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Experiences with Klonopin?


Gena
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I've read a few posts in the past where people have said that this helps them to relax. My doctor gave me some samples of the low dose klonopin wafers that melt in your mouth. She said if I start to have tachycardia or feel a panic attack coming on that this med could calm me down. I have not tried it yet. (since we are all so hesitant to try new things...such a sensitive bunch we are! :rolleyes: )

My question is this...What does it do to your body and mind...how does it make you feel and how long does it last? Does it make you feel weird or spaced out...or just calm and relaxed. (what I read briefly on another site, said this med is primarily an anti-seizure medicine.)

The doc said I could take the Klonopin wafers on an as needed basis..is this true, or is this a med that must be taken regularly?

Currently I'm not taking any meds, except for 1/2 tab of .25 mg xanax to help me sleep if my heart is feeling funky or if I'm feeling anxious. Wasn't sure if the Klonopin could be taken instead of xanax or in addition to?? Thanks! :lol:

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I've been on Klonopin in some form for the last 10 years, excluding during my pregnancy and the year postpartum. It may make you feel spaced out at first, and very tired. But for me I kind of developed a tolerance, you might say, after a few weeks. I was on a very high dose at first -- taking .5 mg five times a day for panic attacks that were out of control. I had developed agoraphobia and was in bad shape. I gradually cut back to .25 mg in the a.m. and .25 in the p.m. and got by with this very well for seven years. I never experienced any withdrawal effects when cutting back from the large dose to the small dose, but I did experience a bit of a relapse when trying to cut out the .25 at night early in my pregnancy and then cutting out the last dose completely. But it was nothing horrible; I just learned to deal with the anxiety naturally, and the pregnancy hormones seemed to be very beneficial to me in helping me deal with it.

I would start slow. Also ask your doctor about taking Klonopin regularly in a small dose as opposed to taking it as needed in a larger dose. I believe it is more effective when taken regularly. Feel free to ask me any questions!

Amy

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Guest Mary from OH

I take Klonipin every night. I use it as a nerve relaxant. It is in the same class as xanax. I would ask your dr about taking the two simultaneously. They are both benzodiazapines (sp?). It helps me sleep at night and also helpe the nerve pain I was experiencing. Hope that helps. It can be addicting at higher doses.

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Gena,

I also meant to tell you that after a few weeks, I no longer felt spaced out on Klonopin and felt what I would call normal. I did NOT feel normal when I was not taking it (before I started) or if I missed a dose. Everyone reacts to these drugs differently, but I really feel that this one does something positive for my brain chemicals. I strongly feel that benzodiazipines -- although addictive -- are not truly all bad if you can keep the dose low and if they really help you function. I have tried and tried again to function without them and feel just awful. Some of us are biologically wired to have overactive nervous systems, and this drug helps to suppress this overreaction. Benzos have been around a very long time and I personally think they are safer than antidepressants because of this.

If anyone out there has had a negative experience -- I think of Dan, although I don't think he comes here often -- please share, because I don't mean to be one-sided. This is just my experience and I know others despise benzos.

Amy

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Amy and Mary,

Thanks for your input. I will try a sample pack and see how it goes. When my POTs symptoms flare up I do have a lot more trouble with panic attacks (only at night though)...so maybe this will help me through that.

If anyone's had a negative experience, I'd like to know that as well.

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gena,

did your doctor already know you had xanax when she gave you the klonopin? usually doctors kind of like you to choose one or the other drug since they are similar.

amy really summed up everything well. the topic of benzos has come up many times before and people are on 'both sides' of this one. but i side with amy--use carefully, and under care of a good doctor, i think they are very safe. yes, they are addictive, but like amy, i have used this drugs on and off for many, many years and haven't increased dosage.

if you really want more info before staring the klonopin, i'm sure there are 'hot' discussions you can find in old posts under 'benzodiazepenes' and 'xanax' and 'klonopin' and 'ativan'.

klonopin is actually less addictive in some ways than xanax b/c it is slower acting and longer lasting. xanax acts fast and doesn't stay in your systme long. wherease klonopin doesn't act quite as quickly, but lasts longer. with xanax, people can get to the point where they feel they must take it every 4 hours or will have a panic attack and then you get in to problems of addiction and sort of this rebound effect of the drug coming out of your system.

i used klonopin for sleep for a while. i have also tried xanax, klonopin, and now am using tranxene b/c it doesn't have milk protein in it. since you tolerated xanax and like it and how it helps you, you may really like the klopopin too and it may help you get through the night.

like, amy said, it's been around forever.

anyway, i started with a quarter of the teeniest dose and only ever made it up to 1/2 and finally 3/4. but, it really made me dizzy at first. so, take it before bed, and well, you'll be lying down already if it makes you tired and dizzy! i wouldn't take that and xanax together though! eeek!

i agree with amy...when i hear her story about how much it helped her function in life...i think we make trade-offs. as you know...all drugs have risks, side effects, etc. if we are careful and mindful consumers i think we can make choices that improve our quality of life in a worthwhile way. hooray amy for sharing your story about anxiety.

i used to get so anxious about stuff, and i wish someone would have said...hey it's okay, and you don't have to suffer so much. i wonder if part of it was already the POTS coming on and my overactive nervous system?

i have mostly used the benzos since being sick for calming my POTS symptoms,not anxiety. hmmmm....i don't know! remember, POTS symptoms can mimic anxiety. this helps me a lot! however, i don't have panic attacks...so i don't have tips there! but, i do hope you get some relief from the klonopin.

oh, and i haven't tried the dissolvable tablets. can you split them at all? i know it says not to probably. that will make the drug work faster, so that seems an advantage with a panic attack, b/c you need the relief mroe quickly.

okay, gotta get some dinner! please report back! :) i know, i'm bossy.

emily

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If anyone out there has had a negative experience -- I think of Dan, although I don't think he comes here often -- please share, because I don't mean to be one-sided. This is just my experience and I know others despise benzos.

Amy

Hi Emily. Amy is right, I did have a pretty bad experience with benzos but it has been said many times we all seem to react differently to different medications. Our condition is also very rare, and most people are prescribed benzos for anxiety or muscle spasms.

Regardless, my personal experience has been a bad one. A lot of people say it is because I was on then for a long time or at higher than normal doses. The fact is that I was on a very low dose and went into tolerance withdrawal. The doctors did not recognize the fact that the benzos were making me feel worse and just kept upping my dose. I am currently tapering very slowly off of my benzos, as this is the best chance for a smooth landing as your brain needs to re-train itself to use GABA and calm your nervous system naturally.

Best advice is to just keep a close watch on your intake and possibly only take them as needed. I don't want to frighten anyone from seeking medication that may make them functional. My benzos made me functional again, but when I became tolerant of them my symptoms were very similar to my worst autonomic symptoms and I did not realize that my nervous system was healing and the benzos were making me ill. Just try and keep your dose low and infrequent. I hope you can find some relief. Best,

Dan

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I take valium for an inner ear problem, but finds it helps with my hypervagally stuff too. I haven't increased my dose which is very low in 8 years. Unless I have an attack of meneires, then I will take one half extra. I usually throw it up during an attack, so I guess it doesn't matter. I was given klonopin a long time ago after a really severe reaction to phenergen which gave me seizures. However, I was out of it and my hubby was doling it out to me and was giving me over double the dose I was prescribed. Needless to say, it sort of knocked me on my butt. But I just quit it without any problems. However, it certainly did stop the seizure activity when nothing else would. I would just try it as your doctor tells you and see how it goes. Since we are all so different in our reactions, it's best not to mess with what he wants. If it works great, if not you and he can play with it or try something else. I do agree we have to weigh these things. If something improves the quality of our life, then go for it. However, it is not for everyone. We never know till we try. Good luck! morgan

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One more question about Klonopin..

I read in one of my MVP/dysautonomia books that Xanax may cause hypotension and increased tachycardia (it didn't say at what dosage). Does anyone find that Klonopin can do this as well? On the other hand, do you find that Klonopin helps at all with heart rate or chest pain?

Okay, so since I can't sleep very well lately b/c my heart is really out of whack, I was going to try the Klonopin tonight. I keep it at my bedside just in case I ever decided to try it. But it's the middle of the night and I couldn't get the !X@#$!! sample package open (pardon my French. :) ). It's one of the foil kinds that you have to tear or use scissors, so since I didnt' have any scissors immediately handy....I opted for the Xanax. Xanax doesn't always do the trick for me, it's kind of hit or miss. Thanks for everyone's input I really appreciate everyone here. I don't know what I'd do without you guys! :)

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Okay, I took .25 mg Klonopin wafer before bed, and I hardly experienced any relief. I woke up a few times knowing my heart was pumping and feeling wired, but I did manage to go back to sleep...until now that is. Before going to bed, I broke the wafer in half, taking 1/2 of it to see how felt...and then 30 mins. later I took the other 1/2. Didn't even feel very spacy like some of you mentioned that it might make me feel. It seems like the Xanax made me feel less anxious than the Klonopin, but in both cases my heart still has a mind of its own! :)

Blackwolf, thanks for the input....I think I will talk about a low dose beta blocker with my doc on Monday to get my heart symptoms under control.

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Gena,

I'm glad the Klonapin didn't make you spacy but I'm sorry that it brought you no relief. I know you are sensitive to drugs but I know Nicole did get relier at a higher dose. But if you don't want to do this and because you are all adrenaline-y feeling and anxious- maybe Blackwolf's suggestion about the beta blocker- low dose might help since it's supposed to block the adrenaline and the anxiety. Maybe someone already mentioned this already but doesn't Norpace do the same as well? I don't know how Norpace affects low blood pressure though. I only read that it helps to cut into the adrenaline thing. I hope you get this figured out soon. Good luck with your doc today.

Bev

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I'd give the Klonopin a try at 0.5 mg. Just once -- if it makes you feel crappy, don't do it again. But sometimes I need a whole pill as opposed to the .25 to get myself calmed down.

Amy

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Just wanted to add a final note to this thread I started last week...

I have been taking .25 mg of the Klonopin wafers right before bed for the last several nights and have for the most part slept extremely well without any tachy or arrhythmias. It's been amazing and I'm thankful for everyone's input about this drug. I hate taking any kind of drug, but this has definitely made a difference in the quality of my sleep. I just hope my body doesn't get too used to it and cause me to up the dosage. Hopefully it will continue to be effective at this dosage, and hopefully I won't have to take it every night either! B)

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Gena,

For me, I found that the reverse happened ... I started on a very high dose of Klonopin (.5 mg 4-5 times a day) and was able to gradually decrease to the maintenance dose of .25 mg morning and evening. I was taking it in conjunction with an antidepressant, so maybe that's why I was able to cut back on it ... but I was taking it for anxiety, not sleep. Everyone's different, as you well know, and I am hoping you will have as much good luck with this drug as I have.

Amy

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