my GP. I am 56yrs old. I have been on short term then LTD and now Canada Disability Pension over past 4 years. My Dr. d/c'd a few of my medications and lowered the dose of one, but until my daughter sent me info on Long Term Side Effects of Clonazepam I had no idea and am not sure why my Dr.
had no idea that at least 85% of those side effects applied to me. My dose was 4mg. After reading this info and doing my own research, I went to see my Dr. and told her I wanted to withdrawal from Clonazepam. She told me to go down by 1/2mg every 2 weeks until I was done. I told her I would rather discontinue it at my own rate which she agreed to. I did decrease by 1/2 mg every two weeks until I reached 2mg . Once I reached the 2mg point I started having the first significant withdrawal symptoms since the beginning.
Insomnia, restless legs ( which I was aware would return either as a symptom of withdrawal or because it was the reason I was on this med ), general feeling of lethargy, flu like symptoms, nausea, & light sensitivity. I think insomnia was the biggest. I began taking melatonin for sleep which is actually recommended for insomnia from benzo withdrawals. Since then I have been having headaches, so I'm not sure if it is the last decrease or the melatonin ( which I will stop taking for a few days to see if the headaches go away ). Because of the symptoms I am going to stay at 2mg for an extra week or two. My goal once I get thru this first hurdle is to decrease by 10% of my dose until I am off of Clonazepam completely. I am sure there will be more hurdles in my future, but my question for those of you who know or have been through this, is if there are things I can do to ease the side effects? Can anyone suggest help with the insomnia, and/or the restless legs, which are really the worst right now. No sleep or barely any ( likely about 12hrs over past 5-6 days ) is horrible. I turn the TV off, try drinking a warm drink at bedtime as suggested to me, have tried the melatonin which does help induce sleep, but for 2hrs max , and I am not sure if it is causing the headaches yet. Having my legs " crawl " is an agonizing thing and I had forgotten how horrible until I started decreasing the medication I was taking to prevent this. I literally had holes in the bottom of all of my sheets until I started taking the Clonazepam many years ago ( and we did try Mirapex, but due to side effects could not take it either ). Any suggestions to make this process somewhat easier ( I don't expect an easy withdrawal, and I am aware the worst is yet to come as the doses get smaller ). I am just looking for some ways which I may make the transition somewhat less difficult.
I lost my job after 32 years, I've lost friends, family members and about the last six years of my life because of this medication. My husband really still does not understand the difficulties caused not to mention what I have yet to get to as my clonazepam dose decreases. It truly has been life changing.