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.
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.
I was prescribed Clonazepam at coming off Lyrica after 13 years. I have been on the 1/2 mg in morning and 1 mg at bedtime for 15 months. It still took me an hour or 2 to go to sleep. I told the doctor I wanted off.
I started 30 days ago by dropping off .25, so I took 1/2 in morning and 3/4 at night did ok. 2nd month 1/2 in morning and 1/2 at night – after 7 days insomnia started kicking in. I sleep ok for one night, then next night some sleep, then the next no sleep.
When month 3 comes I will be taking 1/4 in morning and 1/2 at bedtime. Month 4 I will take 1/4 in morning and 1/4 at bedtime. Month 5 no pill in morning and 1/4 at night. How long will the withdrawal last after this?
It says in your system from 30 to 40 hours, WOW. This is going to be bad. Can you please give me some advice? I am in that 1% that medicine sometimes does the opposite to me.
Hello Everyone. I have been off of Klonopin for 4 months now. Ended on May 1, 2018. I started my taper on July 4th 2016. 1 year and 10 months. My prescription of .5 in the a.m. and .5 in the p.m for 11 years and its effectiveness was no longer working. My Dr. wanted to up my dosage as needed.
I started reading and educating myself and landed this sight. It was my saving grace. I had no where to turn other than others comments and this became my support group. I still come back to read and check in because I still have problems that creep in occasionally.
I wanted to share with you the utmost most importance of weening slowly. Very, very, very slowly. I started cutting a 1/4 in the beginning and when I got down to the last .25 I really slowed down using water and watching a documentary on Youtube. (I advise watching her documented taper).
The Ashton Manual helped as well but I did not have the privilege of given other drugs to support my taper. Looking back I am grateful. You can do this and I support anyone 100%. God bless you all. Remember to tapper Sloooooowwwwwly!!!!
I was prescribed this medication about three years ago to help me with the initial side effects from an antidepressant. I took .25 mg sporadically for a year or 18 months as the antidepressant wasn’t entirely effective and I was going through a very difficult time in my life. After that, I started abusing it, taking it almost daily at my own discretion, sometimes up to 2 mg a day.
I had a history of benzo abuse from many years ago that I had kicked, and I decided I was playing with fire. Given my life was still difficult, a psychiatrist suggested I just stay on 1 mg a day for as long as I needed. He said he had “lots of patients” who have been on that dosage for years and are doing really well. I didn’t like the idea, but said I would stay on .5 mg a day, which I did for about eight months.
About eight weeks ago I went on a new antidepressant, and went off the old one. At the same time I cut the clonazepam in half (.25 mg). Three weeks later I cut that in half again, so I was down .125 mg. About two weeks ago I started cutting the corners off that tiny piece of pill so I guess I was taking .09 mg.
All during this time I was having symptoms that I was attributing to the initial antidepressant side effects — anxiety, tremors, loss of appetite, tender stomach (wanting loose pants) and depression. These symptoms would come and go day by day, sometimes hour by hour. Oddly, I felt best starting late afternoon. It was almost as if my body knew I would be taking that little chunk of pill at 7 PM.
Now I’m realizing that virtually all of my symptoms during that 8-week period have been from the clonazepam withdrawal. In fact, I’m realizing that my anxiety and depression have likely been exacerbated by taking this medication daily for two years. I stopped taking the .09 mg three days ago.
About 36 hours later I was taken by surprise by a severe anxiety attack and onset of all of the above symptoms, just more so. I’m finding sleep is crucial. If I don’t get enough sleep the symptoms are much worse that day. I’m very fortunate in that I am a teacher so I have had the summer free to deal with all of this.
I am just hoping that the worst of it will be better when classes start back, although I know my workplace will be very understanding. Twenty-nine years ago I was a serious benzo addict taking 110 mg of Valium a day. If I took that amount right now I would likely collapse on the floor and not wake up for three days.
I was tapered and weaned from that medication at a treatment center over the course of 15 days, and I was pretty clear of side effects after four weeks. I’m finding this relatively tiny dosage of clonazepam harder to kick at age 63 than those massive dosages of Valium was at 34. I’m so grateful that I didn’t follow my doctor’s advice to take 1 mg a day.
I’m also attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings once or twice a week. Not that I’m afraid of relapsing, at least not right now, but the companionship, being able to share, and hearing other people’s struggles and successes really helps me deal with the day to day pain.
I have been on Klonopin for about four months due to anxiety. I am now tapering my 1mg in the am and I am at 1/2mg. Doctor had me taper 3/4 mg for 3 days and then 1/2 for three days and now we will be tapering the evening 1/2mg to a 1/4mg.
I also take Gabapentin 300mg 3x a day. I do not have to take the afternoon dose if I don’t feel I need it. I take 1mg clozapine to help stable me out. I have been having more good days than bad, but just wondered if you thought this was too fast of a withdrawal and if it’s normal to feel like crying for no reason.
I am looking for legal advice as well as psychiatrists in Maryland. In summer of 2016, I got a DUI in Maryland and the judge sentenced me to 10 days in prison. Not jail, actual murderer cell mates in prison. At this time, I am on 8mg a day of Klonopin after 5 years of 8 mg of Xanax legally prescribed by a reckless doctor.
I informed the judge of my inability to safely live without this medication. She agreed and stated on record that if I can not take medication, than I will do my 10 days in a different way. As I arrived in prison, the head nurse immediately took all my pills away and my phone in order to contact the judge.
She said “you are in my world now” blatantly stolen from Shawshank. I informed her that seizures were likely because I had them before with a couple pharmacy mishaps. Detoxing cold turkey off 8mg has ruined my life. I am on Medicaid because I can’t keep jobs due to constant panic attacks.
It has been almost 2 years and I still experience every symptom above in this article. I was abused by guards screaming at me for “faking my seizures” which include loss of feeling in arms and legs. They put me in solitary confinement for all 8 days served with the last 3 under suicide watch.
In suicide watch you are in a padded room with super bright lights, next to a convicted murder threatening me 24/7, strip search 6 times a day. I had zero sleep the entire week. I got Shingles immediately after release, 20 years early due to extreme stress.
I need some legal advice and wanted to let you all know that cold turkey is extremely dangerous. I truly wanted to die. Thanks for reading and good luck to all who have and will go through this.
I have been taking Klonopin for 9 years and have tried before to get off… The devil of a pill is strong and I have failed. Today is the first day of my tapering to get off this forever… Any support or guidance is greatly appreciated. I am already in withdrawals. Matt
I’m hoping you are well. Reaching out in empathy, as I find myself going cold turkey due to a pharmacy mixup after 9 years of 2 mg three times daily doctor-prescribed. I feel like I’m going to die. The withdrawals are a living nightmare. Going to seek intervention.
I was referred to a psychiatrist when I started experiencing symptoms of exposure to electromagnetic radiation manifest as burning, tingling and pain in my eyes, face and mouth. I was unable to sleep for months. I was diagnosed with depression but I wasn’t depressed.
To keep my job I had to see a psychiatrist who was very expensive and remain under her care. I was prescribed Klonopin, which made me sleep. After 10 years I stopped cold turkey and suffered the usual withdrawals: worst hangover in your life, tremors, unable to sleep, and muscle spasms as if someone was poking me with a stick.
The reality is that I’m aware of years of doctor research without my knowledge or consent. Long-term use Klonopin has given me depression, loss of cognitive abilities, and realization I am no longer mentally capable of defending myself and their misdiagnosis of schizophrenia.
I have been in severe pain for the last 6 months from TMJ and trigeminal nerve pain; I make funny faces. Now isolated, I am seriously getting sick, and this has been torture. People are ruthless and evil.
The damage has been done and is irreversible. I hope they are happy with the monster(s) they’ve created. They’re getting away with murder and who would believe me now? I may soon be on a street corner yelling at the cars and passers by. It seems to help.
So sad that so many of us suffer so much because of the ignorance of doctors who prescribe benzodiazepines without knowing how dangerous they are. I have had such severe tightness in my forehead that I have difficulty getting out of bed on some days.
Low blood sugar makes the anxiety and pressure worse so eat regularly, something healthy – even whole oats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, organic eggs. I know the pain is so excruciating. The pharma that produces benzo should be sued for being so uncaring.
We must start a class action suit and make sure benzos are not produced any more. Talking to people who can empathize helps me and so does prayer.
Hi, I have seen some questions and comments on here about going off. You must somehow taper extremely slowly and you must have a strong support system in place. MY BROTHER JUST KILLED HIMSELF DUE TO KLONOPIN COLD TURKEY WITHDRAWAL. Please, I implore you to seek adequate medical help and support of friends and family.
It will be along road and it will not be easy. DO NOT GO TO A DETOX CENTER UNLESS IT IS MEDICALLY LICENSED. You will be surprised at the huge number of residential detox centers that claim they have experience with benzodiazepine withdrawal and they will have drs on board, etc. but chances are they are not a medically licensed facility.
It is extremely difficult to get of of benzos once on them long term. I do not have any other helpful information at this time except got BENZOINFO.COM and please report any symptoms, injury or anything adverse form your experience with benzos so that hopefully one day laws can be changed about these horrifying drugs.
I only pray that you all receive the help that you need. I cannot tell you how sorry I am that any of you are going through this. My brother was a beautiful human being, intelligent, educated family man who had PTSD from a military experience.
I hate that his life ended this way. I hope that he can save you through his death. Please educate yourself and please speak up about what is happening.
I’m so sorry about your brother and you must be so brave yourself to share your story. His passing will be my motivation to try hard to get off this medication. I keep failing and I’m not a quitter usually. Thank you for sharing and I know from experience how much you miss your brother. I hope you can have peace in your life and all good memories. Thank you, Pauline
I am 45 and have been taking clonazepam for at least 20 years, and about 8 at 1 mg 2x daily for panic and anxiety disorders. There is a strong family history of dementia and after reading about this and seeing that it could increase the possibility of developing it, I went off and have found a psychiatrist that will help me taper off.
He said it could take years, and it’s got my anxiety levels at an all time high. Have a great support system with my husband and son, but am worried that the anxiety will come back ten-fold as it has been ratcheting up slightly over the past few months, part of the reason I went to a new psychiatrist. Any suggestions or thoughts?
Not to worry you but I am going through hell. I was on clonazepam for over 20 years at 3mg/day. I never wanted to be in long-term but no psychiatrist wanted to assist me in coming off. Finally, while my father was dying, I needed a refill and my psychiatrist closed his office? No notice…nothing.
I went to ER and they would only give me a few days. Try finding a doctor in a hurry when you need a controlled substance. So I had several days of brutal withdrawal. I finally found a doc who switched me to lorazepam; however, I think major damage was done to me already.
This occurred in late 9/17 early 10/17. Right now I have so many things wrong with me from head to toe ( hair loss, puffy face, skin problems, ascites, fatigue, depression, joint pain, etc.). Thus far, blood work is OK. Now going through ultrasounds.
I don’t know if the withdrawal triggered something or this is still part of withdrawal. I am currently taking lorazepam .5mg 3 x a day. I have never been sick a day in my life. Never smoked, drank or did drugs… all for this?
Personally, I will never go to a psychiatrist again. I thought everything I read wouldn’t happen to me? I’m angry because benzo withdrawal is not in the forefront of discussions like opioids.
Elizabeth, I’m so happy you’ve decided to come off this horrible, vile drug. I was on Klonopin 21 years and weaned off only 10 months. Not enough. Need to go extremely slow. Started 9/15 completely off of it and still have many symptoms 34 months later.
Lost 3 years of my life and 32 years as a zombie, robotic and living in the twilight zone. These are evil, destructive, deadly drugs. I am glad you have great support because that is #1 to survive this process. I would not be here replying to you without my support.
Would love to talk about this with you. Good luck and I am sending you prayers and healing thoughts. Long process but you can do it!!
Hello all, I am happy I have found a community of people that are going through/have gone through the same thing as I am. I am 21 years old and I have been taking Klonopin .5mg 2x daily for 5 years. This medication has helped me tremendously with my panic attacks, but after some research on the harm it is doing to my body, I am not ok with taking it any longer.
I recently switched doctors because the doctor that prescribed me the medication would not support me coming off of it. My new doctor has recommended that I take .25 mg in the morning and .5 mg in the evening as my first cut (that’s a 1/4 cut). Today is only my first day doing this so I am reading your suggestions on what to do when the withdrawal symptoms hit me.
Does this seem like too big of a cut too fast? I am currently taking gabapentin to help with the withdrawal symptoms. While being on Klonopin I felt great for several years, but the past two years I have been plagued with depression and memory loss. No college aged student should have to go through this.
If I can offer any advice of my own, it would be to avoid this drug and take anything else instead. I don’t understand why I was prescribed this anyways at such a young age. Good luck to everyone. We are strong. May the journey begin.
Hi Allison, I have been cutting also and went from about 6mg a day to .75. My first my cuts were .5 then .25. I now take .25 3 times a day: 6am, noon, and 6pm so I’ve cut my noon pill in half a .125 cut every other day and then will just do .125 every day then no noon pill.
And continue by cutting the morning pill to .125 every other day then every day then no morning pill. Then the same for the evening pill. Seems like the lower I get, the more difficult it becomes, but going slow is better than too fast and not being successful.
At .75 I tried a .25 cut which is 1/3 of my daily dose and it was rough – that’s why I’m now slowing down on the amount I cut each time. I’m 8 days on my last cut and it’s been okay – not real bad withdraw. We will get there.
I see it was several months ago you started the end of your benzo taper. Can you tell me how it went and how long you had withdraws?
Hello, I’ve been taking clonazepam, for 10 years. I’ve recently relocated to a new town and the doctor here won’t refill my script. I can’t even get into see a doctor until my records arrive. My old doctor and I were on a year long plan to get me off of these things, as I don’t want to be addicted to anything.
So I’m having to go cold turkey and I am more then a little nervous. I’m already having withdrawals. I’m shaky and nervous my anxiety level is off the roof. I started a new job and I’m so afraid of losing it over these stupid things. I need help. I’ve been taking 1mg once a day sometimes 2.
I went to the ER and doctor said I’d be fine I wasn’t going to die & prescribed 25mg of hydroxyzine 4x a day. This seems crazy, what can I do? Will I be ok? Am I going to end up having a panic attack and fainting like I used to? Will I have a seizure or even worse? I feel very alone.
Sarah. You need to find someone to get you back onto klonopin and taper off properly. DO NOT STOP COLD TURKEY. You must taper. You must find a medical person who can help you. I have just watched my brother who was stopped cold turkey at a detox center that supposedly specializes in taking people off of benzos.
He was on it for 5 years. It has been about three months. The symptoms get much worse after a few weeks. He had seizures and a whole host of awful, awful, awful, awful, awful nightmarish symptoms. I cannot even begin to tell you. Currently he has basically lost his mind and is in an institution where he cannot hurt himself or others.
My brother was never this person. He was a high functioning, well educated family man who was initially put on klonopin for PTSD from a military experience. He then developed an alcohol addiction (which has never run in my family) which I believe was to mask symptoms he was having related to the klonopin which he was taking long term under a doctor’s care.
People are not supposed to be on benzos long term but drs do it all the time off label. It only takes a few weeks or so for the body to become dependent on the klonopin. It is a real tragedy and I truly wish there were some way to educate the globe about these nasty, horrible drugs which are basically legally lobotomizing our brothers and sisters of this world.
It is no joke. You need to find some medical person to help you and get you back so that you can properly taper. Do not wait very long. At about two-three weeks withdrawal you will start with seizures. And it only gets worse from there. I am just praying that my brother will eventually get his mind back. All I can do is pray. I truly wish you luck.
I have been on Klonopin for 22 years. It is EXTREMELY, EXTREMELY addicting. Doc put me on this horrible drug after being on Thorazine. Thorazine is very, very, very, very, very, very, very toxic!!! I developed Tardive Dyskinesia from Thorazine. Thorazine should be banned by the FDA!
Thorazine CAUSES mental illness and Paranoia. It is pure poison and in Europe they do not even use it anymore, because it is so so toxic. Klonopin has helped me sleep as insomnia was my major complaint, and the Tardive Dyskinesia. I started on 1.5 mg, but now am at 2.75, 22 years later.
So I have had to up the dosage to have the same effect. I have tried to ween off this drug several times with no success. My problem could be that the Thorazine did such damage to my brain, that I may not be able to ever go off Klonopin. Every time I try to slightly reduce, my insomnia is profound…
I have suffered so so many many nights with insomnia. I would really like to ween off of this drug. With my history, I am not sure I can. I have seen several doctors and even the entire psychiatric staff at the University of Arizona that have said they can do nothing to help me.
They must know that Thorazine is highly, highly, highly toxic, and permanently damages the brain. All I can say is that psychiatry has ruined my life, rather than help it.
What started out as anxiety, ended up as years and years and years of suffering from the drugs they push to gain control of you, to increase their clients’ dependence on them, and therefore to create a constant flow of income.
Eddy – I have also been taking Klonopin for close to two decades and really alarmed to read about the long term side effects. This is the only medication that makes me feel sane. How are you doing in the “weaning” off process?
What the real kick in the ass is, is that I started taking this drug to help with my constant fear of getting a fatal illness (hypochondriasis was passed along with other wonderful mental delicacies from my mother’s side). UGH! Now I’m freaking out about this! HORSES ASS! Ok, that’s my rant and sorry to offend anyone.
I wanted to add my experience to this site so others can know about it; reading other’s stories has been really helpful for me to know what to expect and how shocking it is that so many doctors prescribe this and then act surprised when patients have withdrawals and seem to completely forget that some withdrawals (like from benzos or alcohol) can KILL people.
I’m rather young, 25, and have been on Special K for about 9-12 months, don’t remember exactly (seems to mess with my memory). I was put on it due to SEVERE debilitating agoraphobia where I couldn’t leave my house nor sleep without having multiple panic attacks where I thought I was dying.
I went to a place called Comprehensive Mental Health in Washington. It’s a therapy/counseling center with other services like drug counseling (ironically!!!) and they have a nurse practitioner to prescribe meds. I was originally on 1mg twice a day, but when it was really bad would occasionally take an extra, which my NP knew about.
While also doing CBT therapy I was supposed to be kinda weaning myself down. My prescription instructions on the bottle always said “take 0.5 to 1mg up to twice daily, use sparingly.” Up until recently I was on 1mg and had started withdrawing slowly (even just lowering the dose on this awful drug, you will feel it, and withdraw even while taking it).
The lower dose combined with health issues (I have chronic IBD and other issues) made my anxiety/health worse and I missed a few appointments. I had already told the front desk people about it and they assured me it was alright. They have a policy to essentially kick people out of the program if they miss appointments but told me it was okay.
I got my Klonopin filled on Feb 2nd. It was my normal script as per usual, same instructions and everything. I saw my NP on Feb 9th and she AT NO POINT told me that I was supposed to be TAPERING OFF with the intent to STOP this medication, nor that this was my last refill ever!!
On March 14th I called in to get a renewal. In WA state you can only get controlled substances once per month and it must be manually called in by the prescriber (no refills allowed). It’s annoying at times but I understand. The nurse at Comprehensive said “Oh, you’ve been discharged and your file is closed because you missed 3 appointments. We can’t fill it, you must call your doctor.” COMPLETELY out of the blue, as nobody had told me I was no longer a patient!!
Called my family doctor, and guess what, he’s out of the office for 2 weeks. So the doctors standing in don’t have legal permission to fill a controlled substance written by someone else. They say they called Comprehensive themselves and were told “the patient must come back for an intake appointment to get this filled.”
Different instructions! Not to mention I had gone into HORRIBLE withdrawals already, I was about 4 days without my Klonopin. I could barely get out of bed let alone go on the bus (I don’t have a car) and go to an intake appointment at 8am!! AND it was a FRIDAY! They’re closed on weekends!
The withdrawals I got were EXTREME. In fact I’m still going through it now. I’m unable to sleep at all without taking a high dose of Trazodone, Benadryl, Melatonin, anything I can shove down my throat to force myself to sleep a few hours. I’m sweating so much it’s like I’m bathing in my own sweat. I have “hot flashes” and “cold spells.”
My temp goes from 96 to 102 at random times. I vomited for about 2 days straight until nothing came out but bile. As I said I have IBD and I had major surgery a few years back to remove my entire colon and parts of my small intestine. Having SEVERE vomiting and non-stop diarrhea is NOT healthy for me. I am seriously dehydrated. My anxiety is also EXTREME.
I have “rebound” anxiety – my original symptoms of panic attacks are coming back worse than ever. I’m having severe panic episodes about every 30 minutes where I start sweating and shaking all over, can’t breathe, my blood pressure and pulse skyrocket, I get dizzy and start hallucinating, become delirious and believe I’m going to die, or my fiancee is going to die, the world is ending, or some other panic delusion…
I am terrified of having a seizure or heart attack. And it’s only been 5 days as of right now. This can last weeks or months!!! I’m completely disabled at this point and I WAS recovering before! Trying to speak with the on-call doctor after hours at my family clinic was a complete loss.
He was simply annoyed that I bothered him on a Saturday evening and when I said “withdrawals” he must have assumed I’m a drug addict and told me “You’re not dying, get through it yourself” and when I tried to explain that this is a BENZO and the withdrawals are SERIOUS, he said “Well I think I know more than you.” Really?!
Calling Comprehensive was also a loss. My fiancee called in a panic trying to help me and they insisted that I was “instructed to taper off this medication” and that my last refill IN FEBRUARY was intended to be my final refill. Nobody has EVER mentioned this to myself OR my fiancee, who was present at ALL of my appointments!
The NP is refusing to look at this situation. The nurse simply says they will not fill it and to “go to the ER if I need pills.” I should not be going to the ER to get a refill! That’s not what their job is. I should be going if I have a seizure or am actually dying – which by the way could happen!
I’ve been told different things by everyone. My script says nothing about tapering. The pharmacy also checked and it doesn’t say anything in their system about this either. I have been obviously labeled a “problem patient” and a “drug seeker” and they want nothing to do with me. My family doctor does not get back for a week.
When he gets back in, I will call and tell him myself what is happening and he will most likely prescribe something for me because he already knows I was taking it- he prescribes me Vyvanse and encouraged me to keep taking the Klonopin to assist with the high BP and anxiety the Vyvanse can cause.
But I have to go through this horrible withdrawal and be in actual danger for a week plus the 5 days already. We need more people to tell their stories about this. I am looking into legal options; this is a medical malpractice suit in waiting. I have read other stories here and elsewhere. This happens way too often.
People are strung along on this medication and then for whatever reason dropped, and doctors don’t bother to check their med books or even Google it to realize it is dangerous and also ethically wrong to make a patient go through this. Because of all the addiction issues rising lately, they don’t want to be responsible for this. But they MUST have legal responsibility.
Please, if you have gone through this, leave your story online. Here or anywhere. This needs to stop. This medication is not evil, but the mis-use and malpractice by incompetent or lazy doctors is absolutely terrible. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.
1) Having to take pills to fix problems from other pills is how many people get into trouble. Do you *truly* need as large a dose of the upper you’re on?
Is there a lower dose even available, or a lower-potency version (it’s easier to structure a benzo taper, for example, with switching to a lower potency drug like diazepam even though clonazepam has about the same half-life, and in many other meds too a lower-potency drug that does the same thing is easier to dose at a rate that doesn’t create side effects) that works?
Not going to say come off anything else that also might cause you withdrawal, but lowering the dose if you’re still on uppers might help the panic/insomnia you’re having.
2) If you are experiencing mania, hallucinations, paranoia, etc, that IS a medical emergency, and you may need inpatient to deal. Don’t let it get to seizures just because you want to be tough. Emergency rooms and psych wards are scary, but better than full-on manic psychosis, too.
What sucks the most is the combination of both, and trying to prove you really are married when they truly thought it was a delusion when you said that you were married to a foreign immigrant who was a doctor in another state… (yes, reality can be stranger than delusions).
3) I hope you’ve heard from your GP by now, and that if nothing else he can get you out of withdrawal. But think about the fact he’s the reason you got on it, too, when considering whether he’s too “pill friendly” compared to pill-phobic addiction docs.
Hi. I have been on Clonazepam for five or six years the same dose. It still works like a charm for me. I have severe anxiety and depression. I remember stopping for a year. I didn’t have withdraw symptoms at all. I got back on it due to my anxiety.
I haven’t built a tolerance nor became addicted to it for some reason. My doctor tried every medication for me to help me with my severe anxiety nothing helped. It was a last resort medication. Since being on it I haven’t had anxiety and no panic attacks. I’m under a doctor’s supervision and care.
I see my psych doctor every three months. Clonazepam still works for me and works well. I haven’t had to have a dose increase. Why do some people build a tolerance and others don’t? I know people that have been on it for 25 years and never had to increase there dose. Also Clonazepam helps me focus and concentrate and actually helps me to remember. It’s a miracle medication for me.
Just curious as to what dosage you are on. I had been on it for about 20 years with no dosage increase as well; however, was “forced” into withdrawal when I had remaining scripts that the pharmacy would not renew because I was a few dates late renewing and my doctor had retired. It has been a living hell because I do not want to be on anything ever again.
Has anyone had experience with going cold turkey after taking 2-3 mg per day for 6 years? I am watching my brother go through it an I am really scared for him. Any pointers? He’s about 3 weeks out.
I am genuinely surprised to find this site, and very glad.
I’ve been taking clonazepam for 18 years at 3mg/day. Prescribed by a neurologist, I also have seen psychiatrists constantly since 1996. My problem with my situation is that no doctor ever suggested lowering the dose or tapering it.
I get profoundly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. I’ve had to discontinue due to an insurance problem and also have lost backup supplies a few times. Twice I ended up in status epilepticus (unending seizure) which required me to be put under general anesthesia.
There is no worse experience in heaven or on earth than cold turkey withdrawal from clonazepam. I would not wish it on my worst enemy.
So, I have long since given up on the idea, being 40 now and even though I am sure I have discovered a cocktail that should reverse tolerance and eliminate almost all the symptoms, there is not a doctor in this state or any other within 1000 miles who can or will help me with it. This is a personal cocktail, it is sure to be different for each person. For me:
3mg clonazepam tapered to 1mg over 4 months, then replaced with 80mg diazepam, cutting 5mg weekly until the dose is 10mg, then 1 per week, as in Ashton’s manual.
These adjunct meds will work if I ever find a doctor to help me with this.. I think it could get millions off benzos.
* Valproate/Divalproex Sodium up to 1200mg/day starting one month -before- taper. This drug binds to the same receptors and works astonishingly well for me.
* Taurine, 8-16 grams daily, but only high quality with no sulfur contamination. Taurine is an anti-seizure and a glycine agonist, which eliminates muscle spasms, anxiety and panic, and regulates cellular electgrolyte balance.
* Acamprosate, very low dose. Prevents glutamate neurotoxicity by antagonizing NMDA, which is the cause of almost all severe symptoms and can result in permanent damage. Ketamine may be even better but is only dispensed in hospitals as far as I know.
* Flumazenil, the only full benzodiazepine antagonist, which displaces all benzos from their binding site. It’s used for benzo overdose, but has a different effect when used in low doses, maybe one course per week, or as directed by a doctor. Recently it was discovered that flumazenil can ‘reset’ uncoupled GABA receptors. This has to be done in a hospital with an IV and emergency care available. I need more guidance on this one but it’s the cornerstone of this method.
*Hydroxyzine (Vistaril/Atarax) PRN, if desired. 5HT2A antagonist, it is very effective at relieving agitation, acute fear and panic, thought disorders, and induces sleep, which is a PRECIOUS commodity during benzo w/d.
DIET. Eat as much as you possibly can of every food except wheat. If you can switch to a ketogenic diet, that is perfect.
SSRI antidepressants should stay untouched or be tapered off first. Don’t think about quitting smoking, etc. This is a much bigger fish to fry. Above all, no alcohol. It’ll reset the process and put you back at day one with even a single drink, so if you drink too much, take care of it before you taper off.
The Ashton Manual tapering schedule is what I used for tapering off a 2mg dose of Klonopin at bedtime that I had been taking for restless leg syndrome for more than 10 years. It is a slow taper with substitution of Valium. I’ve been off Klonopin for 6 months and now following the protocol for Valium tapering. The Ashton Manual is availabile to download free online. I highly recommend it!
Sandy – I’m was taking exact same amount as you. My doctor has dropped me from 2mg to .25 without a taper and I’m going through Hell. I was wondering how were your withdraw symptoms by using the Ashton Manual? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I was wondering if anyone got severe allergies after weaning off of Klonopin. I have broken out all over and the blood test shows I’m allergic to eggs, wheat, soy, corn, peanuts, milk and those are the only ones I can remember. Have yet to get the printout of all of them. Anybody ever heard of this?
I was on Clonazepam for 25 years. I came off slowly and am off completely. I was off for 2 months and then like a ton of bricks sweating started and I never know when it will hit. Then soon after anxiety crept up and it’s becoming a problem for me and now I have fear of certain things.
I feel like I have gone back to square one. I am 58 years old. I was 32 when panic attacks started and I was put on Clonazepam and Effexor. I would have never stopped Clonazepam but my doctor retired and new doctor said that Clonazepam needed to stop. I am a mess. HELP.
Claudia, I was on Klonopin for 21 yrs, and Valium for 11 yrs (32 yrs total). I was told symptoms will last 1 month for every year you were on these evil drugs. I am now off almost 28 months after weaning 10 months. It’s been hell but I thank God I’m still here to talk about it. I have 4 more months to go and hope for a complete recovery. Stay strong, there will be an end to this. Blessings.
Hi everyone, This blog is great! I have been on clonazepam for about 4 years. I am 50 years old. Was taking approximately 6mg a day for severe panic attacks. Not long after taking this I changed my lifestyle to a low stress, better diet, etc. So decided to taper off and went from 6mg down to currently .75 a day at .25 3 times a day.
All of my cuts have been from .50 for about a month then another .50 cut till I got down to 2.5mg then would cut .25 until I made it to about 1mg now at .75 mg. I tried cutting .25 my noon pill and at about my 5th day all hell broke loose. Been on the .75 for about a year mainly because I was exhausted from all the withdrawals each cut, but found that the lower you get, the harder it gets.
I couldn’t take the withdrawal this time so went back to .75 and will re-level at .75 and try cutting 1/8th at a time until I’m at 1/8. Will hopefully then try the every other day thing for awhile. From this post I have realized once you get down to a small dose, it gets tougher. I quit Xanax from 4mg to 0 cold turkey and it sucked for a week, but I then felt better.
This is much tougher with the long half life, for me it takes about 5 days and then the cut hits all at once. I am thankful for this information on here and feel bad for some of you who have gone through so much agony. I wish all of you the best in recovery and I will post back when I make a successful cut each time. God Bless and thanks to everyone here for sharing!
I quit it cold turkey right after the first post I made. I had about a week where it was rough, but then I started feeling so much better and thinking clearly. My neurologist said I did NOT need to be on this drug with my history of strokes. I was put on Protonix due to a GI bleed and he said I could take it for up to 2 months because new research showed it greatly increases the risk of me having another heart attack or stroke. He stated a lot of doctors did not know that. I wish you all the best in your struggles with this issue and I just wanted to share how I was doing after making my decision to get off this horrible drug.
Hi Paul, Glad to hear of your success! Some people have a real tough time. I was real bad when I came off the Xanax CT and didn’t know at the time the dangers involved. I just had to ruff it out for about 7 days with no sleep and only able to go to the bathroom and back to the couch. After the 7th day I began feeling better and by day 12 I was fine with no protracted symptoms. Was only on the Xanax a short time like 3 months but about 4-6 mgs a day.
I have a pretty ruff period after I do a cut on this clonazepam. the withdrawal starts at about day 5 and lasts about 10 days slowly getting better but still have protracted symptoms for a few weeks, when they ease up I do another cut until this last effort at .25 which was ridiculously tuff. So its been 8 days since the failed attempt and I’m finally leveling off back at .75 and will give it a few more days and do a smaller cut.
The clonazepam definitely has a harsher impact on me during the withdrawal than the Xanax did even though I CT’d off the Xanax I didn’t have protracted symptoms. I’ll get there though and thanks for your input. I have been on the clonazepam for about 4 years which is a lot longer than the time on Xanax which is why I think it might be tougher as well. Hoping you do well and stay free brother.
I am so happy to have found this incredible site to share experiences. I am 65 and have been on Clonazepam for years – every time I have tried to taper off, it hits me and I’m back on. I don’t take much every day but if I go three days without picking up a refill, I’m a wreck. My new NP has said it is time to wean off and I am willing to slowly give this a try.
Question: Has anyone tried cannabis for help with sleep? It helps me tremendously! I am a very lucid dreamer and will wake up drained by nighttime anxiety dreams. I’m in Colorado and have access to a wide variety of strains. It makes all the difference. I will continue to keep track of this remarkable thread. Thank you all for sharing your experiences – I am encouraged.
KB – I was wondering what strains of cannabis? I tried to come ofd klonopin and my doc said I went too fast. Each time I dosed down I felt anxious for 3-5days then it tapered off. When I got down to zero, let’s just say I probably screwed up, because by day 7 of no sleep I drank, took benadryl, cannabis, and melatonin – but still did not sleep.
After 11 days of not sleeping, my doc put me back on it. I am now terrified of tapering again because of the awful experience I had. I know I can do it, but I was wondering which strains of cannabis are good for insomnia… That was the hardest part for me, exhaustion coupled with EXTREME anxiety, tremors, and no relief.
I have found “Gorilla Glue,” an indica strain that I smoke, to give me incredibly deep sleep. The dispensary here in Colorado is very helpful and knowledgeable.
It doesn’t take much – just a couple puffs a couple hours before bedtime. Weed does work as a ‘mind-eraser’ on me – I have no memory of the 10:00 news but I sleep like a champ. Good luck!
I am 67 years. I have been on clonazepam got approx 7 years. I attempted detox approximately 4 years ago. I tapered down and still had a rough time. I was in an outpatient program and the doctor there said I might have to be on 0.05 mg a day for the rest of my life. Well I did that for approx a year or little longer.
Then I started taking more. Not sure how much. Not over 6 tabs I think. Anyway… I went into a detox and they detoxed me pretty much cold turkey. It’s been 31 days and I still feel awful. My head is ringing, not my ears, my feet are tingling hard time sleeping.
I do not want to go back on them since it has been this long. I also came off of 16-24 mg of Suboxone. I do not know what to do. Last time I tried to detox tapering it was still very difficult. I do not know what to do!
I thought this was all in my mind. I stopped taking my 1mg in the morning/noon time on my own and didn’t realize why I felt the way I do…just thought it was part of my bipolar 2 issues. I finally went back to work after grieving the loss of my Mother for 2 & 1/2 years. So, there have been times where I took that 1mg or 0.5 mg before work because sometimes I feel so overwhelmed about going to this new job. I take 2 mgs to go to sleep at night.
Then, I started seeing a new psychiatrist who said, “we have to get you off of this very addictive drug” and I thought she was crazy to say that. She prescribed Prazosin for sleep two days ago but did not discuss the getting off of clonazepam. I am going to see her in a month. I guess she has a plan. I am just freaking out over reading all about this medication and want off now. I took 1mg for the past two nights with the prazosin.
The first morning I woke up with a horrible headache, exhaustion, dizziness and just assumed it was the expected common side effects of the prazosin. Is it both? I will find out in a month but I really don’t want to wait. Today I felt better but exhausted. I admit that with the prazosin I got GREAT sleep. I really appreciate finding this blog and everybody’s dealings with this terrible medication that I have thought was harmless since 2003. Thank you for letting me vent.
I took 1 mg of Clonazepam for a year. I tapered off to 1/8 for a few weeks. Now I have been completely off for little over a month and during the day I find the symptom of anxiety and tension and ringing in my ears. At about 12 AM the symptoms get better and I can sleep easily but during the day I find it very intense. How long can I expect this to last?
Dear Friends, I am a future healthcare provider with just a few months a PA school left. I understand the innocent way many people get “hooked” on this drug. I have experienced it myself. I was prescribed this drug for chest pain related to temporary “situational anxiety”. At the time I had no medical knowledge.
I found that the drug also relaxed my stomach and was soon having it prescribed for stomach cramps I was having. It certainly made my mind and body feel better at times, but drugs side effects of irritability and some mild depressive symptoms weren’t great. Also, increasing the dose of this drug often becomes necessary to achieve the same therapeutic effect.
As I began working toward my masters degree, I began learning the negatives of this drug and learn how strong they are. I learned the tolerance susceptibility and the withdrawal difficulty. They are horrible. I decided I had to get off of them, and had been about 2mg daily for about 3 years.
Being a dumb man, I figured I could quit cold turkey it. I quickly found out that that was not an option. I tried toughing it out, initial had typically withdrawal symptoms of headaches, chills, fevers, and body aches. Ibuprofen helped, but wasn’t resolving my problem. Then, as I tried tapering from 2mg per day to 1mg per day, to .5mg per day within a couple months, the serious side effects of inability to focus, head pressure, dizziness, disequilibrium (imbalance), inability to concentrate, nausea all hit me (hang with me on all this, I promise some advice is shortly coming).
These symptoms are nearly unbearable and you may have wondered if this is from the benzo, specifically clonazepam, as I did. With a some medical knowledge, I was concern I may have some other serious or even life threatening illness going on, and submitted myself to an MRI, which came back unremarkable. So, after trying to taper myself, I have sought help again from a physician.
After some convincing, he agreed that I had tapered to quickly. I jumped on to a very low potency medicine called temazepam. It is known not to cause much dependence and offers just a little relief from clonazepam withdrawal. It is not nearly as potent as some of these other benzos (it’s a schedule 4 instead of a schedule 2 like clonazepam or valium – feel free to research these “schedule” criteria.
I’ve tried this on a very low dose for two weeks and have received about 50% relief. I’m going to continue to try this and try to avoid clonazepam. My recommendations having experienced this and seen patients fighting this battle:
1. Don’t ever feel ashamed or embarrassed that this happened to you. Many healthcare providers don’t completely understand what you’re going through as they haven’t experienced it and see a wide array of withdrawal symptoms that don’t always make sense. Knowing what you know now, you would have never began this drug. This is NOT your fault. Show loved one this feed so they know what you’re going through.
2. Seek out a provider that is willing to learn this with you. Someone kind and willing to listen and validate your feelings. Come up with a plan together – that you both feel good about and try to stick with it. If it’s not working, alter the plan. Take you prescriptions in when you go and be completely open about the doss you’re taking and show him your remaining pills. This will build trust. You have nothing to hide.
3. The taper dosing in this article looks very good to me. That is a very slow taper (drop .125mg every few weeks). I wish I would have done the. But, write out a calendar with your doctor and do all you can to follow it. If you have a 2mg pill, it’s much harder to cut that by .125mg. So ask for the .5mg pills and give you remaining 2mg pills to you doctor. Again, this builds trust and will help the doctor worries less about causing you harm.
4. If you are having severe anxiety, before and after your withdrawal, you may need to be on something, but there are better meds for you.
5. Warn others of benzo addiction and withdrawals. Let try to stop this from happening. Healthcare providers often prescribe these drugs and allow people to remain on them long term, which isn’t always good (as made obvious by how we’re all filling). Clonazepam does have it’s place in medicine. Epilepsy is one of those places. But I believe is is carelessly prescribed and way overused, a lesson I learned that I hope bodes me well in practice by allowing me to help people off the drugs and prevent them from starting them.
6. Don’t taper too quickly, I’ve seen car accidents and people suffer. But be strong and hopeful. Know that there is an end. It’s been tough working on a very strenuous and competitive degree while battling these medicinal withdrawal effects, but I believe it is for a reason.
That’s all my time, sorry I don’t have time to go back and proof read :) Thanks for your great posts. Good luck. You got this!
Disclaimer: I am just a guy going through the same thing as many of you, who happens to be a PA student. This shouldn’t be deemed as professional advice and your healthcare provider is better equipped to help you.
I did not taper and have been off 32 days and it is awful. Do not want to go back on cuz I’m afraid I will have to start over. The detox I went to believes in no tapering. Wish I would have known. Like I said if I go back now I’d have to go through this all over.
I have been taking 1mg 3 times a day for close to a year for anxiety and panic attacks. I dropped the noon dosage for a good 3 to 4 weeks then the bedtime dose for 2 days. Had to take one tonight though. My psychiatrist also had me taking 450mg of Wellbutrin every morning also. This was the extended release type. That has been cut down to 150mg every morning. But I have the drive and desire to get off these drugs and do it safely.
Hi everyone, I was on alprazolam for over a decade. Went to my GP and let him know I wanted to taper and stop. He switched me to klonopin. I’m down to .125 mg every other day. Anyway, I’ll probably full stop in the coming weeks. The key for me has been to slowly taper. And, the withdrawals have not been like most horror stories you read on the web. I mean, it’s been uncomfortable but not unbearable. Good luck everyone!
Hi Mike, tapering from long term use of alprazolam is different than withdrawing from long term use of klonopin. Glad you aren’t experiencing the effects of KW, which can truly be hellish and unbearable, even with a slow tapering. Best of luck to you.
I was on xanax 1mg 4 times a day for 15 plus years then was switched to klonopin the same dosage for about 6 years. I got tired of the monthly appointments and decided to quit taking it. It was pretty easy just split the dose in half for a week then the next week a 1/4 dose and then every other day until I ran out.
Didn’t feel too bad. Was a little sick a little tired and a little irritable but was not a big deal. Haven’t had any meds in three months and have lost 20 lbs. My anxiety doesn’t really bother me and I take melatonin to sleep at night and it works! Good luck to all. If I can do it anyone can.
I’m having withdrawal symptoms now 2 weeks after quitting a 4 months period during which I only took clonazepam 0,5 mg every 2 days. It’s terrible. I feel like I’ve been crushed by a meteor. My body is week and a simple walk outside is a big challenge. I got this white noise in my head and seeing light is painful… this drug is like meeting a beautiful girl and you end up being raped by a nasty devil.
I almost died a horrific death in jail after being taken off a Dr. prescribed 3mg a day dose of Klonopin for over 20 years cold turkey. I had the worst pain and could feel my blood pressure was at a deadly high. I had a seizure and fell off the top bunk onto the concrete floor.
The other inmates told the CO’s about the seizure and fall, they did absolutely nothing. I then started to have non stop hallucinations and was taken to the mental pod, where I was stripped naked and placed in solitary confinement to suffer months, freezing, in terrible pain, sleep deprivation and starvation. I cried for help, but no one ever answered my cries.
I was never let out if my cell which was filthy and full of cockroaches which devoured the rotting food trays no one ever cleaned up. I prayed to die every minute of every day. I realize that jail is not supposed too be fun, but I never imagined just how awful it is.
I have been out on bond for a few months and I am still suffering greatly from the withdrawal and hallucinations that this prescribed drug causes when you are forced to go off it cold turkey!
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
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?
I have taken .75 clonazepam for 4 years for RLS and peripheral neuropathy. I am currently working with my doctor to titrate off of this drug. I am tapering very slowly (reducing by .25mg every other day) with help of a mild sleeping pill and a mild anxiety drug. First day today and had sweats, pain in hands, dizziness, and nausea. Makes me wonder if it will be worth it to get off this medication after reading this blog.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
YES!!! You will be normal again our brains need to heal. It’s a slow process and takes time, knowledgeable doctor’s and prayer!
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.
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.
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!
I feel the same way. Has it got any better for you?
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!
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.
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.
Yes, not weaning (cold turkey) can make you have a seizure. Find a doctor and a compound pharmacy that will work with you!
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.