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switching from xanax to klonopin
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switching from xanax to klonopin

I have been diagnosed with bipolar one with agrophobia, panic disorder and PTSD.  I am currenty taking xanax 1mg 4 times a day.  My doctor wants me to switch to Klonopin 1mg 4 times a day and I am scared.  I tried to take 0.5mg of Klonipin (klonopin) once when prescribed by another doctor and had a terrible panic attack  when it wore off (though I was on 1mg of Xanax then too, and from what I have read I should have been on 1mg on Klonipin (klonopin).  I am also worried about the level of sedation since I have a 5 month old and  3 year old to care for.  Has anyone else ever had this fear?  I am really scared of the panic attacks coming back, I also have read it is three days of hell switching.  Do I taper the Xanax or jst go straight to the Klonopin?  I am so scared, please help me.  
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Listen, This is a sort of long story but may be very detrimental to anyone who tries to switch from Xanax to Klonopin, "Cold Turkey".

5 years ago i sought help for several emotional and social problems I was having. including severe insomnia. I went to three GP's anf two different mental health centers. Everyone had a different opinion. One said I had OCD, another said severe depression, "even though i had no signs of depression" and another even believed that i was biploar. I tried an entire regement of different meds. Trazadone, Halcion, Helidol, paxil, geodon, depakote, seroqel. Nothing helped.

My mind would race constantly; night and day, with no relief. Sometimes I would go three days with no sleep of any kind. My brain scaned information sort of like the desktop of a windows PC filled with houndreds of folders. i would try to play out, repair, rethink, solve, and fix every issue of that day, the day before, and the day to come, all at the same time. This not only caused the severe insomnia, but when a major issue did pop up.... tight chest, cant breath, tingling in fingers, chest pain, tunnel vision, weakness in my left arm, and exaustion. Or in other words, "PANIC ATTACK"!

Finally I found Dr. P. He specialized in my disorder ADHD. (Antention defecit hyperactivity disorder.) He also doscovered that i suffered from severe generalized social anxiety disorder. A family history revieled tha both my mother and grandmother had nervous breakdowns in their thirties, most likely due to the same issues.

Dr. P. started me out on 20mg 2x a day of Adderall (adderrall) for the ADHD. It was a Miracle - instantly my mind slowed down and I was able to handle day to day tasks like normal people. The big problem was still the Anxiety disorder and Insomnia, which he felt went hand in hand.

He put me on 1mg Xanax 3x a day, plus a 2mg Xanax at bedtime for sleep. Again, a Miracle.. no moe panic attacks, no more fears of being around people, and no more nights of sleeplessness.

I followed this program for three years and had lived a very happy, fun filled normal life!

Total 5mg Xanax a day

This is when thing got hairy!

After moving to another state for work, I had to find another GP. I had all my records faxed from all my doctors to the new one immediatly so that he didn't have any fears that I was a "Seeker". Everything was fine for six months, then the Doc asked me to see a Psych. I agreed even after having multiple bad experiences with them.

The day after my visit to the Psych  my GP called me into his office and anounced thay "they" were taking me off Xannax and switching me to Klonopin. No stepping, or weaning,  just cold turkey.

He explained that the two medications where of the same family, "Benzo" and that their strengths where 1:1 mg wise, but that the klonopin lasted longer with an almost a double half life, and was much less addictive. "ADDICTIVE"? Come on. 1st) after three years it's not addiction, it's a dependency! Both physical and emotional, "especialy considering the fact that I lived daily with the expectation of an almost immdiate relief from my panic attacks on hand".

But hey, he's the one with the PHD., so I figured he new what he was doing. I went to the pharmacy and picked up my new script.

Klonopin 2mg 3x a day.

Day # 1 Fine but edgy (Wife noticed I was starting to be confrontational and aggressive in stature.)

Day # 2 Woke to a strange feeling of undescriable faint electrical currents firing within my brain. "Sort of like nurological short cuircuits". Started to feel more anxious than usual and restless. (Wife noticed me beiing very confrontational and aggresive (aggressive) verbaly with friends and family." Layed awake in bed most of the night.

Day # 3 Woke up and went to T.V. room. Sat on couch with wife. feeling very exhausted and disorientated. Kinda felt dreamy. My cell phone rang. I answered phone. It was an old friend I hadn't seen in years. he said, ' Whats up bro?" I replied, "Not much, how you been?" Wife interupted; What the heck are you talking about? . I then Realized that I Had no phone in my hand, and was not tlking to anyone. OMG! Full blown hallucination! I freaked out. This had never happened before. I emmidietly called Psych. Office admin said she would page him.

While waiting, I started doing research on internet. Found that with Xanax there is no switching to other Benzo's after long time use. The only way to tapper off the Xannax is with lower doses of Xanax over a long period of time!

Psych called me in for emergency consult. He explained that GP hadn't informed him of the length of time I was on Xannax. By then, I was having a severe panic attack, I was trembling, and had developed double vision with no ability to keep my balance. I then found myself stumbling around office, out to car, and into pharmacy. Almost like being drunk. (Note: Wife was driving) Pharmacist almost freaked when my wife told him what had happened and felt that I was suffering from extreme withdrawls from the lack of Xanax.

The Psych by now had familiarized himself with the whole story from reviewing my entire records from the past five years, and agreed that I needed back on Xanax immediatly! My records showed that both my mother and grandmother spent their entire lives on Roach 10 Volume and Xanax.

He ordered the Pharmacist to dispense me 150 pills of 1mg Xanax with instructions to take 1mg 3 x a day and (2) 1mg Xanax at betime for sleep. (a one month supply) The next day, everything was back to normal. No hallucinations, no aggresion (aggression), no confrontation, and no "electric" (in brain). I was back to feeling completly normal, sleeping well and fully functional!

The moral of this experience is to ask questions, do your own research, and dont trust your life to one persons opinion.

This is the link that helped to save my "Sanity", and possibly life. If I had went to the hospital I would of most likely been held for a 72 hour eveluation which may have majorly complicated things and greatly increased my detoxification illness before anyone figured out what was going on.

http://ask.rrockr.com/showq.php/9170-difference-between-xanax-valium-klonopin

Thanks RRockR.com I don't know what I would of done before i read your article.
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Avatar_n_tn
I see no reason in changing from xanaz to klonopin, so long as you do it immediately. Your doctor may want you to change a quarter of a dose of the klonopin to acclamate yourself, but I don't think they'll be any problem.  Try not to make a mountain out of a molehill.  BEST OF LUCK!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have severe panic attacks that are totaly dibilitating, which includes nausia, and vomiting, lightheadedness, shaking, etc.I have been taken by an ambulance numerous times to the ER for false assumptions of a stroke. Nothing physically has been found wrong with me. I have gone to doctors and therapy for years. Nothing has worked. Finnally, a friend one day gave me 1 milligram of xanix. I pulled out of the panic attack within 30 to 40 minutes when normally it would take several hours of rest. If I was to walk into a crowded place, emmediatly a panic attack would come on, the more crowded the more severe and the longer the panic attack. Well, I tried several experiments. I can take a Xanix 45 minutes to an hour before going into a crowded place. Guess what? No panic attack. Infact, I end up talking to everyone and sometimes being the life of the party. If I don't take one, people will be soon to call 911. I ask the doctor about it and he gave me a script of 20. Those 20 lasted me over a month, because I only took them as needed (PRN)however that doctor later retired. I went to the doctor that replaced the first doctor who was much younger, and that doctor told me that Xanix was a terribly addictive drug and dangerous. He placed  on Klonopin for 2 months. Klonopin not only caused severe constipation but I was lazy and tired all the time.To make a long story short, I have went to 9 doctors and get repromanded for wanting Xanix. One doctor even accused me of being addicted to the 20 Xanix a month. I would much rather take a Xanix as needed and I am tired of doctors thinking 20 or less xanix a month is abusing. I do not drink Alcohol nor have ever taken drugs for recreation. But responsible people should not be made suffer for the street thugs but it seems as though the street thugs are the most reliable sources to purchase a drug that can help me.  I want to be legal, does anyone have any suggestions? Sincerely, Rick
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Avatar_f_tn
I know how it feels when the Dr's treat you like an addict. You r so right about the street thugs and it seems easier till u get caught then you'll really be titled an addict so if it comes down to it buy them online!!! Use your search engine
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Avatar_f_tn
I am on cocaine, alcohol, 20 mgs of methadone, a half of a 4 bar (2 mg) xanax I NEED HELP SO BAD TO GET OFF THIS MESS. I can't get help. I have grandchildren and my mother is ill with alzhimers I care for. I take the half of xanax so I can sleep as I also have a sleeping disorder. I don't have insurance and therefore people do NOT want to help if you don't have money. Please someone anyone, can I get help some way I want my life back. I also have cirrosis (cirrhosis) so I am scared as well.


                           please help me
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