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    Old 07-12-2007, 11:46 AM   #1
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    Question any help/advice for Klonopin Withdrawal Headaches?

    Hi all, I just ******d for a Klonopin Withdrawal message board, and I just found this one, so I registered. I am desparate for help. This is my first post.

    I am an addict, have 9.5 years without a drink, but have abused prescription drugs after about 5 years of sobriety any time I got them, but when the script ran out, it was over. Until due to extreme anxiety re: my 20-year-old son, I asked for and received Klonopin about 2 years ago. Abused it pretty much the whole time.

    Got honest with my therapist and my boyfriend back around mid-March, have been trying to "taper" for about 3 months, but kept going up and down, July 4 is my last day of abuse, I just made the decision I would never get off of this stuff if I keep changing my blood levels. I attended AA/NA 1996-2001; and am back in NA for the past 3 months. I really have the desire to get clean and get off this stuff, but I am having extreme trouble.

    I am trying a slow taper from Klonopin, but have been having HORRIBLE headaches and stomach pains that nothing can help. It is affecting my quality of life, and my job, there are days where I cannot even read 2 sentences, and my work is all about publishing and reading and editing.

    I have been at or under 1.75 mg for almost 1 month, except for about 4 days in a row June 26-July 1, 3 mg per day abuse. So that is in the very recent past, but the headaches have been going on about the whole time. I tried a 1/8 mg cut (1/4 of a 5 mg. tablet, down to 1.625 mg after about 2 weeks on 1.75, and I almost died, it felt like, so I called my therapist and we decided I had to work, it was about my quality of life at that point, I live on my own, 49, cannot lose my very good job, so I went back up to 1.75 mg.

    Regardless, I am also in therapy with a CAC, same one I had back in 1996 who helped me get sober,

    I just need to know if anyone has come up with ANYTHING that can help with my extreme headaches from benzo withdrawal. I can deal with the stomach pains and nightmares and waking through the night, but I cannot live with these headaches every day. I cannot perform my job at my usual high level for 8 hours, I cannot sustain an 8 hour day without a severe headache, and I mean SEVERE.

    Advil, Tylenol, and Excedrin Migraine just do not help at all.

    Has anyone suffered from these headaches who ever came up with ANYTHING that helped? I know I was stuck coming off of Prozac for a long time (glad to be off of SSRI's), and sometimes a 50 mg Benadryl tablet would help, I took one for the first time during this benzo withdrawal, am ready to try about anything at this point, took it about an hour ago, may be getting some relief, not sure, as I took an Excedrin Migraine at the same time, why, I don't know, i guess sometimes that helps a little?

    Any help at all with anything I can do to minimize my headaches would be greatly appreciated.

    I apologize if this is a topic that has already been hashed and rehashed on this Board, I just don't have the concentration to scroll through too many posts today.

    Thank you all very much for reading this.


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    Old 07-12-2007, 02:54 PM   #2
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    Re: any help/advice for Klonopin Withdrawal Headaches?

    you really need to do this under a DR'S care. when my Dr put me on this drug for sleeping problems he told me it is very hard to get off of, but I chose to take it as it is the only thing that works for me. I have never abused it as I HATE the way it makes me feel. I take 1mg a day and can't even really walk well on the stuff, its so strong. I take 1 pill and sleep for 9 hours without moving. LOL. I can't imagine taking it for the buzz but i know lots of people do.

    a new Dr I just saw last week told me it's horrible drug to come off of and now I am kinda freakin to he said for me to start tapering and get off it as its nasty, those were his words he is a lung Dr and really was shocked I was on it, he looked at me like I had 6 eye balls.... I would really get yourself to a DR and just come clean with them about your abuse and get a plan in place to taper slowly it could take you months and months, why suffer? really, its not worth it for you to be so sick coming off this drug, do it right and safely its dangerous to come off it, did you know this? . you need help and are probably going to fast trying to get off it so desperatley, why the rush?. you need to go real slow with a benzo W/D. or you will end up sick like you are. I am so sorry your not well, I hope you take my advice.

    Good luck, SS

    Old 07-12-2007, 04:13 PM   #3
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    Re: any help/advice for Klonopin Withdrawal Headaches?

    Hello Navy Mom

    I found out, by accident, that MAGNESIUM, helps with the headaches. I started taking magnesium to help with nerve damage and with the restless legs during detox from opiate painkillers. Found that it helped greatly with the headaches when I next tapered off Xanax, a benzo like klonopin.

    I also had the killer headaches when coming off Xanax. They are tough and I am sorry they are hurting so much. I did not work during my tapers and can not imagine how you are doing it! Anyway, I just did a quick boolean search .. magnesium AND headaches...and it turned up many, many sites that speak dirctly to magnesium as an aid to all kinds of headaches. Surprise me! Sure hope you can find it helpful for you. I take one 250mg tab per day at this point, but during the taper, there were days IO took a tab midmorning and a tab mid evening.

    Good wishes

    Old 07-12-2007, 04:52 PM   #4
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    Re: any help/advice for Klonopin Withdrawal Headaches?

    SS, I guess I was not clear, I am under a dr.'s care, I was told to taper 10% every 2-4 weeks, or even longer if I need to. My initial problem was I was abusing the drug, and addict that I am, had to tell my psych dr. I was taking a lower dose than I really was, so that was a little big of a drop in milligrams at the beginning, but I somehow got through that taper easier than I am in the later stage of my taper, when I am very infrequently abusing the drug, and it is "medicine" for me if I am taking "as prescribed." I have been clean for 8 days, at this date of today.

    I am in no rush at all. and My Therapist told me to quit focusing on getting off of the klonopin, as I was obsessed with it, and to start going to more N.A. Meetings, get a Home Group, a Sponsor, etc., and this will all work itself out. I am just getting back to NA after years of absence.

    So I was tapering 1/8 mg for a long time (cutting the yellow 5 mg clonozepam tabs into fourths), but have still been getting sick, regardless of the slow taper. That is just the nature of the beast, not for everyone, but for some people, benzo's are extremely hard to get off of.

    I understand you can have withdrawal symptoms even while still taking the drug, due to tolerance. I know I have definitely developed tolerance. I also had a huge tolerance for alcohol after drinking for 20 years, and alcohol also does damage to your Central Nervous System.

    Also, when you have symptoms that did not exist BEFORE you took the benzo, but they are new symptoms that appear after you stop taking the drug, or are tapering, they are "true" withdrawal symptoms, and that indicates the benzo has changed the functioning of your Central Nervous System, hence the need for a slow taper, so your body can adjust. So that is what I appear to have. Add that to the damage done by my years of drinking, I think my brain is in revolt against me!!

    Paradoxical withdrawal (rebound symptoms) would be exaggerated anxiety symptoms, when you initially took the drug for anxiety, insomnia when you initially took the drug for insomnia, but these usually go away after several months. This is not the type of withdrawal symptoms I am having.

    My withdrawal symptoms are because this drug has changed my central nervous symptom, hence the severe headaches, stomach pains (I understand benzos have to do with the "GABA" receptors in our brains, and there are also GABA receptors in our stomachs, that is why the stomach pain.), sleep disturbance, etc., etc.,

    I have been seeing a psych dr. since 1996, so I have been with him over 10 years. He prescribed me the Klonopin due to anxiety 2 years ago. I am also on a few psych meds, I have been on several different ones over the years. I am also in therapy with a Certified Addictions Counselor who is helping me with my taper and to just get through this somehow.

    But even with a slow taper, this is going to be hell, and I can either go through it with my support people, and get off it eventually, but my CAC told me there will be withdrawal for me, no matter what.

    I just wondered if anyone on this Board had any new ideas for me to try for my severe headaches. They are some days unbearable to where I cannot function. It is very odd, sometimes I have windows of time where I am fine, and them, BAMM, I am struck with a cluster-type headache on one side of my head, or my eyeballs hurt, or I feel like I have a migraine, it is very upsetting to me that a drug can do this to you.

    The Magnesium idea is great, I will definitely try it, and search for it on the Internet re: headaches and magnesium as you suggest, and read about it. Thank you, Reach Out. I will try anything at this point!!!

    Thank you both for your replies.

    Navy Sub Mom

    Old 07-12-2007, 05:30 PM   #5
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    Re: any help/advice for Klonopin Withdrawal Headaches?


    Okay! Okay! Now it is clearer to me why the magnesium helps. Benzos affect the central nervous ststems and magnesium helps the nerve system! And actually, when I did the search, there were quite a few sites that connected magnesium with cluster headaches. as headaches were not a norm for me at all since adulthood, I was not sure what kind of headache I had... just know it hurt like the dickens when they hit tapering. I had migraines as a teen, but those felt different. The headaches during the taper were exactly as you described... pounding on the sides of my head and my eyes ached so bad I would lay cool cloths over them or even lay the heating pad on them to try and ease the pain. Oh, I so hope the magnesium helps you, too!

    By the way, I would like to share something bout nearing the end of a benzo taper. Unlike an opiate taper where a good rule of thumb is "once you make a cut, never go up again," a benzo taper must be more flexible. I call it 'wobbling' for lack of a better term. As I neared the end, I would wobble on the dose... three days on the lower dose, a day or two back to the dose before; four or five days on the lower dose and one day (if needed) back to the dose before. Then maintain for at least a week before the next drop. Repeat the first two steps again. Chuckles.. it sounds like learning a square dance or something, doesn't it?

    It is hard for those who have not come off a benzo to understand how different in many ways it is from coming off an opiate. BOTH can sure be tortorous, though! But, for me, slow and steady has been the way I won both battles. Just has to make tapering a routine part of each day... a 'habit' to get off a 'habit'.

    Stay in touch, Navy

    Old 07-12-2007, 10:53 PM   #6
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    Re: any help/advice for Klonopin Withdrawal Headaches?

    You're doing the right thing by (I assume) standing up as a newcomer in N.A. and trying to get clean. Keep going to those meetings - everything will fall into place. Trust in God.

    The Basic Text tells us that at times, we were defensive about our addiction and justified our right to use, especially when we had "legal prescriptions." Now that you have moved beyond that, True Recovery will follow, if you let it.

    Last edited by Podee; 07-12-2007 at 10:54 PM.

    Old 07-13-2007, 12:57 AM   #7
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    Re: any help/advice for Klonopin Withdrawal Headaches?

    Hi Navy,

    Hang in there, I may have an answer for you!

    It's funny, I don't know why I haven't ever posted about this before, but I've thought of it many times. I think I have heard everyone talk about absolutely everything we all go through when w/ding from narcotics....except for one thing...


    With opiates, sinus headaches are a HUGE part of w/ds because opiates are analgesics. When we stop taking them, it's like we've been addicted to nose spray or something and we sneeze, have sinus headaches, stuffiness, etc...

    Well, BENZOS have the same effect upon detox/w/d...I don't think benzos are an analgesic, but for some medical reason, I'm unaware of, we also develope serious sinus headaches when reducing our dosage or detoxing. Didn't you say benedryl made you feel better? I think this may be your answer. I always feel like I have allergies when w/ding or cutting back.

    Maybe you could take sudafed or something like it that doesn't cause drowsiness and see if that might help during work. I know a sinus headache can feel like a migrane and be so painful it's paralyzing.

    Reach is also very right about magnesium. It is an electrolyte. Alot of people do not know much about the importance of electrolytes, I found out the hard way. But substance abuse of anykind will significantly deplete the electrolytes in our bodies causing a huge array of symptoms of problems. Think I might do a whole post about it!

    Good Luck!

    Last edited by shay4bliss; 07-13-2007 at 01:02 AM.

    Old 07-13-2007, 07:17 AM   #8
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    Re: any help/advice for Klonopin Withdrawal Headaches?

    Hi all, Thank you for all of your kind replies.

    Today is payday (yeah!!), so i am going to stop at the store before my NA Meeting tonight and buy some magnesium tabs. Funny, after reading that last night about magnesium, I remember years ago as a teen my mother telling me to take magnesium for Menstrual Cramps, I clearly remember taking them.

    Either the Benadryl absolutely helped me yesterday, which would go with the "sinus" type headache "shay4bliss" mentioned (thank you), it is the first time I had tried it since I started "tapering" back mid-March, after getting honest about my abuse with my therapist and psych. dr. (kind of with my psych., didn't tell him exactly how much I had been abusing, but did tell my therapist --

    by the way, my Therapist has 25 years clean in N.A. in my area, and N.A. has only been in existence in my area for about 30 years, so he is one of the "first" NA members around here,

    -- and some ups and down along the way, last night, for the first time, I left work WITHOUT A HEADACHE. I was completely drained and washed out, but I did not have a headache. It was a miracle. And right now, today, I actually feel "normal." I am not sick.

    So, I have either "turned the corner" as my mother would say when we were getting better from an illness, most likely due to my stopping-starting-abusing somewhat during these past 3 months, but since last Wed., July 4, I have consistently taken 1.75 mg every day, so my blood levels may have FINALLY leveled out, and it may be why I am not sick today, also.

    So, we shall see, I just pray each morning now that God pretty much do it for me, help me not abuse this Klonopin "just for today", and thank him each night for doing that for me. I, as an addict, know ** I ** cannot control in any way my use of any mood or mind altering drug, so I need God's help to have to take this Klonopin, as an addict, but not abuse it, and be able to continue along until I am finally off. I think it is sometimes easier to be able to just be totally off of a drug, and stay clean, but I unfortunately, feel a slow taper is what I need, so I DO have to CONTROL MY DRUG use for as long as I need to, but I know I can do that with help.

    That is just for me, I do have a lot of anxiety, have always had it all my life, but I want to learn how to deal with it through prayer, life coping skills, and the help of my therapist, who I believe God put in my life to help me 10 years ago when my husband left me for another woman (first nervous breakdown!! much alcohol + pill abuse that landed me in rehab, Thank God), and when I needed him last Jan. 06 when my son was in a terrible car wreck and was almost killed, I had a second nervous breakdown, was horribly abusing the Klonopin then, but knew right where to find my same therapist again, and he was able to see me, and I have been seeing him since. Instead of always reaching for a drink/pill/drug to get me through life, I need to try to live life, and learn to cope, somehow.

    Thanks. All. Navy Sub Mom

    Old 07-19-2007, 02:23 PM   #9
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    Help -- withdrawal symptoms after only a few weeks!

    Hi, I'm hoping someone can help me. I have been prescribed klonopin for a few years but have only taken it on a very irregular basis -- as needed -- for anxiety. It probably took me two years to go through a bottle of 60 .5mg klonopin. But for the past three weeks, I've been taking a very small dose of klonopin to sleep -- .125 Well, for the past two nights I didn't take it, and now I am having inexplicable anxiety -- my heart is racing and I feel edgy and panicky. Could this be withdrawal?? It seems crazy that I'd have these symptoms after such a short period of time and such a small dose. What should I do? I don't know how I would taper -- I guess I could cut my .5 mg into eights and go from there or take .125 every two nights, then every three nights, or something... dividing a single pill into more than eights is obviously impossible...

    how long do you think it will take for these symptoms to go away? i am getting married in two months and don't want to feel like this on my wedding day! should i just stay on the klonopin and go off after? that seems so crazy to me!

    please advise.

    thank you.

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