Author Topic: My cold turkey and floxed story.  (Read 24062 times)

[Buddie]

My cold turkey and floxed story.
« on: September 13, 2010, 08:18:11 pm »
A few members on here have asked me to post what I went though after my cold turkey off 4 mg clonazepam of 10+ years and how I am doing now for encouragement to others.

I wish I could have started a journal of my journey but I was way to messed up for a long time.  I want to warn anyone thinking about going cold turkey that it is no way shape or form is it an easy way out. There is a reason why the Ashton manual warns against taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics (Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox etc).  It down regulates the gaba receptors and throws you into withdrawals.  I want to add my own two cents here about these antibiotics.  They can cause some serious side effects of their own whether you're on benzos or not.  I had taken them in the past with no problem.  Each time you take them you are playing russian roulette.  I had some serious tendon ruptures and joint problems due to this class of antibiotics and went through a few surgeries.  If your wondering what floxed is, it's what people call themselves when they get hit by these drugs.  They even have forums.  I also had many CNS problems which I contribute to benzo tolerance for close to a year.  I went to many specialist trying to figure out what was going on with my body and each one was stumped.  They all had my prescription history and not one made the connection.  I finally shared what was going on with a retired physician who lives down the street from me.  The first question after telling him my symptoms was are you on any benzo's?  He had seen the symptoms before and advised me to wean myself off them.  I was stupid and decided I wanted off right then and there and did my cold turkey.  

The timeframe may be a bit off.  Basing this off memory.  I'm sure I also have missed other symptoms.

So New Years Eve 2009 was my last dose.  The nightmare really began.  

 
I was lucky if I got more than 2 or 3 hours of sleep.
I couldn't speak coherently or understand conversations.
Throat and chest felt constricted and had a hard time swallowing or getting a deep breath.
Bladder felt numb.  Hard a hard time starting to urinate and once I finished I would dribble pee for an hour or two.
Tinnitus
Muscle spasms and cramps
Muscle twitching
No appetite
Blurred vision
Rapid heart beat and blood pressure would drop
Sweating non stop and smelt of ammonia.
Huge boils in left armpit
Acne
Coughing up mucus
Limbs felt heavy

February
Lived on the couch watching T.V. with heating pad.
The only real change was bladder control returned

March
Started getting windows of relief at the beginning of the month.  And thought the worse was over.
Appetite returned after losing close to 20 pounds
Slept better
Started to venture out of the house
Started having clay or white colored bowel movements
Towards the end of the month started to get a few stomach issues.

April
*I had bad muscle spasms in my back and couldn't stand straight up.  Had a number of cortisone shots.  Pretty sure this sent me back into withdrawals.*
Started getting severe stomach pain and bloating.  Kept me up at night pacing. Couldn't eat solid food.  Lived on protein shakes. Pain moved to my lower left side.  Doctor sent me to hospital for G.I. series to rule out appendicitis.  Ruled out appendicitis but discovered mass in large intestine.  They wanted to admit me and do exploratory surgery.  Very apprehensive about this and they kept offering me benzos even though I told them this was what got me into this mess by doing a cold turkey.  Got the heck out of there against their advice.  Followed up with gastroenterologist.  Put me on two different antibiotics (non fluoroquinolone) after a few more test.
By the end of the month almost all my withdrawal symptoms returned with a few new ones.
Vertigo-Either the room was spinning around me or I felt like I was falling forward even when I was laying down.
Forehead feels super tight mostly on left side.  Feels as though my face is distorted.
Confusion
Gravity effect- don't know what to really call this one.  Laying down I would fell like I was being sucked into the bed, sitting down felt like I was being sucked into the chair, standing up I would fell super heavy.

 

May
No windows
I know this isn't politically correct but was for sure I made myself retarded.  Anyone who called me I would tell them I was retarded.  Couldn't understand anything I watched on television.
Prayed I would die in my sleep.
I was for sure I would never ever get better and would live forever with protracted withdrawals.
I wanted to reinstate and try tapering.  People on the forum in chat told me I was to far out and it was a bad idea.

June
No change except I could eat
Still was for sure I was retarded and would repeat this over and over to anyone who would listen.
Finally towards the end of the month started to get great windows.

July
I call this my night and day month.  It seemed as though the past months was just a really bad nightmare.  I knew the worse was over.  The only symptoms that were lingering was a slight tightness in my throat and tinnitus.  The gravity effect was lifting.  I started back slowly doing cardio and lifting weights.

August
It just keeps getting better.  Getting days where the tinnitus is gone.  Throat symptoms gone.  Once in awhile a slight boaty feeling.

September
The few days here and there when I do get flare ups are a cake walk for me.  I have days where there is no tinnitus.  I consider myself at least 90% healed.  I am actually loving life again.  

I had to come back and edit this.  Shortly after writing this symptoms came back and lasted for a few months.  Once I got close to a year off I noticed major improvements.

Sept 1 2011 made 20 months since my CT.  I am completely healed except for a bit of tinnitus that has greatly improved.  Some days it is totally gone.  I'm sure this last symptom will eventually fade away just like the others did.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 06:54:52 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: My cold turkey and floxed story.
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2010, 08:32:02 pm »
Thank you [...].


TK
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: I think this is where I should post
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2010, 08:32:34 pm »
Hi [...],

Thank you for writing your story and for cataloging your journey so completely.  This will give others who may be unfortunate enough to walk in your footsteps hope and those who haven't hope as well, because if you can come through it, they can to.

[...]
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: My cold turkey and floxed story.
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2010, 09:42:51 pm »
Thank you [...] for giving us your story.

 Avelox is what caused me to be prescribed benzos in the first place.  I woke up in the middle of the night after my second dose with a TERRIBLE hand tremor and my mind going NUTS.  Tremor lasted two weeks and then after a trip to the emergency room I was prescribed Ativan.  I took it for about a month to let myself "heal". Then tried to stop taking it.  Horrible tremor returned.  I was never told it was an addictive medication.  I then went to a psychiatrist who cold turkeyed me on the Ativan and placed me on 1.5 to 2 mg. Klonopin per day telling me it would be easier to wean off of.  What a TERRIBLE JOKE!  I went through terrible Ativan withdrawals "through" the Klonopin and it took me from March of this year until about four weeks ago to finally wean off of it. 

  Still having A LOTS of problems!  Like you mentioned after your cold turkey, no sleep.  I wake up EVERY night about 1 to 2 hours after going to sleep with TERRIBLE unfounded anxiety and my heart racing. Also, I understand what you are saying about your body feeling like it is being sucked into your bed.  With me it feels like my head is being sucked into my neck, especially when I lay on my back.   

  I am up essentially ALL NIGHT.  I help the younger of our two children get ready for school in the morning and then try to get some more sleep.  Only thing is, whenever I try to take a nap the anxiety revs up.  So FRUSTRATING!!

 Anyways, thank you again for posting your sucessful recovery after a 4mg Klonopin cold turkey.

 This certainly gives me hope that as poorly as I am feeling even after 1 month off.  I eventually WILL RECOVER.

  My best to you,

  [...]  :)

 


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: My cold turkey and floxed story.
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2010, 10:57:15 pm »
hey [...],

so september symptoms are a cake walk....really?   ;)

so glad you're feeling better.  and, i agree, a ct is ILL ADVISED in my book.  whew...this has been the hardest 5 mos of my life.  i'm starting to turn the corner, i hope.

thanks for taking the time to post...we all need these success stories to know we'll pull through...like you did.

congrats!   :D

leslie
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: My cold turkey and floxed story.
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2010, 11:49:46 pm »
[...] Days   Sorry to hear about your run in with Avelox.  I know people off the quinolone forum that have benzo withdrawal type symptoms even though they never touched a benzo.  I don't want to jump on a soapbox but I think benzos and quinolones are dangerous and over prescribed.  I'm sure you will recover from both of them. 

[...]   yes really the september symptoms are a cake walk.  Although eating a bowl of ground glass while sitting on a chair of thumb tacks would be a cake walk compared to going cold turkey. 

[...] and [...]  thanks for all you do here on the forum.
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: My cold turkey and floxed story.
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2010, 02:04:54 am »
Thanks [...]
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: My cold turkey and floxed story.
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2010, 02:21:09 am »
Hello [...],

Very inspirational! I am so happy to see you are doing so well. Way to go. You are an inspiration.

[...]
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: My cold turkey and floxed story.
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2010, 04:35:33 am »
Hi, thanks to Levaquinthat is why I have been battling Xanax withdrawal...make a long story short back in March of 2008 yes 2 1/2 years ago I took Levaquin once a day for seven days and ended up in the hospital with a severe reaction and almost died. I thought I was having a stroke...could not walk my body was numb could not talk....blood-pressure was sky high....anxiety was through the roof....burning inside my body felt as though I was crawling through my skin...just awful...so confused...blurry eyes....and my nightmare had only begun...my symptoms kept gretting worse even up to 9 months i was in and out of hospital. Anyways i was put on Xanax 3 times a day because of all the damage that Levaquin had caused my central Nervous System....my anxiety was so bad.....I thought that i was going to die. Well i also developed a lot of GI problems..had every test possible...GI Doctor said levaquin had damaged nerves in my stomach and that Xanax was messing my stomach up also. I have now been off of Xanax for a little over 10 months and I still feel as though my journey has not ended...so basically it all started  2 1/2 years ago because a Doctor put me on levaquin for a bladder infection and it all went fown hill from there. I still am not driving because i have severe muscle weakness....my grip is not strong at all...i still drop things all throughout the day. I take breaks between typing because of the weakness. I am still dealing with Xanax withdrawal but yes what [...] says is true being on a fluoroquinolone has a lot of the same symptoms that benzos have so right now I am dealing with...is this still levaquin related or Xanax withdrawal...or a mixture of both....time will tell....Hopefully I will get strength back again in my arms and hands and be able to drive again 2 1/2 years has been a long time..then I even worry that when I can drive someday will I be so anxious that I will freak out???? I need to just take one day at a time. But please do be cautious...stay away from Fluoroquinolones...they are dangerous!!!! Two Toxic Drugs that I will never touch again are Fluoroquinolones and benzos...they have changed my life and not for the best!!!!!!!!
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: My cold turkey and floxed story.
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2010, 06:24:54 am »
[...],

Thanks and you've came a long ways.

[...].
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.