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Possible Klonopin Addiction

Question:

My husband has been hospitalized on and off for the past month for anxiety and depression. He has been diagnosed bipolar and has been put on klonopin, lithium, zyprexa, prozac and ativan. The most consistent drug he has been on has been the klonopin. Since he has been hospitalized, his moods have become erratic, worse than I have even seen. I understand that being bipolar, this can happen, but I am convinced that he is experiencing a side effect of Klonopin. He has a history of not tolerating meds very well and none of his doctors are willing to look at klonopin as a problem. Is this just a figment of my imagination, or is it possible that klonopin could induce “manic” behavior?

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Answer:

Klonopin is an addictive drug that makes you mellow (exactly like alcohol) and when you are withdrawing from a drug that makes you mellow – you experience the opposite side effects (agitation, discomfort, anxiety). People easily develop tolerance for Klonopin (and similar drugs) such that you need more of it to keep the agitation and bad feelings away. it can’t be said for sure if K is the problem, but it is a very likely good guess. Many otherwise competent doctors are pretty clueless about this sort of physician induced addiction and don’t want to deal with it. The best thing you could do would be to arrange for your husband to be evaluated by a doctor who is an “addiction medicine specialist” as soon as you can arrange it.

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