Going from Ativan (lorazepam) to Klonopin (clonazepam)

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Smurfette17, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. Smurfette17

    Smurfette17 New Member

    Hi all,

    I'll try to keep the story short-- I started taking Ativan in December to counteract anxiety caused by another medication. However, even after the other med was out of the picture I noticed that Ativan helped me function better, reducing sensory overload, and making my mind clearer. I've since read that benzos can help CFS patients with this, so it makes sense to me. I have weaned down to a pretty small amount, bc I originally had the goal of getting off the drug. But now I'm thinking that I'd like to stay on a benzo, at a small dose. I usually take 0.25 mg Ativan in the morning.

    I'm wondering, though, if I should switch to Klonopin bc it has a longer half life. I will discuss this with my psychiatrist this week, but wanted to know if anyone has made this switch from a shorter-acting benzo to a longer-acting one (e.g. Xanax or Ativan to Klonopin). Was it hard to bridge?

    On one hand, I understand that if the Ativan is working, maybe I can stay at 0.25 or 0.5 daily. On the other hand, I think that being on something longer-acting might mean I can take an even smaller dose, and also be easier to wean off later.

    Also- I take 10mg Ambien at night, which also is a GABA agonist.

  2. SusanEU

    SusanEU New Member

    I have been on 0.5 mg for about 3 or 4 years now and would never be without it. I take mine at bedtime and during the day if I feel I need it.

    I have tried klonopin in the best, but I just didn't like the way it made me feel. My eyes seemed to be blurry and, for some reason, it gives me a bit of a rash on my face. Neither my dr or pharmicist could explain this.

    I guess it's a personal choice, I know they are people on the board who swear by klonopin.

    Good Luck

    Sue in Ontario
  3. deepcanyon1

    deepcanyon1 New Member

    Hi Anita its nice to meet you and well I went on Klonopin 17 yra ago after being on xanax for about 7 years it took a psychiatrist i was seeing in Atlanta 2 yrs to find a way to get me off of the Xanax i had horrible withdrawals. Now after being on the klonopin for so many yrs. no doctor will even try to get me off of it cause I take 2 mg a day 1 in the morning and one about 5 in the afternoon. And now when they try to get me off of it I fall apart at about 1 milligram I started at first on it 3 xs a day but have had to stay at the 2 mgs now forever it seems. I have blurry vision alot and am off balance and get sleepy early in the evening but now i think its the cfs doing that. But the doctors cant tell me if the klonopin is doing any good any more after all these yrs but cant get me off of it to find out. I have done research on it and it says its not a drug to be used long term. But I know it helped me get off of the xanax an my anxety attacks have been better all these yrs.
    So good luck with trying it
    Hope it works well for you

  4. Sophiaz

    Sophiaz New Member

    Not perfect for insomnia but the best and I sometimes take melatonin, too.

    It is so hard to compare benzos...similar drug family but like comparing horse shoes and huckleberries! When Klonopin first came out it was anti seizure..now it's anti anxiety??

    Well, i take xanax somedays, when I remember before leaving the house for more than an hour or to exercise,helps calm adrenalin surgest but does not make sleepy.

    I use .5 of Klonopin for sleep but sometimes need a second dose. They say the half life is longer but a couple dimes I have tried .25 of xanax and woke up "hungover all day" ??? Go figure. should be the opposite.

    So though I say this med has helped me for years with sleep just means for MY BODY Chemistry...I suggest trying it. ALSO Klonopin is sweet tasting and you can put it under your tongue to get in system quicker...I do this at night for sleep as I take forever to fall asleep with or w/o it. Sublinqual drugs allegedly get in our system easier..but with autonomic systems all bets are off! :)
    [This Message was Edited on 02/15/2009]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/15/2009]
  5. Crickie

    Crickie New Member

    Hi there,
    I have had fibro for 10 years and along with it came the anxiety! I was started on the lowest dose of Xanax and that worked for quite a while, but I felt like a pill popper having to take it frequently through the day as well as having break through anxiety. I started Klonopin and I am still taking it two years later....same lowest dose. I don't know if one would be easier to come off of.....but it is more convenient and a little more peaceful for me. Talk to your doc. I despise taking the stuff but you have to do what you have to do!

    Good luck,
  6. SolSerenade

    SolSerenade New Member

    i like Klonopin for sleep, anxiety, etc....

    dr. Cheney has written specifically on Klonopin, about how it helps protect the brain - try 'Googling' "cheney klonopin brain fry" and you will find some articles.
  7. Sophiaz

    Sophiaz New Member

    Hi I think I read most articles years ago in the CFIDS chronicle years ago..about it calming the GABA receptors? I find xanax does that for me without making me sleepy the times I take it...whatever works for our individual biochemistry! :)

    I have those old Chronicles were great to get quarterly and the one on insomnia LITERALLY saved my sanity...talked about Sinequan and Klonopin...K to get to to sleep the S to keep you there..the latter also eliminated allergy issues that "allergy shots" never helped. In three days I never went thru half a box of Puffs a day again.

    Course I later realize Sinequan is HORRIBLE for Dysautonomia but hey it worked for sleep but I was hungover as all get out from B/P in the basement. So now just Klonopin..sorry to digress..I NEED FOOD!! (they don't call it brain fog for nuttin' !)
  8. Smurfette17

    Smurfette17 New Member

    Thanks, everyone. Yes, I did read the Cheney paper about Klonopin. I have a feeling that my psychiatrist will tell me to stay on the Ativan since that is working with no side effects (can't say that I disagree) but we'll see.

    Now, my primary care doctor (who has a holistic bend), recently suggested I try L-theanine for sleep. L-theanine is also a GABA agonist, like benzos. So I was wondering if I could go from Ativan to L-theanine. I didn't try that yet because I wanted to check it out first with my psychiatrist and also Dr. Lerner (due to the AVs).

    Has anyone ever successfully made that switch, from a benzo to L-theanine? I took a 100mg capsule of L-theanine just once last week, to see if it would do anything for my anxiety/mood but it didn't do a thing. The doctor did say it would take a few weeks to build up in the body, though.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/16/2009]
  9. Smurfette17

    Smurfette17 New Member