• Is this too fast to ween??

    I have been taking Klonopin 1mg, 3 times a day for 12 years. I started taking it after postpartum panic attacks showed up out of nowhere. Unfortunately, the doc that saw me did not warn me about the issues of being on the medication for such a long time – I was a young teen mom who did not know the dangers of this until a few years later after someone sued him for malpractice and had to leave the practice. Over the years I have tired to ween off the med but most of the time I was given some kind of anti-depressant or another - ALL of which sent me into multiple cases of serotonin syndrome and required the need for hospitalization EACH time. The weening had always failed. Fast forward a few years to last year - my doc of 2 years simply left her practice without any notice whatsoever and I was left scrambling to find a new one. Eventually I located the only Doc ( an NP) within a 40 mile radius that was taking new patients and could see me without having to wait 6 months for an appointment. The first appointment this past October was HORIBBLE. I was belittled and made to feel horrible by her about my Klonopin dosage - so much so that I left her office crying for hours and hours (but with a new RX script). She was reported to my insurance company (THEY made me give them details and file when I simply called them for a list of docs in my area who took my insurance and they learned what had happened) but nothing came of it. I had to see her 3 months later though, because AGAIN, I could see no one else for months. When my next and most recent appointment came up last month I was questioned about the report made as I sat there disoriented with the flu and the 105 degree temp that tagged along with it. I was so out of it but I remember telling her that my anxiety and panic disorders were MUCH WORSE when sick. By the time I left, she had refilled my regular 1mg tab, 3 times a day script for ONLY ONE month and it was agreed that I would start AGAIN to ween off the medication the next month. A few days ago my husband picked up my RX. I didn't see it until yesterday but when I DID, it alarmed me. Rather than weening off the med SLOWLY from 1mg 3 times a day, the bottle had only 45 pills instead of the normal 90 pills in it with these EXACT directions: 'Take one tablet by mouth twice a day for 2 weeks, then take one-half tablet by mouth two times a day for 2 weeks, then stop.'
    I began FREAKING out! I called the pharmacist who said that this cannot be done! I have been on a pretty high dose for over a DECADE and it would take a LOT longer than a month to ween off of it. She suggested I contact my Dr.'s office, which I did and was told the directions would NOT change and the few pills I have now were ALL i was ever going to get EVER, so I better follow the directions for best results in my weening process. I had my mom come over and she helped me make calls all over town trying to find out if this was safe or not (which I know darn well without being told that it is NOT). We called so many doctors looking to get me in somewhere else but there was NOTHING! No one could offer up any advice short of going to the ER (at this point I was well-into my 8th panic attack inside of 2 hours and each one was worse than the last.) My family doc refused to even deal with assisting me in advice. (Now, just a bit of side info needed to help you fully understand everything a bit clearer: this past July I had major surgery which I woke up in the middle of and now have severe anxiety, nightmares and PTSD over. 2 weeks after that I was sent to the ER for dehydration from the stomach bug but rather than giving me a nausea med IV, I was given an anti-psychotic that messed me up beyond horrible (I spent 12 following hours sitting in the cold shower screaming hysterically as it felt like my brain was on fire) and because of the 2 hospital incidents I have now developed a mild but serious degree of agoraphobia. The only 2 times I have left my home in 9 months were to see this NP and I had to be VERY sedated to do so. Also, the manufacturer of the brand of Klonopin I had been on for over 11 years was bought out by a different company who changed the medication formula completely and now the med is only about as HALF as effective (at most) as the discontinued brand, but needed nonetheless- I have tried 4 other manufactures brands but they all caused their own issues and bad side-effects from what I am told from my doc, is the inactive ingredients that can and DO completely change how a med can work in a person, especially for someone who is hyper-sensitive to meds like myself. I have a laundry list of health problems: type 1 diabetes with severe nerve damage in over 75% of my body (including the inability to feel or move any part of my body from the knees down), 2 heart conditions & a pacemaker, high blood pressure, insomnia since 3 years old, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetic Gastroenteritis. other causes of PTSD, and Seizures just to name a few and I just turned 30 last month.
    Right now I am terrified, to put it mildly, and I have NO idea what to do, who to talk to, or anything really. My hours of freaking out earlier have mentally exhausted me but I am too restless for sleep or rest – I have and have had pure adrenaline coursing through me all day and I feel like I'm in some sort of 'brain fog' mentally. I am terrified despite how much I try to convince myself otherwise, that I am going, or soon will go, crazy, have a permanent breakdown or will feel horrible like this for a long time, if not forever. I saw a therapist for 8 years and it really didn't do much. My husband does not understand much of what I'm going through, my mother has a lot of medical issues of her own she is having to deal with and I have ZERO friends to talk to. Nothing helps me chill out and relax and I have both desperately and wholeheartedly tried almost everything from yoga, exercise, walking in the fresh air (I physically can not run with my Footdrop), TRYING to learn & practice meditation (but only epically failing), journaling, CBD oil and Hemp oil, prayer, SO MANY self-help and workbooks, listening to relaxing sounds or deep theta binaural beats/sound waves, various hobbies (adult coloring books, candle making, etc.), aromatherapy, and so-on. What am I supposed to do about the 'weening so fast off Klonopin' thing? Currently, I am having 3-4 panic attacks per hour, insomnia (up for 77 hours now), random feelings of intense fear and crying, tremors, heart palpitations, high blood pressure and so-on. I need all the GOOD advice I can get right now, no trolling. Thanks for taking the time to read this and hopefully reply kindly to. I am beginning to have the start of another panic attack again right now as I type this.......

Responses

  • 7 months ago

    RE: Is this too fast to ween??

    Hi there,

    What I would do is see a Psychiatrist to help you wean off - a Psych is trained in this sort of thing, and will know the best way to go off klonopin. Just make sure that he/she knows your history with the med and your past attempts to go off and that you emphasize that you NEED to wean off slow (which they should already know).

    A general practitioner is just that, i.e. a doctor that specializes in nothing, but has a little bit of knowledge and training in a bunch of things. A Psychiatrist specializes in Psychotropic medications, which is what you need.

    So, without question, if I were you, I'd see a Psychiatrist! When you call to make an appointment, let the scheduler know the urgency of your situation, i.e. that you can't wait for months before you can see the doctor. OFtentimes, but not always, when we let the person know that it's crucial to see the doctor ASAP, they will squeeze us in. If it doesn't work at first, start begging and even crying (seriously! lol) It helps sometimes!

    I'm sorry that the doctor who initially prescribed the med prescribed so much and continued to do so - AND not educate you re the med! This is on him!

    If you have not tried this, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be very effective for anxiety (among other things). Of course, it requires practicing daily what you learn - that's the only hope of it working at all. Maybe you can look up some sites that define CBT if interested.

    Take deep breaths and know that there are things you can do that will help you - not make it all go away, but help give you the ability to gain more victory over those areas in your life! There IS hope!

    Debbie
      • 7 months ago
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      • 7 months ago
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      • 7 months ago
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      • 7 months ago
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      • 7 months ago
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      • 7 months ago
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      • 7 months ago
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