Author Topic: Klonopin Withdrawal  (Read 5234 times)

[Buddie]

Klonopin Withdrawal
« on: January 02, 2010, 07:16:10 am »
Hi everyone,
I already posted on the welcome forum, but figured I would post here too. I have suffered from mild panic attacks (I can count them on one hand) for the last several years, and finally went to the doctor for help. I was prescribed Klonopin at .50 mg a day up to 2 doses a day, and took them for roughly 2 months. At some times i would only take .25 mg and some days .50 or a little more. After a couple of months while on a business trip I started to get slightly light headed and dizzy and decided to quit cold turkey. I know, bad idea, but I figured after only 2 months what could it hurt? Within days, I was experiencing numbness of the arms and legs, pins and needles, headaches, and just overall increased anxiety! I had no idea what could be causing all of the problems until I started thinking about the Klonopin. I did some research and found that it can be addictive within just over a week of using. It has now been 2 weeks since I've been off the Klonopin and I'm having shooting pains in both arms and legs, stomach, side, twitches, hot flashes, and major numbness in arms and legs at times. I feel like I'm going crazy at times! On top of all that I got a bad sinus infection that I'm fighting with antibiotics. I told the doctor about my strange tingling and numbness symptoms and that I had quit taking Klonopin a week before, and she said "probably just anxiety causing your symptoms, I'll give you a prescription for more Klonopin!". I couldn't believe it, so I just threw the prescription in my glove box. Could I truly be experiencing withdrawal after only 2 months of use? If so, I am glad to know that it will eventually go away and I'm not falling apart like I feel that I am! Just to know what is wrong with me feels like a weight has been lifted. Anyone have any idea how long this will last?

Brent
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Klonopin Withdrawal
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2010, 08:44:01 am »

Hi Brento 211 and welcome to BB.
Quote
Anyone have any idea how long this will last?
Unfortunately this is one question no-one on BB can answer - truth is the answer is that it will end, when - who knows. 

You've already discovered that you can become addicted to this poison after only a week or two of taking it - therefore you are probably experiencing withdrawal.  Everything you've described is very normal in w/d.

I too was prescribed Clonazepam (Klonopin) for anxiety and panic attacks and like you when I went back to my psychiatrist and told him it had lost its effect and I was now very anxious again he told me he could up my dose.  I said no thanks and left his office.  Your story is so familiar to many here.  I generally don't like to attack the medical profession but there are a lot of them out there who simply do not believe us.

So having said all that, I am a survivor of the klonopoison and just want to re-assure you that it can be done.  Take it day by day, accept what is happening and rest assured you are not alone in this - there are many here to help you through it.  Keep the questions coming - most of them we can answer.

Take care.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Klonopin Withdrawal
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2010, 06:34:48 pm »
Hi everyone,
I already posted on the welcome forum, but figured I would post here too. I have suffered from mild panic attacks (I can count them on one hand) for the last several years, and finally went to the doctor for help. I was prescribed Klonopin at .50 mg a day up to 2 doses a day, and took them for roughly 2 months. At some times i would only take .25 mg and some days .50 or a little more. After a couple of months while on a business trip I started to get slightly light headed and dizzy and decided to quit cold turkey. I know, bad idea, but I figured after only 2 months what could it hurt? Within days, I was experiencing numbness of the arms and legs, pins and needles, headaches, and just overall increased anxiety! I had no idea what could be causing all of the problems until I started thinking about the Klonopin. I did some research and found that it can be addictive within just over a week of using. It has now been 2 weeks since I've been off the Klonopin and I'm having shooting pains in both arms and legs, stomach, side, twitches, hot flashes, and major numbness in arms and legs at times. I feel like I'm going crazy at times! On top of all that I got a bad sinus infection that I'm fighting with antibiotics. I told the doctor about my strange tingling and numbness symptoms and that I had quit taking Klonopin a week before, and she said "probably just anxiety causing your symptoms, I'll give you a prescription for more Klonopin!". I couldn't believe it, so I just threw the prescription in my glove box. Could I truly be experiencing withdrawal after only 2 months of use? If so, I am glad to know that it will eventually go away and I'm not falling apart like I feel that I am! Just to know what is wrong with me feels like a weight has been lifted. Anyone have any idea how long this will last?

Brent

Hi, Brent.

I agree with everything [...] wrote and would add that it's possible the antibiotics are making your symptoms worse.  I don't know why it is, but sometimes antibiotics rev up symptoms, particuarly the AB's know as "quinolones", such as Levaquin and Cipro.  Also, when symptoms crop up like this, it's understandable to start feeling anxious about it which, again, can make symptoms worse.  I believe it will help if you start practicing some self-calming techniques (check out the Anxiety Board) and just accept that this is you - for now.  The good news about no one knowing how long the symptoms will last is that they could end abruptly yet today.  With benzos, you just never know.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Klonopin Withdrawal
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2010, 08:53:23 pm »
Thank you so much for the replies. It feels so much better to know what is wrong with me and that I am not alone. As for the antibiotics intensifying the symptoms, that is a very scary thought. No wonder I have felt so much worse the last week or so. I literally felt like I was going to die at times. My last dose is Sunday, so maybe some of it will be alleviated then. One of the worst things is when you try to tell people what you are going through and they don't have a clue because they haven't been there. Before I figured out that it was most likely benzo wd's, I told a lady at work that my arm kept going numb and she said "you might be having a stroke!!" Of course that only makes the anxiety that much worse. I have started using the Lucinda Bassett anxiety program, and that seems to be helping so maybe I can work through all this without more medication!

Brent
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Klonopin Withdrawal
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2010, 12:42:55 am »
Thank you so much for the replies. It feels so much better to know what is wrong with me and that I am not alone. As for the antibiotics intensifying the symptoms, that is a very scary thought. No wonder I have felt so much worse the last week or so. I literally felt like I was going to die at times. My last dose is Sunday, so maybe some of it will be alleviated then. One of the worst things is when you try to tell people what you are going through and they don't have a clue because they haven't been there. Before I figured out that it was most likely benzo wd's, I told a lady at work that my arm kept going numb and she said "you might be having a stroke!!" Of course that only makes the anxiety that much worse. I have started using the Lucinda Bassett anxiety program, and that seems to be helping so maybe I can work through all this without more medication!

Brent

I used one of her audio books when I was tapering; I like her stuff.  Also Claire Weekes.  :thumbsup:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Klonopin Withdrawal
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2010, 01:04:43 am »
We seem to get some sort of paranoia during withdrawal - someone just needs to mention some dreaded disease or illness and we automatically think we have it - well I did.  I really found it hard watching some TV programmes - especially any relating to medical conditions.  My mind just went into overdrive.

I don't think my experience with the medical profession through all of this has helped either, now I have to rebuild my trust in them.

Well done for looking to get the anxiety under control - a big part of the battle.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Klonopin Withdrawal
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2010, 05:29:16 am »
Hey [...],

     Your story reads partially as mine.  I was prescribed klono for panic attacks in 2000; mine were also far a few between.

     In 2006, while at work I suddenly developed this numbness and tingling on my left side; I thought that I was having a stroke.  I called my husband, left work and he met me at the emergency room.  At the hospital, all tests were negative; no evidence of a stroke.  Through much research, and validation on this forum, I later discovered that the klono caused my numbness and tingling.  I suffered with this withdrawal symptom for 3 years not knowing what it was, and I was misdiagnosed from piriformis disease to misalignment in vertebra in my spinal column.  I went through the whole nine years in chiropractic treatment, but the treatments never alleviated this symptom. 

     As of this writing, the numbness and tingling brought on by the klono is all but gone. Every now and again I'll have a fraction (and I emphasize a fraction) of that old withdrawal symptom trying to rear its ugly head.  I just ignore it, and it leaves.  I use to suffer with numbness and tingling for weeks at a time, not being able to sit for long periods, not being able to feel the left side of my face, numbness would radiate up and down my hamstrings, calves, all of my toes, numbness in my left hand, and even in my sclap, ears, eyes and nose, which kept me congested with headaches and sinus infections.  ...And, not to mention the constant burning sensation, which has disappeared as well. 

     So, you are not crazy.  Numbness and tingling is one withdrawal symptom associated with benzo use, and in my opinion, chronic sinus infections too.  I had these annually, 2-3 times a year for 8 years.  Last year, I did not have any sinus infections at all, and my allergy (which I no longer believe is a true allergy, but benzo related) rarely flares up. 

     Yes, you will get relief.  This withdrawal symptom has not caused my body any harm, and it will go completely away; trust me as I can attest to this truth.  I suffered with it for three years almost nonstop, but once I started tapering the klono, the numbness and tingling began to fade away. I've truly almost forgotten about it until I read your post. 

     Hang in there [...], you are of a sound mind; always challenge the benzos and not your sanity, for it is well in tact.

     Grab hold of the healing for it is yours...Stay the course!
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Klonopin Withdrawal
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2010, 05:44:03 am »
Hi Brent,

How did you know you had a sinus infection?  The reason I ask....I had lots of sinus congestion and problems during w/d's -- off and on for months.  I wondered quite a few times if I was getting an infection.  It was strange and doesn't make sense.  But a lot of other members report sinus problems too, from benzo w/d's. 

Anyway, I learned from a series of chronic sinus infections many years ago to use warm salt water rinses....gets rid of them like magic.  And eliminates the need for yet another drug, like [...] suggested might be causing some problems? 

Hang in there....
[...]
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Klonopin Withdrawal
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2010, 07:21:15 am »
Again, thank you all for the words of encouragement. It means so much right now. I am so glad to know that I am not alone when dealing with this. It now frustrates me so much that my trusted doctor would not tell me any of this before prescribing Klonopin for me. He also tried to put me on Lexapro right off the bat, but I had terrible side effects after about 6 doses and quit.

As for the sinus infection, that is what the stand in doctor(mine was off on Christmas Eve when I went in) told me that I had. She ran a blood test and said that I had a bacterial infection. For all I know, she could have been guessing. This was the same doctor than we I asked about possible withdrawal with the numbness, tingling, and headaches told me that it was anxiety and wrote me another prescription for Klonopin to "get through the holidays."

I would say that the symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and pains really hit me on about the 5th day after I quit. Is that about normal? Any of you have them start earlier or later?
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Klonopin Withdrawal
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2010, 08:42:52 am »
There isn't really anything "normal" about benzo w/d. 

Sometimes when I made a cut it would hit me within 24 hrs, sometimes it held back until around 5-7 days as with you.  Everyone will have a different story.  Unfortunately it is what it is.  All those symptoms you mentioned are very normal, they will fluctuate from day to day and may even disappear quite quickly, only to be replaced by another - or hopefully just disappear altogether.  Who knows, its not a linear process unfortunately.

As for infections, they too are common, so chances are you did have one.  I had two infections in the latter part of my taper - both were treated with antiobiotics without too much trouble fortunately.  I know some have bad reactions to the abs.  As [...] says sinus problems are another common w/d symptom.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.