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Avatar universal

Clonazepam Withdrawal Symtoms

I have been taking clonazepam over the past 5 years.  Recently I have tried to get off of the medication because I would like to become pregnant.  I know that clonazepam causes serious birth defects and am currently on birth control.  I use to take 2 2mg. tablets at bedtime.  I have been diagnosed with PTSD for awhile now.  I use to take zypexa and gained about 50 lbs.  I used to weigh 135 and went up to 180.  I have lost 25 lbs. though with regular exercise and am now 165.  Anyway...in the last 4 months I have been cutting my clonazepam down gradually.  I am also taking Trazadone to help me sleep.  Right now I am taking 100mg of Trazadone at bedtime and I cut my clonazepam down to .5 mg.  I have done this slowly and followed ny Dr.'s advice. However, ever since I started to cut it down  I have been having extreme bloating and numbness under my chin.  I realize that I need to lose some more weight but I have actually lost weight.  I know that clonazepam depresses the CNS.  Could this be how I will ALWAYS feel without clonazepam?  It's a horrible feeling.  My whole face feels numb.  I have been extremely irritable.  And it just only started since I have neen lowering my clonazepam.  I feel really goofy and out of it at times.  I have actually been laughing more although I feel rather stupid and childish.  I was just wondering if this bloated/numbness feeling is a withdrawal symtom or if this is how my body really feels without clonazepam.  And also, what are the withdrawal symtoms?  Could Trazadone be playing a part in this as well?  Please help:(
45 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
It is very unlikely that the bloating and numbness have anything at all to do with withdrawal from clonazepam.  It is an anxiety suppressant, so feeling giddy and laughing may be more a natural reaction that has come back after a long period of suppression.

The Trazadone is also not a factor in the bloating.  When you go off altogether you will not have any symptoms if you go down to the smallest possible dose every third day in the third week, and then stop.

The only withdrawal symptom to worry about is seizures, and that won't happen with this three week cut down schedule.
Avatar universal
P.S. This feeling that I described above also just seems to happen near the end of the day.  Could this be because my meds are wearing off sooner? Or is this a part of my PTSD.  Could I be having anxiety that would cause the numness feeling?  If anyone has any advise...I would greatly appreciate it...Thanks!
Avatar universal
I'm not a medical doc, but I myself have taken about 60 1mg of these pills since August, and I can tell you, I've gone through hell and back just cutting back from about three fourths of a pill per day down to 0.5 per day. At first, I wasn't taking them everyday, but than I started to on a daily basis for the purposes of restful sleep, and the whole thing has just been crazy. My thinking is all distorted on this stuff, so I'm getting off of it asap.

I have also experienced several of the same symptoms that you have mentioned, and don't be surprised-my physician told me, after the fact, mind you, that this stuff is essentially a very mild form of the LSD drug.

So don't be surprised whatsoever in terms of the symptoms you're going through. To be able to go from 4mg per day down to 0.5 is very impressive. Based on what I've read, few can do that on their own without ending up in some psych ward, so you should be proud of yourself, ma'am.

I have been trying to get some clarification into the actual dangers of withdrawal from this stuff. Some docs believe that you can't get addicted to it AT ALL, while others say that Klonopin, this drug in particular, can cause very serious, if not outright dangerous withdrawal symptoms, even after just a couple of months of use.

It will be interesting to see what type of response you get. Good luck to you, ma'am.



Avatar universal
Thank you for your input.  I just got my response from the M.D.  I can't necessarily agree that there are no withdrawal symptoms based on what I have experienced.  I have tried three seperate times to go off of clonazepam and everytime I have had a rough time.  I have had crazy dreams every night.  I have also had an increased sense to light and sounds.  It is kind-of scary that the side effect to worry about is a seizure, but I honestly think that there has to be more withdrawal symtoms than that.  My face feels numb for about a week after I cut my clonazepam down and then I feel ok until I do it again, but it is just a horrible feeling!  Do you have any symptoms when you don't take it?  I have looked at several web sites and there are not really any listed.  My Dr. tells me that it will cause body aches but that is about it.  That is why I am on here to see if anybody that actually takes it and knows what it does has any funky withdrawal symtoms.  Thank you.
Avatar universal
Ok...And this might be a stupid question but is Klonopin the same as  clonazepam?
Avatar universal
i used to take trazadone and it made me look swollen. it helped me sleep even though i had vivid dreams. i stopped taking it cause i looked sooo swollen. good luck to you. lol
Avatar universal
Yes, Klonopin=Clonazepam. Klonopin is the generic version, but I'm on the same one you are.

The bottomline, Mel, I'm not a medical doc, but I would really, really have to imagine that you've weathered 95% of the storm. If you've already cut it by 80%+ over that long of a period, I mean, I would have to think the worse part of it is clearly over with.

I did read an article one time that mentioned patients withdrawing from these types of medications should have their blood drawn for zinc, copper, magnesium, B6, and B12, the latter was the most important, evidently. So that's something you can ask your doc about I suppose to see if it would be warranted in your case.

Beyond that, however, I'm sure you'll be ok. The doc already wrote you something here I think, didn't he? So I would follow up on his advise, as well as what your own doc has to say about things, and you'll be just fine. A lot of this can just be the imagination, too, although I will deny that in every capacity when it comes the withdrawals of this med at a personal level. It's just a strange medication all around. I'm bailing, too~.
Avatar universal
I only took .5 mg once a day before bed to help me sleep through the night. I was also taking 300 mg of Wellbutrin a day. I decided after one year of being on the Clonazepam to    stop taking it. Just 4 days after I stopped, I started having horrible withdrawl symtoms...such as electric shock pulses that ran through my arms and leg. I also experienced a very strange, heavy, dizzy feeling in my head, almost as if my head was so full of water. I called my Doctor and he told me that Clonazapam didn't have withdrawl symtoms and I just wouldn't accept that answer. I continued to stay off of the Clonazapam and had continued with those symtoms for about seven days until they gradually went away. I think it depends on the person as to the severity of the withdrawls. Everyone is so different in so many ways. I think that's why some of those types of drugs work for some and don't work for others. I just hate that I feel I have to rely on drugs to make me feel better mentally.

The withdrawls won't last forever!!! Remember that!

P.S. I also had withdrawls from Wellbutrin when I tried to quit that drug too.
Avatar universal
I am so very glad that I have discovered this web site. I thought I was losing my mind. I feel better just knowing that I am not alone with this. I literally thought I was going to die when I tried to wean off of Effexor XR, then it was onto Zoloft, which destroyed my sex drive. Then I was switched to Wellbutrin XL. I used Clonazepam for sleep. I am currently weaning off of both. I am on a every other day on the Wellbutrin XL and cold turkey on the Clonazepam. I have constant headaches and starting yesterday dizziness. I have not taken clonazepam for over a week now. I am determined to get through this. Not one single DR, every mentioned the possiblility of seizure. I wish they would tell us EVERYTHING before they start us on medications. Personally I think they should take Effexor off the market. Everyone we are in this together. I am tired of being tired all the time. I was told the Wellbutrin would give me more energy....hmmmmm it hasn't done that.
Godd luck everyone.
Avatar universal
I have been taken off of Clonazepam over a week ago. I have been feeling really bad and was just looking for someone to tell me the things I am experiencing are normal. Feelings of fainting, headaches, numbness in my hands, feeling out of control and wanting to cry? I had to leave work the other day because I just couldn't get it together. I just feel like giving in and going back on it to make these feelings go away
Avatar universal
I know what you are feeling. I am going through the same. You are not alone. I am new to this site, but not new to the problem. I am so determined to be off of this. My worst symtom is this constant nagging headache and being unable to sleep. I too am crying again. I am hoping that all of this will pass. Maybe someone who has been through this will respond. Good luck and God Bless
Avatar universal
Thanks for writing me back. I also am new to this sight, I just found it today. It is good to know there is other people out there with the same situation,after awhile you feel like maybe your just going crazy. How long have you been on this medication? I've been on it for 3 years and I'm only 27. I really hope this isn't something I will have to fight with for the rest of my life because I don't think I'll be able to. Thank you again and I wish the best for you in your recovery.
Avatar universal
This is a drug I feel should not be prescribed.  While I've suffered for anxiety my entire adult life, I've been on this for 13 years, and before that Ativan.  I've never been able to successfully get off of this medication.  It really does make me feel like a drug addict.  If I don't take it one morning, I am a mess.  If I run out and can't get the medication refilled over a weekend, I will be suffering horrible withdrawel all weekend.  Here I am, not a heroin addict or anything, feeling like I am a drug addict, and I am a drug addict.  I am not only hoping to get off of this medication, but also Paxil.  What I am considering for getting off of this medication and Paxil is to put myself in a drug rehab clinic for a month or 2 weeks and stop all of it . . . at least I will be in an environment where I do not have to deal with anything else.  

I'm not sure doctor's are aware of how difficult it is to get off of these medications.  I should know.  I have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get off of this drug.  The problem is that I feel it no longer benefits me, yet my body is physically addicted to it to a point that if I were suddenly to not take it, I could not work.  Even slowly tapering off is so impossible.

IF any of you out there are taking Paxil and clonezepam . . . please let me know if you too are trying to get off of this . . . and maybe we can form a support group.  I tell very few people I take any medication . . .
Avatar universal
For anyone trying to withdraw safely and correctly from benzodiazepines (Ativan, Klonopin and Xanax) please visit www.benzo.org.uk and join their private forum for adequate support. And I have to disagree with this doctor: Klonopin is possibly one of the most potent and dangerous benzodiazepines. It not only affects GABA (Benzo) receptors but also alters 2 separate serotonin receptors, leading to depression and increased inter-dose withdrawal anxiety in 100% of patients taking Klonopin for longer than 4 weeks.

The American and Canadian medical systems have no clue as to how much destruction they're causing by criminally malprescribing the most addictive medication ever approved for human use. The UK's National Formulary (their FDA prescribing guidelines) cautions that benzodiazepines should be tapered at a 10% per fortnight cutting schedule. For a copy of this document please visit www.benzo.org.uk

Good luck and God bless
Avatar universal
i been having panic attacks since 1989. i was on clonazepam taking half of .05 in the morning. i was doing good and my dr. decided to put me on lexapro. it was very bad, i could not stand the side effects. today i dont know if the side effects was from lexapro or from the clonazepam that he took me off cold turkey. i was only able to take the lexapro for two weeks, when i stop taking it i felt fine and i know dont take anything. couple of weeks ago i felt anxious and panic again, it does not happen all the time but it does occur. i visited my dr. yesterday and he said to take clonazepam on needed bassis only. like to here some comments, thank you
Avatar universal
Hi fred,

Sorry to hear about your anxiety. If you can deal with it without drugs, that's the best path for you. Of course, that requires a lot of work on your part, but it's a lot safer than Klonopin. However, if you're not able to work around the anxiety without meds, and you think Klonopin's for you, then remember that even though you're planning on taking only occasionally, the reality is that you're going to become dependent on it, take it more often over time, eventually developing tolerance and rebound symptoms. The only relief you're going to get at that point is to pop another Klonopin. This is how people become unintentionally dependent/addicted. Once that happens and you miss a couple of days, or try to quit at an accelerated withdrawal schedule, you'll find yourself on the hellish side of detox.

Good luck and god bless.
Avatar universal
what is the best way to overcome anxiety and does over the counter herbs really works? i have read about passion flower and the rest of stuff out there but i have never met anyone that has taken it.
Avatar universal
a friend was taking clonazepam in the morning for the past 12 months and he started getting off with the same dosage except he was skipping days. he was taking 0.5, he said he did not get withdralws.is that because of the way he got off or is it because of the low dosage?
Avatar universal
Hi frred,

Have you looked into dietary and nutritional changes first? I know of many people who've done extremely well by cutting gluten and casein from their diet. You could set up a challenge diet for yourself and see if you notice any improvement. There's a wonderful celiac disease/gluten sensitivity forum over at Harvard's BrainTalk Communities. Copy and paste this address into your web browser, it'll take you directly to the site: http://brain.hastypastry.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=-1&f=141

When you get on that board look under their: The Gluten File sticky at the top of the board. Just poke around in there and you'll find research articles about the relationship between gluten (wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oat protein) and anxiety & depressive disorders. You should also consider joining up and asking general questions as to how you could try a challenge diet. The folks there are really knowledgeable and helpful.

Just a note of interest: 1 in 100 people are believed to have gluten intolerance in the US, especially if they're of Irish, English or otherwise northern European descent. Anxiety, depression, scizophrenia, ADD, autism, Tourettes, gluten ataxia, are just a small number of related disorders that respond favorably to a gluten free diet. Check it out and good luck.
Avatar universal
For those of you who have gone off clonazepam, how many days did you go through the withdrawal symptoms?  It all sounds so scary for my sister who went cold turkey this week after taking it for almost 10 years.  I wonder if I should "demand" that she see a doctor since seizures sound pretty possible.
Avatar universal
I have been taking Clonazepam for years, 3 1mg a day, I have cut back to 2 a day. I wake up with a headache everymorning.
Avatar universal
I'm a 28 year old female and have been taking 2 mg of clonazepam for anxiety disorder (that I've suffered from all my life) along with 150 mg of Effexor for depression for almost 2 years.  Prior to this, I had been on Paxil for anxiety/depression for over 10 years.

I am hoping to get pregnant and additionally, I am just really sick of being "dependant" on medication.. I have been talking to my doctor (a psychopharmacologist) about going off the medications and so far I've begun only with clonazepam.  I usually take my medication in the morning and the clonazepam has made me ridiculously tired - another reason I need to take less and eventually none. The doctor told me to start taking the clon. at night and reduce it to 1 mg.  

Only 2 days later, I've started suffering from such unbearable withdrawal symptoms that this morning I had to take the 2 mg.. I've had horrendous nightmares that made my entire night's sleep awful - feeling like I was choking, gasping for air, having anxiety attacks in my sleep and waking up with a full on anxiety attack (and I haven't experienced anxiety attacks in years).  I also have been so emotional that I think I've spent the entire past couple days crying and depressed to the point of not wanting to leave my bed.  I have a job to go to and clients to visit and I just can't be an emotional wreck.  The anxiety is 10x worse than it was for me previously.  

Can someone give me an idea of how to safely wean myself from the clonazepam without suffering such awful side effects?  I need all the advice I can get, because I could be pregnant and need to get off of this successfully.

Thanks.
Avatar universal
betsypaige,
I got off clonazepam about 4 years ago under a doctors care. She had me stop taking clonazepam completely and take Phenbobarbital as needed to detox. It worked but it was scary, I had to check my pulse and sometimes it would be beating about 95 times a minute. Thats when I would take Phenobarbital and it would make the pulse rate go down. I started taking clonazepam again about 2 years later because I started getting panic attacks at night and I thought I was going to have a stroke of someting, went to emergency, they did tests, could not find anything, later I had a MRI because I thought there was something really wrong, be it was normal. They were just panic or anxiety attacks. Clonazepam really works for anxiety. But my memory is bad, very tired like you and just not with it. But if you want a baby you have to get off it and having a healthy baby would be worth it. Sorry so long, hope everything works out for you.

darlene1
Avatar universal
Any doctor that would tell you there are no withdraw symptoms from taking Clonazepam is not even reading a basic level description of the drug itself.  With over 25 years of experience in observing people come off of addictions, in the past five years, Clonazepam is one of the worst.  One of the more profound aspects of Clonazepam is that it is an
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