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Klonopin (Clonazepam) Withdrawal Symptoms + Duration

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

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

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

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

Factors that influence Klonopin withdrawal

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

1. Time Span

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

2. Dosage

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

3. Individual Factors

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

4. Tapering vs. Cold Turkey

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

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

Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

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

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

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

Klonopin Withdrawal Duration: How long will it last?

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

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

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

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{ 384 comments… add one }
  • Laurie August 1, 2015, 8:04 pm

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

    • AspenGal September 8, 2015, 4:18 am

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

  • Nicole July 28, 2015, 2:26 pm

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

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

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

    • Ed August 1, 2015, 4:19 am

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

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

  • Laurie July 24, 2015, 5:11 am

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

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

    • Ed July 25, 2015, 3:29 am

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

  • Dale July 22, 2015, 3:05 pm

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

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

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

  • Kate July 1, 2015, 10:50 pm

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

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

  • jeff July 1, 2015, 12:40 am

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

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

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

    • Patrice July 28, 2015, 4:57 pm

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

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

  • Leigh June 21, 2015, 1:21 am

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

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

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

    • melonie July 1, 2015, 5:05 am

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

  • Dena June 14, 2015, 3:18 pm

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

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

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

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

  • Cari June 14, 2015, 5:26 am

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

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

  • Charles June 7, 2015, 9:53 pm

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

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

  • Amaryia June 2, 2015, 11:18 am

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

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

  • j May 25, 2015, 6:22 pm

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

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

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

  • Jennifer May 23, 2015, 10:55 am

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

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

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

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

    • Jim May 30, 2015, 5:34 pm

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

  • Linda May 20, 2015, 7:38 pm

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

  • Becky May 15, 2015, 5:41 pm

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

  • Sylvaine May 11, 2015, 11:17 pm

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

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

    • oleg December 25, 2015, 8:58 pm

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

      • E December 29, 2015, 6:17 am

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

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

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

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

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

  • Charles May 6, 2015, 4:15 pm

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

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

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

  • Peggy April 30, 2015, 2:52 pm

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

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

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

    • Jim May 30, 2015, 4:25 pm

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

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

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

      • D May 3, 2016, 6:11 pm

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

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

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

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

  • Joss April 29, 2015, 12:28 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Alana April 15, 2015, 2:36 pm

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

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

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

    • Peggy April 30, 2015, 2:58 pm

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

    • Swan May 13, 2015, 2:31 am

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

    • Lisa November 10, 2015, 6:10 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Erik April 14, 2015, 2:52 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • matty April 7, 2015, 11:50 pm

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

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

  • tillerman02 March 31, 2015, 6:04 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • I February 25, 2015, 6:59 pm

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

    • Susan December 7, 2015, 1:38 am

      Same deal here. How are you doing now?

  • Brittani February 11, 2015, 9:48 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Jeff January 22, 2015, 5:02 am

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

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

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

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

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

    • Susan December 7, 2015, 1:37 am

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

  • jkc January 21, 2015, 1:06 am

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

  • Lisa January 18, 2015, 5:41 pm

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

    • Lisa January 22, 2015, 1:03 am

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

    • Valerie January 29, 2015, 12:25 am

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

      • Sue August 3, 2016, 2:00 am

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

  • Aaron January 15, 2015, 8:07 pm

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

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

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

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

    • Swan May 13, 2015, 3:12 am

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

  • Bill January 8, 2015, 3:51 pm

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

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

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

  • p.oED December 30, 2014, 1:49 am

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

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

  • Kat December 13, 2014, 3:51 pm

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

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

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

      • Arlis June 24, 2015, 7:12 pm

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

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

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

    • Emma August 14, 2016, 8:53 am

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

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

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

  • Angela December 10, 2014, 2:50 am

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

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

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

    • Runnergirl123 December 30, 2014, 4:09 am

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

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

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

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

  • Mike December 4, 2014, 4:49 pm

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

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

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

  • Danny December 2, 2014, 12:46 am

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

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

  • Bill November 21, 2014, 2:22 pm

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

  • Pam November 15, 2014, 12:42 am

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

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

  • Mel November 14, 2014, 3:32 pm

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

  • Paul November 11, 2014, 10:49 pm

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

  • L.A.G. October 25, 2014, 6:38 pm

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

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

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

    • FO August 1, 2015, 10:53 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • mirage November 22, 2015, 12:28 am

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

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

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

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

    • diane January 21, 2016, 3:46 am

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

      • danielle June 12, 2016, 9:09 pm

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

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

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

        • Jan July 3, 2016, 3:14 am

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

  • Michael October 21, 2014, 8:14 am

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

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

    • Gigi8 March 5, 2017, 8:42 pm

      The only way to get off this drug is a very slow, methodical taper. Use the Ashton manual. Dr. Heather Ashton in the U.K. is the creator of this and has run a clinic for benzo withdrawal – she is THE acknowledged expert. (Mentioned in comments – or just Google Ashton manual). Read her material and you’ll be encouraged.

      Saying “I’m strong, I can do this” is great, but it won’t help much if you cold turkey. This is physical addiction that needs a defined method to get through what most of us appropriately call hell. Willpower alone cannot battle this. It is needed, as is support from family going through it with you, but don’t just cold turkey thinking you can handle it. Your brain cannot change that fast and you will suffer horribly and needlessly.

  • LH October 18, 2014, 8:58 pm

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

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

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

    • C October 19, 2014, 12:41 am

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

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

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

    • Jan January 5, 2015, 5:31 pm

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

      • Erica February 5, 2016, 7:06 am

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

  • Lisette October 14, 2014, 5:05 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Runnergirl123 December 30, 2014, 3:58 am

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

      • chantelle May 2, 2015, 11:09 pm

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

        • Jim May 30, 2015, 3:37 pm

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

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

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

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

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

          • Christy August 31, 2015, 12:55 am

            Thank you, that is some very good information.

          • Traci February 8, 2016, 3:36 pm

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

          • Van de wynkele heidi February 11, 2017, 1:57 pm

            Thank you very much. I think I will be able to do it this way. I took 2 mg for 9 months. Then started tapering -0,10 every 3 weeks. Under 1 mg it went wrong. I tried several times with the same result. I restarted now. I really feel ill. It was prescribed for depression and sleeping issues. It is a dangerous medication, but I will succeed!

        • Chris February 16, 2016, 9:13 pm

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

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

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

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

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

    • Natalie August 6, 2015, 7:33 pm

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

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

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

      • Sammy November 30, 2015, 11:28 pm

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

        • Dee December 8, 2015, 1:28 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Deborah August 12, 2016, 8:40 am

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

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

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

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

      • Michelle December 17, 2015, 2:33 pm

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

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

        • Dana January 4, 2016, 8:23 am

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

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

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

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

    • Susan December 7, 2015, 1:32 am

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

    • Margot January 15, 2016, 9:26 pm

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

  • Meredith October 8, 2014, 5:13 am

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

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

    • Lisa May 9, 2016, 1:34 pm

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

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

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

        • Gigi8 February 8, 2017, 7:22 am

          Just found this site. After 15 yrs being prescribed klonopin for atypical facial pain I started feeling bad–sick. Tolerance w/d. I tapered off using the Ashton method, reducing every 2.5 weeks very slowly over 9 months. Sometimes I couldn’t handle the reduction and would stay on the current level for 3-4 weeks, then try reducing again.

          Let your body guide you. When you are down to zero, you will prob experience the worst symptoms of all. Now, three years off it totally I have neurological issues, not known if related. Still, better to be off the poison! Hope this helps. Hang in there.

          P.S. After re-reading some of the comments, I’d like to add that dropping by 1/4 mg is too drastic. You must really sliver off minute amounts and stick with that for 2-3 weeks, longer if you can’t do it. I believe I decreased by 10% every 17 days +/-. I created a spreadsheet showing how much to drop to on what date. I took it to a doc at urgent care when I was doing really bad during the taper – he said stick with it, it was a good plan. I took his advice, taking a good 9 mos. to get to zero. Patience will save you in this, take my word for it. (3 years off 1 mg K for 15 yrs).

  • Laurie September 24, 2014, 9:33 pm

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

    • C September 25, 2014, 8:32 pm

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

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

      • C September 25, 2014, 8:34 pm

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

      • Laurie December 1, 2014, 10:45 pm

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

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

        • Runnergirl123 December 30, 2014, 3:54 am

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

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

          • jan February 5, 2016, 3:12 pm

            This is so encouraging, thank you. :)

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

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

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

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

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

          • Stephanie August 7, 2016, 6:48 pm

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

        • LauraM November 6, 2015, 6:46 am

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

          • NancyL July 11, 2016, 6:11 pm

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

        • samiam January 7, 2016, 7:00 pm

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

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

          • Angie March 13, 2016, 9:41 pm

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

          • Richard May 31, 2016, 10:01 am

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

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

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

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

      • LauraM November 6, 2015, 6:56 am

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

        • Susan December 7, 2015, 1:31 am

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

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

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

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

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

          • Patrice January 9, 2016, 2:13 am

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

          • Joann June 26, 2016, 1:07 pm

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

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

        • Dana January 4, 2016, 8:16 am

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

          • Mag January 23, 2016, 12:52 am

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

      • Patty August 5, 2016, 9:57 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Lisa May 9, 2016, 1:32 pm

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

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