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How Long Do Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms Last?


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#1 jangev

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 10:56 PM

over a period of a few months now i have been dealing with many withdrawal symptoms because of the klonopin.. i think.. agitation, restlessness, insomnia, speech problems that weren't there before (slurring speech or often saying the wrong thing, something irrelevant or mixing up words) clouded thinking, irritability, memory issues, intrusive thoughts, racing thoughts, concentration issues, severe distractibility, twitching jerking movements, anxiety and obsessions (mostly related to my mental health.) but i think i should also give some background, im going to quote from a different post


"several months ago i was hospitalized a third time because of what seems like delirium and what i assumed was suicidal ideation although in retrospect it seems i jumped to conclusions. all of this seemingly caused by a high fever (if i recall correctly, it was around 104.) it was probably the worst hospitalization as i lost the capacity for clear and rational goal directed thought. i couldnt think at all. i also had extreme difficulty speaking, stammering alot. that hospital stay lasted for about a week, and the effexor was brought up to 375 mg, while the strattera stayed as it was.

the "delirium" eventually subsided but the cognition issues persisted. eventually i was switched to abilify a second time, at my own request, which cleared up my symptoms almost immediately. i also eventually (about a few weeks later) insisted on coming off of the klonopin (.5 mg twice a day)"


i have good days and i have bad days, sometimes i have really bad days. and then i worry about whether i'm relapsing. sometimes i have these psychotic-like moments which make things seem strange, makes me extremely anxious, my palms start sweating, im about to panic.. all of this seems to have gotten worse since i started the abilify and came off the klonopin but unfortunately i didnt track my progress with the meds individually. the symptoms come and go. but for how long will this last?

Edited by SirAmen, 27 December 2010 - 10:57 PM.

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past rx: effexor xr, every AAP (including all the new ones: fanapt, abilify, saphris, latuda, invega..) except for Clozaril, Geodon and Zyprexa, cymbalta (for two days), ambien, Inderal, concerta (subsequent psychotic ep), buspar, xanax, klonopin, trazodone, neurontin

also had unilateral and bilateral ECT series in '11

inaddition to rx: Vitamin B-complex 50, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Co-Q10, DHA (fish oil)




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#2 notfred

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 11:06 PM

Why insist on withdrawing from Klonopin ? Your wording suggests it was not at your docs insistence. Go back up on the Klonopin dose and see what goes away, then you will have your answer as to if this is withdrawal. Your laundry list of symptoms is likely caused by several things.

nf
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I am in full remission (296.36) from Depression. Insomnia, ADHD-PI, Epilepsy, and the Pseudoparkinsonian tremor are well controlled.

 

Psyc Meds: Forfivo XL 450 mg (Wellbutrin XL), Abilify 15 mg, (Aripiprazole), Eszopiclone 6 mg (Lunesta), Vyvance 70 mg, (Dextroamphetamine) Levetiracetam 2,000 mg (Keppra), Propranolol ER 60 mg (Inderal)
PRN: Lorazepam 1-4 mg (Ativan), Alprazolam 1-2 mg (Xanax), Dextroamphetamine 10-40 mg (Dexedrine), Propranolol 20-40 mg (Inderal), Ondansetron 8 mg (Zofran)

Supps: Multi-vitamin/mineral, Vitamin D-3 2,000 IU, Omega-3-acid ethyl esters 4 g (Lovaza), Fish oil 1-4 g.

Dx: Depression, Insomnia, ADHD-PI, Epilepsy, Dyspraxia, Tremor

I also take allergy and diabetes + it's complications meds.

All doses are a daily total.


#3 dymphna

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 04:13 AM

over a period of a few months now i have been dealing with many withdrawal symptoms because of the klonopin.. i think.. agitation, restlessness, insomnia, speech problems that weren't there before (slurring speech or often saying the wrong thing, something irrelevant or mixing up words) clouded thinking, irritability, memory issues, intrusive thoughts, racing thoughts, concentration issues, severe distractibility, twitching jerking movements, anxiety and obsessions (mostly related to my mental health.) but i think i should also give some background, im going to quote from a different post


This is actually the only pertinent info here.

But what you are describing is not due to benzo withdrawal. If left completely alone (eg: you simply stop taking your Klonopin one morning), you'll have about 3 days of "omygodthissucksASS" and you'll be back to where ever you were before you started taking it. [Trust me on this one: I went off it on Thanksgiving morning (yeah, yeah, not my best move...), and I've been on 1.5mg + PRN for YEARS.]

It sounds as if the anxiety component of your illness (which may or may not have gotten worse during your trial of Klonopin) is rearing its head.

i have good days and i have bad days, sometimes i have really bad days. and then i worry about whether i'm relapsing. sometimes i have these psychotic-like moments which make things seem strange, makes me extremely anxious, my palms start sweating, im about to panic.. all of this seems to have gotten worse since i started the abilify and came off the klonopin but unfortunately i didnt track my progress with the meds individually. the symptoms come and go. but for how long will this last?


My guess? Until you talk to your Pdoc about a meds adjustment. Many, many people stay on benzos their entire lives w/o having to increase their doses, so it isn't the drugs themselves that are evil or anything. I only dropped mine because I got a bad generic that was giving me daily migraines & I thought dropping it was truly the lesser of two evils. (I'm rethinking that...)



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#4 jangev

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 08:45 AM

hmm i didnt consider anxiety particularly relevant as it relates to psychotic depression. im going to have to look into this a bit more. thanks for the helpful information, Dymphna. thank you for the not as helpful information notfred. my doc said it would be okay to taper the klonopin. im going to have to take into account what yall said and what other sources have said

Edited by SirAmen, 28 December 2010 - 08:46 AM.

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past rx: effexor xr, every AAP (including all the new ones: fanapt, abilify, saphris, latuda, invega..) except for Clozaril, Geodon and Zyprexa, cymbalta (for two days), ambien, Inderal, concerta (subsequent psychotic ep), buspar, xanax, klonopin, trazodone, neurontin

also had unilateral and bilateral ECT series in '11

inaddition to rx: Vitamin B-complex 50, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Co-Q10, DHA (fish oil)


#5 notfred

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 09:35 AM

thank you for the not as helpful information notfred.



??
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I am in full remission (296.36) from Depression. Insomnia, ADHD-PI, Epilepsy, and the Pseudoparkinsonian tremor are well controlled.

 

Psyc Meds: Forfivo XL 450 mg (Wellbutrin XL), Abilify 15 mg, (Aripiprazole), Eszopiclone 6 mg (Lunesta), Vyvance 70 mg, (Dextroamphetamine) Levetiracetam 2,000 mg (Keppra), Propranolol ER 60 mg (Inderal)
PRN: Lorazepam 1-4 mg (Ativan), Alprazolam 1-2 mg (Xanax), Dextroamphetamine 10-40 mg (Dexedrine), Propranolol 20-40 mg (Inderal), Ondansetron 8 mg (Zofran)

Supps: Multi-vitamin/mineral, Vitamin D-3 2,000 IU, Omega-3-acid ethyl esters 4 g (Lovaza), Fish oil 1-4 g.

Dx: Depression, Insomnia, ADHD-PI, Epilepsy, Dyspraxia, Tremor

I also take allergy and diabetes + it's complications meds.

All doses are a daily total.


#6 dymphna

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 09:44 AM

hmm i didnt consider anxiety particularly relevant as it relates to psychotic depression. im going to have to look into this a bit more. thanks for the helpful information, Dymphna. thank you for the not as helpful information notfred. my doc said it would be okay to taper the klonopin. im going to have to take into account what yall said and what other sources have said


That was uncalled for.

Please see your Pdoc. If you have awhile before you can do that, please refrain from visiting the site until you can be more polite to other posters.


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I can find you an answer and I won't blow smoke up your ass.

 

St. Dymphna is the Patron for brain maladies.

 

I'm the Enforcer.

 

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#7 jangev

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 01:11 PM

"Go back up on the Klonopin dose and see what goes away, then you will have your answer as to if this is withdrawal. Your laundry list of symptoms is likely caused by several things."

maybe i read into it the wrong way. my apologies.

Edited by SirAmen, 28 December 2010 - 01:20 PM.

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past rx: effexor xr, every AAP (including all the new ones: fanapt, abilify, saphris, latuda, invega..) except for Clozaril, Geodon and Zyprexa, cymbalta (for two days), ambien, Inderal, concerta (subsequent psychotic ep), buspar, xanax, klonopin, trazodone, neurontin

also had unilateral and bilateral ECT series in '11

inaddition to rx: Vitamin B-complex 50, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Co-Q10, DHA (fish oil)


#8 Suboxer

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 10:52 AM

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.

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#9 dymphna

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 12:23 PM

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


What planet are you on? 120 days? For a drug with a 3 day half life? Don't throw that shit around here.


Dymphna
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Yes, my name really is Dymphna.

 

I'm not a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or therapist.

I can find you an answer and I won't blow smoke up your ass.

 

St. Dymphna is the Patron for brain maladies.

 

I'm the Enforcer.

 

eqnmrt.jpg

 


#10 notfred

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 02:40 PM

I do not see where SirAmen indicated how long he has been on Klonopin (sorry if I missed it) and knowing this is key to suggesting a taper schedule. Not to mention throwing around scary phrases like "life-threatening withdrawal and long-term if not permanent disability and debilitation".


nf

Edited by notfred, 29 December 2010 - 02:42 PM.

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I am in full remission (296.36) from Depression. Insomnia, ADHD-PI, Epilepsy, and the Pseudoparkinsonian tremor are well controlled.

 

Psyc Meds: Forfivo XL 450 mg (Wellbutrin XL), Abilify 15 mg, (Aripiprazole), Eszopiclone 6 mg (Lunesta), Vyvance 70 mg, (Dextroamphetamine) Levetiracetam 2,000 mg (Keppra), Propranolol ER 60 mg (Inderal)
PRN: Lorazepam 1-4 mg (Ativan), Alprazolam 1-2 mg (Xanax), Dextroamphetamine 10-40 mg (Dexedrine), Propranolol 20-40 mg (Inderal), Ondansetron 8 mg (Zofran)

Supps: Multi-vitamin/mineral, Vitamin D-3 2,000 IU, Omega-3-acid ethyl esters 4 g (Lovaza), Fish oil 1-4 g.

Dx: Depression, Insomnia, ADHD-PI, Epilepsy, Dyspraxia, Tremor

I also take allergy and diabetes + it's complications meds.

All doses are a daily total.


#11 jangev

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 07:00 PM

talked to the doc and he said it's probably anxiety not withdrawl. he prescribed buspar, although its generic. not sure if there's any difference there in terms of efficacy, but then i was taking generic klonopin.

Edited by SirAmen, 29 December 2010 - 07:04 PM.

  • 0

past rx: effexor xr, every AAP (including all the new ones: fanapt, abilify, saphris, latuda, invega..) except for Clozaril, Geodon and Zyprexa, cymbalta (for two days), ambien, Inderal, concerta (subsequent psychotic ep), buspar, xanax, klonopin, trazodone, neurontin

also had unilateral and bilateral ECT series in '11

inaddition to rx: Vitamin B-complex 50, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Co-Q10, DHA (fish oil)


#12 dymphna

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 01:48 AM

talked to the doc and he said it's probably anxiety not withdrawl. he prescribed buspar, although its generic. not sure if there's any difference there in terms of efficacy, but then i was taking generic klonopin.


Buspar will take awhile to build up in your system (probably a month, like an SSRI), and works very subtly. It does not have the immediate gratification effect of a benzo. It will either work or not. You will not know until you give it a solid two month trial.


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Yes, my name really is Dymphna.

 

I'm not a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or therapist.

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#13 Suboxer

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 11:47 AM

I'll throw as much shit around as I can find reliable references to. Read any references on benzo literature, and the NICE guidelines, and it will tell you, "it is more advisable to withdraw too slowly than too quickly". Even the PI sheet itself published by Roche tells you to discontinue at the rate of 1/8 mg every five days. So, how about you don't go throwing around bullshit medical advice that has a chance of being dangerous, just because you yourself have had the amazing good luck of being able to quit against medical advise/in a dangerous fashion and have not been burned? Benzo withdrawal, especially that from long-term use, isn't caffeine or nicotine withdrawal like the author of this site seems to think under the "benzodiazepine" article. It's not something to be played around with; it demands more respect than withdrawal from heroin, or any other drug for that matter, except for ethanol and barbiturates, other GABA-A agonists/positive allosteric modulators. Clonazepam is a very potent benzodiazepine, and 1 mg is equal to 10-20mg of Valium, which no sane doctor would tell a person to withdraw cold-turkey unless they had been using it for less than a month daily, or only occasionally.

It's not a drug you can just "quit". If you've ever picked up a bottle of clonazepam, or any benzo, and read the paper that came with it like you're supposed to, you might recall it saying "DO NOT DISCONTINUE THIS DRUG ABRUPTLY", and if you have ever seen the prescriber's PI you might recall it saying discontinue at the rate of .125mg/q120h. However, I doubt you've ever seen such a thing, or you wouldn't be throwing around the disingenuous "facts" that you are, and then lambasting an individual for posting a guideline straight out of the manufacturer's PI sheet, another guideline virtually ripped from the pages of the National Institutes of Clinical Excellence guideline, plagiarised from Dr H Ashton, although the latter is generally used only in longer-term and/or higher-dose dependency. How was I to know his dependency wasn't that of four years instead of four months?

The golden rule of benzodiazepine withdrawal is in the first line of the NICE guidelines: "It is better to attempt to withdraw benzodiazepines too slowly than it is to attempt to withdraw them too quickly". There is no additional danger in a too slow withdrawal; there IS additional danger in a too fast one. Physician, heal thyself. Which is more than applicable here, because you seem to think yourself some sort of medical doctor, over-ruling and calling bullshit on advice (that itself is peppered with "Talk to your PDoc" clauses) that is drawn from well-established and respected sources. Just because my sources are from the UK NHS and NICE makes no difference: if your colonial counterpart to the NICE says that benzodiazepine withdrawal does not exist or is not dangerous, that doesn't make it so.

I assumed from the way the OP was speaking that he had been on clonazepam for a long period of time; for long-duration addiction to 1mg of Klonopin, I stick by my original statements (Google "NHS benzodiazepine" or "NICE benzodiazepine" and you'll see the professionals do as well). However, since I now know he has been on it only since August of this year, a quicker withdrawal taking place over the course of around two to three weeks is very plausible and unlikely to be dangerous, since he has been on the drug for four months only. Withdrawing from 1 mg of clonazepam over the course of three days as you seem to advise is ill-advised, unprofessional, and can be dangerous even if the use of clonazepam has only been continued long enough to foster a mild physical dependency.

Withdrawal from the long-term use of 1 mg of Klonopin or 20 mg of Valium per day cold-turkey can be life threatening, even in people without a history of kindling due to benzodiazepine, barbiturate, or ethanol withdrawal or a seizure disorder (and especially in people with a history of such), and can and does lead to protracted withdrawal that can last many years. Withdrawal from short-term use is much easier.

Every statement in my previous post is factual, and conforms with NICE guidelines; every statement in your post is either delirium incarnate, an ad hominem attack, or both. And two can play the ad hom game, especially when it comes to the health of individuals visiting this board. The half-life of a drug has nothing to do with the time it takes to taper from it, or withdraw from it: morphine has a three-hour half life: who withdraws from morphine in three hours? Xanax has a twelve-hour half-life: who withdraws from it in twelve hours? Buprenorphine has a 40 hour average half-life: many people take months to taper off of it down to the 100g range and still experience several weeks of withdrawal, and opioids are much more forgiving and safer to withdraw from than benzos.

By the way, Klonopin has around a 30 hour average half-life in healthy individuals, and doesn't have a half-life longer than 48 hours even in 75 year old 40kg senior citizen grannies, unless they have severe cirrhosis comorbid with their geriatry.

Edited by Suboxer, 30 December 2010 - 11:51 AM.

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#14 dymphna

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:35 PM

I'll throw as much shit around as I can find reliable references to. Read any references on benzo literature, and the NICE guidelines, and it will tell you, "it is more advisable to withdraw too slowly than too quickly". Even the PI sheet itself published by Roche tells you to discontinue at the rate of 1/8 mg every five days. So, how about you don't go throwing around bullshit medical advice that has a chance of being dangerous, just because you yourself have had the amazing good luck of being able to quit against medical advise/in a dangerous fashion and have not been burned? Benzo withdrawal, especially that from long-term use, isn't caffeine or nicotine withdrawal like the author of this site seems to think under the "benzodiazepine" article. It's not something to be played around with; it demands more respect than withdrawal from heroin, or any other drug for that matter, except for ethanol and barbiturates, other GABA-A agonists/positive allosteric modulators. Clonazepam is a very potent benzodiazepine, and 1 mg is equal to 10-20mg of Valium, which no sane doctor would tell a person to withdraw cold-turkey unless they had been using it for less than a month daily, or only occasionally.

It's not a drug you can just "quit". If you've ever picked up a bottle of clonazepam, or any benzo, and read the paper that came with it like you're supposed to, you might recall it saying "DO NOT DISCONTINUE THIS DRUG ABRUPTLY", and if you have ever seen the prescriber's PI you might recall it saying discontinue at the rate of .125mg/q120h. However, I doubt you've ever seen such a thing, or you wouldn't be throwing around the disingenuous "facts" that you are, and then lambasting an individual for posting a guideline straight out of the manufacturer's PI sheet, another guideline virtually ripped from the pages of the National Institutes of Clinical Excellence guideline, plagiarised from Dr H Ashton, although the latter is generally used only in longer-term and/or higher-dose dependency. How was I to know his dependency wasn't that of four years instead of four months?

The golden rule of benzodiazepine withdrawal is in the first line of the NICE guidelines: "It is better to attempt to withdraw benzodiazepines too slowly than it is to attempt to withdraw them too quickly". There is no additional danger in a too slow withdrawal; there IS additional danger in a too fast one. Physician, heal thyself. Which is more than applicable here, because you seem to think yourself some sort of medical doctor, over-ruling and calling bullshit on advice (that itself is peppered with "Talk to your PDoc" clauses) that is drawn from well-established and respected sources. Just because my sources are from the UK NHS and NICE makes no difference: if your colonial counterpart to the NICE says that benzodiazepine withdrawal does not exist or is not dangerous, that doesn't make it so.

I assumed from the way the OP was speaking that he had been on clonazepam for a long period of time; for long-duration addiction to 1mg of Klonopin, I stick by my original statements (Google "NHS benzodiazepine" or "NICE benzodiazepine" and you'll see the professionals do as well). However, since I now know he has been on it only since August of this year, a quicker withdrawal taking place over the course of around two to three weeks is very plausible and unlikely to be dangerous, since he has been on the drug for four months only. Withdrawing from 1 mg of clonazepam over the course of three days as you seem to advise is ill-advised, unprofessional, and can be dangerous even if the use of clonazepam has only been continued long enough to foster a mild physical dependency.

Withdrawal from the long-term use of 1 mg of Klonopin or 20 mg of Valium per day cold-turkey can be life threatening, even in people without a history of kindling due to benzodiazepine, barbiturate, or ethanol withdrawal or a seizure disorder (and especially in people with a history of such), and can and does lead to protracted withdrawal that can last many years. Withdrawal from short-term use is much easier.

Every statement in my previous post is factual, and conforms with NICE guidelines; every statement in your post is either delirium incarnate, an ad hominem attack, or both. And two can play the ad hom game, especially when it comes to the health of individuals visiting this board. The half-life of a drug has nothing to do with the time it takes to taper from it, or withdraw from it: morphine has a three-hour half life: who withdraws from morphine in three hours? Xanax has a twelve-hour half-life: who withdraws from it in twelve hours? Buprenorphine has a 40 hour average half-life: many people take months to taper off of it down to the 100µg range and still experience several weeks of withdrawal, and opioids are much more forgiving and safer to withdraw from than benzos.

By the way, Klonopin has around a 30 hour average half-life in healthy individuals, and doesn't have a half-life longer than 48 hours even in 75 year old 40kg senior citizen grannies, unless they have severe cirrhosis comorbid with their geriatry.


Suboxer,

You need to pay more attention to the rules here.

No, you may not throw as much shit as you wish.

Yes, I have already read the references, it is what I do here.

The OP was already given medical advice, by his doctor. He followed it. Not all of the information reaches the main board - or you - sorry.

Re-read my post: I did not give him medical advice; I gave a personal experience, as this is a message board.

I have a disclaimer at the bottom of every post I write that clearly states I am not a doctor and do not believe I am one.


Now I am going to tell you how this particular exchange ends: you are going to stop your tirade against Jerod, myself and this entire site, or you are going to be banned from here. That's it.


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#15 Jerod Poore

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 01:09 PM

talked to the doc and he said it's probably anxiety not withdrawl. he prescribed buspar, although its generic. not sure if there's any difference there in terms of efficacy, but then i was taking generic klonopin.


I haven't come across any brand vs. generic issues with BuSpar. What I have found is the chances of BuSpar working aren't as good if you used to use benzodiazepines to treat anxiety.
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#16 Jerod Poore

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 03:04 PM

Read any references on benzo literature, and the NICE guidelines, and it will tell you, "it is more advisable to withdraw too slowly than too quickly".

That's our default guideline for any medication that is not causing a life-threatening reaction.

Benzo withdrawal, especially that from long-term use, isn't caffeine or nicotine withdrawal like the author of this site seems to think under the "benzodiazepine" article.

Which part of "For me" and "But I am a freak and an exceptional case." are so difficult for you to understand? English does appear to be your first language.

It's not a drug you can just "quit". If you've ever picked up a bottle of clonazepam, or any benzo, and read the paper that came with it like you're supposed to, you might recall it saying "DO NOT DISCONTINUE THIS DRUG ABRUPTLY", and if you have ever seen the prescriber's PI you might recall it saying discontinue at the rate of .125mg/q120h. However, I doubt you've ever seen such a thing,


http://www.crazymeds.us/klonopinpi.pdf

Treatment should be discontinued gradually, with a decrease of 0.125 mg bid every 3 days, until the drug
is completely withdrawn.


The above is for panic disorder. No discontinuation guideline is given for seizure disorders, other than a vague "make sure they're they've been taking another AED before they begin to discontinue Klonopin."

Withdrawal from the long-term use of 1 mg of Klonopin or 20 mg of Valium per day cold-turkey can be life threatening, even in people without a history of kindling due to benzodiazepine, barbiturate, or ethanol withdrawal or a seizure disorder

Apparently you haven't read the hundreds of posts here regarding how stupid it is to suddenly stop taking any anticonvulsant, regardless if one is epileptic or not.

The half-life of a drug has nothing to do with the time it takes to taper from it, or withdraw from it:


Yes, it does. The half-life is the starting point in determining the taper schedule for many, if not drugs. The rule of thumb is: decrease the dosage the time it takes for a plasma elimination (half-life * 5). Meds with a very long or very short half-life, or ones that self-induce, require additional parameters. Then you look at the pharmacodynamics for other factors. So let's do the Crazy Meds math. 30 hour average half-life times 5 = 150 hours, or about 6 days.

Buprenorphine has a 40 hour average half-life: many people take months to taper off of it down to the 100g range and still experience several weeks of withdrawal, and opioids are much more forgiving and safer to withdraw from than benzos.


Mileage is going to vary on that one.

By the way, Klonopin has around a 30 hour average half-life in healthy individuals, and doesn't have a half-life longer than 48 hours even in 75 year old 40kg senior citizen grannies, unless they have severe cirrhosis comorbid with their geriatry.


Clonazepam's pharmacokinetics are dose-dependent. It's also metabolized by CYP3A4, so it is subject to drug-drug interactions. While not as common as CYP2D6, CYP3A4 polymorphism exists, so there are plenty of otherwise healthy people at the extreme ends of its 20-80 hour half-life range.

As to the tapering issue itself.

Tapering Clonazepam in Patients With Panic Disorder After at Least 3 Years of Treatment

We selected 73 patients with PD who had been asymptomatic for at least 1 year and who wished to discontinue the medication. The trial consisted of a 4-month period of tapering and an 8-month follow-up period. The dosage of clonazepam was decreased by 0.5 mg per 2-week period until 1 mg per day was reached, followed by a decrease of 0.25 mg per week. The mean dosage at the start of tapering was 2.7 1.2 mg/d. In total, 51 (68.9%) of the patients were free of the medication after the 4 months of tapering according to the protocol, and 19 (26.0%) of the patients needed another 3 months to be free of medication.


Discontinuation of clonazepam in the treatment of social phobia.

Patients with social phobia who responded well to 6 months of open-label treatment with clonazepam were assigned to receive either continuation treatment (CT) with clonazepam for another 5 months, or to undergo discontinuation treatment (DT) using a clonazepam taper at the rate of 0.25 mg every 2 weeks, with double-blind placebo substitution. Clinical efficacy was compared between the CT and DT groups using three different social phobia scales. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms were also measured. Relapse rates were 0 and 21.1% in the CT and DT groups, respectively. Subjects in the CT group generally showed a more favorable clinical response at midpoint and/or endpoint, although even in the DT group clinical response remained good. With respect to withdrawal symptoms, the rates were low in both groups (12.5% for CT and 27.7% for DT) with no real evidence suggesting significant withdrawal difficulties. At the end of 11 months of treatment with clonazepam, however, a more rapid withdrawal rate was associated with greater distress. This study offers preliminary evidence to suggest that continuation therapy with clonazepam in the treatment of social phobia is safe and effective, producing a somewhat greater clinical benefit than a slow-taper discontinuation regime. However, even in the DT group, withdrawal symptoms were not found to be a major problem. The study can be taken as supportive of benefit for longterm clonazepam treatment in social phobia, as well as being compatible with a reasonably good outcome after short-term treatment and slow taper.


You can find as many clonazepam tapering schedules as you can find half-life ranges.

Then there's converting everything to Valium. According to this Dutch study, which used this study as the basis for its taper schedule, reducing diazepam dosages by 50% and 25% a week worked for most people. They'd slow it down only if someone showed discontinuation symptoms that were more than annoying. The data are mixed on long-term discontinuation syndrome being caused or exacerbated by a too-rapid taper that is adjusted. Most everything I can find on diazepam discontinuation has a relatively rapid schedule, with discontinuation finished in one month, not four.

If you want to get mad at someone over a benzo tapering schedule, complain at this guy.
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#17 Classically_James

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 07:18 PM

I got yanked off of Klonopin at 4 mg twice a day. I lived.
I also got yanked of 8 mg of Xanax a day. It was bad, but no seizure and I lived.
I was on each about 6 months. For each, I shook for about a month.
I don't care what anyone says - YMMV

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1  Luvox (fluvoxamine) 100 mg BID 

2. Abilify (aripiprazole) 10 mg QAM 

3. Forfivo XL (bupropion) 450 QAM

4. Seroquel (quetiapine) 100 mg QHS

5. Xanax (alprazolam) 2 mg TID

6. Desyrel  (trazodone) 150 mg QHS 

7. Lunesta (eszopiclone) 3 mg QHS

8. Soma (carisoprodol) 350 mg TID


#18 In_Remission_PRS Picker

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 11:49 AM

"...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..."

TRUER WORDS WERE NEVER SPOKEN (typed)!!

I registered on this forum to reply to this topic. This is the honest truth so take it or leave it. It's not going to make a difference to me.

I was prescribed 3 mg/day of Xanax (for anxiety) and in reality was taking between 3 and 4. This was for about 2 and a half years. I became so sluggish and un-emotional that my wife pleaded and begged for me to stop taking it. My Dr. agreed and thought I would be better off by going into a hospital ward (psych) and tapering slowly. His "slowly" was 2 weeks.

Then followed 18 months of !!HELL!! pure hell.

I jerked, twitched, couldn't think clearly enough to talk, could barely walk and these were my good days. I didn't take a bowel movement for 40 days. I slept 2 hours on a good night, but never longer than that. I went from 190 lbs to 152 lbs. I stopped even drinking water. My wife had to call the Police Dept because she couldn't do anything further to help. I fought them so hard that it took 4 cops to handcuff me and get me in the car. I was in the ER twice and hospitilized 3 times for a total of 4 weeks. Of course work was completely out of the question; I couldn't even walk down the driveway to check the mail.

My wife was and is the reason I'm alive. She took care of me and even though it almost drove her away, we're closer now than ever.

I'm back at work and like Chicago sang: "Feeling Better Every Day". I sleep around 6 hours a night now!! I'm eating and drinking water (sometimes tea/coke) again and am back to my fighting weight (185 lbs). The thing that's bothering me the most still is the constant LOUD buzzing/ringing in my ears. I also still have a good bit of tingling/numbness/coldness in my hands and somewhat the feeling of a band around my head. NO MORE BENZOS for me!! EVER!!!!

What I went thru are all documented effects of benzo (protracted perhaps) withdrawal. I've read more than a few people say it's the absolute worse withdrawal of any known substance. I honestly don't see how there can be anything worse.

I honestly feel that I've done my stint chained to the wall in the very dungeon of Hades.

IF ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, PLEASE ONLY TAKE BENZOS FOR THE SHORTEST TIME POSSIBLE, IF EVEN THAT.

#19 dymphna

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 11:11 PM

"...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..."

TRUER WORDS WERE NEVER SPOKEN (typed)!!

I registered on this forum to reply to this topic. This is the honest truth so take it or leave it. It's not going to make a difference to me.

I was prescribed 3 mg/day of Xanax (for anxiety) and in reality was taking between 3 and 4. This was for about 2 and a half years. I became so sluggish and un-emotional that my wife pleaded and begged for me to stop taking it. My Dr. agreed and thought I would be better off by going into a hospital ward (psych) and tapering slowly. His "slowly" was 2 weeks.

Then followed 18 months of !!HELL!! pure hell.

I jerked, twitched, couldn't think clearly enough to talk, could barely walk and these were my good days. I didn't take a bowel movement for 40 days. I slept 2 hours on a good night, but never longer than that. I went from 190 lbs to 152 lbs. I stopped even drinking water. My wife had to call the Police Dept because she couldn't do anything further to help. I fought them so hard that it took 4 cops to handcuff me and get me in the car. I was in the ER twice and hospitilized 3 times for a total of 4 weeks. Of course work was completely out of the question; I couldn't even walk down the driveway to check the mail.

My wife was and is the reason I'm alive. She took care of me and even though it almost drove her away, we're closer now than ever.

I'm back at work and like Chicago sang: "Feeling Better Every Day". I sleep around 6 hours a night now!! I'm eating and drinking water (sometimes tea/coke) again and am back to my fighting weight (185 lbs). The thing that's bothering me the most still is the constant LOUD buzzing/ringing in my ears. I also still have a good bit of tingling/numbness/coldness in my hands and somewhat the feeling of a band around my head. NO MORE BENZOS for me!! EVER!!!!

What I went thru are all documented effects of benzo (protracted perhaps) withdrawal. I've read more than a few people say it's the absolute worse withdrawal of any known substance. I honestly don't see how there can be anything worse.

I honestly feel that I've done my stint chained to the wall in the very dungeon of Hades.

IF ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, PLEASE ONLY TAKE BENZOS FOR THE SHORTEST TIME POSSIBLE, IF EVEN THAT.


PRS,

You don't say what your diagnosis is, but you need to recognize that not only is this a promedication site, there are people in the world who have to stay on medication for life. As in, they have no choice if they wish to be functional in society.

I am an epileptic. The docs have tried and tried to stop my seizures - with a laundry list of medications - I have a type that is extremely med resistant. The best cocktail they can come up with includes a benzo. Do I *like* taking a benzo? No. Do I prefer having seizures all of the time? No. They are worse. There are millions of people out there just like me, with different conditions, but the same end result. A blanket statement doesn't help them.


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I'm not a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or therapist.

I can find you an answer and I won't blow smoke up your ass.

 

St. Dymphna is the Patron for brain maladies.

 

I'm the Enforcer.

 

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#20 In_Remission_PRS Picker

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 05:54 AM


"...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..."

TRUER WORDS WERE NEVER SPOKEN (typed)!!

I registered on this forum to reply to this topic. This is the honest truth so take it or leave it. It's not going to make a difference to me.

I was prescribed 3 mg/day of Xanax (for anxiety) and in reality was taking between 3 and 4. This was for about 2 and a half years. I became so sluggish and un-emotional that my wife pleaded and begged for me to stop taking it. My Dr. agreed and thought I would be better off by going into a hospital ward (psych) and tapering slowly. His "slowly" was 2 weeks.

Then followed 18 months of !!HELL!! pure hell.

I jerked, twitched, couldn't think clearly enough to talk, could barely walk and these were my good days. I didn't take a bowel movement for 40 days. I slept 2 hours on a good night, but never longer than that. I went from 190 lbs to 152 lbs. I stopped even drinking water. My wife had to call the Police Dept because she couldn't do anything further to help. I fought them so hard that it took 4 cops to handcuff me and get me in the car. I was in the ER twice and hospitilized 3 times for a total of 4 weeks. Of course work was completely out of the question; I couldn't even walk down the driveway to check the mail.

My wife was and is the reason I'm alive. She took care of me and even though it almost drove her away, we're closer now than ever.

I'm back at work and like Chicago sang: "Feeling Better Every Day". I sleep around 6 hours a night now!! I'm eating and drinking water (sometimes tea/coke) again and am back to my fighting weight (185 lbs). The thing that's bothering me the most still is the constant LOUD buzzing/ringing in my ears. I also still have a good bit of tingling/numbness/coldness in my hands and somewhat the feeling of a band around my head. NO MORE BENZOS for me!! EVER!!!!

What I went thru are all documented effects of benzo (protracted perhaps) withdrawal. I've read more than a few people say it's the absolute worse withdrawal of any known substance. I honestly don't see how there can be anything worse.

I honestly feel that I've done my stint chained to the wall in the very dungeon of Hades.

IF ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, PLEASE ONLY TAKE BENZOS FOR THE SHORTEST TIME POSSIBLE, IF EVEN THAT.


PRS,

You don't say what your diagnosis is, but you need to recognize that not only is this a promedication site, there are people in the world who have to stay on medication for life. As in, they have no choice if they wish to be functional in society.

I am an epileptic. The docs have tried and tried to stop my seizures - with a laundry list of medications - I have a type that is extremely med resistant. The best cocktail they can come up with includes a benzo. Do I *like* taking a benzo? No. Do I prefer having seizures all of the time? No. They are worse. There are millions of people out there just like me, with different conditions, but the same end result. A blanket statement doesn't help them.


Dymphna


I did say it was prescribed for anxiety but I didn't specifiy that was the diagnosis. Sorry. Also, very sorry for the blanket statment in light of the fact that many people depend on benzos for quality of life. My sister is daibetic and has been for nearly 30 years and of course she depends on insulin. I can only imagine how awful seizures must be; I'm sure it also restricts your daily activities. For me, I have found very effective ways to deal with stress/anxiety without (fortunatley) having to use medication. Meditation in my hot tub every night is one thing that's helped alot.

Personally and FWIW I think that going abrubtly (in my case 2 weeks) from long term/moderate - high doses of benzos to nothing caused all of my senses to go WAY WAY oversensitized. I took showers only after 7 - 10 days because I could not stand the water touching my skin. I brushed my teeth less frequently than that because EVERYTHING (food, etc.) tasted horrible. A very chemically salty metallic taste is the only way to describe it. I grew up playing, listening to and loving music. I couldn't stand ANY sounds. I didn't pick up my guitar for a year and a half. I got away from any music I happened to hear. I had REALLY BAD depersonilization; I felt like I was outside of myself and it often made me very unstable/vertigoish. I developed a bad gait in my walk. It was much like the Monty Python skit "I've Got A Funny Walk I'd Like To Sell To The Government" (I'd put a LOL here if it weren't the absolute truth). I became psychotic. I was absolutely convinced that WWII was all a lie, because there (for whatever insane reason in my head) was no way the armed forces could supply enough water to the troops. I watched the clock for days on end waiting for the top of each hour, knowing I was going to burst into everlasting flames for being such a "bad person". I was so dehydrated they pumped IVs full of fluids into me for 7 straight days and on top of that my urination had slowed WAY WAY up. So.... I suffered through a catherization (at the hands a very mean nurse, I might add) with my senses overblown the way they were. My arms are to this day very weak (but better now than they were). I couldn't pick up my breif case or even a sac of groceries (of course that didn't matter, I couldn't walk down the steps to the car to help my wife anyway).

Anyway, that's probably over half of the crap I went through during my Xanax detox. Once again, so sorry for trying to warn everybody.

Edited by PRS Picker, 20 January 2011 - 07:08 AM.


#21 TimmyT

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 03:53 PM

Wow, I looked at this topic hoping to just find out how long I could possibly expect to have withdrawals from going cold turkey off of my Klonopin (2 mg at night) which I was on for just over one month (I'm doing a complete washout- going off of Klonopin & Geodon together, it was my pdoc's idea- but I still have my Klonopin to take PRN just in case). I wasn't on that high a dosage for that long. I've just looked into Geodon withdrawal and Klonopin withdrawal and couldn't tell which one was giving me the side effects. I'm not familiar with the converting to Valium or anything such as that; I have never been on a benzo until a month ago (it was just to help me sleep due to my mania being so out of control). From what I can tell from what was said on here maybe as little as a week or as much as a month or so for the symptoms? It has been 4 days now and I still cannot eat without severe nausea, and the shaking/tremors are still fairly prominent. I know each person is different, so there's no way to know for sure, but anyone's experience would be greatly appreciated to give me some idea of how much longer. Also, in the original post on here a lot of the symptoms of withdrawal are things that I experience naturally as a result of the BP I, since I am normally in mixed or more manic states. So as far as the anxiety, pressured speech, etc- I don't know how to tell if it is a withdrawal symptom or just my BP kicking into overdrive again.
Thanks!

Edited by pixyprincess, 30 October 2011 - 03:56 PM.

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#22 VeryWary

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 03:28 AM

I have been taking 30 mg Valium a day for about four years. I am pretty much tolerant to it; it has very little effect; thus I am physically addicted to it but not getting benefits from it, unIess I take it with Adderall, in which it brings me back to calm quite quickly.

However, since I suffer from severe depression, it is very possible the valium is contributing. I am trying to get the courage to taper the valium very slowly, at least down to 15 mg a day. I have read that this could take almost a year. That you have to go very very slowly.

Once before I went cold turkey off about 15 mg a day valium and thought I was going crazy. My doctor said what I had done was very dangerous, could have caused seizures, could have put me permanently into a depersonalization state, my most feared place.

So I need to get the courage to taper. As it is, tonight I was so desperate from feeling split between functioning (editing a book) while simultaneously feeling that as soon as I finished the book I had to end my life, that I took maybe 150 mg of valium and maybe 80 mg of Adderall all at the same time. Now I feel normal but can't sleep. Very bad thing to have done.

Perhaps this goes on the depression discussion boards, but do other people have the experience of almost breaking in half as they try to do productive things, with the thought that as soon as this commitment is fulfilled, I will kill myself? It is such a painful way to be split in half.

Anyway, book is finished; I am awake; I feel much less split, but I should not have taken so much medication.

My doctor will not be happy.

I haven;t put my diagnosis on the sidebar, but it is Major Depression with meltdowns, causing me to be unable to work or function at the high level I once was able to achieve, plus I have lost all social connections. Plus I seem to have lost all connection to myself. Adderall is a miracle drug because it makes me feel normal for a few hours, but I realize it is a "false normal."

I exercise and sometimes that helps for a while. My sleep is often messed up.

Anyway, I regret mixing so much Adderall with so much Valium though it seems not to have done much harm. I have built up a tremendous tolerance to valium. Can take 80 mg and be normal the next day.

Please forgive ramblingness of this post, and perhaps I should go over to the depression forums and see if people experience the "rending in half" of "must do this, then must take my life." Most painful way to live. Would like to ease over to the OK, will do this, am committed to living place.

Again, if this is wrong place to post, please forgive. This forum confuses the heck out of me.
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WHAT HASN'T WORKED (been trying since the 1970s; BUT I'M STILL HERE!)

All antidepressants since the 1970s (stopped at Effexor)
All neuroleptics and atypical antipsychotics (they make me psychotic), including Mellarill, Haldol, Risperdal
Neurontin, Tegretol, Lamictal, Depakote, Lithium
Ambien (makes me call people and do things I don't remember)
Xanax, Ativan, Buspar (Buspar actually made me photosensitive and depersonalized . . . sheesh)
MAOIs

"I wanted grace. Grace is for saints. It's all choppy water for me." Bill T. Jones, dancer/choreographer extraordinaire
"You stay committed to the harrowing journey, unsure if you will ever arrive at your final destination." (paraphrase of paraphrase of Abraham Lincoln, quoted by Bill T. Jones in PBS documentary on the making of his dance about Lincoln)

#23 dymphna

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 05:33 AM

VeryWary,

You need to discuss a discontinuation taper with your physician.

Valium has a rather short half life. Your doctor can switch you to a different benzo that has a longer half life to "ease you off" of the benzo train w/o all of the side effects you mentioned.

Get an appt and discuss your options before attempting to do this yourself.


Dymphna
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Yes, my name really is Dymphna.

 

I'm not a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or therapist.

I can find you an answer and I won't blow smoke up your ass.

 

St. Dymphna is the Patron for brain maladies.

 

I'm the Enforcer.

 

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