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Old 11-10-2008, 11:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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jumping off lorazepam

I was taking 1mg lorazepam at bedtime for about five months to help me sleep. It stopped working so about four days ago I stopped.

Insomnia, clammy sweats in bed, but I feel good, less anxious than usual. First night was bad because I had a toke thinking it would be a good substitute. Wrong! But since then despite the sleeplessness my mind seems more clear.

Since then I've read I should be tapering, but since my symptoms are relatively mild, I'm wondering if maybe I'm one of the lucky ones who will have an easy withdrawal.

OR! Is it going to take a week or two for the bad part to start?
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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it doesn't take much ativan to make for a bummer withdrawal.
I've been on 14 times that much and it was pure hell coming off it, but coming off 1 mg means you'll have some restless nights and nausea but it won't be too bad. (IMHO)

BTW...................Welcome!
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I came off only 2mg and had major grand mal seizures. 1 mg really isn't that much though and I already have a propensity for having seizures anyway I bet.
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks. I like this place. Lots of stories and good people

I'm awake after 2 1/2 hours of good sleep. My collar is soaked, ears are ringing. Night 5. This is probably the worst it's going to get, you think?

I took 3mg melatonin so I feel groggy - but peaceful. I'm going to change my shirt and listen to the night, do some breathing.
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi Holiday

Hope it gets no worse for you.

If it does then why not taper?

(I was not so lucky - had tough time getting off 1 - 2 mg ativan nightly. So had to taper)


Good way is to change to valium - 10 mg for each 1 mg ativan - and then drop 1 mg weekly.............. This is the way it is done in UK - where docs are advised on this method in the british national formulary.
But I understand it is difficult to find a doc to prescribe valium in US?

Got off pretty painlessly this way - very little withdrawals.

Lots of benzo forums - just google and you will find - they are very helpful.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've been taking like 1/4 of 1mg to sleep at night about 17 out of the last 21 days. Slept without last night.Any harm in once in a while or should I forget it. I'm 22 days clean from hydrocodone.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If you can sleep without it then I say sleep without it. Nothing good comes from that poison in my opinion.
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with what Windy says above.

They are pretty horrible drugs (very powerful and addicting too - originally produced for use as anaesthesia........... but now used for treating so much - those "awkward" problems like "anxiety"((whatever that is?)) A general sort of panacea doled out by docs to many "neurotic" females who clog up their surgeries. Said to me by a young doc.)

Not really the sort of drugs to have lying around the house - I dont think.
Apparently these drugs - benzos - cause changes in brain chemistry which can be detected after only 4 days of use - so by that definition - a patient could be addicted after only 4 days!! On the prescriptions here it states usage should be for a short time only - and they should not be used beyond two weeks. But I know that there are people who have been on them for much longer - and claim not to be addicted - but they are addicted and only discover that when they try to stop. Horrible situation to find yourself in. There is a ton of info on the benzo site - Windy quotes one above - and I would go along with his suggestion. They have such a lot of information (dont need to listen to us!) - and if you wish - lots of recommendations as to how to come off and will support you too.

There are some British sites - but their recovery is based on a valium taper.
I dont know what RUNVS approach to slow taper is - but he is well worth a read ..... and chat. Wish he had time to pop in here still - I miss him!

Fingers crossed that you can escape by just stopping as you are doing..................... but if you find it too difficult - then you will find lots of help to get off - so no worries - one way or another you will do this. Your biggest hurdle is over - you have admitted you are hooked.......................................

Good luck

woops

Couldn't resist this!! LOL Must say I identify with it though!!?

It's called "benzo anxiety"!

Last edited by woops; 11-12-2008 at 08:51 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-13-2008, 06:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I believe this is an issue to discuss with your doctor (my personal opinion).

BEFORE you begin substituting one drug for another, or, begin taking ANYTHING, why not speak with your doctor?

Best wishes in your recovery.
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Old 11-13-2008, 05:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tommyk View Post
I believe this is an issue to discuss with your doctor (my personal opinion).

BEFORE you begin substituting one drug for another, or, begin taking ANYTHING, why not speak with your doctor?

Best wishes in your recovery.
DITTO!!!!!
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi Holiday

Hope it gets no worse for you.

If it does then why not taper?

(I was not so lucky - had tough time getting off 1 - 2 mg ativan nightly. So had to taper)

Thanks woops. For how long were you on that much Ativan?

I would taper if I became dysfunctional or very uncomfortable, but I'm ok. I wanted off this stuff because I wondered if perhaps the ativan was the reason I never felt really good any more. It used to be I could lie in bed and listen to the morning and feel bliss. I hadn't had that in months. I wasn't as anxious as usual, but in a small subtle way I was numb. And with that wonder, I wanted off as fast as I could.

I'm usually a bit hyperactive, even on the Ativan, but now I feel slow and smooth. If I drink more than a cup of coffee I get sketchy - suspicious, I seek reassurance. I'm used to a lot of coffee (maybe why I was anxious and hyperactive!) so I think that maybe the coffee withdrawal is subduing the anxiety I expected of the Ativan withdrawal? Just a hunch.

I don't feel quite right yet. But I could live with this for a long time. I'm ok. I have my blissful moments again.

From what I've read, the stories of how difficult this process can be, I feel very very lucky. I know that I'm not normal yet, but I am not suffering.

Another thing: I haven't felt like drinking all week. I usually have at least 2-3 a day, and sometimes a lot. But last night was Friday night so I had a few. It was a moderate night for me, but I became clumsy and stupid very quickly.
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Old 11-16-2008, 05:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi Holiday

Great to hear you are doing well.

What a relief? I tell you - facing up to a benzo taper isnt a pleasant thought - but anyway - sometimes it just has to be done. And I still think that anyone who comes to the realisation that they want off these drugs is lucky - a winner. I really do believe that you have to be responsible for your own health ultimately - and sometimes that requires you to question your doctor.

It's all very well to say - talk this over with your doctor. But what if he/she is the very person who prescribed these drugs in the first instance? That was my experience. So - then you seek the advice of another doctor? Yep -for sure - but I still think you have to question what you are told. I simply would not have blind faith in any doctor now.

I was lucky - the second opinion that I sought immediately took out her BNF (British National Formulary) and read from it - clear and concise instructions as to how to taper off ativan. (directive from the government) And we followed that advice............ which just so happened was the same advice given by Ashton in her Manual. She prescribed valium for me in ever decreasing dosage - checked me out every month when issuing the repeat prescription............ and I was fine. I had a really closely monitored medical taper...

So - taper can be done effectively and fairly painlessly!!

But - hopefully you wont need to even think of this...............

"I would taper if I became dysfunctional or very uncomfortable, but I'm ok. I wanted off this stuff because I wondered if perhaps the ativan was the reason I never felt really good any more. It used to be I could lie in bed and listen to the morning and feel bliss. I hadn't had that in months. I wasn't as anxious as usual, but in a small subtle way I was numb. And with that wonder, I wanted off as fast as I could."

Oh - I just so identify with these sentiments - just not feeling right in yourself? Somehow I think the ativan blunts so much - so that you never ever get those wonderful moments when its just so great to be alive?! Joie de vivre!
But it does all come back again..........
Give in time......

Oh - I had been on ativan for about 6 months............

woops
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:38 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks woops.

So we had the same level of exposure more or less. What was your withdrawal like? Why did you decide to taper? I still don't feel quite right and I'm wondering how long I can expect. I've seen weeks to months, even years. I doubt mine will take that long.

It continues to be an interesting process - after about ten days. Parts of myself come back that I didn't realize were missing.

My doctor's a bit of an ass. I'll dump him.
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I've been taking Ativan/lorazepam for a very long time. I know that the doctor prescribes 450 pills per month at 0.5mg. I'm to take 2 x 5 a day - you know I'm not counting or taking as prescribed. It just keeps me from picking up alchohol. I suffer from severe anxiety and depression - also on Lexapro. I know i'm not where I used to be when I was drinking anything and having black outs, but I just feel balanced. I know I should speak with dr. to taper. I just can't taper on my own and don't want to share with anyone else. Any suggestions would be taken in the spirit of fellowship.
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