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Author Topic: Anyone Successfully Withdraw from Klonopin?  (Read 407 times)

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Offline Jones

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Anyone Successfully Withdraw from Klonopin?
« on: January 09, 2014, 05:34:05 PM »
I have been on .50 mgs of klonopin for a little over six months. I've been taking half in the morning and half in the evening. This was all due to starting back on Lexapro and my p doc suggesting this would help me with the side effects of starting back on the anti depressant. My last appointment with him was the first part of December where we both decided it was time for me to come off of the klonopin. I was to start out with getting rid of either the morning or evening dose; do this for two weeks, and then get rid of the second dose. I, knowing my body as I do, decided that may be a little too quick, so I reduced it by a quarter of a pill, than the other quarter - this taking about a month's time. My last dose I took on the second of January. I felt okay the following day, but then each day thereafter, I was feeling more off. The day before yesterday was the worst! I felt like everything around me got dimmer...like I was going to pass out, only I didn't "feel" lightheaded or like I was going to pass out...it only looked that way. I ended up calling my p doc to find out what was going on. Apparently, this is withdrawal!!! So, I'm to go back to taking the klonopin twice a day for two weeks, and cut it down by a quarter every two weeks until I'm completely weened off.

I asked him about taking another benzo, one with a shorter half life, to help me through this. I thought I had read that somewhere here?? He said no, that's the worst thing you can do, you want to have one with a longer half life to help you through. Honestly, I didn't think I was on that big of a dose that I would have any issues with this whatsoever, however, I'm feeling like I may never get off this stuff!!! The feelings of anxiety and panic I had from the withdrawals was worse than the anxiety I'm trying to combat.

Has anyone gotten off of this stuff successfully? Please don't post any horror stories - I don't think I could take it. I feel like what my doctor is recommending is what I should do, but I'm scared of the rebound anxiety.

Suggestions, anyone?
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Offline Abraham2007

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Re: Anyone Successfully Withdraw from Klonopin?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 05:53:55 PM »
Your doctor is referring to the Ashton method, by coming off Valium instead of Klonopin, since Valium has a greater half life than Klonopin.  This method was invented by Heather Ashton, a known figure in psychiatric medication for benzodiazepines. 

Just fyi:

.5 Klonopin (Clonazepam) has 18-50 Half Life. (in hours)
which is equal too
10 Diazepam (Valium) has a 36-200 Half Life. (in hours)

You may want to read up about Ashton's cross over method more here, so you can better understand your doctor's rationality:
http://www.ashtonbenzomanual.com/

You may also want to check out Heather Ashton *live* (sort of, if we include taped workshops) teaching her method on Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsjhqdE7-6A
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Offline insights

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Re: Anyone Successfully Withdraw from Klonopin?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 06:08:32 PM »
I asked him about taking another benzo, one with a shorter half life, to help me through this. I thought I had read that somewhere here?? He said no, that's the worst thing you can do, you want to have one with a longer half life to help you through.

Yes, he's right. The easiest way of weaning of benzodiazepines is to switch to diazepam (Valium) and to wean of it. It has a half-life of about 200 hours compared to around 50 for Klonopin, and around 12-15 for Ativan (lorazepam) and Xanax (alprozalam).

Perhaps an even bigger advantage is that diazepam come in relatively large low dose tablets which makes it much easier to wean off in small increments. Your 0.25mg twice daily dose is the equivalent of 2 x 5mg diazepam. Quartering 2mg diazepam tablets is easy, especially if you use a pill-cutter, which would enable you to taper down in the equivalent of 0.025mg Klonopin steps.

I suggest you switch to 5mg diazepam for 2 weeks and then begin reducing by 1 mg per day every 2-3 weeks until you get down to 1mg b.i.d, and then in 0.5mg daily steps to zero. You may be able to go faster than this with minimal discomfort, but there are no prizes for finishing quickly.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline Jones

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Re: Anyone Successfully Withdraw from Klonopin?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2014, 06:07:22 PM »
Thanks, guys. I'm trying the method my doctor prescribed....just starting over again and cutting down 1/4 pill every two weeks. I just cut down my first 1/4 last night and already starting to feel "weird". I'm sure a lot of it has to do with me not wanting to feel the way I did a couple of weeks ago again!!
If this doesn't work, I most assuredly will call him and ask him about switching to valium.  :(
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He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

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