Weaning off Benzo's

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Scapper, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    So, I'm once again weaning down from Klonopin. It's been a really long process for me.

    In 2006 I found myself up to 4mgs and stilllllll not sleeping. I knew then that I had to do something, my body had hit a wall and I was WAY up on my dosage. I began on K around 2000 (i think).

    I saw suggestions on here about Professor Ashton's website (uk site) and when I saw how long it took, I thought "nooooo way, I'm getting off this in a year" -- ridiculous idea!!!!!

    I managed to come down quite a bit over the course of that year. But, I literally suffered greatly. My nervous system felt like I was going to snap in half.......I'm lucky I didn't have a nervous breakdown! As usual, I should have listened and done things as suggested by this uk.org site.

    The thing that is puzzling to me, is that my sensory overload symptoms went OFF THE CHARTS during that time and have NEVER gotten better. I literally cannot tolerate noise, on any level. I never used to be this bad. This alone has made life very difficult -- zero noise!

    Any ideas on this?????? Why this would have happened from withdrawal?

    Over the course of the next several years, I would reduce my dose by .5 and suffer with that "ready to snap" feeling and then stay put for a stretch.

    Beginning of 2010, I had landed at .5 Klonopin and decided it was time to reduce and keep going.

    I FINALLY thoroughly read-up on Prof.Ashton's site and have been doing things real slow......she suggests switching over the Valium b/c of the longer half-life. So far, I've had a much easier time with reducing this way. I highly recommend her way -- has been SO much easier.

    From what I've read (and heard) the lower you get, the harder it gets, but I'm determined to keep at it until I'm off.

    I'm curious to see if my sensory overload begins to get better. It's 6 years, and you would think my body would have adjusted. They talk about some type of syndrome (forget wording) and I'm hoping my body didn't get "stuck" in some pattern from withdrawal......but 6 years....seems strange???

    Question for Bunchy: did you use Prof. Ashton's website to withdraw?

    Have you felt better not on Klonopin, in any way? Although, being on Valium won't give you the benefits of NO benzo. If you haven't read her site, check it out.

    I'm hoping I'll be able to get some sort of sleep.

    It really has been a long haul......one I never pictured myself up against. I thought I made a sound decision going on, but desperation for sleep seemed to cloud my judgment......as did my doctor continuing to just raise my dose, well beyond what I ever should have been on, but by that point, my insomnia was so bad, I would have taken anything!

    Live and learn.

    Any experiences? Hope? Anything......I'd love to hear from others on this topic!

    Any noticeable cognitive benefits?

    Share please :)

  2. MsE

    MsE New Member

    Every time I try to get off Lorazepam (I don't use very much) something nasty happens I can't handle. Then I thank God I have it. This time it was cancer. I've talked to my doc, and he says this is not the time to try it again. He's right. Some day, before I die, perhaps I'll be able to dump the stuff. Hope.

    But for now, I can function with lorazepam, and without it I'm an anxious mess. Doc says it's a CFS caused wiring glitz. Makes sense to me.
  3. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    Sorry to hear about your cancer!

    Yeah, not a good time for any changes.....be well.

  4. MsE

    MsE New Member

    Thanks for replying. I'm such a wus! I can't deal with this without some prescribed help.
  5. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    Not true -- nothing wrong w/ needing help!

    That's big stuff you're dealing with.....just get through it as best you can.

  6. MsE

    MsE New Member

    Exactly! And if the radiation proves to be too much to handle, I'm not above walking out and taking my chances. I am all for quality of life.
  7. Bunchy

    Bunchy New Member

    Can I answer you questions re tapering and Klonopin tomorrow?

    I've had a very long and tiring day today and would probably not make any sense if I wrote now. It's past midnight here in the UK!!

    Will check back in tomorrow and explain my situation and how I am tapering benzos.


    Bunchy x
  8. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    Aaaaaawwww, thanks Bunchy.....no rush.

  9. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    My thoughts are with you.

    When do you start radiation?

  10. shari1677

    shari1677 New Member

    I had tried to wean off NORCO for a few years off and on. I ran out of the medication in July of 2010 EARLY and my doc refused to order it for me for another week. I got so sick from withdrawal symptoms, I vowed never to go back on it again.

    It has been 9 months. My body still craves it.
  11. Bunchy

    Bunchy New Member

    I was given many different benzos over the last ten years. I found the Z drugs only worked if taken intermittently and didn't give quality sleep after a while of taking them.

    Initially I was given Valium for severe neuopathic pain ten years ago - I read on here ages back that lots of people were feeling so much better from Klonopin so I asked my doctor and he gave me that instead - that was in 2005.

    Initially I took as and when needed for severe neuropathic pain episodes and severe muscle pain associated with stiffness (I get both of these all over my body not just in my arms and legs)

    I eventually got worried as I seemed to be "needing" to take it every few days with fewer gaps.

    I started to wean down about three years ago and got down eventually to 1mg every other day or so.

    Last year I developed severe interdose withdrawals out of nowhere and knew the drug had pooped out on me as even when I raised the dose again for a few weeks it didn't change the rebound severe panic and anxiety symptoms I had developed - and boy were they bad :(

    I read Ashton, read on other forums and switched to Valium to stabilize and try to taper.

    I found that initially the physical pain revved up when I switched to all Valium but has improved over the last month or so.

    I've been off Klonopin completey since the end of last November.

    I am currently at 15mgs Valium (tapered from about equivalent 25mgs) and holding for the summer as heat exacerbates my neuropathic pain.

    I think Klonopin would be amazing if one didn't develop a tolerance to it - it worked wonderfully for me for the first few years for all sorts of pain, insomnia and sensory overload and almost made me feel relatively normal and far more functional.

    Unfortunately I was one of those who developed tolerance - some seem not to and I envy them!

    If you've got any more questions, feel free to ask me :)


    Bunchy x
  12. luigi21

    luigi21 Member

    im no medical expert, i dont know what dose your on. i was on lorazepam 12mg took me roughly 3 mths to withdraw, took to cutting tablets up, get the usual affects increase muscle spasm, irritablitliy, anxiety, sweating, pretty much what you take the damn things for in the first place. as for symptoms maybe just down to the fact that the illness hasn't gone away just cos your on benzo's that the symptoms may have been disguised by your medication. baclofen is a longer acting muscle relaxant that works on the central nervous system could try given that a go. or just stick to small amounts of vailum at night just to help you sleep.
    all the best
  13. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience!!!!

    Similar to you, when my body went into withdrawal symptoms (nervous system so bad!) in 2006 from withdrawing too quickly, my body landed in this sensory overload nightmare. I stopped at about 2mgs and stayed there (was on 4mgs). Thinking, like you did, if I bumped it back up, the symptoms would subside, yet they didn't.

    My sensory overload issues never went back to where they were BEFORE Klonopin.

    I'm hoping that when I'm completely off (as Prof.Ashton states) that these symptoms will subside.......evvvventually!!!!!!

    I'm not sure if anyone else has had this problem and came out the other side(?)

    Thanks again.


  14. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    thanks for replying! I'm definitely finding that withdrawing using Valium has been SO much easier than when I cut my Klonopin.....even the smallest amount, I would begin to get irritable, freaked out nervous system after about 3-4 days of reducing.

    I wish I used Valium right from the start. Valium has a long half-life and makes weaning down off benzo's easier.

    Thanks for the suggestion on Baclofen. I read alittle bit on it......as soon as they mention that "coming off" can cause issues, I don't even want to go there. Klonopin has been way too much of a nightmare.

    Yeah, some meds seem to cause the exact symptoms they are supposed to treat.....not uncommon, unfortunately.

  15. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    9 months and your body still craves it -- yikes!

    I don't know anything about Hydrocodone and what might help w/ withdrawal. Maybe Google some suggestions to see what areas of brain this works on and perhaps there is something "natural" you can take to ease these effects......just thinking.

  16. Bunchy

    Bunchy New Member

    Yep - my sensory overload issues are worse that when I was put on Klonopin.

    I think Luigi has a point - that the illnesses are still there so withdrawing from things like Klonopin just unmasks all the symptoms we originally took them for.

    1. If the illness has progressed or not improved the sensory overload, pain, insomnia etc will return as bad as, if not worse than pre drug levels.

    2. Even in "normals" withdrawing from benzos, people get issues with the above issues. If you read on benzo w/d forums, many report similar symptoms to these DD's!!

    If I had known all this I'd have steered well clear of benzos all those years ago. Like you, my desperation for sleep and relief from pain and sensory overload made me take them without reading the warnings that are now everywhere online :( I feel like if anything, they have left my system far more fragile in every way than before I took them.

    I hope, like you Scapper, that we will heal from all this one day and at least maybe the sensory overload and sleep will improve.

    I agree tapering Klonopin was impossible once I got to a certain level too. Valium is not easy either but gentler on the system. I've been advised on another forum to go very slowly especially because of our pre-existing DD's.

    I would say that whilst I am still tapering Valium (and holding for a few months now) and very unwell with CFS/ME/FM/MCS etc, I feel better able to cope generally than when I was having interdose w/d's from the Klonopin. I nearly went insane then!

    Shout if you need me OK :)

    Bunchy x
  17. Bunchy

    Bunchy New Member

    You are in my prayers. If the Lorazepam is not causing you problems right now, wait until you're better before you worry about that.


    Bunchy x
  18. MsE

    MsE New Member

    Thanks for the support. Yes, I'll wait to deal with the lorazepam. Too much is too much right now.
  19. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    Thank you Bunchy for taking the time to share your experience.

    I'm going to go suuuuuper slow....I'm scared of the last phase and sort of just want to delay it......my body is so weak.

    Been inside for so many days, need to just step outside to feel fresh air....i'm losing it (ok, this is besides the point :)

    Thanks again.....i'll post back when i'm at the later stages......i'm hoping to get an Alpha-Stim (Waynesrhythm posted on this) to help w/ some of this.....was hoping he would weigh on this thread.

    Be well.


  20. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    Hope you see this.....just wanted to say you are in my prayers for your upcoming radiation!

    What is your first name, so I can feel as if I'm praying more effectively (if you don't mind!)