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Clonazepam Withrawal Symtoms(symptoms) and Seizures
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Clonazepam Withrawal Symtoms(symptoms) and Seizures

My girlfriend has been diagnosed with PTSD and was put on Clonazepam, 1mg a day for the past 2 months.  She was getting so much better with thearopy so she went off the Clonazepam.  I guess to abruptly.  She started to have seizures. Last Friday she was in a state of Status Epilepticus for an hour and a 1/2. She immediatly went back on the Clonazepam and the seizures stopped for the day. Since then she has gone back on the dose of 1mg a day.  However she has suffered 3 or 4 grand mall seizures since friday. Will these seizures stop?  She has no previous history of seizures of any kind.  Will she ever be able to get off this medication?  We were totally unaware that the withrawal symtoms (symptoms) were so severe.  I would recomend that noone go on this medication!!  It is not nice to see the one you love come that close to death!  Please anyone, can you give me some advice?  She is also on Paxil 40mg a day.
Thanks Heeps.
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She should definetly see a psychiatrist or neurologist and get on antiseizure medications until she is completely weaned from her other medications.  The weaning should take at least 3 weeks, ending the last week with the smallest possible dose every third day, then stop.
12 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
I guess you guys did not consult her doctor before stopping the Clonazepam. You cannot stop this medicine cold turkey or there is a possibility of seizures. This is why you should never decide to self medicate yourself. ALWAYS consult with your doctor first. I am very sorry to hear about her condition but to tell people to avoid this drug because you guys did not follow directions is silly. Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi I am sorry to hear of your girlfriends horrendous experience. I myself have been on and come off benzo's as well as alcohol. Although I didn't take a seizure with the amount of shaking and the state my mind was in I think I was pretty close. I was on a longer acting benzo diazepam (aka valium) which has less of a risk of seizures because of its longer half life and slower elimination.

I have been heavily involved in helping people with problems relating to benzodiazepines and I am also active to a lesser degree with alcohol related problems. If her seizures are related to benzodiazepine withdrawal which it sounds likely then she should not reduce her clonazepam until her seizures stop. After an abrupt withdrawal the delecate balance of tolerance gets shook up. With tolerance your nervous system makes changes and when you remove the drug for a period of a time and then put it back sometimes withdrawal symptoms are not completely relieved which may explain your girlfriend still experiencing seizures despite reinstating on clonazepam. From experience most people do stabalise in a few weeks or months. She has given her body a shock and those repeated epileptic seizures may have caused some damage (which I think would improve in time).

I am not sure I agree with the doctor here saying to reduce off 1 mg of klonopin "in at least 3 weeks". 1 mg of klonopin is equal to 20 mg of diazepam going by professor heather ashton here in the U.K. She is a professor or psychopharmacology and psychiatry and is considered a world expert in benzodiazepines. Especially as your girlfriend had seizures I would say the need to come off the klonopin very slowly is very important to avoid any more status epilepticus attacks. She may do well trying to get a hold of liquid klonopin or crossing gradually over to 20 mg of diazepam which has a longer half life than klonopin and you can make very small 1 mg cuts of diazepam.

You may get some additional help and information at these links

http://www.benzo.org.uk/profash.htm

http://www.bcnc.org.uk/

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Avatar_n_tn
I did quit Clonazepam cold turkey - it will be 3 weeks come Monday.  The first week, I did not sleep more than about 1 hour cat naps and the headaches were insane.  I assumed they were from lack of sleep, not to mention that I also did not drink any coffee at the time (we had a heat wave and I had no desire for hot drinks).  Then it calmed down a bit - I just moved into a new place and with the move I had a great amount of stress - got into the new place and had little problems sleeping.  All of a sudden I had tightness in my chest, numbness and tingling in my face, my lips were red and felt about 10 times the size.  I tasted a metallic taste in my mouth alot and the headaches and sinus aches would not go away with Advil or Allergy medication (I thought I may have had allergies to something in the new place).  My biggest fear, of course after reading so much now, is the chance of seizures.  I was on .5mg for about 2 months and then 1 mg for 4 months.  Cold Turkeyed that.  Does anyone know of any statistics with regards to seizures and dosages/length of time on medication?  Also would be interested in knowing how long these symptoms may last and if anyone has found a way of alleviating them without returning to drugs.  I am still on Topomax (topamax) and will wean myself off of that soon as I will be trying out TrueHope's vitamin combination, eating properly and heading back to the gym.

Any information you could provide would be extremely appreciated.

Thank you
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Simmone,

The risk of seizures is usually within the first month to 6 weeks. It usually happens only with the upperdose range doctors prescribe or when it is abused at high doses for prolonged period of time. I think it is most unlikely that you will take a seizure. There doesn't seem to be a safe dose that is immune from withdrawal symptoms though. It is difficult to say how long symptoms will last for after coming off benzodiazepines. It can range from weeks to months or rarely years. The fact that you were only on the drug for several months and not years or decades increases your chances that withdrawal symptoms will not be prolonged. So I think the chances are fairly good that you won't be suffering for a long time. You may want to try and get some fresh air, keep yourself occupied and distracted from your symptoms. Avoid alcohol which works similarly to benzodiazepines and could worsen withdrawal symptoms and keep the addiction going. If you are concerned about seizures in benzodiazepine withdrawal I have noticed people have seizure like symptoms after taking fluoroquinolones whilst in the middle of benzodiazepine withdrawal. This antibiotic family is strongly GABA antagonistic so it may be worth your while keeping that in mind. I have moderated several benzodiazepine withdrawal forums and am familar with what to do and what not to do whilst in benzodiazepine withdrawal/recovery.

Hope this helps

Ross

Ross
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi all. I have been taking Effexor xr 150mg for 6 months and have been on clonazepam 0.5mgx2 daily for about a year to treat anxiety/panic attacks and some depression. I generally skip my bedtime dose of clonazepam, but take one every morning. I just recently moved and as a result(new job etc...),  have had a increased amount of anxiety symptoms. I found a new doctor in my area who suggested I slowly wean myself of of clonazepam at my own pace and then eventually the effexor. So I have begun taking 0.25mg in the morning for the past few days always keep one handy just in case. So far, I have been experiencing mild withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms such as mild dizziness, some body pain and tightness in the chest. All of which come in small spells throughout the day. Its tough to say if the withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms are physical or mental. Either way I feel that if you can, try and fight through the symtoms (symptoms) as best you can and take a small dose only if the symptoms are unbearable. That what i've been doing and it seems to be working. Moderate exercise to work with my heart rate and breathing, eating properly and taking time to relax all seem to be helping too.
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Avatar_n_tn
Visit this link. It has several methods for coming off high potency benzodiazepines like klonopin http://www.bcnc.org.uk/water_titration_method.html
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Avatar_n_tn
I took a large amount of benzo's
then continued my one 3x's a day and still 3 wks later i had a seizure! Can anyone explain that?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been completely off of clonazepam for 5 days now (still on 150mg daily of effexor XR). The first two days were really hard. I was working at with withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms all day such as, headache, dizzyness, anxiety, tight chest and sensitivity to sound and sight (typical panic symptoms). On the third day it started to get better and today, still a little dizzy and slightly anxious, but have improved quite a bit. One thing that I tried was a herbal, over the couter sleeping/anxiety aid called valerian root extract. It helped quite a bit in terms of calming my anxiety symptoms and it is non addictive and all natural. I highly suggest it if anybody is coming off of benzo's in a mild to moderate dose. People have been jusing it for over a thousand years. I take it in drops form with tea or water.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was prescribed taking clonazepam at .25mg 3 times per day for anxiety and have been for about 1 1/2 weeks.  After reading what I have on this drug, is getting off of it dangerous, and what is the precribed way of doing it?
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Avatar_n_tn
How long should I wait until I receive a response?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi all,

This might seem long winded but please read.

I had a panic attack, I'm 23 in very good health. I was prescribed ativan, I didn't even get the prescription filled because once I found out what I had I figured it was a one time thing and I was fine. I went two weeks without getting this prescription filled, I was improving dramatically everyday, then sundenly one sunday I had a panick attack and it lasted three days. during those three days I tried ativan and it didn't really work.

My underlying cause of anxiety was that I live by myself far away from my family AND I was concerned I had a serious issue due to my heart (I was born with a heart murmur) I didn't have insurance either.

The doctor prescribed me clonazepam to use every night at 1mg, and if I felt I needed it, I could take the lorazepam at 1mg dose during the day. I took this clonazepam for one week (7 doses I missed a dose) and additionally the lorazepam twice (once at the initial visit and once the day after I missed the dose just because I thought I  should, this is not counting the first three times I took it) .

So my experience take benzopedines (Sp?) is small, ten days total, and 7 days of it were 1mg clorazepam, twice with the .5 ativan.

I say this because my last dose was exactly a week ago. I felt the bad side effects (loss of mind, slurred speech, clumsiness) once these drugs built up in my system. I stopped cold turkey. My doctor knows as of today I stopped cold turkey and she says if thats what I want to do and I think I can handle my initial anxiety then we can try it.

My initial underlying cause of anxiety is gone, I know what the problem was and I am no longer worried at all but I do believe I am experiencing side effects here is what has happened, thank god I had a friend come visit:

Thursday night: very little sleep spent most of the night up, didn't feel too bad though

friday afternoon: felt a pain and tingling in my upper back, and nervousness during the day. Friday night: well my friend who visited was female, so we did you know what, but during had a major heart palpitation.

same as friday, just sightly less severe. got better towards night. We tried to do the same thing at night and had heart palpitation again (skipped beats rapid beats) so we decided to take it easy on that for a while

sunday, was good in morning, litte cramps here and there, had sort of an anxiety attack during the day, I say sort of because it was short anxiety then hostility, at night I woke once and had nervoucness follwed by hostility, I didn't get back to sleep til morning.

Monday, I was fine all day til late afternoon, I suddenly got really depressed. like really depressed, but I figured it was a side so I went for a walk, drive etc to get my mind right, was better at night and slept pretty much 7-8 hrs.

today, had my doctors visit. blood pressure was down to almost normal (130/85) this is partially due to the fact that I didn't know a multi vitamin I was taking had as much caffiene as a cup of coffee. everything was looking fine. I went home, the rest of the day went great, no spells of anything. a couple times I got nervous spells for about 5 seconds, then I was fine. late afternoon I get a call to go out to a pub, I went didn't drink just had a bite to eat. during the whole time there I've felt better than I have in the last couple months. Came home and couldn't sleep much though... went to sleep woke a few times tonight with nervous or panic spells as you could call them, and now i'm up on the internet checking sites out.

so after this long story my question is two fold:

One am I at risk for seizures, what is the risk with my dosage/usage peroid?

second, what do you think of my withdrawal sides? they couldn't be permanent could they? how long would you guess they could take to go away? (My doctor doesn't seem to think withdrawal sides exist, and I'm considering switching doctors). As I said, my underlying cause is gone totally, I am a totally happy person who before the last month and a half was rather low stress, I just freaked about about an ancident (dizziness due to too much caffiene/alcohol one night, i got scared hyperventilated and had a panic attack)

I have read into this and saw side effects take weeks to months to years, and heard about the seizures. I'm just looking for a little feedback/consoling from other people. I will not go back on benzos or any other psychiatric drug for any reason, no need to taper now.

any feedback at all would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Adam
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