Tapering off anti anxiety meds

Hi everyone I hope you are all keeping well and save. I’m okay except for the covid I have since I got the virus back in August this year.

I was wondering if anyone else has had a bad reaction or withdrawal from coming off clonazapam suddenly.

I wasn’t given proper advice by my GP on how to taper off the medication. I stopped taking clonazapam last Sunday and the withdrawal symptoms came on soon after. I started getting emotional, and the spaciticy on my affected side became worse. I had a horrible headache right in the middle of my head. Then on Thursday night as my partner and I were getting ready for bed, I started having violent tremors. I was so scared my partner had to call 111 and some paramedics were dispatched to attend to me.

The experience was very terrifying and even though I’m back on the meds, I’ve still worried that it might happen again.

Hi @joy.alliy , that sounds horrible. I’m on a low dose of a different anxiety medication and had a terrible time when starting it. I know coming off these kind of meds can be really difficult so have avoided trying to at the moment. If they aren’t causing me any major problems I’ll stay on them for now.

I would discuss with your GP how best to reduce down (or slightly go back on before reducing again). These are slightly scary drugs that mess with your brain.

I hope you find a solution.

Hi - antidepressants almost always cause side effects if they are stopped suddenly. It’s really important to take medical advice on how to taper safely.

Your GP will help I’m sure. Best of luck :pray:

Thank you Mark for sharing your experience. I was initially hesitant about going on the meds but I couldn’t sleep and kept having flashbacks of the stroke, so the psychiatrist put me on a lose dose.

This was 2 weeks after the stroke, 2 years ago. I’m back on the meds and going to try and taper off more slowly now but I’m sure how long for as I’ve recently been disagnosed with general anxiety disorder.

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Thank you @DDMH , it was the GP who took me all them suddenly, instead of weaning me off them gradually.

Wow that’s unusual - what reason did they give?

That’s what happens when you are allocated 5 minutes on the phone with a doctor.

The tremors are ghastly, I experienced them on Prozac before I went off it. I actually had my partner call an ambulance as I had no clue as to what was going on. Tapering off meds is important, if you are on a high dose you ought to taper slowly. It’s also useful to keep in mind that some meds are still in your system 48 hrs after. I have just read that clonazapam has a long half-life, that means it is still in your system 2-3 days after stopping. This will help you determine what quantity you need to take to balance out and then stop.

@joy.alliy that sounds awful. I remember my hubby having a similar thing when he just stopped some strong pain killing meds. We had the dr out and he said that you can’t just stop taking them you have to come off slowly. Once he took one again he was right as rain and he then reduced down gradually and replaced with another pain killer for a while. He was fine then.
I’d suggest another GP call and ask them the best way to taper off. They should know you had the paramedics out.
Best of luck & hope you’re feeling better now x

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I’m so glad to hear that I am on alone. I felt bad calling the paramedics after finding out that what happened was definitely as a result of not being properly adviced.

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Hello @joy.alliy. I’m so sorry you’ve found yourself in this situation. It sounds very frightening. I find it difficult to understand the advice the doctor gave you to come off them abruptly. My understanding (I am not a doctor and not qualified to give advice) is that drugs which affect brain chemistry need to be gradually introduced and tapered off. I have tried 2 different anxiety/depression meds which I did just that. I had tremors with the first and my sleep was impacted with the second. These are powerful drugs with effects that are unpredictable. I decided in the end to go without ( gradually tapering off) as my symptoms were not really improved as it was situational and I prefer a level playing field that I understand and feel I have control. All the best, Julia x

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Hi. I too have come of anti-depressants, but not suddenly. I tapered off slowly, from one a day to one every other day then one every couple of days then zero. I was advised by my GP.

Go have a chat with your GP as Anti Ds are addictive and take time to both get into your system and out of it.

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Thank you @Crazicatapila I think your doctor’s approach is very good. Sadly I don’t trust my doctor especially when he was the one who got me into trouble in the first place. He put me back to the meds and said to call and have a view in three weeks time. I’m better off talking to the chemist about how to taper off.

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