View Full Version : Benzodiazipines can be pretty dangerous for long-term use


aphysicality
09-26-12, 11:17 PM
I'm always disturbed at how a lot of doctors are willing to prescribe benzodiazapines for long periods. I'm certainly not recommending that anyone stop taking them without discussing it with their physician, but I think they should be used more carefully. The NHS in the UK has actually published information specifically recommending that benzodiazapines not be used for anything other than short-term, and they certainly aren't the only ones who've said that.

For the better part of a year, I was taking Klonapine in order to combat social anxiety that was worsened by ADD medication. I get the impression that this isn't unusual. Over a few months, I built up more and more of a tolerance. Apparently, my body had also developed a physical dependance on it, which is very common after extended use.

I became concerned about taking it, and basically decided to stop it. My family has a history of addiction, although I've never even had a drink in my life. I had about 2.5 months worth of the tablets at the time, and I went to my doctor and asked her to take them. (I didn't want to put over 100 pills of a controlled substance in the trash.)

At that point, I proceeded to have possibly the worst experience of my life. I didn't sleep so much as a minute for five days, and I eventually went into a state of severe mania (which has never happened to me except from medication). I ended up calling 911, and by the time I got to the ER, I could barely even tell them my own name. Plus even afterwards, I had panic attacks daily for weeks.

I don't mean to imply that everyone who takes benzodiazapines will have such problems. Still, this kind of thing isn't uncommon. I couldn't help but notice that there seems to be quite a few people here that have been put on them for longer periods, and I felt my experience was worth mentioning. Perhaps benzodiazapines are ok in some circumstances, but people probably should be pretty careful about them, regardless.

Abi
09-27-12, 02:12 AM
If you wish to stop benzodiazepines [or any other psych meds] after prolonged use, you should slowly titrate down and phase out the medication. Ideally this should happen over a four to six week period depending on your daily dose.

Stopping cold turkey was an uninformed decision on your part and unconscionably ignorant and unprofessional of your doctor.

Amtram
09-27-12, 09:16 AM
It doesn't sound like you involved your doctor in the decision to discontinue, and your research into long-term effects was superficial enough that you didn't examine the risks of quitting them spontaneously.

The fact that you made a decision with incomplete information and without your doctor's input in no way indicates any shortcomings of the medication itself.

Long-term use of benzodiazapenes is discouraged in the general population, but some people with anxiety disorders use them for all or most of their lives, and often find a dose they can maintain. Benzos can be used to help prevent seizures, and some people with seizure disorders use them lifelong as well. I've been taking the same half milligram dose of alprazolam for five or six years, going up only one or two times every few weeks if I'm stressed, then right back down again.

If you were taking insulin for diabetes and decided one day that it was addictive and stopped it cold turkey, you'd end up in the hospital with terrible symptoms, too. That does not mean that insulin is a bad medication.

Nate W
09-28-12, 07:51 AM
Yea, I know the some doctors will give benzos out long-term. I had an acute anxeity incident a few years back and the psychiatrist I saw perscribed clonaizepam and he told me I could take it indefinitely. Research I did greatly contradicted this and I weaned myself off the medication beginning about a month later. He knew I was a recovering alcoholic, as well:rolleyes:.

BTW, with clonazepam you are supposed to reduce the dose by 1/8 (0.125) mg every 3-5 days when discontinuing. Go cold turkey and you can have seizures and in some cases, die. At the very least, if you don't taper it is a VERY unpleasant experience.

--Nate

Amtram
09-28-12, 11:34 AM
Yeah, I have a friend who likes to self-diagnose and self-treat who's decided it's OK to go from 1mg twice a day to a week of .5 mg twice a day and then quit completely as long as she's taking her ayurvedic "medicines" and her "liver cleanse" supplements. Her online status updates are a parade of despair, and her other alt-med friends are cheering her on. I, on the other hand, am just a meanie for telling her there's a valid neurochemical process that warrants doing this slowly.

ArctoLupinus
09-29-12, 02:10 AM
BZDs are frontline anxiolytics irreplaceable and the capacity to safely administer them, utilize their potential wisely, is entirely individually dependent.

Rebound epileptoid crises occur in individuals with CO-MORBIDITIES...

There is no such thing as "addiction"--only a human being and moral will-power unable to overmaster and self-transcend.

Should we let 5 year olds drive cars?

Same reasoning with BZD--problems arise only with individuals who never should have touched BZDs to begin with...

ArctoLupinus
10-05-12, 10:25 AM
LOL, re: Klonopin, the truth is spelled out loud, cryptically, for all to see in the "official" monograph... What I state is no arcane mysterion...

"There is no body of evidence available to answer the question of how long the patient treated with clonazepam should remain on it. Therefore, the physician who elects to use Klonopin for extended periods should periodically reevaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient."

Lisdex489
10-27-12, 02:07 PM
BZDs are frontline anxiolytics irreplaceable and the capacity to safely administer them, utilize their potential wisely, is entirely individually dependent.

Rebound epileptoid crises occur in individuals with CO-MORBIDITIES...

There is no such thing as "addiction"--only a human being and moral will-power unable to overmaster and self-transcend.

Should we let 5 year olds drive cars?

Same reasoning with BZD--problems arise only with individuals who never should have touched BZDs to begin with...

I doubt that I'm telling you something you don't already know when I say this, but your posts are atrociously pretentious.

On topic, I'd say that I agree with the rest of the people in the thread. You really shouldn't go off any substance you've been putting in your body for a while cold turkey.

meadd823
11-02-12, 08:11 AM
I am not sure how things are in Rome but I have never met a doc who prescribed this class of drug easily. Back in the day I heard of only a few "pill docs" who stayed in business very long and none of them are in business in this day and age of computerized tracking.

Most docs in the US are pretty frugal about using benzodiazepines period.


First line medications for long term anxiety treatment are NOT benzodiazpines but antidepressants - When docs do use benzo. to treat anxiety, they do so only short term while other treatment interventions are being employed


I can not take antidepressants due to the side effects , mainly mania. I have a lot of first degree relatives with bipolar and as it turns out the only thing between me and bipolar is some serotonin!


Because I am unable to take antidepressants even in pediatric doses plus I have a family history of seizures, I got stuck using the benzodiazepams for anxiety. No one is more fearful of the addiction potential ! I understand the biochemistry my doc is real good at explaining that part. The benzodiazepams like my adderall - I do not take them for the "feeling" The meds alter chemicals in the brain that cause the neuron to have a itchy trigger finger - It has to do with calcium and voltage-gated ion channels - Feel free to look it up!

I take it on an as needed basis, if the stars are aligned just right while it is snowing in the Sahara !

I am supposed to take it more often than I do however I often do not take it as I should for the following reasons:

#1 I am too ADHD to know what the triggers are nor do I realize I am experiencing anxiety until I begin having physical symptoms - although I am getting better.


#2 I am too ADHD to plan for my anxiety symptoms so I often do not have my medications with me - Again an area in which I have improved upon with "practice"


#3 I hate taking medications for any reason but especially disdain having to do so for "behavioral" and / or "emotional" reasons so I tend to resist by compliance failure - Frequently described as "shooting myself in the foot" or "cutting off my nose to despite my face"


#4 I do NOT want to become physically dependent upon the medication even though in a way I already am - If I could function without swallowing pills I would do so if for no other reason than to avoid the bother of it all.




ADD is stigmatized and so is the anxiety disorders Being anxious is seen as some thing I should be able to control especially because of my personality I am slap in the face honest and project air of self confidence both of which stem from my what you see is what you get approach to socialization. I am the last freaking person on Earth most would think of having an anxiety disorder! I am living proof that anxiety may have emotional triggers, it is not strictly an emotional issue.


While I am sure there are docs out there who prescribe medications with little or no forethought, based on my experiences and those of others with whom I have spoken the opposite is closer to the truth - Do to the moronic stigmata, the over all ignorance, restrictive legalities and the media driven fear mongering it is damn near impossible to get long term effective treatment for any condition requiring a "narcotic"!

Lunacie
11-02-12, 08:41 AM
BZDs are frontline anxiolytics irreplaceable and the capacity to safely administer them, utilize their potential wisely, is entirely individually dependent.

Rebound epileptoid crises occur in individuals with CO-MORBIDITIES...

There is no such thing as "addiction"--only a human being and moral will-power unable to overmaster and self-transcend.

Should we let 5 year olds drive cars?

Same reasoning with BZD--problems arise only with individuals who never should have touched BZDs to begin with...

So you're saying that all the doctors, scientists and researchers are wrong when
they describe addiction and treat addictions? :scratch:

People with ADHD have a problem with Executive Function that takes "will power"
and "morals" out of the equation.

ADHD is not a matter of will power or bad moral judgment - it's a physical problem -
underdeveloped areas of the brain don't communicate well with other parts of the brain.

Your opinion is as misinformed as thinking someone who needs glasses or contacts
to see clearly is unable to self-master or transcend their vision difficulties and
focus their eyes through will power.:umm1:

meadd823
11-02-12, 08:58 AM
Damn I wounder if this means I can "will" my body to be 20 again while keeping my 40ish year old transcendental brain!

I am betting the guy/gal didn't think we would comprehend what he/she said! I skipped it because to me it was like claiming a head ache is caused by living a haunted house !

ArctoLupinus
11-17-12, 08:35 PM
INTELLIGENT medical practitioners have no problem dispensing benzodiazepines when the situation calls for it--am I pretentious, or is "psychological culture" enmeshed in Gnostic dualism of in-group intellectual blindness?

I am sorry apparently many of you have not encountered an intelligent psychiatrist or doctor. The truth is, SSRI and SNRI antidepressants simply do not cut it, therapeutically, in severe cases of atypical anxiety, interlaced in co-morbidity. Honest, smart doctors can share this, if asked.

Read earlier medical texts before modern "moral panic" about BZD therapy--the value of BZD medicine was seen in its NON-ADDICTIVE property, e.g., compared to then-existing anxiolytics such as barbiturates.

I know there are definite physiologically-modulated aftereffects upon COLD TURKEY cessation of BZD treatment.

I am not a believer in some sort of solipsism-drenched, Nietzschean "magical voluntarism", as above posters mockingly implied...

I am stating, the INDIVIDUAL CHARACTEROLOGICAL element, the "personal equation", is overlooked fallaciously; and, if USED IN INTELLIGENT SAPIENCE, even BZD, AMPH, etc. harmfulness can be circumvented.

Has any one even read my quotation from Paracelsus?...

Drug addicts have universally told me of how horrifically nearly unthinkable it is for the doctor to prescribe any BZD, all variants of amphetamine, etc. and the forgotten, "taboo" underbelly of all-too-human disorders of addiction, personality syndromes of addictiven nature, reveals itself to my mind's eye.

I am prescribed, ad lib and prn, 4 mg of clonazepam per day and 40 mg of dextroamphetamine sulfate per day (along with a laughably ineffective antidepressant) as of NOW. I am a living refutation of the errors of thinking of addiction-prone drug addicts. I am not prideful, but "straight-shooting" in my way of expression.

I am NOT advocating COLD TURKEY cessation of potent medicine. Such is sheer malice or stupidity.

I am merely stating the possibility of navigating through BZD treatment undamaged is indeed possible; PERSONAL ethical self-mastery is not a "mystification" discretely separable from the matter--it is merely reality; human beings are differentiated in personality traits, hereditary tendencies and capacity of self-governance--why pretend this is not involved in things?; and humans are not passive automatons of deterministic naturalism. I am not elitist but anthropologically realist. What I am stating is POSITIVE and HUMANISTIC in the upward sense, if seen rightly.

But, long-suffering moderators, I am done with this conversation. Obviousness of injured ego-sense glares at me unpleasantly. Possibly envy is involved too, I do not pretend to know...

I am not a schoolyard brat-face bully seeking to hurt people. I speak bluntly, and the impression comes off apparently, that I am a mere megalomaniac delusive posturing clown, simply because I iterate cold truth unvarnished and in starkness.

I wish all of you well.

ArctoLupinus
11-17-12, 09:01 PM
I am going to SHUT THE HECK UP now, as I feel an air of ominous, imminent "social death."

Perhaps what I say is unconventional-sounding, but there is truth, or large grain of truth, in my words. I am not a fantasist or schizophrenic babbler.

The truths I engage and address, are violently "controversially esoteric" to the modern individual of modern world-view. I subconsciously come off as sneeringly arrogant of others, when I am simply a disillusioned realist, and agapic sensibility is actually the root-core of my personality.

So, to save trouble, especially to the moderators, several of whom I have privately corresponded with and I KNOW possess good will, I am going to take a break again and hopefully the ambiance of animus shall die down in time...

Esoteric truths are not untruthful because esoteric... Last words to ruminate over...

I wish all of you had an intelligent, morally-refined, empathetic doctor like me, I'm so sorry. Doctors should be providers of the tools they themselves live by and share such existential "tools" liberally with the patient. I'm sorry, honestly. :(

Sufferers of ADHD, grotesque anxiety, mega-depression, etc. all morally deserve the best...

sarahsweets
11-17-12, 09:55 PM
Hold on......I need to take out my dictionary

meadd823
11-18-12, 02:24 AM
ArctoLupinus I do not disagree with every thing you are saying - I do agree that the ability to correctly use the effects of benzos is individual.

You are lucky to have an empathetic doc

Many people here lack access to docs who are not obligated to the social prejudice connected to issuing prescriptions of certain medications

I agree that these stigmas are from ignorance and prevent proper treatment of many who suffer

However claiming addiction is a moral failing or some lack of transcendental state of mind is worthy of a challenge - Will be more than happy to oblige.

There is no such thing as "addiction"--only a human being and moral will-power unable to overmaster and self-transcend.

Should we let 5 year olds drive cars?

Same reasoning with BZD--problems arise only with individuals who never should have touched BZDs to begin with..

Overmaster . . . moral will power - -ehhhhhhh plant food -biological predispositions that got triggered - self transcendence is a matter of opinion!

Esoteric truths are not untruthful because esoteric... Last words to ruminate over...

Esoteric truths are no longer esoteric when shared over a public forum so this is a moot point and a further cause of vexation for many!


The truths I engage and address, are violently "controversially esoteric" to the modern individual of modern world-view. I subconsciously come off as sneeringly arrogant of others, when I am simply a disillusioned realist, and agapic sensibility is actually the root-core of my personality.

While you may come off as arrogant I tend toward being taken as harsh because my writing lacks that gentleness of flow which is combined with my tendency to be straight forwards so please keep this in mind when I say

*** Dummy it down a bit so you won't sound like you are talking down to every one!!!

While some of your perceptions may be controversial , it is the manner in which you are addressing the readership that is causing others to see your contributions in contemptible manner.

Lunacie
11-18-12, 10:39 AM
I became concerned about taking it, and basically decided to stop it. My family has a history of addiction, although I've never even had a drink in my life. I had about 2.5 months worth of the tablets at the time, and I went to my doctor and asked her to take them. (I didn't want to put over 100 pills of a controlled substance in the trash.)

.



I am sorry apparently many of you have not encountered an intelligent psychiatrist or doctor. The truth is, SSRI and SNRI antidepressants simply do not cut it, therapeutically, in severe cases of atypical anxiety, interlaced in co-morbidity. Honest, smart doctors can share this, if asked.

I am NOT advocating COLD TURKEY cessation of potent medicine. Such is sheer malice or stupidity.

.

Maybe it's your high-falutin' way of wording things, but I find myself very

confused about what happened when you stopped taking the Klonapin.


It sounds like you handed the remaining pills over to your doctor and just

stopped taking them. Would an INTELLIGENT doctor agree to that course?


How is that different from stopping 'cold turkey'?

Lisdex489
11-18-12, 01:58 PM
INTELLIGENT medical practitioners have no problem dispensing benzodiazepines when the situation calls for it--am I pretentious, or is "psychological culture" enmeshed in Gnostic dualism of in-group intellectual blindness?

I am sorry apparently many of you have not encountered an intelligent psychiatrist or doctor. The truth is, SSRI and SNRI antidepressants simply do not cut it, therapeutically, in severe cases of atypical anxiety, interlaced in co-morbidity. Honest, smart doctors can share this, if asked.

Read earlier medical texts before modern "moral panic" about BZD therapy--the value of BZD medicine was seen in its NON-ADDICTIVE property, e.g., compared to then-existing anxiolytics such as barbiturates.

I know there are definite physiologically-modulated aftereffects upon COLD TURKEY cessation of BZD treatment.

I am not a believer in some sort of solipsism-drenched, Nietzschean "magical voluntarism", as above posters mockingly implied...

I am stating, the INDIVIDUAL CHARACTEROLOGICAL element, the "personal equation", is overlooked fallaciously; and, if USED IN INTELLIGENT SAPIENCE, even BZD, AMPH, etc. harmfulness can be circumvented.

Has any one even read my quotation from Paracelsus?...



Ahhh, you're not pretentious then. It's just that psychological culture is enmeshed in Gnostic dualism of in-group intellectual blindness. I thank you for correcting my mistake.

Seriously though the vast majority of people on this forum will just keep scrolling when they come across one of your posts. You go so far out of your way to enrich your posts with obscure words that you end up being redundant, for instance "INTELLIGENT SAPIENCE." As opposed to unintelligent sapience?

Also "mysterion" isn't even a word, I can't find it in my dictionary or with a google search, and the sentence "I am a living refutation of the errors of thinking of addiction-prone drug addicts." is just awful. Just plain awful. Just re-read it, including the last part of the sentence. I didn't know some drug addicts were not prone to addiction.

"PERSONAL ethical self-mastery" once again, redundant.

"Possibly envy is involved too, I do not pretend to know..." You got me!


I can agree with some of the things you say, and I'm sure other people in this thread would agree with some of your points as well if you didn't bury the actual information that matters in swarms of adjectives. It's just such an inefficient way of relating information to other people.

And also use less words relating to intelligence in your posts. They reinforce the tone of superiority.

known_guy
11-26-12, 09:09 PM
One should remain cautious when it comes to long-term use of benzodiazepines, but so long as your doctor is always monitoring your intake, you know, sometimes people find they really have to continue taking benzodiazepines for years, if not indefinitely, and this can be done with a steady and consistent (low) dose. My psychiatrist herself mentioned having patients who're prescribed them for years without major tolerance issues, and others who take them intermittently as needed, just occasionally. I myself am one of the lucky ones who can stop taking them with minimal resultant withdrawal symptoms that last no more than a week or two. Though I should note that this was from personal experience of having taken Klonopin for months, with 0-3 doses a day, with no more than 1.5mg total per day. Which I believe is not considered "high".