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How fast can you safely get off Klonopin?

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Posted

I know this can be a really hard drug to get off of, but for unforeseen circumstances I need to get off it...and as fast as possible so that I can see how my body functions without it and possibly start getting my life back. I'm currently taking 0.25mg twice a day and 1.25mg at night, and I was thinking of going down by .25mg at a time but I don't know how fast I can do it safely. Can anyone advise?

Also, any advice on how to make the whole process easier would be much appreciated...I've been on one benzo or another for at least 5 years now...and the Klonopin for about two.

Thanks!

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Posted

I know this can be a really hard drug to get off of, but for unforeseen circumstances I need to get off it...and as fast as possible so that I can see how my body functions without it and possibly start getting my life back. I'm currently taking 0.25mg twice a day and 1.25mg at night, and I was thinking of going down by .25mg at a time but I don't know how fast I can do it safely. Can anyone advise?

Also, any advice on how to make the whole process easier would be much appreciated...I've been on one benzo or another for at least 5 years now...and the Klonopin for about two.

Thanks!

Go to this site - http://www.benzo.org.uk/

It has lots of info about withdrawing from Benzos. As with you, I am trying to withdraw right now. YMMV (your mileage may vary), but it appears it can take anywhere from 6-18mths to get off Benzos, given the length of time you have been on them. This is by tapering every so slowly. Lucky us, it one of the most addictive meds to be on. Again, you may be lucky and have limited withdrawal effects.

I started withdrawal 6 weeks ago (I was not very informed). I decided to try cold turkey (DO NOT DO THIS), but quickly went to taper method. Again, not very well informed, I took my daily dose and cut it in half (0.5mgx2 to 0.25mgx2). I was strong at the beginning, but now I am beginning to crack...not sure if I can stay the course. If I make it, my next taper will much smaller. The withdrawal effects are something else. Of course, I wish you the best and strongly advise you take it slowly. I am not an expert by any means.... ;)

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Posted

I was forced off Klonopin 3 mg. cold turkey by an inexperienced Dr. DO NOT DO THIS!!!!!!! I was in pure hell for a few days until a more experienced dr came on duty. Even then their taper was too quick. I wound up on Librium (a old style benzo) and tapered off it. I would say took at least eighteen months plus.

I also suggest benzo.org.uk. Could not have done it without them. The people have knowledge and they have the experince.

I had a manic episode 2 yrs ago and was inpatient. Once again I began Klonopin after a big battle of wills. I now take .5 2x a day. My dr has tried to up it but I always refuse. One day I will try to taper again.

I have to say that even with a slow taper, I often went slower than suggested. Every cut was hard for me about the third day. I often thought I was a junkie of the highest kind. Perhaps some of us are just more senstive to how benzos affect us.

Good Luck, Ally

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Posted

I know this can be a really hard drug to get off of, but for unforeseen circumstances I need to get off it...and as fast as possible so that I can see how my body functions without it and possibly start getting my life back. I'm currently taking 0.25mg twice a day and 1.25mg at night, and I was thinking of going down by .25mg at a time but I don't know how fast I can do it safely. Can anyone advise?

Also, any advice on how to make the whole process easier would be much appreciated...I've been on one benzo or another for at least 5 years now...and the Klonopin for about two.

Thanks!

Go to this site - [link=http://www.benzo.org.uk/"'>http://www.benzo.org.uk/" target="_blank]http://www.benzo.org.uk/[/link]

It has lots of info about withdrawing from Benzos. As with you, I am trying to withdraw right now. YMMV (your mileage may vary), but it appears it can take anywhere from 6-18mths to get off Benzos, given the length of time you have been on them. This is by tapering every so slowly. Lucky us, it one of the most addictive meds to be on. Again, you may be lucky and have limited withdrawal effects.

I started withdrawal 6 weeks ago (I was not very informed). I decided to try cold turkey (DO NOT DO THIS), but quickly went to taper method. Again, not very well informed, I took my daily dose and cut it in half (0.5mgx2 to 0.25mgx2). I was strong at the beginning, but now I am beginning to crack...not sure if I can stay the course. If I make it, my next taper will much smaller. The withdrawal effects are something else. Of course, I wish you the best and strongly advise you take it slowly. I am not an expert by any means.... ;)

that website is very helpful, thank you for sharing! I have been trying to wean off for almost 5 months, ran out and had no dr. to refill, and had THE WORST 9 days of my life (total insomnia, numbness, dizzy, crying non-stop) until I found an old stash of the meds and hopefully the new dr. I see June 5th will be able to help- it's just a general health care place for all low-income people in my town, i certainly am hoping for a miracle and get someone who knows about this stuff.

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Posted

I experimented with this a bit. I wanted to see if it was the large dose of clonazepam that was causing me to feel depressed. I went down to 2mg/day from 6mg/day in about 2-3 weeks. I didn't experience any withdrawals. I didn't feel any better either, so I'm up to 4mg/day or 6 as needed. I do not recommend anyone to go down that fast. It was probably unsafe. But the stuff has little if any effect on me, so there.

-Tom ;)

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Posted

It can contribute to depression, FWIW

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Posted

I've seen patients withdrawn off short-acting benzos within a week or two and long-acting within 2-3 weeks. It wasn't overtly "unsafe" but I'm sure the patients would rather have taken it slower.

I hope the taper goes well.

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Posted

I experimented with this a bit. I wanted to see if it was the large dose of clonazepam that was causing me to feel depressed. I went down to 2mg/day from 6mg/day in about 2-3 weeks. I didn't experience any withdrawals. I didn't feel any better either, so I'm up to 4mg/day or 6 as needed. I do not recommend anyone to go down that fast. It was probably unsafe. But the stuff has little if any effect on me, so there.

-Tom ;)

thanks for sharing. I was up to 5 mg at one point, and it did work at first, but for the last 2 years it doesn't do much except keeping away the withdrawal, so I'm going down from 2mg a day to 0.5mg a day and then 0.25 until I run out. I have no medical insurance now and the "free" clinic won't give out medications like this. One website said it can take 6-18 months and you should switch slowly to Valium instead but I want off all the medications. I did get GABA powder, Holy Basil, and 5HTP at the health food store which has helped with sleeping and helping me breathe and be more calm. There's a formula that has all three of those plus a couple more things (all these herbs or amino acids work on the serotonin and benzo. receptor sites which is why it is helping me with the withdrawal)- it's called "Theanine Serene" by Source Naturals. Just FYI for those who may read this and be interested in getting off the benzos. for good.

-Heather

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Posted

I've seen patients withdrawn off short-acting benzos within a week or two and long-acting within 2-3 weeks. It wasn't overtly "unsafe" but I'm sure the patients would rather have taken it slower.

I hope the taper goes well.

Thank you, it's good to hear that it may only take a few weeks not months like the website from the UK said. That was worrying me. It's also good to know that the depression I thought I had under control may just be a temporary symptom of withdrawal.

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Posted

I've seen patients withdrawn off short-acting benzos within a week or two and long-acting within 2-3 weeks. It wasn't overtly "unsafe" but I'm sure the patients would rather have taken it slower.

I hope the taper goes well.

Thank you, it's good to hear that it may only take a few weeks not months like the website from the UK said. That was worrying me. It's also good to know that the depression I thought I had under control may just be a temporary symptom of withdrawal.

Just a thought..

If you have the option to taper slowly, I'd do it. The faster the taper, the worse the withdrawal. Experiencing really bad withdrawal may cause you to want to stop the taper completely.

Why not take a month or so?

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Posted

This is best done under the care of an ADDICTION PSYCHIATRIST! The proper way to taper Klonopin is by every week reducing the total daily dose by 0.125mg (an eighth of a milligram) , until you reach zero. For example a person taking 1mg of Klonopin per day, would need eight weeks to safely taper off. There is no fast way off it. In fact, overly quick withdrawal from Klonopin can cause a prolonged withdrawal syndrome, persisting for months!

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Posted

Ashton's advice is to taper as fast as possible, but let one's symptoms be the guide, and never go backwards.

Most of the charts and examples she gives on the websites are for doses of various benzodiazepines that are at the higher end of what is therapeutically recommended.

That's not to say that people don't experience withdrawal effects off of the lower-end of the range of benzodiazepine doses -- of which, <2mg of clonazepam daily can be... But its a much better situation than someone who is popping 2mg Xanax (alprazolam) bars 4-5X daily, and trying to kick that habit.

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Posted

I've been on Klonapin for over five years now . Of course the doctor who perscibed it

for sleep said it had no addiction ! . What an idiot , he's caused me and my family more

stress and frustration than you can imagine. Shortly after taking it " I didn't know" I was

diagnosed as having depression and went thru the gama of lets try this from the doctors.

I have lost six jobs in the last four years due to either being mentally not with it or that

I looked stoned from antidepressants . " my conclusions " . This drug sneaks up on you so slowly

that you don't realize whats happening to you untill someday you read enough info on it to scare

the hell out of you.

Here I sit , unemployed because of this drug and still have to take 1.5 mg daily to stay stable.

Doctors !! DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE PERSCRIBING THIS PRODUCT !!

Stay Away Klonapin !

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Posted

George S, here is a difference between building tolerance and and getting addicted. When it is abused, it is addictive. When it is used correctly, for medical purposes, and is not abused, you may need to raise the level from time to time. But may I point out, that is true of many, many, medications, both psychiatric and non-psychiatric.

It is very damaging to patients' treatment if they confuse addiction with tolerance. I am sorry you had a bad experience, but is it possible that the underlying condition that led to your being put on benzos might just possibly have contributed to your employment problems?

I have been on 2mg Xanax daily, with a 3rd mg available for emergencies. That may sound like a lot, but it is what I started with three years ago, and has not gone up. In fact, I started out on 3 mg to treat an acute mixed episode, and then dropped to 2mg daily.

Doing research on the internet is not the same as going to medical school. Don't be such a fear monger.

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Posted

My son was hospitalizied and was put on Klonapin, he was then transferred to a half way house and they took him off his medications immediately saying they could not prescribe them to him. He went three days with out his medications and immediately begin to have side effects that were horrible. The half way house let him out on a pass on the third day, but that night first he did go to the hospital and was given a dose of Klonapin and w3as released from the hospital the next day, then the half way house let him out on a pass and he went to the top of an old building where he use to go and mediatate and a witness see him sit down and a few seconds later he just fell backwards and died he was only 28 years old does anybody out there have any advise for me. Please reply all I am lost on wahat to do.

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Posted (edited)

My son was hospitalizied and was put on Klonapin, he was then transferred to a half way house and they took him off his medications immediately saying they could not prescribe them to him. He went three days with out his medications and immediately begin to have side effects that were horrible. The half way house let him out on a pass on the third day, but that night first he did go to the hospital and was given a dose of Klonapin and w3as released from the hospital the next day, then the half way house let him out on a pass and he went to the top of an old building where he use to go and mediatate and a witness see him sit down and a few seconds later he just fell backwards and died he was only 28 years old does anybody out there have any advise for me. Please reply all I am lost on wahat to do.

First off, I'm extremely sorry for your loss. As the mother of two children, it is indescribable to me what you are going through right now.

If you feel the medication (or withdrawal thereof) might be to blame for your son's death, I suggest talking to the hospital your son was in and requesting a full copy of his medical records for his visits there. Also request any records for his stay in the halfway house. If you have trouble getting these records, you may need to employ a private detective or a lawyer, though you shouldn't need to.

However, please be prepared for what you get with those medical records. It may be difficult to read that your son was going through tribulations and experiences that you may not be able to understand why he was feeling.

Edited by gizmo

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Posted (edited)

My son was hospitalizied and was put on Klonapin, he was then transferred to a half way house and they took him off his medications immediately saying they could not prescribe them to him. He went three days with out his medications and immediately begin to have side effects that were horrible. The half way house let him out on a pass on the third day, but that night first he did go to the hospital and was given a dose of Klonapin and w3as released from the hospital the next day, then the half way house let him out on a pass and he went to the top of an old building where he use to go and mediatate and a witness see him sit down and a few seconds later he just fell backwards and died he was only 28 years old does anybody out there have any advise for me. Please reply all I am lost on wahat to do.

First off, I'm extremely sorry for your loss. As the mother of two children, it is indescribable to me what you are going through right now.

If you feel the medication (or withdrawal thereof) might be to blame for your son's death, I suggest talking to the hospital your son was in and requesting a full copy of his medical records for his visits there. Also request any records for his stay in the halfway house. If you have trouble getting these records, you may need to employ a private detective or a lawyer, though you shouldn't need to.

However, please be prepared for what you get with those medical records. It may be difficult to read that your son was going through tribulations and experiences that you may not be able to understand why he was feeling.

Gizzmo, Thanky-You for your advice though I aready contacted the hospital and di receive his medical records, but am having trtouble finding a lawyer to take the case. If you have any more suggestions I am willing to listen to any of them. Thank-You a Concerned and Worried Mother in despair!

Edited by null0trooper

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Posted

His experience is very normal. This medicine should be a banned substance as it has just about destroyed my life

George S., your experience is far from the norm. I would guess that it's more than Klonopin or other meds that's caused you to lose so many job.

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Posted

His experience is very normal. This medicine should be a banned substance as it has just about destroyed my life

George S., your experience is far from the norm. I would guess that it's more than Klonopin or other meds that's caused you to lose so many job.

First of all, no, it is not the norm. The implication that someone cannot hold a job when they are using benzos properly, under the supervision of a p-doc, is pure bullshit. I cannot put it more straightforwardly than that.

My husband uses benzos for seizures, and he is neither addicted, nor has it affected his job performance. Repeated seizures are more damaging to both his health and his work than taking 2mg of lorezapam prn.

I personally am more of a danger to myself when I am having a mixed episode, than the benzos I take to help pull me out of it, and continue to use to stabilize me. I am neither addicted (in fact, I have leftovers every month), nor has it affected my job performance. I know many, many people (my dad is a p-doc) who would not be able to hold a job *but for* benzos.

Secondly, it is fortunate you are not the arbiter of which medications are useful for mental illnesses (or any other type of illness), and which should be banned. If you have problems with benzos, that is your issue, not the general population's. Some medications would kill me, so I don't take them. Others are helpful to me, so I do take them. I am glad you are not an MD, because you are letting your ignorance about benzos shine through the fog of your faulty thought processes. Your "guess[es]" are merely that, and not supported by the literature.

Not to mention, why don't you rub salt into the poor woman who lost her son's wounds? Oh, that's right, you already did.

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Posted

This is a very hard drug to get off of. I tried to get off .5 x 3 a day and ended up in a psychiatric facility. I was extremely uncomforatable having chest pains and tremors and numbness and nasea. You will likely have to go into a detox center to get off them safely because I learned you could have a seizure going off them. Good luck and I hope the best.

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Posted

This is a very hard drug to get off of. I tried to get off .5 x 3 a day and ended up in a psychiatric facility. I was extremely uncomforatable having chest pains and tremors and numbness and nasea. You will likely have to go into a detox center to get off them safely because I learned you could have a seizure going off them. Good luck and I hope the best.

[/quote

yet another untrue "fact" posted by a guest. Proper tapering can be safely accomplished at home. Hell, even cold turkey unsafe tapering can be accomplished from home. It all depends on your desired level of uncomfortableness.

Seizures are a true, but uncommon, side effect of withdrawal.

Save the detox centers for those truly addicted to benzos, not just physically dependant.

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Posted

The only advice I can give is to taper in very small increments for at least as long as the Ashton (?) manual states. I stopped it abruptly, and I did this several times with varying unpleasant side effects, but not seizures. The last time I went off cold turkey, I got a grand mal seizure (and no, I do not have epilepsy - they tested for it at the hospital). Some people say that benzodiazepines are more dangerous to get off of than heroin - a registered nurse told that to me. I had no idea - I thought that insomnia for a few days was the worst side effect that I was going to have.

Just take it slow- very very slow. Allow yourself at least a year (or shorter or longer, depending on the dosage you are on).

I by no means am slamming benzos - they are great for anxiety if used properly and safely as prescribed.

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Posted

I once lost a whole brand new bottle of my Xanax. I had almost a month extra of pills accumulated, because I so rarely take the 3rd mg. I am allowed to take, but not quite enough. So for the last 5 days of the month, I had to do a fast titration to 0, before I could start back up again two days later. Yeah, I felt like crap. But it was survivable.

Since I knew beforehand what might be coming, I did make sure I had as little to do as possible during that week, though.

And we found the full bottle about two months later. ;)

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Posted

i use 2 be on xanax 4 about ten years and i could not urinate well and i got myself down to 3 quarters of a .05 then i finally told my doc i wanted clonazapam which is no better as far as urination goes,ive got myself down to a half of a .05 of that but i still cant quit. i know your gonna say im stupid cuz i am but i drink at night and i dont think i couldve got of the med as well as i did unless i drank.my doc said he had never heard of the side effect of not bein able 2 pee from any benzos,but i looked it up.someone pls help!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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Posted (edited)

This is best done under the care of an ADDICTION PSYCHIATRIST! The proper way to taper Klonopin is by every week reducing the total daily dose by 0.125mg (an eighth of a milligram) , until you reach zero. For example a person taking 1mg of Klonopin per day, would need eight weeks to safely taper off. There is no fast way off it. In fact, overly quick withdrawal from Klonopin can cause a prolonged withdrawal syndrome, persisting for months!

I take that dosage, and it's taking me 8 months to taper off.

1/8 for every month.

Edited by null0trooper

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