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Do I need to taper off Lorezapam (.5 as needed to sleep)
  1. #1
    kwyn is offline Junior Member
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    Default Do I need to taper off Lorezapam (.5 as needed to sleep)

    I take .5 pill of lorzepam when I need to sleep.

    Every now and then (1 once a month or so I need 2 pill so 1mg.)

    I've typically take the .5 2-3 times per week.

    Worse lately due to situational stress (pending divorce).

    This week I needed .5 three times (worked fine) and 1 mg (last night).

    I feel like I'll need at least .5 tonight.

    I have never take it 5 days in a row. I've never had anything but great results from the medication and that is still the case, but I don't want to get to a point where I do.

    When one is on .5 mg 4-5 times a week do they need to taper to get off? Is there unpleasant side effects? How about in my case .5, typically 3x a week.

    Again this is just at night, because I can't fall and stay asleep. I've never needed it during the day.

    Thanks so much!!! Answers are much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Robert_325 is offline Retired
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    kwyn ....... would never judge you and even though you've gone through some recent personal challenges it's starting to develop into a pattern of increased usage if you go back and read what you just wrote. Please be very cautious. These benzos are more addictive than most >>>>>> on the street. That is a fact! God bless.
    I am not a dr. My statements are based on years of experience and related education. Consult with the professional of your choice regarding matters of concern.

  3. #3
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Lorazapam, or Ativan, has a half life of 10-20 hours, so it is rather a short acting benzo.A) How long have you taken this drug? B) How many nights do you take it exactly? How many days in between doses have you gone and how does that make you feel? That is what I would need to know to advise you better. You sound like you're going up in your dosage as you get stressed. I'd try not to do that. Let us know a bit more specifically and that will help. Hope you have a good night.

    Peace

    Iloerose

  4. #4
    kwyn is offline Junior Member
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    I guess as stress goes up for me, yes Ive been using it more. Or else I just don't sleep. I took .5 before bed, and was sleeping fine then was awoken to fix a beeping fire alarm. Couldn't fall back asleep then. Took .5 more.

    Again, usually 2-3 days per week at .5. I guess for a little over a year now. When I don't take it I feel fine. The same as when I do take it. Only difference is not being able to fall asleep sometimes. I have gone between 1 and 7 days without taking it and don't notice feeling any different.

    This week has been the worst though, 5 days in a row (past 2 night 1mg as opposed to the normal .5). Wife has really been pushing the divorce thing, so I guess that's ge correlation.

    If I stuck to my regular 2-3 time wk .5mg dose at bedtime, would tapering be necessary or could I just stop?
    Last edited by kwyn; 04-05-2012 at 06:28 AM.

  5. #5
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    If you really are at 2-3 times a week and just .5 at bedtime, you have 4-3 days you are not taking ativan. I wouldn't think you would have much problem going off of this. However, everyone is different and i wouldn't let myself run out to find out. Are you going like every other night? Try skipping a night or cut your dose in half at bedtime for a while. Benzos are not a good drug to take. Have you tried melatonin? Sleepy time tea? Meditating before bed to clear you mind? (I am not recommending any kind of religious type meditation, just counting breathing and clearing your mind). I wish you luck and like Robert says: you seem to be escalating your use with your burdens, not good at all. Take care.

    Iloerose

  6. #6
    kwyn is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloerose View Post
    If you really are at 2-3 times a week and just .5 at bedtime, you have 4-3 days you are not taking ativan. I wouldn't think you would have much problem going off of this. However, everyone is different and i wouldn't let myself run out to find out. Are you going like every other night? Try skipping a night or cut your dose in half at bedtime for a while. Benzos are not a good drug to take. Have you tried melatonin? Sleepy time tea? Meditating before bed to clear you mind? (I am not recommending any kind of religious type meditation, just counting breathing and clearing your mind). I wish you luck and like Robert says: you seem to be escalating your use with your burdens, not good at all. Take care.

    Iloerose
    Yeah, like I said usually take .5 at bed, then two days off, then .5. That's pretty much my pattern. This week was awful with wife throwing all this at me and did 5 nights in a row (.5 .5 .5 then 1 1)

    Have an appt with psychiatrist this tues to discuss. I feel like I do not have an issue with the meds yet, and typically do not have an addictive type personality, but I'd rather not flirt with it. It's kinda too bad because these help me sleep very well and I feel refreshed the next day.

    Tried some herbals, not melatonin cause I already have bad dreams and heard that it can make them very intense.

    Any other drugs/ideas for peaceful sleep and feeling so refreshed like the lorezapam does for me? Meditation, I do and will continue to but it hasn't helped much.

    Any other ideas? I also go to counseling 1 time per week sometimes every other week.

    Thanks all!!
    Last edited by ddcmod; 04-05-2012 at 04:32 PM.

  7. #7
    micronurse is offline Junior Member
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    Smile Hello kwyn welcome to the forum

    Quote Originally Posted by kwyn View Post
    Yeah, like I said usually take .5 at bed, then two days off, then .5. That's pretty much my pattern. This week was awful with wife throwing all this ???? at me and did 5 nights in a row (.5 .5 .5 then 1 1)

    Have an appt with psychiatrist this tues to discuss. I feel like I do not have an issue with the meds yet, and typically do not have an addictive type personality, but I'd rather not flirt with it. It's kinda too bad because these help me sleep very well and I feel refreshed the next day.

    Tried some herbals, not melatonin cause I already have bad dreams and heard that it can make them very intense.

    Any other drugs/ideas for peaceful sleep and feeling so refreshed like the lorezapam does for me? Meditation, I do and will continue to but it hasn't helped much.

    Any other ideas? I also go to counseling 1 time per week sometimes every other week.

    Thanks all!!
    You have come to the right place to get great ideas from people who have been much worse off than you as far as the amount of drugs taken. You sound like me, I get stressed and take the 2 of the .5 Xanax's I have instead of 1. I am trying to take as little as possible of that but I know my mind is a lot like yours. Feels good to be relaxed and sleep. I started out taking it only at night to sleep and it has turned into using in the daytime as well so they are right telling you the pattern may only increase as you continue. Let the doctor you are seeing tell you what he thinks about your use pattern and how you may feel stopping at your dose level. He may say you will not have much trouble stopping, especially if you have not been on that much each week but if you keep increasing it then you will. Benzo's are the worst and should only be used for short term anxiety because they are so addicting and WD's off them can be some of the worst feelings (Maybe on higher doses than you right now though, I would venture to say). Anyway, I am sorry about your divorce situation, been there and done that 15 years ago. Lost a granddaughter 10 months ago from SIDS at 3 1/2 weeks. That started me Xanax rx in December but I try not to take too much as I don't want something else to be addicted to besides the morphine I am trying to get off right now. Keep reading and posting here and many will help encourage you. You will be in my prayers, (I do talk to God and depend on Him every day so that is my stand and I need Him so just saying, each his own). Nice to meet you and good luck! Listen to everyone here that has good advice, they know what they are talking about.

  8. #8
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    It's the .5 .5 .5 1 1 that worries me. You keep upping your benzo use. Doesn't matter whether you have an addictive personality or not this stuff creeps up on you. I know. I never had a problem either until I tried to stop. it wasn't lack of wanting to either. Or addictive personality. If you get in too deep with benzos, THEY won't let you go easily. The w/d's are horrific, worse than >>>>>> w/d and while opiate w/d won't kill, benzo w/d can. Yeah, it does matter how long and how much but I have heard of people on small amounts for a few weeks that were horrified to find out they had w/d symptoms from stopping suddenly.

    BE CAREFUL. I know you need to sleep, I personally listen to classical music and start following a motif or somesuch and just put my concentration on following that line until I fall asleep (pretty weird). And if I can't sleep, I don't dwell on it, but lay there until I do. Um try to let my mind wander, Um lay there wide awake, sometimes. I don't meditate regularly either, I do try to when I can't sleep. I try not to worry about what I can't change or do anything about: don't dwell on what if's shoud'ves could'ves etc.
    I'm not saying what you were doing is a bad idea SHORT TERM, it's just that you are upping your dose and that is worrying. If you're worried about insomnia, I've heard of people who went off benzo drugs and COULD NOT sleep for days. (of course this was from much more than what you are taking). Don't mean to scare you, well, of course I do, a bit. Just about anyone will here will give you the same warnings. I never heard anyone say that melatonin gave them bad dreams.

    Peace.

    Iloerose

  9. #9
    kwyn is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks guys! Much appreciated. I will def be discussing all this with my psychiatrist on Tues. in the past he has said when I asked him about side effects, etc... That my lack of sleep would be much worse for me than the side effects of this drug. However, I never saw taking it on 5 consec. Nights. It's only been once that that's happened but concerning enough.

    So what about other ways to sleep... Drugs, supplements, etc...

    Thanks everyone so much!

  10. #10
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    To sleep: I promise you that if increase your use and stay on these that the sleeplessness that will occur when you want off will truly be INSOMNIA. Yeah, you do need to sleep, but how serious is your sleeplessness anyway? Most of us will eventually get tired and HAVE to sleep at some point. So to do this without drugs:

    Sleepy time tea.
    Valarian root
    melatonin (never heard of this giving anybody nightmares)
    Chamomile tea
    Hot shower or baths before bed
    Warm Milk
    White Noise (you know those cds or machines0
    Excercise hard in the afternoon to make yourself tired

    Robert has been on these boards as long or longer than anyone and has much experience. Benzos are more addicting than >>>>>> and twice the hell to kick.

    If you can mannage only .5 2 or 3 times a week fine, but you're increasing your use.

    Peace

    Iloerose

  11. #11
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Forgot to add that you should try to find the underlying cause of why you cannot sleep. Your psychiatrist is wrong in one point: The side effects of long term benzo use are much worse. It's a quick fix for a short term problem. Nothing more. If it is more it becomes a long term problem.

    Iloerose

  12. #12
    kwyn is offline Junior Member
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    So what's a good way to taper off. I want to start ASAP. Called my doc but he's out till Monday.

    So no pills yesterday. Mediocre sleep. Tired and anxious today. Took 1/2 of a .5 today (so approx .25). Feelin better. Gonna nap.

    What should I do until I see my doc next week?

    Thanks so much!!

  13. #13
    kwyn is offline Junior Member
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    Didn't sleep on Friday (no pills) until 3:30-8. Extremely tired on Sat. No nervousness or anything but completely exhausted. I was ready for bed by 9. Took melatonin...didn't help. Binaural beats iPhone app... No help, guided meditation... No help. Finally 1:00 Am... .5 lorazepam, didn't help, 1:20 another .5 lorazepam and slept from 2 until 7 when kids woke me up for Easter egg hunt. Back bed at 7:20 and slept until 9. Feelin better,

    But ashamed I had to resort back the the lorazepam. Feeling much better physically, but disappointed with the sublingual melatonin and needing the lorazepam. Tuesday is my psychiatrist appt. can't come soon enough. I don't know why my body just won't turn off even when I'm exhausted

  14. #14
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    I don't know what to tell you about sleep. The only thing I can say is you need to wait longer than 20 min. to see if the lorazapam will work. Melatonin doesn't help for some people.

    Iloerose

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    kwyn is offline Junior Member
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    Awful insomnia and bad dreams. Saw doc today... Filled him in...

    He wants me to:
    7 days of 1 mg
    7 days of .75
    Then I think 7 days of .5
    And then back to 3 days at .5

    He thinks I need to get sleep back on schedule and that I need these meds to deal with divorce stress right now because not sleeping is harming or will harm my body.

    He said that if I try to cut from 1 mg to .5 without .75 first, I'll have problems.
    He said if I wanted to get 2nd opinion I could because i told him i wanted to get off faster, but this is what he recommends.

    He also suggested considering a more steady med like a Prozac or something else.

    Thoughts? Thanks!!

  16. #16
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    It sounds like your dr. really cares about how you feel. If you have been taking more than your 2-3 a week for a period of time, you really need to step it down slowly. How many have you taken in the past weeks each day and for how long? That is bottom line. Tapering is a good idea. Get back to the two or three a week. It may really help you. Once you are stable again, go from there.

    Iloerose

  17. #17
    kwyn is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloerose View Post
    It sounds like your dr. really cares about how you feel. If you have been taking more than your 2-3 a week for a period of time, you really need to step it down slowly. How many have you taken in the past weeks each day and for how long? That is bottom line. Tapering is a good idea. Get back to the two or three a week. It may really help you. Once you are stable again, go from there.

    Iloerose
    I've been on for a year and a half. Honestly 2-3 (.5) per week. Every now and then a week with just 1-2. Last week was the 1st time ever more than 3 and at the 1mg dose.

    That's what concerned me and why I'm posting and made appt for today.

    So you also agree with that tapering plan?

    Thanks again for all the responses. Means a lot to me!!

  18. #18
    Sun Baby is offline New Member
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    The titration and amount you are on is actually very low dosage to be frank and honest.

    I have been on .5 mg and 1 mg Lorazepam / Ativan just as much as being on .5 and 1 mg
    of Klonopin / Clonazepam. But right now - Ativan is on the emergency list (Lorazepam)
    while 4 mg a day (also a low dosage) is only a side kick of the huge medicine cabinet I am
    on as if.

    As for weaning off, I have stopped suddenly without any issues or problems on Benzos
    (which isn't a good sign for my side on the Neurology end) so I have to add 3 more huge
    "junk" where I've graduated from a walking pharmacy to a toxic waste dump.

    Hope that brought you some humor there, but it is the truth.

    Rest assured; the divorce will be over with and life will be grand and the
    past will be all anew again and the Benzos would be history!

    So don't worry, be happy - just keep yourself busy and your mind occupied
    for I know divorce can be cruel; I had to endure it having been married nearly
    25 years, there is a silver lining in the cloud so look up - you have your children
    and yourself ... and a peace of mind plus a Doc that cares!
    Sun Baby

  19. #19
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    I agree with tapering. Be careful of upping your dose, though. Good luck!

    Iloerose

  20. #20
    kwyn is offline Junior Member
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    So, five nights at 1mg at bedtime. Sleeping very well, feeling well rested, energetic, and overall good. BUT after night 7 I'll be going down to .75 at bedtime. Praying for success. Then after 7 days at that, 7 at .5

    Thanks for listening, posting, and supporting. I hope when I'm done I feel as great as I do this week!!

  21. #21
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Keep on keepin' on Kwin. I hope everything works out for you! Get through your divorce and find where that anxiety is coming from. You'll make it.

    Iloerose

  22. #22
    kwyn is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloerose View Post
    Keep on keepin' on Kwin. I hope everything works out for you! Get through your divorce and find where that anxiety is coming from. You'll make it.

    Iloerose
    Thx! I'll post how things are going after tomorrow when I drop to .75 mg for the next 7 days. Gotta say though, the past 7 days have felt incredible (physically and mentally, maybe not emotionally) being able to sleep. Tons of energy all day, feeling sharp, great workouts and productive days! Hope it lasts when I get off this ????!

  23. #23
    SuzieOf is offline Member
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    Wow, you are definitely doing the right thing by the taper and taking this drug seriously. It must be very strong. If I read your posts correctly you used .5 a few times a week with no problems on the days that you didn't... this was for a year and a half. Then for only one week you used it every day with the last two days being a higher dose and when you stopped you could not sleep and had problems. That is one strong drug. Your doctor started your taper at a higher dose than what you are used to (except in the last week). When you get down to your regular lower dose I would be sure that there was always several days in between taking them so you don't get mentally or physically dependent. Good luck.. tapering slow is the way to go.

  24. #24
    GinaRN is offline New Member
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    Hope you are doing well. Tapering is the way to go. You can't just stop or you'll have extreme anxiety attacks or could have a sezuire which could be fatal. Have you ever tried the sleep medication Lunesta? I take it every now and then and it works well for me. It does give you a metallic taste in your mouth but you don't notice after your sleeping! Good luck to you! : )

  25. #25
    kwyn is offline Junior Member
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    Monday night... Really tough... Couldn't sleep. Ended up taking 1.25 shouldn't have but I can't go back in time.

    Called the doc, told him. He said "bite the bullet" and drop to .75 as originally planned on Tuesday. I did. Slept! Hooray!

    Wed stuck with the .75. Minor sleep issues but still managed around 6 hrs of semi restless sleep. Not to shabby. I'll take it.

    Gonna stick with it tonight. I'll post again with how it's going.

  26. #26
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Gosh! I'm so glad you're sleeping. Like your dr. said "bite the bullet". Hope last night went alright. Work closely with our dr. maybe he can give you some suggestions that will work for sleep when you can't. Sometimes it's just hard to stop your mind from going on and on. I know. It happens to me sometimes. But I try to focus on a thread in classical music, or start making lesson plans in my head. I think when we worry we're not sleeping and let the ball of anxiety start rolling it's hard to get it to stop. I try not to let that ball get rolling , doesn't always work, but well. Thinking about you and rooting for you! It'll be bumpy at times, but hang tough.

    Iloerose

  27. #27
    kwyn is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by iloerose View Post
    Gosh! I'm so glad you're sleeping. Like your dr. said "bite the bullet". Hope last night went alright. Work closely with our dr. maybe he can give you some suggestions that will work for sleep when you can't. Sometimes it's just hard to stop your mind from going on and on. I know. It happens to me sometimes. But I try to focus on a thread in classical music, or start making lesson plans in my head. I think when we worry we're not sleeping and let the ball of anxiety start rolling it's hard to get it to stop. I try not to let that ball get rolling , doesn't always work, but well. Thinking about you and rooting for you! It'll be bumpy at times, but hang tough.

    Iloerose
    Yeah. So sleepin ok. Waking up now in the middle of the night, but getting OK sleep. I def don't feel as sharp, alert and overall as happy as when I was taking the 1mg. Wish I could feel that way all the time.

    Still, I'm feelin pretty ok. I feel that the 1mg to .75 is successful. Will stay that way till Tues and then down to .5. I'm feelin confident that it'll be fine.

    The only thing I wish is that I could feel as great as I did that week I was taking 1mg at bedtime every night. Nights were good and I felt great all day long. But, lll have to find a better way to achieve that.

    Thanks for the sleep tips.

    So far, this week I've discovered that a bath and nature sounds with classical piano def relaxes me about an hour before bed. Makes me feel ready for bed.

  28. #28
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Glad that you found a way to get relaxed before bed! That's always a tough one, especially w/ benzos sometimes. You are going to be fine. Life has it's ups and downs, good days, bad days. You will get to a place where you feel that sharp happy feeling more and more and without any drugs to "help" you. That's the ironic thing about benzos, they hold us prisoner after the effectiveness wears off and there is nothing you can do about it but let your gabba receptors heal. And heal they will!

    Iloerose

  29. #29
    kwyn is offline Junior Member
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    OK. Here's the latest. Friday and Sat. good sleep. Not perfect, but perfectly acceptable. Last night, Sunday, slept 10-12:30, fell back asleep quick, work up at 3:30 slept on and off lightly, not a great sleep. I'm guessing this is just part of the process. Had the same thing last Sunday. I've been on .75 at bedtime since Tuesday. Tomorrow night, I go to .5 at bedtime.

    I'm thinking of supplementing L-Theanine 200mg day, 200mg. night with the .5 lorazepam. I hear it helps some people.

    Also, one weird thing. On Saturday, I felt depressed. Not sad, just very, very flat. It was a beautiful day and I usually am really happy on those days. Again, I wasn't feeling sad, I just wasn't feeling anything. Aside from a quick run at the gym, I didn't do much, but sit around the house. That may be part of it.

    Went out for a bit to the mall and a bookstore in the evening. Started feeling much better after that.

    Anyway, there's the update. Wish me luck on my drop down to .5 tomorrow night.

    Also, any advice or thoughts on the L-theanine?

    THX!!

  30. #30
    iloerose is offline Platinum Member
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    Wish you luck with your drop to .5. Many people use L-Theanine to get through w/d's. See how it works for you. The flatness is possibly a side-effect of w/d. Just plow through that. It's all you can do. Your gabba receptors need to reboot themselves and it takes awhile sometimes. Glad you got out and about! Bookstore, my favorite place! Get some good sleep and the best advice is to try to keep your head in the right direction. Under featured conditions there is a xanax post of a person who tapered and he gave updates of his symptoms and how things went with him. Remember if you read it he was on xanax for years and much more than you were. But I liked his positive tone. You will get through this!

    Iloerose

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