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long term benzo use

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Ive been taking .50 klonapin for 5 years. I don’t feel that it even helps with anxiety. When I do have a bad panic attack I take an additional .25 which works wonders. The thing is, I’m scared that I’ve used it for so long. There is some research about possible cognitive decline in long term use and that upsets me very much! A quick look online and people say this drug is evil and there are some bad stories on it. Anyone know of any favorable studies saying it IS safe for long term use? Has anyone been on it for a long time and what does your doctor say about long term use? Anyone weaned and had success? I will speak to my doctor about all this. In fact she knows I eventually want to wean just need to get to a good place emotionally.

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I just realized that I posted about this back in January.... it’s obviously on my mind still. So I’ll restart the conversation 😊

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Every provider I've talked to is extremely hesitatnt to prescribe benzos, and they essentially refuse to prescribe them long term. I don't know all the potential risks, but addicition is one of them in the long term.

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22 minutes ago, bin_tenn said:

Every provider I've talked to is extremely hesitatnt to prescribe benzos, and they essentially refuse to prescribe them long term. I don't know all the potential risks, but addicition is one of them in the long term.

Unfortunately I was prescribed them to take as needed my my psyc. Then I switched psyc. and she has me on them daily. 

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It's certainly at the discretion of the prescribing provider. There is no right or wrong. If it works for you, take it. If you're concerned about long term effects, address them with whoever prescribed it. They can inform you further and advise on what other options you may have.

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I've been on it about 20 years but only take it as needed now.  I do kinda wonder if it's why my memory and ability to retain information have gone to crap, however, I have never had an issue with addiction (which is weird because I get addicted to every anti-depressant they put me on).  

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Can I suggest you look up the Professor Ashton Manual. It's free to download and gives good advice on benzos. She gives a table for withdrawing from them should you wish to do so, and she explains so much about them. She was regarded as an authority on withdrawal. There is no evidence that benzos, taken for long periods, have any health effects, but, as bin says, they are addictive. There comes a time when you really need them and I suggest you follow your doctor's advice. ANY drug will have it's followers and those who have found it difficult. It's an individual thing, and because someone had bad side effects it does not follow anyone else will. If you only take them as needed I would think you are OK in taking them. I always feel about medication that if it relieves suffering why not. But advantage should be taken of the calmer times to work on the anxiety and try and find the cause. There is always a cause.

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Benzos are really not clinically indicated for long-term use, and are now largely recommended for short-term use (7-14 days) to get over a period of intense anxiety (such as when starting a new SSRI drug) or as periodically needed as a rescue dose for a panic attack.  The problem is that they used to be prescribed somewhat freely for long-term use, so you are not the only ones who have been on them for many years.

The biggest problem with long-term use is not serious cognitive decline, but addiction and tolerance.  After a while, the dose you take no longer works well, and you have to take more to get the same effect.  I highly recommend the Ashton Manual as well, but absolutely work with your doctor on whether it is a good idea to taper, and if so, how to do it correctly.  

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