How long is it safe to take Klonopin (Clonazapem)? I have been on it for six months.

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Rianna
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   Posted 3/26/2006 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I was put on Remeron back in September after being hospitalized due to a severe reaction to Cymbalta.  I was diagnosed with major depression and Generalized anxiety disorder.  The Psychiatrist told me to take Klonopin for a month or two (0.5mg) until the Remeron "kicks in". In the Hospital, he had me take one in the morning and one at night.  However, the anxiety did not go away when I discontinued the Klonopin and I went to see a new Psychiatrist, and she put me back on it.  I am still on it - I take 0.5 mg once a day..except I am starting a new job tomorrow, and my nerves have been on edge..very anxious, and have been taking two Klonopins a day (one in the morning, and one in the late afternoon) over the weekend (0.5mg).  Does this mean I am addicted to it?  Is anyone taking anxiety meds such as Xanax or Klonopin for a long time?  I feel six months has been a long time to take this drug, although it has been very helpful for anxiety. Thanks for listening.

shell67
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   Posted 3/27/2006 12:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi rianna, i have been on klonopin for 5 years......i know thats not good, but my doctor doesnt seem to worry about it. I have tried other types of meds, they mostly made me worse. I do take wellbutrin too. Im bad about going days without it though, just because......sometimes im ok, sometimes im not. anyways, im fairly normal, and i feel better with the klonopin than i have anything else. Good luck, i wish you well.
Shell

Howlyncat
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   Posted 3/27/2006 8:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Rianna........I would not worry about this to much as Shell has said..Your doc would not be giving these meds IMO if he thought you were addicted.......I have been on ativan for so many yrs / or valium .....I am able to take when I need it and if i dont need it then I do not take it at that time.......If you are really concerned about this talk to your doc hun ......Post and let us know how you are...God Bless ..Lyn
 
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Rianna
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   Posted 3/27/2006 7:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Shell67 and Lyn,

Thanks so much for your replies. Shell, do you mind if I ask if you have ever had to increase the Klonopin during the five years? I sometimes wonder, if our bodies get immune to it, and it would stop working after awhile (unless it is increased?)..thanks!

SarahP
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   Posted 3/29/2006 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Rianna.. I have taken Klonopin for about a year now. I have never felt addicted to it, have forgone it before so I could take a pain med with no ill effects. I have upped my own dosage (doc gave me permission to do this as needed), and I normally take a full mg a day... I take a .5mg when I sit down to rest at night, and another right before I get ready for bed. I started out at a quarter of a mg and have worked up.. it didn't seem like I developed a tolerance to it, more like I was finding a good dosage.
I've had some days where I just eat them like crazy, never over three mg tho. Those days are rare.. tornado destroyed my home, mother had a stroke, had to get thru uncles funeral. All of this is done with doc permission tho, so you may want to talk to your doc.. cause when you run out, they may ask questions of why you are out "early".
Needing the extra pills doesn't mean you are addicted to them. It means your nerves are acting up. Addiction is when you can't possibly function without them, and you start timing the hours til your next dose. That's what my doctor told me anyway, when I voiced the same concern.
Good Luck
Sarah
I'm not procrastinating----I'm still doing yesterday!!!! 
I have no medical training, any medical opinions expressed in my posts are just that....opinions.


Rianna
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   Posted 3/29/2006 6:47 PM (GMT -6)   
srhpalmer - thanks so much for your reponse, it was very helpful! I may look in to upping the dose from 0.5mg to 1mg. I am not quite sure how to ask Psychiatrist about doing this.

SarahP
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   Posted 3/30/2006 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Rianna... Just be honest with your Psychiatrist. Honesty is always good, and they respect that. I just told my doc that I felt I needed some other times, and got permission to take when needed. If you tell them you've already tried upping the dose and it does help, then they will probably allow it.
If you don't have an appt soon, then a phone call should suffice. At least then it will be in your records that you are concerned about your dosage and not abusing them.
Sarah
I'm not procrastinating----I'm still doing yesterday!!!! 
I have no medical training, any medical opinions expressed in my posts are just that....opinions.


shell67
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   Posted 3/30/2006 12:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Rianna, well i did very well for years with it on the same dosage, i did have to up the dosage a while back, but i think it was more that more difficult things were happening, not that it wasnt working as well. I dont think i have become immune yet, and i pray we never do. Your doctor will probably agree with you, just be open and as srh said, it will be in your record that you were concerned. Good luck,
Luv shell

Rianna
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   Posted 3/30/2006 6:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Okay thanks for your responses...I will take your advice. Thanks again.

Rianna
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   Posted 3/30/2006 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Okay..lol..now, I am really confused..I just read on other message board that addiction is when the initial starting dosage is no longer enough..and your body becomes immune to it and then needs more of it..so people up their dose from 0.5mg to 1mg, then to 2mg, etc. Very confusing. I guess I should just be happy that 0.5mg works for me and the Remeron is helping with the depression and leave it at that.

Rianna
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   Posted 3/30/2006 7:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Even more confusion - yikes.. just read again that if one takes these "as needed" that someone shouldn't stop taking them cold turkey. There have been a few days that I have felt well, and did not need the 0.5mg..so is that going off of it cold turkey? I will then resume it a few days later or as needed. Someone said one could have seizures or other problems if they abruptly stop taking Benzos - Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin, etc, but I wouldn't think this would be a problem on the lowest (0.5mg) dosage. I guess I will talk to my Doctor about this. Why is all of this so confusing..lol..thanks for listening. I'll get myself straightened out with this confusion here hopefully.

shell67
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   Posted 3/30/2006 10:55 PM (GMT -6)   

Rianna, I read the same thing about going "cold turkey", and i actually found out when i decided  i was through with it, and hadnt taken any in weeks (but i was lucky enough to not have any siezures). So of course that was scarey enough to start taking them again, but the panic returned anyway.....even after i started back on them.  Im sorry im not a bigger help when it comes to the addiction part, i still believe that my dosage went up because of "life", but that doesnt mean im not addicted either......:(   I hope that if/when we are able to quit taking them, it wont be so hard, we will have great people and support here also ;)  Im with you, im glad its working and ill leave it at that for now.

shell

 


edr1222
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   Posted 3/31/2006 9:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello.

I was on Klonopin as needed for almost two years. I would take .5 mg a day probably 4-5 days a week and take a couple days off here and there due to concerns about addiction. Then a new psychiatrist decided to put me on a steady dose of it. .25 mg in the morning and .5 at night which is no more than the amount I have ever taken and it is working well. His reasoning was, when you have anxiety and panic you have to get control of it and not spend time chasing it just on the days you feel bad.

I had worries about addiction, but the doc told me to not worry about it. He did say I may build up a little bit of tolerance to medicines over time, but that is much different than being addicted to them. He said to let him worry about those things and for me to concentrate on feeling better.

That is interesting about the Remeron and Klonopin however. I would think the combination of those two medicines could definately make you quite sleepy as Remeron is sometimes used as a sleep aid and Klonopin has such a calming effect.

Hope you feel better.
Ed

SarahP
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   Posted 3/31/2006 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Rianna, on any drug like this you *can* have withdrawal symptoms if you stop cold turkey. BUT.. a drug that is taken as needed is just that. If you don't need it don't take it. I've forgotten to take mine before and taken it hours after normal and never felt anything. I've not taken it so I could take a narcotic pain killer, and had no effects. I've gone off of it for three days and did well until I hit a crisis in my home, without any effects. I was reading about this drug again, and a lot of the danger of going off it cold turkey lies with those who are taking high doses, or taking it for seizure control.
Also, the other message board you were reading is talking about tolerance not addiction. Addiction is the body's *need* for the drug, with nasty consequences if it doesn't get it. Dependence is more of a mental need, I know some people who will carry their benzo's with them everywhere, but never need to take them. Just the mental idea that they have them is enough. Tolerance is when your body adjusts itself to having that amount of med in it, and it begins to lose it's *lost the word here..lol* for you, and you need to up the dose to keep the same effect from the drug.
A lot of people start out low on medications that they need, and gradually adjust upward until they hit the *right* dosage. So you can build up a tolerance to it on purpose too. I started on .25 mg of klono and have gradually gone up to a full mg a day, and that's my *right* dosage for maintance purposes of my anxiety. Doesn't mean I NEVER take an extra one if needed, or sometimes just take .5 of a mg, depends on my day and my body.
There IS a lot of confusing info out there about these type drugs. It's hard to sort out exactly what applies to YOU and not to the thousands of others that take them. Just go with what your body and your mind tell you you need, and like Ed stated, worry about feeling better!!
Sarah
I'm not procrastinating----I'm still doing yesterday!!!! 
I have no medical training, any medical opinions expressed in my posts are just that....opinions.


Rianna
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   Posted 3/31/2006 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Okay - thanks everyone for responding!

genuine risk
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   Posted 11/3/2006 8:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been taking Klonopin for about three years now, and it had been a Godsend.  With my Social Anxiety/Phobia, being on Klonopin Is akin to wearing a nice thick windbreaker on a blustery winter day: you are aware of the freezing gales that whip around you constantly, but are not subjected to the icy currents cutting through your sweater to your bare skin.  I also take Wellbutrin, started it a few months before the Klonopin.  I have always been easygoing to the point of gullibility  but the Wellbutrin brought aout an unprecedented degree of aggression, almost rage and my overall patience levels went to nil.  My doctor started my on the Klonopin, and everything fell into balance. I even have an easier time controlling/stifling my anxiety in public when I am out of my Klonopin, like my mind has learned how to just chil a bit when it has no other desirable choice.

genuine risk
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   Posted 11/3/2006 8:24 AM (GMT -6)   
The degree of complacency which it causes in me is a bit disconcerting.  I don't object to or inetvene in situatuion I later thing I should have.  I think that without the Wellbutrin I would be as weak as a kitten as far as standing my ground on things that affect me.
    

sylknmyst
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   Posted 11/3/2006 10:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I was on Xanax for almost 10 years....took it daily and became pregnant and had to quit it cold turkey...actually had no side effects from it....mind over matter on my part.

Sylknmyst


Howlyncat
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   Posted 11/4/2006 8:15 AM (GMT -6)   
I totally agree just be honest about all of it with PDOC
keep us posted please
You take care '
Lyn


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Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 11/4/2006 6:31:03 AM (GMT-7)


CRANKY 1
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   Posted 11/5/2006 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Rianna,

I've been on Klonopin for years, in addition to Wellbutrin and Keppra, for depression and anxiety.  I'm currently taking 4mg morning and 4mg pm.  Honestly, I don't really feel a difference when I take it, or if I'm late taking my meds.  I'm sure, however, if I stopped for a couple of days, I'd probably be a mess.  I usually have to take higher dosages of every kind of medication, as I seem to be pharmacutically resistant to most medications or totally immune to their effects. 

Your body is not "addicted" to Klonopin, merely "dependant" on the medication.  Dependancy means that your system is used to having the substance in your system, and when it isn't present, your system reacts to the lack of it.  Unfortunately, a lot of anti-depressants are actually created as "anti-seizure" medications.  Therefore, when you suddently stop one of these medications, risk of seizure is possible.  Addiction is another story.  Addictive drugs not only have a dependancy component, but also cause withdrawal symptoms when the medication is removed from your system. 

Narcotic drugs cause addiction, both physically and mentally.  Narcotics are rarely used for a long term problem because of this addition problem.  The body gets a tolerance to its current dosage, and soon needs a higher quantity to achieve the same amount of relief.  Some addicted patients spend an inordinant amount of time taking their medication, thinking about taking the next dose, worrying about their current supply, or how to get their next supply.

Doctors are reluctant to keep patients on narcotics for any period of time because of this addiction tendancy.  Addicted patients also tend to take more medication than is prescribed, either to get the same original effect or to actually get a buzz from the medication.  These patients try to request refills earlier than their refill date, seek the same medication from multiple doctors, and/or use mulitiple pharmacies.  They can even resort to buying their meds from illegal sources.  Some people prey on lower income or elderly patients who are willing to sell their medication, purchasing their narcotics for outrageous prices, just to get a fix.  I have even seen a solicitation or two from narcotic addicted patients looking to buy drugs from people here on the boards (Highly illegal and unethical, posts were immediately removed by moderators). 

The good news is that you don't need to worry about your Klonopin, just don't stop taking it too quickly.  It is probably doing you more good than you realize or you may need a higher dosage.  The bad news is that people like me, who depend on narcotic medication for specific conditions (mine is migraines), get put through the wringer to maintain their meds (but I won't get started on that subject!)

Let us know how you are doing.  Best of Luck!!!

Leigh Ann cool


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                                             - Jimmy Buffett


Rianna
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Date Joined May 2005
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   Posted 11/5/2006 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone for all your replies.  There were some great replies to my post.  Thanks again.  Klonopin rocks! Lol..

wiley
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   Posted 11/8/2006 4:50 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Rianna,

I am just like you when it comes to Klonopin.  I was taking it about a year ago to help me with my nighttime anxiety.  It was working at .5mg in the am and .5 mg in the pm.  Then I cut it down to .25 in the am and .5 in the pm, then .25 both ama nd pm.  Then stupid me cut to .125 and I started getting anxious again. 

My doctor told me that was not a good idea and said to back to the .5mgs twice a day and then .25 and .5mgs.  I did this for a few months then cut down.  I was off the Klonopin since March/April, and am taking 100mg of Zoloft.  I am now having really bad anxiety at night when I try to get to sleep.  I can't sleep at all and I am scared that I will never sleep again.  I am now taking .25mgs of Klonopoin twice a day and feel that I may have to go up in dosage.  I don't know what to do.


Howlyncat
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   Posted 11/8/2006 5:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Wiley does the Klonies not help you sleep and if not speak with your doc about this
you need sleep to function and fight this DD as well
I personally have been on a med in the "pam" family for many many yrs and I can and do go a couple of days if I dont need to be calmed down

Rianna please know you are doing okay and that you are not alone in this as are you Wiley
We are all here for you's both
Lyn
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fiftyeight
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   Posted 3/2/2007 7:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Rienna,  I've been on Klonopin for about  eight years now, I also take wellbutrin and lamictal, I can say it is the best combo. I have ever had, and  it seems I've tried them all!!  Careful klonopin can be VERY addictive, it was and is for me.  I take 1mg. 3 times per day, it does help a lot.  On real rough days I take an extra one.  I started out on .05 twice a day.  I easily become immune to meds.  If I even go 30 minutes past my scheduled time I get horrible cramps and grit my teeth.  As soon as it gets back in my system I'm great feeling, a relief for my body.  I NEVER want to go through withdrawl, I've been there with xanax years ago, cold turkey, it was some of the worst times I've ever experienced.  My 1mg. 3 times per day is working great with my other meds.  I also have to take somnote at night for sleeping and not sleep walking.  I just hope you never get to the point where I am concerning the withdrawal symptoms soon as I do. I could never get off of them alone if I tried, just pay attention to your body and let your Dr. know everything when things aren't working like you have been used to.  They understand, should if they are good, and will tell you what they think the next step should be.  best of luck.  mock.

bigcc_1976
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 12/7/2008 6:59 PM (GMT -6)   
anxiousprincess,

First of all what you and your mom have been doing in illegal. I don't want to intensify your anxiety but I would be remiss if I did not inform you of this in case you did not know. Being a self described alcoholic does tell me that you have some sort of addictive personality. Klonipin is a habit forming drug but there is no clear answer on how long it takes to become addicted. Everyone is different. I know that in my area, which is a rural area those that do not have insurance can go to the Human Service Agency and receive treatment at free or reduced prices. It is very important that you speak with youf doctor and get get a prescription for the drugs (Walmart charges $4.00 for a month supply). One of the reasons that these drugs are controlled is because of the habit forming nature, you should be monitored by a doctor while taking them.

Good Luck!
CC
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