Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: Newbie to this forum that is drowning

Posted by Rick on September 12, 2000, at 3:32:41

In reply to Re: Newbie to this forum that is drowning, posted by numbers on September 11, 2000, at 23:00:08

> I want to thank James, Rick, and Cam for responding with the useful info. My brain wasn't functioning very well last night when I posted my original message. I was really in the hurt-bag. I don't exactly know why but am much better tonight and have not taken a Klonopin since last night. Let me give you guys some more info and answer some of Rick's questions.
> My symptoms: I have withdrawn from short-acting benzos twice before because they just were not working; they were too short-acting. These were Xanax and Serax and it was several years ago but I remember well what it was like coming off them. It starts with sweating hands and feet for 24-48 hours; then my stomach starts to knot up, my brain gets fuzzy, I can't concentrate, and I feel like if I don't take another benzo pill I'm going to die. After stopping Xanax and Serax I tried some tri-cyclics but they just didn't work so I tried a long-acting benzo. The first one was Centrax and I was on 10 mg per day for 2-3 years when the FDA shut down the Parke-
> Davis manufacturing plant in Puerto Rico and and P-D wasn't selling enough to justify the cost of complying with FDA requirements so they stopped selling Centrax (prazepam). I then went to the next longest benzo, Klonopin, and have been on 1 mg per day ever since with no problems. It must be 5 or 6 years that I've been on Klonopin. 3 weeks ago on a Saturday night while watching TV I noticed my hands and feet were sweating for no reason. I was astounded because I knew from past experience that was a symptom of benzo withdrawal but I had no anziety symptoms and the Klonopin seemed to be working fine like it had for years. The sweating continued through Sunday and into Monday. Then Monday afternoon the next stage of withdrawal-like symptoms hit me; i.e., a craving for the benzo that was no longer in my system, knotted stomach, fuzzy head, couldn't focus or concentrate. I called my psych doc's nurse and told her to give him the message about what was happening, that I was going to move up to 1.5 mg and would get an appointment to see him in a couple days. I took the 1.5 mg late Monday afternoon and felt fine again and assumed I had to now go to 1.5 mg and it would last for up to 48 hours just like 1 mg always had. Still no anxiety symptoms. About 10 years later I couldn't believe what was happening because I could tell the the med was wearing off. I was absolutely blown away. I still had no anxiety symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms, but no anxiety symptoms. It then hit me that I was in deep doo-doo. Given what I was experiencing, I knew I would have to take at least 3 and maybe more Klonopin to get through 24 hours when the day before 1 mg was lasting 48 hours. That is when my anxiety level started to escalate big-time. I didn't know what was going on but I knew something was very wrong if I have to take 3-4 times the benzo dose I was taking just the previous day. I know what it's like to come off these things (not easy) and there was no way I was just going to start taking 3-4 times the dose I was at the previous day. I have experienced anxiety symptoms and benzo withdrawal symptoms and these were benzo withdrawal symptoms initially. Then, after I realized I was in serious trouble with this benzo, my anxiety kicked in. Over the past 3 weeks I have tried everything, highrer doses, speading the doses, nothing worked accept higher and more frequent doses of Klonopin. I couldn't believe what was happening to me, literally over night.
> Branded Klonopin: Yes.
> No other prescription meds but lots of vitamins and amino acids for an allergy therapy protocol I'm on but I've been on the same regimen for over 3 years with the vitamins without any problems.
> Alcohol consumption: none, I don't drink.
> Thyroid test: Yes, but don't have the results yet. I've had several of them in the past and they have all been normal.
> Why the aversion to SSRI's? Because I read the PDR on these meds and am not impressed with the list of side effects. I'm in my early 50s and my wife and I have a very good sex life and I don't want to destroy it with
> SSRIs.
> I'm not sure why I'm feeling better today but I am even though I haven't taken a benzo in 24 hours. I started taking SAM-e a week ago; maybe it's working.
> Sleeping: Klonopin does not interfere with my sleep which is why I take it at night. My wording of my post in that regard was really screwed up. Having said that, I have always been a "night owl". I sleep fine once I get to sleep but find it difficult to get to sleep before 1-2 in the morning. Of course, since my anxiety meter has blown a gasket over this Klonopin situation, I'm not sleeping well at all and need to get something for that. I do feel better tonight though, and 25 mg of Benedryl (an antihistamine) may do the trick for me. It always has in the past when I have used it to get to sleep.
> The more I have reflected on what you guys have posted, I think I better see my psychologist (not the same guy I get the Klonopin from) for some counseling on this. I'm thinking you guys are right. This has to be some break-through anxiety/depression cause. It's just not logical that I would have to go from 1 mg to 3-4 virtually overnight due to a physiological problem. Time for some counseling and adding a low dose anti-depressant. Thanks again for the info. Any other suggestions?

Glad you're feeling better!

One quick thought: I've read that SamE is believed to increase dopamine levels. Dopaminergic
agents often worsen anxiety, especially until your body adjusts. I know that when I tried selegiline and later Wellbutrin, I ended up moderately increasing my Klonopin dosage each time, and then was able to lower it back down when I quit the dopaminergic meds because they continued to make me too on-edge (even though they were both beneficial in terms of cognition and alertness). I don't think there's been much study on SamE's potential interaction and safety profile in tandem with synthetic meds. Maybe you were suffering an initial anxious reaction to SamE, similar to the paradoxical reactions that can often occur in the initial days on SSRI's. I know that Celexa made my Klonopin feel as if it had totally pooped out during the fist week, but later allowed me to DECREASEmy pre-Celexa dose of Klonopin.

By the way, Serzone, which is often great for anxiety, rarely causes sexual problems. For me it actually *increses* sex drive and performance. (I'm currently taking it with my mainstay Klonopin, as well as Provigil, all for Social Anxiety. BTW, some believe Serzone may increase blood levels of Klonopin as it does to Xanax, although this is just conjecture.) And, at the low doses Cam suggested, Effexor is less likely to cause sexual problems than at the much-higher doses often used for depression.





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