Author Topic: Long term clonazepam user  (Read 1071 times)

[Buddie]

Long term clonazepam user
« on: April 03, 2022, 11:25:52 pm »
Hi, everyone;

I have been using clonazepam for nearly 31 years.   I unsuccessfully tried to taper off three years ago (having severe withdrawal--shaking, psychosis, paranoia) ultimately causing me to go back on my current dosage.  My current dosage is .5 mg three times daily.  When I did try to taper over three years ago,  I did it very slowly, but I cut out the middle dose, which left my body reacting so strongly that I had to go back on my current dosage. 

I am hoping that I can in the long term get off clonazepam completely, and not feel blunted, and get my life back. 
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: Long term clonazepam user
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2022, 11:32:29 pm »
Hello [...],

Welcome to BenzoBuddies, we are glad to have you in the community!  I'm sorry you had such a hard time last time you tried to taper off benzos.  Will you be tapering on your own or with the guidance of your doctor? We suggest tapering slowly to minimize withdrawl symptoms, taper safely, and to allow you to stay functional.  We follow the Ashton suggestion of tapering no more than 5-10% of your total dose every two weeks or so.  I've put a link to The Ashton Manual below so you can look at it.  Developing a good (but flexible) taper plan up front will increase your odds of success.

Look around the website to see what is here, ask questions, and let us know when you need help.

Again, welcome,

[...]

The Ashton Manual

Planning Your Withdrawal (Taper)

Withdrawal Support (during your taper)
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: Long term clonazepam user
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2022, 12:20:59 am »
Thanks for the warm welcome. 

First, I am going to see if my psychiatrist is willing to taper me off very slowly.   I do have the Ashton Manual in print format, and there are a number of reasons why I want my old brain back.  Emotional blunting, apathy, irritability caused by long term use, "false depression" (what I call it),  spotty work history , etc. 

So,  I want to be able to someday say I did it! One thing that I will NEVER do, is stop abruptly like my brother did.  He had all sorts of neurological problems after he suddenly quit. 

I am in the NYC Metro area.  Being disabled has its disadvantages.  In other words, I cannot afford a practitioner that does not take my insurance.  So if anyone knows of someone in the Metro NYC area (I live about 60 miles north of NYC) that would be great. 

I do want to succeed at this.  However, I am 53, and it just feels like I spent the last 31 years wearing a mask.  I want the world to know the real me. 
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: Long term clonazepam user
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2022, 01:32:22 am »
This group attempts to list cooperative doctors and they've recently added tips for how to find one.  https://www.benzoinfo.com/

You might also want to show this to your doctor. Colorado Consortium Benzodiazepine Deprescribing Guidelines
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: Long term clonazepam user
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2022, 01:56:58 am »
thanks, [...]. I am familiar with the BIC (Benzo information Coalition).  I will definitely take a look at the other link for deprescribing. 
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: Long term clonazepam user
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2022, 08:08:25 am »
Hi and welcome to BB [...].
You said>>
Quote
I am in the NYC Metro area.  Being disabled has its disadvantages.  In other words, I cannot afford a practitioner that does not take my insurance.
Are you on SSDI or SSI? Most psychiatrists and GPs will take medicare but not medicaid. I know how challenging Klonopin can be. It is a beast to detox. How long have you been at 1.5. Most ppl start typically at .5 mgs per day. That is what I took for 11 years before I finally became tolerant to the drug's effect.

Is the klonopin now making you feel awful between doses? Is that why you'd like to try and get off of it?



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: Long term clonazepam user
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2022, 04:22:42 pm »
well, I was on SSDI.  Then, I started working again, then I lost my current job, then I had to apply for reinstatement of my benefits, which I am still waiting on.  Pain in the neck.  I do get medicare currently.  I never lost my coverage. 

I have been at 1.5 mg (.5 three times a day) for three years.  I just feel so dopey and just without energy from years of use.   I tried to come off gradually (I was down to 1.0 mg and again I cut out that middle dose and my brain started doing weird things. 

What ticked me off is my current doctor (I told him I was having panic attacks, and he UPPED THE DOSE!) so I did not want to mess around any take more.

I am sick and tired of feeling like a dish rag/rag doll.  Like the sails have gone out of me.   
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: Long term clonazepam user
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2022, 04:39:44 pm »
They actually started you out on 1.5 mgs of K? .5 3X per day? That is a lot IMO.

It does not sound like you have become that tolerant, just dependent on the medication so that if you don't take it, you become sick from the withdrawal.

It will not be easy to detox. What strength klonopin pills do you have?

You will also have to find other ways of dealing with your panic and anxiety.  Getting off the klonopin will not cause (usually) your panic and anxiety to go away.

Glad you were able to keep your medicare coverage. Did you do the trial work period when you were on SSDI? I hope you can get the reinstatement. SSA disability is a PITA. It took me almost 2 years to finally get approved. Luckily, I had savings to live on during that meantime awaiting approval/denial decisions. :'(
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: Long term clonazepam user
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2022, 05:02:11 pm »
That's what I am on right now.  31 years ago, my dosage was pretty low, I'm sure.  It was easy for me to go back on 1.5 mg since I only titrated down to 1 mg.  Perhaps I had gone too slowly. who knows? but that is all in the past. 

I'm on .5 mg tabs right now.

As far as relaxation techniques go, I know about mediation, deep breathing, mindfulness, etc.  to name a few. 

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: Long term clonazepam user
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2022, 05:29:16 pm »
Do you plan to dry taper using the klonopin?
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.