A number of years ago, I wrote an extensive article on SteadyHealth in regards to coming off of clonazepam (aka, Klonopin). When I say extensive, I truly mean extensive. But, although I received requests for help in different parts of the world, due to my article, I guess I was busy focusing on them and not on the fact that SteadyHealth was shutting down my ID. It has to do with me not logging on during a period of time. That is a SteadyHealth rule, and it is their company, and so I will simply have to live with the loss. I do not have the strength or time to reconstruct it, but I will provide a GREATLY condensed version here and will make it very specific. Thank you, SteadyHealth, for allowing me a second try at this.
1 - I am not a doctor. I do have extensive tutoring in nutrition, but, most importantly, I am a former clonazepam user...and you can be a former user, too.
2 - In the first paragraph I spoke of making this very specific. I took clonazepam, as I had REM Sleep Disorder, which manifested itself as night terrors.
3 - TAKE IT SLOW. I cannot emphasize this enough. When you decide to come off of clonazepam, this is a big decision. If you think it is a sprint or something you can come off cold turkey, you will go through withdrawals that are profoundly difficult. I know. I tried the cold turkey, and I paid for it. Eventually, I decided that I was not in a rush, and I set a YEAR as my goal. In the end, it took 11 months.
4 - How to take it slow. Using myself as an example, I was on 1 mg of clonazepam. If you take a higher or lower dose, you must simply and carefully plan it out for yourself...even if it means taking two years. Set a target and do it. Over time, using a good pill cutter (you must buy one, and they are cheap...check the drug stores), I would reduce my pill intake to 1/2 a pill each day to 1/4 a pill each day (meaning .25 mg), and eventually 1/4 a pill every other day, then every third day, then every fourth day, and eventually once a week, and then once every two weeks, and then none. You must do something similar.
5 - CALENDAR. You MUST have a calendar. You absolutely must map out each month as to what you are taking, and cross through the days as you progress. Do NOT rely on memory. Remember, ONE OF THE BEST REASONS FOR COMING OFF OF CLONAZEPAM IS THAT THE DRUG IS VERY HARD ON A PERSON'S MEMORY. Want to fast track to Alzheimer's (not kidding here), then just keep taking clonazepam. The research is out there.
6 - Again ... SPECIFIC. To help replace the clonazepam, I needed something else to help me sleep. Since I don't have his permission to use his name, I will simply state that a natural doctor, well known throughout the world as one of thee best, provided a list of supplements and how to take them. I would buy each of these supplements individually, until a relatively new product hit the market. I am hoping SteadyHealth will let me provide it. If not, I will modify this post with each of the supplements. Anyway...the product is Somnapure. There are two Somnapures out there, i.e. the original Somnapure and Somnapure PM. I am ONLY talking about the original Somnapure and not the PM variety. This product had all of the supplements suggested, except for one: 5-HTP. I would like to suggest that, you try the Somnapure by itself for a week and see if it helps you. If not, then add the 5-HTP, but be careful, and I would even ask your doctor if 5-HTP would cause you a problem.
7 -Take #6 as you are coming off of clonazepam. Again...this is for people who have sleep issues. I am trying to be very specific. You want something nutritional to replace the clonazepam. AND...get to bed within one hour of taking the Somnapure. Try to go to bed at a time, such that you do NOT need an alarm clock to wake you. Having the alarm clock jolt you out of a sleep every day, is very hard on your nervous system. This is important, or I would not be telling you this.
8 - This is your decision and not your doctor's. MDs have myriad reasons for putting people on a drug. Most of those reasons I am hoping are noble. In the end, it is your body and your decision. When I made the decision to come off the clonazepam, I sent a note to my MD that I was going to do it and do it slow. I did not ask for permission. But, I was willing to accept the responsibility.
9 - I must repeat again, as this is VERY IMPORTANT. You MUST take coming off of clonazepam very slow. PLEASE do not rush it.
10 - This is pretty much all I can do for anyone reading this. Right now, I am caregiving to a family member, and my time is very limited. I doubt if I can get back to anyone who writes. The bottom line is that I've given you what you will need to come off of clonazepam. Especially those with sleep issues. It took me three tries and the help of that natural doctor as well as my board certified nutritionist to drag this demon out of my system. If I can do it, you can too. Believe me, I truly empathize with you. Now...do yourself a favor: BEGIN!!!