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Too quick a sub, too fast a taper? Doc says don't read forums. I'm scared.


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I casually took Lorazepam at .5mg doses as a sleep aid off and on in January and february, then every night for a couple weeks in late March. I experienced severe withdrawal symptoms for a week in March and had no idea it was connected to the Lorazepam. I took it just a few times if at all in April, when my withdrawals became totally unbearable. By the end of April I was seeing odolaryngologists and neurologists because because I had no idea why I was dizzy, nauseous, and so light sensitive. Even apart from light sensitivity, it hurt to use my eyes, to glance from one object to another. That was the worst symptom. I have not experienced any anxiety or anything like that.


Since I put two and two together in early May, I have kept my withdrawals at bay by taking .25mg in the morning and a .25mg in the afternoon. Now I am almost a month and a half into taking this dosage every single day. My doctor wants me to switch over to Clonazepam for its longer half-life and wean myself over the next month, beginning with .5mg of Clonazepam per day for 7 days, then .25mg per day for 7 days and so on.


Last week I forgot to take my afternoon dose of lorazepam. The next day I sat shielding my eyes almost the entire day. Unfortunately I have never been so busy, so behind in my work and under so much pressure. I'm terrified to start the process. I'm worried that my doctor doesn't understand how sensitive this is, that maybe my taper must be longer. I'm scared to even try the Clonopin. What if it's too powerful? I just want to be back to normal.


Well, I just took .25mg of Clonazepam. About to go to bed. Hopefully someone can chime in tomorrow morning. Good night friends.

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The sooner you get off this stuff, the easier/shorter your withdrawal will likely be.  Those pills work wonders for a while.  I'm sure you slept well.  I used to swear by klonopin.  But for many of us, the pills detrimentally affect our neurological systems and we become dependent/addicted.  So use for longer than a couple of weeks is discouraged (even by some of the companies that manufacture them).  There are numerous refereed journal articles that share that conclusion.  Too bad that your doctor didn't bother to read them.


The good news is that it hasn't caused you anxiety yet.  The bad news is that your sleep may suffer for a while as you withdraw from the drug.  The light sensitivity is definitely a nuisance; I wore sunglasses a lot and turned down the brightness (and the blue pixels) on my computer.  The sensitivity and the nausea will resolve, but it may take a while.


How fast to taper?  As quickly as your body will allow you to taper.  There's no one way to do this, but you probably want to start tapering soon to minimize the drug's lock on you.  You haven't used benzos all that long, so you may be able to taper pretty quickly.  Nobody can predict how quickly - it all depends on your physiology.  Maybe try a 10% cut and see how you feel in a week.  Then adjust the tapering rate as needed.  Changes in Ativan dosing will be felt pretty quickly (usually within a day), but klonopin has a much longer half-life, so it may take 2-3 days for the full effects of a cut to be felt.


Don't read forums?!?  If your doctor stayed up to date on this kind of info, you wouldn't have to read forums.  Sometimes the arrogance of the medical profession astounds me.


Good luck!

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Welcome knut. It is scary and it is unfair and incomprehensible- all of it. It is also not permanent!


Have you tried doing a direct taper from lorazepam? There is a thread here Ativan Tapering Thread for people trying that approach. It might be a good first thing to try because you are a relatively short term user and a crossover and klonopin taper is not a straightforward thing to embark upon. Some find that tapering the short half life benzos is too difficult and so they switch to klonopin or valium. I think asking your doctor about the direct taper might be a good first step for you, starting with the 10% cuts that badsocref suggested.


Also, while you are on the forum please take some time to Create a Signature. This will help other members understand your history so they will be better able to support you.

Go to the top of the page and select Profile, then choose Forum Profile, insert drug history/timelines into the text box and click Change Profile.


Years ago I was also told to avoid forums by my doctor. I have found this particular forum to be full of caring experienced people who can help.



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