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Author Topic: Klonopin to Xanax XR - straight switch?  (Read 144 times)

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Offline Spryte

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Klonopin to Xanax XR - straight switch?
« on: February 26, 2014, 06:20:46 PM »
Hi.

I've been on Klonopin 3mg/day (1.5mg twice a day) for awhile, and it isn't helping me anymore.  It just sort of...stopped.

I am going to be giving Xanax XR a try (I have been on Niravam/Xanax anyway in different doses for many years, including while on the kpin.
Basically just trying to replace the Kpin part with the Xanax XR.
Niravam has always worked well for me, didn't build up a tolerance, would sometimes forget to take a pill with no interdose withdrawal, would sleep all night  and not wake up feeling like I "needed" a pill or anything. Only reason I switched to Kpin was had heard it was better and was able to take it just twice a day - should have probably gone to the XR at that point but I didn't and now here I am.  ::)  )

I will be taking Xanax XR 2mg twice a day.

The Big Question:

Is it normal to do a straight switch over or to wean down the kpin?  My doc feels I can just switch straight over.
I also have up to four .25mg Niravam I can take if needed.

I was feeling okay about it, until I started looking around on the internet and now I am scared. Ugggh :(
And since meds are a major panic trigger for me anyway, I was already a little nervous...now I am a lot scared.

quick background:
Panic Disorder on and off since age 19 (now 43), except about 12 years ago it kicked ON and has not turned back off.
Spent a few years completely housebound. Just in the last 2 years or so has that gotten any better, and it is slooow going.
Am NOT dx'd with any depression at all.
Have concurrent IBS issues.
Have tried multiple SSRI's, they did not help at all, and were h*ll to get off of. I won't do that again.
Xanax/Niravam seems to calm overall anxiety somewhat, only thing that has helped with that.
Kpin was great for the agoraphobia until about 2 months ago, it just stopped working.
Valium (even 10mg - they tried to use that for dental work) - doesn't calm me down at all, and doesn't make me sleepy, and all effects that I do feel (which is just lack of any strength, I feel like I have no bones) wear off in about 4 hours (I know it has a crazy long half life....)

Um...I think that's it.

~Spryte
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Re: Klonopin to Xanax XR - straight switch?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2014, 10:49:31 PM »
Is it normal to do a straight switch over or to wean down the kpin?

You can just switch over.

Quote
Have tried multiple SSRI's, they did not help at all, and were h*ll to get off of. I won't do that again.

There are also SNRIs (but not Effexor (venlafaxine)) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) which often work well when SSRIs don't. The TCAs at least are usually much easier to discontinue (and start) than the SSRIs, though they tend to produce more ongoing side-effects such as dry mouth and constipation. Antidepressants are a better long-term option that benzodiazepines given the increasing reluctance of doctors to prescribe them.

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Valium (even 10mg - they tried to use that for dental work) - doesn't calm me down at all

Probably because the dose was inadequate. To replace 3mg of Klonopin you need to take 60mg/day of diazepam (Valium).

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 Spryte

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Re: Klonopin to Xanax XR - straight switch?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 11:32:13 PM »
Is it normal to do a straight switch over or to wean down the kpin?

You can just switch over.

Thank you.  A lot. 

Quote
given the increasing reluctance of doctors to prescribe them.

I am lucky in that my doc also has panic disorder, and so is okay with prescribing them.  I just can never move, LOL.

Quote
Quote
Valium (even 10mg - they tried to use that for dental work) - doesn't calm me down at all

Probably because the dose was inadequate. To replace 3mg of Klonopin you need to take 60mg/day of diazepam (Valium).

Oh, when I was talking about the Valium, it was back when I wasn't on meds at all.  Still too terrified to even try them.  So there was no tolerance at that point at all.   But I had chipped my tooth (a front tooth) and so *had* to go to the dentist.  They tried a a lower dose of Valium the first time, and it was like a sugar pill.  Then they tried a 10mg, and like I said, no calming of anxiety at all, not sleepy or brain foggy, just no muscle strength. It was not pleasant.

But I wonder if I could just have a high tolerance level sometimes.  When I had to go in for surgery on two different occasions,  both times the anesthesiologist was sort of surprised at how much I needed to calm me down before they took me back.  Again, that was being on no meds at all, and them doing it by IV.  One of the times, my husband and the surgeon and the anesthesiologist were standing around waiting for me to get loopy after he had put stuff into the IV, and after a few minutes, I was still like, "Yeah, um, I don't feel anything."  Finally the anesthesiologist said, "Dang!", and put a second dose into the IV - and finally that worked.

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Ian

Thank you, Ian, very much, for taking the time to answer me.  I have been so nervous about this ever since I started looking around the internet about it.  I really appreciate it - you've made me feel a lot better.

~Spryte
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Re: Klonopin to Xanax XR - straight switch?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2014, 06:01:44 AM »
I am lucky in that my doc also has panic disorder, and so is okay with prescribing them.  I just can never move, LOL.

He could fall under the proverbial bus tomorrow. Doctors move, become ill, die, retire, etc. The replacement may not be as happy to prescribe BZDs. Worse, s/he may then want you off them within weeks causing much suffering. Yes, this does happen, has happened to AZ members.

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 TarheelBabe1980

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Re: Klonopin to Xanax XR - straight switch?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2014, 05:02:33 PM »
Spryte, let me know how this transition works out for you, as I am moving directly from 10mg daily Valium to 1.5mg kpin (.5 3 times daily) tomorrow...my psych said the straight switch would be fine.
Also, Insights, is there an effective way to "weed-out" the benzophobic docs before an initial visit? Guess it isnt feasible to pick up the phone and ask a nurse/receptionist "so, how does s/he feel about benzos?" Thankfully I also have benzo-friendly docs but like you said, they could die or move tomorrow, etc.
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Re: Klonopin to Xanax XR - straight switch?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 06:16:01 PM »
Also, Insights, is there an effective way to "weed-out" the benzophobic docs

Your pharmacist may be able to help you with this assuming you're going to local doctors. Pharmacists are a hive of information about the doctors in their area.

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Guess it isnt feasible to pick up the phone and ask a nurse/receptionist "so, how does s/he feel about benzos?"

I probably would though I wouldn't expect a straight answer, mostly because they probably don't know.

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Thankfully I also have benzo-friendly docs but like you said, they could die or move tomorrow, etc.

Unfortunately, yes. In the last 10 years one of my doctors moved right across the other side of the country and another died in an accident. The only predictable thing about the fickle finger of fate is its unpredictability. :(

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.

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