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Re: Clonazepam Trial for Social Phobia

Posted by Rick on December 12, 1999, at 18:24:28

In reply to Clonazepam Trial for Social Phobia, posted by Michele on December 12, 1999, at 12:31:33

It's not just the "least upsetting to the system", it's also the only benzo clinically demonstrated in a large-scale, placebo-controlled blind study to be effective for Social Phobia. Indeed, the responsiveness rates were extremely high, even more so than "gold-standard" AD Nardil, and a lot higher than for Paxil and other SSRI's. So there's an excellent chance it will work for you.

Since July or August, I've written much in this site about how Klonopin has been a lifesaver for my severe generalized Social Phobia, after having tried Nardil, Xanax, and several other meds. And, except when I tried (counter-productively) taking more of it than I really needed, there have been NO bad side effects for me, except for a tad of sedation the first week or two. I take 1.5 - 2.0 mg/day. I certainly wouldn't recommened anything over 3.0, despite what one widely-circulated Brazilian study says. You need to experiment a bit with dosage and timing, but even before I reached my "optimal" regimen, the benefits were so quick and marked that I was amazed -- even after having read about the 78% significant-response rate in the '93 Duke University study.

While Klonopin is the linchpin of my treatment, I also get a pleasantly calming effect from just a small amount (2.5 mg bid) of the serotonin-friendly beta blocker Pindolol, originally added because my heart rate was high. I have also experimented with adding in BuSpar and low-dose Selegiline (I had tried the latter BEFORE Klonopin, with no anxiety benefit). Both were nicely "activating", although the BuSpar side effects for some reason proved too much for me and actually added a little counter-productive jitteriness. I've recently added back the Selegiline, which I initially quit because it was sexually OVER-stimulating for me when taken with Klonopin (talk about a side-effect difference vs. SSRI's and MAOI's!)

But, again, Klonopin (many swear the brand is superior to generic clonazepam) is the key, and I'm very grateful to have found it. The other meds are just "fine-tuning" (although I really noticed a difference mornings when I eliminated that tiny dose of Pindolol for awhile). I've had so much relief in both professional and other social settings. Klonopin allows me to think more clearly and focus on what's important, rather than mentally and physically falling apart around other people in specific situations.

I'd stop here, but must add one very important note: Unlike you, I do not suffer from depression. Klonopin alone certainly won't treat depression, and in fact in some depression-prone people may actually *encourage* depression after extended usage. Have you tried Serzone or Manerix (not available in U.S., but doc can order from Canada)? These tend to have fewer side effects, especially sexually and weight-related, although some people find Serzone sedating; have both supposedly shown some degree of benefit for Social Phobia; and can both be used with Klonopin. Also, if you are not sensitive to its side effects (such as dizziness or fatigue -- NOT sexual problems) the GAD med BuSpar is said to be an effective *antidepressant* at high doses (min 60-90 mg). Indeed, there is some anecdotal evidence that HIGH-DOSE BuSpar can help alleviate Social Phobia.

Good luck to you.

> Hi,
> Have spent the weekend researching new/old meds for my GAD/Social Phobia/Depression. I have tried just about all the SSRI's. Effexor was probably gave me the least amount of effects however if the benefits had been good I would still be on it. I have gone for a long period without medication and am now ready to try again.
> I would sure appreciate info on clonazepam, dosages, effects, withdrawal, long-term use, benefits. I am interested in this one because it is the least upsetting to the system. I am just in no mood to deal with weight gain, dizzyness and all that crap again.
> Thanks guys for your support.
> Michele




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