klonopin INCREASE free radicals?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by artkin, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. artkin

    artkin New Member

    My doctor yesterday prescribed a small dose of klonopin (clonazepam, 0,3 mg daily) for helping sleep.
    As for every medications I mad an extensive searching throw the net and what I found dislikes me... it's not the addictive potentials, which is well know and can be avoided making drug-free weeks, but it's the fact that clonazepam INCREASES free radicals, particularly superoxide.
    Well, I agree with the Pall theory about fibromyalgia, so I really think an increase in superoxide is not a good thing. I learned that almost every nitro-containing aromatic compound (mainly nitrazepam, but also clonazepam) greatly increase oxidative stress, and superoxide in particular (a fast search in wikipedia can give you all references needed).
    I've found instead that diazepam (valium) tend to decrease oxidative stress, and this can explain why on valium my pain is less severe (unfortunately the very long half life of valium prevent it's use with only 1 week drug-free intervals).
    My question is: what do you think about this? Really clonazepam in the long run and even without reaching dependence can worsen fibromyalgia?

    Thanks a lot
  2. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

    Hi Artkin--I do not know if Klonopin is the right choice for you. Only you and your doctor can decide that. I do think you are wise to be carefully researching it. I have severe ME (not FM) and have been taking Klonopin for over three years. I take 2.25 mgs. at bedtime and tiny slivers of pills on the roughest days. It has literally been a godsend. I don't think I would ever choose to stop using it. It helps me sleep soundly with no hangover affect. When I take small amounts occasionally during the day, it has the reverse effect, of calming my brain while making me feel more alert and present. I know many other on the board has reported the same experience.

    I honestly had not read or heard the info concerning free radicals. That is very interesting and I will look into it.

    The reason I am writing, however, is to question your statement about "drug-free weeks". It is my understanding that this would never work with Klonopin. It is habituating and a dose dependent drug, not an addictive one. You would have great difficulty, I think, taking it sporadically. It is mainly intended for seizure disorders, panic attacks, and the over-firing brains of those with ME. It is well known for its sedating effect. I would think that if these are not your main symptoms, your doctor could find a more appropriate drug than Klonopin for you.

    If you have not already, please read the following article concerning Klonopin by Dr. Cheney on this site. This is the protocol I follow.


    It would be interesting to know what Dr. Cheney thinks about the free radical issue. Notice that he does site a study which showed that Klonopin helps prevent Alzheimers. Hopefully this post you will get lots of input on your question so that you can sort this out.

    Best wishes,

  3. artkin

    artkin New Member

    Thanks Missizzy. Very good point.
    I read Dr Cheney info about Klonopin, so I would be very interested for him info about free radicals, and if it's true that clonazepam increases them.
    The use of klonopin in my case is exactly as any other benzodiazepine: where're trying to find the right benzo for anxiety and sleep for me, and possibly one that helps FM also (if it exists). The rationale is to use the smallest possible dose that works and using drug-free weeks to "reset" my tolerance development. So far I've tried:
    - alprazolam: very good results also for fibro, but too short half life and give me only 4 hours of sleep
    - diazepam: so far the best (also for fibro pain) but it's very long half live means that drug-free week must become drug-free month, which is not the best
    - bromazepam: the one I'm trying these days. Too soon to say something
    - estazolam: the worst one, paradoxical reaction

    So clonazepam seemed a perfect candidate: powerful and with a moderate half life, but used as a classical benzodiazepine. I really don't know if it's the case. I would very interested in Dr. Cheney opinon about free radicals... Any one know his email address? Maybe I can write to him
  4. spacee

    spacee Member

    I don't know of a way to email Dr. Cheney. Wish there was one.

    I was a patient at the Cheney Clinic in the early 1990's. Back then and up to sometime in the 2000's Dr. Cheney stuck with Klonopin. And in 2006 he changed. (He has a DVD that is available from that year..just google Cheney DVD 2006).

    The dvd is about Matters of the Heart and so is mainly about the CFS heart but at the end he does state (not really discuss) his recommendations for treatment and I was surprised to see that Klonopin was not one of his favorites any longer.

    I think you have discovered why..the oxidative stress.

    I wish I could look up what Dr. Cheney recommends not but I have loaned my DVD out. I think it was a combo of things..one being small amounts of neurontin.

    He does recommend selenium and zinc for oxidative stress.

  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    It has been a God send for me in helping with sleep, sensory overload, muscle spasms, tinnitus, and pain. I do not like having to be physically dependent on a med but my symptoms were so severe, and the relief so great, that my doc and I decided Klonopin was the right choice for me. I've been taking 1 mg. at bedtime for years and never pulsed; I took it every night. It can be dangerous to stop it without weaning off.

    I tried once to wean off but when I got to 75 percent of the dose, I was too jumpy and had to go back up. I am, once again, trying to wean down. I now take two .5 mg. tablets and remove 1/4 of one of the tablets. That is a reduction of 12.5 percent. The first few days, I felt a bit strange and woke up every night about 2:00 a.m. Now, I am sleeping well again but I do notice I am a bit more sensitive to noise and smells. Instead of weaning down again at the end of the month, I will stay at this level for two months before reducing to 1 1/2 tablets or 75 percent of the prescribed dose.

    Dr. Cheney believes that when one has healed significantly, one can wean off the Klonopin without major problems. I hope he is right and that my healing is sufficient so that I can wean off completely. On the plus side, I feel a bit less "flat" emotionally now and a bit more "alive." This is likely due to the partial removal of the chemical filter which had been reducing sensory overload.

    Like you, I did a lot of research before deciding to take Klonopin. I am glad I did. If I have to take it the rest of my life, I will gladly do it if it means I can function and get restful sleep. I'm just hoping that I can wean off and still function well. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

    Love, Mikie
  6. deliarose

    deliarose New Member

    Only thing is .. don't benzodiazepines (sp?) interfere with sleep.

    So that might be a problem with clonazepam..(which I used in the past....)

    I found I got great sleep the minute I tried Rich Van K's simplified protocol. (search archives for more info).

    Mikie, I'm surprised the 5 aren't helping u sleep better?

  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I think the MCP does help me sleep but I take the supps sporadically and not at all for a month since I had food poisoning. I do take vitamin B-6, Zinc, and Magnesium about an hour or so before I take the Klonopin and that helps he sleep too. Those are the ingredients in ZMA.

    Klonopin has not interferred with my sleep. To the contrary, it stops the racing bain which allows me to slip out of the slight state of seizure into the slight state of coma, which is sleep. I think whether Klonopin helps depends on what is causing sleep disturbance. My sleep on Klonopin is refreshing and I awake alert and ready to go.

    I consider Klonopin a "heavy hitter" drug and not to be taken without due diligence. In my case, I was so severely sleep deprived, and suffering severe sensory overload, that I was willing to risk the potential side effects.

    Now that the effects of the food poisoning event are worn off, I will return to the MCP. The MCP causes heavy detox and purging and I have to try to plan it around my work schedule, which changes week to week. I have healed to the point that I think I can take my time with the MCP. Until there is a cure, and maybe the MCP will turn out to be a cure, I think this may be the last piece of my treatment regimen.

    Love, Mikie
  8. hensue

    hensue New Member

    That is on a good night and can i tell you i go to a pain clinic he will not increase the klonopin because he said it makes people start to forget. So i am staying where i am with that. I would have died all these years without valuim. I can take a pinch off it will help. xanax no help something about valuim works. Oh yeh and i put earplugs in my ears. Thank god if i am not having a flair it works.
    if i am having a flair. it takes a little more valuim and then i do wake up off and on all night. My doc says i take wellbutrin sr for pain and fatigue. The seizure threat is lessened with klonopin would not dare go up. it is just at night.
    Love it all.
    thank you god
    i sound like a junkie!
  9. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    well thats bad news. we have troubles with cancer risk already! i take klonopin too.
  10. turquoise

    turquoise Member

    Any drug or foreign substance that we put into our bodies, as well as any chemcals, heavy metals junk food, foods we are allergic to, etc. etc. etc. is going to increase free radicals. So does just the process of aging.
    I haven't heard or read anything about Klonopin being any worse than anything else (and am not on that particular drug myself). Like with everything, you have to decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks or not.