Klonopin (Clonazepam) Taper Schedule

Tapering off Klonopin can take several months depending on the initial dosage and the prescribed tapering schedule.

General guidelines for tapering Klonopin may include reducing the dose by 0.25 mg one to two times per week, until use of the drug stops completely. The timeline of dose reduction may depend on how the patient reacts to benzodiazepine withdrawal.

When performed by trained professionals, tapering from Klonopin can be a low-risk, effective treatment option for people looking to reduce or stop their benzodiazepine use.

The long-term treatment involved with a slow tapering schedule may result in reduced side effects and withdrawal symptoms.

Tapering benzodiazepines may involve daily dose monitoring and assessments of the patient’s current health. It may also be performed in conjunction with substance use disorder treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

General Klonopin Taper Schedule

Starting from an initial dose of 4.0 mg of Klonopin per day, tapering from the drug may have the following timeline:

  • Week 1: 4.0 mg/day (starting dose)
  • Week 2: 3.75 mg/day
  • Week 3: 3.5 mg/day
  • Week 4: 3.0 mg/day
  • Week 8: 2.0 mg/day
  • Week 16: 0 mg/day (discontinuation)

In this example, consistent dose reductions occur once per week until use of the drug completely stops. If patients show or report severe withdrawal symptoms, the taper schedule may be extended, although clinicians may be advised not to increase the dosage.

The onset of short-term side effects, withdrawal symptoms, and other risk factors can alter a patient’s tapering schedule. Some tapers can last for over one year until discontinuation is achieved, while others may last for a month.

Klonopin Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal can occur when a person with physical dependence on Klonopin attempts to stop taking the drug. The body may require Klonopin in the system to function, and may enter withdrawal if it is deprived.

Klonopin withdrawal can last for a long time due to its long-half life and extended-release properties.

Withdrawal symptoms of Klonopin may include:

  • rebound anxiety
  • tremors
  • muscle aches
  • insomnia
  • hallucinations
  • psychosis
  • seizures

Tapering schedules can attempt to reduce or eliminate these symptoms. In doing so, the withdrawal process may be more manageable and the chances of a relapse may be reduced.

Understanding Benzodiazepine Tapering

Tapering is the practice of gradual dose reduction over a long period of time. For example, a tapering schedule may prescribe a dose reduction of 1 mg per day. In this case, a patient with a starting dose of 10 mg may take 10 days to taper completely off the drug.

Compared to abrupt discontinuation, also known as quitting cold turkey, tapering can lessen withdrawal symptoms, reduce the risk of health flare-ups, and connect patients to professional healthcare services like a detox program.

Studies have shown that a dose reduction of 0.25 mg one to two times per week can be effective during a Klonopin taper.

While short-acting benzos may require the current drug to be replaced with a benzodiazepine equivalency, or equivalent dose of diazepam, clonazepam can be tapered on its own due to its long-acting nature.

Addiction Treatment Options For Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

A tapering schedule can be one aspect of substance abuse treatment. Many treatment programs offer comprehensive services that can address the physical and mental aspects of long-term use.

Doctors prescribing tapering schedules may also prescribe medications to manage withdrawal symptoms. Flumazenil, buspirone, and gabapentin may be effective for these purposes.
Treatment options for benzodiazepine addiction include behavioral therapy, mental health services, referrals to support groups, and wellness programs.

To learn how we address benzodiazepine use on an outpatient basis, please contact us today.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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