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Just given Klonopin...a little worried


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My pdoc just prescribed me Klonopin because he's hoping since it's longer lasting than Ativan it might work better to get control of the severe anxiety I'm having.  He wants me taking one in the mid-afternoon/dinner and then 1 before bed.  He only gave me 0.5mg but said I could take 2 at bedtime if necessary.  I looked up a comparison chart that said that 0.5 klonopin was equal to 1mg Ativan, and I've been taking 2mg Ativan at bedtime and it hasn't been working.  Should i assume I need 2 of the Klonopin?

I've heard it's "stronger" than Ativan but don't really understand what that means...does it sometimes work better for anxiety? All I know is it didn't feel like the Ativan was doing anything ;)

Also, I'm concerned about addiction because I've heard it can be worse with Klonopin than Ativan...any suggestions?

Thanks,

Kelly

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

The addiction thing with benzos is really overblown.  There is a lot of fear-mongering out there, which you should ignore.  I've gone on and off various benzos with no difficulty. The benzos are some of the safest drugs out there, but I do have some suggestions:

Be very careful about driving when you start a benzo regiment--falling asleep at the wheel is a real danger. The sleepiness goes away after taking a benzo for a few days

Monitor your usage. It should never be necessary to take more than a few mgs a day of any benzo.  Higher doses are sign of abuse. If your benzo is not doing the job at 3 mgs a day (or so), it won't at any amount, and taking a high dose will make quitting all that much harder.

When you do decide to reduce or quit taking a benzo, taper the dose slowly. Don't feel pressured to quit taking your benzos by doctors or any one else, do it when you feel ready.

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Tallulah's post points out something else about benzos, namely that those "equivalancy tables" comparing the "strengths" of various benzos are pretty meaningless. Best to treat each of the major modern benzos (klonapin, atavan, xanax) as having roughly the same "strength" per milligram, and realize that your body will react to them in its own unique way.

However, older benzos such as Valium are indeed quite a bit weaker per milligram.

The main important difference between the benzos is the speed and length of action. Xanax is fast acting and short-lived in the body. Klonapin is the longest acting, which is usually an advantage for most people. Ativan is also fairly short acting. But some people like the quickness of Xanax, which is good for stopping a panic attack in its tracks, for example.

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I went from an Ativan/Xanax combo to Klonopin last year and I'm glad I did. I started @ 2-3 mgs./day and now I only take 0.5 mg. @ bed. Klonopin is much better at controlling anxiety for me because it last a helluva lot longer (a full day) than Xanax or Ativan. It does produce a different effect if taken during the day. It sometimes causes depression for me.

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I am finding the Klonopin is making me extremely tired.  Is Xanax less likely to do that? Also, isn't Xanax harder to get off of?  I'm just concerend because it's been awhile now and I don't feel like I'm adjusting to the dosage...I sleep till 1:00pm, fall asleep at dinnertime, it's so ridiculous!  But, if that's what it takes to control the anxiety, I guess that's the best thing for now.

Kelly

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I have actually talked to my doc and they seem to think it's a good dose (actually were planning on getting me up to 2mg/day).  Thing is, even at this dosage...I still have a lot of anxiety/panic etc. (when I'm awake).  The tired thing isn't all the time either...so maybe it's something else.  I have low iron and low B12, and I had forgotten to take my B12 supplements for 2 days before I posted my last post, so maybe that has something to do with it? I don't think lessening the dose would help, I tried taking a smaller dose at nightime and when I finally got to sleep (which was hard enough) I was having terrible nocturnal panic attacks and even hitting my DH in his sleep  ;)

Should I talk about trying another Benzo? I definately like the long-lasting bit...that's what I need because if not I get a lot of break-through panic...what about Valium? Anyone had good success on that?

Kelly

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Are you taking iron supplements?  That could be a huge factor.  Yikes!  Poor thing.

I have chronic fatigue syndrome, although it's not a "I wanna sleep all day" thing, it's more "I pass out when I've been on my feet very long".  I'm doing TONS better now but I still have to be really careful.  I took the sublingual methylcobalamin form of B12, up to 5mg, for a year or so and it did help.  I went to having regular injections of B12/folic acid/B complex instead, through my naturopath, and it made a HUGE difference.  I still don't have tons of energy, but it feels like my brain is awake finally.  I highly recommend it.  (The other thing is, are you taking folic acid with your B12?  I think they do better together.)

But that's not addressing your anxiety.  What's the rest of your cocktail look like?  Maybe you'd be better off with an AP than a benzo?  Or an AP plus lower dose or PRN benzo?  Then again maybe you've been through all this before.

::hugs::  It sounds rather miserable.

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  • 3 weeks later...

hey kelly

i wouldn't be too scared of the APs.  If you try an atypical at a lower dose, it often does wonders for anxiety.  also, if you're getting a lot of exercise, the weight gain shouldn't be an issue at all.  i'm on seroquel 50mg at night and i take a .5mg klonopin in the morning with my effexor.  i find that's the best way to "manage" the anxiety.  i still have my klonopin on me at all times and will take one when anxiety gets overwhelming or when i'm panicking.

i found the klonopin knocked me out in the beginning, but after taking it for a while, it completely lost its sedating effect on me.  i never take more than 2mg in a day though.  i know how crippling anxiety is and i really hope you can sort something out with your doc that leaves you functioning.

Sme

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  • 3 years later...
Guest liz pearcey

I am glad I am not the only one.

I never had real WD's for them either, and have taken them for 8months than stopped, and my stress level was high, but isn't that to be expected?

Hi,

The addiction thing with benzos is really overblown.

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