I've alternated between, lorazepam 0.5 - 1.5mg, zopiclone 7.5mg and clonazepam 0.5 - 1mg. I've only taken them at night and either 3 nights in a row followed by one or two nights off, or at the very worst every second night. I've recently come off paxil(long term), and am now trying to wean off citalopram that I've been on for 6 months. My sleep is terrible and has been since I stopped paxil, hence the commencement of citalopram. I developed this wake-sleep disorder it seems, I get jolts(hypnic jerks), startle responses that seem exaggerated, and noises in my head all and only at sleep onset. Just as I am drifting off, I will get a fear response(like when someone sneaks up and scares you) and a jolt in my chest that feels like my heart tried to jump out. The thing is, I don't feel anxious before all this happens. Also I'm noticing that now I'm waking up anxious after taking a benzo and that the head noises, jolts, zaps, startle response are worse when I try to fall back asleep. I know this is complicated and I feel despaired and helpless. Why would a benzo cause me to wake up in an anxious state? I will only sleep an hour or two without the benzo, and still get the jolts, zaps etc... but without the anxiety. I'm hoping this is SSRI related, so that I can rule out benzo addiction.
Could be anti related but i think its benzo related everything u r saying i felt when i went off xanax head zaps , convulsions , jerks body wanting to shake alot other stuff thing is some people get immuned to benzo alot faster and unless u up it your going to have withdrawal side effects and benzo is something u cant stop by urself u can die have seizure, coma so dont taper without docs and look up ashton method it will give u taper plan. Iam almost 7 months out and suffering alot physical stuff from xanax
I found this after a google search of hypnic jerks and Paxil and I just want to let you know you are not alone. I am having the SAME exact problem, except I'm not off Paxil yet. I have been slowly tapering the Paxil after long term use as well (10+ years.) At around 11mg. these jerks came out of nowhere. I seriously feel like I could have written this because I am also using a low dose benzo, .25 of xanax every 2-3 nights with days taken off in between, to lessen the jerks. If I don't then I will literally jerk ALL NIGHT, every single time I'm about to fall asleep. Like you, I am scared of getting tolerant to the benzo and then having to go through two horrible withdrawals at once! I do know that rebound anxiety can happen with benzos which may be why you wake up anxious after having taken them. If you had it before taking the benzos then it is unlikely that they are the sole cause, although I do know that hypnic jerks are also a sign of benzo WD. Which is another reason I don't want to get addicted to the benzo since in the end it could make the hypnic jerks worse. I really wish I had an answer for you, but I am obviously in the same boat. That's why I'm on a google hunt trying to find something to alleviate these jerks, that isn't a benzo. At least know you are not alone.
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