Author Topic: please help me plan my ATIVAN taper (currently very unstable for 3 months)  (Read 761 times)

[Buddie]

With all my heart and being want to come off Ativan (currently taking 0,8 mg - since December 2020 reduced the dosage from 1 mg to 0,8 mg and got intolerable symptoms of everyday stomach serious cramps, diarrhea for 2 months in a row, total muscle stiffness and pain (my neck, shoulder, spine, also burning), vibrating head and whole body, always present pulsatile tinnitus, blood pressure elevated (it is my primal fear), hellish head pressure, squeezing burning, palpitations (every morning upon waking up) and  also during the day (some days the whole day), heart skipping beats, exchanging fever and hypothermia, heat in the head and in the body in the morning, flashing light in my left eye, different pains coming and going away, nausea, vertigo, face flushing with adrenaline, ear pressure, chest tightness (from time to time), breathing ocd (constant unease breathing, squeezing breathing muscles), internal unrest (like akathisia), thumbs numbness and without circulation ...
 Been using Ativan on- off for 2,5 years, since September 2020 been taking daily (1 - 1,5 mg, rare times 2x 1 mg) according to needs (for terrible squeezing head pain, panic attacks and blood pressure). Feeling I got some autonomic nervous system dysregulation. Also taking (7,5 mg of Ambien for years for my chronical insomnia). My plan first to quit Ativan, then Ambien.

I am probably doing it wrong, I suffer immense agony all day till after 1 - 1,5 hours after I have taken the pill. Then I get some relief.
I would so much appreciate your suggestions how to do a taper, how to divide the doses, because taking it once a day will not get me anywhere.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2022, 08:29:36 pm by [Buddie] »
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[Buddie]

You're on two short acting drugs, I wonder if the Ambien is causing you more problems than the Ativan is at the moment?

How often do you dose the Ativan? 

Would you consider tapering the Ambien first?

Is there a possibility of combining the Ativan and Ambien and switching them to Valium then tapering from that?
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[Buddie]

Thank you so much for your feedback, [...].

I think that Ativan is to be blamed for these horrific issues, I know long term I have to come off Ambien too, but right now trying so hard to have at least some sleep (some rest and peace from the symptoms9 as I am a chronic insomniac.

I would not dare to taper off both drugs at the same time, so first Ativan, then Ambien. Messing with my already fragile sleep would lead me to sure vicious cycle.
Also extremely hesitant to switch to Valium because it means a new agent that I may not tolerate and already so very unstable now for months. Waiting for an appointment at addiction ambulant (early April) don't expect much there though .... also my prescribing doctor does not see the symptoms as a problem, he is attributing them to my diagnosis (underlying anxiety disorder), which is an additional problem.

Currently taking .8mg of Ativan in the late afternoon (suffering the whole day immensely) ... also tried dividing this dose in two (morning and evening), but they were too small to have any relieving effect so I finished taking more in a total that day.
Ambien around 7 mg.

Have a blissful day  ;)
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[Buddie]

Hi [...], I understand about you needing to take all your dose at once to have any relieving affect, I was a bit like that in my taper. Iím wondering, instead of suffering all day, how about taking your Ativan in the morning. You might then be able to have a more peaceful day then as your symptoms ramp up in the evening you will have your Ambien.  When is your worst time of day? Believe me, Ativan definitely causes anxiety, donít let anyone convince you otherwise, itís well documented. Wishing you well and let me know if I can help.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

[...], I was an unhappy Ativan user so I think I know what you're suffering through. I think it's a versiion of interdose withdrawal. I had to dose Ativan 4 x a day to keep on an "even keel". I don't know how you are managing with dosing once a da in the p.m. Can you split your .8 mgs up into several doses? And take one of the doses in the morning? That ought to make your days more bearable. Lordy, why suffer?

I crossed over from 1.5 mgs of Ativan to 15 mgs of valium. It was a much smoother taper, but I understand if you don't want to do that. Hmmm . . . you could try it, though. Hand to heart, it's so much easier!

It's no surprise that you have insomnia -- your Ambien is no longer working. Mine stopped working also, and I tapered off it after I got rid of my Ativan/Valium. In the meantime it's another pesky drug that you are likely in withdrawal from. I feel for you.

You're in a pickle for sure, but you can help yourself by getting some Ativan on board during the daytime imo. Then you can address the insomnia. There's an  insomnia thread (or mabe a few) on here. People try different "fixes" for their insomnia and some of them even work.

Hope this has helped,

[...]
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[Buddie]

Hi PB
I agree with [...], crossing to Valium for me was way better. Ativan suffering was horrible for me.
I would consider it if I were you
[...]
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[Buddie]

Thank you beautiful community for your very informative feedback.
I am trying to take my dosage in the early afternoon now but till the evening it wears off and I'm having unstable sleep for that now (nightmares, heart racing, terrible muscle squeezing, suffocating).
Was having a terrible week ... an emotional breakdown from my mother because she thinks that what I have is a kind of ego thing and that I can fix with strong will and talk therapy and she is posing ultimatums ... my BP raised to dangerous levels as usually in such conditions.

So I really don't know how to proceed from now on ... the symptoms are extreme and ever-present, so unpredictable.
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[Buddie]

I believe stress to be the worst thing for us, it ramps up our symptoms to extreme levels, I'm so sorry your mother doesn't understand what you're dealing with and she sounds unwilling to try.

I'm at a loss as to what to suggest, are you able to function at all, are you losing a lot of weight?
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[Buddie]

Hi [...], thanks for your warm words.

No, I am not able to function, for the last 4-5 months mostly in my room just listening to yt music, praying, breathing, searching for solutions, meditating, losing ground ... some days I force myself to go to the near woods but suffer like hell while walking (intolerable head pressure, tachycardia, nausea, vertigo, stomach cramps). Yes, due to stomach issues (cramps, diarrhea, hard to eat) for the last 4 months I have lost a lot of weight.

And also my long-term sick leave has ended and I just don't have any force to convince doctors that this thing is due to benzo ... and nobody understands (and is willing to) what I am going through (except some long-distance friends who support me via internet messages with lovely words and pictures). My close ones are either sending me to doctors (ad nauseam when I hear this advice) or to work on myself more (talk therapies, changing attitudes ... but I am 110 % sure this is from benzo and z-drug neuro damage). My prescribing doctor is a chemist and he would put me on all kinds of meds lifelong without any doubts (I stopped discussing the dangers of drugs with him because there is no use, just stress for me ...).
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Ah, [...], I feel for you, I really do. Itís bad enough without the pressure of returning to work just at the moment. Iím glad you have some friends who understand even if they are not near. Your symptoms are not your fault, they are due to chemical changes in the way your neuro- receptors work. Donít give yourself a hard time, be kind to yourself as you would if you were convalescing from a long illness. Itís tough but hang in there.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.