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    Old 02-22-2004, 04:09 PM   #1
    Laurenmarie179
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    Klonopin help...please.

    I have been suffering from severe panic attacks for 15+ years now. For awhile, low dose SSRI's worked okay, but then I started getting bad side effects from those.

    My dr has put me on 0.5 to 1mg of Klonopin for the past few months to take as needed (Not daily). It is working quite well and I only take it once a week typically, twice at most, when I feel a panic attack coming on. The Dr told me herself this is highly addictive and she wants to find me another drug as soon as possible that will work. Thats my problem, finding something that helps the panic attacks w/ side effects I can tolerate.

    Is Klonopin always addictive at this amount and when not taken daily? Will my body get used to this dosage and feel it needs more to work even if i only take it once a week? I would rather not go down the road of becoming addicted. I was on Paxil, and even getting off of that took me 4 months w/ bad withdrawls--I know Klonopin is worse. Are there other Benzo's that might work for anxiety but not quite as addicting?

    Not sure what to do.

     
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    Old 02-22-2004, 04:56 PM   #2
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    Re: Klonopin help...please.

    I regret that I am not the resident expert on benzos...but I, too, am prescribed Klonopin---fifteen pills a month at 0.5 mg strength. Again, I take them about as often as you do. In the three years I've been on them, I have not developed a tolerance and have not had to alter my dose. I take half a pill when I'm very anxious (though if I were having panic attacks I would take a full pill.) I know that benzos are highly addictive...but I have never felt the need to take a higher dosage..or take it more often. Hopefully, others on the board (one woman, who is missing this week) who are more expert than I am can tell you about the addiction aspect of it. Not having tried to go off the Klonipin, I do not know how I would react.

    I'm sure having to choose a new anti-anxiety drug is enough to induce ANOTHER panic attack in you. But there may be others here who can help you. I'll be back on the Boards tomorrow. Try not to worry (easily said, I know!!) :-)

    Lynn

     
    Old 02-22-2004, 05:13 PM   #3
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    Re: Klonopin help...please.

    thanks Twinlynn,

    My dr has so far only refilled me one time. Considering how against she is w/ me taking this, I do not know if she will continue to refill my prescription, even at the low dose it is. She tried putting me on Lexapro (SSRI) last week, which I was leary of since I really disliked Paxil. Well I disliked Lexapro even more, as it made me throw up for 5 hrs after my first small dose.... uhhhh ..


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Twinlynn
    I regret that I am not the resident expert on benzos...but I, too, am prescribed Klonopin---fifteen pills a month at 0.5 mg strength. Again, I take them about as often as you do. In the three years I've been on them, I have not developed a tolerance and have not had to alter my dose. I take half a pill when I'm very anxious (though if I were having panic attacks I would take a full pill.) I know that benzos are highly addictive...but I have never felt the need to take a higher dosage..or take it more often. Hopefully, others on the board (one woman, who is missing this week) who are more expert than I am can tell you about the addiction aspect of it. Not having tried to go off the Klonipin, I do not know how I would react.

    I'm sure having to choose a new anti-anxiety drug is enough to induce ANOTHER panic attack in you. But there may be others here who can help you. I'll be back on the Boards tomorrow. Try not to worry (easily said, I know!!) :-)

    Lynn

     
    Old 02-22-2004, 05:26 PM   #4
    staceyy
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    Re: Klonopin help...please.

    Hi I am Stacey, I Have been on and off klonopin for the last two years I just switched to adivan I take it for sleep but the highest dose of klonipin I have taken is 10 mg. every night. I am a recovered herion addict and I have to say and this is my opinion only. I have never had any w/d from coming off it and I take a month break every three months. I was on paxil for almost three years and when I stopped it I had a h--- of a time and they say that it is not addictive but I had bad w/d's from it. If you need an anti-depressent try Celexa I have been on well butrin, and prozax and all had side effects I have been on celexa for about 1 1/2 years and it has been really good for me. brain chems are different and each phsyc med acts different on different people. okay any way I have to say that if you areee taking that low of dose of klonipin I wouldn't worry about it to much Taking it once or twicee aa week is not an addiction if you have panic attacks it is probly the best thing for you remember my opinion.
    if it works talk to you doc and do some more research.
    Best of luck
    Goddess Bless
    Stacey

     
    Old 02-22-2004, 06:04 PM   #5
    John 808
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    Re: Klonopin help...please.

    Hi LaurenMarie,

    I suffer from depression and severe anxiety. After the birth of my first child (who is now 5) I was put on Paxil (hated it) but quickly became pregnant again, therefore stopped the Paxil. After my third child was born (have a 4 and 1 year old as well) I had to be put back on an anti-depressant (Lexapro) which works well for me but did nothing for my anxiety. My OB gave me a small amount of Xanax (a benzo similar to Klonopin) because of its addiction properties but it worked GREAT for me! She recommended me seeing a pscyhatrist and he did seem to think I needed the Xanax on an as need basis (he actully prescribes me 90 tablets a month). I have been on them a year and my dose is actually decreasing rather than increasing and I can sometimes go a day or so (if I am experiencing no anxiety or worries) and be just fine!

    Some people seem to get addicted to this type of drug rather easily and some people just flat out abuse it- there are those on this board who are very much against any type of benzo's. On the other hand, there are others who can take it occassionally, do not abuse and have no desire to abuse it, and have no problems when they stop taking it.

    I have never abused this drug- it does not make me "high-" just calm and normal. If this works for you, you may want to look around for a doctor who would be willing to prescribe this. If you feel "worried" about its addictive properties and think this may be a problems for you, I would steer clear of any type of benzos. You know yourself best.

    I probably wasn't much help- just kind of giving you my experience. Good luck and keep us posted with you progress. God bless,
    michelle

     
    Old 02-22-2004, 07:40 PM   #6
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    Lightbulb Re: Klonopin help...please.

    [QUOTE= I, too, am prescribed Klonopin---fifteen pills a month at 0.5 mg strength. Again, I take them about as often as you do. In the three years I've been on them, I have not developed a tolerance and have not had to alter my dose. I take half a pill when I'm very anxious (though if I were having panic attacks I would take a full pill.) TwinLynn/QUOTE]

    Hi LaurenMarie! I am TwinAlice...TwinLynn's twin. {Twins are kinda like cockroaches...when you see ONE, you always know there is 'another' lurking about! } Lynn and I have almost identical medical problems. And very similar reactions to meds. Like Lynn, I have been prescribed Klonopin and take it only on the rare occasion...i.e., when I am dealing with a highly stressful situation and feel panic attacks on the way. Right now, I have not taken a Klonopin in weeks. But when I HAVE taken this medication...maybe two or three within a month (only half a pill each time)...I have had zero withdrawal reactions (and had no noticable side effects). The pills were so helpful at the time...'bringing me down' from bad panic attacks. I would like to emphasize here that we all, as individuals (even twins!), have different body chemistries. What helps/harms one, may have a totally different effect on another. PARTICULARLY, concerning antidepressants. You need to work with a learned and patient doctor, preferably a psychiatrist (pharmapsychiatrist <sp??>) well-versed on medical drugs, who will 'try you out' - and MONITOR YOU! - on a drug(s) that most corresponds to your specific needs. (Antidepressants, as you may know <unlike Klonopin>, take a few weeks to reach their full therapeutic range.) Your own 'job,' along the way, is to diligently report back to your doctor, your reactions...i.e., any side effects...and, then, after a few weeks, any detection of the desired change in mood. Sounds like your doctor (regarding Klonopin) is quite prudent...erring on the side of caution. My psychiatrist (who I go to primarily for my Prozac [for OCD...Lynn and I both suffered from this disorder and were helped] and for my anxiety issues) is the same way. But he 'tried me out' on Klonopin and, together, we have determined that it is therapeutic for my panic attacks. You might want to talk to your doctor about his/her 'issues' with Klonopin and find out if it is the drug, itself, your doctor is concerned about....or if he/she thinks it is not 'right for you.' Is your doctor a pharmapsychologist/psychiatrist? Many 'regular' doctors, I have found, are not as up-to-date on brain chemistry and the meds out there that can help us. I lived the majority of my life 'mucking through" before these "brain" medications were invented. I didn't even know what a "normal" relaxed brain felt like! Now, because of the 'miracle of chemistry,' I live 'happier' and more at peace within myself, in a way that I never even knew existed. Okay...I know...it's pretty ironic 'swearing to the beauty of drugs' on an 'Addiction and Recovery" Board. ... but, as the expression goes, "don't throw out the baby with the bath water." Much good luck to you!
    TwinAlice, still tapering (along with TwinLynn) off the "bad" drugs :0

     
    Old 02-22-2004, 08:28 PM   #7
    Laurenmarie179
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    Smile Re: Klonopin help...please.

    I thank you all for your replies to my post. You seem like a very supportive grp here. I started on the other board more related to social anxiety, and had gotten no response, so I'm glad I came here.

    my issues with meds and psychs has been a long one. Ive dealt w/ anxiety/depression since I was a young child, and have had VERY bad yrs with it, some ok yrs, and good yrs. Now at 25yrs old, its an ok time--as in Im not debilitated by my problems like I was as a teen. However my problems are still greatlly interefering with my life, and I avoid many situations due to my anxiety (Mainly dating--if I want a major panic attack, send a new guy my way and put me on a date w/ him!).

    I currently only see an Internist dr who has prescribed my meds. she is very supportive and is trying to get me to see a psych because she feels they do know more than her on this issue, and she really wants me too be in some sort of counseling. I have a long time fear of any sort of counselor or psych, as the majority Ive seen either made me worse or had no clue what I was dealing with it seemed. There is also the insurance issue. Altthough Im open to loooking around to find a good psych, my insurance covers a very small amount of sessions, and I simply cant even afford ONE session a month, let alone more.

    HOW do people pay for their counseliing? I believe if i found the right person, familiar with the issues Im dealing with, that it could really help. the only time I ever received free sessions was when I was a teen and suicidal, so then the county paid for it, however it was the worst most untrained psychologist i think Id ever seen.

    thanks again for the help. i think ill stick around this board

     
    Old 02-22-2004, 08:38 PM   #8
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    Re: Klonopin help...please.

    I have depression and anxiety as well... but severe anxiety! I have tried about 5 different anti depressants. I was on Serzone for over two years and it worked great for me. At the same time, I was prescribed .5 mgs of klonopin each day. Then, my doc took me off of serzone because there was some law suit about it causing severe liver damage in the people that took it. Anyway, I've tried everything else and the only thing that works for me now is Lexepro and xanax. Xanax, ativan, klonopin, is all the same thing. They are all benzos. Anyway, this drug can be very addicting but at the rate you are taking it, you shouldn't have any problems at all. Let me add, that when I started on lexepro... the side effects were so horrible I didn't think I could do it. It made me so tired, I just couldn't stay awake at all and my eyes were so droppy that people at work were asking me what drugs I was taking. I decreased the dose and started VERY slowly on trying to get it into my system because as you know, the side effects mostly go away after you start taking them for a period of time. I went from 5 mgs each night for about 3 weeks up to 7.5 and then finally 10mgs. It works really well for my anxiety too. If you can, you should try to find an antidepressant that will take care of the majority of your attacks. If you HAVE to have a benzo, try to only use it once a month or so. Just to be on the safe side. They really are addicting and if you can find something that will work just the same, I would try to. Just like Yinsky says... benzos are only supposed to be prescribed for 2 - 4 weeks at a time and no longer. This is probably why your doctor is freaking out about you taking them. Anyway, you have to do what's best though and if you find it's the only thing that works, then it's fine, just be careful and know that addiction could develop as well as tolerance. However, taking them once a week... I seriously doubt anything will happen. If you start to take them more frequently, then there is a prob and you would need to go try to get on something else. Anyway, I hope you are doing o.k. and we are all here for you.

     
    Old 02-22-2004, 08:41 PM   #9
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    Re: Klonopin help...please.

    LaurenMarie,

    Finding a good counselor/psychiatrist is like shopping for a car- you have to test drive them and see if you like them (infortunately, you have to pay, too)! I saw three psychs before I found my current psychiatrist. I just did not "click" or felt uncomfortable with the first three I saw but, I love the doctor I have now. You want to find someone you are comfortable sharing things with and to me, it was important that they were a Christian (which is my faith).

    About fees, do you have insurance? My insurance will only pay for one visit every three months. At first, I had to see him every four weeks, which was heck on our bank account, but now, I only see him every three or four months.

    Best of luck to you in your search. There are some good ones out there (but whacks, too)! Hang in there until you find your "match."
    Take care and glad to have you here,
    Michelle

     
    Old 02-22-2004, 08:51 PM   #10
    Laurenmarie179
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    Re: Klonopin help...please.

    My dr who prescribes my meds is on the board at a local free womans health clinic. she actually has asked me to volunteer there because I recently got my bachelors degree in social work and they dont have a social worker.....she also said if I receive their services, in the least I could get counseling at a reduced rate when my insurance wont cover. I think I may try this. I have honestly been putting off finding a counselor or psych for yrs, not only due to the fees, but because I know how hard it can be to find one, but, I know the riight one can help me sort through my issues more---cause lets face it, even the simplle aspect of me avoiding something such as dating just cannot go on forever--unless i want to be singlle forever!

    also said
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John 3:16
    LaurenMarie,

    Finding a good counselor/psychiatrist is like shopping for a car- you have to test drive them and see if you like them (infortunately, you have to pay, too)! I saw three psychs before I found my current psychiatrist. I just did not "click" or felt uncomfortable with the first three I saw but, I love the doctor I have now. You want to find someone you are comfortable sharing things with and to me, it was important that they were a Christian (which is my faith).

    About fees, do you have insurance? My insurance will only pay for one visit every three months. At first, I had to see him every four weeks, which was heck on our bank account, but now, I only see him every three or four months.

    Best of luck to you in your search. There are some good ones out there (but whacks, too)! Hang in there until you find your "match."
    Take care and glad to have you here,
    Michelle

     
    Old 02-22-2004, 09:08 PM   #11
    John 808
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    Re: Klonopin help...please.

    OOhh...that sounds like a good set-up! Worth a shot- what do you do now? Twenty five, right? I am thirty and am a stay home mom of a 5,4, and 1 year old, hence, my massive anxiety! Just kidding (NOT)!

    Speaking of children and anxiety, I better hit the sack so I will have my "guns loaded" in the morning- LOL!

    Chat with you tomorrow,
    michelle

     
    Old 02-22-2004, 09:48 PM   #12
    Laurenmarie179
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    Re: Klonopin help...please.

    Yep, Im 25...I only received my bachelors degree in December and am now living at home w/ mom and dad until I go to graduate school in the fall somewhere in the Bay Area, Calif --where I live now (yes, added stress living w/ mom and dad, and not having a job!)...I'm hoping to do something working w/ disabled children and their parents as a 'career' someday, or in medical social work, but really, would be perfectly happy to live my life as a stay at home mom like you (I guess Im asking for more anxiety, huh?) --- but consideriing my huge anxiety problems related to dating/men, I need to find the good man first before I can do the mommy thing. And I used to think that by the time I hit 25 Id be married and at least thinking about kids---uuhhh, so this last birthday was a bit of a milestone, since in reality, the family is what i really want most--yet getting there scares me to death ......wow, isnt this turning into a counseling session!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John 3:16
    OOhh...that sounds like a good set-up! Worth a shot- what do you do now? Twenty five, right? I am thirty and am a stay home mom of a 5,4, and 1 year old, hence, my massive anxiety! Just kidding (NOT)!

    Speaking of children and anxiety, I better hit the sack so I will have my "guns loaded" in the morning- LOL!

    Chat with you tomorrow,
    michelle

     
    Old 02-22-2004, 10:04 PM   #13
    John 808
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    Re: Klonopin help...please.

    (Supposed to be in bed, but...)

    I did the same thing...got my BS in childhood development/elementary education and moved back home with my parents. Taught school for three years before I got married and pregnant with my first- actually, I thought I would be a little older before I had children (sometimes to think I am just 30 with THREE children is a little surreal), but life has a way of suprising you!

    I don't know what brings on more anxiety...living with mom and dad or children?

    Okay, I really am going to bed now! I am going to be dragging in the morning- it's midnight here!

    Chat later,
    michelle

     
    Old 02-23-2004, 04:41 AM   #14
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    Re: Klonopin help...please.

    Listen - I love my children more than anything in this world but I think I would absolutely LOSE it if I stayed home w/them. There is no way I could do it. I just don't have the patience. No way!!! I have so much respect for stay at home moms... Especially, with a 5, 4 and 1. Although, having an 8, 5 and almost 2 just about kills me sometimes. I'm amazed that I even am able to arrive at work. Once I get there, I feel like I've run a marathon, getting them all ready and taking them everywhere. It's tough, no matter how you look at it.

     
    Old 02-23-2004, 07:02 AM   #15
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    Re: Klonopin help...please.

    Can you say which state you live in? I live in Ca. Because of my mental illness I am on S.S.I. and resive medi-cal which pays everything for me. But befor I got these benifits the county took care of my pills and my shirnk. do you have a dose your county have a mental heath unit? if so call them talk to them there is allways a way just do some reserch. keep us in toouch.
    Goddess Bless
    Stacey

     
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