Clonazepam is a benzodiazepine that has polarised those ME patients who have taken it. Its affects seem to be more exaggerated than run-of-the-mill treatments. Anecdotal reports online indicate that a plethora of ME patients haven’t been the same again since starting Clonazepam. On one end of the scales, reports litter the Internet of those who list Clonazepam as their more effective treatment for ME, in some instances reaching remission (or close to it) after taking it. On the other end of the scales, Clonazepam has caused a number of patients to have their condition deteriorate significantly. In certain cases causing long term, negative side effects. Other patients have found it difficult to ween off the drug.
Mechanism of Action
The primary reason I trialled Clonazepam was to mitigate the consequence that over-stimulation has on me. This over-stimulation can take the form of many people being around, exciting events, lots of action and essentially anything that my brain can’t solely focus on. Clonazepam may solve this symptom due to potentially lowering Central Nervous System excitement.
Clonazepam may also help ME patients through its mechanism of action as a
- Sleep aid
- Energy enhancer
- Muscle relaxant
- Dysautonomia treatment
- Restless Leg Syndrome Treatment
The Internet’s tributaries are scattered with anecdotal reports of ME patients and their Clonazepam experiences. Based on these recounts, I was more cautious and worried about taking Clonazepam than any other treatment I have ever tried.
A decade old article by Dr. Cheney that portrays this treatment in a positive light: http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=8021
An informative article about the potential pros and cons of Clonazepam can be found here:
I began my Rivotril (the Australian version of Clonazepam) trial on the 28th of May and am continuing to take this drug. I currently take the low dose of 0.125mg in the morning. Higher doses cause me to experience drowsiness, as do night time doses. I haven’t noticed any significant or even definitive positive effects from the Rivotril. Since commencing the drug, several people have independently said that I seem to have slightly more energy than my normal ME self. Introspectively, I don’t deem myself to have more energy however I am also aware that it is often difficult to gauge long term, mild improvements in oneself. I haven’t noticed any negative effects from taking the Rivotril either.
When my Heart Skipped a Beat
Over the past few years I have experienced, on an intermittent basis, a heart related symptom. This entails my heart stopping for several seconds before resuming its metronomic rhythm. When I began testosterone treatment earlier this year, this symptom became more common (occurring several times a day.) I visited a Cardiologist in May 2012 and had an Echocardiogram performed. The Cardiologist concluded that I had an Ectopic Beat however in the absence of structural damage to the heart, he was not concerned by it.
I queried about the size of my heart as shown by the Echocardiogram and was told that I have an average sized heart. This somewhat surprised me due to my sedentary nature, thrust upon me by my illness. I was doubly taken aback due to the fact that studies have shown many ME patients to have small hearts. I am currently unperturbed by this symptom, partially due to its frequency having diminished over the past 2 months.
I began keeping my first diary at the age of 7. I had an obsession with the Guinness Book of Records and had believed the most obtainable record for me to break was that of the longest kept diary- 91 years. Three days after commencing my diary, I had stopped writing in it. It later dawned on me that I had an affinity for one day breaking a record that was not matched by my impartiality for diaries. Fast forward many years to May 2012 and I have begun writing my second ever diary. Every day I evaluate the pain I have suffered for that day, relative to an average ME day for me. This produces a number which is not derived from a standard ME disability scale but rather my own system. I also write a few sentences describing any aberrations in the day, any symptom variations and any medications that I have started or stopped. The purpose of my ME diary is to discover any symptom patterns, determine treatment efficacies more objectively and ultimately gauge my ME in a more scientific manner.