Benzo withdrawal can last as little as a week if you've been using a short-acting benzo such as lorazepam for only a month or two, and be relatively mild, or as little as barely noticeable if you've used a long-acting benzo such as clonazepam for a month.
If you've been using high doses (30 mg or more diazepam equivalent) of any benzo for longer times, the withdrawal gets progressively more intense and of greater duration until it becomes life threatening, proportionate to the dose of benzos you are taking and how long you've been taking them.
As far as intensity v. duration, shorter-acting benzos are usually a more intense withdrawal, but a shorter-lasting one as well. Although, once it gets to the point of "bad benzo dependency", there is no real difference in the withdrawal from 6 mg Xanax a day and 100 mg of Valium a day, except the Xanax withdrawal will kick in in eight hours and the Valium withdrawal will take a day or so to kick in. They are both deadly, and are both the worst withdrawal you can get from any drug, as they are as intense or more intense than alcohol withdrawal, and much longer-lasting. As a former heroin addict, I can assure you that heroin withdrawal, while an absolute Hell of misery, extreme physical and emotional pain and suicidality even for the most mentally stable amongst us, is merely the First Circle of Hell where mild sinners, such as those who have said "Jesus Christ" in vain, who have not done penance go, and benzo withdrawal is the Ninth Circle of Hell where Satan resides in the lake of frozen fire, where people like Hitler and Dahmer go, to use Dante's visualisations from the Divine Comedy.
As far as the upper limit of benzo withdrawal, due to the unique action of benzos amongst all psychiatric medications in altering one of only two primary neurotransmitter systems in the brain (glutamate, which is "GO", and GABA, which they increase, which is "STOP") they have a withdrawal of unique severe intensity and duration amongst all drugs. Due to conformational changes, decoupling, internalisation, and desensitisation of the GABA-A receptor and alterations at the BZD subunit, ACUTE benzo withdrawals can last as long as six months when withdrawing from a long-term high-dose long-acting benzo habit, and a mild withdrawal (for benzos, still worse than any anti-depressant withdrawal) can last decades, indefinitely, until your death, called 'protracted withdrawal syndrome' - so think twice before starting benzos.
Decades-long withdrawal is more common the longer benzos were used, the higher dose they were used at, and the quicker the taper. For example, if you are taking 6mg of Xanax a day, you should take around 24-36 months to taper off by diazepam substitution; the quicker you taper, the greater the chance for permanent withdrawal, but for some unlucky souls, no matter how long and slow the taper, the withdrawal is still permanent and debilitating. This is why benzos are advised for short-term use only unless absolutely necessary as a drug of last resort.
In my case, having been on benzos for around a decade, and being on the equivalent of ~140 mg of diazepam equivalent a day, it would be virtually impossible to taper down much, let alone completely off, without experiencing life-threatening withdrawal and long-term if not permanent disability and debilitation, even if there was no medical reason (as in epilepsy, PTSD, HPPD, and panic disorder) to keep using them.
Once you've been on benzos for a long time, or a high dose, you're in it for the long haul. Full stop.
Reading your specific case, you should be able to come off the 1 mg clonazepam either by liquid titration or diazepam substitution over the course of 40 to 120 days with little risk of life-threatening or permanent withdrawal: however, cold-turkey withdrawal from 1 mg of clonazepam has the very real possibility of being fatal, even if it is not a probability. If your doctor is not forcing you to go off, you should probably stay on (talk to your Pdoc) as you need something to balance out the extremely high doses of agitating and stimulating drugs like venlafaxine and atomoxetine, and you're not on any AAPs (and APs/AAPs don't play well with benzo tapering AT ALL). If you need to withdraw, you should reduce your dose by one-eighth of one milligramme (.125mg) a day every five days until you are off, according to the prescribing information sheet, taking forty days. However, this is quite quick, and due to the extremely high binding affinity of clonazepam, is generally hard to withdraw from, and most withdrawals can benefit from a Valium or Librium substitution. The substitution rate would be around 20mg of Valium, and would go something like (again, work with your doctor, and make sure he is versed in the Ashton method if you wish to substitute Valium or Librium):
Day 1: 5 mg Valium 0.75mg Klonopin
Day 3-5: 10 mg Valium 0.5 Klonopin
Day 5-7: 15 mg Valium 0.25 Klonopin
Day 7-10: 20 mg Valium
Day 10-14 (and so on): 18 mg Valium
Day 14: 16 mg Valium
Day 18: 14 mg Valium
Day 22: 12 mg Valium
Day 26: 11 mg Valium
Day 30: 10 mg Valium
Day 34: 9mg Valium
Day 38: 8mg Valium
Day 42: 7mg Valium
Day 46: 6mg Valium
Day 50: 5mg Valium
Day 57: 4.5 mg Valium
Day 65: 4 mg Valium
Day 72: 3.5 mg Valium
Day 79: 3 mg Valium
Day 86: 2.5 mg Valium
Day 93: 2 mg Valium
Day 100: 1.5 mg Valium
Day 107: 1 mg Valium
Day 120: 0mg Valium
As a very rough guideline
Edited by Suboxer, 29 December 2010 - 11:07 AM.
Dx: (currently under revision) schizoaffective disorder - bipolar type, GAD, PD w/o agoraphobia, opioid dependency, PTSD, HPPD, temporal lobe epilepsy, refractory insomnia, paranoid personality disorder.
Medical might cost $600 a month, but pays for $5k in treatment. Try getting "Batshit crazy - with a heroin addiction" covered as a pre-existing condition.
lorazepam 2-4mg PRN; clonazepam 2mg TID; pregabalin 300mg TIDMood-stabilizers/anti-epileptics:
sodium valproate 500mg BID; lamotrigine 150mg BIDNeuroleptic(s):
quetiapine 200mg BIDAddiction management:
buprenorphine 8mg BID; 60mg baclofen QID; 1 Camel Wide cigarette q30mSedative-hypnotics:
estazolam 4mg or flurazepam 60mg or lorazepam 2-4mg QHS
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