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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 }
  • Jenny July 31, 2016, 11:28 am

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

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

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

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

  • anne July 23, 2016, 3:37 pm

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

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

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

    • AH December 5, 2016, 7:11 pm

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

  • Kevin July 22, 2016, 8:13 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Elizabeth July 13, 2016, 11:43 am

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

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

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

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

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

  • Alocasia July 9, 2016, 11:18 pm

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

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

    • Karen July 12, 2016, 12:15 am

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

    • Kevin July 22, 2016, 8:21 pm

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

  • Neil July 9, 2016, 8:08 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • amy July 9, 2016, 6:28 am

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

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

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

  • Janet July 4, 2016, 7:03 pm

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

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

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

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

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

  • Ted July 1, 2016, 6:12 pm

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

    • Patrice July 9, 2016, 2:37 am

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

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

      • Anna July 24, 2016, 12:04 am

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

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

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

  • Ben June 28, 2016, 5:26 pm

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

    • Ted July 1, 2016, 6:04 pm

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

  • Mat June 26, 2016, 4:04 am

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

    • Ted July 1, 2016, 6:14 pm

      Mat: I hope you feel better soon. Ted

  • Charlene June 24, 2016, 7:30 pm

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

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

    • Karen June 26, 2016, 6:34 pm

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

  • Kathy June 13, 2016, 12:24 am

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

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

    • Ted July 1, 2016, 6:28 pm

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

  • MsGMichel June 12, 2016, 2:45 am

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

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

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

    • MsGMichel June 21, 2016, 3:48 am

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

  • KSmith May 30, 2016, 5:04 pm

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

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

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

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

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

    • Karen June 8, 2016, 12:47 am

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

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

  • becky May 12, 2016, 12:52 am

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

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

  • Paula May 11, 2016, 1:29 am

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

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

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

  • Shirley May 10, 2016, 11:34 am

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

    • Paula May 17, 2016, 1:50 pm

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

      • Shirley May 20, 2016, 10:37 pm

        Paula, I tapered for two months.

  • Max Rich May 9, 2016, 7:29 pm

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

    • Eddie June 8, 2016, 8:44 pm

      How long were you on clonazepam?

  • O May 7, 2016, 10:50 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Shirley May 3, 2016, 8:02 pm

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

    • Karen May 12, 2016, 1:03 am

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

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

  • JJ April 30, 2016, 9:07 pm

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

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

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

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

  • Susan April 30, 2016, 3:30 am

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

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

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

  • Stacey April 26, 2016, 12:32 pm

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

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

    • Eddie May 13, 2016, 8:52 pm

      Hope you are doing better now.

  • Kathryn April 22, 2016, 9:06 pm

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

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

  • Kevin April 17, 2016, 8:07 pm

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

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

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

    • Karen April 19, 2016, 1:41 am

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

  • Lena April 14, 2016, 3:14 am

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

    • Max Rich May 9, 2016, 7:35 pm

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

  • Bobby April 11, 2016, 5:28 pm

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

    • Shirley April 14, 2016, 10:57 am

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

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

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

  • Zach April 7, 2016, 4:54 am

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

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

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

    • Shirley April 9, 2016, 1:55 pm

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

  • Edward April 4, 2016, 7:19 pm

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

  • Sue April 2, 2016, 6:52 pm

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

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

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

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

  • Shirley April 1, 2016, 2:24 pm

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

  • Jeff March 29, 2016, 7:28 pm

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

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

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

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

    • Karen April 1, 2016, 12:46 pm

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

  • Teresa March 24, 2016, 1:28 am

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

  • Jeff March 22, 2016, 1:24 pm

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

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

  • Suzanne March 11, 2016, 5:10 am

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

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

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

    • Karen March 14, 2016, 12:50 am

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

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

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

      • Shirley March 18, 2016, 2:45 pm

        Karen, How long were you on this pill?

        • Karen March 18, 2016, 10:04 pm

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

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

          • Shirley March 19, 2016, 1:06 pm

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

  • Laura March 10, 2016, 10:38 pm

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

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

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

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

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

    • Shirley March 12, 2016, 3:34 pm

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

      • marcio March 16, 2016, 3:31 pm

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

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

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

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

  • Tom March 9, 2016, 12:31 am

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

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

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

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

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

  • Shirley March 5, 2016, 4:01 pm

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

  • Rachel March 5, 2016, 5:09 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • joe February 24, 2016, 2:19 pm

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

  • Allie February 18, 2016, 9:12 pm

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

    • Kelly P March 9, 2016, 11:09 am

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

  • diane February 9, 2016, 4:36 am

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

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

  • Deborah February 7, 2016, 1:58 am

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

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

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

    • Patrice February 8, 2016, 3:13 am

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

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

    • J February 8, 2016, 2:56 pm

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

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

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

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

      • Patrice February 9, 2016, 9:03 pm

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

        • J February 16, 2016, 8:31 pm

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

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

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

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

  • Vicky February 3, 2016, 1:01 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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