I was taking 1mg, three times a day, plus, 1 extra as needed. I need your help. Wondering if this is ok. Some of the stuff I've found online about going cold turkey with this drug is scaring me, too. I have enlisted many specialist in the process of clonazepam withdrawal: The best thing you can do for yourself is research. Withdrawal symtoms I had from Alcohol when I gave up
Clonazepam is thought to increase the presence of gamma amino-butyric acid GABA in the brain, which helps to slow down heart rate and blood pressure, and calm emotional disturbances. Food and Drug Administration , or FDA, warns that taking Klonopin can be habit-forming and that users may become physically and psychologically dependent to the drug.
Users should therefore not stop taking clonazepam suddenly without medical supervision due to the dangerous side effects, or withdrawal symptoms that may occur even when taken as prescribed. The Drug Abuse Warning Network DAWN reported that over 61, people sought emergency department treatment for a negative reaction involving the recreational, or nonmedical use, of clonazepam in Clonazepam, when taken or abused for any length of time, can create chemical changes in the brain.
Parts of the brain that are normally suppressed by the drug may become accustomed to the interaction of the drug and stop performing normally without it. This is when a dependence on the drug has been formed. When clonazepam is then removed, these functions that were being dampened are suddenly not, and a kind of rebound may occur. The symptoms that Klonopin may have been managing, such as anxiety, panic, seizures, and insomnia, may then be magnified.
Withdrawal from clonazepam can be dangerous and even potentially life-threatening. The drug should not be stopped suddenly or without the direct supervision and guidance of a medical professional. Potentially fatal seizures or a coma may occur with the sudden cessation of Klonopin. The emotional benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms will usually subside with time and psychological support. There are generally three main phases of benzodiazepine withdrawal: Since Klonopin is a benzo with a long half-life of hours, as published by the journal Case Reports in Psychiatry , withdrawal will not usually start until about days after the last dose, or when the drug stops being effective.
The bulk of the withdrawal side effects will likely occur during acute withdrawal. Protracted withdrawal may include a continuation of psychological symptoms and drug cravings that may appear without warning at any time for several months or even years after the cessation of Klonopin. Not everyone will experience all three phases of withdrawal as addiction and withdrawal are unique to each individual.
For instance, protracted withdrawal is considered fairly rare; however, it may be more likely to occur in someone taking clonazepam than someone taking a shorter-acting benzo such as alprazolam Xanax. Protracted withdrawal may be able to be avoided or controlled with therapy and mental health treatment. Some of the factors that may influence the number of symptoms and the length of withdrawal may include:. Generally speaking, the more dependent the brain is on Klonopin, the longer and more uncomfortable withdrawal may be.
As with any benzodiazepine, medical detox is necessary for those withdrawing from clonazepam. Medical detox ensures that trained professionals are on hand to monitor progress 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and medical detox will often utilize medications to help control the more difficult withdrawal symptoms. This is a way to slowly lower the dosage over a safe period of time, which can minimize potential physical and emotional side effects. The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reports that major withdrawal symptoms can be largely avoided with a gradual weaning, or tapering, of clonazepam.
Medical detox will usually last about days until the peak of withdrawal symptoms has passed, and the drug is fully removed from the body. There is no specific medication currently approved to treat benzodiazepine dependence directly; however, there are several medications that may be useful during medical detox.
Antidepressants may be helpful to manage depression and suicidal behaviors that may occur during detox and clonazepam withdrawal, and other medications that work to influence GABA levels, such as gabapentin, are also being studied. Klonopin clonazepam is a benzodiazepine drug that has a number of therapeutic uses. It is used to assist in the control of seizure disorders, assist in the control of anxiety disorders, and may be used as a muscle relaxant or sleep aid. This action results in a decrease in the firing rates and excitation levels of all other neurons, resulting in sedation, relaxation, and a sense of overall calmness.
These effects are therapeutic at lower levels of the drug. Benzodiazepines such as Klonopin also produce feelings of mild euphoria and wellbeing. Klonopin and other Schedule IV substances have a potential for abuse and the development of physical dependence. They can only be legally obtained with a prescription from a physician. However, these properties also leave open the potential for the development of a serious physical dependence on Klonopin.
Other system functions compensate to operate for the presence of the drug, and the release and maintenance of freestanding levels of neurotransmitters, hormones, and the functioning levels of all systems in the body are adjusted according to the presence of the drug. This situation results in the physical withdrawal symptoms that occur when one stops taking Klonopin.
The physical withdrawal symptoms are accompanied by emotional and behavioral symptoms that are very uncomfortable for the person. Several variables affect the individual presentation of withdraw al from Klonopin in individuals who abuse the drug. It is important to note that benzodiazepines like Klonopin are more often secondary drugs of abuse that are used in conjunction with some other primary drug, such as alcohol or narcotic medications.
When there is polydrug abuse to substances that also carry a high risk for physical dependence, the withdrawal process is much more complicated. The length of time the individual abused Klonopin will influence the length and intensity of withdrawal symptoms. A rebound effect refers to the return of symptoms that were controlled when one took a specific medication. Since benzodiazepines like Klonopin are used in the control of anxiety rebound, anxiety is a common acute effect of stopping the drug.
Some sources may recognize rebound anxiety as a first step in the withdrawal process from Klonopin as it often presents early in the acute withdrawal process. Full-blown or protracted withdrawal: This stage is often referred to as simply withdrawal and occurs after the acute phase, typically extending days. However, people who abuse Klonopin and were taking extremely high doses of the drug may experience more extended periods of withdrawal.
Individuals will experience general feelings of malaise, cravings, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and may continue to experience some somatic symptoms, such as nausea, lightheadedness, headache, mild fever or chills, and so forth. An additional period of rebound anxiety may also occur near the end of this stage. There is a section of the literature regarding withdrawal from drugs in general, including Klonopin and other benzodiazepines, that describes a third phase of withdrawal that consists primarily of psychological symptoms, such as mood swings, periods of irritability, periods of anhedonia difficulty experiencing pleasure , and depressive symptoms that continue to present themselves on an intermittent basis for weeks to years following discontinuation of the drug of choice.
It is suggested that individuals who do not have the symptoms of PAWS addressed are at a higher risk for relapse. Any number of medications could conceivably be used to address specific symptoms during the withdrawal process. Failure to use the correct equivalent amount can precipitate a severe withdrawal reaction. Benzodiazepines with a half-life of less than 24 hours include alprazolam , bromazepam , brotizolam , flunitrazepam , loprazolam , lorazepam , lormetazepam , midazolam , nitrazepam , oxazepam , and temazepam.
After the last dose has been taken, the acute phase of the withdrawal generally lasts for about two months although withdrawal symptoms, even from low-dose use, can persist for six to twelve months gradually improving over that period,   however, clinically significant withdrawal symptoms may persist for years, although gradually declining.
A clinical trial of patients taking the benzodiazepine alprazolam for as short as eight weeks triggered protracted symptoms of memory deficits which were still present up to eight weeks after cessation of alprazolam. Protracted withdrawal syndrome refers to symptoms persisting for months or even years. Symptoms may include tinnitus,   psychosis , cognitive deficits, gastrointestinal complaints , insomnia, paraesthesia tingling and numbness , pain usually in limbs and extremities , muscle pain, weakness, tension, painful tremor, shaking attacks, jerks, dizziness and blepharospasm  and may occur even without a pre-existing history of these symptoms.
Tinnitus occurring during dose reduction or discontinuation of benzodiazepines is alleviated by recommencement of benzodiazepines. Dizziness is often reported as being the withdrawal symptom that lasts the longest. A study testing neuropsychological factors found psychophysiological markers differing from normals, and concluded that protracted withdrawal syndrome was a genuine iatrogenic condition caused by the long-term use. Protracted withdrawal symptoms can be punctuated by periods of good days and bad days.
When symptoms increase periodically during protracted withdrawal, physiological changes may be present, including dilated pupils as well as an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Protracted symptoms continue to fade over a period of many months or several years. There is no known cure for protracted benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome except time,  however, the medication flumazenil was found to be more effective than placebo in reducing feelings of hostility and aggression in patients who had been free of benzodiazepines for 4— weeks.
The severity and length of the withdrawal syndrome is likely determined by various factors, including rate of tapering, length of use and dosage size, and possible genetic factors. A neonatal withdrawal syndrome, sometimes severe, can occur when the mother had taken benzodiazepines, especially during the third trimester. Symptoms include hypotonia , apnoeic spells, cyanosis , and impaired metabolic responses to cold stress and seizures.
The neonatal benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome has been reported to persist from hours to months after birth. In total, over fifty withdrawal symptoms are listed in this review article. Discontinuing benzodiazepines or antidepressants abruptly due to concerns of teratogenic effects of the medications has a high risk of causing serious complications, so is not recommended.
For example, abrupt withdrawal of benzodiazepines or antidepressants has a high risk of causing extreme withdrawal symptoms, including suicidal ideation and a severe rebound effect of the return of the underlying disorder if present. This can lead to hospitalisation and potentially, suicide. One study reported one-third of mothers who suddenly discontinued or very rapidly tapered their medications became acutely suicidal due to 'unbearable symptoms'.
One woman had a medical abortion , as she felt she could no longer cope, and another woman used alcohol in a bid to combat the withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines. Spontaneous abortions may also result from abrupt withdrawal of psychotropic medications, including benzodiazepines. The study reported physicians generally are not aware of the severe consequences of abrupt withdrawal of psychotropic medications such as benzodiazepines or antidepressants. A study of the elderly who were benzodiazepine dependent found withdrawal could be carried out with few complications and could lead to improvements in sleep and cognitive abilities.
Some worsening of symptoms were seen in the first few months of benzodiazepine abstinence, but at a week followup, elderly subjects were clearly improved compared to those who remained on benzodiazepines. Improvements in sleep were seen at the and week followups. The authors concluded benzodiazepines were not effective in the long term for sleep problems except in suppressing withdrawal-related rebound insomnia.
Improvements were seen between 24 and 52 weeks after withdrawal in many factors, including improved sleep and several cognitive and performance abilities. Some cognitive abilities, which are sensitive to benzodiazepines, as well as age, such as episodic memory did not improve. The authors, however, cited a study in younger patients who at a 3. The reason it took 24 weeks for improvements to be seen after cessation of benzodiazepine use was due to the time it takes the brain to adapt to the benzodiazepine-free environment.
At 24 weeks, significant improvements were found, including accuracy of information processing improved, but a decline was seen in those who remained on benzodiazepines. Further improvements were noted at the week followup, indicating ongoing improvements with benzodiazepine abstinence. Younger people on benzodiazepines also experience cognitive deterioration in visual spatial memory, but are not as vulnerable as the elderly to the cognitive effects.
This is an important function in the elderly, especially if they drive a car due to the increased risk of road traffic accidents in benzodiazepine users. Part of the success was attributed to the placebo method used for part of the trial which broke the psychological dependence on benzodiazepines when the elderly patients realised they had completed their gradual reduction several weeks previously, and had only been taking placebo tablets.
This helped reassure them they could sleep without their pills. The authors also warned of the similarities in pharmacology and mechanism of action of the newer nonbenzodiazepine Z drugs. The elimination half-life of diazepam and chlordiazepoxide, as well as other long half-life benzodiazepines, is twice as long in the elderly compared to younger individuals.
Many doctors do not adjust benzodiazepine dosage according to age in elderly patients. Such inpatient referrals may be traumatic for non-abusers. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The core structure of benzodiazepines. Catatonia , which may result in death    Confusion  Convulsions ,  which may result in death   Coma  rare Delirium tremens    Hyperthermia  Mania   Neuroleptic malignant syndrome -like event   rare Organic brain syndrome  Post-traumatic stress disorder  Psychosis   Suicidal ideation  or suicide   Violence and aggression  .
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome Benzodiazepine dependence Benzodiazepine equivalence Opioid withdrawal syndrome Physical dependence Post-acute-withdrawal syndrome Rebound effect SSRI discontinuation syndrome Neuroleptic discontinuation syndrome. Overcoming Prescription Drug Addiction: A Guide to Coping and Understanding 3 ed. United States of America: I have treated ten thousand patients for alcohol and drug problems and have detoxed approximately 1, patients for benzodiazepines — the detox for the benzodiazepines is one of the hardest detoxes we do.
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