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L-Theanine vs. Benzos, A good alternative?

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Hi all. I am currently taking 1.5 mg Klonopin and 20 mg Lexapro daily for OCD.

Both meds work really well. Although 'Special K' has lost it's efficacy after I inadvisedly attempted to taper last year. i couldn't handle the withdrawal symptoms and resumed at a higher dose.

Now I really want to get off of K because I am concerned about long term affects, and my memory is now being afffected by the higher dose. But things go 'real bad' for me when I don't have a a potent benzo in my system.

Up until now I had the view that even if K shortend my life, that the peace it brings makes it worth it. Now I am not so sure.

Anyway, I am considering a much slower taper this time using the Ashton method. And I am pinning my sanity on the use of L-Theanine, an amino acid that calms me as well. The only problem there is that I have to take it every hour to maintain the effects. A thin tightrope to walk every day. Also, when I'm off K, it may not compensate enough.

So.....I am wondering what other's experience is with L-Theanin eis. For those with sever OCD or anxiety, does it work well as a benzo substitute for you?


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In my opinion, I think it would be better to stay on what is working, I don't see how it could shorten your life. If your dead set on changing meds maybe try Ativan at 2mg or so and see if you can get by with less side effects.

BTW special K is a name used for ketamine as a street drug, you threw me off for a moment there :P

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I can't imagine that overloading your body with an amino acid is good while klonopin is bad. I have never read that benzos shorten your life span so if I were you, I wouldn't worry about that. I have never tried L-Theanine so I can't speak to its efficacy, but I would suspect that if it is so efficacious we would have heard about it all over the news.

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If you are going to use L-Theanine (which I do not advise), please call your pdoc before starting it, and see if it is okay. Supplements can screw up psychiatric medication.

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I have used it. Have a whole bottle of it with Suntheanine a trademark. Theanine is a derivitive of green tea and there is considerable research indicating efficacy do a pubmed search and you will see quite a good bit of research supporting it; however my personal experience with it is that it cannot hold a candle to a benzo-any benzo for serious anxiety. That said it does have some distinct calming effect and I think for someone seriously trying a withdrawel schedule it might not be a bad idea to discuss it with your doctor because it does seem to me to ease the negative effects. I am currently trying to ease off Klonpin 3 x .5 mg a day to a PRN status

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