Okay, I'll try and sum this up as best I can without writing a novel.
I've been going through mental issues (anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder) for about seven years. The severity has changed throughout the years; it was the worst when I was fourteen and fifteen and is back to being that bad now.
I was prescribed Ativan about six months ago or more after going to the emergency room when having a panic attack and they gave me that. I had been taking Klonopin for a while before that and stopped, but found that I liked Ativan because it was fast-acting and at the time I didn't feel as though I needed a long-term medication.
About two months ago, I went in again to the emergency room and they gave me two Ativan rather than one. I then went to my doctor and told him I started taking two, so he upped my dose to two every time I had a panic attack. Well, as the panic attacks began to happen more often every day and the severity of them increased over the past few weeks, I've been going way overboard on my use of the stuff. I typically take five a day, spread out so as to maintain a calmness. I can function mostly fine on them, although I am slightly drowsy and sometimes my vision isn't perfect. This is also to help me be tired enough to sleep because I have very severe insomnia and my tolerance to any medication that makes me tired is almost unheard of.
I did try yesterday to go off of the Ativan because I know that taking this many a day isn't a good idea and I'll be seeing my doctor on the 6th to discuss all that's been happening and whatnot (he knows how many I've been taking a day because I talked to his nurse, but we need to figure out what to tweak my meds to from here) and felt very ill: nausea, hand tremors, sweating, headache. I ended up taking three throughout the day to keep the problems away. The same goes for today.
My questions for you are these:
Is it right to quit completely based on the dose I've been taking every day?
What are the long term effects of how much I've been taking?
Are these 'withdrawal' problems I've been having real, or a figment of my imagination?
Any further advice or information on this would be very much appreciated. Thank you! :]
- 28 Jun 2010 by mollipop
- 10 Apr 2013
- ativan, bipolar disorder, anxiety, insomnia, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, withdrawal
Okay, I'll try and sum this up as best I can without writing a novel.
Ativan can be properly prescribed up to 6mg a day and I have seen up to 10mgs a day. they make .5mg, 1mg and 2mg pills. My first question is what is the dosage of the ativan you are taking. if they are the 2mg pills and you are taking 10mg then I would be concerned because they are not working for you if they are the .5 or the 1mg then I would ask my doctor for a dose adjusment especially if they are the .5. also like any benzo they are addictive and people build a tolerance another alternative would be an even longer acting benzo and one that I think works best for panic disorder is xanax xr. It has to be the xr or er version. they make this extended release version in 1mg,2mg and 3mg pills and you can take it once a day but I find taking the dose twice a day works better, the half life is about 10hours. I have bad panic attacks that I went to the er many times and I now take 2mgof the xanax xr in the am and 1mg around 6pm. I was on 6-8mg of the regular xanax but found that they wore off quickly and my tolerance was building. When I went on the xanax xr I was on 6mg a daay and found that the xr version seemed stronger and was able to go to 3mg a day within a month. I would definately asked to be switched to this version and ask to take it twice a day make start off at 1mg in the morning and 1mg at night and go up from there. When people have panic disorder they usually require a little more benzo than the anxiety disorder. People can need up to 10mg a day of xanax. Also look at the other medications you are on many cause anxiety, when I was on lexapro my anxiety increased. With panic disorder it hard try to excersise that has helped me, dont smoke, I quit and my anxiety decreased and drink very little caffiene or coffee. Try to live a healthier lifestyle and use as little as the medication as possible or just as a tool. But you need a dosage adjustment. What other meds do you take. Let me know. You will be fine.
Hi, I hope your feeling okay? I'm an ER Physician in downtown Los Angeles, and It sounds like you need some answers. First, whatever you do, don't quit cold turkey on your Ativan! You will have an 85% chance of having a withdrawl seizure, pplus close to 3 weeks of pure torture on that doseage! You must wean down at a rate of .25mg/week. So if your at 6mg/day the next week take 5.75mg for a week and so on. If you can, switch to Klonopin .25mg tab. Their easier to wean than Ativan! Trust me! If you still have some ?'S just shoot them to me okay! My name is Dr. Trevor. Let your Dr know and he'll help you but if not let me know and ill see what I can do! Take care! Feel better! Dr. Trevor
I have been on Ativan for years. It worked great till about 4 month's ago. It is addictive and you can feel withdrwl. You will have to taper off slowly. I tapered of 1 of my 2mg's and it was rough. It would have been worse if i still didn't have the other's. It is rough watching for the next dose expecially when they don't work much. My Doctor finally changed and want's me to take Valium. He said it was better. I am trying to get the nerve up to see if it work's..
Dr Trevor - I have been taking Ativan and Remeron (45mg) for 12 years - was having debilitating panic attacks due to a plethora of things, divorce, big career and family move..etc. I am now in a wonderful place in my life. I want to taper off Ativan - was taking 2mg - then down to 1-1/14 (slowly .25 for 2 weeks) then sleep became awful - I work full time and need to sleep. Doc tried me on Melatonin - did not like this at all and sleeping pills do not work for me. I am ultra sensitive to meds. So now I am on 2 1/4 mg ativan and I want off but this seems to be the hardest medicine to get off. The side effect for me is insomnia which is one of the reasons I was put on it in the first place outside of Panic. Do you have any suggestions that I can whirl by my doctor, I like her a lot, but her attitude is that if it's working don't get so stressed over it - it won't hurt me - I heard that switching to Valium works better but she didn't think so? - Any advice? and Thanks!
I ran out of Ativan after taking it daily for years. I had a full blown seizure! After numerous doctors appointments I was told by a specialist that my running out of Ativan caused the seizure. If you look up side effects of withdrawal they are all as you described. I would try to talk to your doctor about weaning you off of Ativan but DO NOT just stop taking it. Especially after your body is used to taking it daily/regularly
- Ativan Information for Consumers
- Ativan Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Ativan (detailed)
Search for questions
Still looking for answers? Try searching for what you seek or ask your own question.
Posted 18 Oct 2010 • 8 answers
Posted 10 Mar 2012 • 19 answers
Posted 13 May 2012 • 6 answers
Posted 2 Sep 2012 • 4 answers
Posted 13 Jan 2013 • 1 answer