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Can staying on 1mg of Klonopin forever be a viable option

I just cannot deal with anxiety attacks every day without it.
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Avatar universal
Sure.  Until it stops working, but it might not.  I might disagree that you "can't" deal without it, you'd have to have tried everything to know that, but that's hard to do.  If you've been on it for a long time, quitting is going to be a long and difficult proposition.  Trying something else has an unknown outcome.  You know what you're doing is working.  I've been on it for decades now, but I wish they had never put me on it.  I wasn't told of the downsides and for me it has never done a whole lot.  I have to take a lot more to have any effect.  But I'm not dead.  I just go nuts if I forget to take it.  The main downside other than withdrawal is long-term use of benzos is believed to, in some people or many people, block the brain's ability to learn how to handle stress.  But that happens if you stop the med.  If something is working, and you've tried lots of things that didn't, it's hard to suggest not doing it.
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I have cut down from 2 mgs per day to 1 mg. I also take Celexa and Gabapentin at night. I have had no problems for years, but I feel less active than I used to and have thought about trying to get off meds. I just don't want to spend a long time being miserable. I have tried before and my panic attacks returned immediately. That's why I am holding at 1mg. I am afraid of being an old woman still calling in my script every month.lol
If you actually want to cut the dosage down, maybe talk to your dr. about just dissolving something like .25mg under your tongue if you feel a panic attack coming on.  But if you're happy with what you're on, that's fine too.  Could something else be making you feel less active?  So many things can cause that.  You can be an old woman calling in your script - quality of life is important :)
1616953 tn?1443839111
You might want to consider other drugs like Buspar that doesn't have the addiction baggage.  If that doesn't work?  I'm not an expert just another patient dealing with Anxiety attacks.  I think that Benzos have a place because they do work for a lot of people with Anxiety disorder.  The problem (my opinion) is that taking them daily is a mistake because you build a tolerance and it becomes harder and harder  to go without them.  Instead I think this is a drug that you should only take as needed.  So unless your in the middle of a panic attack don't take the drug.  Assume taking it will be the exception rather then the rule.   Its unlikely that you were having all day everyday panic attacks.  So why take this drug everyday?  Ask your doctor about this before you do anything because my 2 cents is just my experience and I'm not a doctor.
11 Comments
Agree with the benzo advice, wish I had never been told to take it every day.  No matter what you do, benzos only work a short amount of time and then wear off anyway.  But once you are on it every day for a long time, stopping is very very hard for some people.  It might not be worth it.  You can't undo what was done, though you can try to change it and see how it goes.  But Buspar doesn't have a good track record, didn't do well in clinical trials, can when combined with an antidepressant create serotonin problems, though this would be rare, something benzos don't do, and is usually only used in conjunction with something else because of it's record of not working.  For most people this won't be an alternative.  On the other hand, for the poster, if you're on gabapentin, that's basically like being on a benzo, so the combination might be catching up to you.  Don't know, but gabapentin is a kind of whole new GABA system and benzos act on the GABA system you already have.  The only approved use for the gabapentin is for a couple types of nerve pain, but it is used for anxiety off label.  It would be possible that adding that would have allowed you to stop the benzo possibly, though that would still mean going through the whole problem with stopping benzos.  Again, I wish I had been kept using benzos as needed.  When I started this mess -- and I have gotten old getting scripts -- docs didn't tell us anything and we didn't ask.  We trusted them.  That's a mistake -- you have to do homework because your docs probably know very little about the drugs they prescribe unless you're lucky enough to have a  really good one.  I didn't until it was too late, unfortunately.  All the best.
One of the biggest problems I see with chronic benzo use is that we develop tolerance over time.  Your body gets use to your dosage and it stops feeling like you took anything and you need more to get an effect. So, you have to increase the dose to do that and that becomes problematic. This is the case with many drugs we can become dependent on.  Doctors actually are well versed on medication in my opinion.  So, work with your doctor on the right medication choices for you.  good luck
Paxiled, I remember you from the past. I am very familiar with Ssri's and buspar, Valentin and Klonopin. I cut my dose of Klonopin from 2 mg. per day to 1 mg. per day because of all the bad press. I did discontinue it at one point and found my quality of life was more important. Now I worry about old age and what doctors will decide about my benzo usage. Any info ?
No, not really.  My current psychiatrist has a geriatric specialty, and has never mentioned anything about age with it.  But then again, they don't mention if you don't ask, and I haven't asked.  She's in favor generally of quitting meds that don't work, but because of my never recovering from my Paxil withdrawal, the fact I've been on klonopin for so many years and it's never done much for me at the dose at which I take it (1mg twice a day) leads her to want me off it but doesn't want my brain to suffer further harm.  So I stay on it.  If I take an additional half of a pill when I have to do something that's hard for me, i works some.  My own experience is that benzos only work for a short time and then you're tired if it's at a dose that is high enough to work.  Antidepressants work all the time, they don't wear off.  Both are very hard to stop taking, and long-term use of both is believed by many researches to cause long-term harm but that's usually when you stop taking them.  The brain often just doesn't handle things as well anymore.  But if you keep taking them, you won't notice this.  I've also personally been of the opinion that since all medication has problems along with the benefits, they should only be used if everything else has failed to work or if your life is just not liveable without them, but that if you do find you need them and you find one that works and you can handle, why quit?  The harm has already been done.  So that's my opinion.  If there are concerns about aging, and I'm sure they are, with all that's happened to me it's not at the top of my list.  It might be at the top for others who have fewer problems.  It's a decision for you to make, though -- nobody can force you to stop if you don't want to.  Peace.
Thanks! That's kind of the way I feel. I was originally on a higher dose,but going lower brings back panic attacks. I'm just afraid when I am 80, some nursing home is going to yank them cold turkey. I don't mind getting old as long as some do-holder doesn't decide what's best for me. I've tried Buspar, many ssri's (now on Celexa) Celexa makes me unmotivated, but at least I can sleep on it. Panic disorder sucks! So.does GAD.
I think I've been very fortunate to have one of the best family doctors.  She has always explained why I should take something and talked to be about potential side effects to be wary of.  

In regards to Buspirone I've also heard that its a hit or miss drug.  Benzos work on most people where Buspar *buspirone can be great or a total dud.  I just think its worth seeing if it does work as its generally pretty minimal baggage from what I've read.  

I am really wondering whats going on with everyone being prescribed gabapentin.  It seems to suddenly be given for all sorts of reasons other then the one thing its intended for - nerve pain.  I took the cousin of this drug Lyrica and had the most horrible side effect that I thought I had a stroke.  I should add that my Doctor said my reaction was a very rare side effect.  Anyway please quiz whoever prescribes gabapentin why they think this off label drug is better then something that is actually supposed to work for the problem. It makes no sense.

And again I would like to repeat do not get talked into taking Benzos daily.  Do they work for Anxiety attacks?  Yes. But take them only as needed. I think they almost always become a nightmare if you take them daily.  

Remember this is just my amateur 2 cents.
Taking benzodiazepines as needed did not work for me. They would help the panic attack, but when they wore off I would be totally anxious about when the next one would hit. This led to the GAD. The Gabapentin is to help a sleep disorder I have. My body does not go into a state of paralysis during the rem stage.  When I dream I act it out as if I'm part of the dream.(jumping out of bed into the wall etc.)Gaba helps.with this as does Klonopin.
Gabapentin is used because of the way it deals with some forms of nerve pain.  We have a neurotransmitter called GABA that is connected with nerve pain, seizures, and anxiety -- it's the substance targeted by benzos.  Gabapentin, as you can tell by the name, is kind of akin to setting up a whole new GABA-like system in your brain and so some find it helps with anxiety as well as nerve pain.  Buspar has failed most of its clinical trials but it's still around somehow.  Obviously, some must find it works.  Lyrica isn't the same as gabapentin, though I'm not as familiar with it.  Lyrica is a successor drug used for nerve pain nowadays while neurontin, or gabapentin, is the older drug.  I have never heard of Lyrica being used for anxiety, though.  As for the concern of aging, this is a valid concern.  The problem occurs if you become unable to care for yourself and you're living in a nursing home.  It's a pretty well-publicized scandal how geriatric patients are treated in these homes by doctors prescribing meds with side effects and that are hard to stop taking who can't tell the doctor what's going on.  The protection is to have a guardian, such as a family member or spouse, who understands that doctors overprescribe and often in institutions use drugs to keep patients quiet, not to treat them for anything.  At that point you need someone to advocate for you.  In the archives on this forum there are stories about this as well.  Having a doctor who knows you is a good thing to have!
I have a wonderful doctor who really listens to my needs. We both agree that the Klonopin, while being a great tool, should be kept to a minimum. I take Celexa also and it makes me a bit lethargic at times. When I just took the Klonopin years ago, I had plenty of energy and more enthusiasm for enjoyed activities. I have a great life and very little stress, so I can't blame that. I have made a decision not to try getting off meds and live my best life. Some people don't agree with this. It's like after you hit 60 your well being isn't as important. Does anyone believe " if it works don't fix it"?
Yep.  I do.  There is no known cure for emotional illness other than spontaneously going away the way it came or changing the way you think, either through therapy or something else.  Results are not great, but when that works you're cured.  No med has been found that cures it, but if nothing else helped, and a med helps you live your life and you can handle the side effects, if that's all that works for you, why stop?  But we should all at least try to keep fixing it.  In my case, I've had a ton of therapy and it just never took, but I did keep trying.  So yeah, if it works, don't fix it, any damage the drug is doing to you, if you've been on it a long time, has already been done and in most cases the worst of it happens when you stop the med.  Life is hard.  Answers are hard to come by.  Some things are just hard or impossible to fix.  You've got a life, maybe not the one you'd have preferred, but some life is better than no life.  I'm with you.
This is an interesting thread.  I have to take an antidepressant, but I seem to get a side effect with my eyes and looking at sharp angles (from both SSRIs and SNRIs).  Years ago I had tried migraine medication and a few other things that did nothing.  Klonopin was what helped (it also helped with anxiety, but it wasn't the reason I started it).  I've been wanting to cut the Klonopin mostly due to the stigma (I've seen a few really rude doctors).  I couldn't tell you if the Klonopin still works for anxiety or if I just got over a lot of it, but I still get the weird eye discomfort when I cut it.  The plan is to try Gabapentin.  I didn't know that had become a common thing.
20830596 tn?1554937389
I've been taking it for 16 years, so I'd say yes :)
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