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coming off clonazepam

Messages
10
Hi there
I've been on sleeping pills for 3-4 years and although I still have M.E I want to reduce my dependence on them (Dr Myhill recommended them to me as sleep is crucial to recovery). Especially keen to reduce as the clonaz is causing problems with cognitive function. At first I was taking zopiclone but it stopped working and in April this year switched to 2grams of clonazepam at night. I know I have to reduce slowly so with the advice of a colleague of Dr Myhill's bought Somnolin (which includes 5HTP), valerian, passiflora and inositol. For the last 4 nights I've been alternating 2grams Clonaz with 1875mcg clonaz plus the herbal aids. Yet today I feel like even the (6%) decrease is causing withdrawal symptoms - feel like I'm detoxing and even sharp short pains in my chest. Any opinions as to whether I should reduce the clonaz even less? I have also started taking a berberin and grapefuit seed supplement which could be causing a detox reaction - perhaps should reduce that one for now!
Thanks
Rosie
 

minkeygirl

But I Look So Good.
Messages
4,678
Location
Left Coast
@rosiejc I used water titration to get off 1 mg Klonopin. It took me 4 months to get off. It is very hard to dry cut clonazempam since it has short half life.

Even doing it the correct way, like I did, does not mean you wont have withdrawal. And cutting the wrong way could give you protracted withdrawal for years. And alternating only gets you into withdrawal and IS NOT helping you obviously.

Nothing OTC you can take will help with withdrawal if you go to quickly IMO.

Here is a forum that I used to get support and advice. I would have been lost with out. But PM me if you want specifics as I found some easy ways to do it.

I highly recommend you stop lowering and get yourself stabilized before you lower anymore. The key to titration is to get stable before you go lower.

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/

Dr. Ashton pioneered the titration method.

http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/
 
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Messages
10
Thank you both, just been reading up on water titration. I am not keen on using water as I have 500mcg tabs and they can be easily quartered so I can reduce every so often by 125mcg anyway?
I wasn't planning on lowering further - I know it has to be done slowly especially as I've been taking sleeping tablets for so long - but a reduction of 6% (actually 3% overall as I'm alternating nights) is pretty small I thought. The only way I could stabilise would be to go back up to the original dose...
 

minkeygirl

But I Look So Good.
Messages
4,678
Location
Left Coast
If you read anything it tells you it is very hard to dry cut clonazepam. IMO you are asking for trouble. You're already in withdrawal. Alternating nights is causing you problems with interpose withdrawal. I don't know who told you to do that but it's insane?

Why ask for help? 2 people have told you a better way. Good luck, you'll need it.
 
Messages
10
The pills can be easily quartered - the ones I take anyway! So would you recommend I just keep going with the 1875mcg now and the herbs rather than alternating? Drs usually say to reduce a small amount but I was trying to be extra careful by alternating!!
 

Wayne

Senior Member
Messages
4,276
Location
Ashland, Oregon
Hi Rosie, welcome to the PR forum. :)

I took clonzepam for approx. 8-10 years, and went through quite a lengthy withdrawal process (over a year) when I decided to try to discontinue it. I learned from researching and my own experiences that this is a VERY major step to take, and should be done very carefully and very cautiously. Haste in NOT what should be foremost in your mind. From my own (successful) experience, patience is the key. I've posted fairly extensively on my own clonazepam withdrawal experiences, with the following post covering most of it. --- Withdrawing from Clonazepam / Alpha-Stim

A website I depended heavily upon when doing my own withdrawal is at this link (BENZODIAZEPINES: HOW THEY WORK AND HOW TO WITHDRAW). One thing they emphasize is that it may be necessary to switch to other benzodiazapines with different half lives to make the tapering easier and safer. There are other websites dedicated solely to benzodiazepine withdrawal, some of which have forums to exchange tips and experiences. It may be a good thing for you to try to find one of these forums. --- I did a search on the Phoenix Rising forum with clonazepam in the title. Here's a link to the results of that search query: --- Search Query w/ Clonazepam in Title

It took me well over a year to totally withdraw from clonazepam. I'd guess most people can do this in less time, but it's such an individual thing, and some may need even more time. Safety (and patience) should be foremost considerations. Pushing things could result in serious setbacks.

Good luck with this all, and take care.

Wayne
 
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Messages
10
Many thanks Wayne for your advice and for welcoming me. I will be very cautious then! Yep it is a major step and I can't actually imagine being able to sleep without a drug so my aim was to just start somewhere and try and reduce a bit. Thank you for the links. My private M.E specialist recommended the herbs and 5HTP I mentioned above but I would prefer something a little stronger ;)
 

jenbooks

Guest
Messages
1,270
Use mortar and pestle to grind it up.
Depends on your genetics. When I was at 30 mg temazpeam (which supposedly is half strength of valium, ie about 15 mg of valium, while klonipin is ten times the strength, ie equiv to 3 mg of klonipin altho these seem weird comarisons to me, you can only get temazepam in 15 or 30 mg capsules) I could tell with each 1 ml cut in 100 ml of water. That means I could tell 1/3 of a milligram when I was at a 30 mg dose.
Others don't have the same trouble.
The cuts you're suggesting COULD prove disastrous--or could be easy, depending.
 

cph13

Senior Member
Messages
221
Location
USA
Welcome rosiejc. Please take heed to what is said here. So many have soooooooo much experience with this demon. I too can attest to what @jenbooks is saying. She is spot on. Add me to the tribe. However, I am STILL NOT a success story. I could only cut from 1mg to .75 at the 1/8th of 1mg dry cut (thought I would loose my mind), no sleep for days. Than 1/4 of 1/8th which I think is 1/16th it was not much better but I was determined. It just doesn't work. That was 2 years ago. I am left with tinnitus and many of the symptoms mentioned here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzodiazepine_withdrawal_syndrome
I lost a functioning brain to this demon. I gave up FOR NOW. I am working diligently on Freddd's protocol. BTW, Freddd has a successful titration program.

Just an FYI.....My bedside table has 5-6 different things I mix up to sleep which includes .75mg of klonepin. It just doesn't work your way Rosie; I'm sorry to say. Try reading some of this:
http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?search/11741393/ just ignore the negative barking at runner64 who was just trying to help. She was the one that opened my eyes. There are MANY here that will chime in I'm sure.

@minkeygirl cutting 1mg in 4 months is much the success story. Here Here......My .25 took much longer than that.
@Wayne my little battle started back in 99-2000 with 1/2mg at bedtime the battle came when the generic was substituded to me (who knew?).....
I APPLAUD EVERYONE THAT HAS SUCCESSFULLY RID THEMSELVES of this demon. My very best to you Rosie and again WELCOME. There are many amazing, brilliant, helpful people on this forum. Happy healing to all xo C
 

barbc56

Senior Member
Messages
3,657
Welcome @rosiejc.


This is my personal story so may not apply to you. Clonazepam is one medication, I cannot do without. I’ve been taking it for RLS which I have had since a teenager but I didn’t need medication until 20 years ago, this was before I got sick and that was only sporadically. For me, it’s a godsend as I now can’t take Mirapex for my RLS as I developed side effects.

Do you mean you take two mgs and not 2 grams of clonazepam?

After having some sleep issues address, I was able to reduce Clonazepam from 2 mgs. to 1.5 , with few withdraw symptoms. It took me about 10 days and the withdrawal symptoms were manageable probably because of the low dosage being reduced. I was also able to discontinue trazodone for sleep, and I did get withdraw symptom at first and then when my doctor had me titrate the dosage down and once again the withdrawal was manageable. It took about six weeks. In the almost 20 years I have taken clonazepam, and started it before I got sick, I have never had to increase the dosage. But that's me. Clonazepam is often recommended for me/cfs as it's supposed to be the best to calm the nervous system. Fibro/cfs as well as RLS may be due to an overactive nervous system.

Again, this is my story and I am not a medical professional.

Take care.
 
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Messages
10
Hi Cph13 - thanks for your advice and sorry to hear you've had such trouble coming off clonaz, I know someone who had benzo wothdrawal syndrome and it sounded awful.
I decided to stop alternating last night and slept ok on the 6% decrease (plus LOTS of herbs, about 10 pills!) so will stick with that and have plenty of websites to look on now for help with the next step.
Hi barbc56 - thanks for your message. Yes you're right I'm on 2mg clonaz not 2 grams!! It's good to hear you managed to reduce by 500mcg with little problem.
I am not sure if I need this drug - I started taking zopiclone 4 years ago when I was having a relapse and a difficult time and I've just continued taking them as I'm dependent on them. I have been diagnosed with POTS and since starting the clonaz my ability to stand and walk is worse - I can't be sure if it's definitely related though.
My NHS and private M.E specialists think i should come off it.
Best wishes
Rosie
 

nandixon

Senior Member
Messages
1,092
Thanks nandixon - can I ask where you found out about the niacinamide helping with reducing clonazepam?
It's been a year since I eliminated the Klonopin so I can't remember the source for the idea (I don't think it was Phoenix Rising). But niacinamide has been known to have a benzodiazepine-like activity since 1979 it seems:

Nicotinamide is a brain constituent with benzodiazepine-like actions
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v278/n5704/abs/278563a0.html

A search on PubMed using the terms "niacinamide" and "benzodiazepine" and "gaba" together brings up a number of interesting articles:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=niacinamide+benzodiazepine+gaba
 
Messages
10
Ah very interesting! I shall share with my friend who is an information scientist and uses PubMed for work! Thanks
Rosie