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Going Off Clonazepam

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by leela, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    This is great! Lots of stories! Keep 'em comin'...

    To be clear about my first post, I have NO intention coming off Clonazepam any time soon... it has been helping me immensely.
    I started this thread b/c the subject started getting some action on a thread devoted to GcMAF. I started a new thread for the purposes of
    1) giving that conversation a chance to blossom
    2)informing myself and others for the future, as I have currently upped my own dose a tiny bit (albeit, as I said, I stil take less than 1mg and do not feel addicted at all.)

    I believe it's useful for people considering going on or off it to hear the various experences others have had, the conditions under which those experiences arose, and what it all felt like.

    So thanks to everyone so far for chiming in :Retro smile:
  2. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    whoops..double post. please delete this one.
  3. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Called Rivotril here in Australia..

    I was on Clonazepam due to CFS/ME and anxiety in a very low dose (half a tablet of lowest dose i think it was?) for anxiety and feeling jittery. It worked great at this very low dose (im very sensitive to drugs) had no side effects at all CFS and MCS wise, (thou it was contraindicated at the time for me as I had another health issue in which I shouldnt have been taking it in (BPD) and it caused issues with that so hence I had to stop it) ...
    and had no side effects when I had to stop taking the small dose I was on.

    I was also taking Melatonin for sleeping at the time (Clonazepam in the tiny dose I was taking didnt make me tired and Melatonin works great for me, Im sure Im deficient in that).

    I recommend those with CFS/ME to give this drug a try if they have any symptoms which it could help, I found it great for CFS/ME anxiety and jitterness. (thou was dangerous for my BPD as it made me feel invincible which was dangerous with suidical mood swings).
  4. Parismountain

    Parismountain Senior Member

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    Leela,

    I've been on generic klonopin for 15 years at the same small dose, .5mg in the evening. I've tried to cut down to .25 but I don't get withdrawls from doing that, I get the symtoms back for which I'm on klonopin for in the first place. I've too worried about what 15 years can do to your brain but it's either continue that or kind of withdraw from any social setting completely. When I cut back to .25 I start a symptom of not being confident in swallowing, I have to plan my swallows and sometimes they hitch. Add back the .25 stolen and go back to .5 and I don't have that problem.

    Crowds still get me, I think because of tracking all the activity I can't process it. I know a higher dose would help with that but I'm not going there (higher dose). Trying to wean off the drug and being a bit anxious in crowded spots doesn't fit well with OI either. (hope that's the abbreviation for orthostatic intolerance or sumthin).

    To me it's amazing what that little dose does, and the weird feeling of needing some brain medicine to function in the first place is a bit unsettling but oh well it's in the keep moving or die kind of realm. Keep moving Keep moving.

    I've become very protective of allowing others to control my expenditure of energy. The social stuff just kills me because who can understand needing to move in order to be able to talk to somebody, stand still and I can nearly faint. Sure, I'll chat with you but let's take a slow walk. That's just weird to people. Church is tough, there is etiquette there about when to stand or sit and if it's polite get up and move during a sermon but I pretty much make it and Monday is kapoot for me always.

    sorry to drift
  5. helsbells

    helsbells Senior Member

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    Hi everyone will have to keep brief in no way related to the topic but am having a weird reaction to cortef (I think?) and need to lie down.
    I swim against the general tide on this one - i experience marked and protracted side effects whenever I even try to cut down a small amount this is as oppsed to say zopiclone which I can get off quite quickly. It could off course be, as I suspect Cheney would say, the symptoms simply returning with bells on and he could be right but some of my experiences are also similar to addicts withdrawal only on a smaller scale. What ever i am stuck on it for the medium term.
  6. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    This will sound weird, but I think it may be possible that those who have a really difficult time tapering off of clonazepam, etc., may -- may -- have a heavy metal toxicity or other environmental toxicity problem.

    I don't want to sound like a one note Johnny (or Danny), but mercury can totally mess up so many bodily functions, including other mineral balances (interfering with calcium/magnesium/potassium/sodium etc.) -- which may result in some of the neurological problems (twitching, agitation, numbness, etc.,) that some people experience when trying to taper off of benzos and other drugs.

    That's what happens to me when I try to taper...but am hoping if I'm able to chelate 40+ years(!) of mercury, etc., out of my sad body, that perhaps then a taper will go a little more smoothly.

    ???

    Just my tiny two pennies. :)
  7. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    All good pennies, Danny.

    I had no problems coming off Clonazapam (although it was only a month). No mercury issues that have ever been found. Maybe something there. We'd need a poll.
  8. monk5990

    monk5990

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    Was wondering about clonazapam and stage lV sleep also

    I've been taking a combination of Ambien and Klonopin for probably 10 years now and the combo works great for getting me to sleep and keeping me asleep. I'd tried all sorts of different meds in the past (benzos, seroquel, trazadone) and this combination is the one that allows me to fall asleep, stay asleep and not wake up feeling "hung over". Of course I've had CFS for a very long time, so I don't fly out of bed. Was prescribed by Charles Lapp,MD a CFS specialist and only ?'d when I heard a tape of Dr. Klimas where she throws in Klonopin as being short acting (NOT) and decreasing Stag IV sleep...I don't know in me. I recently had a sleep study that was "normal" except for the MSLT portion...I did fall asleep each time i laid down. I got 8 hours of sleep in the lab and I need 11 or 12.


    I will find out if my EEG other than showing "normal" sleep shows diminished stage IV sleep. I have an "in house" neurologist-I'm the in-house psychiatrist but have been to sick to work for 10 years.

    As far as tolerance to these 2 meds, I did develop them over many years, but have been at the same dose 2mgs of Klonopin for about 10 years. 10-20 of Ambien, but I'm realizing, because I run out sometimes, that if I take the Klonopin early enough, i fall asleep, just not as easily.

    Since Klonopin is also an anti-convulsant, anyone on a few mgs, should ALWAYS taper off this medicine very gradually. Apart from rebound anxiety, which IS very uncomfortable, there's a small risk of seizure activity.

    I would be interested to know if the ZEO machine actually determines deep sleep based on EEG-like brain waves or something less sophisticated like a motion detector. It would be amazing if a 300 dollar device could transmit EEG like info...though I suppose an EEG shows a lot more than sleep waves.
  9. Nielk

    Nielk

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    You ask a good question about the Zeo machine. They say it's not a medical device. It records your stages of sleep through a band that you wear around your head - on your forehead - and I guess this wirelessly senses and records your sleep history for the night. I don't know the mechanics of it. Therefore I can't vouch for it's accuracy. But, I too have had medical sleep studies done in the past and there too it showed that I didn't reach stage3/4 sleep. It showed that i have a lot of Alpha intrusions that wake me up many time throughout the night. I'm sure a sleep study performed in a hospital by a doctor is much more accurate than this Zeo machine. I just wanted something of an "experiment" for my own knowledge to see how the medications are affecting my sleep and it's not feasible to keep going for sleep studies every time I attempt a change in my regiment.
  10. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Medical Marijuana to Treat Kids with OCD, Autism ...

    Hi Leela,

    You might find this thread interesting and relevant to the kind of information you're looking for:

    Medical Marijuana to Treat Kids with OCD, Autism ...

    All the best, Wayne
  11. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Withdrawing from Clonazepam / Alpha-Stim

    I just posted the following on the ProHealth board. Thought I would copy and paste it to this thread. Leela, I would be interested in hearing how you're doing with your sleep, and what may be working for you these days.

    Best Regards, Wayne
    .................................................................

    Posted on ProHealth on 3/20/11

    Hi Mikie,

    I was taking about 2 mg/day of Clonazepam at my maximum (an amount that had begun to concern me). I also started seeing references to how long-term use can effect blood cell counts, which gave me another incentive to considering stopping. I believe I started my withdrawal by going down to about 1.5 mg/night (minus .5mg). I noticed some withdrawal symptoms, but my body seemed to adapt to this in a few days to a couple weeks. I think I then went down another .5 mg., so within a relatively few short weeks, I was down to 1 mg/night.

    It was after this that the more noticeable withdrawal symptoms began to appear. I reduced my dosage amounts by about .1 mg at a time after that, often taking 2-4 weeks before considering my next reduction. After about a year, I was down to about .1 mg/night. I thought I was in pretty good shape to discontinue it completely, but was caught fairly off guard by the relative intensity of the withdrawal from that last .1 mg. When it became too intense, I would take just a "dusting" (perhaps .025 - .05 mg) at a time to take a break from some of the "relative" intensity, and to not overstress my system.

    When I finally took my very last .25 mg. dose (on my birthday as sort of a celebration), I felt pretty confident I would be over my worst symptoms within a few days. Unfortunately, it took me another several weeks, with my withdrawal symptoms being as intense as any before that time. I always wondered how I could so easily go from 2 mg to 1.5, and then 1.5 to 1.0, with relative ease. But completely eliminating that last .025 was probably the hardest part of the whole process. And then when the withdrawal symptoms were virtually gone, I began to wonder if it was all in my best interest, as I experienced a lot of "agitated exhaustion" from having my neurological system always on edge.

    I heard about Alpha-Stim about a year after stopping the Clonazepam, and felt I needed to at least give it a try (either that or probably go back on Clonazepam). An Alpha-Stim session involves attaching small clips to the earlobes so that a micro-current can be delivered to the neurolgoical system. I initially did a much shorter session than recommended, and at a much lower setting as well. It turned out to be way too much for me however, and I became quite nauseous, exhuasted, and woke up the next morning with a bad hangover. Interestingly, it was a hangover similar to the clonazepam hangovers I had become accustomed to over many years (which was another reason I wanted to quit). This was actually encouraging to me, as it made me think that it may indeed have a similar effect of taking a potent benzodiazapine.

    As I lowered my settings and duration times, I eventually found some optimal settings for myself (after about 2-3 weeks of trial and error). It was a long journey for me, but I feel really grateful to have come up with an effective alternative to clonazepam (with no side effects). I feel I've totally worked through all the withdrawal aspects, and am confident that I'm not becoming dependent on the Alpha-Stim as I was on the clonazepam (I've gone for several days at a time without it).

    Anyway, that's my story. This is what worked for me. Of course, there's no guarantee it will work for others. These days, I'm always considering what else I can do to keep my system calmed down. "Earthing" seems to help a lot, as does eating a very simple diet of mostly fermented foods. Homeopathic "Calms Forte" helps consistently. Various energetic "tapping" such as EFT and he "Cortices Technique" also help at times. But it's the Alpha-Stim that has proved to be the most important and reliable for me.

    Good luck with your challenges with your Sjogren's type symptoms. If it aint one thing, it seems to be another. Builds character, right? :)

    Love, Wayne

    [This Message was Edited on 03/20/2011]
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  12. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Hi Wayne,

    That's interesting. My (weird) question is about combination of using electrical micro-current therapy per the Alpha Stim, and then also using the "Earthing" stuff, etc., that blocks EMFs -- don't those both contradict/negate each other???

    :)

    I would love to get off clonazepam -- right now at about 1.5mgs a day -- but with my mercury/methylation nightmare, I have to stick with it for now. I think perhaps it might be more difficult for those who have heavy metal issues to get off of it, because of the way heavy metals disturb/disrupt other minerals like calcium, magnesium, etc., plus the way they disrupt almost everything else -- immunity, digestion, etc.

    Thanks Wayne,

    d.

    I asked my medicaid doc about the clonazepam connection to anemia, neutropenia, etc., and she said she's never seen it in practice. However, this is from a doc who refused to acknowledge my borderline anemia 2 years ago...
  13. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi Dan,

    Hmmmm. Not sure how to answer that one, cuz I don't feel I have a really good understanding yet of exactly how the earthing products work. I'm in the process of reading the earthing book at this time, so am hoping to get a better understanding sometime soon (perhaps by the end of the year at the rate I'm going).

    I started out with the impression the earthing products grounded EMFs and static electricity from our bodies, but the book I'm reading seems to indicate these products allow us to make connections with the earth which helps "normalize" or "harmonize" the bioelectric currents in our bodies.

    Part of this harmonization seems to be neutralizing some of the discordant frequencies in our environment. I'll have to get back to you after I get a better understanding of all of this. At this time, I am just really grateful they both work very well for me.

    I wouldn't be in any kind of hurry to withdraw from Clonazepam, especially given the circumstances you describe. I agree that heavy metals can impact many bodily functions. I think the negative effects of these heavy metals can be compounded by discordant EMFs and radiations that are so prevalent in our environment. So I wouldn't be surprised if earthing products can somewhat alleviate some of the negative effects of heavy metals.

    I feel I have a fair amount of heavy metals (especially mercury and nickel) “sequestered” in my gums after having so many amalgams and metal crowns in my mouth for decades. This is the main reason I do the "oil pulling" technique most mornings, and then follow it up with holding a clay solution in my mouth. For some reason, these two things seem to help calm down my body and mind. My best explanation for this is I feel these techniques remove/adsorb any currently “mobile” toxicity from my blood stream. I often have the same experience from doing clay foot baths and relatively short far infrared (FIR) saunas (about 20 minutes).

    I’ve got a few more thoughts floating around in my mind, but the page in front of me is starting to swirl a bit. Probably best I call it a night, and save it for another time. I like to try to make sense if at all possible. :Retro smile:

    Wayne
  14. Bravada Jones

    Bravada Jones

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    Here's the bible on withdrawal and tapering off benzos. And as someone upthread suggested, it's advised to switch to a long-lasting benzo (like diazepam/Valium) for the taper to decrease interdose rebound as the daily dose is decreased. The approach described here is slow and cautious. Good luck.

    http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzcha01.htm

    Bravada
  15. Freddd

    Freddd Senior Member

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    I'm very close to nailing a certain pattern of vary strong responses to various supplements (mb12, adb12, methylfolate, l-carnitine fumarate, etc) and has "tolerance withdrawal" as it is often called with benzos or at least intolerable side effects. Anxiety is oftenh present as a symptom. This appears to include many posting here on this page. There is a reasoanbly complex biochemical reason for this kind of reaction to benzos along with finding startup on some supplements to be intolerable. I believe I have identified it. I need your help with some more information to nail down the pattern. Thankyou.



    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/showt...554#post258554

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