 years ago.
    I weaned slowly my last dose was July 14 2016. My wean was up and down not constance.

    I did learn to wean slow don’t go back that makes it more difficult. Read Ashton Manual and try to find a doctor to use the Valium wean schedule recommended in the manual because Valium has a longer 1/2 life. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Drink lots of water and exercise when you can even if it’s a short walk. Pray and pray hourly!

    Spend quiet with yourself. I’m still having a lot of withdrawal systems but doing better each week. I know I’ll have hard days ahead but with Gods help I will stay strong ! Praying Gods grace will blanket each one reading and posting on this site.

    • AH December 5, 2016, 7:11 pm

      Anne, Did you taper using the Ashton Method recommendation of crossing over to Valium? I have just started this, and wondered if anyone here has done this.

  • Jenny July 31, 2016, 11:28 am

    I’ve been on 2mg a night for about 2 years. I hadn’t read it was ‘dangerous’ as some of you have mentioned. I have severe insomnia, and anxiety, but take Xanax during the day, frankly I don’t know how any of you take it during the day because it knocks me out, but I have no longer been sleeping through the night, which is why I had been switched to this med.

    I’ve tried several others defined strictly for sleeping and either they don’t work or I have hallucinations with them. I frequently have to go cold turkey off them, (every three months) if my appts are delayed for any reason. At those times I don’t sleep and if I do, it’s a light no REM sleep and I sweat like I’m taking a shower. It’s horrible.

    I don’t mind being on it, but I’ve had to go cold turkey about ten times now, resorting to high doses of Benadryl and melatonin just to try to get some sort of sleep, but I’m just fooling myself when I do that because they don’t really work. I’m so tired of going off them too frequently, and I wonder if that can be bad, repeated withdrawals. I have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and when that started in 2008, that’s when the insomnia started, because pain kept me awake.

    Since my doctors are extremely strict about having something for pain control (narcotics wise) I’ve tried every med out there that isn’t narcotic and nothing takes the pain away, and even with narcotics I have to sparingly take them, since much of my pain is pelvic and narcotics cause constipation. So my sleeping pills need to be strong enough to get me knocked out over the pain. I’m in a horrible cycle, and the withdrawals intensify pain.

  • Jennifer August 6, 2016, 7:10 am

    I was on 1 mg Klonopin for 7 & 1/2 years along with Wellbutrin and Lamictal, for Bipolar 2 and anxiety. I lost my insurance and went off the Wellbutrin and Lamictal, cold turkey. The Klonopin I still had plenty of because I was able to go down to half to sleep on for awhile and a whole one only if I had a panic attack. Well the withdrawal from the other 2 was hell.

    Decided 2 weeks ago to take an about 70 at one time and sleep in my car, in FL heat until I cooked myself to death. Friend found me that evening, took me home to sleep it off, then took me back to where I had my car parked the following morning. Bad move, tried to drive home, and got into an accident, followed by a DUI arrest. So now on top of my first arrest ever, now I’m carless, jobless, homeless, (I was actually only supposed to be in FL for a month and now stuck not being able to go home to GA.), now I’m hitting the Klonopin withdrawals majorly.

    I don’t recall much of the first weeks after the withdrawal and arrest, I was a zombie and slept a lot. This week now has had about 8 hrs total of sleep and I have the shakes, no appetite, and been a bitch to everyone. Cant get any help here because I’m not a resident. I see how many of you had a hard time just with tapering. Anyone know anything about overdose withdrawal? Thanks.

  • Lisa McCray August 19, 2016, 7:48 pm

    Hello, I have been on Clonazepam 1 mg twice a day for over 15 years. I was recently hospitalized and they stopped it cold turkey. While in the hospital I experienced a seizure. The doctor told me I wasn’t on a high enough dose for this to happen. Is it possible that it was from being taken off cold turkey on the dose I was on?

    I have experienced the worst anxiety I ever have. It was so bad I started taking it because I could not stand that feeling. I know I need and want to get off of it completely, but I am not sure exactly how to taper off of it. I am just desperately needing some feedback. The doctor I am seeing now will not prescribe it and that is fine, but is not working with me to wean me off of it. I am having a very rough time with all of this.

    • Anna September 1, 2016, 1:03 am

      Change doctors ASAP. Read the Ashton Manual and benzo.org.uk/manual. Slow wean and liquid titration don’t cut more than 10-12% every 3-4 weeks. Drink lots of water, eat healthy, don’t smoke, no other drugs, no sleeping pills, no caffeine, no alcohol and sleep when you can. Pray all the time and use meditation. This is a long process find good support groups and friends to help. You can do it and may our Heavenly Father blanket you with healing and love. It takes time for our brains to heal. Blessings.

    • Anna September 1, 2016, 1:09 am

      Yes, not weaning (cold turkey) can make you have a seizure. Find a doctor and a compound pharmacy that will work with you!

  • Azloon September 3, 2016, 4:06 pm

    Please don’t, in any way, construe my comments as advice. Just my experience. I too, in the process of getting of Special K, have relied on blogs to affirm that my severe symptoms do not mean that I’m dying. I will sometimes read the same blog entry several times just to settle myself down. I started eight years ago on .5 mg, and stayed at that dosage for six years.

    When I became aware of problems associated with long-term use in the elderly (me), reinforced by my psych doc/prescriber, I began a taper. Several times I was able to get to .25, over several weeks, on the verge of stopping altogether. But when I went below .25, several times to zero, my anxiety was so severe, particularly in the mid- to late-afternoons, that I went back to .5 because I thought I was losing my mind.

    The last time I was able to get to .125 for a month or so, but some crisis or other caused me to go back to .25 (better than going back to .5 as I had done several times before). Three weeks ago, I went off .25 altogether. It has been rough. I went out and got a medical cannabis card a couple of months ago, and used ‘edibles’ for the first week or so for my anxiety (I don’t like cannabis, and never have). I also stopped using alcohol at the same time (I was an episodic drinker). For the past week, I am off everything — cannabis, alcohol, and K.

    My w/d symptoms are rather severe but I am toughing it out, so far. I have a slight ringing in my ears, I feel slightly dizzy, thick-headed, and my sleep is not good. Nor my appetite — either not hungry, or want to binge on sugar or fat. I can’t concentrate, wandering from one room in my house to another. I am exercising everyday, quite vigorously, which takes the edge off my desperation. I wouldn’t even consider keeping at this if I couldn’t exercise.

    I got a young dog two months ago, perhaps without entirely realizing it that I needed a major distraction while I gave up all my addictions. It’s working to some extent, but I occasionally wish I could place the dog somewhere so I can suffer undisturbed. It’s hard for me to see the end of this road if there is one. The major question when coming off anything like K is — am I experiencing withdrawal symptoms or am I simply feeling reality without drugs? If the latter, that’s a discouraging thought and not helpful if you’re going to persist.

    I still have a whole Rx bottle with .25 mg K’s in it. I keep it because I don’t really know if I’ll be able to say at this long-term. I skipped the .25 to .125 reduction and sort of wish I hadn’t. But having been off for three weeks, don’t feel like going back on and doing it again. We’ll see. Glad for any feedback.

    • Anna September 4, 2016, 9:29 pm

      Would suggest a liquid titration from a compound pharmacy. The weeks ahead might get touch and jumping off of .25mg or .125mg of K is a big jump. If you can I’m happy for you! You have great strength! I was unable to so I’m liquid titrating from a compound pharmacy and doing much better! Hope to decrease dose by 10% every 2-3 weeks. Blessings and wisdom to each of us as we try to get through each day!

    • Dee September 7, 2016, 2:37 am

      I feel the same way. Has it got any better for you?

      • Anna September 7, 2016, 4:40 pm

        Yes, much better liquid titration is a blessing. True Godly wisdom. Plan to cute dose every 2-3 weeks by 10% depending on how I feel! Let your body be your guide!

  • Dee September 7, 2016, 2:35 am

    I just found out I am 4.5 weeks pregnant. I have been on clonazepam for 4 years 1 mg every morning. Immediately when I found out I was pregnant I downed it to a half. I am trying to wean myself because the Dr can’t get me in for 2 weeks!!! My head is in the clouds. I feel very detached and lost. PlEASE SOMEONE that has been through this help me. And let me know if I will be normal again? I have two other kids that need me. But by noon I can hardly see straight.

    • Anna September 7, 2016, 2:30 pm

      I would suggest till you see your Dr. stay on your current dose ONLY if your OB-GYN says it’s OK. CALL them ASAP. I’m not a Dr. check with them first. You did a 50% cut and that’s a lot. If you need to cut before you see your Dr. you can cut a 1mg of K in 4 parts.

      That would be .25mg per quarter of the 1mg tab. If you wish for a lower cut take 3 of the .25mg to start of possible. Always check with your Doctor! Keep trying to get an earlier appointment. If unable to see them call today and talk to your DR!!

      I’m doing great on the liquid titration from a compound pharmacy! Was unable to wean from dry pill cuts it was a mess and I was a mess ended up in the ER once! Liquid titration is 0.1mg/ml. Currently my dose is 0.131mg=1.31cc dose. Always check with your Doctor’s and being pregnant they should address this issue ASAP. Blessing and love will be sending prayers for you and baby!

    • Anna September 7, 2016, 2:36 pm

      YES!!! You will be normal again our brains need to heal. It’s a slow process and takes time, knowledgeable doctor’s and prayer!

    • Azloon September 11, 2016, 7:33 pm

      Dee and Anna, Thx for encouragement, and your experience (just found your posts). I am coming up on four weeks off .25mg. It is a big jump, I now know. Of course, when one has a mood disorder, it’s never clear what are w/d symptoms abating, and what would have happened anyway in a normal mood cycle, what is simply returning to your baseline. But K is so powerful, I have to attribute at least a fair amount of what I was feeling (very bad) to my body and brain not having the chemical in my system.

      But anyway, here’s my experience: It’s been harrowing up until two days ago when major dark cloud of desperation started to clear a little bit. I had felt totally shut off, not wanting any human contact — for three whole weeks. I did manage to get out to buy a couple of food items to provide minimal sustenance (e.g. dinner of peanut butter out of jar on a knife, or on saltines, and an sliced apple). But I wasn’t very hungry, if you don’t count eating eight Skor bars one day that I had in my freezer).

      I felt major depressed, desperately anxious but holding out hope all this shouldn’t be unexpected given the many warnings of others on blogs (so valuable). I stopped alcohol too, and medical edible cannabis which I’d been using for anxiety (for two months before, my first use of it in a long lifetime). So I’m off all substances. I really didn’t desire any of them for the initial period, but now that cloud is lifting a bit, I have urge to medicate again, any or all of them to blunt my ‘down’ mood.

      A highly dysfunctional/addictive relationship, which seemed repulsive while in my zombie state, is tempting again, as libido is returning. I did some laundry yesterday, changed sheets, washed three weeks worth of dishes. I have a puppy which forced me to do minimal activity outside which has been a helped but felt like an annoying burden sometimes. I asked my GP (my pdoc retired two months ago and I haven’t found a new one) for a Prozac Rx which I got and started on yesterday. Should dampen libido a bit.

      I took it ten years ago for a few years and it was helpful. So I’m on that, and Lamictal (150mg/day). Maybe I need Prozac, I am reasoning, for a few months or a year, to replace what’s gone. I am trying to string together simple activities which are things I always neglect in my manic/depressive cycle — paperwork, organizing my stuff, calling people, and trying to do some exercise every day (I’ve done some exercise just about every other day which is my best for now).

      So I’ve gone from dysfunctional (deep depression, anxiety, foggy brain, unsteady on my feet) to depressed and moderately anxious. When I look at it objectively, it’s better now but it doesn’t necessarily feel ‘good.’ But it’s a relief (hit your head against a wall because it will feel good when you stop — but you’ll have a bad headache). So I guess it’s sort of limbo right now.

      I am marginally functional, but tempted to medicate again (any of several substances, behaviors). What would stop me, I hope, is recalling how bad I felt and how bad it would be if I got back on K, and other stuff. Coming off again might be impossible. I wouldn’t have it in me to do it again, I don’t think. I seriously considered staying on K for the rest of my life (if pdoc wouldn’t have prescribed it, I could corder it from India).

      That’s how terrible I felt every time I had tried to go off it before (probably twenty times over five years). This whole process is disparagingly awful for someone like me who likes to remove pain but putting something in my mouth. But it’s true, I think, what I’ve read of others’ experiences, that you just have to do it and let the whole thing play out. You won’t die. Probably. :( If I go back to feeling totally terrible tomorrow, I’ll have to come back here and post again.

      So, now I’m off. Yeah, I guess. Hope this helps.

  • Patrice September 17, 2016, 11:23 pm

    I have made several post earlier in the year. Started at .50 a.m. and .50 in p.m. for 11 years. Total of 1 mg. per day. I started weening July 1, 2015. I am currently down to .125 a.m. and .125 p.m. using water titration. 1 cut .001 of 1 ml for 10 days. Making my reduction of .01 in the a.m. then using same method for daytime dose.

    Question: does compounding make cuts smaller than this? 2nd question for those whom are completely off, is the last .25 the most difficult? It seems to me that its harder at this stage or perhaps its been so long I’ve forgotten what it was like 6 mos. or longer ago. I need advice on how to get off this last .25.

    • Sunny2020 September 23, 2016, 10:04 pm

      0.25 mg is not a high dose. However, it depends on individual, i.e. the length you have taken. Would it be possible for you to reduce to 1 time per day? Klonopin’s half life is very long. Withdrawal cold turkey will be very difficult in the first 1 week, but the suffering is worth, compared to the eventual relief! I would suggest you talk with your Dr first before completely stopping it.

      • Anna September 27, 2016, 8:30 pm

        Agree with Sunny2020 try to reduce to 1 time daily then go to every other day. You can also take your daily dose later each day. For example if you dose at 5pm next day dose at 6pm, etc. Yes, compound pharmacy will mix small cuts to accommodate whatever you need. It’s all in the mixing and they have the knowledge!

  • Brooklyn September 19, 2016, 3:48 pm

    Hello! I have been on clonazepam for a little over 2 years. I take 2MG once a day before bedtime. I recently stopped the drug cold turkey about a little over a week ago. I found out I was pregnant and did not want to harm the baby. I know everyone’s advice is to taper off the drug, but any other help or support would be great! I never realized how bad of a drug this was until I started researching my symptoms. Now I know it’s not morning sickness but this withdraw that’s kicking my butt!

    • Anna September 27, 2016, 8:36 pm

      Talk to you doctor ASAP see if you can reinstate and then began to wean. It tough and our brains need to heal. Take it day by day, drink lots of water, meditation are helpful.

  • Sunny2020 September 21, 2016, 11:51 pm

    Hi, I have taken the Klonopin 0.5mg for over 20 years since my childhood. I just realised that Klonopin has lots of side effects and I decided to withdraw it. I stopped it from 0.5mg 1 month ago. In the first 3 day after stopping the dose, I had strong headache, then my brain has occasionally a little dizzy in the first 1-2 week. Now, I had no headache & dizziness.

    The significant difference after withdrawal of Klonopin was my dream: now my dream every night seems to be very light, while previous, before withdraw, my dream was a bit impressive, which can be remembered even after I woke up. I wonder if this means that my sleep quality is better now? I didn’t find any significant symptom after withdrawal (P.S: I am still taking 600 mg Trileptal every night). Best regards, Sunny

  • Calvin Vanderbilt III September 25, 2016, 6:02 am

    Hi, I was taking Klonopin for, I would say, at least 50% or more of my life. So, approximately 30 or more years. I was taking 1mg, three times a day, plus, 1 extra as needed. I ended almost every day with one or two in the morning and one or two late evening. I system was, from what I knew, acting perfectly. All of a sudden, I moved, I locked the script in a bin, and the movers accidentally took it into storage. I ran out.

    I called my doctor, the situation called nurse answered. I told her what happened. Long story short, she gave my doctor a totally different story. She told him I was asking for more and I was not. I just needed enough until my next refill. My doctor refused to prescribe me anymore. With that, my system went crazy. I had “extreme” sweats, the water felt cold while my body temperature was hot.

    If was uncontrollable. I felt very anxious around people. My sex life went from amazing to something horrible. On klonopin, I could go for hours, when I orgasmed, it was crazy. The fluid poured out. No, I am lucky if a drop comes out. I could smell a mole away. Now, it seems like something is blocking my ability to smell unless it is sprayed very close to my face or I stick my nose very close to the smell.

    When I use the bathroom, number 2, it is very soft, many times really really soft. As for my weight, I was around 215 a few months ago, I am down to 195. If I urinate, my muscles do not feel strong. Before, I had extreme power behind my urination. My entire system has been turned up side down. The only issue I found while on the klonopin, thus happened last New Year eve. I was so badly impacted, I had to be admitted to a hospital.

    I was given at least 4 huge bags of laxative, it did nothing. The doctor had to manually clean me out. This was so humiliating and painful, I cannot begin to tell you. I am going for a colonoscopy thus coming week. I am hoping everything will be OK. My doctor refuses to return my phone calls after treating me for over 30 years. I don’t know what to do. I gave a lot of thought to suing him.

    The severe Mental and Emotional Distress is horrific. What he caused me is egregious. How does a doctor, treating someone for over 30 years, on a high dose of klonopin, plus other medications, stop a person COLD TURKEY. My body has been sedated for over 30 years, over 50% of my life, now my system is a total mess. The loss of consortium alone is devastating.

    It’s unfortunate, the only recourse I have now, since he refuses to talk to me, is a huge lawsuit. What do I do now? I am not a lawyer. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and God Bless

    • Anna September 27, 2016, 8:48 pm

      Change doctors!

    • Karen September 28, 2016, 12:47 am

      Calvin, forget about the law suit for now. Get help by getting someone to prescribe it and wean off slowly as described by many people above. You will suffer with severe symptoms for many months if you continue on this path of withdrawal from stopping cold turkey. I am off of it 1 year and weaned somewhat slowly, 10 months, and am still having many symptoms. God bless You!

  • Stacey Melzo September 30, 2016, 12:04 pm

    I’ve been on klonopin, at the highest 4mg a day. I weaned to two two months ago and thought I could just take it when I started to feel panicky, which isn’t very often since I’m on two antidepressants/anxiety meds. But tonight, out of the blue, I was in a super good mood, felt amazing, wasn’t tired. Come bed time I had my first big panic attack in a few months and have been laying down, trying to sleep, since midnight. It’s 5 am.

    I have super dry mouth, tremors, can’t sleep and won’t be able to sleep until to right as I have seven kids, and five to send off to school in just a mere three hours. I did take 6mg of melatonin at 2am but that didn’t seem to do anything. Anyways, I haven’t taken any at all today and only 1mg yesterday. Could I be withdrawing? Also what’s the recommended taper schedule. I’m gonna go crazy if I can’t sleep tomorrow night.

    My hubby and kids need me. Give in and take a half when they go to school? I just know it’ll knock me out and I have a four month old and almost two year old I have to tend to today. Plus a family gathering this afternoon and the awesome job of staying awake until all my littles are in bed after the football game. My reason for this post is does anyone have a slow taper chart or a link to one I can follow?

    Reading all these stories, even though I’ve only been on them a couple months, makes me terrified to just drop to half in the morning and half at night. I never took the recommended 4x daily. At best 3 on my bad days and only 1 usually every other day. I feel like I would have experienced this insomnia, tremors, dry mouth, ear ringing last month. 2 months and my body is already dependent?

    I want off these so I can continue to breast feed so I’m one determined mamma. But this insomnia has me going crazy. And I’m slowly starting to feel a bit of disassociation combined with nervousness. Any input would be wonderful.

  • Anna October 3, 2016, 8:10 pm

    Talk to your doctor and do research on slow wean. Read Dr. Heather Ashton manual online. Benzo.org.uk excellent information to any questions you have. Benzodiazepine withdrawal methods, schedules and taper plans can be researched online. It’s hard to wean off benzo’s expect lots of systems but you can do it and your brain will heal with time.

    I’m currently doing a liquid taper from a compound pharmacy and it’s much better than trying to cut pills. Listen to your body. I’m currently taking 0.1mg daily and will cut again in 2-3 weeks to 0.09mg hope to jump off at 0.05mg. I’m finally seeing the end after 18 months of tapering.

    I was blessed to find a doctor that listened and helped me wean slowly. Praying for healing and wisdom as you go through this.

  • Patrice October 4, 2016, 7:48 pm

    Stacey I am no doctor but I certainly would slow down. Take the max. dosage that you took on a regular bases. Start cutting back at that amount. With you not taking the same amount consistently its hard to say what you could cut back on a slow steady pace. Once you cut your dose down go back up.

    Stay were you are and cut 1/4 of your dose again in a few weeks. I am down to .25 of total of 1 for 11 yrs. I started in July 2015 and I’m looking at another 200 days before finished. Slow and steady is name of the game. No cold turkey and you are going to have withdraws.

  • Anna October 6, 2016, 2:13 pm

    Update on my liquid taper. I saw my PCP this week and he wants me to continue to liquid taper to a zero dose. Will not jump off at 0.05 will con’t. to taper. I’m on 0.09mg in 2-3 weeks will go to 0.08mg then 0.07mg etc. I have several more months of liquid tapering from a compound pharmacy but am feeling much better and can finally see the end!

  • LoosinIt October 14, 2016, 11:43 pm

    I recently had a major surgery and being I was on so much for pain I forgot about taking my Klonopin as I’ve done nightly for 2 yrs. Well I suffered terrible withdrawals which sent me to the E.R. I never considered what was causing it I assumed it was all from prior surgery which was only 8 days ago. My head hurt so bad I can’t even lay down on a pillow, I’m shaky experience numbness I believe from muscle spasm in the neck, but so sleepless I want to give up and I know that’s depression talking.

    So tonight will be my first attempt back onto Klonopin because both doctor and E.R. suggested it would be better to get back on for my health… so here is to praying I finally can get a full night sleep and this pain in my head is away soon.

    • Anna October 18, 2016, 5:32 pm

      You had a taste of Klonopin withdrawal “cold turkey”!! It’s a nasty drug!! If you ever decide to wean off this drug go slow and find a knowledgeable doctor. Healing and blessing to you.

      • John October 29, 2016, 4:51 pm

        I agree Anna. One time the VA took me off of 3mgs cold turkey and it was hellish for several months. One must come off it slowly for certain. It can be done. I’m doing it right now and am down to 1/2 a mg a day.

  • Mark October 28, 2016, 7:06 pm

    I was on 2mg per day for a few years. A doctor had me taper over a three month period, which feels consistent with what I have read. It has been a month since my last dose. My only issue is with dizziness, but it really stinks. Has anyone had a similar situation and what was their ultimate outcome?

    • Mica November 6, 2016, 3:53 pm

      I have been dealing with dizziness for a solid 2 years. After seeing a cardiologist, neurologist, chiropractor, naturopath, acupuncturist, psychiatrist, several emergency room doctors and ENT I have an appointment with a vestibular physical therapist on Wed. November 9, 2016 for balance therapy. My dizziness has increased since I stopped taking clonazepam 8 months ago.

      The ENT (ear nose and throat) doctor checked my ears out throughly and concluded that it was the clonazepam shutting the balance part of my brain off the is cause of my dizziness. He said it would take months for my brain to compensate and re-regulate. Email me if you want to discuss this any further. Good luck.

  • Mica November 7, 2016, 12:38 am

    In 1994 at age 40 a psychiatrist prescribed clonazepam for me and I was on it for 22 years. After 22 years of daily dosing a psychiatrist determined I had reached TOLERANCE of clonazepam. Tolerance means the drug was actually causing my symptoms to worsen however my body was dependent on the drug. I was labelled an “Accidental addict.”

    In addition I was informed that continuing on clonazepam could cause early onset dementia. How messed up is that? My titration process began in the amount of 1 milligram clonazepam and took 14 grueling months of titration to be completely off. I was (and continue to be) under strict supervision of a wonderful naturopathic doctor in Portland Oregon. Now at age 62 I have been completely off clonazepam for nearly 8 months and still suffering heavily from dizziness, nausea, headache, insomnia and ear ringing.

    Dizziness is my chief compliant as I am barely functioning and live alone. I could NOT switch over to valium (as suggested by the Ashton Manual) for the titration because valium aggravated symptoms more. Compounded liquid clonazepam was essential for a successful titration. The naturopathic doctor had an almond oil liquid compound made of the clonazepam at a compounding pharmacy (Walgreens on N. Lombard in Portland, Oregon).

    The exact dose was administered every 8 hours. I received acupuncture treatments 5-6 days per week for 14 months. Much to my surprise my insurance covered treatments. I have the Oregon Health Plan Care Oregon, Careoregon. I also tried a slew of supplements and homeopathic remedies which I paid for out-of-pocket. Magnesium citrate, probiotics, fish oil, lithium orate (NOT lithium carbonate) has helped me the most.

    I have enlisted many specialist in the process of clonazepam withdrawal: a Cardiologist, Neurologist, Chiropractor, Gastroenterology, DBT Psychologist, Drug crisis lines, Prayer lines, Hypnotherapist, Craniosacral, Shaman, Massage, ENT and multiple trips to the ER . I have had a CT scan & MRI of my brain and continuos blood work. You could say I have been very proactive in my healing process and yet this has been undoubtedly the most overwhelming experience of my life.

    The upshot of all this is that my next step is vestibular physical therapy (referred by ENT DR.) in hopes to regain my balance. The dizziness has impacted the quality of my life tremendously. Wish me luck. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

    • Karen November 18, 2016, 10:37 pm

      Hi Mica, I, too, have been on klonopin for over 20 yrs. I have been off now for 14 & 1/2 months. Still suffering with symptoms. You can reach me at benzodisc[@]gmail.com if you’d like to compare notes. Good luck and be well.

  • Scott November 15, 2016, 7:47 pm

    I was on Klonopin for approximately 10 years. My dose has always been .5 mg twice daily. I also take Wellbutrin 75 mg twice daily. I had heard about the addictive qualities of Klonopin and have certainly witnessed them first hand. My cousin is a PhD pharmacist and she has really encouraged me to get off it as well as a friend that was on it and had enough of the negative side effects like not having the will to get stuff done, etc.

    She and I are both recovered alcoholics so we have a higher probability of becoming addicted. I discussed with my doctor my desire to get off it and he agreed it was worth trying. He had me slowly taper down. I took half a tablet morning and night for a week, then half a tablet in the morning for a week, then I had the option to break that but it was just crumbs at that point so I stopped.

    The withdrawal has been interesting. I’ve gotten very anxious at times and have to relax myself to calm down, I think I’ve been eating more junk aka sugar to help with things but probably makes it worse. I’ve definitely have had nausea in the morning when waking up and just overall felt like a weak flu but it comes and goes. I’ve also experienced some cold sweats at times which is just dandy.

    Everything I read says that I can potentially experience these symptoms for anywhere from a couple of weeks to a year or more. I’m hoping that since my dose and duration was low that it won’t take as long. Certainly any suggestions of things to try or foods to avoid that can help I am open to. Thanks.

    • Anna November 22, 2016, 1:51 am

      Scott, Avoid sugar, alcohol, caffeine and carbs. drink lots of water. All the do and don’ts are listed in the Ashton Manual-benzo.org.uk. excellent
      resource. I suggest wean Klonopin first then Wellbutrin. Find a doctor skilled at weaning Benzo’s. Most doctors are uneducated in weaning medication. It’s a long road our brains need time to heal it can be done. Wishing you healing and blessings.

  • Connor November 22, 2016, 1:16 am

    I’ve been taking Klonopin for about four years now, but for the past year I’ve been under 0.5mg. Right now it’s been a day since my last dose (a little less than 1/4 of a .5 tablet), which I’ve been on for two months. I can’t give the whole story, but basically I’m on such a small dose that it doesn’t seem logical to keep taking it. Sometimes I feel like it only makes my symptoms worse.

    After some trial and error, I’ve realized I can make it through the first day without any, but on the second and third it intensifies. I’m done reinforcing it, and I’m even willing to flunk this semester’s courses to quit it. Many people noted confusion and people thinking they are over exaggerating, when you actually just want assurance that everything is going to be okay.

    Short-term memory seems to be the issue for today, but it’s not too bad.. Hopefully I’ll remember to return to this.

  • Restless Legs November 23, 2016, 10:14 pm

    Hi all, I have been taking clonazepam 1-3 mg/day for restless legs (RLS) combined with 2 mg ropinerol Extended Release (ER) for about the last 10 years. I always take 1 clon. in the evening, a 2nd one occasionally in the middle of the night – when I wake up and cannot fall back asleep — and sometimes a 3rd one during the day when I think my restless legs are acting up.

    After experiencing confusion in the morning, migraine headaches, nausea, and difficulty to focus, I am ready to wean myself of clon. I am very grateful for this website and for all of you having posted your experiences here, all the information that you shared. I will heed your advice and taper off super-slowly: down .125 mg every three weeks, down .025 mg every three weeks once I am at .25mg.

    So, it looks like it will take me about 16 months to get to zero if everything works out. But let me not get ahead of myself. Right now, I will be taking 1 clon. in the evening and a 1/2 one in the morning for the next three weeks. I did not keep track how often I took 2 mg or 3 mg of clon. per day. So, I do not know whether I will experience withdrawal symptoms.

    From your posts, I understand that, given the long half-life of .5 mg clon. it sometimes takes up to 7 or 10 days for withdrawal symptoms will show up. So far so good. Yesterday, was the first day of my new regime. Question: Are there any other people on this website who used clonazepam for RLS? How did your RLS behave once you started tapering off your doze of clon?

  • Michael November 25, 2016, 4:49 pm

    I have been taking 2 mg of Klonopin a day for over 3 years now prescribed at a group of Dr’s. in a medical arts conglomeration one of which my pain mgt. dr. “Dr. G.” is a top member of. I told my pain mgt. PA “Mike” who is new that I wanted to taper of of it completely due to memory problems and and other negative symptoms I felt were from the Rx that outweighed any benefit. He gave me a 4 week taper schedule that cut it 25% a week so that I was off of it in 4 weeks.

    I tried to convey to him that everything I read advised a longer taper period, but he became obviously offended and said no. He became very ridgid and took on an offensive manner as if I were questioning his authority. Remember, I was the one who asked for detox from Klonopin. When I realized that I felt uncomfortable with the rapidity of his reduction time, I said forget it I’ll keep taking it until I’m sure, thinking I’ll do this with a timeline that I feel comfortable with.

    He became visibly irritated and said “No, we don’t take orders.” I had a great relationship wit the former PA “Bev” who I could talk to and would listen and work with me. Well, let me tell you, I have been through hell the last month, it took a couple of days after each reduction for withdrawal symptoms to get worse and worse. Epic debilitating, excruciatingly violent headache, ongoing light sensitivity, severe stomach problems and insomnia to the point of madness.

    All efforts to contact my Dr., his boss about my concern at my symptoms and the horrible side effects are stopped at the front desk and even the office manager tells me that they have no trouble with “Mike” and I was not allowed to see the Dr. who is an anthesiologist to talk about my problem. The front office was in effect circling a weird protective circle around this guy to the point where I became the problem and I was treading into waters that I had better stay out of. Any attempts to contact “Dr. G.” was met with a slammed door and I got the feeling that “Mike” had pegged me as a problem patient.

    As a matter of fact on my return visit I was 30 minutes early for the following appt. and sat there for over an hour and a half while people whose appointments who were after mine were seen first. I even asked the receptionist why and she went in the back and came back and said they were busy. Well long story longer, I finished the last of the Klonopin and I am so sick right now with the above symptoms and muscle pain, sweating and a burning feeling in my face… along with a blood pressure spike of 150/100 to top off a headache that is so awful, I am willing to do anything to get relief – but nothing helps.

    I feel like they abandoned me and instead of the “Heal Thyself” code they took a “Screw It & Deal With It” code. I’m lost and in agony. I guess this is my new reality. And if it is, I’m tired of being in it. Michael

Leave a Comment