Protracted Benzo withdrawal

Posted by aarniek @aarniek, Oct 30, 2016

Taken of 8mg of Ativan daily in 3 weeks and suffering terribly nearly 4 years now! Unable to walk ,have insane muscle tightness,no memory,tinnius is unbearable,unable to picture things in my mind ! After 45 months it’s worse than ever and 2 neurologists have tried only medications which all made me even worse!

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@sears

The problem is you will become dependent on the Lexapro. Antidepressants cause a ton of problems. Tapering can be a nightmare. The doctors got us into a mess with the Benzos and keeping us in a mess with the antidepressants.

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You said it! I have been on one drug after another but consistently taking Clonazepam to taper. I was taking Mirtazapine, Ropinirole, Hydroxyzine and can't remember when I got off and prescribed others. Originally just taking the 6MG of Lorazepam for RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME which was a God Sent for me until after someone told me it was a dangerous DRUG.

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How old are you? Everything I have read says age and length of time taking it can make withdrawal very difficult. Did you taper off of it?

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@rpcollier

I am not sure if restless leg syndrome and paresthesia is related to discontinuing Xanax and Ssri this past year. I was on them for 15 years. Only taken as prescribed for sleep. I decided to discontinue under my doctors care. Now 8 months later I have itchiness on various places but especially my ankle most noticeably at night. I was prescribed Gabapentin but I cannot tolerate the side effects. Does anyone know if this is a protracted withdrawal symptom of Xanax or Zoloft?

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Yes, I have experienced restless leg syndrome during tapering of Valium under my doctor's care.

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What kind of side effects do you get from Gabapentin? We’re you on a high dose? I’m on it to but I just cut my dose down.

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@hhjgreene

What kind of side effects do you get from Gabapentin? We’re you on a high dose? I’m on it to but I just cut my dose down.

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Makes me dizzy. I try to work out at the gym and have no strength or stamina. I was only taking 100 mg at night. Just didn't feel
Myself. Decided to discontinue on my own and started wearing compression socks at night and taking magnesium. Both helped me with the rls. Now it's the pins and needles that bother me. They are itchy sensations that keep me
Awake. I Use ice pack
On my feet when in bed and that helps.

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@lisalucier

Hi, @debra51 – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You sound familiar with being in a process of weaning off a medication and realistic about it taking some time.

When your doctor gave you 6 months to taper off the lorazepam (Ativan), did he by chance give you a tapering schedule? If not, could you call his office to let them know what you are experiencing and get some input on how he wants you to taper from .25?

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I am being treated by a PSYCHIATRIST AT UCSF Langley Porter San Francisco for 8 months to taper off Lorazepam which I was prescribed for t least 10 years and have zero schedule for the TAPERING. I started Langley Porter at .50 Clonazepam and tapered myself to .25. I am having so many problems and I want off this poison. I was going to taper to 1/4 of the .25 tomorrow. What advice can I get?

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@jakedduck1

@debra51
Hi Debra,
Not sure if a compounding pharmacy would be an option you’d be interested in or not. If so, they can prepare medications to any formulation. You may want to mention your concerns about titrating down to your doctor.
I have a suspension however he might have you reduce your dose by half which is to much considering how long you’ve been on it. If it were me, I’d ask to have a Compounding pharmacy reduce your dose by no more than 10% and take that dose for 2-4 weeks then reduce by 10% until your off.
Tell your doctor you’ve already cut it by approximately 20% but had withdrawal symptoms and need to reduce more slowly.
Will be thinking about you,
Jake

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I was working with my Primary Care Doctor to get me off Lorazepam which I had been taking 6mg Daily for 10 years for Restless Leg Syndrome until someone told me it was a dangerous drug. My Doctor started me on .50 mg of Clonazepam at which time UCSF LANGLEY PORTER in San Francisco. I was never given a tapering schedule and I started tapering myself. After 8 months I am on .25 and desperately want off this poison. I know taking such a high dose for such a long time makes a huge difference but I need HELP ON TAPERING. Everyone is giving me different answers. Need some advice PEASE. LAURINE

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I just want to offer some hope to all of you who are suffering withdrawal side effects from benzodiazepines and Ssri's. I am finally feeling well. The RLS and tactile sensations on my feet and legs have subsided. It just took time. I am now sleeping well and feeling more confident that I have passed through the worst of this. I have stopped drinking alcohol as well. I believe that the rls was benzo withdrawal and the tactile pins and needles were from ssri withdrawal. Listen to your body. I refused to take Gabapentin or other heavy duty meds and just gave my body time to heal. I had been on benzos and ssris for 15 years. I am 73. Thank you and be kind to yourselves. Keep the faith.

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@rpcollier

Makes me dizzy. I try to work out at the gym and have no strength or stamina. I was only taking 100 mg at night. Just didn't feel
Myself. Decided to discontinue on my own and started wearing compression socks at night and taking magnesium. Both helped me with the rls. Now it's the pins and needles that bother me. They are itchy sensations that keep me
Awake. I Use ice pack
On my feet when in bed and that helps.

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@rpcollier, @lindasmith1222, and all….You mentioned RLS. I have a serious case and was put on an Iron + C replacement supplement by my Sleep doctor. Apparently, this is a rather newish finding that we often have low iron. Thie simply required a specific ferrous blood test, then I was to either have an infusion or begin the supplement. I was extremely low and began the supplement, Vitron C. You need the addition of C to help with the absorption of the iron. I regularly have this bloodwork and am very slowly improving. I am also taking a magnesium supplement and Requip prescription. Man! What improvements. I still move around too much, but this has been a life-changer for me.

Perhaps give it a look and see if any of this makes sense for you.
Blessings, elizabeth

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@laurine7

I am being treated by a PSYCHIATRIST AT UCSF Langley Porter San Francisco for 8 months to taper off Lorazepam which I was prescribed for t least 10 years and have zero schedule for the TAPERING. I started Langley Porter at .50 Clonazepam and tapered myself to .25. I am having so many problems and I want off this poison. I was going to taper to 1/4 of the .25 tomorrow. What advice can I get?

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@laurine7, @jakedduck1, and all…This is such an important issue and so often not directed well by physicians/medical staff.

My son, 53, was on Klonopin for a few years. He went to a new psychiatrist, zoom appt ONLY, and this doc increased the Klonopin, increased Seroquel, and then at one visit stopped refills on Klonopin. She may have decided he was a 'druggie' or something. I have no idea. He is NOT, but she may not have read his medical history! He is suffering from extreme pain 24/7, has PTSD from 20 years of agony and all that goes with it. She was completely negligent, should have her license revoked and she almost killed him.

He ended up a month+ later, on the kitchen floor having seizures, unconscious. After I found him, I called rescue and he was in the Mayo Hospital Florida for a week. On 5 IVs at one time, going full bore to save him, flush his system and calm his heart. He almost died. He almost died!!!!! Please read this and understand with what you are dealing.

Under NO circumstances should you, based on my experiences with my son, stop any of these types of meds nor taper them unsupervised. And extremely gradually. He had uncontrolled heart issues, which is not in his history, was extremely paranoid, had nightmares, and had inner voices telling him to do things….he is not schizophrenic. This was drug-induced.

He had to return to the hospital a couple of times, with the same symptoms, just not unconscious. It has taken a year of tapering with his new psychiatrist to get him almost back to where he was before stopping the Klonopin. He is gradually increasing Cymbalta and it is helping. No side effects. She increased the Seroquel at night for sleep assistance, as the pain wakes him every 4 hours otherwise. It's helping w/o apparent side effects. The last line of her text to me w/medication changes, I handle his drugs for him, at his request, as it can be hard for him to keep on top of the drugs and increases his anxiety level. The last line was: 'Little by little.

That's the important secret of this frightening medication. Little by little, extremely slowly taper off, with supervision and someone near to help if you get into difficulty. I almost lost my dear son due to the stopping of this drug by a medical person who should know better. I knew better and I have no medical degree. Little by little and don't give up. He is much improved in many ways, but adding the Cymbalta and other meds have helped.

Blessings as you figure this out. Your brain is in shock right now and must be treated properly to be well.
elizabeth

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@ess77

@rpcollier, @lindasmith1222, and all….You mentioned RLS. I have a serious case and was put on an Iron + C replacement supplement by my Sleep doctor. Apparently, this is a rather newish finding that we often have low iron. Thie simply required a specific ferrous blood test, then I was to either have an infusion or begin the supplement. I was extremely low and began the supplement, Vitron C. You need the addition of C to help with the absorption of the iron. I regularly have this bloodwork and am very slowly improving. I am also taking a magnesium supplement and Requip prescription. Man! What improvements. I still move around too much, but this has been a life-changer for me.

Perhaps give it a look and see if any of this makes sense for you.
Blessings, elizabeth

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I did not have low iron. I was aware of that issue by listening to a podcast from Cleveland Clinic/Dr.Andy Berkowski. So glad you are getting better. I highly recommend listening to Dr. Berkowski. Details the triggers, home remedies and treatment.

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@rpcollier

I did not have low iron. I was aware of that issue by listening to a podcast from Cleveland Clinic/Dr.Andy Berkowski. So glad you are getting better. I highly recommend listening to Dr. Berkowski. Details the triggers, home remedies and treatment.

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@tpcollier, and all. Thank you for the referral to Dr. Berkowski. I enjoyed much of his discussions. I sent an email via portal to my Mayo sleep doctor re the issues I'm now experiencing. It's time to retest my ferrous blood level and I'll be interested to know if I've improved. It appears the iron infusions are a big improvement in treatment. Also, he and others mentioned the use of small doses of opioids, hydrocodone, for some of the best results for severe RLS,

I'll let you know if there's a change, as in the Requip losing the ability to help. We'll see.
Blessings, elizabeth

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