Ok, today is the first day I am able to switch over to my newly prescribed regimen of 2-4mg Klonopin per day with 1mg Ativan every 6-8hrs. as needed for breakthrough panic.
I was on 6mg per day of Xanax XR (half in the morning, half in the evening), so that accounts for the moderately high dosages.
This morning I took 2mg Klonopin and I feel a bit woozy and slightly offbalance. I haven't panicked and I was able to go out and shop a little, so that's good. I did take 1mg Ativan to help since I haven't been going out much lately.
Keeping my fingers crossed that this regimen will work!
Keep us posted on your progress with this. I was wondering about how one switches from xanax to another benzo. I may talk to my psych next week about switching because as for me the xanax lasts only about 4 hours and then my anxiety comes back and panic attacks still break through sometimes. I've only been on it 6 days. My doctor had prescribed 0.5 3x daily but that knocked me out so I cut them to 0.25 and take them 4 times daily, so 1mg daily. I just keep reading all these people saying 'oh it's so addictive and you'll become an addict and it's not for long term use' it scares me. But, these last 6 days I have been ME, the me I remember and any med that can do that is something I want to take for as long I need to.
this is my forth day taking klonopin. the first time i took it i pased oit because it made me tired. but now its making me parinoyed and i left a message on my Docs answering machine letting him know this. hes gonna think that im trying to get other drugs and hes about ready to give up on me. but im just telling him like it is...how i feel on it. i dont care for it much at all.i wanted Valuim but he wont give it to me because he said it makes a person depressed when they come off of it. i was on it before and i felt great!
i have a history of abusing pills and he knows this. but i just want to feel better and the Klonopin isent doing it for me
Well, the Klonopin is working pretty well. I have had to take an Ativan "booster" today also, but I read that once Klonopin has been in your bloodstream for a few days it reaches a steady state and may be even more potent. I haven't had a full-blown attack (knock wood) since I've started taking it, and I've been out and about more the past two days than I have in a while. I took 2mg Klonopin this morning, and I'll likely take 2mg this evening, though I might try 1mg instead since I slept VERY soundly last night, just to see if I could get by with a little less. Being able to take the Ativan as needed helps, too (though I never liked Ativan when used alone--it just didn't work for me at all). I must say that I've taken a lot of different meds, and I fear this may just be a "honeymoon period" where everything is going well, then it sort of peters out, but I'll keep my hopes up. Klonopin makes me feel entirely different than Xanax XR. With Xanax XR I felt somehow slightly more relaxed and happier, but even with splitting the doses between morning and evening, I was still getting some breakthrough panic because even the XR version doesn't last THAT long. With Klonopin, I don't feel particularly relaxed or happy, I feel kinda uncoordinated and woozy but I'm not having panic attacks, so that is good. This is just my personal experience for anyone who wants to follow along!
I'm glad everything is going well. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! Do you know why it is that doctors will give out any other benzo besides xanax and not worry about the addiction? Just curious. Since I began xanax 0.25 4x day about a week ago I am almost back to being normal and don't want this to end. I've never done well with AD's or anything else they've tried, only the xanax helps. I'm so afraid my psych will want to try yet another AD and I've tried them all, they don't help my panic or even much of the anxiety for that matter. I'm very worried and confused. But on a brighter note I'm really happy your meds are working for you!
Some docs feel that Xanax is the most addictive. That is debatable, even among docs. One reason it is felt to be the most addictive is that it works so well. Another is that while it doesn't make an anxious person feel "high" or "elated", it makes an anxious person feel normal, some claim that for drug abusers Xanax gives them a "buzz". So basically the junkies are ruining it for those of us who really benefit from Xanax. There are still some psychiatrists out there who are holding the line, though, and say "Look, Xanax is the most effective benzo for anxiety, especially panic, and if a person isn't a substance abuser they should be able to take it." My mom's psych takes this stance and he said he defends his stance against other psychs (many of them younger) and primary care doctors all the time.
I have been taking Xanax for a month and a a half now and it has worked wonders for me. I think it is honestly the only drug that works for me long term. I understand the addictive properties that the drug has and have already experienced them when I attempted to stop cold turkey. Needless to say it didn't work. I have to say though that it is a small price to pay to feel, "normal", again. My P-Doc is definitely and advocate of Xanax for Panic dissorder and anxiety and he prescribes it to me without a word. I have noticed that between doses the drug metabolizes really fast and I end up more anxious toward the next dose. I fixed this by taking the same amount spread over more doses. For instance the doc prescribed .5 mg 3x per day. I take .5 mg in the morning, .25 mg for lunch, .25 mg for dinner, and .5 mg before bed and I haven't had those issues. I know if I took more I could eliminate anxiety entirely, but honestly I am ok with some anxiety. That is normal, so I am happy to stick with the minimal dose required to keep me getting up in the morning. I hope this helps. I just wanted to lend my limited experience to anyone who was curious about the drug. If you want to stop taking it you must work with your doctor and chances are you will expereience withdrawl symptoms and/or recurrence of the original anxiety or panic. For me panic dissorder has been disabiling me on and off for almost 20 years and I am only 29, so I am prepared at this point to look into life long medication. No SSRI's though. Been there done that and I though the anxiety was going to kill me.
There are others that have posted that have been taking Xanax for 5-10 years with no problems. I would say if the medication allows you to lead a better life then the decision is simple. If your doctor won't prescribe it, look for another doctor.
This kind of thing is really puzzling to me. You go to your doc, they diagnose you, give you meds and you feel 100 percent better. Then, five months later, they want to start weaning you off of them. I don't understand it. I am in my late 40's and this is the first time that I can remember how wonderful I feel. I am afraid at my next appt. he won't give them to me. My last appointment he prescribed my meds, but told me to try and wean myself off of them. WHY? When everyone says they are addicting ... who cares as long as they are helping a person cope with everyday life! I can't remember feeling this good since I was a child. I want it to stay this way. I am not taking a lot either. I take 10mg of Klonapin (sp?) at bedtime and 20 mg of Lexapro in the morning. He wants me off the Klonapin.
I totally agree with you, especially for those of us who have had anxiety for many years. I have been on and off benzos for years, I'll be 32 this month, and I've never become "addicted" to them, I've never used any kind of illegal drugs (heck, I don't even drink!). Most people I know who have anxiety problems are very careful people who pay more attention to their health and are less likely to abuse drugs. Docs keep waiting for this one super drug for anxiety, and a lot of them thought it was going to the the SSRIs (heck, some of them still think it IS the SSRIs). Well, those have proven that they aren't helping everyone, they stop working on many people, and they don't work that well at all on a lot more.
Klonopin update: well, I haven't had a full-blown panic attack, though I have felt on edge. I've been taking the max dose of Klonopin and 2-3 Ativans for "breakthrough" panic. It still seems that Klonopin (with the help of Ativan) is helping to basically stop the attacks, but I'm still edgy and worried about them, I didn't have that feeling with the Xanax XR, Xanax XR just made me feel TOTALLY normal. I also find that I am sleeping MUCH more heavily, even though I am still dividing my dose. This morning I overslept by 45 minutes and that is EXTREMELY unusual for me, especially with a barking puppy!
I am going from regular Xanax to Xanax XR next visit and my doctor says that I should expect to be on drugs for the rest of my life. I went for 20 years having some great years and some horrible years. Anyway, I want to make sure that the rest of my years are good ones and if a drug is helpig me to achieve this then I am going to take it. Xanax has not had any side effects except it has helped me sleep earlier and get up earlier for work, I have been working out for the first time in years and I actually feel somewhat normal. I am only taking 1.5 mg per day, so it is a minimal dose and I imagine I will be taking it for the rest of my days.
If your doctor is going to wean you off the Klonopin it is because he fears your addiction to it. I am not saying anyone is addicted, but I am super reluctant to have anyone take the Xanax away from me now. Not because I need it as in an addiction, but because it allows me to live my life. My suggestion to anyone who has had good luck with a Benzo is find a doctor that will prescribe them. There are many great P-docs that totally subscribe to the Xanax for life theory. You just need to find one. SSRI's in my experience have caused nothing but pain.