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Clonazepam- Indications Of Withdrawal, Time Needed To Detox, And Treatment

Klonopin or Clonazepam is an anti-anxiety drug. This is mainly prescribed to check problems of disorder. By decelerating some of the functions related to the brain and the body, pertaining to stress and anxiety, Clonazepam also manages panic disorders. Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA) in the brain is enhanced by Clonazepam, which in turn, diminishes the blood pressure and the heart rate. Thus, it calms down emotional turbulences. Chemical alterations in the brain result in the surfacing of the indications of withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal are more distinct if you have been taking Benzodiazepine drugs like Clonazepam for a longer period of time.

Klonopin or Clonazepam is an anti-anxiety drug. This is mainly prescribed to check problems of disorder. By decelerating some of the functions related to the brain and the body, pertaining to stress and anxiety, Clonazepam also manages panic disorders. Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA) in the brain is enhanced by Clonazepam, which in turn, diminishes the blood pressure and the heart rate. Thus, it calms down emotional turbulences. Chemical alterations in the brain result in the surfacing of the indications of withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal are more distinct if you have been taking Benzodiazepine drugs like Clonazepam for a longer period of time.

Clonazepam- Indications Of Withdrawal, Time Needed To Detox, And Treatment

Clonazepam can be highly addictive. The users may form a dependence on it both physically and cognitively. Thus, without medical supervision, users should not suddenly cease to take medication. If they do so, then they may have to face severe aftermath or fatal withdrawal symptoms. The indications of withdrawal from Clonazepam are worsened when taken along with alcohol or other illegal drugs. In 2011, it was reported by The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) that around 61000 people needed emergency treatment due to recreational use of Clonazepam.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Clonazepam

The intake of Clonazepam must not be terminated suddenly without the counsel of a medical professional as the results may cost you your life. Suddenly taking yourself off the medication may result in dangerous seizures or even a coma. One of the rare side-effects of withdrawal from Clonazepam is Catatonia. Blood pressure, heart rate, respiration levels, and body temperatures must be observed closely during the withdrawal process lest it may elevate to unhealthy levels. It happens because the brain and the body try to reinstate probity without Clonazepam. Benzodiazepine withdrawal is another psychological withdrawal symptom which occurs when Clonazepam consumption is stopped. Intensified suicidal tendencies are also one of the fatal withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately, the symptoms of relapse are less likely to occur in the users of Klonopin and are more likely to occur in the ones who are addicted to Benzodiazepines.

Physical Symptoms of Withdrawal:

  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heart rate or heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Impaired respiration
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle spasms and cramps
  • Impaired coordination and motor functions
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Seizures

Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Hallucinations
  • Nightmares
  • Mental confusion
  • Short-term memory lapses
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Drastic mood swings
  • Trouble feeling pleasure
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings
  • Dearth of motivation
  • Feeling “out of it” and disconnected from reality
  • Anger and hostility

With time and with adequate psychological support from the near ones, the emotional symptoms of withdrawal from Benzodiazepines will definitely dwindle gradually.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Phases and the Factors Influencing withdrawal:

The three main phases of Benzodiazepine withdrawal include-

  • Early withdrawal
  • Acute withdrawal
  • Extensive withdrawal

The longevity of early withdrawal is usually about 2-4 days. This includes the rebound symptoms, namely, anxiety and insomnia. Acute withdrawal reaches a climax in around two weeks after the last dose and lasts between seven days to a month. Most of the side-effects related to withdrawal occur during the phase of acute withdrawal. A prolongation of psychological symptoms and craving for the drug occurs during the phase of protracted withdrawal. It may materialize without any warning even months after the termination of the drug. Withdrawal symptoms will be idiosyncratic to each individual. Everyone will not go through all the three phases of withdrawal. For instance, symptoms of extensive withdrawal will occur only in someone taking Clonazepam, than someone taking a Benzodiazepine like Xanax, which does not have long lasting effects.

How to Treat Clonazepam Addiction Safely?

Medical detox is of utmost importance for the people who are experiencing withdrawal from Clonazepam. It will use medications which control more arduous withdrawal indications. Medical detox follows a narrowing schedule as it is lethal if you quit Clonazepam all of a sudden. Using medicines for detoxification will slowly lower the dosage over a safe period of time to minimize the physical and emotional aftermath. Medical detox lasts for about five to seven days during the course of which the drug is finally cleansed from the system. Anti-depressants may come in handy while treating symptoms like depression and suicidal behavior that are likely to occur during the detoxification process. Medicines like Gabapentin, a medicine which influences the GABA levels, are also quite useful.

Klonopin helps to control seizure and anxiety disorders. It is also used to relax muscles or to induce sleep. The main action of Klonopin is to expedite the influence of Gamma Amino Butyric Acid in the brain and spinal cord. This results in the decrease in the level of excitation of the other neurons, leading to sedation. With the gradual progress of detox, you will definitely gain a sense of control. You might even be highly encouraged to enroll yourselves in various therapies. These will be helpful in providing you with the emotional and psychological strength to not go back to using the drugs again.

Withdrawal from Clonazepam- a Detailed Study.

Clonazepam or Klonopin is used to cure extreme anxiety disorders. Owing to its high potency, it acts upon the brain in a very short span of time. However, this very fact is the main reason why you start your dependence on the drug physically with the passage of time. As your body accommodates the presence of a drug, physical dependence occurs. The system loses the balance as you stop taking the drugs or lower the levels to a significant amount. This results in a reaction which leads to a dispense or inhibition of neurotransmitters or hormones. Finally, this results in physical withdrawal symptoms which are accompanied by emotional and behavioral symptoms of withdrawal.

Physical dependence on the drug is increased when it is taken with alcohol or other illegal drugs. In these cases of polydrug abuse, the withdrawal process gets much more complicated because of the subsequent addiction to various things. The intensity and length of withdrawal symptoms is influenced by human physiology and psychology.

Though it has been mentioned earlier that there are three phases of withdrawal, it actually occurs in two distinct stages:

ACUTE WITHDRAWAL– This occurs after one to four days after the last dose of Clonazepam. Klonopin has a half-life elimination ranging from thirty to forty hours. Thus you are not likely to experience acute withdrawal symptom for a day or two after the cessation of the drug. The frequency and dosage of use also determines the onset of acute withdrawal symptoms. The more eminent the dose, the sooner will be emergence of the withdrawal symptoms.

The recurring of symptoms that were controlled when you took a specific medication is known as the rebound effect. As anxiety is one of the major issues controlled by Clonazepam, it is a very common acute withdrawal effect of terminating the drug. Acute withdrawal symptoms are a combination of the following symptoms:

  • Somatic symptoms like sweating, headaches, tremors in the hands.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and abdominal cramps.
  • Cardiac symptoms are more often than not the result of an anxiety relapse syndrome.
  • Psychological symptoms and psychical symptoms like irritability, anxiety for relapse and mood swings.
  • The chances of developing seizures

FULL- BLOWN OR EXTENSIVE WITHDRAWALIt takes place after the acute phase of withdrawal. This phase extends for ten to fourteen days. However, excessive abuse of Klonopin in very high doses will make you undergo more elongated periods of withdrawal. Symptoms experienced during this phase include general feelings of uneasiness, nausea, cravings, depression, headache, and mild fever.

There is a third phase of withdrawal known as the Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS). This phase comprises mainly psychological symptoms like mood swings, irritability, periods of anhedonia and depressive symptoms. The ones who do not experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms are said to be at a higher risk of a relapse.

Medications Prescribed for Clonazepam Withdrawal

Various medications can be useful during the withdrawal stages:

  • Paxil and Prozac, which are serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, can be useful.
  • In case of seizures, anticonvulsant medications like Tegretol or Carbamezepine can control the seizure. These may also help in the process of withdrawal.
  • The hormone melatonin will help to treat insomnia, which is a very common symptom during the withdrawal process.

What to do after Detoxing Successfully?

After attaining physical stability, the emotional aftermath must be taken into consideration in a more thorough manner. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Motivation Interviewing (MI) will be very helpful in curing psychological withdrawal indications. The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy sessions take place in two stages which include group discussions and discrete CBT sessions. These sessions also include homework which ensures a faster recovery.  Motivational Interviewing (MI) offers incentives for clean drug tests and helps in enhancing your internal motivation, which is of utmost importance if you have to overcome the hurdle of psychological side-effects.

Family and friends also play a pivotal role during your entire withdrawal process. With optimum amount of care from the loved ones, you will definitely get over the entire withdrawal process sooner than you think. The circumstances will surely change for the better. Therapy and psychological support will go a long way to help in the withdrawal process. It will reduce the chances of a potential relapse and also help you steer clear of tragic consequences.