Ativan/benzo withdrawal/taper help!

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Terps19
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1425
   Posted 2/19/2009 12:46 PM (GMT -6)   
So I have been on ativan for about 3.5 years now.  When I started I only took 1 mg per day; right now I have tapered down to .5 mg per day but still feel awful after about 3 weeks on that dose. 
 
When I started to take ativan for anxiety and depression I felt great the next day.  Thought this was the miracle drug and that was it.  But about 2 months later I did not feel as good as I did before.  But knowing ativan was so addictive i decided to stay with 1 mg per day.  3 years later I am tired everyday, have general anxiety, dont feel like doing much, shoulders hurt, stomach hurts occassionally, and just have a general flu like feeling.
 
I know this can happen when you are tapering off of ativan.  But these symptoms have not gone away since my last reduction in dosage.  It took me a good 1.5 weeks to feel better after the first taper to .75 mg per day but now that I am on .5 mg per day i think the symptons are hanging around more.
 
So basically I am looking for some type of advice here.  I have heard of water titration and even switching over to vallium because it is longer acting than ativan so the vallium would make it easier to taper off of.  Does anyone hav any experience in tapering off of ativan or any other benzo?
 
Any help is greatly appreciated.  I need to kick this darn drug- I used to love it now i hate it.
March 2005 Dx'd with Ulcerative colitis
Took: asacol, colazal, rowasa, entocort, VSL probiotic
2.14.06 Test results positive for gluten and dairy sensativity! (enterolab)
July 2006 normal c scope and biopsies
Taking: Wellbutrin 150 mg Ativan .5 mg as needed
Officially married!
Gluten Free Dairy free since May 20, 2006 and feeling great 


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2137
   Posted 2/19/2009 1:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi T,
I've never been on Ativan, but I have tapered off of Valium. It was definitely not fun at all. I got Zofran to help with the queasy feeling. Other than that it was just pretty miserable. Drink plenty of water (I was told about a gallon a day) and that will help flush it out of your system faster.

One thing my doc suggested was to try taking the full dose again for a day & see if the symptoms resolved. Since they did, he said it was just withdrawal & I would just need to stick it out. It is possible, though that you have a "hidden" illness. That is something that is unintentionally covered up by a side effect of the medication. It's not real likely, but might be worth double-checking with your doc to see if there is some other problem that is causing you to feel sick, but your sx sound a lot like withdrawal so good chance that's it.

If it's just too much for you, maybe take your doc up on his offer to write the Valium. The severity of withdrawal from Valium is less, but it will take you longer to work your was off of it. Hope you find something that works & start feeling better soon. :)

peace,
frances

Terps19
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1425
   Posted 2/19/2009 1:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey thanks Frances.

I just hate feeling like this. Like I cant help anything that happens- just annoying since I like to be in control.

Hmmm hidden illness... yeah its probably about time for a physical anyways so I will try and make an apt for next week or so. Its kinda funny how quick DRs are to dismiss one thing for another. I know that their job is hard and they have to know a lot but I wish they would take the time to think about what they are suggesting people to do.

Thanks again for the advice and support.
March 2005 Dx'd with Ulcerative colitis
Took: asacol, colazal, rowasa, entocort, VSL probiotic
2.14.06 Test results positive for gluten and dairy sensativity! (enterolab)
July 2006 normal c scope and biopsies
Taking: Wellbutrin 150 mg Ativan .5 mg as needed
Officially married!
Gluten Free Dairy free since May 20, 2006 and feeling great 


karendee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 2/19/2009 2:56 PM (GMT -6)   

I also tapered recently off Clonzepram. I also raised my dose of effexor a few months ago.

I did my taper very slow.

I was origionally on 1mg pills 3 times a day.

I started noticing I did not need my mid day dose so for 2-3 weeks I took 2- 1mg pills a day

then about 2 weeks later I went to 1- 1mg pill a day

next I did, .5mg each day for a week or more. My last pill was .5mg and that was over 2 weeks ago.

the hardest part was going from 1mg to the .5 once I got used to the .5 the switch to zero was easy.

I tried to go from 1mg to zero and I felt terrible one day and that afternoon I took the 1/2 the pill so I had .5mg. this was much easier to taper off of.

 

Good Luck with the taper, take your time and remember you can taper as slow as you want to. Just keep reducing the dose slowly and take your time. Also, ask your Doctor for advice, he/she might have some ideas.

Karen


 ...

Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 Started Humira June 2008 (have been on other cd meds)

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 on Soma and Lyrica

 

 


Terps19
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1425
   Posted 2/19/2009 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Karen. Glad to know you got off of it! My dr is really of no help so I am thinking a switch needs to be made.
March 2005 Dx'd with Ulcerative colitis
Took: asacol, colazal, rowasa, entocort, VSL probiotic
2.14.06 Test results positive for gluten and dairy sensativity! (enterolab)
July 2006 normal c scope and biopsies
Taking: Wellbutrin 150 mg Ativan .5 mg as needed
Officially married!
Gluten Free Dairy free since May 20, 2006 and feeling great 


Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 2/19/2009 9:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been tapering off of my benzos for a couple of months now. I was taking Clonzepam .5mg four times daily for 7+ years, and now am back to 2 .5 mg daily. I have actually felt better but I'm not sleeping as long as I should, but I'm up and take a small nap when I need :)

I wish you all the best of luck on the tapering!
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
"Although the world is full of suffering. . . it is also full of the overcoming of it."
~Helen Keller~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.
 


Aries8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 2/20/2009 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I take Ativan when needed. My question is, what are you replacing Ativan with? Do you currently take an anti-dpressant? It may be that you need to be on some sort of med. If your doc is of no help, I strongly suggest you find another. They are there for us, not the other way around. Let us know how you're feeling!
Anxiety Disorder/Mitral Valve Prolapse
 
Prozac and Carvedilol


Terps19
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1425
   Posted 2/20/2009 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I take wellbutrin and just started to take Buspar to help get off the ativan since it is an anti anxiety med but not a benzo.

Yeah I have not had the best of luck with DRs. I am making an appointment with another one next week-
March 2005 Dx'd with Ulcerative colitis
Took: asacol, colazal, rowasa, entocort, VSL probiotic
2.14.06 Test results positive for gluten and dairy sensativity! (enterolab)
July 2006 normal c scope and biopsies
Taking: Wellbutrin 150 mg Ativan .5 mg as needed
Officially married!
Gluten Free Dairy free since May 20, 2006 and feeling great 


Vin
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 312
   Posted 2/21/2009 9:41 PM (GMT -6)   
a direct ativan taper is going to be rough because of the short half life of the drug. I'd recommend switching over to valium or klonopin at the least because they have longer half lifes leave a more stable level of the drug in your system during the day. Benzo withdrawal can be quite rough because it takes a while for your brain levels to recover if you taper too quickly. Basically you never want to taper until you are feeling somewhat stable and then for at least a week. If you can switch over to valium and get the equivalient ativan dosage...you sholud not need water titration as valium can be reduced pretty well. 1 MG ativan is about 15 mg of valium. 1 mg reductions of valium every 2 weeks should be pretty sufficient..but be sure to read your body. If you decide to switch over to klonopin, its slightly stronger then ativan and also its almost impossible to cut accurately so you will have to water titrate. let me know if you want to do that and i can get you set up. if you decide to stay on ativan, it would probably be better to split up your total dosage assuming you take it one time and take it 3 times during the day so that your total dosage is the same as your taking now. this will keep it evenly distrubted throughout the day as best you can.

Any more questoins let me know, i am pretty good at benzo withdrawal. I have gone from 1 mg of klonopin to .25..but i have to hold now due to other health issues.

Vin
History: UC/Chrons since age 22, now 27.  Several huge flares since then.  Entire colon diseased at some point from cecum to rectum.  Also had previous inflammation in terminal ileum.
Currently: flare -9/19/08 - now|Panic Disorder - 6/25/08 - now|Lyme Disease - 12/09/08 - now|Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome - 6 recent mod dysplasia moles excised, and many more to shave biopsy.
Drugs: prednisone 30 mg|6mp 75 mg|lialda 4.8 mg|Paxil 50 mg|Klonopin .25 mg|Trazodone 50 mg|PRN Perc/Tramadol
 
 
 
 
 


kxer8
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/11/2009 11:14 PM (GMT -6)   
karendee said...

 I also tapered recently off Clonzepram. I also raised my dose of effexor a few months ago.

I did my taper very slow.

I was origionally on 1mg pills 3 times a day.

I started noticing I did not need my mid day dose so for 2-3 weeks I took 2- 1mg pills a day

then about 2 weeks later I went to 1- 1mg pill a day

next I did, .5mg each day for a week or more. My last pill was .5mg and that was over 2 weeks ago.

the hardest part was going from 1mg to the .5 once I got used to the .5 the switch to zero was easy.

I tried to go from 1mg to zero and I felt terrible one day and that afternoon I took the 1/2 the pill so I had .5mg. this was much easier to taper off of.

 

Good Luck with the taper, take your time and remember you can taper as slow as you want to. Just keep reducing the dose slowly and take your time. Also, ask your Doctor for advice, he/she might have some ideas.

Karen

hi karen,Ive been on clonazam for 20 yrs,do you think it will be that easy for me?I've upped the dosage of paxil to 50mg.thanx eddie



stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 31822
   Posted 10/12/2009 7:38 AM (GMT -6)   
 
Hello and welcome to HealingWell and the A & P Forum.
 
The member you have addressed has not been online since 6/09 so you may want to start a thread of your own so other members can respond to you.
 
Just click on  new topic  at the top of the page and a window will open up for you to start your own thread.
 
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Kitt,
Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn  &
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Precious Gem
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 10/14/2009 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   

i went from taking 3 mg of Xanax a day to .75 - 1 mg a day.  I cannot seem to get past that .75 mark and it has been months.  My Dr. added Buspar and it is helping but I just freak out if I go below .75.  My Dr. said we will leave me there for a while and then discuss what to do.  I know it is very hard to get off Benzos.  My last PDoc was not a bit concerned with the amount I was taking, he said if it makes you feel better, so what.  But after a while at the high dose I was just so lethargic.  I cut back slowly on my own.  PDoc retired and new Dr. is not so happy about Xanax use.  So I am just cruising along right now, feeling OK but I know there is a big change coming in the future.

Good luck and take it slowly.

Gem

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