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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 }
  • Janet February 2, 2016, 9:19 pm

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

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

  • R February 2, 2016, 12:26 am

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

  • R February 2, 2016, 12:13 am

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

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

  • Dwight February 1, 2016, 9:12 pm

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

  • Jackie January 25, 2016, 8:59 pm

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

    • Patrice February 1, 2016, 2:54 am

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

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

  • Mike January 24, 2016, 10:42 pm

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

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

    • Linda January 27, 2016, 2:26 am

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

  • Eve January 24, 2016, 12:13 am

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

  • Gary January 15, 2016, 2:52 pm

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

    • Karen January 17, 2016, 6:31 pm

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

    • Patrice January 18, 2016, 5:56 am

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

  • Erin January 14, 2016, 4:38 pm

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

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

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

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

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

    • Patrice January 15, 2016, 4:02 pm

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

  • Don January 14, 2016, 4:10 pm

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

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

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

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

  • Kool C January 14, 2016, 3:24 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Jeannette January 9, 2016, 5:22 pm

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

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

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

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

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

    • Patrice January 13, 2016, 7:51 pm

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

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

  • Cindy January 7, 2016, 7:42 pm

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

  • Poppy January 6, 2016, 2:18 am

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

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

    • Patrice January 8, 2016, 4:59 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Chris January 1, 2016, 10:14 pm

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

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

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

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

      • Chris January 6, 2016, 5:32 pm

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

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

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

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

  • Deb January 1, 2016, 5:35 am

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

    • Patrice January 8, 2016, 4:49 pm

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

  • MRAA December 27, 2015, 2:52 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • R December 19, 2015, 6:43 pm

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

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

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

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

    • GLOOM December 16, 2015, 10:18 pm

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

    • Karen December 19, 2015, 2:09 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Karen December 15, 2015, 2:56 am

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

  • Barbara December 14, 2015, 7:40 pm

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

  • Patrice December 13, 2015, 11:05 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Gregg December 7, 2015, 5:48 pm

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

  • Omar December 6, 2015, 10:16 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Omar December 6, 2015, 3:23 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Poppy December 1, 2015, 12:58 am

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

    • Patrice December 3, 2015, 5:21 pm

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

      • Karen December 5, 2015, 6:41 pm

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

      • Poppy January 6, 2016, 2:56 am

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

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

    • Karen December 5, 2015, 2:25 am

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

      • Poppy January 6, 2016, 2:37 am

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

  • Lyn November 24, 2015, 1:20 am

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

    • GLOOM November 24, 2015, 11:52 pm

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

    • Susan December 7, 2015, 1:55 am

      Yes, I have too.

  • CJ November 19, 2015, 3:36 pm

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

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

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

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

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

  • Liz November 18, 2015, 2:46 pm

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

    • Patrice December 3, 2015, 5:30 pm

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

    • Susan December 7, 2015, 1:53 am

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

  • Dean November 13, 2015, 4:24 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Susan December 7, 2015, 1:52 am

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

  • tracy November 11, 2015, 2:21 pm

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

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

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

  • Lawrence November 8, 2015, 8:18 pm

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

    • GLOOM November 8, 2015, 11:04 pm

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

      • Lawrence November 9, 2015, 2:41 am

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

    • D May 3, 2016, 6:31 pm

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

  • Kirt November 6, 2015, 7:17 pm

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

  • Yana November 2, 2015, 8:17 pm

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

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

    • Tere November 3, 2015, 8:02 am

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

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

  • Global November 1, 2015, 6:33 pm

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

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

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

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

  • Sandra October 26, 2015, 11:07 pm

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

  • Adam October 22, 2015, 12:14 pm

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

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

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

  • Lu Ann October 19, 2015, 12:27 pm

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

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

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

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

  • Luna October 18, 2015, 9:57 pm

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

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

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

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

  • Karen October 5, 2015, 12:29 am

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

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

  • Jackie October 2, 2015, 3:33 pm

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

    • Karen October 7, 2015, 1:15 am

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

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

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

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

  • James September 1, 2015, 3:02 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Mcm October 10, 2015, 8:53 pm

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

  • Laurie August 26, 2015, 3:12 am

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

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

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Amanda August 18, 2015, 1:18 pm

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

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

  • jaa August 4, 2015, 8:07 pm

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

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

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

  • jaa August 4, 2015, 1:04 am

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

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

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

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