Tapering off of Lorazepam (Ativan)

Posted by healthlady22 @healthlady22, Feb 5, 2019

Has anybody successfully managed to successfully wean off of Lorazepam?
If so how was it done?
And if it was by way of switching to other drugs, were you then able to taper off of those entirely under a doctor's guidance?
My husband has been on Lorazepam for 16 years
He did well for 14 years, but dragged his feet about trying to withdraw while he was feeling better.
In May he had a relapse of anxiety, and insomnia, with brain fog, heart palpitations, and more.
Currently he's doing better, thinking better, but still feels like crap a large part of the time, can't sleep without the drug, can't nap.and still struggles with anxiety.
At this point, I believe it's the drug that is actually causing the problem. Currently he's doing 1 mg at bedtime and 3/4 mg when he wakes up at 2:30 am.
I know it takes 2 years for the brains GABA receptors to normalize after taking Benzodiazepines.
Also know it's really hard to withdraw, has to be done extremely slowly, and the side effects are exactly the same as the symptoms it is meant to help.
My goal is to eventually wean him off of all drugs as functional health tests show they block his nutritional absorption and may be damaging his intestinal lining. I would like to be able to repair his health using nutrition, supplements, and neurotransmitter amino acids.
All feedback is welcomed!
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I was on up to 8 mg daily and blacking out suffering 3 concussions and broken bones so I told my neurologist I wanted to stop it. He switched me to Valium,40 mg,week one,20 week two,10 week 4 and 5 mg week five, then none ! Now over 6 years later I cannot walk more than a few feet due to muscle spasticity ,have severe head pressure,loud tinnitus and the worst thing,I have no long term memory! I tell you this because I am sure it was being taken off in a few weeks that is responsible so if he stops ,he must taper off for at least a year ,and as for me I don't expect to survive this cold turkey withdrawal as there is nothing that doctors can give me to help!

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Thanks so much for the warning, and WOW, what a horrible experience you have had. Prior to this was warned that one has to taper off very gradually,, and your testimonial just reinforces that. Recently I learned that Lorazepam comes in a liquid form that makes it easier to withdraw in very tiny increments that you can measure in a dropper. Okay, so now I know what to definitely NOT do regardless of what a physician might suggest.

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@aarniek

I was on up to 8 mg daily and blacking out suffering 3 concussions and broken bones so I told my neurologist I wanted to stop it. He switched me to Valium,40 mg,week one,20 week two,10 week 4 and 5 mg week five, then none ! Now over 6 years later I cannot walk more than a few feet due to muscle spasticity ,have severe head pressure,loud tinnitus and the worst thing,I have no long term memory! I tell you this because I am sure it was being taken off in a few weeks that is responsible so if he stops ,he must taper off for at least a year ,and as for me I don't expect to survive this cold turkey withdrawal as there is nothing that doctors can give me to help!

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aarniek, you might be interested to look at this link. It's taken me a long time to finally track down information on the nutritional depletion caused by the sort of drugs that you took, and that my husband is dealing with. I suggest that you and others who may come along and read this thread look at this link and the vitamins he described. I might also add a suggestion for you to try taking high quality desiccated liver capsules, as it's possible the complete complex of B vitamins and amino acids in them could make a difference for you over a period of time. From the experience of a friend with MS I was able to observe, I know it is actually possible for nerves to regenerate with the right nutrients, and the sensation for her was one of little tiny electric shocks as they did so. Radiant Life has a highly recommended form of desiccated liver.
https://www.optimallivingdynamics.com/blog/7-important-nutrients-depleted-by-psychiatric-drugs-antidepressants-antipsychotics-stimulants-benzodiazepines-induced-guide-vitamins-medications

Liked by southwind

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Anytime someone is considering taking/ adding a supplement best to speak with one’s physician first. My input.

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I have been taking 2mg of lorazepam to treat anxiety for about 12 years and have decided to start tapering off due to changes in my cognitive functioning. I have cut back from 2mg a day to 1.5. I take it first thing in the morning and feel ok for most of the day. But later in the day like around 6pm I start feeling anxious. I am able to sleep with the help of trazadone. But I wake around 3am feeling very anxious and can't get back to sleep. I am wondering if I am trying to taper off too fast. Maybe I should taper slower like from 2mg to 1.75.

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I have been taking 2mg of lorazepam for about 12 years and would like to stop. How fast should I taper off. I tried to taper to 1.5 but started feeling anxious in the evening.

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Hi @brandman48 that must be frustrating that the lorazepam is causing cognitive functioning changes. You may have noticed I moved your post to this discussion on tapering off of lorazepam so that you can connect with others who may have similar experiences. Simply click VIEW & REPLY in your email notification to get to your post.

I'd like to tag fellow Connect members @healthlady22 @aarniek and @parus may be able to offer you support.

Back to you @brandman48, have you discussed this with your doctor? It is always best to taper off of a medication under Doctor supervision.

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@brandman48

I have been taking 2mg of lorazepam to treat anxiety for about 12 years and have decided to start tapering off due to changes in my cognitive functioning. I have cut back from 2mg a day to 1.5. I take it first thing in the morning and feel ok for most of the day. But later in the day like around 6pm I start feeling anxious. I am able to sleep with the help of trazadone. But I wake around 3am feeling very anxious and can't get back to sleep. I am wondering if I am trying to taper off too fast. Maybe I should taper slower like from 2mg to 1.75.

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Hi, @brandman48 – I wanted to join @ethanmcconkey in welcoming you to Mayo Clinic Connect. Though we are not medical professionals on Connect, I think that other patients who have taken this medication may have some thoughts for your tapering process. @marazion @jakedduck1 @motormouth79 @cdcc @nycmom @smilie @cielo may have some thoughts to share about the tapering process from lorazepam (Ativan), as they have mentioned this medication or have other experience with tapering off medications.

What kinds of cognitive functioning changes were you having, brandman48? If you've not already contacted your prescribing doctor, he or she would likely want to know about any side effects you were experiencing and also help you with a taper plan. Do you have a taper plan that your physician has suggested?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @brandman48 – I wanted to join @ethanmcconkey in welcoming you to Mayo Clinic Connect. Though we are not medical professionals on Connect, I think that other patients who have taken this medication may have some thoughts for your tapering process. @marazion @jakedduck1 @motormouth79 @cdcc @nycmom @smilie @cielo may have some thoughts to share about the tapering process from lorazepam (Ativan), as they have mentioned this medication or have other experience with tapering off medications.

What kinds of cognitive functioning changes were you having, brandman48? If you've not already contacted your prescribing doctor, he or she would likely want to know about any side effects you were experiencing and also help you with a taper plan. Do you have a taper plan that your physician has suggested?

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I have been experiencing forgetfulness mostly but also some confusion at times.

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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@brandman48

I have been experiencing forgetfulness mostly but also some confusion at times.

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I have adjusted my taper from 2mg down to 1.75mg. This seems to be working better.

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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@lisalucier

Hi, @brandman48 – I wanted to join @ethanmcconkey in welcoming you to Mayo Clinic Connect. Though we are not medical professionals on Connect, I think that other patients who have taken this medication may have some thoughts for your tapering process. @marazion @jakedduck1 @motormouth79 @cdcc @nycmom @smilie @cielo may have some thoughts to share about the tapering process from lorazepam (Ativan), as they have mentioned this medication or have other experience with tapering off medications.

What kinds of cognitive functioning changes were you having, brandman48? If you've not already contacted your prescribing doctor, he or she would likely want to know about any side effects you were experiencing and also help you with a taper plan. Do you have a taper plan that your physician has suggested?

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They just say to taper off very slowly. I am also taking Buspirone 7.5 mil tablets

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@brandman48

I have adjusted my taper from 2mg down to 1.75mg. This seems to be working better.

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Hi, @brandman48 – You mentioned that the 1.75 mg seems to be working better. Are you noticing fewer side effects at that dosage, or are you saying that a tiny step down is working better?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @brandman48 – You mentioned that the 1.75 mg seems to be working better. Are you noticing fewer side effects at that dosage, or are you saying that a tiny step down is working better?

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yes, the smaller step down seems to be working better. No side affects so far.

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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Been taking 2mg of Ativan for 12 years. Recently started tapering down to 1.75 with ok results. I have now changed the time I take it. Was taking in the morning but now taking once a day in the evening around 7 with good results. .no side effects. Will soon taper down to 1.5mg.

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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Any comments on how timing affects this. Is it better to take in the am or pm? Should I split the 1.75mg that I am now taking. Right I am taking it all at one time.

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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