Short term clonazepam use--when it's time to taper off......?

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Dawniedo2
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Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 2/21/2009 5:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all!
 
During my Paxil taper from hell, I started using Xanax .25.
 
I used it about 3 weeks but started feeling worse (rebound anxiety, depression ugh!)
 
so I was switched to .25 clonazepam (klonopin) and have been using that for 3 weeks.
 
 
6 weeks on a benzo so far.
 
I will be on clonazepam till I get through my Paxil to Lexapro switch and then hope to taper off clonazepam.
 
Only taking .25mgs 1x a day for this amount of time, will I be able to get off it pretty easy?
 
I would rather not take it at all, but am afraid to mess with it while transitioning from paxil to Lex.
 
thanks so much,
 
Dawnie

Green Grove
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Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 2/21/2009 12:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Sounds like such a low dose that it shouldn't be a problem :) Just work with your doc closely during this process so you will be safe and not worrying.
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"Although the world is full of suffering. . . it is also full of the overcoming of it."
~Helen Keller~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.
 


Vin
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 312
   Posted 2/21/2009 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   
.25 klonopin for about 2 months probably wont be bad too taper off. just do not increase it no matter what. if you can, try and cut the pill to .125 for about 2 weeks and then drop it completely from there. but don't be suprised to see some withdrawal symptoms such as rebound anxiety and depression/insomina. if it gets very bad you might want to try instituting your original stable dosage and try water titration. do not underestimate how strong a drug klonopin is and treat it with caution while tapering.

Vin
History: UC/Chrons since age 22, now 27.  Several huge flares since then.  Entire colon diseased at some point from cecum to rectum.  Also had previous inflammation in terminal ileum.
Currently: flare -9/19/08 - now|Panic Disorder - 6/25/08 - now|Lyme Disease - 12/09/08 - now|Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome - 6 recent mod dysplasia moles excised, and many more to shave biopsy.
Drugs: prednisone 30 mg|6mp 75 mg|lialda 4.8 mg|Paxil 50 mg|Klonopin .25 mg|Trazodone 50 mg|PRN Perc/Tramadol
 
 
 
 
 


Dawniedo2
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Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 2/22/2009 6:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Vin.
 
I should be comfortably on Lexapro by then (God willing) so I hope that will help a bit when I do taper off the Kpin.
 
thanks!
Dawnie

Dawniedo2
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Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 2/22/2009 8:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I was given .5 mg pills and I cut the .5 in half, making it .25.

I think most people take 1mg split into two doses.....5 in the am and .5pm.

I am super sensitive to stuff so I started with .25 (half of a .5).

stkitt
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   Posted 2/22/2009 1:21 PM (GMT -7)   

Dawn,

If you are doing fine on a low dose you should not have any trouble coming off but I would suggest that until you are off the other med you use the clonazepam as ordered by your physician.  Be sure to be your own best advocate and talk things through with your physician.

Peace to you.

Kitt

 



 

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Post Edited (stkitt) : 2/24/2009 5:46:36 AM (GMT-7)


Vin
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 312
   Posted 2/22/2009 9:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Dawn, Lexapro is a good drug, i was on it for many years and those were the best years of my life. My best advice would be to stabalize as much as possible on the SSRI's, and then come off the klonopin when you feel stable...and not just stable for like a day or 2.. make it at least a month or 2, maybe longer. The biggest mistake many people have is rushing things. Your body and mind like to be stable so changing too many things or things too fast can lead to very unpleasant things.

Vin
History: UC/Chrons since age 22, now 27.  Several huge flares since then.  Entire colon diseased at some point from cecum to rectum.  Also had previous inflammation in terminal ileum.
Currently: flare -9/19/08 - now|Panic Disorder - 6/25/08 - now|Lyme Disease - 12/09/08 - now|Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome - 6 recent mod dysplasia moles excised, and many more to shave biopsy.
Drugs: prednisone 30 mg|6mp 75 mg|lialda 4.8 mg|Paxil 50 mg|Klonopin .25 mg|Trazodone 50 mg|PRN Perc/Tramadol
 
 
 
 
 


Dawniedo2
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 2/23/2009 1:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Vin, good to know that Lexapro is a good one. I have heard that and I am praying it is true for me.

I am pretty freaked out at the moment.

when I take .25 clonazepam in the morning, it is making me feel reaaaally depressed...

I asked my Nurse and she said I could take .125 in the am and .125 in the evening.

I am so scared by all this.

Currently I am taking:

AM)

6.5 Paxil (no longer working, trying to get off it)
.25 Clonazepam (takes away the anxiety but makes me feel depressed)

Lunch: 1 a day vitamin and 1000 mg of fish oil

Dinner: 2.5 Lexapro (only 3 days into it)


I feel horribly depressed in the first part of the day and then it lightens up by the afternoon and evening.

Do you guys think I should cut my .25 (been on for 3 weeks now) of Clonazepam in half and take part in the am and part in the evening?

I would like to just take half in the morning and let that be it, but since I am just starting the transition to Lexapro, I don't think I should try to taper off Clonazepam just yet.

Any advice?

need help!

Dawniedo2
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 2/23/2009 1:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Vin, why did you get off the Lex?

I was on Paxil a long time and loved it till I started messing with the dose and it turned bad for me...

I look back on my years on Paxil CR (6 years) as some of the best in my life.

I pray I can get back to feeling that wonderful again.

Vin
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 312
   Posted 2/23/2009 11:13 PM (GMT -7)   
dawn,

i ended up getting lymes disease in june which caused me to have a severe nervous breakdown and suffer from panic disorder and i was hospitalized from it. of course i didnt know it was lymes disease until i tested on a whim in december so they thought i was just nuts. they took me off the lexapro and put me on a combo of klonopin and paxil cr 50 mg. that helped take away the panic and crisis sistuation i was in. wish i would have known about the lymes sooner and would have gotten treated for that instead of going through the disaster of a summer i had.

i remember when i intially started taking klonopin i would get depressed from it. but don't forget you have been messing with your brain chemicals for a bit now so you really need to get stable for a while. ur body will likely get used to/tolerant of the .25 of klonopin. the 2.5 of lexapro is probably not doing anything as therapeutic dosages don't start until around 10 mg. and paxil is one of the drugs that once you stop taking... re-introducing previous doesn't seem to work as well as if you had stayed on it so you are likley still gion through issues with the paxil withdrawal.

I'd leave the klonopin dosage alone for now and not mess with that drug until you are stable with the others. i also think you can probably ramp up to 5 mg in another 2 days of lex, and then up to 10 of lex 5 days later while taking out the paxil once you hit the 10 mark. 6 mg of paxil is a minor dosage compared to what you were at...so having tiny amount of paxil + a tiny amoutn of lexapro is not enough to offset you withdrawal from original higher paxil dosage.

You might still go through some withdrawal once you drop the paxil and hit the therapeutic level of lex and the adjustment period may last for a few weeks to a month so don't expect an overnight fix especially with being on paxil for 6 years and then stopping it. I'd speak this over with your physician though as I am not a doctor. but those are my thoughts. hang in there and let the meds do their work before messing around with them again!!

Vin
History: UC/Chrons since age 22, now 27.  Several huge flares since then.  Entire colon diseased at some point from cecum to rectum.  Also had previous inflammation in terminal ileum.
Currently: flare -9/19/08 - now|Panic Disorder - 6/25/08 - now|Lyme Disease - 12/09/08 - now|Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome - 6 recent mod dysplasia moles excised, and many more to shave biopsy.
Drugs: prednisone 30 mg|6mp 75 mg|lialda 4.8 mg|Paxil 50 mg|Klonopin .25 mg|Trazodone 50 mg|PRN Perc/Tramadol
 
 
 
 
 


Dawniedo2
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 2/24/2009 6:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Don't most people take Klonopin in 2 doses?

I just can't spend 8 hours of my day feeling horribly depressed.....

I took .125 this morning and will take the other half this afternoon. I am hoping that by splitting up the dose (not tapering off or up) it will lessen the depressive feelings I get from it.

I think I will start a new post about this...

Dawnie

PS--
thanks for your awesome reply, Vin!

Dawniedo2
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 2/24/2009 12:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, so much for that!

I took the .125 this morning and then had a knock on the door from my neighbor telling me a sexual offender moved into the house directly behind us. (I have two little girls)....


I could have thrown up.

So I went ahead and took the other half of the clonazepam right away. Today is NOT the day to be spreading out my coverage for anxiety!!

ugh

Dawnie

Vin
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 312
   Posted 2/24/2009 2:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Dawn im not conviced the klonopin is whats causing your depression...don't forget that klonopin has a 24-48 hour half life so its still very much in your system throughout most of the day anyway and also you take your paxil and lexapro at different times too and you are also going through withdrawal from the paxil.

you can spread out the dosage and see what happens though. I don't think it will hurt you to try it for about a week. but make sure when you do try it you give it some time because all these things don't just work the next day.  in fact dont be suprised if changing it around makes you more depressed..one of my major major klonopin withdrawal symptoms when i was withdrawing was depression.  that for me got resolved in about 2 weeks after my dosage decrease.  at that point i would cut again.
and no not all people take 2 doses.  I take .25 at night.  I was originally prescribed .5 mg twice a day but i was not keen on being on a medication that you get tolerant to and doesnt work for anxiety once you are tolerant and i was able to wean off .75 and get down to .25 which i take only at night.  I did not wean until i was mostly comfortable and had most of my head chemicals balanced.  stability is the key.
 
i don't even know i take it..its like a sugar pill to me unless i miss 2 days of dosage!!   Once I get my other health things squared away and stable i will withdraw the remaining .25 dosage out over the next 3-5 months. 

Sorry to hear about the sex offender! that is definately not what you need!

Vin


History: UC/Chrons since age 22, now 27.  Several huge flares since then.  Entire colon diseased at some point from cecum to rectum.  Also had previous inflammation in terminal ileum.
Currently: flare -9/19/08 - now|Panic Disorder - 6/25/08 - now|Lyme Disease - 12/09/08 - now|Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome - 6 recent mod dysplasia moles excised, and many more to shave biopsy.
Drugs: prednisone 30 mg|6mp 75 mg|lialda 4.8 mg|Paxil 50 mg|Klonopin .25 mg|Trazodone 50 mg|PRN Perc/Tramadol
 
 
 
 
 

Post Edited (Vin) : 2/24/2009 2:33:10 PM (GMT-7)


Dawniedo2
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 2/24/2009 3:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Vin,

Have you always taken your Clonaz. at night? I was thinking of that too as a possibility, changing it to night time, but I am pretty set on not making any more changes until, like you said, I am stable from the SSRI thing I have going on.

I wanted to only go up to 10mg of Lexapro but my nurse was saying 20?? 10=20Paxil and that was always enough. I kind of want to play it by ear and see how I feel at 10mgs.

She also suggested I taper off the rest of the Paxil, not just quit it all at once.

I guess I gotta take it one day at a time.

Spend a good part of the day handing out fliers to my neighbors about the lovely fella living behind us now. *gack*

Thanks for your reply Vin!!! You are awesome.

Dawnie

Vin
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 312
   Posted 2/24/2009 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
i used to take it in the AM at 9 and PM at 9. Hmm how high of a dosage were you on with the paxil? I'd say you want to get on 10 mg of lexapro and see how you feel before ramping up the dosage to the maximum rate of 20. I used to take 10 of the lex and that was perfect for me. I also don't think you should be listening to a nurse for medical advice. See a psych for that stuff...as you know these meds are very sensitive and you usually want to be on the lowest effect dosage. going from 2.5 to 20 mg is not the standard way to start lex. in fact im suprised they started you at 2.5!! Nurses have given me notoriously bad advice. just 2 weeks ago one called my back muscle a trapezoid! I was like "yea don't forget to circle this mole over here on my pectagon!!" HAHAHA!!

How exactly is the nurse recommending you come off the paxil? what is your schedule?

Vin
History: UC/Chrons since age 22, now 27.  Several huge flares since then.  Entire colon diseased at some point from cecum to rectum.  Also had previous inflammation in terminal ileum.
Currently: flare -9/19/08 - now|Panic Disorder - 6/25/08 - now|Lyme Disease - 12/09/08 - now|Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome - 6 recent mod dysplasia moles excised, and many more to shave biopsy.
Drugs: prednisone 30 mg|6mp 75 mg|lialda 4.8 mg|Paxil 50 mg|Klonopin .25 mg|Trazodone 50 mg|PRN Perc/Tramadol
 
 
 
 
 


Dawniedo2
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 2/24/2009 7:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Laughing!

Well she is a psych nurse and she works under a psych. I have been to 2 different male psch doctors, and the first one is the one who messed me up in the first place, and the second one basically told me what to do, but then was always too busy to ever take calls, and I felt as though he could care less. (I have issues with male Dr's to begin with--bad experience in my past)

So I was on a paxil support board and a lead moderator suggested I go see her Psych nurse since we lived near each other. She said she was very knowledgeable about these drugs and withdrawal and how to switch/handle it all. She came with glowing recommendations!

I went to her and just loved her. (for the first time!)

So I do have faith in her....and that is HUGE for me to say!

My paxil story is a mess. I was on Paxil CR 12.5 and then 25 for years. LOVED IT. Changed my whole world. Best 6 years of my life, really.
So wonderful that I decided I wanted another baby...so I started going off of it. I did real well and got down to 5mgs when I found out we had family coming into town to stay with us for 2 weeks.
I started having anxiety attacks again, and so I went up to 10mgs. Nothing....still anxiety....so my GYN told me to "take 2--" so I doubled my Paxil dose the day the family was coming in. OMG. I was a mess....couldn't sleep, could barely eat...was a zombie. I felt horrible. So the DR switched me back to 12.5 CR....then 25CR.....then 37.5CR. I was still an anxious mess. Then he had me go to 40 of the regular release and it was real bad. I had scary reactions to that dose. Felt dark and suicidal and had horrible thoughts. It was the scariest thing ever. Basically, the Paxil had quit working when I went up in dose and instead of saying ok, Paxil is done for me, the Dr said let's keep going up up up (and away!).

I decided I had to get off the paxil, so I started tapering down down down. 40--30--20--15--12.5--10--and it was pure hell. I have never been so sick, scared, depressed, ready to throw in the towell as during those times.

The reason the Psych nurse is starting me at 2.5 is really my choice. I am so scared of having a bad reaction again, that I wanted to start slow.
(make sure I wasn't going to freak out or stop breathing, or one of those crazy worries of mine).
So she is going slow with me. Another reason I like her, she respects my concerns!

So she has me going from 2.5 to 5 and then she wanted me to go to 10, and then 15 and then 20.

I ended up emailing her and asking her if this schedule would be ok since I was concerned about going to 20.

(current) Paxil 6.5mg/ Lexapro-2.5 for 1 week. = (11.5 Paxil equiv)
Paxil 5mg / lexapro 5mg for 1 week = (15 Paxil equiv)
Paxil 2.5mg/ lexapro 7.5mg = (17.5 Paxil equiv)
Paxil 0/ lexapro 10mg = (20 Paxil equiv.)

and she ok'ed that or said I could go up to 10mg Lexapro and THEN taper off the paxil.

so who knows...

sorry this got so long.
my brain is fried by today's activities!

Vin
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 312
   Posted 2/25/2009 4:52 PM (GMT -7)   
i think either of those schedules look fine. but if you experience issues for the first few weeks, try not to panic and just assume the lexapro isn't working. you are going to have some chemical things going on in your head until you get really stable one way or the other so be prepared for it. I'd try and be on lexapro 10 mg for a solid 3-4 weeks and completely of the paxil before making conclusions if you are getting better or not. don't think that just because you aren't perfect yet that you won't be in another few months...as long as you continuously show improvements. if you have shown no improvements after a few weeks of being completley off paxil and completely on 10 mg of lex, then maybe bumping it would be in order. all of this stuff takes time which is very hard to remember while suffering from anxiety and panic. it took me many many months to stabilize after being on my combo.

Vin
History: UC/Chrons since age 22, now 27.  Several huge flares since then.  Entire colon diseased at some point from cecum to rectum.  Also had previous inflammation in terminal ileum.
Currently: flare -9/19/08 - now|Panic Disorder - 6/25/08 - now|Lyme Disease - 12/09/08 - now|Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome - 6 recent mod dysplasia moles excised, and many more to shave biopsy.
Drugs: prednisone 30 mg|6mp 75 mg|lialda 4.8 mg|Paxil 50 mg|Klonopin .25 mg|Trazodone 50 mg|PRN Perc/Tramadol
 
 
 
 
 


Dawniedo2
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 3/3/2009 3:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Well I didn't do so well here....

going to start a new thread, but theh lex was doing me pretty good for a while there! I actually felt hope like things were going to get better.

I added 2.5 Lex for 1 week
then 5mg last friday and then Saturday morning, I lowered my Paxil dose....ugh.

ONly went from 6.5 to 5mg but that was enough. Within a few days, I started feeling funky and weird, OCD came back along with anxiety (how I felt when dropping in dose before)

Thinking of going ahead and getting to the 10mgs of Lex and feeling good a while, then tapering off the rest of this darn paxil.

Is it ok to go from 5mg Lex to 10mg Lex? (skipping the 7.5)

Dawnie

mom2three
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 3/3/2009 5:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Dawnie -

I went from 5mg to 10mg when starting out on Lexapro. My doc put me on 5mg for a week then bumped me up to 10mg...when I lowered it, I went back straight from 10mg to 5mg without any 7.5 stuff. Just what my doc suggested...might ask yours, but should be fine!
Panic Attacks (since age 10) & General Anxiety with a little OCD thrown in there
Biggest Challenge - Panic; Biggest Joy - my 3 cute kiddos (ages 1, 2 & 5)
 


Dawniedo2
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 3/3/2009 6:52 PM (GMT -7)   
and you are at 5mg now right mom?
 
Did you have any problems when you went from 5 to 10?
 
thanks!
 
Dawnie smilewinkgrin

mom2three
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 3/4/2009 6:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Dawnie,

Yes, I am at 5mg, but, honestly, I'm not sure how much it is doing! I felt more benefits at 10mg, but I was also having some unpleasant side effects and I was entering therapy to work on alternative treatments, so I went down to 5mg. Technically, 5mg is not a therapeutic dose level - 10mg is standard.

No, I had no problems going from 5mg - 10mg at all...but I take it literally right before I go to sleep. I would try taking yours at bedtime, that way any short-term side effects won't be noticed because you are asleep :)
Panic Attacks (since age 10) & General Anxiety with a little OCD thrown in there
Biggest Challenge - Panic; Biggest Joy - my 3 cute kiddos (ages 1, 2 & 5)
 


Dawniedo2
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 3/4/2009 6:08 AM (GMT -7)   
So are you going to stick with the 5mg and go through therapy?
 
I do take mine at bed time....actually, right around 7pm.
 
I am both excited about going to 10 (for hope of feeling better) and nervous about it.
 
When I went from 2.5 to 5 I really didn't notice anything...
 
(well until I tried to drop my Paxil, then I noticed something and it was not good!)
 
Are you also taking Klonopin? I know we chatted before about meds but I can't recall.
 
Thanks for your reply!
Dawnie
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