Helping my Brother (Intro)
« on: February 16, 2016, 06:37:15 pm »
Hi: I live in Vancouver, and one of your admins started a weekly (2nd Weds of each month) benzo withdrawal support group. I have helped the group secure a free place at the Unitarian Church where I am a member. We had our first meeting last week.
My big brother has been on an astounding cocktail of psych meds for the last 25 years or so, stemming mostly from a brain injury incurred after surgery to remove a benign frontal lobe tumor, though he also has epilepsy.
Through my direction, and approval from his psychiatrist, he is slowly tapering off Olanzapine. He is also taking Clonazepam. He has a lot of trouble being organized, and is on disability in another city in Canada. Here are the meds he is currently on:
Divalproex 3X250 mg. noon & 5Xat 6 PM
Carbamazepine CR 600 mg. AM & 9:30 PM
Primidone 250 mg. AM & 9:30 PM
Olanzapine 10 mg. AM & 9:30 PM
Clonazepam 7.5 mg. AM & 10mg PM
Metformin Hydrochloride 1000 mg. AM & 6:00 PM
Atorvastatin 40 mg. AM
Diamicron MR (Gliclazide) 60 mg. AM
ASA 81 mg. AM
He has a long way to go. And now I want to cry. Preparing this, I went back to the list of meds he sent me in August 2014, and nothing has tapered (I’ll ask him about that) but his Clonazepam went from 2.0 mg/day to 7.5 mg.
His speech is more slurred than ever.
Not sure if you need confirmation of his consent for me to ask questions on his behalf, he has problems following discussion boards and such.
But maybe I can suggest that his doctor supervise his taper off clonazepam.
Sorry, this was supposed to be short 🙂 Thank you.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2016, 07:57:56 pm by [Buddie] »
Re: Helping my Brother (Intro)
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2016, 06:50:59 pm »
Welcome to Benzo Buddies and thank you for being here on behalf of your brother, he is lucky to have you as an advocate.
Yes, your brother is on a lot of medications including a huge dose of clonazepam. It’s no wonder your dear brother has trouble following discussions, he is extremely medicated. I must admit that I don’t know a lot about many of the other medications your brother is taking but others here might be able to share information and experience about them.
I would hope that your brother’s doctor would be willing to help your brother with a sensible, slow taper. Many doctors favor really large cuts that can bring on some strong withdrawal effects. Since your brother does have epilepsy, it is important to make sure he is monitored by his health care team.
It will take a while to taper from such a high dose of clonazepam, but it can be done. It is generally suggested to taper no more than 5-10% every 10-14 days. I’m going to give you a link to the Ashton Manual, an excellent resource about these types of drugs and how to withdraw. It was written by an expert in the field. You might even consider printing out the appropriate pages and taking them to your brother’s doctor.
I’ll also give you a link to the General Taper Plans for additional information.
If you have questions about the other medications your brother is taking, you can post on the Other Medications board.
We’ll be here to support you and your brother. Perhaps as time progresses and his cognitive abilities improve, he would consider joining the forum himself. Please ask questions, we’re here to help.
The Ashton Manual
General Taper Plans
BTW, none of the admins of the forum set up a benzo withdrawal group, it might have been a regular member who took this on.
Re: Helping my Brother (Intro)
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2016, 07:57:12 pm »
Thank you […]. This will be a long process. And it’s hard not being in the same city. I’ll talk to him and find out what he feels like doing. He was supposed to be reducing his Olanzapine (anti-psychotic) by 10% per month, but he seems to be on the same dose. He was working with his pharmacist, who was reducing the dosage, with the “permission” of his psychiatrist.
I had no idea which med would be the best to reduce, maybe I’ll ask on the board for people taking multiple meds, but I am shocked, saddened, angry that in 2.5 years his Clonazepam went from 2.0 to 7.5 mg/day.
Thank you for the links too. Maybe I misunderstood, but the support group facilitator is someone who has tapered off benzos, and benzobuddies was very helpful (I don’t know her username).