Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 253823

Shown: posts 1 to 25 of 191. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

withdrawl from Klonopin

Posted by sheebies on August 25, 2003, at 8:54:49

Help please. I have been taking klonopin (.5mg taking one to two at bedtime) for almost a year. I started taking after a bad withdrawl from Metabolife (yes, I know very stupid). I also had really bad insomnia and diagnosed with having an anxiety disorder. Any way all of the sudden one day, my klonopin stopped working. I totally went through 4 days of hell - heart palps, huge insomnia, panic attacks (still taking the klonopin). I remembered that my doctor had said that you can get addicted, you will start needing more and it will stop working. That is what happened. I started taking 3 (.5mg each) at night to get to sleep. And my insomnia got worse. So I went to my Doc and told him I wanted to get off of them. After describing my huge panic, heart palps and mood swings during those 4 days. He perscribed Seroquel. When I asked him why he wanted be to take that - he said that he thought I might be starting to be bi-polor. This freaked me out and I didn't take them. I thought that those feeling might just be related to the klonopin, so I just started tapering off (.5 a night), then after a week or 10 days, I totally stopped. My insomnia got worse. I totally freaked out and had huge, huge anxiety/panic and depression feelings. I called him and said that I wanted to go off of the Klonopin and did'nt want to start taking the Seroquel, so he gave me xanax xr .5mg and told me to take 2 at night to help me sleep. Completely blowing off the idea about me trying to get off of every thing. So, thinking that xanax would be milder than the klonopin, and needing to get one night of sleep - I have been taking 2 (.5mgs) of xanax for the last 2 nights. Yes I am sleeping, but I dont' know what to do know.

My question is....has anyone been successful in getting off of klonopin and how long do the horrifing withdrawls last. Do you feel normal again? Or at least how you felt before starting it. I am wondering if I need an AD to help with the withdrawl? Any way I am going to my thearpist today to see what she thinks about his bi-polar comment and to get a name or a psych. for a 2nd opinion.

THanks.

 

Re: withdrawl from Klonopin sheebies

Posted by silmarilone on August 25, 2003, at 12:39:07

In reply to withdrawl from Klonopin, posted by sheebies on August 25, 2003, at 8:54:49

The w/d took me a couple of months, even after tapering slowly. Xanax will do the same thing to you, so I would not use it for too long. It's in the same class of drug, I believe. However, I took Klonopin for years, and never needed to increase the dose, and it never stopped working. There is a difference between "addiction" and medical dependence. It's not like you're a junkie.

-thomas-

 

Re: withdrawl from Klonopin » sheebies

Posted by cubbybear on August 25, 2003, at 22:16:58

In reply to withdrawl from Klonopin, posted by sheebies on August 25, 2003, at 8:54:49

> Help please. I have been taking klonopin (.5mg taking one to two at bedtime) for almost a year.

I can only speak about your withdrawal from the Klonopin--not about the other drugs you mentioned, your pdoc's diagnosis, etc.

I'm not sure why he is not supportive of you quitting the Klonopin. If that's what you really want to do, then he should let you do it, and explain that it must be tapered very slowly. I'm in the process of tapering down from 1.5 mg, and it's going to take several months. Everyone experiences their withdrawal from benzo-type drugs differently, but it sounds to me that you tried quitting the Klonopin too fast and didn't taper slowly enough. After being on it for about a year, even at low doses, you'll have to be patient and do it slowly. If you want more info on how to go about this, then there are plenty of people on this board who can give suggestions, myself included.

 

Re: withdrawl from Klonopin sheebies

Posted by HIBA on August 26, 2003, at 0:58:30

In reply to withdrawl from Klonopin, posted by sheebies on August 25, 2003, at 8:54:49

No, Klonopin has nothing to do with those symptoms you experience now. In extremely rare cases klonopin will stop working for a patient, but even this phenomenon shouldn't happen overnight. It is a gradual process. A paradoxical effect on benzodiazepines including klonopin is seen in some patients and I will doubt that may be the case with you. Now if you are stabilized on Xanax XR, there is nothing to worry as long as you don't build up the dose to a dangerously high level. Meanwhile, what was the problem in taking Seroquel ?

 

The coin's other side

Posted by KellyD on August 26, 2003, at 9:12:47

In reply to Re: withdrawl from Klonopin sheebies, posted by HIBA on August 26, 2003, at 0:58:30

Everyone has to do what feels right for them. But, Klonopin has been a lifesaver for me. I take .25mgs twice a day. Never increased, it's only med I use. I have been on it for 1 1/2 years. I tried THREE times to wean off - Blamed all the return of my disease symptoms to withdrawal and I was "addicted". See, the first info I found when researching benzos was the UK site - scared me to death. I finally came to the reasoning, with my doc, my disease was the reason. Am I phyically dependent? Probably. But, life is functional with Klonopin. I'm not scared of "everything". I can go out. I can work. I can take trips. I can take care of me and mine and make it through a pretty good day because of it.
You do what you feel is right for you. A good and correct diagnosis is the key. Suffering for the valor of not using meds (whatever it is you need) is something alot of us are familar with. Most of the time, it doesn't work very well. I spent countless days of misery wishing my problem would just "go away".
Hope you work it out.

 

Re: withdrawl from Klonopin

Posted by shadows721 on August 26, 2003, at 21:27:39

In reply to withdrawl from Klonopin, posted by sheebies on August 25, 2003, at 8:54:49

I was on Klonopin for 5 years. I took it two times a day. I got physicially addicted to it. I realized that, because I had convulsions when a doctor abruptly took me off of it to perform some tests. I weaned myself off of it. It took me 3 years. Since then, my anxiety has returned. I suffer from PTSD. I am now taking an antidepressant to help reduce my symptoms.

My advice to you is to lean on another medication that will help you. Give the new medication time to help you. Antidepressants don't kick in like Klonopin. They are sometimes very hard to adjust to in the beginning of treatment.

Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan are all in the same family. These are great drugs for a temporary fix. They are not something to live on for life.
The body will eventually become use to a particular dosage and will need more and more of the drug to get that calming feeling again.

 

Re: withdrawl from Klonopin shadows721

Posted by HIBA on August 27, 2003, at 0:07:02

In reply to Re: withdrawl from Klonopin, posted by shadows721 on August 26, 2003, at 21:27:39

So, If klonopin or similar benzos work for a person, still he needs to be arbitrarily recruited for antidepressant therapy, because benzos are simply a temporary fix. My question is what drugs are not a temporary fix in psychiatric practice ? Have any doc cured anxiety through antidepressant therapy ?

It is sad however, the myth over the addiction and tolerance potential of benzos still remain. This will remain untill a pharmaceutical giant comes forward with a novel benzodiazepine drug with patent protection. At the end of the day, it is all about making money.Nothing else.
HIBA

 

I agree, HIBA

Posted by KellyD on August 27, 2003, at 7:24:32

In reply to Re: withdrawl from Klonopin shadows721, posted by HIBA on August 27, 2003, at 0:07:02

My anxiety symptoms and the inability to function with those symptoms are far more scary to me than dependence to a med that takes them away. After trials with SSRI's that were terrible, I'll stick with what has worked for me. I try to be understanding of other's experiences, everyone must find their own "temporary fix" (and yes, THAT is what it truly IS - treatment vs. cure), and, if we do ----- we're the lucky ones.

 

KellyD, Re: I agree, HIBA

Posted by McPac on August 27, 2003, at 23:59:49

In reply to I agree, HIBA, posted by KellyD on August 27, 2003, at 7:24:32

You have an awesome way with words!

 

Re: withdrawl from Klonopin shadows721

Posted by silmarilone on August 28, 2003, at 1:23:41

In reply to Re: withdrawl from Klonopin, posted by shadows721 on August 26, 2003, at 21:27:39

That's simply not true. Every drug, including SSRI's do the same thing. They poop out. AND have far worse side effects than benzos, and are far worse for you. For many people, Klonopin long term on the same dose has worked, and if it's for a lifetime, so be it? There's no difference besides the MONEY factor in prescribing newer, less effective drugs for anxiety or bipolar such as SSRIs. I and many otheres have been on maintenance klonopin for many years with no increase in dose, and a stable, lower anxiety level enought to function.

> I was on Klonopin for 5 years. I took it two times a day. I got physicially addicted to it. I realized that, because I had convulsions when a doctor abruptly took me off of it to perform some tests. I weaned myself off of it. It took me 3 years. Since then, my anxiety has returned. I suffer from PTSD. I am now taking an antidepressant to help reduce my symptoms.
>
> My advice to you is to lean on another medication that will help you. Give the new medication time to help you. Antidepressants don't kick in like Klonopin. They are sometimes very hard to adjust to in the beginning of treatment.
>
> Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan are all in the same family. These are great drugs for a temporary fix. They are not something to live on for life.
> The body will eventually become use to a particular dosage and will need more and more of the drug to get that calming feeling again.

 

Thank You, McPac

Posted by KellyD on August 28, 2003, at 8:06:38

In reply to I agree, HIBA, posted by KellyD on August 27, 2003, at 7:24:32

I appreciate your compliment. I've read post by you before and you're good at expressing yourself, too.
Kelly

 

Re: withdrawal from Klonopin

Posted by shadows721 on August 28, 2003, at 19:41:05

In reply to Re: withdrawl from Klonopin shadows721, posted by HIBA on August 27, 2003, at 0:07:02

It is SAD that there are not medications out there that help those of us who suffer from extreme depression and anxiety without serious side effects and withdrawal.

My post was directed at my OWN personal experience with Klonopin. I like many others thought I was NOT physically addicted, because I took my little pills every day for years. I like many others did still feel some effect. However, it was not quite as a effective as it was when I 1st started takening it. It wasn't until I was abruptly taken off of them by a physician that I had convulsions. I had no idea such a horrible experience would happen to me within 4 days of no Klonopin after being on it for years.

It is a fact that these drugs are physically addictive. The body becomes dependent on them. I am a living fact. I had another physican switch me to zoloft and the withdrawals were absolutely hell on Earth. I had to get back on Klonopin and cut the pill down over a long period of time. Any PDR and all written well researched data is clear on benzo. Benzo's have to be tapered when discontinued. This is very serious. My friend had a grand mal seizure at the wheel of her car when she abruptly quit takening Xanax. She had been on it for 3 years.

Yes, these drugs work! But, they should not be looked upon lightly when discontinuing them. Tolerance does happen. How long is very individual.

The reason why I suggested an antidepressant is that I did not have the withdrawal like that of Klonopin when I discontinued or switched to another med. Therefore, I would never suggest benzo's as a 1st choice; unless, it was on a temporary basis. Also, many of us that have anxiety will have depression associated with it. Some times it is hard to figure what came 1st.

For those that they chose to live on Benzo's for the rest of their lives, that is a personal choice and I am glad it still works for them. But, BEWARE when stopping these medications after long term usage. It needs to be under the close guidance of a physican.

Again, my comment was based on personal experience. I don't wish anyone to go through what I did.

Peace to all. I pray we all find the right med that helps us cope with the agony of living with mental suffering.

Thank you for your responses.


 

To: sheebies

Posted by shadows721 on August 28, 2003, at 20:19:31

In reply to withdrawl from Klonopin, posted by sheebies on August 25, 2003, at 8:54:49

I am really sorry that you are experiencing these symptoms. It may be that your anxiety is breaking through and the Klonopin is not working as well as it did initially. I had horrible experiences like those you described as well. You can find a lot of information on Benzos. Here is a good website www.benzodiazepine.org. Usually the MD will taper the benzo and add an antidepressant to help you switch. Work closely with your doctor. I hope you will feel better real soon.

Peace to you.

 

Re: withdrawal from Klonopin » shadows721

Posted by cubbybear on August 28, 2003, at 21:44:30

In reply to Re: withdrawal from Klonopin, posted by shadows721 on August 28, 2003, at 19:41:05

> It is SAD that there are not medications out there that help those of us who suffer from extreme depression and anxiety without serious side effects and withdrawal.

I agree with everything you've said regarding the importance of tapering off benzo type drugs as well as anti-depressants. But I fully disagree with your above statement. There most certainly ARE meds for people who suffer from extreme depression and anxiety,and side effects can be mild or tolerable. As you yourself realize, there are great differences in efficacy and side effects for different individuals.

In your case, I would pin the blame for your suffering solely on your doctor who was such a jackass as to abruptly discontinue the Klonopin without a slow taper. That's like writing a presription for a grand mal seizure for sure.
>

>
>
>
>
>

 

Re: withdrawal from Klonopin shadows721

Posted by shadows721 on August 28, 2003, at 23:17:15

In reply to Re: withdrawal from Klonopin shadows721, posted by cubbybear on August 28, 2003, at 21:44:30

Yep, that neurologist was using poor medical judgment.

It really seems that the med issue is one that is very personal to each of us. Everyone reacts to them so differently. It's about weighing which side effects can be tolerable.

Another issue for women of child bearing years is how will the meds affect an unborn baby. I read in one book that Klonopin has been linked to cleft palate defects in babies. So much research needs to be studied on that topic.

I have been reading that many docs are putting people on topomax and neurontin, but I haven't heard how well these meds are helping others. (Perhaps, this is in another thread.) I sure hope they are offering an safe and effective alternative for depression/anxiety.

Just my thoughts.

Thanks for the reply.

P.S. I like your name. :)


 

Re: withdrawal from Klonopin shadows721

Posted by Viridis on August 29, 2003, at 0:18:28

In reply to Re: withdrawal from Klonopin, posted by shadows721 on August 28, 2003, at 19:41:05

A recent study (released by the World Health Organization, I think; I'll have to find the reference) ranked medications in order of difficulty of discontinuation. The hardest one to quit (on average) was the SSRI antidepressant Paxil. Effexor was close, and other SSRIs were in the top ten. Benzos like Klonopin were quite a bit further down the list, in the teens and twenties.

There are many drugs that, if discontinued suddenly after extended use, can cause serious withdrawal or worse. If you suddenly stopped, say, Effexor and had the kind of severe reaction some people have reported here (and elsewhere), would you say you were "addicted" to Effexor? It's strange how people use the term "addiction" so selectively (and usually incorrectly) for certain drugs like benzos, but not for others, especially those that are still under patent and heavily advertised.

I and many others have said this over and over again here, but addiction has a very specific meaning in medicine, involving obsession with a drug, continued and often escalated use despite negative consequences, and so on. This is not the same as dependence, which means that your body becomes accustomed to a substance (anything from insulin to Paxil to Xanax to heartburn medications) and reacts badly if the substance is suddenly withdrawn.

By your criteria, anyone who takes any medication for a substantial period of time and has a bad reaction if they stop it must be an addict. If so, there are an awful lot of "addicts" walking around who are "hooked" on blood pressure medications, anti-epilepsy drugs, and so on.

What makes responsible use of benzodiazepines any different ?

 

Re: withdrawal from Klonopin

Posted by shadows721 on August 29, 2003, at 11:32:05

In reply to Re: withdrawal from Klonopin shadows721, posted by Viridis on August 29, 2003, at 0:18:28

I feel that I am being attacked by using the words physical addiction. Physical addiction is different than an emotional and mental addiction.

It is ironic that you can buy Xanax, Klonopin, and valium on the street. But, they are not physically addictive? That's very odd.

The original post was how someone was suffering. Hardly anyone has addressed that. Instead they are choosing to attack me with words, because they don't like the terminology- "physical addiction". I have not seen anyone quote the medical research on Klonopin or it's horrible withdrawal. I am speaking from experience. What were the convulsions from? Why did the convulsions stop when the nurse gave me another Klonopin? Has anyone else here stopped using Klonopin for 5 years abruptly and seen what it will do?

I wasn't even talking about Paxil and Effexor. Yes, they too have horrible withdrawals. The body does become dependent. Again, I will use the term "physical addiction". Perhaps, you like physical dependency word instead. The words don't matter. People suffer from abrupt withdrawal. That was my point!

I suffer from depression and anxiety. I find this attack pointless and very sad. No one has addressed my feelings from having a horrible experience being abruptly taking off this med. The med in discussion is Klonopin!

I am not responding to anymore heartless attacks. Take your anger elsewhere. I am not your enemy. In fact, I am a fellow sufferer sharing my horrible experience. I pray that NO ONE goes thru what I did.

God Bless you all.

 

Re: withdrawal from Klonopin

Posted by KellyD on August 29, 2003, at 14:26:59

In reply to Re: withdrawal from Klonopin, posted by shadows721 on August 29, 2003, at 11:32:05

I never intended to attack anyone. I was giving my experience also. I thought sharing different and alike experiences was what this was about. I stated before I respect others experiences and I do not doubt there are horror stories.

I'm outta this one.

 

Re: withdrawal from Klonopin shadows721

Posted by Viridis on August 29, 2003, at 15:22:18

In reply to Re: withdrawal from Klonopin, posted by shadows721 on August 29, 2003, at 11:32:05

I'm very sorry about what you went through, and you're right -- choice of words doesn't change the seriousness of your experience in any way.

I was simply trying to make the point that many medications that are very helpful cause dependency and have to be discontinued slowly. It's unfortunate that people so often demonize one particular class of meds that improves the quality of life for so many people.

I hope that things are better for you now, and I didn't intend to direct any anger at you, just put things in perspective. Good luck!

 

Re: withdrawal from Klonopin shadows721

Posted by mattdds on August 29, 2003, at 16:03:01

In reply to Re: withdrawal from Klonopin, posted by shadows721 on August 29, 2003, at 11:32:05

Hi there Shadows,

I feel for what you are going through, and whatever label you want to give it, I hope you recover from it.

I think the worst thing that has happened to you was the irresponsible, and highly uninformed decision your physician made by not tapering you off Klonopin. He abused his authority and made a dangerous decision, likely because he himself did not want to "deal with" managing your benzo prescription.

Nobody here will dispute the fact that *dependence* does indeed occur with long-term benzo use. Even the biggest advocates of benzos are aware of the dependence issue. All drugs have their drawbacks and this happens to be one very few that benzos have. Unfortunately, if informed consent is not followed, as it *certainly* was not in your case, there can be some severe consequences. But as long as simple precautions are followed, benzos are among the safest and most effective drugs used in psychiatry today.

I know it was not your intent to accuse anyone of being an addict. You were likely just using the verbage that your doctor had used with you. Most physicians are not aware of this distinction, especially non-psychiatrists. You could argue that the distinction is a matter of semantics. This has some truth to it, because if benzos are abruptly discontinued, there is indeed a severe withdrawal syndrome, as happens in addiction. However, people with true anxiety disorders that responsibly take benzodiazepines in no way whatsoever resemble "addicts", in the medical sense of the word. So you see, the distinction between "addicted" and "medically dependent" does become important to someone who needs this medication to function properly in life.

I don't think anyone was (intentionally) attacking you. People here (again, myself included) are quick to correct people in their use of the word "addiction" in benzodiazepines. Nobody likes to be made to feel like an "addict", especially when they are responsibly using a drug specifically made for their particular indication (anxiety). People here are eager to dispel this myth about benzos. What we forgot to do was demonstrate compassion for your situation before "correcting" you.

Hope you feel better,

Matt

 

Re: please be civil cubbybear

Posted by Dr. Bob on August 29, 2003, at 17:16:53

In reply to Re: withdrawal from Klonopin shadows721, posted by cubbybear on August 28, 2003, at 21:44:30

> In your case, I would pin the blame for your suffering solely on your doctor who was such a jack*ss

It's great to support others, but please don't use language that could offend people, thanks.

Bob

PS: Follow-ups regarding posting policies, and complaints about posts, should be redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration; otherwise, they may be deleted.

 

Re: please be civil shadows721

Posted by Dr. Bob on August 29, 2003, at 17:25:55

In reply to Re: withdrawal from Klonopin, posted by shadows721 on August 29, 2003, at 11:32:05

> No one has addressed my feelings from having a horrible experience being abruptly taking off this med.
>
> I am not responding to anymore heartless attacks. Take your anger elsewhere.

I'm sorry you had a horrible experience, and don't feel people here have addressed it, but please be sensitive to their feelings and don't jump to conclusions about them or post anything that could lead them to feel accused. Thanks,

Bob

 

Re: withdrawal from Klonopin

Posted by stjames on August 29, 2003, at 19:39:02

In reply to Re: withdrawal from Klonopin, posted by shadows721 on August 28, 2003, at 19:41:05

It seems in your case the problem was poor medical advice.

 

Re: withdrawl from Klonopin

Posted by stjames on August 29, 2003, at 19:40:33

In reply to Re: withdrawl from Klonopin, posted by shadows721 on August 26, 2003, at 21:27:39

They are not something to live on for life.
The body will eventually become use to a particular dosage and will need more and more of the drug to get that calming feeling again.

This is not the case for many people and has been well reported.

 

Re: please be civil » Dr. Bob

Posted by cubbybear on August 30, 2003, at 8:48:29

In reply to Re: please be civil cubbybear, posted by Dr. Bob on August 29, 2003, at 17:16:53

> > In your case, I would pin the blame for your suffering solely on your doctor who was such a jack*ss
>
> It's great to support others, but please don't use language that could offend people, thanks.
>
> Bob
>
>Oh, no, now it's my turn. Offensive language? How can that word potentially be offensive when directed at an individual not even named or in the discussion?What it seems to come down to, Bob, is that you seem to have an extremely conservative, if not Puritanical view of what might be considered offensive speech. I invite others to share their views. I deeply resent being told to watch my language when four-letter words were NOT involved at all.


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