Depression/Mental Health Expert Forum
Weaning off Klonipin(klonopin)
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support pertaining to mental health issues such as: Anger, Dementia, Depression, Family Problems, Memory Problems, Personality Disorders, Phobias, Schizophrenia, Transitions and Work Problems.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Weaning off Klonipin(klonopin)

I have been taking Klonipin (klonopin) (1mg twice a day) and Serequel (50mg at night) for about 8 months to treat post partum anxiety/depression.  These drugs were a last resort as all the anti-depressants made me worse (panic attacks, paranoia, suicide thoughts etc.).  I feel ready to wean of the klonipin (klonopin), but have been really scared by all I read about how addictive benzos are and how withdrawal is worse than heroin withdrawal.  I am not against Benzos-they certainly helped me at a time when I needed help.  I am also in cognitive therapy.

What sort of withdrawal effects can I expect.  My Psychiatrist has said I can taper when I feel ready.  Last night I took 0.75 mg instead of 1mg and followed up with the usual 1mg this am.  I have been ok all day although I do feel anxiety now (7pm).  I should add that the situation is complicated by the fact that I am in the hypothyroid phase of post-partum thyroiditis (I had a thyroxine dose increase 3 weeks ago as my TSH was starting to creep up although still in the top normal range) and I am recovering from parainfluenza.

I was planning to cut out .25mg from the pm dose for 2 weeks and then go down to 0.5mg for 2 weeks.  I was then going to do the same with the morning dose until I was at 0.5mg am and pm.  I was then going to taper the pm dose down to 0 using the same approach before hitting the am dose.  I will also need to come off serequel some time.

Is rebound anxiety the only effect I can expect and how long does it usually last when you cut down a dose?  Will it get worse the lower I go?  I am very sensitive to drugs changes, but am committed to doing this sooner rather than later.

Any advice appreciated.  Also is serequel addictive/difficult to come off?
Related Discussions
242532_tn?1269553979
Klonopin is the least problem of the benzo family because it is longer acting.  Your schedule of withdrawal is almost perfect, just add that in the last week of cutting down you use the lowest possible dose every third day before you stop.  You can use the same formula for serequel.   You should not have any withdrawal symptoms on that schedule, and if you do, they would be mild g.i. upset, a little anxiety, and maybe a headache or two.
14 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi.  I am currently cutting down my Klonipin (klonopin).  I originally took two 2 mg tablets twice a day.  I cut it down gradually, however once I hit 1 mg per day, it was hard to cut down from there.  I had talked to my Dr as well about withdrawal symptoms and was just warned about cutting it too soon would cause seizures.  I have had all kinds of withdrawal symptoms since cutting it down gradually from 1 mg for 3 weeks..to .75 mg for three weeks...to .5 mg for 3 weeks.  I got to .5 mg and actually couldn't take the unbearable feelings anymore and I had two finals due this week and had to go back up to .75 mg...  .25 in the morning and .5 at night.  I feel a lot better, but everytime I get down to .5 mg I struggle.  At first I went to the Dr several times because I had migraines everyday.  Then I had a lot of sinus drainage, sensitivity to light and sounds,crazy dreams at night, body aches...then after cutting it down to .5 mgs I experienced a heavy numbness in my face, tingling,serious bloating, disconnected with myself...the list goes on.  And I know that these are not just symptoms of my original anxiety because I was taking them to help me sleep at night.  I was diagnosed PTSD but I was never prescribed any medication for that for years.  And I haven't really been anxious except I would get really paranoid about all of the crazy symptoms I was having...Until I found this web site and consulted a different Dr.  So although  this is the worst I have felt physically in my entire life.  The withdrawal symptoms are normal and just knowing that makes me feel better.  If you do go off your Klonipin (klonopin) you should still have something to help you sleep at night because I had tried to go off Klonipin (klonopin) before and had insomnia for about a week straight until getting prescribed some Trazadone (which is not addictive) to sleep.  But  here is a web site that really helped me out and as far as my situation goes..there are definitely some horrible side effects but it is worth getting through them.  So good luck and here's the site...www.benzo.org.uk
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I too am weaning off Klonopin, from 1mg daily
(1/2 AM, 1/2PM) I'm down to 1/4mg AM, 1/4mg PM). Its bearable but clearly not easy all the time.  Does anyone have a reduction regmien that works...like dropping dose every 2nd or 3rd day vs. my approach... drop by a 1/4mg every 2 weeks.??

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I was on this drug myself not so long ago for a couple of months. I noticed a lot of these same symptoms. Looking back now, however, speaking as a non medical professional, I think a lot of this can be blamed on mass hysteria, too-just a personal opinion.

I tried quitting cold turkey after about two and a half months of use-didn't work. There was a solid week there where I think that I would've been fully capable of turning the car into the batmobile and building a batcave to go with it, if you know what I mean~.

Eventually, I took a look at my caffeine consumption and my wits returned to me. Some alledge that caffeine can deplete the body's Inositol reserves. That's an alternative medicine mindset, so whether or not there's any legitimacy to that theory, I have no idea. Some of the recent studies though have shown a lot of success with panic disorder by those taking something on the order of 12 grams of Inositol daily, which I would never do, personally. But it goes to show there could be something there, too.

Regardless of the Inositol hype, we do know what excessive caffeine can do to us. Unfortunately, today's doctors have been forced to all but give up hope on any lectures relating to good lifestyle choices.

When I had to go on Klonopin, I wasn't exercising, I was eating 2 fruits and veges a day at best, and was chugging down plenty of soda throughout the day. In my scenario, it was amazing for me to notice the type of changes that came about from making some of the simplest adjustments to my lifestyle.

The other thing that really helped me was Vitamin C (Ester C), believe it or not. I'm honestly convinced of that. During those withdrawals, when I didn't know my rear end from my face (~), I was shocked at how well Vitamin C worked for me. I'm convinced that its effect was every bit as valuable as the Klonopin once I was down to that 0.25 mg daily range. Never noticed the effect when I took the extra C with a multi, but when I took the vitamin C by itself, it really did something for me, and I wasn't imagining that.

Anyway, to make a long story short, after these simple adjustments, I went from 0.5 mg's daily down to 0.25 for a few weeks. Than I just quit, no withdrawal effects the second time around.

Being on this drug for a few months doesn't compare to months or years worth of use, I understand that, nor does anything that I have to say here take away real life issues that might be the source of a lot of these problems for people.

And I don't know a thing about anybody here so I'm not making any accusations with the caffeine or lifestyle issues, but for any of those that have themselves on Klonopin yet are drinking more than 2-3 cups of coffee and/or 5 sodas per day, that might be something to take a look at, too.

Never begin taking any nutritional supplements without first discussing such options with your own doc, too. What works for some might be a danger to the next when it comes to vitamins/supplements, etc.

Good luck.

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the vitamin C info.  I will also look up the Inositol stuff.  I went on Klonopin in late October of 05.  I then noticed in the begining of January that the drug was simply no longer working.  I also noticed a significant weight gain and depression.  I mean, my house looked like a junior high school cafeteria.  So instead of upping the dose, which I was tempted to do, I started to wean myself.  Being of the nervous/panicky sort, I of course read everything the web had to offer.  Twice. LOL... Anyway, I went from 1.5 mg a day (.5 3x day) to just taking .5 2x a day.  First day I thought everyone else was crazy.  Imean, what was the big deal? Day two, I was a little jittery, but hey, it was EASY.  I figured everyone else was just a bunch of crybabies and I was just fine.  This was gonna be cake.  Then day three happened.  I spent most of that day trying to decide which was gonna happen first.  Was my stomach gonna blow out of my *** or was my brain gonna blow out of my head?  Its okay.  You can laugh.  I laugh now, too.  But on day three, if anyone had laughed at me, they would have thought the marines landed.  Days four through eight were pretty much the same.  The migraines had gotten so bad, my hubby (bless his heart, I think he wore a bulletproof vest around me for a while) took me to the ER.  I was crying constantly, with this amazing migraine (I love it when they say "headache" as a w/d symptom) and really, truly incapabale of articulating what was going on.  The ER doc says, why don't I give you something for the pain (you mean besides the eighteen tylenol I have had today?) and I'll get behavioral sciences down here to take a look.  So, I politely refuse pain meds on the presumption that my liver may just disintegrate at that point, and ask for beh. sciences.  Just for those of you who don't know, BS is not a bunch of really great people who know all about benzos and how to help you get off it safely.  This poor little guy comes into my room about 45 mins later, all sweet and sappy, looking for a tree to hug, and finding none available, looks to me.  "I understand that you are having difficulty coping with your drug problems" he says.  "We are here to help all drug addicts and thier families.  I hope you willing to let us help you.  It is time to Let Go And Let God."  I honestly don't know how that guy made it out of there alive.  I think I still have shreds of his faded courduroy pants in my teeth.  And a good sized chunk of Birkenstock, as well.  Sigh.  Poor thing, he was just trying to help.  When the ER doc came back and suggested that I start taking Xanax to help with the "problem" (the problem being me trying to get off of another benzo) I can't remember if I was laughing, crying or throwing up. Ah, yes, it was all three.  Anyway, after almost three weeks, the "headaches" LOL have turned into a dull roar, the stomach aches and cramps have completely subsided, my vision has partly returned and I have stopped wearing sunglasses in the house, and I feel only mostly insane.  Can't wait till my next cut!!  Doc told me to wait two weeks then cut again, but I think I am going with the www.benzo.uk.org deal and cutting SLOW and SMALL.  By the time I am done with all this slivering I am going to have nothing but some pastel peach powder and a razor.  Oh god I'm in hell....Its the EIGHTIES!!!! Good luck...gut it out.  We will all laugh about this together some day.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I've been on and off before...got some paranoia, and the reason I got put back on was for bp.  Anyway, a good and slow regimen for coming off for me was 1 mg a month.  So drop a quarter a week, take a little extra if you need to, and once you get to your final drop, dont just stop, nibble off little amounts for a while or as needed.  soon you'll be off.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hello fellow Benzoids. I've been taking 1mg (2 pills) at bedtime for several years. At first, it was to help me sleep, but later I started Trazodone which seems to do the job. (i'm also on effexor and lamictal after a lifetime of what I now see as Bipolar II) Anyway, a couple of years ago I tried to get off the klon, but went insane at .5mg, and memories of recent journeys to hell made me decide to give up and go back to 1mg. Just recently, I felt stable enough to try again. Over 4 weeks, I cut back from 2 pills to 1, a quarter pill at a time. I started feeling dizzy, tired, my guts ached, emotionally dead, waking up in the middle of the night after consequetive nightmares, confused and depressed. That was after cutting just 1/4 of one pill. Then came double vision, lack of energy and appetite. A lot of the symptoms seemed like my "normal" depression, and I didn't associate them with the withdrawal, but after googling for klonopin withdrawal symptoms and reading some of the comments here, I realize it's not a trivial thing to kick this stuff, and that other people are in the same boat. I had to pause for an extra week at 1 pill because it was too much, but last night I cut again to 3/4, woke up several times with a tidal wave of fear. Breathing helps. I'm planning to tough it out, because I don't think the klon helps me any more. Good luck to all.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Cut your doses slowly... get a pill splitter.  It is really hard to get off of the K. and if you do it too fast you could end up with extended w/d which I have heard is hell on wheels. Try asking your dr for wafers...they go down to 1/32 and are easy to break off and handle.  I'm still sucking the dust off of my bottle cap for my "1/4" splits, LOL.  Try splitting by 1/16 every six weeks.  Yes, yes, I know, everyone else says 1/4 every two weeks, but unless you really dig feeling like ****, try the smallest cut you can, for the longest time you can. I use my body as a meter...when I feel like I have fully "recovered" from the last cut, I cut again.  That  is about every six weeks for me. Good luck to us all.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I was so glad to read all these comments! I thought I was going crazy or having major brain chemistry probems. The headaches have been HORRIFIC; the jittery, speedy feeling is terrible. I CANNOT STOP TALKING. I have been on klonopin 1 mg. once a day for 12 years. It started out as a support for severe panic and anxiety attacks and then for general anxiety. I have wanted to kick it for years and I'm ready but I am white knuckling it every step of the way. This is just going from 1 mg. to .5 mg. I called my pharmacist and he promised that the worst was what I'm going through now and that going from .5 to .25 and then discontinuing altogether would be ok.

CAN SOMEONE PROMISE ME IT WILL? I am also on 150 mg. of effexor and 10 mg. of buspar (for anxiety and also to help kick up the effectiveness of the effexor. I'd like eventually to get off that too. I pray that it's not as tough. Thanks to all who wrote in. I am so grateful because I truly thought I was going insane. I will try he inositol and the Vitamin C too.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hello I have been reading the threads and find everything interesting and also confusing. I really drink too many soft drinks containing caffiene. I would love to get myself off of that also but the withdrawl (withdrawal) from that caused me severe headaches and withdrawing from both Klonopin and caffeine seems really rough. So I am up for suggestions on what I should do first I am on 3mg of Klonopin a day, down from 4mg. The doctor also gave me Restoral 15mg at bedtime. I do not take the Restoral but was wondering if I could use it to wean off the Klonopin or if anyone has tried it. I have had panic for a very long time and when I lowered the Klonopin and mentioned this to my Dr he informed me it was the panic coming back now I know better. He is of the school that I need Klonopin to keep the panic at bey however I think that is is not true at all. Any suggestions on the reductions would be helpful. I found out the hard way the withdrawl (withdrawal) is rough but I think with all this nice help on line as well as support I can make a go of it.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
First thanks to all who have written.  I've been taking Klon for 2 and a half years about 6-8 mg. a day.  My psychiatrist never told me how addictive this stuff was and the hell I would experience getting off it.  I decided to kick it because my memory and general confusion as well as lack of any motivation had stopped because of this drug.  The problem is that I just thought I could just stop it kinda slowly but that I'd be fine, considering I've gotten on and off so many meds before---needless to say not the case.  I've been cutting back slowly and it has been the scariest thing I've ever gone through.  I feel crazier than ever I can't stop moving...so many side effects.  Am also very angry at my Dr. I mean why??  My legs ache so badly that I have to keep myself from crying all the time (it doesn't always work).  I'm also on Lamictal and Wellbutrin which have been great for me-(Bipolar 1).  As I started researching this stuff and reading posts like all of these it is my only comfort.  So thank you all who have been through this.  My family and boyfriend are scared of me!  They see me pulling my hair, mumbling, rocking back and forth, it's just, they don't get it-I don't blame them at all I just feel so alone.  I'm going to do it, I'm not stopping now, but I wish there was something at least for the pain...I don't know I'm rambling here so I'll stop, but I'm taking 3 and a half mg now and it's horrible.  But I'm glad other people walked through the fire and didn't give up because it motivates me to stay focused on the goal.  Everyone else going through this-you're in my thoughts.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I am on 2 mg  of Clonazapam (same thing) at bedtime to help with sleep and restless  leg ( I have Fibro).  I am also on 150 mgs of Effexor in the morning .  For the last number of months I've been having a LOT of trouble staying asleep.  I wake up every 1-2 hrs, numerous time in the night, and then go back to bed after the kids go to school, and usually sleep better then till noonish.
  I am planning on going off the Clonazapam because I am wondering if this is causing me  problemss.  I just recently increased to the 2 mg and it helped for a few wks, but now its back to the way it was.  I am not going to increase again.  My doctor says he can't give anything else to hellp for sleep as long as I am on the Clonazapam.
  I bought my pill cutter today and plan on cutting it down to 1.75mgs, going down in .25mg increments maybe every wk or every 2 wks.  
  Got any advice on how to do this?  I also take T3's for  pain and baclofen for relaxing muscles at bedtime.  If I take the T2's with the C and Bac, I get a racy mind that won't shut off at all.  I think I have a sleep disorder but there is a LONG waiting list to get in to the sleep clinic.
  Anyways, and words of wisdom you have would be great.  I see my doc on March 6 and maybe I would be able to recommend something to him via you guys :)
Sweetbon
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks to all, I've seriously considered checking myself into the looney bin the past couple of weeks. I was off the drug for a long time and went off cold turkey when I found out I was pregnant and had no problems, the hormones must have kicked in and helped. This time I feel completely insane. I've missed out on alot of life, and made others miserable because of trying to wean off of this ****. Thank God I have an understanding Husband and Father of my Daughter, and supportive family and friends to talk to. I thought I had the flu, horrible body aches, headaches, my brain and eyes feel so much pressure, I'm bloated, get awful heart palpitations, and my self confidence has really taken a nose dive. Last nite I had to break down and take a half of a .5 mg after 2 days of nothing but madness. I'm switching to Buspar which is taking a long time to kick in, as well as taking Wellbutrin and Celexa, God help me. I want to keep it down to 2 Meds, anyone else had the same experience with multiple drugs prescribed? Seems to be the course of treatment for many these days. I wake up in the morning and I think I died and came back to life trying to wake up, it's awful to try to drag myself out of bed.
I ordered the inositol and going to go get Vit C,

What does the Vit C do, and how much are you taking?

Any other helpful suggestions to getting off of this stuff?

Has anyone else been told it causes Lactation to begin, my daughter is 26 mos old and I've not breastfed for 23 mos and , bang, I began producing milk again, yuk, and my body feels like it did while I was feeding, what an ordeal, my OBGYN said this was the drug, Klonopin, that was causing it, and to wait 3 mos, I can't live like this for another 3 mos, so I'm going to see an Endocrinologist next week. Anyone else been in the same boat?

Thanks and good luck to all
Blank
This Forum's Experts
351246_tn?1379685732
Dr. Kokil MathurBlank
Consultant
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
This is Driving Your Emotional Eati...
Jul 02 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
5856747_tn?1403352282
Blank
Sleep Apnoea
Jun 28 by Andrew John Rynne, MDBlank