Author Topic: Clonazepam compounded capsule taper  (Read 519 times)

[Buddie]

Clonazepam compounded capsule taper
« on: October 10, 2019, 12:14:08 pm »
I've been off clonazepam for 8 weeks! No problems since getting off. Feel great. I was only on 5.5 weeks before I started my taper and on for a total of 20.5 months.

I started Teva clonazepam 2-Jan-2018 to help with insomnia due to anxiety over a health issue. The health issue itself had cleared up. I had never had anxiety nor insomnia and was in a bad state. A few days later I started 2.5 mg escitalopram and slowly increased to 10 mg. Still on that. I had .125 mg clonazepam late morning and quickly moved up to 1 mg clonazepam for sleep. I had two close friends whom clonazepam had helped for sleep so I was hopeful. I had a maximum of 1.25-1.75 mg/day for only 5 days. During that time as my nighttime clonazepam dose jumped around I also tried 3 nights of Intermezzo, 3 nights of Atarax (25/12.5/12.5 mg), and one night of Seroquel (12.5 mg). They didn't work and had bad side effects.

The clonazepam failed to help with sleep and I did my first drop mid February down to .875 mg/day. By then the anxiety was gone. I was hit with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Lots of stomach pain/gas/belching, involuntary jaw clenching (had a mouth guard made by my dentist for night use), headaches, fuzzy head. I spent a lot of time on the couch with a heating pad and often curled up into a ball miserable. I test software and luckily was able to telework on my own schedule. I didn't lose much work time. Blessed with a very understanding work place.

I was taking .125 mg late morning and .75 mg in the middle of the night when I woke up for my bathroom visit. I didn't want my mind thinking I was taking it to try and sleep. I held at .875 mg until end of March.

I used a combination of pill and compounded capsule for a few months. I was very lucky that my compounding pharmacy bought a supply of two 100-pill 1 mg bottles of Teva clonazepam when Teva was discontinued so I had more than enough for my taper. They kept the bottles in a special area with my name on them so no one else would use. I was also lucky to have a pdoc (actually nurse practitioner), who although no experience with slow tapering, was willing to let me dictate the dose/length of each taper and called in my requested prescriptions. The compounding wasn't covered by my extremely good insurance... turns out they don't cover generic clonazepam which is dirt cheap so my payments for the CVS tablets were always very low... they do cover brand Klonopin apparently.

Each drop made the jaw clenching worse for a few days and I'd have anxiety between days 4-7 after a drop. Not too bad and I found a quarter tab of benadryl - 6.25 mg - helped. Headache and fuzzy head after each drop for a few days. Stomach pain stayed until very low in the taper.

03/30 .81
04/13 .75
04/29 .685
05/13 .625

I decided to try part homemade liquid with daily microtapers of the liquid. Only .041 mg/day was liquid to start - just 6.6% of the daily dose.
06/04 .622
dose 1 .125 mg compounded capsule
dose 2 .456 mg compounded capsule/.041 mg liquid
daily microtapering the liquid
06/27 .589

This didn't work well for me. Day 11 into the daily microtaper I started getting anxiety and the anxiety stayed. I held at .589 with a small amount liquid until I stabilized and the anxiety went away. Not sure if I was tapering too fast or if it was the change to part liquid.

I went back to cut/hold with compounded capsules. Slower. I reduced my cuts to .03 mg until I got off. I was still taking .125 late morning and the remainder middle of the night, reducing the middle of the night dose.

08/04 .555
08/31 .525
09/25 .495
10/22 .465
11/10 .435
12/05 .405

When I got down to .375 mg I split into 3 times a day of .125 mg each dose.

I wasn't having any particular problems with my taper but thought this would make things smoother... this way I decreased each dose by .01 mg each drop (.03 mg per drop). I dosed at 11:15 am, 6:30 pm, and bathroom break of the night - figured timing plus or minus an hour wouldn't make a difference when sleeping. Thankful for alarms on my phone! My husband also had alarms set for 5 minutes after my doses and if I didn't text him he'd check to make sure I had taken.

12/30 .375 split into 3 doses of .125

2019 was fairly uneventful. The only remaining symptoms were stomach related. I thought they'd never go away. I no longer required my mouth guard and no longer had anxiety on days 4-7 after drop. No more headaches nor fuzzy head. I was falling asleep quickly as I had before the health issue. Sleeping pretty well. I might have been tapering slower than I needed to but I was functional in life and work. I started making myself go into work at least half days and teleworked the rest.

2019:
01/20 .345 - 3 doses of .115
02/08 .315 - 3 doses of .105
02/28 .285 - 3 doses of .095
03/17 .255 - 3 doses of .085
04/04 .225 - 3 doses of .075
04/21 .195 - 3 doses of .065
05/08 .165 - 3 doses of .055
05/25 .135 - 3 doses of .045
06/10 .105 - 3 doses of .035
06/26 .075 - 3 doses of .025
07/18 .045 - 3 doses of .015
07/31 .015 - 3 doses of .005
08/16  off!

My step off drop was only half of what I'd been doing all year - just worked out that way. As I got lower in my taper my stomach issues resolved. They were completely gone early August. I'm sleeping fine. I feel great.

My thoughts are with all those who are still tapering, especially those tapering clonazepam and have been affected by all the changes/reductions to generic versions. And also with those who are done with their tapers but not yet fully healed.

I went away from this site for most of the last year... I found for myself that it was hard to deal with the suffering of others during my taper and I had to concentrate on myself. I really respect all those who are suffering and still able to reach out and help others regularly. You're special folk. Thank you to all who have been so supportive here.

I'm going to start my escitalopram taper Monday morning after a busy social weekend. I've always taken two 5 mg pills and my pdoc also prescribed the liquid so will start with 1 pill and taper the other 5 mg in liquid until I get down to 5 mg. Wish me luck! First taper will be 10%. The escitalopram was only originally meant to be taken for 6 months but I didn't want to taper two medicines at the same time... just didn't expect the clonazepam taper to take so long. Hopefully this was the hard one for me and escitalopram will be a breeze. I'm staying hopeful. I have a lot of support.

Take care.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 01:52:38 pm by [Buddie] »
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: Clonazepam compounded capsule taper
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2019, 03:36:26 pm »
Congratulations on getting off Clomzapam!

Your taper sounds like it was steady and thoughtful. 

Always glad to know that someone has successfully gotten off Clonzapam.  I too have just switched to cut and hold and hope to just keep working way down. 

Great job and I'm wishing you the best with this next taper.

[...]



« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 02:10:21 pm by [Buddie] »
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: Clonazepam compounded capsule taper
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2019, 01:16:05 pm »
Thanks, [...]!

I just started my second taper for the escitalopram. First from 10 mg to 9 mg - 5 mg pill and 4 mg liquid - 11 days. This morning down to 8 mg. The peppermint flavored liquid is yucky! so the less mixed with water in my shot glass the better... I follow with a chocolate nibble to remove the taste. Only withdrawal symptom has been excessive flatulence but going through and not hurting. As a drop and part change to the liquid very happy with that.
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: Clonazepam compounded capsule taper
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2019, 03:23:04 pm »
Thanks, [...]!

I just started my second taper for the escitalopram. First from 10 mg to 9 mg - 5 mg pill and 4 mg liquid - 11 days. This morning down to 8 mg. The peppermint flavored liquid is yucky! so the less mixed with water in my shot glass the better... I follow with a chocolate nibble to remove the taste. Only withdrawal symptom has been excessive flatulence but going through and not hurting. As a drop and part change to the liquid very happy with that.

Good luck with your taper.  I know you will feel great when you get off everything.

I switched back to a hybrid of micro taper and cut and hold.   It's been hard but I plan to keep going.
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: Clonazepam compounded capsule taper
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2019, 06:33:32 pm »
Wow- congrats. Great taper. How did you know right in the beginning to cut just a small Amt from K. Like had you tried a larger cut and had sxs? Did your provider suggest you do that small initial cut? I was on K same length as you initially but didnít know to taper slowly. I wish I knew from the beginning- would have saved so much time and stuff I believe.
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: Clonazepam compounded capsule taper
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2019, 11:37:54 am »
I unfortunately learned by cutting too much the first time... went from 1.25 to .875... Lots of side effects.. I held until stabilized... I was burping continually for about a month.
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.