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Re: Klonopin vs. Neurontin Stan

Posted by not exactly on April 9, 2003, at 19:11:36

In reply to Re: life after Mirapex - not exactly not exactly, posted by Stan on April 9, 2003, at 13:52:35

Stan,

Within days of stopping the Neurontin, I felt my intellect come back. I hadn't realized just how much mental impairment I was suffering until it went away. Thank God it was reversable! Now I can once again do mental arithmetic, picture intricate objects in my mind, remember details, do complex reasoning, think creatively, and instantly come up with witty replies during conversation. My brain works as well as I remember it had back when I was a straight-A grad student, and when I was a software project leader.

Unfortunately, stopping the Neurontin also caused the return of anxiety. Not that I had been totally anxiety-free while on the Neurontin, but it became much worse without it. I was tempted to resume the Neurontin just to help with the anxiety, but I REALLY didn't want to return to that state of impaired intellect. So, since I already had a Rx for Klonopin (p.r.n. for occasional periods of debilitating anxiety), I tried taking small doses (1 mg/day or less) of that instead.

First of all, the Klonopin helped with the anxiety in a much more effective way than the Neurontin ever had. No more introverting social anxiety, no more terrifying acrophobia (an unexpected and wonderful benefit, since mountaineering is one of my favorite hobbies!), no more paralyzing non-specific background anxiety. It did cause some sedation/drowsiness/hypersomnia for the first few days, but once I got used to it, these side effects completely disappeared. Now it almost feels like a stimulant, because I feel I'm no longer inhibited by my nameless fears. But I'm not taking so much that it's supressing reasonable caution and respect for real danger - I'm still a safe driver and don't act rashly. In short, I'm now confident and functional.

Secondly, the Klonopin did NOT have the inellect-dulling effects that the Neurontin did. I did not do enough careful testing with & without to be able to claim that there is ZERO impairment, but if there's any dulling at all, it's not really noticable. And the ability to think and act without the constant nagging anxiety more than makes up for any minimal dulling. I would say that I'm noticing absolutely NO side effects at this point.

I'm not worried about becoming a benzo addict. This is a very low dosage, I have no desire to escalate the dosage, and I certainly don't intend to discontinue it abruptly. The half-life is long enough so I don't have to worry about falling apart if I accidentallty miss a dose. Since it appears to be effectively solving a significant chronic problem, I wouldn't really mind if I had to take it for the rest of my life. Does a diabetic worry that he's "addicted" to insulin? Klonopin is cheap and benign insurance.

As always, the YMMV disclaimer applies. I'm sure there are folks who think that Klonopin causes cognitive impairment, and Neurontin doesn't.

- Bob


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