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ativan/lorazepam withdrawal
  1. #1
    alex74alex is offline New Member
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    Dec 2011
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    Question ativan/lorazepam withdrawal

    Hi everyone,
    I've been prescribed ativan for panic attacks in August of this year.
    I never took more than 0.5 mg a day (with one exception - once I took a 1 mg pill instead of my regular 0.5). Also, I have not taken it every day, but more on an "as needed basis" - sometimes I have taken it for 7 days in a row, some other times I only took 1-2 pills a week.
    I would like to know how to safely withdraw from it as I have already started having withdrawal symptoms - increasing number of panic attacks (I've had one every day since Saturday), chest pains, muscle pains, horrible nightmares, rapid pulse, shortness of breath, shaking, trembling, hot flashes, extreme fatigue (going up and down the stairs from my bedroom to the kitchen feels like running a marathon).
    What makes me sure that it's withdrawal? Well, I have all these symptoms (or some of them) I take an ativan and half an hour later the symptoms are gone, but afterwards I feel so weak, lightheaded, and tired plus, I can't really think of anything, focus on anything, or do anything. I just lay in bed with little or no power left.
    In a nutshell - I have read about people experiencing withdrawal symptoms even after using ativan short term, and I strongly believe I am one of them. My doctor is not at all supportive of this (I asked her opinion and she said I am not experiencing withdrawal and pretty much did not want to help me with any tapering plan, or with replacing the ativan with valium - which I believe to be the "proper" way to withdraw).
    I read dr Ashton's manual, but I couldn't find a plan that would be suited for my situation - 4 months of using 0.5 mg doses of ativan on and off.
    Does anyone know of a safe, easy way of withdrawing? I read that niacinamide (vit B3) might help, any insight on that? Also, I take L-theanine which is supposed to relax the nervous system, and I've recently started taking GABA supplements - also supposed to help relax the nervous system and help with panic/anxiety attacks.
    Thank you.
    Alex

  2. #2
    SuzyScorp is offline New Member
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  3. #3
    SuzyScorp is offline New Member
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    Hi there, I thought I read your message thoroughly, but I didn't see anything about why you were going to stop your Benzos.. Is there a medical or other reason you need to get off this medication? I'm sorry if this question is too personal.. I'm just really curious..

  4. #4
    Quackers1 is offline New Member
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    May 2012
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    To Anyone going thru Benzo Withdrawal......I can't believe I fell for the quick relief for fear and anxiety.
    I was first on 1/2 of 0.25 mg of Xanax for 29 years until the last several years I kept feeling more
    anxious and scared. Four years ago, I went to a psychiatrist who hospitalized me and placed me on 0.5mg
    Ativan 3x a day. I continued to be on it for the last 4 years. On May 4, 2012, I told the doctor I wanted off
    the Benzo drug. I started with the nighttime dose of Ativan replaced by Valium. Just 2 days ago, he replaced
    my morning Ativan with Valium. Leaving only the 5pm Ativan left, which will be replaced in a couple weeks.
    Unfortunately, I have NOT gotten any relief at all even though Valium is a longer acting Benzo.
    It has been used by people in a support group that I joined at the hospital several months ago. Everyone agreed I would feel so much calmer after taking that first switched dose to Valium. I didn't. Not even with
    this 2nd switched dose to Valium in the morning. My intense fears are still as strong as ever the minute
    I wake up despite taking the Benzo. I too, am angry, that I was deceived into thinking these drugs were
    a free ride to the intense panic attacks I was having. I don't know how I will survive the withdrawal and then
    tapering process using the Ashton method. I have no support, the internet support system closed and the
    hospital support group also fizzled. This site is all I have to keep my sanity and to know that I am not allow
    in this fight to get off Benzos. I have always followed strict instructions from my doctors. I have never abused
    a drug no matter how bad I was feeling. Actually I have always had a fear of drugs, how ironic to find myself
    in this position now. I am terrified of each new day and what it will bring symptom wise. If anyone out there
    has been through this or is going through this, please let me now. A shoulder to lean on during this stressful
    time is so important. Thanks everyone....

  5. #5
    Quackers1 is offline New Member
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    May 2012
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    Dear Alex: I just joined this site May 2012...it doesn't look like anyone is out there. Too bad because
    what we are both going through needs supportive people around us. Of course your last post was in
    2011, so hopefully you are on your way to withdrawing from Ativan or are completely off the meds.
    If you do get this message, I would like hearing frm you and seeing how you are doing and how you
    ended up coping. Thanks and Good Luck.

  6. #6
    Quackers1 is offline New Member
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    Hi Suzy: Again, I don't think anyone is out there anymore, since all the posts seemed to have
    stopped in December 2011. But I can't speak for anyone else but myself, except to say that
    Ativan or any Benzo drug are one of the hardest to get off of. It doesn't take long to get dependant,
    addicted or tolerant to his efficacy. It affects the part of the brain called the GABA which makes us
    have to increase the dosage or suffer intolerable symptoms.
    The Ashton Manual has been used by many physicians to withdraw patients off Benzodiazepane drugs
    by substituting the drug they are on with an equal amount of Valium. Dose by dose is exchanged until
    all your doses for the day are Valium. (which is also a Benzo drug but lasts longer in the body) This
    produces less wax and waning of the drug causing the extreme side effects. After the person is
    completely on Valium then the tapering starts with small amounts being taken away very slowly as to
    not cause seizures. It could take months to completely get off the original drug you were on.
    I am just at the beginning of the switching stage, I was on 3 Ativan a day and 2 have already been
    switched to Valium. I have 1 more dose to have switched. Right now, I am in terrible misery with
    fear greeting me first thing in the morning and lasting most of the day. I am waiting for the day I
    wake up to a calm feeling within me. It has been the most excruciating as well as life changing
    thing that has ever happened to me. This has been going on for over 4 years now and I've missed
    so many important things because of my fears and dizziness accompanying the withdrawal. You see
    even while I was on the 3 Ativan a day, apparently I was in withdrawal and didn't know it. My body was
    telling me it wanted more, it wanted me to up the dose. First of all I didn't know that and secondly,
    I wouldn't have given in because I have always respected a prescription from a doctor. Maybe I should
    have questioned what I was feeling, instead of being stoic and getting myself where I am today.
    I would love to hear from someone else regarding the symptoms they experience everyday and what it
    has done to their lives. Please respond if you are out there....I need the support but am also willing
    to support others the best I can. You are not alone...although if no one answers, "I guess I am alone
    in this"

  7. #7
    Pawelku is offline New Member
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    Mar 2017
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    Default Just experiencing lorazapam withdrawl

    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers1 View Post
    Hi Suzy: Again, I don't think anyone is out there anymore, since all the posts seemed to have
    stopped in December 2011. But I can't speak for anyone else but myself, except to say that
    Ativan or any Benzo drug are one of the hardest to get off of. It doesn't take long to get dependant,
    addicted or tolerant to his efficacy. It affects the part of the brain called the GABA which makes us
    have to increase the dosage or suffer intolerable symptoms.
    The Ashton Manual has been used by many physicians to withdraw patients off Benzodiazepane drugs
    by substituting the drug they are on with an equal amount of Valium. Dose by dose is exchanged until
    all your doses for the day are Valium. (which is also a Benzo drug but lasts longer in the body) This
    produces less wax and waning of the drug causing the extreme side effects. After the person is
    completely on Valium then the tapering starts with small amounts being taken away very slowly as to
    not cause seizures. It could take months to completely get off the original drug you were on.
    I am just at the beginning of the switching stage, I was on 3 Ativan a day and 2 have already been
    switched to Valium. I have 1 more dose to have switched. Right now, I am in terrible misery with
    fear greeting me first thing in the morning and lasting most of the day. I am waiting for the day I
    wake up to a calm feeling within me. It has been the most excruciating as well as life changing
    thing that has ever happened to me. This has been going on for over 4 years now and I've missed
    so many important things because of my fears and dizziness accompanying the withdrawal. You see
    even while I was on the 3 Ativan a day, apparently I was in withdrawal and didn't know it. My body was
    telling me it wanted more, it wanted me to up the dose. First of all I didn't know that and secondly,
    I wouldn't have given in because I have always respected a prescription from a doctor. Maybe I should
    have questioned what I was feeling, instead of being stoic and getting myself where I am today.
    I would love to hear from someone else regarding the symptoms they experience everyday and what it
    has done to their lives. Please respond if you are out there....I need the support but am also willing
    to support others the best I can. You are not alone...although if no one answers, "I guess I am alone
    in this"
    Thanks for all your posts. I am a bit late joining this thread. I was only taking them for a week but i took more than prescribed. I have necrosis and the pain is unbearable even with pain killers. The first panic attack i drove myself to emergency room. I thought i was having a heart attack. Im 40 and never had a panic attack before. Anyway, i fly to india next week for a new hip and i can be done with meds. But, if anybody knows how long i will feel this please let me know. Im on day 3 of no lorazapam. Just stopped. After all it was only a week. But i was taking about 5mg every evening to sleep. Even more on some days. I was surprised that even today i had 2 mild panic attacks that i couldnt speak because of shortness of breath. I couldnt imagine living with this long term. Anyway, thanks again
    Last edited by Anonymous; 03-07-2017 at 03:54 AM.

  8. #8
    Anonymous Guest

    Default

    Hi Alex You should take the same amount everyday . Ativan (Lorazepam) , I am detoxing from this drug after many years. I would personally not take anything else until you detox yourself from what you are taking. This medication has a half life of 6 to 8 hours. I cut my doses by .25 mg every two weeks , i was on 1mg every 8 hours and got help from pharmacist , she seem to know more than the doctor . But i stayed in contact with my doctor. I also have all the same symptons you are having as well as many others . Keep on reading on the internet about this drug and this forum . Try breathing exercises and also exercise. This will past with time and stay positive . Good Luck Sincerely Caravan3565 To Alex74Alex
    Last edited by Anonymous; 03-30-2017 at 05:22 PM.

  9. #9
    Ricky71 is offline Platinum Member
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    Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pawelku View Post
    Thanks for all your posts. I am a bit late joining this thread. I was only taking them for a week but i took more than prescribed. I have necrosis and the pain is unbearable even with pain killers. The first panic attack i drove myself to emergency room. I thought i was having a heart attack. Im 40 and never had a panic attack before. Anyway, i fly to india next week for a new hip and i can be done with meds. But, if anybody knows how long i will feel this please let me know. Im on day 3 of no lorazapam. Just stopped. After all it was only a week. But i was taking about 5mg every evening to sleep. Even more on some days. I was surprised that even today i had 2 mild panic attacks that i couldnt speak because of shortness of breath. I couldnt imagine living with this long term. Anyway, thanks again
    This is a very old thread from December of 2011. If you still need help and/or advice then you should start your own thread so you can get personalized support. Take care... God bless us all!

  10. #10
    Nana401 is offline New Member
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    Jun 2016
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    Anyone 2017 using Ativan? I have been on Clonazepam and Xanax before going to Ativan. Still does not stop my anxiety. Also on venlafaxine er 25 mg

  11. #11
    Ouch456 is offline New Member
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    Jan 2018
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    I tapering down. 4-6 mg for ten years. Not fun but not nearly as bad as you would think from what you read. Everyone's body is differemt.

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