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Benzos in mood disorders


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So I have been super med resistant  BPAD....over 30 med trials and 2 courses of ECT. I do have a good cocktail now but we had to switch something and then on top of that my doc said take 1 mg klonipin four times a day...the way he explained it is that I will build some tolerance but eventually it will "equalize" so that tolerance won't keep adding and the med will still work. What do you guys think about longer term use of benzos? I feel like I need them now but I also don't want to have to do withdrawal hell later on. 

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I noticed you have 4 posts, so welcome to CB! 

I have been on klonopin and xanax since I can remember (decades) ... actually the klonopin first, then the xanax.

About the klonopin, I am on 0.5 mg twice a day for the maintenance dose AM/PM every day, while the xanax (0.5 mg/day as needed) is for breakthrough anxiety.  The klonopin does equalize for some people so they are at a stable level and don't have to keep increasing it.  Personally 4 mg would be way too much for me on a steady basis.

1 hour ago, Iceberg said:

I feel like I need them now but I also don't want to have to do withdrawal hell later on. 

IME, it is hard to go off of klonopin and took awhile (that was mostly because at that time I was on 5-6 mg/day).  It was hard for me to wean down. At first withdrawal was hell, but that was because I was weaning off of it too fast.  Once I started going down to 0.25 mg every 1-2 weeks until I was either off of it, or at a lower dose (don't remember).  It took awhile.  But it was so much better than when I went down too fast.

I know others have had no problems with the withdrawal though. 

So if/when you decide to lower the dose, my suggestion is to do it very slowly so you won't feel much of a withdrawal. 

But make sure to talk to your DR about it if/when you do it.  S/he might have other ideas for weaning down.

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I went off 2mg klonopin cold turkey after taking them a year and had no withdrawals. YMMV of course - I am now on 4mg a day, as is prescribed but I only take them PRN actually. either way, I was told by my doctor that it may feel like they stopped working or that you got a tolerance but that could also mean your body is just used to it enough for it to stay working properly. Not sure, but that makes sense I guess.

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22 hours ago, jordansonfleek said:

IME I've been on and off benzos (mostly on over the past 6 years) for sleep and agitation prn. I haven't found them addicting or super tolerance building. 

Me too.  Haven't found them addicting  or always needing to increase the dose.

7 hours ago, Alien Navel Cord said:

I went off 2mg klonopin cold turkey after taking them a year and had no withdrawals. YMMV of course - I am now on 4mg a day, as is prescribed but I only take them PRN actually. either way, I was told by my doctor that it may feel like they stopped working or that you got a tolerance but that could also mean your body is just used to it enough for it to stay working properly. Not sure, but that makes sense I guess.

It does make sense.  When I tried to taper off klonopin at one point because I didn't think it was doing anything for me, I got to a point where I realized it was really helping ... so I went back the dose I had been on, and I felt much better.  So it makes sense what your DR was saying.

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