Clonazepam (Klonopin/Rivotril) reassurance, please

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debaser
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   Posted 2/28/2007 12:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been suffering from nausea/bloating for a little over two years. Last autumn I went to a teaching hospital and they looked at me very thoroughly but found nothing physically wrong. To make a long story very short, the two doctors I was seeing finally agreed that I was having modified panic attacks, but they said to wait it out and prescribed no meds.

Until the last week and a half or so, I was doing a little better for the most part. I had good days and bad, but even on the bad days it was rare that I'd be sick all day. Well, that changed recently.

I went back to my primary care physician this morning and he mentioned a few possibilities:

1. Panic attacks/Anxiety
2. Abdominal Migranes
3. IBS

I don't really feel that I have IBS. While it's true that sometimes I have those symptoms, I'm pretty sure it's because of my peculiar eating habits. When I'm sick, I eat very little. I'd never heard of abdominal migraines before. It's most common in adolescent males and I'm a 30 year old male, but the symptoms do fit for the most part. I do suffer from ocular migraines and have off and on for a long time, but since it's rare that someone my age would be suddenly afflicted with the abdominal stuff, he decided to treat me for panic/anxiety first.

He prescribed Clonazepam and the pharmacy is filling it right now. The thing is, I'm terrified of taking pills. I literally can't stand them. I do take Prevacid and ibuprofen without worry but that's all. Anything else I fear will make me sick at my stomach.

Now, logically, I know that nausea and upset stomach are rare with Clonazepam. I've already looked it up on the internet. .001-.01 patients reported it during clinical trials. But, see, I'm a total headcase with pills like I said. What I'm hoping for is some direct reassurance from some people who are taking it or have taken it in the past.

I looked at about five websites. A few of them didn't even say anything about nausea/upset stomach as a side effect. Others did, but they made no mention of how often it may occur or its severity. The site I quoted in the paragraph above was the only one that offered any real data. I'm a creative person, but when it comes to stuff like this I like to see numbers and statistics. Without that, the only thing that can make me feel at ease is hearing what others have experienced.

Thanks in advance for any responses. I hope I get some. If I do not I fear the meds will stay on the counter and I'll never even try to take them. I'm weird like that.

Sharann
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   Posted 2/28/2007 1:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I am scared of trying any new meds and don't like pills either. This makes us typical anxiety attack sufferers. I think you should try them. Take 1/2 at first if it makes it easier. I really found that Klonopin doesn't knock me out, just calms a bit. I think we have to take risks to get better. I really get your fear though. So please try and help yourself. I have Crohns and the pills don't bother my stomach at all.
I am a Certified Doxie Lover(Weinerdogs)


Howlyncat
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   Posted 2/28/2007 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Theree are many that suffer with A/P that do have IBS
I have crohns too and my stomache will bloat like I am ready to give birth and it is usually when I have eaten something I know I should not or going into flare
If you are afraid of taking meds you are sure not alone but please do talk to your doc about it and let him/her know if you are going to Half the RX amount so you are both on same page
I know many here take the klonopin and have found it works great for them I am sure some more will post to have their input as well
Take care n let us know how you make out I believe Sharann has given great input
LYN
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harry4
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Date Joined Mar 2005
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   Posted 2/28/2007 1:41 PM (GMT -7)   

clonazepam is an older valium type med thats been in use for over 30 years everywhere its safe

as with all valium type meds, there may be strong sedation and you may feel drunk until your system adjusts to it, if so, reduce the dose for a while

it calms the body and the mind
recovered former longtime anxiety and panic attack sufferer and helper of other sufferers  but no training or  qualifications in medicine or psychology, any remarks that may be taken as advice must be confirmed with doctor or other health professional
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hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
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   Posted 2/28/2007 2:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I take clonazepam and I have never had a single side effect. I take .25-.5mg as needed, and its always helped tremendously and never made me feel ill. I'm sure you'll be fine too! :)
Ali
 
Moderator for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 2/28/2007 8:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I'm a little confused.

The doctor didn't say anything about how to take the medicine, but luckily I caught the nurse in the hallway. He said to take it as needed. The pharmacist said the same thing...that I definitely did NOT want to take it twice a day like it says on the bottle. But there's also a label on the bottle that says "do not skip doses".

How do you guys take the stuff? They're .5 mg tablets. It seems like it would be an "as needed" sort of medicine, but is there anyone who takes it regularly?

Also, how long after taking it will it begin to work? I've read that it's "fast", but how fast is "fast"? If it does make me groggy, how long will that effect last? For example, if I start having a panic attack tonight at midnight as I'm about to go to bed, should I go ahead and take it (I have to be up at 6:30)? Also, will this stuff get me stoned? I've read conflicting reports on that.

Thanks.

hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
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   Posted 3/1/2007 7:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, IMO you should take it as your doctor prescribed, but if you are worried about it start off with one a day and just see how you feel, then move to 2 if you feel okay. If you suffer from constant anxiety that is probably why your doctor said to take it regularly everyday. If you just suffer from an occasional anxiety or panic attack, then that is when you would take it as needed. I would take it at night (as most people do since it can cause sleepiness). If you just swallow the pill with water you will probably feel relief in about half an hour, but I usually put it under my tongue when I need it so it dissolves and is in my system within 10 minutes. I take generic clonazepam, and I am pretty sure that all the other brand name versions of it are also able to dissolve under the tongue (called "sublingual administration").

Everyone reacts to medications differently, I've taken up to two pills (totalling 1 mg) and all it does is calm me down, I never get a "stoned" feeling, and I would assume to accomplish that you would have to take a lot of it, because there are people here who regularly take 2 mg everyday and function fine on it. Also, its not like a sleep-aid, while it will help you fall asleep and probably stay asleep, its not going to prevent you from getting up when you need to. Many times I've taken it in the middle of the night when my anxious thoughts aren't letting me get back to sleep.

This med has helped me tremendously and I know its helped others, don't be scared of it because I know it will only help you!
Ali
 
Moderator for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 3/1/2007 10:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, hopeful. You're also helpful.

I think there must've been some confusion with the labeling on my bottle. The doctor's handwriting was totally illegible so that wouldn't be a shock.

I don't suffer from anxiety all the time. It's a periodic thing, with some days worse than others. Right now, for example, I'm perfectly calm and have been all day (so far). It's good to know that it won't put me under for 10 hours or get me high when I do need it.

I might try the under the tongue thing, too. Does clonazepan taste really bad?

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 3/1/2007 1:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I would call your doc for clarification on the prescription if it was me
I am like Ali I put my ativan or diazapam in mouth and let it dissolve the ativan under my tongue 'Works real quick
I have no idea about that med taste but the ativan doesnt taste too bad to me lol

Thanks sis for the great input
Luvs ya
Lyn
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Green Lantern
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 3/1/2007 3:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I take it regulary at pretty high doses and have never had an nausea or upset stomach.  Some people take it regularly, some only as needed.  If you only take it as needed there shouldn't be a problem with skipping doses.  The only time that poses a problem is if you take it regularly, then there can be withdrawal symptoms.
No one knows


SarahP
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1185
   Posted 3/1/2007 4:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I have taken Klonopin in the past, and I have real issues with medication and sensitivities to them. Klonopin, and it's generics, have never caused me any side effects. I would take it, and slowly I would feel my body/mind calm down. I moved a little slower than normal with the first few doses, but that went away. No stomach upset at all. If that is a real concern for you, you could try the sublingual way as others posted, would absorb into bloodstream and pretty much bypass the stomach.

I can not take any sleep medications, I have four children and I care for my mother. I've taken Klonopin and been woken up from sound sleep by a very ill child, and I was fine to think and drive and react.

Hope this helps!!
Sarah
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I have no medical training, any medical opinions expressed in my posts are just that....opinions.

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Shortstop
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 195
   Posted 3/1/2007 6:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I was given klonopin and clonazepam before...Clonazepam was given to me for restless leg syndrome, it works well..and klonopin was for something or another...I was in the hospital and getting it in the IV before back surgery, but the clonez was in pill form.....I did rather well on it...I trust the older meds a great deal...
 
I am like most, I dislike starting a new med, side effects unknown..So what I do is take half of the dose first and sneak up on the prescribed dose...
 
 
 Severe herniated S1 disc that caused never damage on left side and wonderful reflex tricks, mild herniated L4/5 disc, severe spinal stenosis, panic disorder, major depression and if that wasn't enough IBS with the beginning stages of diverticulosis. 


debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 3/1/2007 11:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks again, everyone. It's really good to have this kind of reassurance for when I do have to take it.

I've been panic attack free all day, though. I've kind felt one coming on in the last few minutes but it hasn't really hit, yet. This might be the best day I've had in the last couple weeks.

hopeful82
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 3/2/2007 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Just to answer your previous question - it tastes a little liek sugar!
Ali
 
Moderator for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 3/2/2007 4:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Sugar? Well, I can probably handle that. The only pills I've ever tasted were asprin (disgusting) and once when my prevacid got stuck in my throat and the capsule came apart after I burped. That was nasty, too.

I have yet to take this stuff. This morning I woke up feeling pretty good. I did start to have an anxious spell but it never fully materialized. This afternoon at work, the same thing happened but it got a little worse. I had the pills with me but had to leave the office to go to a meeting and didn't want to take it for the first time right then. It subsided on it's own anyway without getting really, really bad.

So, basically, I'm still waiting for an attack. Maybe I should take it anyway, just to see what it does?

debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 3/5/2007 7:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Okay....I'm having severe anxiety issues right now yet I still have not taken the Clonazepam. I don't know why. I'm scared or nuts, or both.

I've been thinking about taking it the last few days when I didn't need it, just to see what it was like. But then I decided not to take it unless I need it. And now that I need it I will not because I don't know what to expect. I'm very afraid I'll get sicker.

I just feel weird. I'm a little nauseous, and I've had some strange digestive issues this evening. My temp's normal or even a little below but I feel like I have fever. Now and then I get dizzy. I really ought to be hungry but I'm not. My whole body just feels WEIRD. And I'm just generally very depressed and disappointed because I thought I'd made a lot of progress the last two days only to wake up feeling like crap and missing work today.

I came really close to taking the clonazepam but then I called the pharmacist and he said he wouldn't take it sublingually. That's how I wanted to do it.

hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 3/5/2007 8:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I have no idea why the pharmacist would tell you that, there are plenty of people who take clonazepam (not to mention other benzos) sublingually as it provides us with the quickest relief. Do not let someone who obviously doesn't have experience in taking the medication themselves worry you!! Also, a benefit of doing the sublingial method is that you can easily spit the pill out if you start to feel yourself get sick - something you certainly can't do if you've swallowed the pill whole. I would recommend making your first dose half a pill under the tongue, and if you feel fine then your next time can be a full pill if needed! Thats what I would do :)
Ali
 
Moderator for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 3/5/2007 9:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, he said they do make a sublingual type but mine are tablets to be swallowed. What do yours say on the bottle?

One time I had a nausea pill that you put under the tongue. It also tasted sweet.

Mine are round, yellow tablets that say ".5" on one side and "273" on the other. They're also scored. Forgive me for being so paranoid, but I'm just trying to make sure we're talking about the same variant of the med.

hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 3/6/2007 6:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I assumed all forms of clonazepam were formulated to be dissolved under the tongue, but apparently this isn't the case. I have generic clonazepam, and I've had it from two different pharm companies, one time it was pink, now I think they are white. Maybe you'll want to call your doctor about getting the kind that are dissolvable if infact you don't already have them. I really think its worth it to be able to do that, so hopefully you have good insurance and won't have to pay too much if you want to try it that way.

Ali
 
Moderator for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 3/6/2007 3:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Yeah, the pharmacist said that it would absorb much more quickly that way and I might not get the correct dose. The tablets are different because enzymes in the stomach break down a lot of the drugs or something.

Taking a half pill sublingually probably wouldn't hurt, I guess, but it might have that super bitter medicine taste and would probably dissolve slowly. And that's one thing you don't want with anxiety (or anytime): a taste like that stuck in your mouth. Gross.

I had an absolutely horrible night last night, and I think I'm an idiot for not taking the pill. Today has been better. This evening, no matter how I feel, I think I'll try it out. I wonder why the doctor didn't give me the sublingual type, though? Is it because he's so confident that the Clonazepam will not make me sick, or was it just an oversight? No way to tell...

Aussieangel
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Date Joined Sep 2006
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   Posted 3/6/2007 8:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I take 2mgs nightly with water and do not get any nausea or problems from clonazepam. If anything it should relax you.

I also read not to stop it directly but in hospital they took me from .5mg twice daily to one larger dose at night. It has a long life lasting 24 to 30 hours in your body.

hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 3/7/2007 2:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I promise the medicine does not taste bad at all. It barely tastes like anything, but if I had to pick a flavor, I'd say sugar. It is absolutely NOT bitter. I promise you, once you realize the calming effects of this med (they are very subtle, just enough to take you back off the edge), you will be so mad at yourself for not using it earlier!!

I can somewhat understand what the pharmacist said about not getting the complete dose when you use it sublingually, sometimes I am left with just a tiny pit of the pill that just won't dissolve completely under my tongue, but in that case I usually just swallow it. The pill will generally dissolve within 5-10 minutes - really it all happens before you even notice it. You'll be fine!!
Ali
 
Moderator for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 3/7/2007 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Site seems to be having issues today. Is anyone else noticing that? A lot of errors, very slow loading times, etc.

Anyway, are you taking the pills, hopeful, or the type of clonazepam that's supposed to be administered sublingually? I'd like to see photos of what you guys are taking under the tongue and compare it to what I have.

It's my understanding that if you were to take the oral pill and let it dissolve under the tongue, you'd actually get a much higher dose than you would if you were to swallow it or use the sublingual specific type. From what I gather, that's because the pill is formulated with the expectation that stomach acids and enzymes will break down some portion of it.

I can't get hold of my doctor. The poor guy's office is probably still crammed with flu patients like it was the other day. We're having quite an influenza outbreak down here.

ttwarrior1
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 3/7/2007 2:55 PM (GMT -7)   
was told by a doc you take clonazapam by swallowing and whoever said otherwise is a quack

AngMichelle
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 3/7/2007 11:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I take the wafers on a regular basis, and as needed. Taking it regularly, keeps my anxiety down a lot, but if I'm in a store or something and feel anxiety kicking in, i take one. I don't put it under my tongue, but on top. I just don't breath through my nose untill its completely disolved b/c its not the best tasting thing, but not awefull either. I've never suffered any side-effects from it. I take 1mg BID, and 1mg as needed.
This med. doesn't really cause much drowsiness(for me at least). I take one in the am, and don't seem to be tired, and one PM and it does help me relax. Never had nausea with it.
I am really curious as to what an abdominal migraine is, as i think I deal with this too. any info would be great.
I wish the best for you. Don't be afraid of this med...it is safe, and has very little side effects.
DX-Migraines:Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome:Kidney stones: IBS:Ulcers:Depression/Anxiety:Non-Epileptic Seizures:Buldging Disc:Joint pain (I'm only 22!!)
 
Surgeries- two jaw surgeries, appendectomy, numerous lap. surgeries, ovarian cyst removals
 
Meds: ProzAC 20mg, Klonopin 1mg BID , Ambien 10mg
(PRN- Imitrex INJ, Pherergan, Stadol NS, DiaStat,)
 
May God give you a reason to smile today, an extra reason to laugh, and bring joy to your soul.

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