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Intro-need to get off Ativan


[Mi...]

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Hello

I've been on Ativan for over 10 years, with the dose gradually increasing.  I am an anxious person but I take it for sleep, one dose, 3.5 mg, before bed. It's not working any longer, and I hate it and what it's done to me. I never even gave my kids Tylenol when they were growing up! I hate medications of all kinds and after trusting my doctor so many years ago I'm now physically addicted to this monster. I have severe insomnia when I try to taper.  I'll read here and post questions as needed.

Just want to say I'm terribly scared and I hope to find a local doctor who understand and can help me be free of this drug.  I want to live a normal life where I can sleep without relying on this terrible drug. At this point I've lost hope- I'm feeling pretty depressed.

Thanks,

Mindy

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Hi  :) Welcome to BenzoBuddies!

 

I am glad you found us today. You will find plenty of support here. Unfortunately after taking them for a long period of time they often start becoming ineffective, and at that point the user has a choice of continuing to up dose each time they reach tolerace or to do a taper. The recommended reduction rate is 5 to 10 percent every two weeks. Insomnia is one of the most common symptoms of withdrawal.

 

You might like to check out The Ashton Manual it is an authoritative source on what to expect in withdrawal and recovery.  Dr. Ashton is an expert in the field. 

 

Please feel free to post to any of the dedicated boards, we have a wonderful community of people here, who will give sound advice. Members have been through all aspects of benzodiazepine use and withdrawal and are more than willing to share their experiences.

 

General Taper Plans

Withdrawal Support During Your Taper

 

 

Please take the time to Create a Signature.  This will allow others to see where you are in the process so they can better support you.

 

Again Welcome!  :smitten:

 

benzos-R-cruel

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Thank you so much, Benzos-R-cruel.  I do understand a little bit about how this is going to work for me. It's very scary.

Does anyone know if there is a maximum dose of Ativan... not a daily dose but one dose at bedtime, that would be too much? My plan is obviously to address this now. But, until I find a doctor and if I've had several days of no sleep, what is the maximum dose in one dose that won't kill a person?

 

Thanks,

Mindy

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I was at 6mg a day of Ativan back in the summer and my sleep was pretty bad, too. I had added some supplements to the night time dose of Ativan and even took a second dose of stuff in the middle of the night to get back to sleep..  Now I'm down to 1 mg a day of Ativan and only 1/2 to 1 tab of Unisom to sleep and nothing in the middle of the night and I'm sleeping better than I was when I was on the 6 mg.  That means my brain is healing and yours will, too.  You've asked what the highest dose of Ativan is without killing a person.  I don't think that's a relevant question.  Just because it won't kill you doesn't mean it's not harming you.  If you take more, you're just digging a deeper hole to get out of.  That's what I was doing when I kept adding supplements to the mix to sleep.  I'm amazed that I am sleeping without all those pills.  Not the best sleep in the world, but better than I'd hoped for. 
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Yes, I understand.  I was asking for the maximum dose for an emergency case.  I know I'm in the hole pretty deeply now.  I know what lies ahead for me and I'm willing to face it.

Ativan leaves me so dizzy the next day that I can't add another pill mid night.  I wouldn't be able to be functional during the following day.

 

Thanks for your support.

 

You're a great inspiration!  I'm hoping one day I'll be off of it completely and supporting others in my current position!

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Thank you so much, Benzos-R-cruel.  I do understand a little bit about how this is going to work for me. It's very scary.

Does anyone know if there is a maximum dose of Ativan... not a daily dose but one dose at bedtime, that would be too much? My plan is obviously to address this now. But, until I find a doctor and if I've had several days of no sleep, what is the maximum dose in one dose that won't kill a person?

 

Thanks,

Mindy

 

I personally was on 8 mg a night.

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Hey Lemondrop!  I'm 52 years old so we're kind of the same age.  If you want to get off the Ativan you would need to do a gradual taper.  A lot of people switch from Ativan to an equivalent dose of valium before tapering (1mg Ativan = 10 mg of Valium.)  I haven't switched because early in the taper things were going well and there was no need to, then  recently I've read that it takes some people a month to make the switch and I don't want to make the taper that much longer.

 

So then how you taper would partly depend on whether you taper directly from Ativan or switch to Valium. Have you read the Ashton Manual?  If not, here's a link to it.  I think if you read this, things will make more sense.  I'm very happy to answer any questions if I know the answer. 

 

Here's how I'm tapering.  I'm now down to 1 mg of Ativan a day divided into two doses.  For the next cut I plan on taking 1/4 of that which is 1/2 of a .5mg pill and reduce that part over about a month. So I'll take the rest of the doses in pill form, but the part I'm cutting I'll crush and mix in water.  Let's say I want to cut 1/4 mg over a month.  I'll put the crushed 1/2 pill into 30ml of water and the first day I'll take 29ml of the water and throw 1ml down the drain.  The next day I'll mix the pill in 30ml of water, throw away 2 ml and drink the rest.  The third day, throw away 3 ml liquid and drink the rest.  If you look up "benzo withdrawal water titration" you find more detailed instructions.  Much easier to do it gradually like this than to make larger cuts.  But I recommend reading the Ashton manual before you try to cut anything. 

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yes I have read it.  I actually take 1 milligram lorazapam every other night.  On the day after my off night  I have symptoms.  I need to get stable with a daily dose but am scared to death to do it.  I have looked at titration tables but cannot judge how fast the cuts are.  once again I am scared to death to change anything.  I don't want to suffer and am completely freaked out.  Everyone says it will be ok but reading on here no one seems to be ok.

 

The math part of titration blows my mind.  I can't tell linear from.................

 

I looked at the micro taper schedule that was recently posted    but don't understand how much these cuts are and if they are big or small.........

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yes I have read it.  I actually take 1 milligram lorazapam every other night.  On the day after my off night  I have symptoms.  I need to get stable with a daily dose but am scared to death to do it.  I have looked at titration tables but cannot judge how fast the cuts are.  once again I am scared to death to change anything.  I don't want to suffer and am completely freaked out.  Everyone says it will be ok but reading on here no one seems to be ok.

 

The math part of titration blows my mind.  I can't tell linear from.................

 

I looked at the micro taper schedule that was recently posted    but don't understand how much these cuts are and if they are big or small.........

 

Your problem might be your every other day dosing.  You may want to consider taking it every day and dividing it to three doses. Find the lowest dose you feel stable on and then begin a slow gradual taper from there. You can always get advice on liquid dosing on the titration board. Not many read the introduction board. It is really meant as a starting point for our new members. :smitten:

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Lemondrop, if you're already having symptoms on the off day, you already are suffering.  You might be surprised how much better you felt if you dosed every day and cut down slowly.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but if you're taking 1mg a day, the equivalent of the slowest Ashton taper would be 20 weeks to taper off 1mg Ativan (the equivalent of 10mg Valium.)  So if you got stable on 1 mg a day, then you could spread the taper over 20 weeks which is 140 days.  One way to do that would be to crush the tablet every day and mix it in 140ml of water.  Then the first day of tapering you'd take out 1ml with a syringe and throw it down the drain and drink the rest.  The second day you'd mix 140ml,  take out 2 ml and discard and drink the other 138ml.    And so on.  If you have symptoms you can hold and do the same dose more than one day in a row, and if you felt good and wanted to speed it up, you could up the amount you discard every day to 2 ml more each day instead of 1 ml more.  I hope that makes sense. Maybe someone can explain it better or has a better way of tapering. 
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I am mortified!  I can't believe I am in this mess.  I have a daughter who is a senior in college and a cheerleader.  I can't be bedridden with symptoms and miss her last year.  Quick question........why 140 ml instead of 100?  would I mix it with pg to make solution?  I am so afraid to start this.  would I dose at night still but daily instead of every other night?  And yes I have suffered on my off day.  but I thought it was anxiety and starting on prozac.  we are both on 1 milligram  How are you going to proceed.
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Benzos-R-Cruel...

Wow I'm sorry to hear you were up to 8 mg in one dose but at least I know my dose won't kill me..yet.

Thanks for sharing.

Mindy

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Lemondrop : lorazepam has a very short half life. If you aren't getting full blown wd symptoms on your days off, you may not be entitely depending on it yet. I would suggest just trying to stop taking it. Because if you start taking it every day, you are guaranteeing you are gonna have to deal with an actual wd
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No I just have so many questions and am so afraid to make any changes.  I certainly don't want to get in any deeper but have to have some sort of plan if this continues and doesn't settle. 

 

You are not confusing me.  you are talking to me.  so many comment and then you never hear from them again  that is even scarier.

 

with the 140 milliliters, would that be considered a slow taper?  Would it need to slow down at the end?  I am confused about linear tapers and the spreadsheet that automatically calculates.  How can measurements be precise to the .000 decimal place. 

 

Please don't stop talking to me because of my questions?

 

At some point I now I am going to have to experiment but so many people on this site are not functional and before I commit to daily dosing I want to be sure it is absolutely necessary. 

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