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Re: Anxiety without clonzapam (klonopin), Help

Posted by Toothy on January 8, 2008, at 8:52:31

In reply to Re: Anxiety without clonzapam (klonopin), Help Toothy, posted by RobertDavid on January 7, 2008, at 11:32:31

> > Robert,
> >
> > Are you still taking Klonopin 2 mgs per day? Is it still working for you without. I love knowing that you have not developed tolerance issues to the anti-anxiety effect. I know some websites are totally anti-benzo and say it only helps for 3-4 months but this is not what the anxiety disorder specialists tell me. They say that it works for years.
> >
> > Have you ever tried to taper to see if you still need it?
> Toothy:
> I went down to 1.5mgs Klonopin for about a year and did pretty well, but about a month ago met with my doctor, the same one I've had for 14 years, and went back up to 2mgs. I'm feeling much less anxiety and overall much better, more social. I had some significant life issues so I seemed to need a little more relief so I went back up on dose.
> I'm not trying to suggest that my doctor is better than anyone elses, but I will say that he is one of the leading researchers on anxiety disorters in the nation and chairs a major Los Angeles hospital. It has always been his take that Klonopin can be taken at the same dose long term without the need to go up on dose. The anti anxiety relief remains constant and I have not developed tolerance to it. That has been the case with me.
> He also suggested once a day dosing (I take at night) as when blood levels stablilize there's no need for split dosing. Again, this is what I do. Klonopin has a long half life.
> He is also pretty adimate that with klonopin (as opposed to many other drugs) to use brand. I have tried both and did better with brand. He told me he has had other patients who with issues using generic and when switched to brand they did much better. The reason is that generic allows for a 20% variance in strength and it is important to keep your blood levels at a stable dose. With the 20% variance you could have a significant differnce in strength from refill to refill (as the refill can come from a differnt batch from the drug co - many of which are overseas) which can cause problems in how you feel with your body constantly adjusting to dose. I know there are many who argue this point which I have debated before (don't care to again), I'll just say I take brand and pay the difference and believe in it.
> A few years back I wanted to see how I'd feel off Klonopin so I did a very slow taper and was totally off it. Though my doctor did say there was a chance I could do ok without klonopin he reminded me of how poorly I did before I took Klonopin many years when we first met and that my original symptoms may return. I was so socially anxious at that time that I could harldly leave home. Long story long my symptoms did come back and after a few months I went back on Klonopin (thankfully).
> I have known many people (here and personally) who say they tried Klonopin and that it did not help them with their anxiety symptoms (it certainly does not work for all). But I found that many took a small dose, didn't feel better and moved on saying klonopin was a bust. Everyone is different and it's my opinion that if you are treating SAD and or GAD and you don't get yourself up to at least 1 mg (and perhaps as high as 3) you may be missing a drug that will really help you because you never took a theraputic dose. When I first started Klonopin I remember being very disapointed as I had high hopes for relief after avoiding a "benzo" for so long (I was benzo phobic too at the time), but it was because my doctor did a slow titrate up in .25 increments. It wasn't until weeks later when I was over 1mg that I begain to feel better and ultimately feel great and actually for the first time in 30+ years know what it was like to be free from social anxiety, to feel normal.
> Sorry for the book, but that's my take on Klonopin, it gave me the quality of life I had missed out on for so long after years of failed trials on so many other anti depressants and other meds. I believe there are to many primary doctors and others who are just benzo phobic. Working with a doctor familiar with klonopin (or other benzo's is key. All that said, I am not a doctor and this is just my experience and understand that everyone is different. Those that may read this can take it for what it's worth.
> Anyway, I hope this will be of some help to you in your search for answers.........


Thank you for your thoughtful response to my questions. I find it comforting to know that the anti-anxiety effects of the Klonopin have not lessened for you. I find your experience and your doctor's advise to be consistent with several other nationally recognized anxiety disorders specialists who state that tolerance to the anti-anxiety effects do not develop in Anxiety Disorder Patients.

Also, the well known psychiatrist I talked to personally said that he preferred the high-potency benzos like Klonopin and Xanax to the low potency ones and does not see tolerance develop. He also was doubtful I was getting much benefit from the 20 mgs of Valium I take because of its low potency. I have been pretty symptomatic on this dose.

I'm gratified to hear your experience is positive and you are doing well. We have to do whatever gives us the best "quality of life" given whatever disorder we have.





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