Hello to all -- I know that klonopin (or clonazepam) is recommended by some experienced doctors (like Cheney) as being helpful for those of us with CFIDS and FM. I've been taking it off and on for 4 years, mostly off, until the last six months or so, when I've taken it (1mg, sometimes 1 and a half mg) every day. Yes, it definitely helps my anxiety, and seems to help my occaisonal muscle twitching, but when I just found out this morning (a friend sent me a "Drug Infonet" link) that klonopin can CAUSE muscle weakness, anemia, liver problems, and has been shown to cause birth defects in other animals, I FREAKED. I have a lot of these "side" effects: weight loss (almost anorexia), muscle weakness, muscle pain, sore gums, confusion (at times -- can you spell Brain Fog?), palpitations. Now I want to get off of it asap, but I know a very slow taper (some suggest the best taper is a gradual switch to diazepam, which has a longer half life in the body, leading to fewer withdrawal symptoms) is the only way to go. Before I post the list of "adverse" effects, has anyone else done a klonopin (or clonazepam) or diazepam taper, and if so, how long did it take? I've heard that the "Ashton" method is the most successful -- but it can take six months or longer -- very, very slow tapering. NEVER EVER STOP TAKING IT "COLD TURKEY". I'd love to hear how it went and how you're doing now. Anyway, from the Drug Infonet site, here's the list of "problems" that klonopin can cause. I don't understand how Dr. Cheney can recommend it without mentioning these things... ADVERSE REACTIONS: The most frequently occurring side effects of Klonopin are referable to CNS depression. Experience to date has shown that drowsiness has occurred in approximately 50% of patients and ataxia in approximately 30%. In some cases, these may diminish with time; behavior problems have been noted in approximately 25% of patients. Others, listed by system, are: Neurologic: Abnormal eye movements, aphonia, choreiform movements, coma, diplopia, dysarthria, dysdiadochokinesis, "glassy-eyed" appearance, headache, hemiparesis, hypotonia, nystagmus, respiratory depression, slurred speech, tremor, vertigo. Psychiatric: Confusion, depression, amnesia, hallucinations, hysteria, increased libido, insomnia, psychosis, suicidal attempt (the behavior effects are more likely to occur in patients with a history of psychiatric disturbances). Respiratory: Chest congestion, rhinorrhea, shortness of breath, hypersecretion in upper respiratory passages. Cardiovascular: Palpitations. Dermatologic: Hair loss, hirsutism, skin rash, ankle and facial edema. Gastrointestinal: Anorexia, coated tongue, constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, encopresis, gastritis, hepatomegaly, increased appetite, nausea, sore gums. Genitourinary: Dysuria, enuresis, nocturia, urinary retention. Musculoskeletal: Muscle weakness, pains. Miscellaneous: Dehydration, general deterioration, fever, lymphadenopathy, weight loss or gain. Hematopoietic: Anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, eosinophilia. Hepatic: Transient elevations of serum transaminases and alkaline phosphatase.