I tapered off Xanax... sterted from three .5 tabs a day and took months to do it and even with that, it was a very difficult struggle. I did it under a doctor's care and I did it slowly and steadily. Working in detox, you are probably already aware that withdrawing from benzos can cause seizures.
Please, I think the biggest mistake that is possible for you is that you try to plan a taper and withdrawal based on what you have seen done. This is not a very solid base to work from ever.
Get to a doctor, tell him your concerns and desire to withdraw and work with him.
Overheard some people in an ER the other night (was there for a bleeding ear), and talked to them (their family member had a seizure at a detox place, where he'd been before, with a history of another seizure at the same place while detoxing- both times he was injured-- they were talking right in front of me, and we had a good discussion about his situation- they seemed relieved to be validated by someone)....I used to work in a drug/alcohol rehab, and knew the struggles people had when detoxing from benzodiazepines (Ativan, Xanax, Tranxene, Dalmane, Valium, Klonopin, etc). I also take Klonopin for seizures, so am interested in this.
Can you ask your personal MD (or an MD at the treatment center) how to do this safely? You're on a 'prescribed' dose, so it shouldn't be a job issue, and they should know how to taper. Where I worked, we used Klonopin to detox from the others, due to the half-life being so long, but I've wondered how I'll get off of it someday (4mg at bedtime), if that should be a treatment decision for the seizures I take it for. Part of the problem with benzos is the two part detox- the intial, and secondary, 12-15 days later; so the seizure risk, and symptoms aren't 'done' just because the med is out of someone's system. There's a delayed reaction that people don't 'plan' for....
To be honest with you and im sure that you know this..klonopin is NOT the drug of choice for seizures..it is a highly addictive benzo and it sounds like youa re already there. im not meaning to insult you at all. topamax, depakote,and lots of others are strictly for seizures. But im sure that you know that.
This is a question about klonopin. I've had a script for it for a few yrs for anxiety. My doctor would never prescribe any benzos but that one. I am addictive by nature, kicked pain pills a few months ago and am taking Lexapro and the klonopin if I'm extremely anxious or having an anxiety attack. Being the additive person I am, I don't understand it's addictive quality. It makes me really tired, gives me indigestion and causes me to break out in sweats. It does take the edge off of the anxiety, but I can't take it during the day and function right at work - one of my major sources of anxiety. I have no desire to take it daily like other addictive drugs. I've taken ativan before and know how addictive that can be because it made me feel "good". I'm just curious what the "addictive quality" is to the klonopin or is it just some people's personal "drug of choice"?
Hi granny, klonopin can be very addictive..it relaxes and completely takes the edge off. it is a benzo and some people abuse just benzos.. it is one of those drugs that you build up a tolerance for very quickly..like when i hear about people taking 4/5 mgs aday i am in complete shock...
Thanks Jules. My dosage is 1-2mg. I certainly don't want to increase it or take it all the time because I don't like the way it makes me feel. I guess that's a good thing
I can't say it completely relaxes or takes the edge off though. Mostly adds
indigestion to mix of issues LOL
Klonopin is actually meant for seizures of certain types. And being a long acting benzo, it helps keep seizures from coming back to back...fyi. There are many uses for all meds, not all of which are in books- however, in drug reference books, Klonopin is listed as an anticonvulsant, while being a benzo. The maximum daily dose for seizures is 20mg/day in divided doses- so 4mg is way at the bottom of the dosage range.
Each person has their own level at which the medication is most effective for them. For me, it is an adjunct medication, as my primary anticonvulsants are Tegretol and Neurontin. I've been on Dilantin, Depakote, Topamax, Keppra, Lyrica (all of which had horrible side effects for me), and have 'as needed' Ativan for auras (which I seldom take, since I don't remember to once the auras start). I throw away a LOT of scheduled meds because they're old and I haven't used them.....for me, Klonopin has been a wonderful addition to my seizure treatment, due to its long half life, and ability to control the back to back seizures. In the ER, they just give benzos to stop seizures, so why not prevent them in the first place?
I get no 'high' from it (I take it at bedtime, so feel nothing from it). It simply helps control seizures, along with other meds I take for them. Please don't assume to know my (or anyone's) medical situation, or what all uses for medications are. I work in the medical field, and know I don't know all of the uses for all meds, even though I've been around them for more than 22 years- have had to look up many that I didn't instantly know the 'non-approved' uses for. But Klonopin, while being a benzo, is an anticonvulsant. Thanks
Klonopin helped cut down back to back seizures dramatically- and has kept me out of the ER with blessed effectiveness.
I came to this forum just to comment about what I witnessed at the ER the other night, and this thread fit what I saw....nothing more- nothing less. If my doc told me he wanted me off the Klonopin, and understood tapering (not just stopping it, due to the safety issues- but tapering it safely), I'd be fine with that. I take more than 20 pills a day for various disorders- getting rid of one of any category wouldn't rock my world in an 'addictive' panic. I'd love to be healthy enough to not need all of the medication I take.
I've worked drug/alcohol rehab for years, at one of the nations' well known facilities (as well as other healthcare settings, and saw acute benzo withdrawl from patients who had docs that didn't understand detox and withdrawing medications) - I understand the struggles people have with detox, and just wanted to lend some support. It just so happened that I also take Klonopin for seizures, and it interested me even more. I didn't need to be talked down to about the uses for Klonopin. Thank you
Last edited by neurowreck; 11-14-2007 at 12:29 PM.
I was not talking down to you...You are on the addiction board not the epilepsy board..Bottom line is klonopin is NOT the drug of choice for seizures. If it works for you and you have no addiction problems, im thrilled.
First of all-- Shell, I hope things are going ok for you....I apologize that this got highjacked by minutia....I hope you're getting the support you need for your desire to taper off of the Klonopin you've been taking.
Otherwise, to whoever cares- which may be nobody- whatever....
Like I mentioned- I just wanted to lend support about benzo detox being done too fast, so that is appropriate on this board- and something that really bothered me about what that family in the ER was going through with their loved one.
Klonopin is a drug of choice for some types of seizures (believe what you want, as will I )- not all ( I agree with Jules3 that it's not the drug of choice for many types of seizures- but for some in particular it is - easy to check drug reference books- , and the benzo properties make it useful for other types- like 'off label' uses for meds for other disorders, as well....same idea). Many anticonvulsants are not approved to be the only med someone takes for seizures, but some docs still prescribe them that way- and for those people they work fine- isn't the highest possible functioning more important?
You're right, this isn't the epilepsy board- but it's also not a closed meeting either. My reasons for coming here were definitely not related to epilepsy- as many people share why they're here, I did too-- gee, big mistake, eh?
I didn't think only those i n recovery had the corner of the market on support- those of us who have worked there, and seen what it does to families might just have something useful to say. My comments were about the safety of detox....my being epileptic, and using Klonopin for that, were mere comments about my interest in this thread vs starting a different one (which I apologize again for, shell).
Does it have to be that big of a deal to want to offer support, and to be using something for medical reasons that some people might have addiction issues with-- a lot of people with addiction problems to one thing have to use something else that others are addicted to--What about food addicts- lots of literature and research about the endorphins released during starvation and purging- that keep the disorder in the same addictive cycle as other physically addictive behaviors. Or gambling, etc.... I just felt bad for that family and the guy they were there for.... that's IT.
There are many sides to something- watching that family go through all of that pain was my only reason for even stopping by here....sometimes a wish for support is just that- no point in focusing on the non-issues ...and I apologize if I became offended if I was being told that I "really" knew that Klonopin was essentially being hidden under a diagnosis of seizures to be misused....that's what that post felt like- and why I responded... I certainly meant no harm in my initial post, and just wanted to clarify myself in the second..... seems that a 'message board' would be a 'comment board' if we couldn't exchange thoughts/feelings.
I just want to be understood at this point- as do most people when they feel misunderstood.... if that's offensive, it wasn't the intent. If my not being an addict is offensive, in coming here, but merely seeing someone whose family member was in detox trouble, and thinking it of some use, I apologize-- I came with sincere reasons. Seems I remember something about "take what you can, and leave the rest" ????
jules3, I don't want to argue- could we agree to disagree? I'm secure enough in the professional drug reference book materials to know what I believe....and wish you the best with the reasons you post here.
I felt it worth stopping by here based on what the family I witnessed in the ER was going through, to share what I saw, and what I've seen- and hope others don't go through that. That is addiction related. Isn't everyone just wanting the safest possible detox and recovery, and deserves that in a detox facility?
If I didn't care about addiction, and the people I used to see day after day, I wouldn't have bothered to stop here at all..... and am having major regrets for thinking I could get through if I wasn't part of the "group". I just felt for that family and their loved one. If some stranger in an ER can care about what someone going through detox deals with, why can't I share that with you guys?
But as for this board- I'm out of here- I said what I felt, why I was interested, what I witnessed, and it was made into bulls*%# stew.
Shell- best of luck to you.
Last edited by neurowreck; 11-16-2007 at 06:27 PM.
neuro, i take no offense to anything anyone has to say..Just to let you know that we were that poor family in the e.r with my 21 yr old son..the last time was almost 10 mths ago.. my son was abusing klonopin when he tried to stop them he had a seizure than he tried again and had another seizure. so we were in the e.r with him while they bandaged up his head which he smacked on the concrete when he fell. i am not an addict but he is and always will be. yes ,hes clean for 10 mths and we pray he stays that way. For him klonopin is not a drug for seizures...for him withdrawing from klonopin caused him seizures. Anyway, i am happy it works for you and i hope you stay seizure free....
One thing I want to state very loudly and clearly is this: Doctors are NOT God!
It is difficult to taper off a benzo, any of them, after a prolonged period of time taking them. Thankfully, Klonopin has a longer half-life, than say, Xanax and so, is not AS hard to taper off from.
The best way IMO! and from personal experience, is to cut the drug my .0025 mg every 2-3 weeks, depending on the person. Everyone is different and this has to be taken into consideration. For example, I tapered off 1 mg. of Klonopin (taken daily in the mornings) to nothing over a period of about 10 MONTHS. Very slow, gradual, no rush, no worries. If i Had done it more quickly, I would have (and did) get withdrawal symptoms that are too awful to get into here. There is no point in needless suffering, ok? If it takes John 10 months to taper off 1 mg of Klon, ok! If it takes Jane 4 months to taper off the same dosage, good for her! But I really advise againist seeking the 'guidance' of an MD because personal experience has told me loudly and quite clearly that the overwhelming majority have absolute NO CLUE how hard it is to get off a benzodiazapine. They think you can taper off in one weeks time, no problems. DEAD WRONG.
I have made several posts on this very topic in the past. Please search on me/my posts and see the best way to get off Klon. I would post a website or two to assist but I understand that is not allowed here.
I am not a drug addict and never have been, btw. I took Klonopin as prescribed by a good ol medical doctor from the ages of 20-28. When I tried to stop it, having gained some healing from my anxiety disorders, I ran into HELL ON EARTH. Doctor had no explanations other than to tell me it was basically all in my head and I should have gotten and been off "like that" *snaps fingers* It took me a lot of time, effort and research to understand that there is a very serious withdrawal syndrome associated with benzodiazapine medications in particular, and that they need to be tapered off of, very gradually and slowly over a long period of time. THere is nothing wrong with this and it is not a rush! Who cares how long it takes to get off just as long as u do get off?! The med wont kill you! But, over a long time taking it, I can promise you it will kill you in a different way... It will dull your feelings, emotions and personality so much that u forget what "you" even felt like. YOu will forget to laugh, forget even anger... just feelings, period. You will be numb and feel dull, yet not know why (Answer: BENZOs!).
PLEASE take my advice ok? I Dont write to just write and I dont talk about something unless I really do know what Im talking about. Search on Google and elsewhere, for real methods on tapering down off Klonopin and other benzos.
Amen to MD's not being God. Many are so clueless about benzo tapering, and you're right, everybody takes a different amount of time to get off whatever dose they're on.
Jules3- I'm sorry you went through what I witnessed in the ER in a different state and time period, with your family member; the injuries sound very similar to the ones suffered by the one I referred to- I feel for all of you, as addiction isn't just about the addict- it's a disease that tears up a lot of people, and many are so forgotten. While the addict has to face the demons of addiction in a physical (and emotional, in the long run) manner, the family and friends go through their own h*ll as they watch their loved ones deteriorate and then struggle so hard. My heart goes out to you, as it did that family here in the middle of the country a couple of weeks ago. It's got to be a scenario that goes on so many times per day across the world- and how sad and painful for all.
On that note, I hope that all have a reason for Thanksgiving this year, and that your day is one of good family memories. I know that those can be few and treasured during times of recovery.
Last edited by neurowreck; 11-17-2007 at 04:30 PM.