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I started Clonazepam almost a year ago and it really has saved me in certain overstimulating situations. I have only been taking .25mg as needed which has been 1-2 times a week if that. Now my husband is gone for the military and I am finding myself in a anxiety/pots attack mess. The only drug that has helped with the night attacks and daily anxiety is the clonazepam.  But I keep reading all the warnings about the damage it can do to the brain the longer it’s used and the dependence warnings. I’m so nervous to take this everyday and I’m wondering if I just take .25mg every 1-2 days if I will be at risk for the dependence and negative side effects? 

Any advice appreciated! 

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I would discuss this with your doctor. IMO any drug that can potentially cause dependence will do so if taken regularly but I think if you continue taking it infrequently you should be OK. I take Ativan at times and only use it if I absolutely have to for this reason. Also - since you have an increase in your anxiety symptoms there might be other meds you can take daily and keep the clonazepam for emergencies. Your doctor will know more about that. 

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I've taken it for like 15 years. I take 3mg a day. It's the most helpful thing for ME/CFS right now so all ME patients are on it. Incredibly helpful with post exertional malaise, headaches, and sleep. You're taking a really small dose so I wouldn't worry about it. My mom takes klonopin and buspar for anxiety and she's completely healthy she just gets stressed and uses klonopin as needed. 

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6 hours ago, CallieAndToby22 said:

I've taken it for like 15 years. I take 3mg a day. It's the most helpful thing for ME/CFS right now so all ME patients are on it. Incredibly helpful with post exertional malaise, headaches, and sleep. You're taking a really small dose so I wouldn't worry about it. My mom takes klonopin and buspar for anxiety and she's completely healthy she just gets stressed and uses klonopin as needed. 

Thank you for this! I feel like I need to stop over thinking it and let myself have something that actually helps me function. It is a small dose and less than the doctor prescribed. I guess I will chill out Lol I’m glad it is helping you too!! 

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18 hours ago, Pistol said:

I would discuss this with your doctor. IMO any drug that can potentially cause dependence will do so if taken regularly but I think if you continue taking it infrequently you should be OK. I take Ativan at times and only use it if I absolutely have to for this reason. Also - since you have an increase in your anxiety symptoms there might be other meds you can take daily and keep the clonazepam for emergencies. Your doctor will know more about that. 

I’ve talked to him about it and he doesn’t seem worried. I guess I have lost my faith in most doctors so I look for opinions elsewhere as well. He has tried SSRI and SNRI and clonidine and others and nothing has worked except the clonazepam. I think I need to just take it even tho I know the risks.  

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I think the fears about benzodiazepines are greatly exaggerated and sadly prevent a large number of people from using a helpful medication, due to abuse of this class of drug by a minority. 

I take a low dose of diazepam since developing POTS, have never needed to increase my dose nor become addicted. 

It is certainly less of a risk than other drugs prescribed for dysautonomia and/or mental health.

If your doctor is happy with it, I wouldn't worry. It is when people start escalating their doses or taking it recreationally (often alongside other drugs) that harm is done.

B xxx

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19 hours ago, Jessica_ said:

Thank you for this! I feel like I need to stop over thinking it and let myself have something that actually helps me function. It is a small dose and less than the doctor prescribed. I guess I will chill out Lol I’m glad it is helping you too!! 

One of my friends can't sleep but she won't increase her klonopin dose, I'm like girl come on, increase that stuff by 1mg and get some sleep. She scared of the dependence, but really I haven't seen this as a problem in the chronic illness community. Yea you're on a small dose, so don't overthink it! 

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19 hours ago, Jessica_ said:

I’ve talked to him about it and he doesn’t seem worried. I guess I have lost my faith in most doctors so I look for opinions elsewhere as well. He has tried SSRI and SNRI and clonidine and others and nothing has worked except the clonazepam. I think I need to just take it even tho I know the risks.  

Every medication has risks. I was put on zyprexa for sleep and had to keep increasing dose (it's an atypical anti psychotic) and my doctor said "you could afford to gain a little weight). Well it turned into gaining A LOT of weight 10 years later. And I was then told "you could get diabetes", so then 3 months of withdrawal HECK and since last year I've lost 40lbs so I'm proud of myself. I am at no risk now! I had to see a new doctor b/c the old one didn't know how to get me off of it, they don't tell you about the withdrawal. Anyhow, haven't had many side effects with klonopin. 

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On 5/8/2019 at 5:17 AM, Pistol said:

I would discuss this with your doctor. IMO any drug that can potentially cause dependence will do so if taken regularly but I think if you continue taking it infrequently you should be OK. I take Ativan at times and only use it if I absolutely have to for this reason. Also - since you have an increase in your anxiety symptoms there might be other meds you can take daily and keep the clonazepam for emergencies. Your doctor will know more about that. 

I'm surprised you don't take any benzos regularly. I take 4mg of Xanax per day. I try and survive on 3. It definitely helps but definitely doesn't fix everything either. 

When I collapsed at work back in September, once they gave me Ativan into my veins, it stopped my body from trying to faint. I actually fell asleep for 10 minutes. My body was constantly trying to faint for like 45 mins until the Ativan kicked in. I was basically trying to fight from fainting which was probably making my body want to faint lol idk. 

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Thanks all! I will try and chill out (anxiety girl here, is it obvious?) and just take it. I need to let myself have the one thing that helps and accept that I need it for now. So glad I have dinet and everyone here who gets it! 

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On 5/9/2019 at 8:52 PM, Derek1987 said:

I'm surprised you don't take any benzos regularly. I take 4mg of Xanax per day. I try and survive on 3. It definitely helps but definitely doesn't fix everything either. 

When I collapsed at work back in September, once they gave me Ativan into my veins, it stopped my body from trying to faint. I actually fell asleep for 10 minutes. My body was constantly trying to faint for like 45 mins until the Ativan kicked in. I was basically trying to fight from fainting which was probably making my body want to faint lol idk. 

It's weird but the on drug that helps ALL ME/cfs patients is the benzos. And we all have dysautonomia too. So it's interesting they help dysautonomia. I used to take xanax I take 3mg of klonopin a day now. 

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