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Re: social anxiety - benzos - to Louise.

Posted by Rick on December 3, 1999, at 14:17:09

In reply to Re: social anxiety - benzos - to Rick., posted by Louise on December 2, 1999, at 21:09:44

Louise -

Sorry to hear about your bad experience with Klonopin. But you'll note that -- despite my pdoc's pronouncement that he has rarely seen a withdrawal problem in a situation like mine -- I am very careful to use qualifiers like "primarily" in my posts. I did not, and would not, make an absolute statement, because I know there are sometimes cases like yours where things work out differently. While research and years of professional experience have conclusively demostrated that Klonopin is far less likely to cause withdrawal difficulties than the shorter-acting benzo Xanax, that certainly does not mean no one ever has the opposite reaction (or rebound anxiety which presents as withdrawal symptoms). You said it yourself: everybody's different. Statistically speaking some people are going to end up as outliers, or atypical cases.

As for the relative potency of the two benzos, I could write a thesis here. (And I hate to point this out once again, but some parts of Dr. Bob's wonderful site have info which is controversial and/or has not been updated with the most recent research -- including the benzo equivalency chart.) But suffice to say that, here again, individual body chemistry is a more important determinant of benzo "equivalencies" than some set mathematical formula. To get the same anti-anxiety effect as X mg. of Xanax, Person A may need X/2 mg. of Klonopin, Person B needs X mg. of K, person C needs 2X mg., and person D just doesn't get any help from it at all.
This is why, even more so than for antidepressants, you often see the term "highly individualized" applied to benzo dosing.
For me, .5 mg of Xanax puts me to sleep, while I can take .5 mg of Klonopin with no fatigue at all.
> Rick,
> I disagree with your analysis of Klonopin v. Xanax and Ativan. I took Xanax for a couple of years and then wanted to try a longer-lasting benzo, so my pdoc prescribed Klonopin. Did you know that Klonopin is roughly twice as strong as Xanax mg. for mg.?
> I had strange side effects while on Klonopin that I had never had before, such as depression, aggression, unrealistic anger, memory loss, depersonalization, etc. The person taking that drug was not me, so after almost 6 months I was asked by my family to go back on Xanax. End of story, right? Wrong!
> While I was on Xanax I was taking approximately 3 mg. per day. For most of the 6 months I was on Klonopin I was taking 2.5 mg. per day, so when I went back to Xanax I assumed 2.5 mg. would be sufficient. I soon started having severe withdrawal ... had there been any Klonopin in the house I would have taken it. I had to increase the Xanax to 4 mg. until the withdrawal from the decreased benzo level went away (took about a week for the withdrawal symptoms to completely go away). In time I was able to wean back down to my usual 3 mg. of Xanax per day.
> I'm not exactly knocking Klonopin ... it just didn't work for me. Everybody's different and someone else might have a completely different reaction while taking it, but to say that Klonopin is less addicting than Xanax or Ativan is just plain nonsense. I've been there and done that.
> Louise




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