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!
.

@sady

I have had anxiety on and off all my life. I am 70 now and still riding my horse! I have been on Lorazapam for 38 years and it worked quite. well for that time. When I was told that there was a study on it and they found out that it might cause alshimers and I might
fall etc when I am older, I had a very bad episode of anxiety. I was scared (fight or flight) tention headache, couldn't sleep. I was a wreck. I found out my lorazapam didn't work as well as it did for the 38 years. Now that they have better antidepressants(they didn't in my younger years) My very compassionate new young Doctor put me on Effexor. It worked quite well and when I stabilized on it, then I was going to try and get off Lorazapam very very slowly. I don't have any of the other physical feelings I mentioned before, but I do have a dizzy feeling in my head. Not a falling down dizziness, but sort of that kind of feeling in my head ; I think it is withdrawal from the Lorazapam. The feeling is going away now when I take my next dose of Lorazapam, I have got each dose down to every 8 hours now. As I said in my article yesterday on how to taper off Avan again , I am on compounded Lorazapam (liquid) which I get at a pharmacy through my Doctor,

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I’m sorta in the same boat you are! Very scared as to what the future holds. I’m 67.

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I am not thinking of the future anymore . I am doing what my dogs, cats and horse do .;living one day at a time. I started tapering different ways and came down from 3MG to 2.5MG. with a dizzy feeling in my head (I think it is withdrawal) l can lye down or sit down without the dizzy feeling, but I stand and walk with the hated dizzy feeling. when I started the liquid lorazapam, I decided to go down 1ML every two months. My very good young new doctor agreed with me that I could do that. At 7AM I take 1.9ML, At 3PM I take 2ML and at !!PM I take ,4ML=4.3 ML and my dizziness is not as bad (some days I don"t have any). I suppose that when I get to the next two months my dizziness will be there again until my body gets use to the taper again. I said this in my other statement that the concentration of the compounded Lorazapam is .5MG per ML

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@ethanmcconkey

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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Unfortanately 99 % of Drs take people off way too fast .It's whatever is comfortable as lo g as you don't raise dose and are moving forward on tapering. My Dr k ows I'm tapering but leaves it up to me what amount is comfortable.

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If someone has been on benzos a short time like a month or two I believe a fast taper can be done

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@marena

Unfortanately 99 % of Drs take people off way too fast .It's whatever is comfortable as lo g as you don't raise dose and are moving forward on tapering. My Dr k ows I'm tapering but leaves it up to me what amount is comfortable.

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Hi, @marena – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Has it worked okay for you following the plan your doctor laid out where you taper the amount that is comfortable?

Have you experienced any side effects thus far?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @marena – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Has it worked okay for you following the plan your doctor laid out where you taper the amount that is comfortable?

Have you experienced any side effects thus far?

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Yes for sure I have had lots of withdrawels but nothing to severe and I have taken it very slowly. I stayed on half a mg for a year. It's been a long taper I was over 3 mg 2 yrs ago. And I'm down to .36 mg a day I went to compounding pharmacy to help taper and make the pills so I'm doing 10 % taper every 20 or 30 days. It's rough. 10 years ago I ook half a mg lorazepam for a year and had no problem comingoff it cutting pills in half then qtrs . Then when my dad died 3 yrs ago anxiety and insomnia set in and I unfortanately got back on lorazepam I asked for it cause it had helped before . it was a big mistake. I want off for good and will try cbd or other safe stuff for anxiety and or sleep. Thc has always helped too. But I can say the feeling of being happy is impossible on benzos. I remember how great I felt 9 yrs ago to be off it.

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@marena

Yes for sure I have had lots of withdrawels but nothing to severe and I have taken it very slowly. I stayed on half a mg for a year. It's been a long taper I was over 3 mg 2 yrs ago. And I'm down to .36 mg a day I went to compounding pharmacy to help taper and make the pills so I'm doing 10 % taper every 20 or 30 days. It's rough. 10 years ago I ook half a mg lorazepam for a year and had no problem comingoff it cutting pills in half then qtrs . Then when my dad died 3 yrs ago anxiety and insomnia set in and I unfortanately got back on lorazepam I asked for it cause it had helped before . it was a big mistake. I want off for good and will try cbd or other safe stuff for anxiety and or sleep. Thc has always helped too. But I can say the feeling of being happy is impossible on benzos. I remember how great I felt 9 yrs ago to be off it.

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Are you saying that the feeling of being happy is impossible on benzos because you feel neither high highs nor low lows when taking them, @marena, or for another reason?

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@marena

Yes for sure I have had lots of withdrawels but nothing to severe and I have taken it very slowly. I stayed on half a mg for a year. It's been a long taper I was over 3 mg 2 yrs ago. And I'm down to .36 mg a day I went to compounding pharmacy to help taper and make the pills so I'm doing 10 % taper every 20 or 30 days. It's rough. 10 years ago I ook half a mg lorazepam for a year and had no problem comingoff it cutting pills in half then qtrs . Then when my dad died 3 yrs ago anxiety and insomnia set in and I unfortanately got back on lorazepam I asked for it cause it had helped before . it was a big mistake. I want off for good and will try cbd or other safe stuff for anxiety and or sleep. Thc has always helped too. But I can say the feeling of being happy is impossible on benzos. I remember how great I felt 9 yrs ago to be off it.

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I have been taking .5mg daily during the covid but have noticed that I have no energy and am so sluggish during the day. Since I am taking a relatively low dose can I just stop?

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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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I have read in several places to decrease by 25% but recently read that tapering by 5-10% is better! Good luck!

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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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The slower the taper the better. This isn’t a race. It’s all about your health and wellbeing. Google the Ashton Manual. It’s a great tapering method and allows you to hold if your going through a rough spot. Also be careful with the tradozone. One can become dependent on this drug also and have to taper.

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@jean55

I have read in several places to decrease by 25% but recently read that tapering by 5-10% is better! Good luck!

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I tapered off successfully. The smaller the doses you taper the better. Do not reduce more until you feel comfortable with the current dose.
Good luck!
Ainsleigh

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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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I have been taking 8 mg for two years. How should I taper?

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