Just got myself the help I needed. Klonopin?

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SoManyQuestions
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/29/2010 6:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Everyone! My name is Sean from NYC. I'm 25 and have been experiencing social anxiety for most of my life. It really holds me back so I just decided to get some help and was put on 1 mg of Klonopin twice daily and 10 mg of Ambien so I can sleep at night. Have any of you ever taken these medications? How did they work for you?

On a whole other subject does anyone know how long after taking 1 mg of klonopin I can go out with friends for alcoholic drinks? Its not a big part of my life but I do enjoy going out and being in that social scene from time to time. Let me know what you know!! Thanks everyone and I am so excited to read all your posts.

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 4/30/2010 2:55 AM (GMT -7)   
HI N WELCOME
youve really come to a great place for support n input
the ppl here truly do care n i have been here a long time lol
i hv used the med klonopin..clonazapam..but i am now taking ativan n diazepam n hv for yrs
that med is good for so many
im hoping it does help you
i have never tried Ambien so i cant gv input on that one

again i am glad you are with us
keep posting n getting support
we r here for you
huggs
lyn

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/30/2010 7:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello and welcome to HealingWell. We are glad to have you with us.



In social anxiety disorder, everyday interactions cause extreme fear and self-consciousness. It may become impossible for you to eat with acquaintances or write a check in public, let alone go to a party with lots of strangers. If your life is disrupted by this kind of fear, you may have social anxiety disorder.



The two most effective types of treatment for this disorder are medications and a form of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy. These two approaches are often used in combination. I am wondering if your physician has recommended therapy?



Several types of medications are used to treat social anxiety disorder. However, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are generally considered the safest and most effective treatment for persistent symptoms of social anxiety.



A type of anti-anxiety medication called benzodiazepines may reduce your level of anxiety. Although they often work quickly, they can be habit-forming. Because of that, they're often prescribed for only short-term use. They may also be sedating.



Klonopin is a benzodiazepine. The onset of action usually occurs within 20 to 60 minutes.



Please avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication. If you have further concerns you may want to revisit with your physician. Remember to be your own best advocate.



I hope this info is helpful for you.



Again a warm welcome,



Kitt

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/30/2010 8:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi.

Your Klonopin dose isn't high, but it's twice what I take and I have to be very careful drinking. So careful, in fact, that it takes the fun out of everything so have quit for all intents and purposes. It's not a good idea to drink at all if you are taking a benzo, but if you feel you must try, please go very (very!) slowly. Both alcohol and klonopin are central nervous system depressants and each will amplify the effect of the other. You can find yourself very drunk without having drank much at all, and it happens so quickly that it's unsettling. Blackouts are also common while drinking with benzodiazepines. You may find that you can tolerate drinking a glass of wine or something light, or that you can handle a mixed drink if you really nurse it, but you probably shouldn't even do that very often at all because it will be hard on your liver. I would discuss this with your physician.

I recommend that you don't drink at all. The warning label says no, and my personal experience backs it up. But I realize that people who want to drink will at least try it at some point. If you do, remember to go slowly. I cannot stress that enough. You'll be surprised how different things will be from now on. Worse case scenario is that you find yourself drunk and doing very stupid things on an amount of alcohol that may have barely buzzed you before, and that's obviously a situation you don't want to be in because you can get yourself hurt that way, or worse. Don't rely on your friends to help control you, either. Your personality may become such that you're uncontrollable. And you won't remember it the next day, either. So go very slow, and take it very seriously.

SoManyQuestions
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/30/2010 8:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Debaser...Thank you so much but what I was...How long after taking the benzo could I drink SAFELY? Like, if i take my benzo on a thursday at 5pm can I drink the following day at 5 pm with no issues? Thats what I meant...I'd never drink alcohol while being ON any drug.

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/30/2010 8:32 AM (GMT -7)   
It's not recommended to drink. Klonopin has a 35 hour half life, which of course means that in 35 hours your body still has half the Klonopin left in your bloodstream. Skipping a dose in order to go out drinking is not an option. This isn't a medication you want to skip doses with in the first place because if you do not take it as directed, you don't get its benefits.

The long half life is a good thing, though, because you're taking less benzodiazepines overall, but they build up in your bloodstream so it's very good to prevent anxiety/panic. Klonopin, therefore, doesn't have the same addiction problems that other benzos have. Not to say that you won't develop a dependence, because you certainly will. Addiction and dependence are similar but different things entirely.

So, in short, if you're taking Klonopin as it's designed to be taken, you're never "off" the drug.

SoManyQuestions
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/30/2010 8:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh...I was told that I can take it 2 times daily as NEEDED...meaning if there were a few days where I felt good and didn't want to take them I didn't have to. I don't get why there are so many different stories...It's very confusing! I chose klonopin over paxil or any of those ssri's because I didn't want to be TIED DOWN to any drug. I was told with xanax I could take it as needed...and same with klonopin....Thats not right?

emmamia
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 4/30/2010 9:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi

I was also told that I could take mine as needed....not sure why there are different opinions on that - I do find mine works just fine doing it this way. (I am also on clonazapam 0.5 twice day when needed)

Sarah

SoManyQuestions
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/30/2010 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Sarah...that makes me feel better..xo

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 4/30/2010 10:12 AM (GMT -7)   
I take Xanax for my anxiety and I only use it as needed. Usually thats 1-3 times a month, but of late its been 1-3 times a week. No problems with dependency so far for me. Hope that helps.

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/30/2010 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Klonopin wasn't really meant for "as-needed" use, but lots of doctors prescribe it that way. When taken this way it's not as strong or as quick as Xanax but will last longer which is fine if that's what the doctor determines his or her patient needs. The benefit here is that if it's taken infrequently there shouldn't be an issue with dependency.

The standard dose for anxiety treatment with Klonopin is .5mg twice a day, every day. But just because your doctor told you to take it as needed, that certainly doesn't mean he was wrong. Everyone has a different situation. When you said "twice a day" I assumed you would be taking two 1mg pills every day. I'm sure you'll find that it helps you to take it as prescribed, but if it doesn't you can always go back to him or her and they will likely adjust your dosing.

If you haven't taken it in a day or two I'd guess you could drink like you normally would, but I'd discuss that with your doctor or at the very least a pharmacist.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/30/2010 4:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Just to add a bit more confusion to the issue, Clonazepam is usually taken once, twice, or three times daily, depending on why you are taking the medication. It may be taken with or without food. Clonazepam is used to control seizures. It is also used for anxiety disorders.


Debaser is correct, this medication must be taken regularly to be effective. Do not skip doses even if you feel that you do not need them.



The problem is that many Drs. prescribe this medicaiton on an as need basis to be used long term for anxiety.



Amen,



Kitt

Becky77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 5/1/2010 4:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Definitely don't drink while taking clonazepam!!!! I've taken it and it helps relax me, but once I took it and drank, and I don't remember half the night. Also, drinking then taking ambien can cause you to do things you don't remember. It's really risky!! BE CAREFUL!
Becky

32 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D
Coumadin stopped 3/15/10!!!!


debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 5/1/2010 8:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't think there's any real problem with prescribing Klonopin PRN. From what I know about it, that's probably not the most efficient way to take it but that doesn't mean it's ineffective and it wasn't suggested to me that it's unsafe in any way.

My new doctor explained this to me, and I'll try to make things short. The benzodiazepine equivalency charts can be a little misleading, or at least tricky. It's not really for people like us to understand; it's for doctors. Well, anyway, the thinking behind prescribing Klonopin as-needed is that patients with mild or very moderate anxiety will get some relief from it, and it will last a little longer than Xanax or Ativan. So they're not as tempted to take another four hours later, or so the theory goes.

But there's really no doubt that to reach Klonopin's full therapeutic potential, it should be taken at regular intervals. It's just that not everyone needs its full potential, I guess. And they can always step up to taking it bid or tid if they need to. But it's hard to go backwards. If someone takes Klonopin twice a day for six months or a year, it's unlikely they'll be able to step down to prn dosing. If you think of it that way, it makes sense for someone to start out taking it just when they need it. Maybe that's all they'll ever need. Great. But if not, their doctor can then direct them to take it at regular intervals.

So that's what I took away with the conversation I had with my doctor a few weeks ago. It's certainly not medical advice or anything like that. Just my perspective on things. Everyone should talk to their own physicians if they have questions about how their meds are prescribed. It's my opinion that if you ask a doctor to explain something, they should do it. I think most would be willing to.

FritoBean
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2016
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/2/2016 3:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi. New here. I'm not sure if it was best to start a new post or reply to similar topic.

So here goes a story and some background.

I have struggled with depression and anxiety that I began treatment for as a teenager in the form of SSRIs.
Fast forward to today : I've had a very difficult year than involved a move, a divorce/separation from my long time partner, and I was dealing with this while off all meds. I have been in therapy which has been very beneficial but currently between counselors.

I recently have begun taking an SSRI (Celexa, or citalopram) again which has helped and have had a prescription for Klonopin (clonazepam) at a low dose of .5mg which I usually split in half and only take at .25mg. It works wonders and has been very helpful at moments. I only take it as needed.

Yesterday afternoon I took .25 mg of Klonopin and then went out consumed alcohol and had a very upsetting experience. Note that I was not binge drinking and had a full stomach.
I only had 2-3 drinks (which strong liquor, and that I remember).
Into my third drink I completely blacked out. I remember having a conversation one moment and the next I have total amnesia. I was informed by my roommate this morning that I was brought home by the bartender and someone from the kitchen and that I continued to lay on the kitchen floor for 30 minutes saying "I don't understand" over and over again. I have no recollection of any of this. It's like I fell off a cliff.

I have been known to have too much to drink at times, but this was unprecedented and very scary and embarrassing and I am wondering if the klonopin intensified the effect of alcohol?
To make matters worse, the bar I was at is under the same ownership as a new restaurant that I began working at 3 weeks ago. There is cross-over of the staff, so I though it would be nice to have another drink at the bar and get to know my co-workers after my friend left before me.

I can probably assume that I did not make a good impression, and I am wondering how badly this will affect my reputation and possibly lead to any ramifications at work.
I am just overwhelmed with regret and shame today, and also so much confusion.
Has anyone else had problems with Benzodiazepines and alcohol?
I'm not sure how to address this on so many levels.
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