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What to expect when quitting benzodiazepines
  1. #1
    NiemotkaPolka is offline New Member
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    Default What to expect when quitting benzodiazepines

    I've been reading this forum for a while now as I was preparing for quitting opioids (Subutex and tramadol, over 2 years of abusing). I am currently 9 days free of the above mentioned substance but it's only a half of my problem.

    The much worse withdrawal I am expecting will be from benzodiazepines that I've been taking for 4 years. I take 3mg of clonazepam a day, that's already after tapering off from the daily dose of 6mg. I was seeing addiction specialist and doctor for 8 months and I haven't received any help apart from talking about my daily problems and alcohol addiction that I'm also battling (lucky me).

    I'm 35 and I would like to start trying to get pregnant in about 6-8 months but I'm obviously not going to do that as long as I'm on clonazepam. Quitting opioids was surprisingly easy but I know that won't be possible with benzodiazepines, especially that I'm taking the strongest of them.

    Has anyone here done that successfully? How long did it take? Is it possible to do that at home and continue working? I read professional publications about the how but I would be grateful for some life experience. What to really expect?

  2. #2
    Ricky71 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NiemotkaPolka View Post
    I've been reading this forum for a while now as I was preparing for quitting opioids (Subutex and tramadol, over 2 years of abusing). I am currently 9 days free of the above mentioned substance but it's only a half of my problem.

    The much worse withdrawal I am expecting will be from benzodiazepines that I've been taking for 4 years. I take 3mg of clonazepam a day, that's already after tapering off from the daily dose of 6mg. I was seeing addiction specialist and doctor for 8 months and I haven't received any help apart from talking about my daily problems and alcohol addiction that I'm also battling (lucky me).

    I'm 35 and I would like to start trying to get pregnant in about 6-8 months but I'm obviously not going to do that as long as I'm on clonazepam. Quitting opioids was surprisingly easy but I know that won't be possible with benzodiazepines, especially that I'm taking the strongest of them.

    Has anyone here done that successfully? How long did it take? Is it possible to do that at home and continue working? I read professional publications about the how but I would be grateful for some life experience. What to really expect?
    Hello and welcome to the forum. It is important to take your klonopin at the same time everyday! You should be okay tapering 5-10% every 5-7 days. You can adjust your taper depending on how you feel?

    Google search "The easiest way to taper Xanax, or any other benzo" (hughes12) for info on how to shave down the pills for tapering. You can also search for "water titration benzodiazepine"...

    I hope this helps? Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to tapering benzos! Good luck and keep us updated? God bless us all!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 09-25-2016 at 12:17 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by NiemotkaPolka View Post
    I've been reading this forum for a while now as I was preparing for quitting opioids (Subutex and tramadol, over 2 years of abusing). I am currently 9 days free of the above mentioned substance but it's only a half of my problem.

    The much worse withdrawal I am expecting will be from benzodiazepines that I've been taking for 4 years. I take 3mg of clonazepam a day, that's already after tapering off from the daily dose of 6mg. I was seeing addiction specialist and doctor for 8 months and I haven't received any help apart from talking about my daily problems and alcohol addiction that I'm also battling (lucky me).

    I'm 35 and I would like to start trying to get pregnant in about 6-8 months but I'm obviously not going to do that as long as I'm on clonazepam. Quitting opioids was surprisingly easy but I know that won't be possible with benzodiazepines, especially that I'm taking the strongest of them.

    Has anyone here done that successfully? How long did it take? Is it possible to do that at home and continue working? I read professional publications about the how but I would be grateful for some life experience. What to really expect?
    The usual issue with Benzo tapering is the anxiety and insomnia that can happen even when done properly.
    First things first: Don't adjust your dosage at all without talking to your doctor first and coming up with a tapering plan with him/her. Your doctor will give you a taper plan and if it's too fast and you're experiencing too much anxiety/insomnia, he/she can adjust the taper or prescribe another medication to help with it such as Buspirone or maybe an SSRI. Even neuroleptics (anti-psychotics) can be used to help with the sleep/anxiety for a brief period of time and don't be fooled, low dose anti psychotics have been used for a very long time for anxiety and other mental issues such as insomnia. The dose you would be taking if nothing else works and you got to that would be very low, around 50-100MG probably (in contrast, someone taking it for schizophrenia would be taking more like 800MG a day) so it's a really low dose that just causes sedation.

    Anyways, those are the usual options when coming off benzo's but every doctor is different and everyone's medical history is different too, so *always* talk to your doctor.

  4. #4
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheyDONTWORK_ForLong View Post
    Don't adjust your dosage at all without talking to your doctor first and coming up with a tapering plan with him/her. Your doctor will give you a taper plan and if it's too fast and you're experiencing too much anxiety/insomnia, he/she can adjust the taper or prescribe another medication to help with it such as Buspirone or maybe an SSRI.
    But OP has been seeing the doctor for 8 months and has not gotten help with this. Many posters here report that their doctors taper them way too fast and don't cooperate with you wanting to taper more slowly, or refuse to consider you using a very slow taper plan such as the Ashton Method. Also, I would be wary of starting an SSRI for the purpose of weaning off a benzo. That's just replacing one addictive drug with another. SSRI antidepressants can have horrific withdrawal symptoms of their own.

    But I agree with you that you should not make changes without consulting with your doctor. A good way to handle this is to simply ask your doctor to keep you on your current dose, but is it okay if in the future you feel you don't need them as much, to go ahead and start reducing on your own should you want to? That way, if there is any medical reason you should not change the dose, the doctor can say so. You will continue to get your prescription so you won't be cut off too fast, and you will have his permission to reduce, but he won't be locking you into an aggressive schedule. Then, as you reduce and need less pills, fill the prescription less often and just inform the doctor of your new daily dose at your next visit. Likely he will simply say, good for you for only needing 4 a day instead of 6 or whatever. Then he can write your new script for your new current dose. Rinse, repeat. This way you get your doctor's permission to be flexible with your dosing in the downward direction, but not necessarily beginning now. Then you can go home and design yourself a good very slow taper.

    What seems to happen a lot when people go in to the doctor saying, "I want off this benzo," the doctor then puts them on a very fast taper, like 50% cuts every week. Once you announce that you want off the drug, doctors seem to want to get it done quickly. Not sure why other than it's common and accepted practice, and they don't like to vary from common and accepted, or maybe they assume the patient wants off very quickly. In the case of benzos, at least for a lot of people, a much more slow taper is far better. So you can avoid the doctor's reaction to yank you off too fast by phrasing your plan as simply asking permission for future unspecified reductions on your own, and getting permission just to do that. Takes the pressure off the doctor to "get you off the drug", gives you the freedom to taper as slowly as you like, but with the doctor's concurrence with the general idea of you reducing.

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