Questions for users of Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin, Valium

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ExProud
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 6/1/2012 9:45 AM (GMT -6)   
I am in the waiting game with Zoloft, I already know from past experiences that it takes a full 8 weeks for it to really work. Meanwhile I'm taking 1 MG ativan as needed - and I need it pretty often. The Doc says I can take it 1 to 4 times a day, the most I've done in a day so far is 2mg
 
My initial strategy was to go into each day trying not to take the Ativan at all, suffer as long as I could and hope to make it through the day without it. But more than half the time I would cave-in and take it, sometimes mid morning, sometimes I'd make it to late afternoon. I'd be kind of proud if I got through a day without it, but that also would have been a day of suffering.
 
I've decided now to just take 1MG of ativan every morning with the zoloft along with my first meal. It really helps me get through the early part of my day, which is typically the hardest. and I usually don't need to take any more after that.
 
Of course I wish I didn't need the Ativan, but I'm taking just 1mg a day it's working pretty good for now. And I'm hoping the Zoloft takes over soon and I don't need the Ativan at all.
 
I guess I'm just looking for re-assurance that this isn't such a bad thing. The ativan feels like cheating, and I know there's the addiction concerns, and it's possible I'll build up a tollerance, etc.
 
Please share your situations and experiences with the fast-acting "rescue" drugs.
 
 
 
 

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42609
   Posted 6/1/2012 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been taking xanax for about 20 years. I am gradually trying to wean off of it or get my dosage down. The psychologist says that after a long term use, you can start getting side effects and if I end up in a nursing home, they don't give it to you. So I am working on getting off of it. Only taking a quarter mg in the morning and a half at night. It is not cheating. You are taking it because it helps you. I think ativan is easy to get off. So if the zoloft helps with anxiety, you will probably be able to go off of the ativan eventually. I take pristiq and it has antianxiety properties in it. So I am hoping that is all I will need. I take abilify too. It makes the pristiq work better and is a mood stabilizer for me. I wish you the best.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

ExProud
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 6/1/2012 6:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you as always for sharing your experiences, you are always so kind.

It definitely helps me, I just wish there was some "acceptable" medication that provides instant relief. I guess we all wish that. Right now the ativan is the difference between miserable and "not too bad". Sometimes I wonder if I should just take more of it instead of trying to be conservative. I see it as I'm just buying time until the other stuff works, so taking it would help me not to suffer as much.

If you don't mind my asking, Have you ever tried to ease up on the Xanax over those 20 years? When you first got on it was it on an as-needed basis? I have tried xanax before and for some reason it does nothing for me. I wish you the best of luck in making your adjustment. I'll be praying.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42609
   Posted 6/1/2012 8:50 PM (GMT -6)   
At one time I was taking 4 mg a day. Now I am at 1 1/2, trying to go down to 3/4 mg a day. So far so good. I find myself a little more irritable during the mornings, but not as bad as I thought I would be. I just try to keep my mouth shut because I know it is just anxiety. Take deep breaths. But I think I did good going off the 4mg a day and down to 1 1/2 a day. But when I was taking the high dose I was under a lot of stress. I was losing my first husband to cancer. But I think I stayed at that dose for about a year. It wasn' thard to cut down. But I have never tried to go off of it completely. Like I am now. This is going to be a real gradual process though. And she reassures me that I don't have to go off of it in any hurry. So I am happy with that. I will probably hord some for a long time just so I don't freak out about it.

I hope that this helps some. I have relied on xanax for a long time. It could be hell going off, but I am hoping not. I do a lot of meditation and mind manipulation on myself, so it is pretty easy for me to relax now. But I don't know if that alone can do it. I hope so.

Keep us posted on how you are doing. Do use the ativan when you need it if you feel you could benifit from it. I would hate to see you suffer needlessly.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Avian86
New Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 6/2/2012 2:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I try to take my benzos on an as needed basis only. Using them daily is a recipe for disaster. You will become physically and psychology dependent on them after using them for long enough, eventually you will become tolerant to them doing much of anything for you. Most benzos with the exception of like Xanax, will aggravate depression, and when you find yourself on 4mg of Xanax a day, good luck getting off of it. You must taper extremely slow, that is counting on the fact that your doctor will actually care about saving you from withdrawal. Many doctors just simply remove your script all together, leaving you in an EXTREMELY desperate spot. Benzo withdrawal is worse than pretty much any habit forming substance I can think of and can even result in death through status epilepticus, a severe form of seizure. Benzo withdrawals can last for years if you do not properly taper off these type of medications.

I've tried Klonopin, Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Bromazepam, Midazolam, Temazepam, and Nitrazepam. They can be divided into two categories, those that are primarily hypnotic(helps put you to sleep), and those that are sedatives(calm you down). Besides that, some just start to act quicker or last longer than others. I prefer Klonopin because it is one of the most potent per mg, so you can usually get more per usefulness out of a script of them for what a doctor would be willing to prescribe than you would out of any other benzo, plus they taste like candy and you don't need water, just melt them under your tongue.

I've needed anywhere from 0.25mg to 4mg at a time throughout the years I've been on benzos.

Living Well
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 6/2/2012 4:33 AM (GMT -6)   
I loathe taking valium, but the day before yesty when I had such huge rage come up that I felt like I could kill some one (or at very least yell at them) merely because they were triggering my mental illness, I was more than happy to take half a valium and tame the anger tiger inside of me for that moment. The moment passed and I was fine.

I think if we are afraid of hurting ourselves or others because the emotions have become too intense, sedatives are an important tool to use.

As most people here know, I work relentlessly on healthy lifestyle and good meds and therapy to get myself to the best place I can be.

I'm very very sick, so I can really understand others who, despite using all their skills still have emotional fall outs. It doesn't give us the right to act out though, just more responsibility to manage it better, I think

Hope that helps,

Jade x

CailinGaelach
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 6/2/2012 12:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey there, ExProud,

Thought I might as well jump in and give you another perspective on these types of anti-anxiety meds. I was first prescribed Xanax about 20 yrs ago and have been on one form or another of benzodiazepines since.

I've heard all the horror stories and asked more than one doctor to help me come off of them. That's when I realized the vast difference of opinion doctors can have concerning them! So who do you listen to, I thought? For the most part, they did help, but I was afraid of possible addiction or the rebound anxiety I'd read about. The thing is, I have what's referred to as 'treatment-resistent' depression, along with a major anxiety disorder. Soooo, apparently, the latest concensus in these situations is that the doctor can use them because they at least offer some relief. Now, I've had a doctor who wanted me to take them as you've been prescribed: up to 4mg/day as needed. BUT, my most recent psychiatrist has a different take, suggesting I take them regularly, at the same times every day.-- Her reasoning is that, first, you stay ahead or on top of the anxiety (because it takes a while for them to work), and you learn to think of them as any medication you take regularly for a purpose. This, she feels, also reduces the potential for impulsively taking too much (because one can panic when the anxiety comes on quickly and overwhelms you). I'm sure there's a certain amount of a placebo effect with this methodology, but 'whatever works' is my mantra. So far it's worked pretty well for me.

...Still, it is worrisome when you know other doctors you respect who believe these are the worst kind of drug! I don't think there's any "actual" truth; it's more about the individual doctor's perspective. For example, a GP who feels this way about Ativan at the same time prescribed me Oxycodone for my fibro!! (I went through Hell once I developed a physiological dependence and had to go cold turkey to get off them! AND they're now off the market in Canada!) Like I said -- perspective.

The first thing is that you respect and trust your prescribing physician and that they're someone you can talk freely to about any concerns. The next is that only you know yourself and your body best, how long you've been sick and the importance of achieving/maintaining a decent level of functionality & quality of life. But, I admit, my worst fear is finding myself in a situation where a doctor refuses to prescribe them -- stories of the withdrawal terrify me!! There really needs to be some regulated consistency in prescribing policy...
...Until then, self-educate and stay aware, but remember that sometimes you just have to live a day at a time as best you can.
Fibromyalgia, CFS, possible MCS, Chronic Depression/Anxiety Disorder, Agoraphobia, PTSD ... But they're all connected & I'm working on them all - I will prevail!

ExProud
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 6/2/2012 6:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Very nice to hear more point of views on this. I just know that for most of this year, thist type of drug has been a must for me, without them I eventually wind up in a very dangerous state of mind. So I can only reason that it's better to accept whatever the risk, especially when it's the difference between wanting to live or not. There are bound do be critics of using them, but man I'm sure glad they're available and I've been able to use them - Otherwise - I just hate to think. . .

I've been fortunate enough to recover from my past episodes and then it was no issue quiting the rescue pills. I'm hopeful that that will once again be the case.
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