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My Psychiatrist Calls Me Back on Sunday! and Introducing BuSpar

September 11, 2011

Quick update: I’m back up to 1.5 mg of Klonopin as of today. I talked to my psychiatrist, who has always encouraged me to call or email whenever I have a question. He called me back on a Sunday! Yes, that’s right, I have one responsible doctor. Probably because it was Sunday, the conversation was short and sweet: what I am experiencing is too intense. The vivid dreams and night sweats shouldn’t be happening. The high-level daytime anxiety pretty much confirms that it’s Klonopin’s fault. He asked questions like “Have you accidentally forgotten a dose of Effexor? Accidentally doubled up?” But no. I’m super careful. I also have a really dorky pill container with the days of the week, to take even more thinking out of the daily medication routine. I don’t wake up very quickly and sometimes wonder if a conversation or event that took place while I was half asleep did actually happen. I sometimes have to check to make sure I took the meds and counting how many are left in the bottle gets old real fast.

This is what my meds look like in the morning. See the empty "S"? That's for Sunday--yep, I took my meds today.

So here’s the next step: I go on a replacement medication called BuSpar/buspirone. When it kicks in, we try tapering the benzos again, hoping that the anti-anxiety BuSpar will prevent the kind of anxiety I’m feeling with even the smallest decrease Klonopin. This one is “mild,” in the words of my doc, so we’re hoping I can stay on it, even during pregnancy. Let’s switch it out! Adding another chemical is preferable to going through anything like this past week ever again. Because guess what? Pregnant ladies/fetuses and mommies/babies cannot afford to be getting any more bad sleep than they already get and feeling super high anxiety is really bad for everyone. Oh, and that link up there? That’s the Wiki article on BuSpar which, strangely, is the closest thing I could find to what my doc said on the phone. So start there if you’re curious about the drug. Well… Here we go again…

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