Clonazepam for Sleep

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Polar Bear
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Clonazepam for Sleep

Postby Polar Bear » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:13 am

Last night was the first for at least 10 years that I was not up wandering (and snacking).

Yesterday I had a very thorough medication review with my GP which allows medications to be put onto 'repeat' for 6 months and thus ordered monthly on line with the medical practice.

I spoke to him about my dosage of ropinerole and how I would like to in the future consider coming off it because I reckon I'm bound to be dealing with augmentation. It's hard to tell because my symptoms were in arms and legs, 24/7, well before ropinerole treatment was started about 10 years ago.I do manage not too badly with the addition of cocodamol and ER Tramadol which was successfully halved about 3 months ago. We spoke briefly about the difficulty of coming off ropinerole and GP said that he would be referring me to a neurologist to do this. Hmmm... I told him that my last, and only, referral to a neurologist was a waste of time, that I trusted him as my GP - but it is anyway for the future. My thoughts are that I could write to Dr B and ask for his advice to pass on to my GP.

When we came to discuss my insomnia he did a bit of a web search on 'RLS and insomnia' and came up with information advising that a benzo sleep aid was often of more help to an RLS insomniac than the usual zolpidem/zopiclone both of which I have tried, presently using zopiclone.
GP has always been previously quite entrenched about sleeping aids. However, yesterday he suggested we try Clonazepam .5mg. Last night at around midnight I fell asleep, slept for 4 hours and then woke each hour but got back to sleep without getting out of bed. This is the first time ever..... ever... that this has happened in so many years. I got up at 7.30am only because I had a pretty bad headache. My first thought was that this was the Clonazepam but on reflection I very often awaken with a headach (neck and shoulder issues) which clears when I've been up and about for an hour. Anyways, I got up, took an Ibuprofen and one hour later my headache has gone. I could nearly go back to bed but have a dental appointment this morning.

Clonazepam on Google - has many warnings about its usage, the awful difficulty of dependency and withdrawals. It is quite alarming.
But at present, I am so happy to have been in bed (comfort visit excepted) for a whole night.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

Yankiwi
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Re: Clonazepam for Sleep

Postby Yankiwi » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:57 am

Sounds good, Polar Bear. One of my previous GPs (I like them all but live in a low population rural area and the GPs don't stay long) had me try Clonazepam every third night to avoid the dependency problem but after a few months I realized it hadn't done a thing for me so I stopped. That's when he had me try ropinerole which I've reduced to .25mg per night and can survive with that. Good luck.

Polar Bear
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Re: Clonazepam for Sleep

Postby Polar Bear » Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:23 pm

Yankiwi - Thank you. My problem is that even if my RLS symptoms are (hopefully) medically under control, I don't sleep well, often I just don't sleep. It is early afternoon and I am feeling ever so slightly 'headachy' and not sure if it is the Clonazepam or not.
You make a good point about not taking it every night.
I'm wondering if I halved the pill and get approximately .25mg, how that dosage might work i.e. would that small a dose help sleep and reduce any hangover effect. Only way to know is to try.

It is fortunate that my GP totally trusts me and would probably be expecting me to work on the dosage if needs be - without going over the dosage he prescribed. My GP certainly 'tries to get it' and for this reason I don't change to a more convenient medical practice.
Betty
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Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

stjohnh
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Re: Clonazepam for Sleep

Postby stjohnh » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:16 pm

PB, both kratom and medical marijuana help many of us sleep, though I don't know if they are legal in Ireland. RLS has a sleep disruption symptom that is separate from the jumpy legs symptom.
Blessings,
Holland

Polar Bear
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Re: Clonazepam for Sleep

Postby Polar Bear » Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:42 pm

Thank you stjohnh, I am in N. Ireland which is a part of the UK.
As I understand it a government Bill to ban Kratom has been processed and is expected to be made law this month. Also MM is a no-no.
Betty
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Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

ViewsAskew
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Re: Clonazepam for Sleep

Postby ViewsAskew » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:49 pm

We do what we have to do. Period.

I am one that easily becomes dependent on benzos. But, if they helped me, I'd take them again. It takes most people at least 3-4 weeks to be dependent. I'd think you could use them 5 days, take two off. 5 days of sleep would be much better than none! Then again, clonazepam has a LONG half life - if your doctor is willing to try it, maybe he'd try a shorter acting benzo - some have a half life that is much shorter. Lorazepam or temazepam might be better in that regard. I think Dr B recommends temazepam, but could be remembering incorrectly.
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Polar Bear
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Re: Clonazepam for Sleep

Postby Polar Bear » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:25 pm

Views, I'll see how it goes with regard to next day after effects. I have a four week supply and gp has asked that I have a telephone appointment with him at about 3 weeks to discuss. I'll talk to him then about 5 on / 2 off, and also about an alternative with a shorter half life I.e. temazepam.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

Rustsmith
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Re: Clonazepam for Sleep

Postby Rustsmith » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:36 am

To repeat what keeps being said, we are all different. When my first neuro cut me off of Ambien because I was using it too frequently, she tried to put me on a couple of different benzos. None of them helped me go to sleep, but they were excellent at suppressing my coordination. As a result, I would stagger around the house bumping off of things for an hour or so each night until I became so exhausted that I overcame the RLS insomnia. I therefore appeared to be the perfect illustration of what you get when you give coffee to a drunk, you get a wide awake drunk. :D
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Polar Bear
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Re: Clonazepam for Sleep

Postby Polar Bear » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:40 am

Last night was my second on Clonazepam .5mg.

Slept for 3.5 hours and woke up at 4.30am feeling the need to get out of bed.
No rls symptoms, just awake, and rather disappointed at being awake after only 3.5 hours.
After being up and reading for a half hour it was back to bed at 5am, reading for a little while and over to sleep.
A brief awakening at 7am and then woke up and got up for the day at 8.30am.

No headache this morning and no obvious hangover.
It turned out a better night than I thought when I awoke at 4.30 and felt that was as much sleep as I was going to get.
Lack of hangover/headache has made night No. 2 an improvement.
With just the minor awakening I totalled 7 hours sleep.

I'm thinking this could be a record of my ''Trying Clonazepam for Sleep" and may be of interest to anyone considering its usage.
Bearing in mind how we all have different responses/reactions/results.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

martino
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Re: Clonazepam for Sleep

Postby martino » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:05 pm

I have been taking clonazepam since being diagnosed last year. I was taking higher amounts but am now down to 1,25. For the last 2 nights I have taken 0.75 going to bed and 0,50 when I have gone to the loo in the night. The first night was problematic but last night it worked well and, with an interruption, I slept from 11.00 to 6.00. If I can do that every night it will be great!

Polar Bear
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Re: Clonazepam for Sleep

Postby Polar Bear » Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:48 pm

Martino - do you have any hangover effect next day. Especially with taking a dose in the middle of the night..
Very happy for you that it worked well last night.
Betty
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Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

Stainless
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Re: Clonazepam for Sleep

Postby Stainless » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:55 am

I have posted too many times about my trials and tribulations coming off clonazepam but it worked very well for 20 years. 0.5 mg every night worked for well over 10 years and I slowly got up to 2 and finally 2 - 3 the last year. My doctor at the time said 3 mg. was the highest dose he would prescribe. I had no idea how dependent I was. I don't know why this would not be "addicted" but the doctors get upset if you use that word.

But I slept like a baby and woke up refreshed. I can't think of any side effects other than knocking me out. My wife says I still thrashed about after asleep. Now I sleep an hour or two at a time on ropinirole ER, but at least I have been able to fall back and I don't seem to thrash about.

Many people have horror stories about benzo use for a much shorter time but my life has revolved around RLS for the past 6 months of taper and 4 months off benzo. I miss the simple relief and sleep it gave me every night. And somehow it must have made RLS during the day much less, maybe because of half life. I'm very unsure if going back on it would result in the same quality of life when I quit.

It would be so interesting to know how the people who do not have issues and are not posting are doing. My doctor says she has patients on ropinirole for over ten years and does not want to hear about my dose or augmentation concerns. But both her and a neurologist I just saw have no issue putting me back on clonazepam.

Rustsmith
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Re: Clonazepam for Sleep

Postby Rustsmith » Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:47 pm

I think that it was Dr Early provided definitions of "addicted" and "dependent" during one of the recent webinars. The definition of "addiction" is that it is a psychological need for the next hit provided my a medication. Someone who is addicted will do anything for that next dose, including stealing from family or others. "Dependence" is a physical need for the medication.

By this definition, a diabetic is dependent upon insulin. Therefore, most of us are dependent upon our dopamine agonist, benzo or opiate. Our need is physical and doing without would result in a severe loss of quality of life. However, our dependence is not such that most of us would consider stealing from family or close friends in order to be able to get our meds off of the street. We would rather end up in the ER than do something to hurt those in our support network. For someone who is addicted, the addiction simply overrides their feelings about those who care for them.
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Stainless
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Re: Clonazepam for Sleep

Postby Stainless » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:59 pm

I know when I quit clonazepam cold turkey, I would have knocked off a parking meter for the $2 a month script if I had to. Cool Hand Rick

Polar Bear
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Re: Clonazepam for Sleep

Postby Polar Bear » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:46 pm

Rustsmith - your definition of addiction -v- dependancy is exactly as I understand it.
We are dependant on treatment for a disease.

Stainless aka Cool Hand Rick :)
- I've heard that quitting clonazepam is so hard.... hence taking note of advice upthread such as 5 night on/2 nights off etc.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation


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