Hi, I don't know if anyone remembers me, I haven't been on for awhile. I've been off C for about 21 months. The acute symptoms went away, though I still have some lingering ones. I've been on some AD's during this time, but they haven't helped. I also have generalized anxiety disorder and have been on Klonopin for about 10 years. Over the past year or so I notice that it's lost it's effectiveness. I've read and my doctor agreed that once you develop a tolerance to a benzo you can have rebound anxiety, so I'm trying to get off of it. It's hell, just like getting off Cymbalta. I think it can be even harder to get off a benzo. I was wondering if anyone here has managed to get off a benzo, I seem to recall that Fishinghat may have. I have to do this, but I'm not sure that I'm going to be able to, and I'm scared.
Update And New Problem
Posted 23 March 2016 - 12:11 PM
Sooo nice to hear from you after all that time.
The sure way, for myself,is to switch to Valium which has a very long half life.
I did it this way. You may take a month or so to do the switch, wait a week or two then go down slowly every two weeks. I can take more than a year to do so.
The thing with Valium is that it comes in many different dosages. Be sure to have the right equivalency.
Fishinghat does it another way without switching benzos.
Look up the Ashton or Aston method, they explain clearly all you need to do. I have not felt the withdrawal this way. I went from 30mg Valium and 16 months or so later, I am at 1.75mg, almost over.
Off to work, come back, I missed you.♥♥
Posted 23 March 2016 - 12:46 PM
Hi Kathy. I sure do remember you and am glad you are still off the Cymbalta and the ADs.
Coming off benzos is easier than you think. The technique is called water titration.
I will use the example of 2 mg of benzo a day. That comes to 0.5 mg four times a day. I usually make a 3 day supply. That means 6 mg in 600 ml for a 3 day supply. Grind the 6 mg in a mortar and pestil, rinse it into a measuring cup, fill to 600 ml, pour that into a jar and shake vigorously. Take 50 ml every 6 hours and that will give you 2 mg a day in even doses. To drop 1% just remove 6 ml from a fresh 600 ml batch. Replace with 6 ml of water. That is a 1% drop. After a drop stay at that level for two weeks to be sure there is no withdrawal effect and then you can try dropping 2%. This process continues until you start getting a little edgy. Then stay at that level until stable. When you feel like dropping again just drop a little slower. If you are dropping say 10% every 2 weeks then don't be surprised if you have to go to 6 or 7% drop at the end. If you need any help with the math let me know and I can set up everything for you.
I have come off of lorazepam 4 times and clonazepam twice and never had significant withdrawal.
Steady dose several times (4) a day (not 2 or 3). NEVER go up in dosage to feel better. It does not work and you just have worse withdrawal. This is a manufacturer recommendation and I have found it to be true. Never go back on a benzo if you have been off them less than 2 years. It will have little effect and a bad withdrawal. This is also from the manufacturer. I can attest to these. I went back on lorazepam after just being off it for 5 months. At 6 mg/day it had no effect and in addition where I normally drop about 5% every 2 to 4 weeks I was only able to drop 0.5% each month (slow). Normal drop rate is around 5 to 10% a month.
If you have any questions just let me know.
Posted 23 March 2016 - 01:20 PM
Hi Gail, It's nice to talk to you too. I'm so glad to hear that you're almost off the benzo's. I've read about switching to Valium, but I'm kind of scared to switch, that it may make the withdrawal worse. I've already been in wd from the Klonopin for a week and it's getting unbearable. Do you have an anxiety disorder?
Posted 23 March 2016 - 01:35 PM
Hi fishinghat, Thanks, even though I'm off AD's I still have depression, it's been rough. I've read about the water titration method and honestly, had a panic attack just thinking about doing it that way. If I had known about it before starting my Klonopin taper I might have been able to do it, but now I'm in wd hell. I just can't imagine getting the equipment and trying to figure things out. I'm having a hard time just comprehending your explanation, and it's me, not you. Why does doing it this way make wd easier? I wouldn't even know where to get the equipment, right now I can't even go out of the house and my husband is working so much overtime I don't think he could find it. I would love to try it this way if it makes it easier, but I'm so debilitated. Also, how do you manage your anxiety without benzo's? Besides depression, I have GAD and nothing has ever helped besides the benzo's until they quit working. I've tried therapy, deep breathing, exercise etc. I'm terrified of being in this horrible state of anxiety for the rest of my life. If there's a way you could get me started doing water titration easily I'd appreciate it. Hope I'm making sense. Thanks so much.
PS...I'm also on Flurazapam for sleep, another benzo.
Posted 23 March 2016 - 02:08 PM
I understand how you feel Kathy. When you go through these kind of withdrawals everything seems so over whelming. The reason it is so effective is that it gives you the ability to wean as slowly as needed in order to control the withdrawal. Imagine trying to cut a pill by 2%. Impossible. If you wish I can run all the math for you and walk you through it. All you need is a small mortar and pestil (any Walmart, Kmart, etc), a measuring cup that is marked in 100 ml increments (same stores) and a 20 cc syringe (no needle) to help pull out small quantities (like 2 ml). Per stores or pharmacies usually have those. For right now stay at your current dosage until all symptoms go away. That can take 2 weeks or 2 months but it will go away. You might also try 500 ml of Vit C per day. Research shows that it helps take the edge off some.
Very slow and steady.
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Posted 23 March 2016 - 02:43 PM
Fishinghat, Thanks so much for your help. The benzo's should be taken off the market, or at the very least doctor's should warn people what can happen if you stay on them for a long time. I'm so afraid that I'll mess up, but like you said if I wait until these symptoms go away (if they do), my head may be clearer. Do you have to ask the pharmacist for a syringe? What area of the store would you find a mortar and pestil. It feels good to know that I'll have your help. Do you have an anxiety disorder, if so, how do you manage your anxiety without meds? I'll try to get some Vit C too. I feel like I'm going to be stuck in anxiety hell for the rest of my life. I appreciate your help so very much.
Posted 23 March 2016 - 04:53 PM
The mortar and pestil will be in the cooking supplies where the dishes and pots are. Yes most pharmacists will help you with getting a syringe, just let them know it is for water titration (most pharmacists will help you with setting that up as well). My pharmacist taught me how. If no luck there you can go to a vet supply or farm store and they will have them for sure. Of course Amazon has them too.
As for me, well I have severe anxiety (GAD). I came off the cymbalta in 2013 (thanks to much help here). I am now on a med dose of Zoloft and will be weaning off it as soon as I am done with the lorazepam. Most of my anxiety meds are clonidine, hydroxyzine and buspar. All of which are none addictive and have no withdrawal. My hope is to get off all ADs and benzos and just use those 3. By the way, I agree with your opinion on benzos. Not a good family of drugs.
Posted 23 March 2016 - 09:45 PM
Hi fishinghat, I spoke to my pharmacist the other day about doing a liquid titration. He said he could probably do it, but it would be expensive and insurance probably wouldn't cover it. I'm kind of surprised he didn't offer to help me because he's sort of a friend, or so I thought! It would make it so much easier for me if he would do it. Maybe I can speak to him again, but he didn't seem too thrilled with the method. He called it sloppy, not sure what he meant by that.
Thanks for letting me know where to get the things I would need if I decide to do it. What worries me is that I might make a mistake with the measurements and mess it up and throw myself into worse withdrawal.
I'm so hesitant to go back on AD's. In January I tried Rexulti and surprisingly after about 3 weeks I felt my depression and anxiety lessen. I couldn't believe it because I'm so resistant to meds. But, after a couple weeks I started getting bad side effects, the worst of which was insomnia, so I had to come off of it. I did have some withdrawal and I don't think I got over it completely before I started the Klonopin taper.
GAD is so hard to deal with, sometimes I think worse than depression. That really worries me. Years ago I tried Buspar for it but I don't think it helped. It may be worth trying again when I'm off the Klonopin. Clonodine and Hydroxyzine just make me tired, they don't seem to touch the anxiety. No, benzo's are really bad news, though I know some people who've taken them for years with no problem, they keep working for them.
When I'm feeling more stable hopefully I'll get my nerve up to try the water titration, and then I'd really appreciate your help. Good luck getting off the AD's and benzo's. Sending prayers.
Posted 24 March 2016 - 07:49 AM
Try a different pharmacist Kathy. There are some pharmacists called compounding pharmacists They do nothing but special medicine prescriptions as many people are allergic to some of the ingredients of meds. I know that my dr sent a letter to my insurance about requesting the water titration mixture for me and insurance covered it. But once I got use to making it I just did it on my own.
Posted 24 March 2016 - 01:33 PM
Hi fishinghat, I'll have to look and see if there are any compounding pharmacies in our area, it's pretty rural. I'll also ask my doctor if she can try and get our insurance to cover the water titration, but I know insurance companies have gotten so bad as to what they'll cover. Today is a really bad day, I wish I'd see some improvement. How much hydroxyzine do you take? I have 25 mgs and they make me so tired for the whole day. I know that's supposed to go away with time but so far it hasn't. I wonder if should ask my doctor for a smaller dosage. Thanks again.
Posted 24 March 2016 - 09:53 PM
Thanks fishinghat. I've only been taking the hydroxyzine on days when my anxiety is really bad and I want to sleep. On days I take it I'm totally out of it. I spoke to my doctor today and she asked if when I'm ready to make the next drop in dosage, could I cut a quarter of a pill into 1/8th. I'm having a hard enough time getting the quarters cut evenly. I mentioned the water titration but she seems to know nothing about it. She also said something that upset me, she said, I'm concerned that when you're off the Klonopin you won't be able to manage your anxiety, or depression. I just feel like there's no hope, I can't take these meds, yet I need something to help. I just want to give up.
Posted 25 March 2016 - 08:06 AM
Kathy, even if what your dr says is true he/she should never say something like that and take away your hope. First of all there will be NO way of knowing for sure until you are off the medicine. There us NO way anyone, me, you or your dr, to tell if you are going through withdrawal until you are off the medicine. I can tell you that what you are feeling is consistent with the benzo withdrawal. Also your dr is poorly informed/educated if they are not aware of water titration which is used on many meds and not all psychiatric medicines. Try not to worry about this. For now you need to be patient and wait for these withdrawal symptoms to fade. It may take a while but you will get through it. It will get better.
Posted 25 March 2016 - 01:05 PM
I agree fishinghat, it wasn't a wise thing to say. I've lost all faith in doctors. I know that I'm definitely going through benzo withdrawal, but I do fear the anxiety when the wd is over. It's hard to believe that my doctor doesn't know about water titration. I'm stuck in an area with poor medical care. Several people have told me that, including a nurse. I'm feeling too sick to travel further, and I shouldn't have to. Last night was awful, I had a bad anxiety attack and barely slept, so today I'm totally wiped out. I pray that you're right fh, it really feels like I'm dying and this is never going to end.
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