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Lorazepam withdrawal - How long??
  1. #1
    Jitterbug09 is offline New Member
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    Default Lorazepam withdrawal - How long??

    Hi - I had been taking 4mg of Lorazepam for about 6 weeks when I realized that I needed to stop. I decided to wean myself off of it quickly (less than 2 weeks), but I think it was too quick because I am really messed up now. I am having full blown withdrawal from Lorazepam. I have an appointment with my primary doctor tomorrow to discuss the issue.

    My question to you all is this: just how long does it take to feel "normal" again after only taking the dug for 45 days or so? I have successfully come off of Norcos twice now and it only took about 5-6 days to be myself again - Lorazepam seems to be much harder to come off of...Please help ease my mind if anyone can. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Robert_325 is offline Retired
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    Benzos take a longer slower taper than with RX opiates. Everyone is a little different but you obviously went too fast.

    You should stabilize again with the smallest amount possible and start a taper over again. I can help you if you like.

    I don't know what dose you were at when you stopped but 4mg is a pretty strong dose for someone who has not had an ongoing tolerance to ativan. Did you begin on 4mg per day? Why were you taking that much after only six weeks? 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
    Jitterbug09 is offline New Member
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    I was taking more than I was prescribed (better known as abusing), that's why I knew it was time to stop. The prescription was for 1/2mg to 1mg twice daily and that's where I started, but I obviously took the strength of the drug for granted and within a couple of weeks was up to 4mg once per day. I went from 4mg once per day, to 1mg twice per day, to 1/2mg twice per day, to 1/2mg once per day, and I took my last 1/2 pill on Tuesday - total time from 4mg to zero was less than 2 weeks. Should the taper period be longer than the time I actually was taking the Lorazepam? (sounds counter productive).

    What should I ask my doctor for tomorrow? More Lorazepam or Valium as I've read about? I want to take as little as possible of what ever it is to safely get off of the Lorazepam. Can I do this without going back "on" a Benzo? Thanks again for your quick responses!
    Last edited by Jitterbug09; 05-28-2009 at 09:14 PM.

  4. #4
    Robert_325 is offline Retired
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    You shouldn't have to go with valium following such short-term use. That's more for a slow taper over an extended period of time. You probably went a little fast, benzo w/d suck as you can see.

    If you will be honest with your dr but explain we're working on this taper he will likely go along. What do you think, you know your dr. If you think not keep quiet, get enough ativan for the month and I will help you finish this off.

    I detoxed off TONS of benzos twice after using them for over 25 years. It just takes a little time, a month would suffice. 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.

  5. #5
    Jitterbug09 is offline New Member
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    Thanks for the excellent support. I just returned from my doctor and we agreed to properly taper off the Lorazepam, starting with 1mg twice daily for 12 days, then 1.5mg per day for 12 days, then 1mg per day for 12 days, then 1/2mg per day, etc...Our plan is to be completely off of the Lorazepam about 5-6 weeks from now.

    I also need to clarify about the 4mg per day - I was mistaken, I was only taking 3mg per day when I started to taper...Still too much too quickly. At least we now have a plan!
    Last edited by Jitterbug09; 05-29-2009 at 06:57 PM.
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  6. #6
    Robert_325 is offline Retired
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    That sounds like a good plan to me. Going back to 2mg after your rapid taper is a good idea and so is .5mg reduction every two weeks. I think you'll do fine with that.

    Your dr went along with you and gave you a good plan. That's what happens a lot when we shoot straight with them. Especially when we really haven't done anything all that bad. Let us know how you do. God bless.
    sweetpea602 likes this.
    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.

  7. #7
    Jitterbug09 is offline New Member
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    I am so relieved that a plan is in place...I took one late this afternoon and actually fell asleep on the couch - have not been able to do that lately

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    Jitterbug09 is offline New Member
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    double reply

  9. #9
    sillygeel is offline Member
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    Default What about a year and a half on ativan"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jitterbug09 View Post
    Thanks for the excellent support. I just returned from my doctor and we agreed to properly taper off the Lorazepam, starting with 1mg twice daily for 12 days, then 1.5mg per day for 12 days, then 1mg per day for 12 days, then 1/2mg per day, etc...Our plan is to be completely off of the Lorazepam about 5-6 weeks from now.

    I also need to clarify about the 4mg per day - I was mistaken, I was only taking 3mg per day when I started to taper...Still too much too quickly. At least we now have a plan!
    I am on 3 mg (For 18 months)seems the two just dont do the trick anymore so I have bumped up to 3 mg 2 months ago. With your new plan are you suffering? Let me know please. Lisa-Marie

  10. #10
    Robert_325 is offline Retired
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    Quote Originally Posted by sillygeel View Post
    I am on 3 mg (For 18 months)seems the two just dont do the trick anymore so I have bumped up to 3 mg 2 months ago. With your new plan are you suffering? Let me know please. Lisa-Marie





    Lisa-Marie ..... having used ativan for 1 1/2 years your w/d symptoms will OBVIOUSLY be noticeably more than are jitterbug's after using for only six weeks. Taking 3mg is too high a dose unless you've got some serious issues working.

    I can help you with the benzos when we finish up with your other taper. Do one thing at a time, but this definitely needs to be dealt with. Trust me, I abused benzos for over 25 years solid. I did them daily and the dosage became insane by the time I was finally successful getting clean.

    You can see how the ativan dose has to keep getting higher and higher. When I finally stopped after 25 years I was up to almost 20mg of xanax daily along with 6-8mg of klonopin. Of course that doesn't count the thirty 30mg roxies, 30plus lorcets and 20-25 soma daily. Pretty dumb huh??? My point is the benzo ride needs to stop asap.

    You absolutely want to do something about the ativan problem. If you don't mind me asking why are you taking such a high dose? You don't want to be on ativan the rest of your life, that's for sure. God bless.
    Last edited by Robert_325; 05-30-2009 at 09:41 AM.
    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.

  11. #11
    seppie is offline New Member
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    I would also say lowering the doses and quit slowing, that is a very high dose you are taking and should not go so high, read up on lorazepam, wikipedia has some good information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorazepam

  12. #12
    blueberries is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_325 View Post
    Lisa-Marie ..... having used ativan for 1 1/2 years your w/d symptoms will OBVIOUSLY be noticeably more than are jitterbug's after using for only six weeks. Taking 3mg is too high a dose unless you've got some serious issues working.

    I can help you with the benzos when we finish up with your other taper. Do one thing at a time, but this definitely needs to be dealt with. Trust me, I abused benzos for over 25 years solid. I did them daily and the dosage became insane by the time I was finally successful getting clean.

    You can see how the ativan dose has to keep getting higher and higher. When I finally stopped after 25 years I was up to almost 20mg of xanax daily along with 6-8mg of klonopin. Of course that doesn't count the thirty 30mg roxies, 30plus lorcets and 20-25 soma daily. Pretty dumb huh??? My point is the benzo ride needs to stop asap.

    You absolutely want to do something about the ativan problem. If you don't mind me asking why are you taking such a high dose? You don't want to be on ativan the rest of your life, that's for sure. God bless.
    ====================================
    Robert, there is no doubt you have had it really rough...and beat it. Bless you... for helping others who may be experiencing the horrors of addiction.

  13. #13
    kassiegal is offline New Member
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    Default Ativan

    I have been on prozac now for 8 weeks...
    and I also have ativan..
    I have been taking ativan now for 8 weeks also..for anxiety..until the prozac kicks in
    I take 0.5mg in the morning...and the 1mg around 5...then I sleep great..as I tend to clench....at night..
    I want to taper off the ativan...and wondering how to do so...on such a low dose...but worries about the duration...I never took that much every day...only as needed really...
    thank you

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    bev49 is offline Banned
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    Robert, I have a question for you. Are benzo's truly addictive in six weeks? Wow. That seems to be what you're saying but that was a real shocker to me. I've been on Klonopin for several years for panic attacks but I weaned down to .5 and have managed to stay at that for at least the last 2 years. Am I an exception to a rule? I'm not looking to stop just yet. Those panic attacks were too scary. I'm just curious. When you answered the person who was on ativan for 6 weeks I thought you had read wrong but I'm obviously wrong. What an insidious drug if it takes that short a time to get hooked.

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    2bpainfree is offline New Member
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    Default Me too...

    Hi. I'm a newbie here!

    I just read up on Ativan and realized I should not have been taking it for these past several years. Now I'm weaning off from it. I only take it at night for insomnia. I tried everything else and this is all that worked but I worked up from 1mg at bed time as needed to 3 mg every night.

    I also suspect some of my ongoing symptoms could possiby be related to long term use of this drug.

    I'm at 2.5 mg now (I'm not sleeping well at all!) and hope to get to 2 mg in the next week or 2.

    I have fibromyalgia which can cause sleep problems among other things. It just seems like a snowball effect. No sleep causes more pain which causes less sleep........ ad infinitum.....

    Good luck to us both!

    - 2B

  16. #16
    Robert_325 is offline Retired
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    All too often the very medications we take for a legitimate problem end up making matters worse, and it happens through no fault of our own. Suck it up and get back on track.

    Take if from someone who abused benzo drugs for over 25 years. It's a short term fix that more often than not causes a long term problem. The sooner you can seperate yourself from the Ativan the better off you'll be.

    I'm not saying ativan has no medicinal value. I'm just suggesting that you be VERY careful in the future. Benzos are more addictive than lots of the street drugs out there today. You're in my prayers. 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.

  17. #17
    dotfran-col is offline New Member
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    Default Coming off Lorazepam

    Hi there!
    I have been on fluoxetine for 4 years. I have had to increase my dosage over the years (because one builds up an immunity to it). I recently was unable to get my prescription this last month.
    I did alot of research before I decided to just quit taking it, but it was a good choice.
    I was up to .5 mg 4x daily. The only real side effect from withdrawal that wasn't good was rebound insomnia. I actually could not get sleepy! I am still on Trazadone for sleep, but it was not even working. I went for most of a week like this. Yuck!!
    Anyway, to encourage you, I have now slept a few nights in a row with just an OTC sleep aid (mild). The best thing is the benefits from getting off the stuff.
    My mental sharpness came back in 2-3 days! I feel like myself again!!
    After researching, I found out that this drug is only meant for temporary use.
    Jitter, I hope you will hang in there! Every body is different, so will react differently during withdrawal. I'm proud of you for taking charge of your health!!! Not always easy, but well worth it.
    There are many ways to help your anxiety. Just Google "Lorazepam withdrawal" and you will come up with some good ideas.
    My best to you, jitter!!
    dotfran-coldfwillia@juno.com

  18. #18
    jellyhed is offline New Member
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    Hello. I'm a newbie here as well. Got here looking for info on ativan withdrawal. I've been taking .5 once or twice a day about two months for anxiety related to depression. Taking 90 mg Cymbalta for the depression. I stopped the ativan cold yesterday. I found that I needed to take the .5 twice daily to feel OK so I decided it was time to stop. Had a bad night and a fair amount of anxiety today. Any idea how long this will last? Should I be doing something different? Is there a way to taper from such a relatively small dose? Thanks for any advice you could give.

  19. #19
    doc.rose is offline Advanced Member
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    From what I have learned about benzo's, you are not supposed to stop them suddenly. Just be careful and hopefully someone will chime in and have advice for a taper. Good luck!
    davis39 likes this.

  20. #20
    jellyhed is offline New Member
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    Thanks, doc rose, for your advice. A friend strongly urged me to keep taking until I see my pdoc. So I'm down to one .5 a day until I see him.

  21. #21
    jeffreyd is offline New Member
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    Default Another question about Lorazepam withdrawal.

    This reply is a question for Richard. I hope that you are still watching this thread. I have been taking .5 mg of Lorazepam about 3 or 4 times a day for about 4 months. I have not been keeping a daily schedule of times that I have taken it. It has been more of a PRN basis, and mostly to tolerate three different antidepressants that I tried, none of which worked, and all of them caused horrible side effects (for which I was told to take Lorazepam). Ugh!!! So now I am off the antidpressants and had planned to take Lorazepam PRN. However, I think I am in fact now addicted to Lorazepam, because if I take one or two in the evening, I begin to have symptoms which I believe are withdrawal by late morning to afternoon. My doctor says this is my anxiety, but it feels different than that to me. I feel a dizzy tightness in my head, and I don't think it is anxiety. Anyway, with this amount of time and at these doses, do you think I need to switch over to Diazepam to do a tapered withdrawal? Or can I just withdraw using Lorazepam. In either case, what would you recommend as far as a schedule. Advice needed ASAP! Thank you so much.

  22. #22
    calisparrow is offline New Member
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    Arrow Would truly appreciate your help!

    Dear Robert,

    Thank you for helping people on this thread. I've been reading your posts and appreciate the support you are giving to people here.

    My situation is a little different (maybe) but it feels really rough. This is my second detox. My latest doctor put me on .5 Ativan for sleep daily and .5 Xanax as needed, though I take it almost every day. This was just after my last detox 20 months ago and don't know what I was thinking! The doctor said it was such a low dose that it wouldn't matter. Bullsh*t! I'm currently in a bad state of withdrawal from such a small dose.

    I had a stressful event right when I started weening and that put me on a bad jag possibly (?). Went from .5 ativan to .25 for 3-4 days. That was a big mistake. Think I went too fast right there when I moved to .125. I realize that this is probably not even entering my system. They are crumbs that I've been taking for 5 days. But I don't know what to do. I am in intense pain. Last night I couldn't sleep.

    If you could give me some advise on what to do to get me out of the withdrawals and to a taper and what to expect with it, I would be SO grateful. My skin and muscles are on fire and any type of external stimulation (visual, auditory, mental...) makes it worse. Or should I muscle through it at this point? If it's only a few more days, that might be possible but can't do this for much longer. It's driving me mad.

    It seems so ridiculous that such a small amount would do this but it is real! Benzos are poison and I want off!

    Blessings,

    Cali

  23. #23
    doc.rose is offline Advanced Member
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    Could you go to your doctor and ask them to put you on a proper taper. I am not an addict, but I do know that benzo's should not be stopped suddenly for risk of seizures. Please talk to your physician about this matter. Good luck!

  24. #24
    tired2 is offline Advanced Member
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    Hi Cali,
    I just finished my benzo taper back in November so I can relate to how you are feeling. Benzo's are very nasty, and not very forgiving. Ativan has a shorter half life than Xanax, which can make tapering more difficult. I think you would do better switching to the Xanax, then continue to taper no more than 12.5 every 10-14 days.

    Here is a very good link to read http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzcha02.htm

    Hope this helps some,
    Pam
    Just to live life free as a bird

  25. #25
    doc.rose is offline Advanced Member
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    Hi calisparrow! How are you doing? Let us know!

  26. #26
    Banx01 is offline New Member
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    Hi I was wondering if your stilll going threw withdrawl,I to have been taking ativan for a while and strted getting this tightness in my head like towerds the back that kinda brings on a panic filling.if you can please reply thanks

  27. #27
    marvin.sccorp is offline New Member
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    I was on .5 Lorazepam 3 x daily for about three weeks. Tapered to .25 Lorazepam 3 x daily for a week. Then to .25 Lorazepam 2 x daily for a week. After three days of the 25 Lorazepam 2 x daily I am having a hard time sleeping and staying asleep; and I have persistant ringing in my ears I am also on 10MG Lexapro (the Lorazepam was to get me over the hump until the Lexapro kicked in). The problem that I have is that both of my symptoms are known side effects of the two drugs: withdrawal from Lorazepam and using Lexapro.

    Did I tape the Lorazepam too quickly? My Dr said that as I was only on it a short time, I should be able to stop quickly.

    Marvin


    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_325 View Post
    Benzos take a longer slower taper than with RX opiates. Everyone is a little different but you obviously went too fast.

    You should stabilize again with the smallest amount possible and start a taper over again. I can help you if you like.

    I don't know what dose you were at when you stopped but 4mg is a pretty strong dose for someone who has not had an ongoing tolerance to ativan. Did you begin on 4mg per day? Why were you taking that much after only six weeks? God bless.

  28. #28
    comeondown is offline New Member
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    Default Figuring out a taper plan

    I have been taking between 1mg and 1.5mg of Lorazepam for about 1 yr+. It was originally prescribed for airplane anxiety but I expanded that scope of usage for the office, and weekends, and then everyday.

    So the questions are:
    1) Do I really need to do a taper plan with Diazepam to get rid of this stuff? I haven't been on high doses but it has been more that a month or two.
    2) How long should a taper plan last for me if just going straight from the Lorazepam? 3 weeks, 1 month?

    Thanks

  29. #29
    macgirl90 is offline New Member
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    Default support and help please :(

    i recently saw a psychiatrist after being prescribed prozac and ativan. I have probably been taking both for 3 weeks now. my anxiety was so bad within a week I was prescribed 1mg twice a day of ativan.

    The psychiatrist I saw recently told me to quit cold turkey. which was 2 days ago. I am quickly realizing this was a mistake and I should not have quit cold turkey. i don't know why he told me to do this. I've been experiencing pretty much a lot of the withdrawal symptoms. I'm really scared, and feeling even more anxious going through I guess the withdrawal symptoms than i was originally feeling.

    I was just wondering if anyone had any advice? should I start by taking 1.5 for the next week, then 1mg for the week after, then .5 the week after and so on? Need support, I really don't want to be alone in this!

  30. #30
    jay3396 is offline New Member
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    Default lorazepam withdrawal

    I have no words of wisdom for anyone else, just here to share my story. I took 1mg of lorazepam every night for sleep for about a year, and starting taking 1.5mg every night about 5-6 months ago. It was prescribed by my psychiatrist for sleep; his intent was never for me to take it every night, or in such high doses, but he hasn't been very vigilant (and I haven't been very honest about my usage). I noticed a few weeks ago that my tolerance seemed to suddenly and dramatically increase. One night I took 2.5mg and I could barely feel it, and decided that I needed to stop.

    I decided to go cold turkey at first, which didn't last long. I have been taking .5mg a night for the past 10 days or so, and am still having fairly severe withdrawal symptoms. The best analogy I can think of is a really bad hangover - severe headache, nausea, and insomnia to top it all off. The worst part is that the lack of sleep has made me very run down in general, and its hard to know at this point whether some of my symptoms are from withdrawal or simply the result of sleep deprivation.

    I am fortunate that I do not have much of a psychological dependence - I rarely took it for reasons other than sleep, and I don't really "crave" it, but am tempted to take more to relieve the withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal is rough, worse than what I have experience from opiates, although I have never used opiates for such an extended period of time. The only thing that compares was getting off Effexor - that was pretty bad, and I only took a low dose for a few weeks.

    My question to those out there who may be listening: should I wait to feel "normal" again at .5mg a day before I go off it completely? I don't really feel better after I take the .5mg, so I'm just wondering if relief will come sooner if I just get off it completely. Easier said than done of course.

    I am interested to here more thoughts and experiences from those who have been through this, particularly in regard to how long withdrawal symptoms typically last. And encouragement to those currently going through this - I'm in the same boat.

    J

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