Author Topic: please help me plan my ATIVAN taper (currently very unstable for 3 months)  (Read 762 times)

[Buddie]

Thank you so much [...] for your sympathetic approach ... I can feel your listening ear  :smitten:
Yes, I am acquainted with the effects and consequences of benzo ... have been delving deep into respective literature. Just the general knowledge is so underdeveloped and stereotypical. The hardest thing is to fight with loved ones with arguments about why you don't trust doctors and a simplistic approach.

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.”

- John Joseph Powell
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[Buddie]

Wow, PB, love that quote, really full of wisdom. Please continue to feel my listening ear, it is listening! I have some friends who understand and some who can’t, won’t or don’t. It’s up to the. We know the truth don’t we.
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]

[...], how are you going now, post taper? How long were you coming off the lorazepam? Were your symptoms also totally unendurable? How did you manage?
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]

Hi PB, my taper was about one year. Yes, many day were unendurable but many were just difficult. I managed because I had no choice. I was feeling so unwell before tapering so the only route to good health was to get off the drug. I had massive support from my family which was essential and still is. I am taking Mirtazipine at night which really helps with sleep although I would like to reduce that as it caused big weight gain. Yesterday I did too much and I’m exhausted today, been in bed mostly.
How are you feeling today? Hope it’s a better one for you.
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]

Hi [...]! Were you taking your daily dose just once a day throughout your tapering-off journey? You said once that you were similar in this regard? I was always using Ativan according to my need (feeling extremely tensed or in panic attacks or some period during the nights I could not find any rest and my heart was pounding wildly). My system is not used to a planned scheduled taking medication so maybe it is for that I am having problems trying to divide my daily dosage into smaller sections and take them at least 2 a day (but smaller than my current 0,8 mg won't give any relief from symptoms). I figured out that the general idea for tapering off of Ativan is distributing the daily dosage into 3-5 intakes.

I'm having constants sx, every day is slightly different, but neck, shoulder, and head muscle spams, total stiffness, terrible head pressure, arrhythmias, tinnitus, and some kind of GI issues are ever-present (chronic).

Currently, my idea is to read and process all the posts on the Ativan support group thread (1049 pages ;)) to be able to extract the impression on the most effective approach that works in the long run.
It is such a pity so many people have to deal with this sad area instead of researching something where our passion draws us (for me the area of artificial intelligence and decision making). so frustrated ... months, years passing by in this impotent state

Take care, may Beauty be your guide ...

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]

Hi PB, I also was taking Lorazepam as required but mostly 2-4mg per day and usually one of those in the middle of the night to get back to sleep. I cleared all commitments and stuck to 2mg per day to get a bit stable, this took a few weeks. If I needed a pill to do something, I didn’t do it! I then reduced 0.1mg per week or 2 weeks as I could. At this point I was dosing twice a day. I never did need to dose 3 or 4 times a day as I know others have done……we’re all different. Once I got down to 0.4mg I dosed just once a day at lunchtime and I did feel the effect. I was taking Mirtazapine which helped tremendously with sleep so didn’t need the night dose of Lorazepam. I carried on reducing by 0.1mg every 2 weeks until it got a silly amount to weigh on the scales! At around 0.2mg, I no longer craved my dose and I no longer felt any effect from taking it.
Hope that’s helpful but you must do what suits your body and your life.
I saw much beauty on my morning walk, sending it to you…….
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]

[...], thank you so much for the details. I am so cheerful for you because I can feel how your freedom feels  :smitten:

As far as my situation ... I really don't know how to proceed from this point. I started taking my daily dose around 2 pm, after my morning nervousness calms a bit and before head pressure and muscle stiffness become unbearable. Some days it was better while doing this, but now I feel I just don't get the same relieving effect as before (when I was taking the evening dose). I have terrible vertigo and dizziness going on for a week (maybe connected to pms period when cortisol levels because of this state of w/d spike). I also suffered a great amount of stress after my check-up appointment with the psychiatrist - I told him I am dependent on Ativan and that I probably reached tolerance last year, because Im having w/d symptoms (like head pressure, tachycardia, arrhythmias etc. etc.) for the last 2 years. He was laughing and making jokes, like you can't get dependent from 1- 1,5 mg.
He wrote a strange medical report for which my personal doctor said won't convince the medical insurance commission to extend my sick leave. She said like this is not going anywhere, did your pych suggest hospitalization (for what he thinks is anxiety and depression because of his simple logics that I don't have energy - how could I be energetic being in such terrible agony for so long????)? I said I was benzo dependent and she just didn't care.
So the same day after these events just before taking my daily dose I was sitting while talking to a friend on a phone and I experienced very severe dizziness with involuntary head movement (one movement) and I felt like I was not present for 2 seconds. And with total muscle stiffness in the neck, shoulders (this is always present for the last 3 months). I was terribly afraid this could be like a small seizure??? Was reading articles on seizures after that and sometimes they look like some kind of vertigo. In the evening I called around trying to get some advice from psych emergencies on what to do, where to get valid medical proof I am benzo dependent. One doctor (she was just from this addiction center) said I have to wait till my appointment in the center for addictions and confirmed that this is being in a severe tolerance crisis. But in the meantime, I may lose my job because of careless doctors.
So striving with a dreadful spine, shoulder, neck stiffness (feel like a disabled person), constant head pressure, dizziness, stomach cramps, sweating, changing temperature, driving me crazy tinnitus, electrical vibration in my head and legs, exhaustion, ears pressure, pain.

(...) "Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.


It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul." (W. E. Henley, INVICTUS).

To all the Invicti out there ....
« Last Edit: March 14, 2022, 01:24:40 pm by [Buddie] »
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]

Hi PB,

You obviously aren’t feeling stable so it might be wise to hold on this dose until you feel more in control. I don’t think I ever really felt well at all during my taper but I sort of got used to feeling grim and acceptance was a key factor. I was willing to give up a year of my life to suffering if it meant I could be healthy afterwards! I am retired so it was so much easier to make this choice.
I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to deal with all this and worrying about losing your job and your income.
If you have been on 0.8mg each day for several weeks, it’s unlikely that you are at any risk of seizures. All these horrid symptoms are due to the chemicals in your body trying to normalise without the help of the drug and it takes time….and then more time……..until we are totally fed up!……and then more time……
Time is your friend.

Yes, you can become dependent on a dose of 1-1.5mg. Don’t forget that is equivalent to 10-15mg Valium.
Hugs and Prayers
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 second [...]'s opinion that it's unlikely you had a seizure, I've read many members experience this symptom, please don't add a seizure to your list of fears, this process is all about fear so we have to push back on it to stay sane.

I'm so very sorry for how you've been treated by the medical community, the lack of compassion by the doctor who actually laughed at your situation makes me incredibly angry.  Please know we understand what you're going through.  :therethere:
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 am tapering Ativan as well, 2mg to 1.25 mg so far and I suggest splitting your dose into 4 doses per day as Ativan wears off at 6-8 hour intervals (no doc tells you this). But I was told bu a nurse that I was having inter-dose withdrawals because I was taking my doses too far apart.

I also take magnesium aspartate 400 mg which is clinically proven to alleviate w/d and dependence on benzos.

I also take CBD 20MG AM and 20MG PM which is helping me tremendously with anxiety as I begin move closer to and past this last MG of Ativan.

UPDATE: My attempt at switching to Valium was unsuccessful! Yuck  - my body said NO!

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.