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Clonazepam taper advice
  1. #1
    MJ82 is offline New Member
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    Default Clonazepam taper advice

    Hello,

    I'll try to keep this as brief as I can while giving a detailed picture of my usage - I could really do with some advice on how best to taper off.

    I started taking low dose (0.25mg) Clonazepam (Rivotril) back in December. I started them over Christmas at a time when there was a lot of family stress, so for about 8 days I took 0.25mg every day.

    When I got back home, I continued intermittently on a need-basis (i.e. public presentation, moments of stress etc), and stuck to 0.25mg for some time before edging up to taking three-quarters of a tablet (so about 0.375 mg). Rarely did I take a full 0.5mg pill.

    This intermittent use has become a bit more frequent since then, but still intermittent - perhaps a half tablet on two separate days in one week, and then a half tablet the next week.

    I recently had a series of job interviews and started taking them more frequently, every other day, and still no more than 0.375mg.

    I've been aware, between doses, of some rebound anxiety - it is not like my usual anxiety, but it comes on like a light switch and is very centered in my chest - it's definitely anxiety/discomfort.

    How would somebody like me, who has taken this drug intermittently and without much consistency in terms of regularity (though quite consistent with dose), safely taper off? My prescribing doctor seems a little uneducated on this... I am also alone at the moment (partner is away) and I don't want to do this too quickly a risk seizure.

    Detailed advice would be much, much appreciated, so I can get this drug out of my system and out of my life.

    MJ

  2. #2
    MJ82 is offline New Member
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    The real question I have is how regularly to take it while dropping down the dose, given that I haven't been on it daily, or with much consistency? Many thanks for your help in advance

  3. #3
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    So do you think 3/4 of a pill every other day is about what you have been doing recently? On the days you don't take it you notice this new form of anxiety?

    Here is what I would do. Begin on a day you take 3/4 of a pill, call it day 1.

    Day 1: 3/4 pill
    Day 2: 1/4 pill
    Day 3: 1/4 pill
    Day 4: 1/2 pill
    Day 5: 1/4 pill
    Day 6: 1/4 pill
    Day 7: 1/4 pill
    Day 8: 1/2 pill
    Day 9: 1/4 pill
    Day 10: 1/4 pill
    Day 11: 1/4 pill
    Day 12: 1/8 pill
    Day 13: 1/4 pill
    Day 14: 1/8 pill
    Day 15: 1/8 pill
    Day 16: 1/4 pill
    Day 17: 1/8 pill
    Day 18: 1/8 pill
    Day 19: 1/8 pill
    Day 20: maybe try skipping a day
    Day 21: 1/8 pill

    Something like that.

    After that point try to chop it into 1/16 pieces and take those each day for a few days, then try skipping days again.

    This is only one suggestion, you get the idea, you can work out something different but the idea is first, take something daily to avoid the interdose withdrawals and second, the total you take over two days should become less than 3/4 pill and then gradually decrease.

    If you have not been taking 3/4 pill every other day long at all, then you might want to go back to taking it less frequently and NOT taking a daily dose. Taking a daily dose is what gets you addicted, but taking it every other day for long enough will do the same thing, so if that has already happened then the most comfortable way to come off it is to try to keep smooth blood levels by splitting doses into small amounts and taking more regularly, but always steadily decreasing.
    oldschnitzel likes this.

  4. #4
    MJ82 is offline New Member
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    Thanks a lot for your detailed advice. I will try and follow a pattern like this, though perhaps a bit more spaced out, as it was only a short period recently when I was taking it daily - otherwise it was usually a couple times a week. I'll see how I go with this, thank you!

  5. #5
    MJ82 is offline New Member
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    Hello all - a quick and urgent follow up question:

    I've been following a taper schedule that spaces out my doses (i.e. 1-2 clear days free between doses as I drop down). I took 0.25 mg (half a 0.5 mg pill) over one full week before dropping down a quarter to 0.125 mg.

    The last dose of 0.125 mg that I took was exactly one week ago, and I'm feeling fine! No palpitations or rebound anxiety in this period.

    My question is, am I safe to consider myself tapered off? Shall I only take another 0.125 mg if I feel any withdrawal anxiety again?

    And most importantly (forgive me, but I'm naive when it comes to such drugs), is stopping too soon after tapering off of such a low dose to begin with, dangerous in terms of leaving me open to a seizure?

    As I said in my original post, my highest dose ever was 0.5 mg, usually a couple times a week for the last 8 months, with some rare periods of daily use reaching a maximum of one week only at any one time.

    Many thanks for your help.

    Best

  6. #6
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MJ82 View Post

    My question is, am I safe to consider myself tapered off?
    Yes!!



    Shall I only take another 0.125 mg if I feel any withdrawal anxiety again?
    I wouldn't. If that happens it will likely be very short lived. You can probably push through. There may be an adjustment period. You might not feel 100% for days or weeks. But from this point forward any more doses you take will only delay the healing.


    And most importantly (forgive me, but I'm naive when it comes to such drugs), is stopping too soon after tapering off of such a low dose to begin with, dangerous in terms of leaving me open to a seizure?
    No. You are fine.

    You have figured out on your own how taking one dose here and there to get through a stressful event leads to using it more and more frequently. But you stopped yourself before it became a serious and dangerous habit.

    Great job!!!!!

  7. #7
    MJ82 is offline New Member
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    Just a question (which I think I probably know the answer to!), but I haven't touched a single dose since tapering off and feeling fine (at least from the point of view of no withdrawal or rebound anxiety.

    I do, however, still have an anxiety problem which I want to deal with, but I am starting a new job tomorrow, and wonder how bad it would be to take a a very occasional low dose at critical points only i.e. presentations at meetings or something else that doesn't happen everyday?

    Would this throw me back into trouble with benzos? I think I managed to avoid being too too dependent so the tapering down was quite quick and smooth.... but I really struggle with anxiety in some of these situations... though I don't want to go back to taking anything very regularly.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

  8. #8
    MJ82 is offline New Member
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    anyone have any advice?

  9. #9
    Joy02172012 is offline New Member
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    Hi,
    Please help. I am on Clonazepam (Rivotril) here in the Philippines since Aug 19 of this year. It'll be almost 2 months and I want to wean off from it. I was rushed to the ER last Aug 19 that's where they gave the Clonazepam which stopped stilnox wid symptoms since we weren't advice that its dangerous to abruptly stop Stilnox/Zolpidem.
    I am 9 weeks post op from laminectomy (thoracic) due to schwannoma. I do believe that I can wean off from Clonazepam but I have to do it gradually. Been taking 1/4 mg of 2mg each night. When do I start to drop the dose and how long for each dose.
    Please help and God bless.

  10. #10
    Joy02172012 is offline New Member
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    Hi,
    Please help. I am on Clonazepam (Rivotril) here in the Philippines since Aug 19 of this year. It'll be almost 2 months and I want to wean off from it. I was rushed to the ER last Aug 19 that's where they gave the Clonazepam which stopped stilnox wid symptoms since we weren't advice that its dangerous to abruptly stop Stilnox/Zolpidem.
    I am 9 weeks post op from laminectomy (thoracic) due to schwannoma. They gave me Stilnox bec they told me it would help for my sleeplessness 2 days after post-op. I was operated Aug 6. I do believe that I can wean off from Clonazepam but I have to do it gradually. I want to be drug free as it really limits my activities. Been taking 1/4 mg of 2mg each night. When do I start to drop the dose and how long for each dose?
    Please help and God bless.

  11. #11
    autimom4ever is offline New Member
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    MJ... I know you posted a few months ago...
    Don't go back to it..... Talk to dr about alternatives..

    Good luck

  12. #12
    MJ82 is offline New Member
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    Default I did go back to it, and I regret it, but now need advice

    Quote Originally Posted by autimom4ever View Post
    MJ... I know you posted a few months ago...
    Don't go back to it..... Talk to dr about alternatives..

    Good luck
    I feel very ashamed about having gone back to benzos, and I went back for longer than I had intended because my uncle who I was very close to, died suddenly from lung cancer complications. I'm not trying to make excuses, but the following has been my use over the last few months since I lasted posted here, and I now want to STOP and be benzo-free. I don't know why I did this to myself and I regret more than anything, but some advice and understanding would be helpful now:

    Back in September I began a new job which had it's own stresses, and I still had some klonopin then. I had successfully tapered off what I had been on earlier in the summer and had been off it and feeling fine for months - so a successful taper I believe.

    This September, I went back to intermittent doses - at half of the lowest dose possible (so 0.25 mg), spaced out every other day or just as needed. I was careful to not take it daily and went back on it because I was starting a new job with major responsibilities and pressures and my uncle was ill.

    My usage reduced as the weeks went on and then at the end of October my uncle died suddenly. We had to fly over for the funeral and it was a very traumatic time as we were all involved in his treatment arrangements, so this affected us all profoundly.

    At that time my grandmother had some bromazepam because it was terribly upsetting to her to lose her son at the age of 92 (she was also on a low dose, 1.5 mg each pill), and I occasionally took a half a pill for that week, certainly on the day of the funeral.

    When I arrived back home, as I had run out, I was prescribed a very short course of Xanax by my doctor, which I took intermittently (also at the lowest dose, I think it was never more than 0.25 mg that I took).

    To cut a long story short, when I ran out of the Xanax I vowed not to go back to any benzos at all, but found that I was getting rebound anxiety. I struggled through it and I was very busy with a major project at work and my grandmother came to stay, and I realised she had some bromazepam with her, which I know is a long acting benzo, unlike xanax. I was having uncomfortable days and I had read about cross-overs and tapers, though admittedly I'm a novice with this - I was worried about having a seizure if the withdrawal symptoms continued.

    I am now trying to safely taper off the bromazepam and I don't know how to do this. The last tablet I took was today (half of a 1.5mg pill) and before that the last dose was on December 29th, so some time in between. Today I felt very woozy at one point and it really worried me - can anyone give me advice about how to properly taper down with this bromazepam given this erratic past usage, and also given my sheer stupidity in switching between different benzos which I had little knowledge might make things worse. I thought since they are the same class of drug it would be no issue, but I've only just realised that they all have different half lives.

    I have been incredibly foolish - at the time I thought if I can get through this immensely stressful time I'll deal with things properly later. I need solid advice now on how to taper down safely.

    if anyone can advise I'd really appreciate it a great deal.

  13. #13
    MJ82 is offline New Member
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    So I've done a fast taper and feel fine now I just wanted to ask - if a person feels fine, are they still at risk of seizure down the line? And how much time can lapse after a fast taper before still having a seizure? I'm trying to work out if I still need to see a doctor about tapering more slowly.

    This last period of usage was a few months at a very low dose. I want off completely for good.

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