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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can Clonazepam be stopped abruptly before starting Sertraline?

can I stop clonazepam abrubtly when put on a new drug sertraline by my doctor? I was taking clonazepam 0.5 mg 4 times a day. I got a new doctor who put me on sertraline, 25 mg (cutting a 50mg tablet in half0 for 10 days than increasing to 50mg. After the 2nd day I was shaking like crazy and called the doctor. had not taken the clonazepam for 2 days and asked if it could be withdrawal from that. So she told me to take the sertraline 25 mg, 1 day and 2 of the clonazepam the next . She also ordered the sertraline in a 25 mg pill. when I picked it up at the pharmacy the pharmacist asked if I was having a hard time with the sertraline. I told her how I was taking the medications. She said you have to wean yourself off the clonazepam and suggested taking 1/2 of the clonazepam .5 tablet for 1 week,with the 25mg sertraline. And 1/4 of the .5 tablet the next to wean off of the clonazepam with the sertraline to wean off the clonazepam. Is this a better idea than just stoppimg the clonazepam? I need to get off the clonazepam, and the pharmacist s suggestion sounded like a good idea.
Thu, 12 Jul 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi and welcome to 'ask a doctor ' service .
I have read your question and here is my advice .

Clonazepam ( like all Benzodiazapines ) should never be stopped abruptly ( if taken for more then a month), as this may cause severe rebound symptoms of anxiety. So your doctor is very right, you should tapper the dose of Clonazepam every 2 weekly and never stop it abruptly.

Hope I have answered your query.
Let me know if I can assist you further.
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