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mamanan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 846
   Posted 4/9/2009 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   
hi everyone!

For those of you that may remember me, I'm sorry for having dropped off the boards. I needed to take some time away from the computer, and I find I just have no time in the day. But I know this is still the best place for information, adn I need some help right now.

I finally had my rheumy appointment. He is not saying it's not fibro, but he only foudn the tender points in my back, nowhere else. I don't know, maybe I was having a good day? Anyway, I was telling him I hate the amitriptyline (Elavil) as it made me so groggy the next day. It's hard to get up with the kids sometimes. But I had to up my dose as my facial pain was coming back big time, and at that, I'm still only on 20mg. So he prescribed me clonazepam instead, saying I shouldn't feel as groggy. But he assured me it will still help with the pain and sleeplessness. He is also doign the gamut of bloodwork for other arthritic conditions.

Any thoughts or experiences on this drug? The only thing I came up with when doign a search on the site is in the anxiety forum, and it seemed like everyone wanted to get off it. I also saw that it is addictive?
Waiting for appointment with rheumy (March 2009) to get an official dx. waiting, waiting, waiting....
Taking malic acid/magnesium combo, what a life saver! and amitriptyline


Grailhunter
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 4/9/2009 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
It works pretty good for me for anxiety, totally kills panic attacks for me and even has a slight anti-depressant effect. I have been on it six years and the dosage has gone super high to be effective. It is not a addictive drug. It is a dependence drug. There is a difference. An addictive drug causes major withdrawel symptoms if you don't get maintain a certain amount in your bloodstream. A dependency drug means that if you stay on it long enough, you will need it to feel like you can function.

Those horror stories about Klonopin i.e. Clonazapam withdrawel if you try to go off it are essentialy more lifestyle and stress level relationships then the drug itself. You could take Clonazapam for long periods in high dosages, and if you could magicaly change your life over to where you were able to be active and mentaly engaged and mentaly and physicaly worn out at night so you could rest, and go out and do it the next day, day after day and be satisfied that things are working for you, you could probably stop taking the Clonazapam and probably feel very little withdrawal. As long as your life and stress levels stay the same, odds are you will like the drug, and if you take it for a long period of time and the dosage goes up, you will get dependent on it, and if you try to go off it, it will be very hard.

I was on 100 mgs of amytriptilene, 40 milligrams of Paxil, 4 milligrams of Clonazapam for a year straight. I felt like a limp, sick, dish rag everyday. I forced myself to go back to work, hard, engaging work. I couldn't function well on the job on the drugs, so I did exactly opposite of what the Doctors recommend and first I cold turkeyed the amytriptilene and had no effects from doing it then a better energy level and less fog. Then I cold turkeyed the Paxil, and same thing, more energy, better focus, no apparent withdrawal symptoms or falling back into depression. Then I cold turkeyed the high dose off Klonopin I had been on for years. I felt a little hyper for a couple of days, but that was it.

During this time of working at this hard job, my body was often miserable. But because I was succeeding, my mind was satisfied and I was okay. Within a matter of weeks after losing this job, my stress level was going through the roof and I was back at the Doctor begging for a Clonazapam prescription before I had a melt down.

The answer is that the drug is effective, but becomes psychologically dependent. If your psychological well being does not significantly improve, you end up getting stuck on the drug until something changes that you do significantly improve and then you can potentially get off it without significant problems.
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Diverticulitis, Costocondritis, Thorasic Degeneration, Mild Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mild Hilar Lymphodenopathy, Depression, Anxiety. Dyspnea. Disequilibrium.

Klonopin, Percocet, Baclofen, Ibuprofen, Valerian, Greens Plus, Magnesium, Vitamin C, COQ 10, B Complex, Niacinamide, Glucosomine, Condrotin, MSM, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose.


mamanan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 846
   Posted 4/9/2009 9:09 AM (GMT -7)   
thank you so much for your insightful reply! It is very helpful in noting the differences between dependence and addiction. I am confused though as to how the drug works. I don't have much anxiety, a few attacks here and there when out in public by myself, but it's manageable. And this subject never came up with the doctor. He prescribed it as an alternative to the amitriptyline for neuro pain and sleeplessness. I suppose it's like the ami though, taken in higher doses it is used to treat depression. I think I need to do more research before I start putting this into my body. I hate being on drugs at all! But I forgot to take my ami a couple times, and I really felt it in facial pain for days afterwards :(
Waiting for appointment with rheumy (March 2009) to get an official dx. waiting, waiting, waiting....
Taking malic acid/magnesium combo, what a life saver! and amitriptyline


Grailhunter
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 4/9/2009 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I can give you a little help on Benzodiazepene 101 on what the drug is doing. Your brain has what are called Gaba receptors. It is a neurotransmitter your brain produces naturaly and when allot of Gaba binds to the receptors, it causes relaxation.

Clonazapam is one of a long list of drugs that are called Benzodiazepenes, which include Xanax, Valium, lorazapam, diazapam, and a whole long list I can't even recall at the moment. What Benzodiazepenes basicaly do is to increase the binding of the Gaba to these receptors, promoting relaxation.

Each sub type of Benzodiazepene will have slightly different effects, and are as such frequently used for different reasons. Clonazapam is often used for seizure disorders also.

Each type of Benzodiazepene also has different strength levels on how strong they are at causing a quick effect, and how long there half life is at staying in the body.

Xanax for instance is the strongest for getting a almost immediate effect, but has the shortest duration on how long it holds it. You can take a Xanax and feel great preaty quick, but it wears off fast, maybe only for as little as an hour or two. It is frequently used for Panic Attack Syndrome for a few weeks or a month while they are trying to get the person used to Anti-depressents, which tend to have the effect of upping anxiety levels at first.

Lorazapam also acts preaty fast and works longer then Xanax. Also a favorite on anxiety and panic disorders.

Valium doesn't have as strong of a immediate effect as Xanax, but has a longer half life. Valium also has a strong muscle relaxing effect and is sometimes used for a brief period for that purpose.

Clonazapam has the weakest fast acting effect, which you will notice if you start taking it for sleep. It usualy takes about 20 minutes to really kick in. But it has the longest half life on losing its effect. They basicaly gauge Clonazapam at 12 hour usage, so for anxiety purposes, its frequently prescribed at one, twice a day. For purposes of being able to sleep, it might be prescribe once a day at bedtime. The half life on Clonazapam is short enough though that much of it has worn down by morning. The only time I had a problem with it making me groggy in the morning is when I was taking it in preaty high dosages along with a high dosage of Amytriptelene, and I was sleeping 12 hours straight through like the dead and totaly groggy and foggy for about the first 30 minutes of the day. Clonoazapam is often argued as being the overall strongest of the Benzodiazepenes due to how long it last.

Also, Clonazapam and all the other Benzo's are central nervous system downers, but as far as the neurotransmitters and receptors are concerned, it does have a mild anti-depressent effect. This effect becomes very apparent at higher dosages when it will still put you to sleep, but then you wake up clear as a bell with a slight sense of stress, even though you have a load of anti-anxiety medication in you. Its called a reciprical effect and at high dosages can cause it. You probably have nothing to worry about in this regard, because for sleep purposes, preaty low dosages will work for quite sometime, like a year or more.

Like I said though. Most of those stories your reading that say I wish I had never started taking this drug, aren't taking into account what it did for them, or what state it might have saved them from to begin with. Also, I believe personaly that psychological satisfaction with ones life not only reduces stress on its own, but pumps up your neurotransmitters, including GABA, which is how I could cold turkey a very high dose I had been taking a very long time and had no withdrawal symptoms worth mentioning. If nothing changes, and life is still a bunch of stress, of course if you try to go off a drug that has been helping you to cope, your going to have a problem.
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Diverticulitis, Costocondritis, Thorasic Degeneration, Mild Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mild Hilar Lymphodenopathy, Depression, Anxiety. Dyspnea. Disequilibrium.

Klonopin, Percocet, Baclofen, Ibuprofen, Valerian, Greens Plus, Magnesium, Vitamin C, COQ 10, B Complex, Niacinamide, Glucosomine, Condrotin, MSM, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose.

Post Edited (Grailhunter) : 4/9/2009 3:29:59 PM (GMT-6)

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