View Full Version : Put on Benzos "full-time"


Macavity224
03-16-12, 08:21 AM
Haven't been here in a while...

Long story short, I was on stimulants for all of last year, did great in school, then dropped them a few months ago. I've been having a lot of trouble without stimulants, ended up having to drop a lot of classes, withdraw from a study abroad program I got selected for, and am getting pretty bad grades currently. My doctor is kind of open to the idea of trying stimulants again, but he wanted to try something else before.

He put me on Ativan for a week until I saw him next. At our next appointment he gave me an rx for 60 .05mg Ativans, and said he wanted to try to put me on a "longer-acting benzodiazepine" (I'm guessing Klonopin?) that I would take twice a day, not as needed.

Now, I'm a paranoid person. I read into things a lot (as I'm sure most of you do). I've read plenty of horror stories on benzo addiction support sites and whatnot about people who have been on Valium for 17 years, then got off it and have permanent physical damage to their body, or people getting severe rebound anxiety if they don't taper off slowly enough.

As of right now, the Ativan's are working wonderfully (I've been taking 1-2 a day, depending on how much I feel I need them), but are they really a good long term solution? When I first started seeing my doctor, he told me that he didn't think benzos were really a "legitimate" long term solution because you develop tolerance, have to move the dose up further and further etc...but now he's suggesting that I take them long term. I trust him and believe that he's a competent doctor (I've been to plenty of incompetent ones, so I know), but I'm still a little "iffy" about his decision.

Has anybody been on benzos long term without problems? Has anybody been on benzos long term with problems? Does anybody (despite not being a medical health professional, etc, etc, etc) have any thoughts about whether or not this is a good idea? Just trying to get some insight into the situation...benzos are really the only psychopharms that I'm kind of paranoid about, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks. :)

known_guy
03-16-12, 11:31 PM
I do not have any experience with taking benzos for years, but I was prescribed Klonopin for like half a year. I stopped almost cold turkey (brief period where I took a little bit of it sporadically). I realized after I stopped the Klonopin how negatively it impaired my brain's functioning. Well, I had no problems living day-to-day, but when it came to my advanced coursework, the Klonopin made me "stupid".

Macavity224
03-17-12, 08:02 AM
I do not have any experience with taking benzos for years, but I was prescribed Klonopin for like half a year. I stopped almost cold turkey (brief period where I took a little bit of it sporadically). I realized after I stopped the Klonopin how negatively it impaired my brain's functioning. Well, I had no problems living day-to-day, but when it came to my advanced coursework, the Klonopin made me "stupid".

So are you saying it was "cognitively impairing," or whatever the official name of the side effect is? Also, did you have any trouble adjusting back to your "normal" level of anxiety after stopping the klonopin?

KronarTheBlack
03-17-12, 04:50 PM
benzos cause memory problems when taken long term. Not good when combined with ADHD but the effects vary from person to person.

Macavity224
03-17-12, 04:52 PM
benzos cause memory problems when taken long term. Not good when combined with ADHD but the effects vary from person to person.

I've heard about the memory problems too. What's happening right now is that my doctor is trying to figure out whether or not I actually have ADHD I guess. I didn't respond well to stimulants, but I'm doing terribly in school, so he wanted to see if my anxiety was causing my inattention or if my inattention was causing my anxiety...one of those chicken and egg scenarios.

425runner
03-18-12, 07:41 PM
I was on Klonopin for approx. a year, never got over 1 mg/day. It's best taken as needed but I usually needed 0.5 mg at night to sleep. Also, it has a long half-life unlike Xanax which is a plus. You won't get rebound anxiety.

I'm on 5mg Lexapro now for the anxiety, so far it's making me "dumb" but it does wonders for OCD and eliminated my anger.

Macavity224
03-18-12, 08:42 PM
I was on Klonopin for approx. a year, never got over 1 mg/day. It's best taken as needed but I usually needed 0.5 mg at night to sleep. Also, it has a long half-life unlike Xanax which is a plus. You won't get rebound anxiety.

I'm on 5mg Lexapro now for the anxiety, so far it's making me "dumb" but it does wonders for OCD and eliminated my anger.

So you never developed a tolerance to it? That's good to hear. What made you decide to get off it if you don't mind me asking?

Also, did Klonopin have any effect on OCD symptoms? My primary diagnosis is OCD.

Chace90
03-19-12, 04:16 PM
I have ADD,OCD, and I also believe I have panic disorder(Frequent panic attacks with no direct trigger.) as well. I have been taking it for about 3 months. Tolerance has not been an issue in fact not growing a tolerance has been more of an issue. It seems to effect me a lot more than usual sometimes. Normally I just feel more relaxed, sometimes I can barely even tell I took it and that is the way I like it. No side effects with moderate benefits( less frequent panic attacks). As far as OCD goes it does help quiet a bit with intrusive thoughts and paranoia. But for compulsions it will probably help with most if there avoidable. I wash my hands a lot and that is something that is not avoidable you usually have to wash your hands at some point in the day. Over the years I have pretty much gotten my OCD under control, its getting a lot better anyway the only compulsion I still do is wash my hands before I go on the computer or game console. The Klonopin did help with the hand washing at first when It was very strong but it doesn't anymore. But what the klonopin does for me is helps me not obsess about things as much, reduces the amount of panic attacks I have(I was having about 3-5 a day and they could last hours I would just try to ignore them. Now I have maybe 0-3 a week.), also I am not as paranoid. But I think I should stop taking them but, that is just because they make me to "relaxed" for my current situation.

known_guy
03-22-12, 12:28 AM
Not sure how to explain the cognitive impairment, but as for my anxiety, it did take some time for me to adjust.
You know, I really don't know how I did it. I just did. Currently my anxiety level is in the moderate range, but I am trying to live with it. >_<

DanaDane
03-22-12, 05:15 AM
In Denmark where I live, the use of benzos are under strictly control, and the writing of prescriptions are monitored. The use of benzos are the very larst choise in the treatment of anxiety conditions. They are only used in acut crisis, and max for a periode of up to 4 weeks.
The consequences of long time use of benzos have showen to cause more problems than the orginal problem they were supposed to solve.

I have found this guideline for professionals in treatment of general anxiety here in Denmark (I have tried to translate the danish text into english :o):

http://i1204.photobucket.com/albums/bb416/minedigifotos/gad.png

Currently I'm on 225 mg Venlafaxin and 450 mg pergabalin.

Pregabalin (Lyrica) are not labeld for anxiety treatment in the US right now (but in several orther countries, fx all in EU), but perhaps you doc cut give you an off-label.

Link to one of the test made on Pregabalin on axiety treatment:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16143734

and find more here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2654629/

Best of luck!

known_guy
03-22-12, 08:50 PM
Thanks for this! I like informative visuals. :D

DanaDane
03-23-12, 03:16 AM
Thanks for this! I like informative visuals. :D

Me to ;)

Maverick420
04-12-12, 10:52 PM
Being on long term treatment with Benzos sucks. It impairs and affects a lot of important system in your body. Your emotions may get lost and impaired cognitive function is commonly descried. Even after one pill I can notice negative effects on my memory. Also the sleep quality suffers. Over time, it gets worse and worse and the risk of developing a depression increases.

You also have to think of the day when you have to withdraw from the Benzos. They can do wonders in acute psychiatric situations but for long term treated they are just the wrong drugs. The withdraw can be a pain in the *** and disable you for months.

Use Benzos wisely and at the low dose possible.

tambourine-man
04-17-12, 08:24 PM
I have a love/hate relationship with benzos. I've been on all of them at one point or another. I've sworn never to take them again many times. Unfortunately, anxiety can be crippling and benzos work. I can only tolerate Librium or Valium however. I'm now taking 20mg of Valium per day. I feel guilty every time I take them. Why? Because they really shouldn't be taken daily. However, panic attacks and meltdowns (autism related) can genuinely destroy my life And everything I've worked for.

If you must take them daily, avoid Xanax, Ativan or any of the short acting benzos. The compulsive need to redose can ruin your life. Valium has a very long half-life and rapid onset yet gentle but effective therapeutic value. Librium is a bit like Valium-lite. I have paradoxical reactions to Klonopin. That's just me though. I've been on the Valium for several weeks and it continues to maintain its efficacy.

Drizzy
05-01-12, 03:56 PM
I didn't read everyones response but I will say that benzos are NOT a good long-term solution. It's easy to get addicted and not even know it, especially to the fast acting ones like Xanax and Ativan. It doesn't take long, I've heard of people using them everyday(therapeutic doses as prescribed) for a month and then stopping them CT and having withdrawals. You do not want benzo withdrawal and you won't get it if you take them ONLY when you really need it.

Klonopin is a good choice, thats what I take and its harder to get addicted to the long half-life. Some people actually use long acting benzos like kpin and valium to taper off w/e benzo they were on before.

Don't be paranoid, just be smart. It's your body your f'ing up(not saying you are) not doctors so they make rash decisions sometimes

sarahsweets
05-01-12, 05:16 PM
I didn't read everyones response but I will say that benzos are NOT a good long-term solution. It's easy to get addicted and not even know it, especially to the fast acting ones like Xanax and Ativan. It doesn't take long, I've heard of people using them everyday(therapeutic doses as prescribed) for a month and then stopping them CT and having withdrawals. You do not want benzo withdrawal and you won't get it if you take them ONLY when you really need it.

Klonopin is a good choice, thats what I take and its harder to get addicted to the long half-life. Some people actually use long acting benzos like kpin and valium to taper off w/e benzo they were on before.

Don't be paranoid, just be smart. It's your body your f'ing up(not saying you are) not doctors so they make rash decisions sometimes


Short acting benzos like xanax arent any more addictive then the long acting ones like klonopin. Stimulants are known to be addictive too. Ideally no one wants to rely on a medication especially a benzo but there are some that desperatly need it. Stopping a benzo or any medication(OTC stuff, anti depressants etc) will cause withdrawl symptoms because dependence does not mean addiction.

SnareDrumzZz
05-02-12, 04:46 PM
I love how everyone thinks klonopin is great when it causes really bad reactions in a lot of individuals. People need to quit talking out their booty and talk from experience which noone can ever really do on these topics. NO ONE uses Klonopin for a taper. That is dumb. Longer acting benzos mean a longer wd. Some of you really make No Sense.

js81pa
05-10-12, 05:40 AM
Short acting benzos like xanax arent any more addictive then the long acting ones like klonopin. Stimulants are known to be addictive too. Ideally no one wants to rely on a medication especially a benzo but there are some that desperatly need it. Stopping a benzo or any medication(OTC stuff, anti depressants etc) will cause withdrawl symptoms because dependence does not mean addiction.
I had a doc once say that long acting, hence less re dosing seems to curb abuse in his opinion. I get it as I tend to drink a lot of coffee one cup after the next. I can control my medication because I know it is a lot more powerful than coffee but I can see some people that think their bodies are an experiment not caring.

Ontario
05-10-12, 07:54 PM
I love how everyone thinks klonopin is great when it causes really bad reactions in a lot of individuals. People need to quit talking out their booty and talk from experience which noone can ever really do on these topics. NO ONE uses Klonopin for a taper. That is dumb. Longer acting benzos mean a longer wd. Some of you really make No Sense.

Your kidding right?

You need to "stop talking out your booty"

The most common benzo to conduct a taper program with is K-Pins or Valium...come one bud you make No Sense. Why capitilize to words at the end of a sentence anyways? Make your self seem smarter?

Benzos are benzos, there bad. No one can really argue that but for some there a nessacary evil.

known_guy
07-17-12, 10:47 PM
Yeah... I see no problem with one tapering off benzodiazepines via Klonopin tapering, it has a long half-life, like Valium. Valium I believe is more commonly used for tapering off benzos but... yeah. I stopped taking benzodiazepines through just stopping Klonopin on my own terms, gradual tapering. I am one of the lucky ones who doesn't(/didn't) suffer the really awful withdrawal symptoms people commonly get, so it was easier for me.

FocusPocus10
08-10-12, 02:11 AM
This thread is really full of ignorance. Benzos make you dumb? Show me scientific studies of this? Specifically klonopin which I'm on. Otherwise, stop talking definitively about a drug just because it 'made you loopy' the one time you took it.