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klonopin is a very addictive benzodiazepene. 1mg. of klonopin is equal to 20mg valium! soma is a remake of a tranquiliser from the late 50's called 'miltown'. if you've ever heard the song 'mothers little helper' by the rolling stones, this is what they were talking about. so basically you are taking two highly addictive benzos. i have come off of vicodin before-it's a walk in the park compared to benzo withdrawal. you should never stop taking a benzo cold turkey. i found an excellent tapering method developed by professor heather ashton in the u.k. klonopin in particular is dangerous to come off of without a drs. advice because it is also an anti-seizure med. going cold turkey from this can cause seizures. you definitely need to do some research on this. i am currently tapering off of 120mg. oxazepam, which is equal to 60mg. valium. i am tapering slowly. i went cold turkey for five days. went into convulsions, visual and audio hallucinations-pure torture! i had to reinstate and taper. i never again want to go through that. sorry for the long post. i'm just concerned about you.
hi wrenegade; ambien is not a true benzo, but acts on the gaba receptors just like klonopin and soma. alot of people become physically addicted to ambien/sonata/lunesta within 2 weeks! quite a few people switch over to valium and taper from there to come off the ambien. klonopin has a very short half-life compared to valium. i crossed over to the valium, taking a small amount of valium, while reducing the oxazepam at the same time. every four days i did another switch. once i am completely crossed over to valium, i will start reducing the dosages. i researched the crossover plan in the ashton manual. i am able to cross over every four days, but some people have to go a week. the reason i chose to cross over to valium is because it has a very long half-life, so i don't feel the reductions so severely. the half-life of oxazepam is 4-15 hours. and the half-life of klonopin is 18-50 hours(valium half-life, 36-200hrs). most people try to reduce at about 10% a week. this could be difficult on klonopin since the tiny pills have such a high amount of benzo in them, and are very hard to cut up into tiny enough peices to taper. alot of people have tapered directly off of klonopin, but you have to do some research on how to do this on the web. good luck, and keep us updated.
Thank you for all the good advice. I am going to see my PM doctor this coming Tuesday and I am thinking of asking him to write me a script for Valium to use to help taper off of the Klonopin. I was on Valium before the Klonopin. Does Klonopin come in a .5 mg dose? That would be easier to break up. I have the 1 mg pills. I usually take 1/2 to 1 at night with the Soma. I have gotten by with occasionally taking 1/4 of one, but a .5 mg pill would be easier to divide. Sometimes I take 1/4 of one during the day, too, but not often.

I didn't know Soma was a benzo either. I worked as a medical transcriptionist for a while and it is not listed in my drug book as one. Do you mean it works on the same receptors? (I'm not arguing here, just curious). Chris did you get sick when you took all those 20 Klonopin. Did you have to go to the ER?

Madhatter, I am in the states. It is just that I take 2 of the 5 mg generic oxycodone with a 500 mg tylenol. Basically a cheap form of Percocet. Thank you for saying I sound like a strong person. I know with God's help I can do anything. 30-some years ago, I was into the whole 60s/70s drug culture for 10 years. I never cared for the opiates (made me nauseated) and never stuck with any one thing long enough to get strung out on anything~just a lot of whatever was available and a whole lot of PCP. I was in a car accident that left me with spondylolisthesis at age 18. When I got off of drugs 5 years later, I got off everything. . .including pain meds. I did okay handling my pain naturally until about 3 years ago when I had increased pain from sitting all day at the computer. So that's when I started taking something for pain and to sleep. I thank God I have not abused the meds. Even though I do enjoy the "buzz" that accompanies the pain relief, I have never run short or taken more than I needed. To me that is a real miracle given my background.

In Dec., I started working as a ESE teacher's aide. I am not sitting now and I believe my back pain is better, so I want to get off of all of this stuff and get an idea of where I am baseline. I may end up having to go back on it or some of it for pain relief/sleep. That aspect has been a blessing, but I am concerned about the long term effects (bone loss, memory, etc.) and also I am sooooooooooo tired all day. That is what is really driving me crazy.

Do any of you have an idea how long it might take me to get completely off it all? It sounds like it is going to take forever to get off of all three. I wanted to start by June 1 and I am supposed to start a college class June 20.

Thank you all again so much for your help and support. Would you please be my support/prayer group when I actually begin this process? It would mean a lot to me.

wren
hi wrenegade; yes, soma works on the gaba receptors just like the klonopin, or any other benzo. ambien, sonata, lunesta, also work on the gaba receptors. the problem with coming off of the klonopin directly is that you can't break the pills down small enough to do a smooth taper. also, klonopin has a very short half-life. how long have you been on benzos? have you looked up the Heather Ashton manual on benzos on the web? it explains everything you need to know. .5mg of klonopin is equal to 10mg. of valium. if you break that in half, your are dropping by 5mg. valium equivalent, and that is a big drop. so you take anywhere from .5 to 1.0mg of klonopin every night, plus soma. this is the equivalent of 10-20mg. of valium per night, not including the soma. you definitely need to do the research on the web on proper benzo tapering (Heather Ashton Manual) before you go to your dr. and ask for valium. a little self-knowledge will go a long way to getting off of these meds. you need to be prepared and explain to your dr. why you think the valium taper would be best. since valium has a much longer half-life, you will find it easier to taper your dosage because you won't feel the effects of withdrawal as much. once again, you will find this in the manual. please look up this info, and come back with any questions. also, going up and down in dosage (.5mg one nite, 1.0mg. one nite, .25mg. sometimes during the day) is not a good idea. stick with one dose while you do your research on the proper tapering. bye for now
Hi benzogirl, Chris, and others.
Thank you again for all of the kind help and advice. I still have a lot of questions. I do appreciate the advice given. I did look up the Heather Ashton manuel and found lots of good information there. It will help me to know what to say to the PM doctor about Valium this Tuesday. I am wondering what he was thinking telling me to "take the Ambien instead of the Klonopin." Nothing said about the Soma (whether to take or not to take) nothing about tapering off and the Ambien was only for 10 mg. The only thing that did disappoint me about the Ashton taper was the length of time. This is the first time in many years that I will have time to rest and recuperate. School is out Monday. I will go in for the last teacher's day to help in the classroom on Tues, but then we don't go back until Aug. I had hoped to get through the withdrawals in a couple of weeks and then have an enjoyable summer working in my garden, catching up on housework, sewing, scrapbooking, etc. Maybe I can still do that to take my mind off of the miserable feelings of wd, but I am afraid I will be too sick to do much physically.

Another doubt I have is about the sleep issue. We owned a health food store for 8 years and I tried just about every natural sleep aid out there to no avail. (thanks anyway to Betrade (sp?) for your suggestion :) )

If I could not sleep before the Klonopin and Soma, what will I do now especially during wds? It felt sooo wonderful to take something and know I was going to pleasantly drift off to sleep shortly after years of lying awake until 2 or 3 a.m. Benadryl did not work; just made me feel groggy the next day. Melatonin worked for a while, but then did not even at the highest dose of 10 mg.

Also, I am wondering what my frame of mind should be going into this. One side of me says, "Don't allow yourself to even think of the possibility of ever taking any of these again." The other side says, "Leave it open to the possibility that you may need medication for chronic pain and/or sleep."

I was offered the option of a spinal fusion, but the prognosis was that it "may help your back pain." Not good enough for me. I am thinking I did okay w/o pain medication for 30 years, so maybe I can again. It was added stress and pain that made me turn to the meds about 3 years ago. Situations have changed for the better, so maybe I could cope now.

I have not read or posted on the pain management boards for a long time because reading on there makes me feel it so easy to justify taking the medication.

It is true, I do have legitimate pain that sometimes is severe, but not every day. I question myself how much of my taking the oxycodone is physical and how much is mental. The doctor wanted to switch me to OxyContin because of the "roller coaster" effect of the short-acting form, but I felt nervous about that. Is it possible to take something strong like an opiate just when I need it, say if that were maybe 3 days a week?

Benzogirl, I think you mentioned the possibility of doing a shorter taper and doing all three at once. I know it would be hard, but I do not want to drag this thing out.

You asked how long I have been on the benzos. It's been about 2 years. I started with 0.25 Xanax prn and then Valium 10 mg 1/2 to 1 tablet nightly at night. The doctor switched me to Klonopin over a year ago as I am on now 1 mg 1/2 to 1 tablet at night. I had to change doctors as my doctor went out of practice and the new doctor never did like the Klonopin. I have not had an increase, though, in well over a year.

I am sorry for such a long post, but I just have a lot of questions and doubts and I do appreciate the input and advice you all give.

wren
hi wrenegade; of course you could try a shorter taper, and get off of everything at once. some people have mild withdrawals, some have a horrible time. you are never going to know unless you try it. the only reason i mention a long benzo taper is because this drug is notorious for having the withdrawals the longest. you don't have to go by the ashton guidelines. just use that for a reference point, then taper according to how you feel. if your dr. agrees to the valium taper, and offers you other meds to take along with them, just agree to it. that doesn't mean you have to take them. if you are in legitimate pain, the withdrawals could make it worse. thats why i think coming off the benzos slowly is a good idea. just remember, if you try a fast taper off of everything and you are not able to handle it, you haven't failed. you just need to regroup and try a different way. bye for now. :)
Thank you, benzo girl! My husband is going to be gone for about a week and I thought that would be a good time to begin. From all I have read (and my little experience trying to drop the Klonopin and switch over to the Ambien) I will taper the Klonopin as much as possible and I will talk with the PM doctor about some Valium to help with the process. I thank you and the others for all of your help and I will keep you posted. I am going to post under a new thread, too, to try to bring out some more ideas/support from others.

Avalon. . .it is nice to hear from a "kindred spirit". I will need you guys support when I start this thing soon. :)
Hello again, my friends. . . .

Yeah!! School is over for the summer here in Fl. :bouncing: (I work as a teacher's aide). Now, I can get serious about getting off these meds.

After listening to all your advice, I think I have decided to do it slow. I am still confused a little, though, because some say to get of the Klonopin first and then (I think it was) Chris said that the Klonopin would be helpful getting off the oxcodone. I am concerned about not sleeping because that is why I started the Klonopin in the first place.

Anyway, I thought using the Valium taper with the Klonopin was a good idea, but my pharmacist said no, so that made me chicken to ask my PM doctor. I did find out that the Klonopin comes in a .5 mg tablet. So, today when I saw my doc, I asked him to write me an rx for that instead of the 1 mg. If I have this figured correctly, I can go down on that by quarters until I am taking a quarter of a pill. Would that be equal to about 2.5 mg of Valium? That was my deduction, but please check me out. At that point, how hard would it be to go cold off of 2.5 Valium? Now, what about Ambien? Is that a "better" benzo since it has such a short half-life? I mean if I still find that I need something to help me sleep, and I have had chronic insomnia for years.

I am thinkng first get off the Klonopin, then the Soma, then the oxycodone? Any ideas?

I will start by only taking my regular .5 mg at night instead of .5 mg some nights, 1 mg other nights, and the occasional .25 mg during the day. After I feel stable at .5 mg at night, I will try cutting back by 1/4 of a .5 mg tablet. How does that sound?

Oh yes, I explained to the doctor about how the generic OxyIR was making me feel. For instance, today I took my two 5 mg pills and one 500 mg Tylenol in the a.m. when I got up. I went almost 6 hours and did not have significant back pain, but that "yucky" feeling "forced" me to take my next dose. He says that shouldn't happen. (Thanks doc!) But he said it may be because the OxyIR is so fast acting and may wear off too quickly. He suggested generic Percocet. He said the formula was different and should not wear off as fast. Also, I am going to get the tablets, so I can cut them to taper. However. . .he said they were NOT expensive. The price was $159. but that was before insurance. Hopefully, they will be much less with insurance.

When I asked him if the Soma was addictive, he said, "It may be or might be or could be. . something like that." I don't know about him. . .

Sooooooooo, do you think I am going to experience w/d doing it this way?

I have 2 months approx before school starts again. I want to do a lot of juicing, herb teas, vitamins, etc. I do have experience helping people do "cleanses" when we owned the health food store, but it was for illnesses, not drug detox. I did read the great sticky on the detox program. Do you think this type of thing works okay doing a slow taper as well as a quick one? I guess that's kind of a dumb question. I should know that building the immune system up is a great idea anytime. My DH says I should get built up first and I think he is for a slow taper, too. He bought me a bottle of "Stress B Gone." It is a great liquid product with B vitamins and Kava Kava. I have been upping the multivits and A,C, and E.

I'm sorry this is so long, but it does help somehow to write it all out.

Thank you, my friends, for being there, and please keep posting to encourage me on.

wren





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