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How to withdraw from benzodiasipines?

Answered by
Dr. Srikanth Reddy


Practicing since :2007

Answered : 2770 Questions

Posted on Mon, 4 Aug 2014 in Sexual Health
Question: Dear Dr. I have been on a benzodiasipines for about 15 years for my anxiety/panic issues. I also take Lexapro 10 mg a day for about 12 years. I do see my PCP for my medications and I just started seeing a Physchiatrist within the past 6 weeks. I have not so far asked him my Phych that is,how HARD it is to get off a benzodiasipine after all these years of taking them? I take Klonapin 1 mg 4 times a day. I feel that at my age it is adding to my depression to a degree, and I feel tired and even guilt taking them, and I'am wondering WHY I FEEL THIS WAY NOW. thank you, looking forward to your reply.
Answered by Dr. Srikanth Reddy 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
It can be withdrawn

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for choosing health care magic for posting your query.

I have gone through your question in detail and I can understand what you are going through.

I do understand that its been quite long but the benzodiazepine like klonopin can still be withdrawn. And surprisingly in most of the cases it is not difficult as well. Over a period of 10year tye klonopin might have produced tolerance and in the dose that you are taking it may not be eefctive as well. It could very well be a psyhological dependence.
I kniw atleast 4 of mg patients eho could wanted to come of benzos after a long period of treament. It was a smooth ride ofr threenof them and the fourth who was taking. xanax could nkt stop it and we let it continue. So its notbvery predictable. You should always try ones to leave the benzos. You may express this desire to your psychiatrist.
One thing you have not mentioned in your question is how is your depression doing these days....?

Hope I am able to answer your concerns.

If you have any further query, I would be glad to help you.

If not, you may close the discussion and if possible you may rate the answer for me, so that I get a good feedback.

In future if you wish to contact me directly, you can use the below mentioned link:

Wish you good health,

Kind regards

Dr. Srikanth Reddy M.D.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Srikanth Reddy 14 hours later
Thank you Dr. XXXXXXX for getting back to me. So you believe getting off the klonopin @ 4mgs a day gradually, is realistic for me? Like I mentioned earlier, the klonopin does help with my anxiety/panic, but I feel guilty, why?, I don't know. Perhaps I been on it for so long that this type of medication causes dependence and frustration that I have to take it every day to keep my anxiety/panic in check.Dr. XXXXXXX I guess I'am not "right now" being fair to myself.Presently, I'am a recovering alcoholic with close to 4 month sobriety. I now have to deal with my so called,"demons", sober! not an easy task. Now @ 54, I'am looking at a lot of my character defects head on, maybe I'am being too hard on myself. Taking on too much at once! I just want to do the right thing(s).Dr. you asked me how is my depression, not so good,I do take the Lexapro 10mgs a day, my Phychiatrist up it to 15mgs a day but I felt very anxious, so I went back to 10mgs. My doctor,presently, is trying other meds. but during this process, a lot of the meds. make me feel worse, which makes me feel very,very,apprehensive and scared.I guess I have to be patient,but in the mean time I have to deal with this knawing chip of depressive thinking that at times it really gets to me! Well, there it is in a nutshell, sorry for the lengthy reply back. I trust you and your colleuges can shed a little light on this matter.Thank you again,looking forward to your response.
Answered by Dr. Srikanth Reddy 12 hours later
Brief Answer:
Recovering from alcohol can be stressful

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for all the additional details and it has helped me in understanding you further.
Yes its true that coming off klonopin at 4 mg / day is not a difficult task. But the fact that you are recovering alcoholic and its been only 4 months suggest that stopping benzos at this moment can trigger some anxiety which you may reduce by taking alcohol again. And this is some thing which should be avoided. With this new information I would suggest that you continue taking klonopin as of now until you are sober for atleast 10-12 months. Its not going to do any major further harm. After a 10-12 months sobriety, you may plan to withdraw the klonopin gradually. The days after leaving alcohol can have you in depression and that you are already on antidepressant. That could probably explain your frustration about taking klonopin. But continue taking them as medicines at this moment and you would be surely able to kick them off ones you are off your initial period of alcohol dependance .

Hope this helps
Kind regards
Dr. Srikanth Reddy MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad

The User accepted the expert's answer

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