Klonopin is a benzodiazepine medication typically prescribed to treat insomnia and anxiety. This drug is usually intended for short-term use because it can cause physical dependence in people who use it for an extended period. Once you become dependent on Klonopin, you will experience withdrawal if you reduce the amount or stop taking it altogether.
The withdrawal symptoms can go on for days or even weeks in some cases, but they typically start within hours of eliminating the drug from your system. At times, the symptoms will come and go. Withdrawal during Klonopin detox usually brings on various painful symptoms like irritation and anxiety, while others like seizures can be dangerous to the individual.
Among benzodiazepine users taking Klonopin for longer than six months, approximately 40% will get severe to moderate withdrawal symptoms. However, the other 60% will experience milder withdrawal symptoms.
What Do Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms Feel Like?
The withdrawal symptoms experienced during Klonopin detox are the same as alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The user should expect to feel flu-like, irritated, and on edge, but the symptoms can come and go. The symptoms you were treating with Klonopin in the first place, such as insomnia and anxiety, might return more intensely.
Unluckily, you cannot exactly predict how you will feel during the Klonopin detox and how the withdrawal symptoms will affect you. The next step can be entirely different, even if you have undergone the process several times. In general, the severity of your Klonopin withdrawal symptoms will depend on:
- Whether you’ve been mixing it with other addictive substances like alcohol
- The duration of use
- The dosage you’re taking currently
- The person’s health and age
As a long-acting benzodiazepine, Klonopin has a half-life of approximately 30-40 hours, so it can take some time for the withdrawal symptoms to present during Klonopin detox. They can take 2 – 7 days to occur after your last dosage. Acute withdrawal symptoms usually continue periodically for about 2 – 8 weeks.
Klonopin detox brings about emotional and physical withdrawal symptoms in the user, but they will differ in each person. Acute Klonopin withdrawal starts a few days after the user’s last dose, and the symptoms can be intense or even dangerous to some individuals. Other people may find the symptoms experienced during Klonopin detox more painful than intense.
There are two overall categories of Klonopin withdrawal symptoms: psychological and physical symptoms relating to the user’s overall health.
Physical Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms
The withdrawal symptoms experienced during Klonopin detox that affect the patient’s physical health include the following:
- Grand mal seizures
- Extreme light sensitivity
- Muscle pains and aches
- Appetite loss
- Muscle spasms
- Visual disturbances such as blurred vision
- Unsteadiness or dizziness
- Weight loss
- Sleep problems
Psychological Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms
These symptoms affect the user’s mental health and include the following:
- Agitation and irritability
- Panic attacks
- Concentration problems
- Visual or auditory hallucinations
- Feelings of unreality
- Suicidal thoughts
- Strange bodily sensations
- Strange changes in perception (things feel and taste different)
- Memory problems
- Distorted body image
It is common for individuals going through Klonopin detox to experience rebound symptoms. Rebound symptoms stem from the underlying health conditions the Klonopin was originally managing. For example, if you had initially started taking Klonopin to address an anxiety disorder, the symptoms of this condition might come back during detox.
During the initial stages of Klonopin detox, the rebound symptoms can be even more intense than they were before. Sadly, this usually intimidates recovering users into quitting Klonopin detox before they can get treated.
This is the second phase of Klonopin withdrawal; it is a condition that can last for months or even a year after detox. The symptoms of post-acute withdrawal during Klonopin detox don’t occur in everyone, but they differ from acute withdrawal symptoms. Protracted withdrawal symptoms include agitation, anxiety, and lingering depression.
Relief during Klonopin Detox
The ideal way to quit Klonopin successfully is by gradually tapering off the drug during detox. This involves slowly reducing one’s dose over time to prevent intense and painful withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be so uncomfortable that they can make the individual relapse to avoid them.
Some people may be tempted to quit Klonopin cold turkey once they get the desire and motivation to detox, but it is best to avoid this method. Going through a Klonopin taper for as long as it takes will reduce the possibility of experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Tapering tricks the body into believing it is not going through withdrawal. Your doctor will modify your tapering schedule as necessary throughout the Klonopin detox process every few days or weeks.
If the withdrawal symptoms become too intense, your physician can delay the taper or even increase the Klonopin dosage to ease discomfort. However, the dose reductions during a Klonopin taper are usually so small that the user might not notice the difference in the first few weeks.
You can do a few things to relieve the withdrawal symptoms during a Klonopin detox. First, you will need to get professional assistance through medical detox, but you can also do the following:
- Give your medication to someone you trust if you are tapering by yourself. This person can dispense the medication to you one or half a dose at a time.
- Treat muscle aches and headaches with over-the-counter pain killers based on your doctor’s recommendations.
- Explain the situation to your loved ones and ask them to take it easy on you if you become annoyed or agitated.
- Use natural sleeping aids such as a soothing sound machine or melatonin.
- Engage in physical activity or exercise as much as possible to relax your mind and eliminate restlessness.
- Explore new relaxation methods like taking a warm bath and engaging in yoga or meditation.
Klonopin detox is not pleasant, but once you get through the initial stages of withdrawal, you’ll feel more like your old self again.