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Hi. I would like to get off of Lorazepam.


[Ty...]

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Hi everyone.

 

I am glad I found this forum.  Here's my story:

 

I have been on Lorazepam 1 mg for about 9 months.  It started out as one a day.  Then I just started taking it about 2-3 times a week.  On the days I didn't take it, it is very difficult to get to sleep.  I need to take 2-3 tylenol PMs and even then, I toss and turn for hours, have sweats, nightmares, and worry about everything.  It's miserable.

 

I never thought I was taking enough of this stuff that it would be this hard to get off Lorazepam.

 

Well, I want out and need to know how to taper off. 

 

Today is Saturday.  I took one on Thursday and one on Friday.  What does should I take today and do I taper down until it is .25 per day, and then go every other day?

 

Thanks in advance for all and any help.

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Hi everyone.

 

I am glad I found this forum.  Here's my story:

 

I have been on Lorazepam 1 mg for about 9 months.  It started out as one a day.  Then I just started taking it about 2-3 times a week.  On the days I didn't take it, it is very difficult to get to sleep.  I need to take 2-3 tylenol PMs and even then, I toss and turn for hours, have sweats, nightmares, and worry about everything.  It's miserable.

 

I never thought I was taking enough of this stuff that it would be this hard to get off Lorazepam.

 

Well, I want out and need to know how to taper off. 

 

Today is Saturday.  I took one on Thursday and one on Friday.  What does should I take today and do I taper down until it is .25 per day, and then go every other day?

 

Thanks in advance for all and any help.

 

i tyler welcome to benzo buddies - i just finished a shout asking you to introduce yourself - but i see you have in this post.

 

can't taper to fast off this stuff - but you have not been on long - this should not be a long drawn out situation.

 

a moderator should be by to assist you - but i can tell you .25 per day is going to cause you more grief then necessary.

 

so slow down some here - a moderator should be by shortly to help you.

 

and once again welcome  - so glad you are here.

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oh no tyler - you are not alone - and we have some very excellent help here - believe me this place is great.

 

and there will be help to.

 

i am not qualified to help but there are some moderators trained in this.  i can tell you the usual recommended taper amount is 10% of the total dose.

 

i was on lorazepam for a number of years and then was given ativan - which is a generic - i suffered seriously from withdrawals on that - only i just thought i was nuts.

 

nothing like knowledge to help you on your way. ;)

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BTW...I currently have six 1 mg tabs left but I could get about 15 more if I needed to help with the taper.  Any more than that, they would want to talk to me.

 

Funny...the doc wanted to put me on these pills when I off handedly told him that I worry about some stuff every now and then but hen I want to re-fill the scrip, he gave me a hard time.

 

I was like, "why did you put me on these in the first place if they are so bad?'

 

Now I have an APRN working with me and she's a lot cooler.

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i was on lorazepam for a number of years and then was given ativan - which is a generic - i suffered seriously from withdrawals on that - only i just thought i was nuts.

 

My scrip reads: Lorazepam subtitution for Ativan

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Sorry for all the posts but just thinking about any information that would help the kind folks here with advice on my taper.

 

I always have taken the Lorazepam at night because my "anxiety" usually is at night, making it hard to sleep.

 

I would usually take it the 1 mg tab around 8 pm.  Then around 10:30 I would take a Tylenol PM or Sleepinal tab to get to sleep.

 

When I do this, I get a great 8-9 hours on solid sleep.

 

If I do not take the Lorazepam, then it is 3-5 hours of fitful sleep, takes me hours to fall asleep and I wake up every hour.

 

I also drink a few cups of coffee when I wake up and at about 2 pm during the day.

 

Thanks agin.

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Hi Tyler04,

 

   The first thing you need to do is get consistant with your dose.  If you can, begin taking it every night, but at a reduced dosage. Try for .75 mg tonight.  Hold that dose for a week or two, and then reduce it again.  You haven't been on it very long, and have not been taking consistant doses, so your body is reeling a little.  You shouldn't try jumping off at .25 mg. You can take it down even further. We can help you with liquid titration or you can dry cut, the choice is yours. Above all, relax.  You will be able to do this.  

 

 XXXX

Christine/BlueMoth

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Hi Tyler,

 

I have similar questions to Bluemoth. Do you take Lozepam every night? If so, this is usually 1mg, yes? For how long have you been taking this every night?

 

Also, can you obtain 0.5mg tablets instead. They will allow you tome make smaller cuts. Cutting 0.25mg at a time from a 1mg dose is likely to cause you some distress.

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OK...I have a pill splitter so I'll start with .75 per night for a week, then I'll do .5 per night for a week.

 

After that, do I go .25 per night for a week?  What is the smallest daily dose that I should use?

 

Eventually, do I use an every other day dose? 

 

Just want to have an idea so when I ask the APRN for another prescription, I can tell her that I have a gameplan, and I am tapering of, etc.  She will like this and not give me a hard time about it.

 

I am a pretty determined individual.  I know I can do this but I like the fact that I will be doing it "right" and not just flushing them down the toilet and going cold turkey, like I thought about earlier today before I found this forum.

 

-------

 

Colin-

 

I was taking Lorazepam every night for the first 3 months.  However, in the last few months, it has only been about twice a week that I would take it.  The other nights would be really hard to sleep and just miserable

 

I can ask the APRN for .5 mg tabs with the next scrip.

 

Thanks for the help!

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Hi tyler,

 

   That sounds like a good plan.  You can even hold the cut for two weeks if  the one week taper is too dificult. I don't think it will be, considering that you haven't been on the drug for long and your commitment to get off.

 

  Yes, after reducing to .5, go down to .25.  Take it down another cut to .125 if you like before jumping off. That is the safest way and insures that you will have a pretty smooth landing once you have made the jump.  If you really want to be safe, you can alternate days on and off for a week or two, but I don't think you will need to do that.

 

XXXX

Christine/BlueMoth

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Ah, OK.

 

If you take just twice a week, and have been doing this for past few months, then just make these 0.25mg cuts to your 1mg dose. You should make new cuts when you feel ready, perhaps every week or two. This is not a true taper, because you are highly unlikely to be dependant taking Lorazepam twice a week. So, it is more about making a smooth transition to being benzo-free. You should remember, you sleep 5 times a week with no Lorazepam.

 

You are definitely doing the right thing though. Get off before you do become dependent.

 

Take care, and good luck.

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Ah, OK.

 

If you take just twice a week, and have been doing this for past few months, then just make these 0.25mg cuts to your 1mg dose. You should make new cuts when you feel ready, perhaps every week or two. This is not a true taper, because you are highly unlikely to be dependant taking Lorazepam twice a week. So, it is more about making a smooth transition to being benzo-free. You should remember, you sleep 5 times a week with no Lorazepam.

 

You are definitely doing the right thing though. Get off before you do become dependent.

 

Take care, and good luck.

 

That's the problem....I don't really "sleep" on the days I don't take them.  I have to take a lot of Tylenol PM and even a few drinks, and the sleep is still horrible (sweats, nightmares, and anxiety)

 

Some nights when I wasn't on the Lorazepam, I would take some Percocet but even though that made me feel ok for a few hours, it didn't help my sleep situation.

 

I did flush the Percocet that I had leftover from an operation earlier this year.  I was taking the Percocet once a week and didn't think I was dependent on it.  To me, it was just something to take instead of Lorazepam for a night.

 

My goal is to be off everything and have a normal sleep situation.

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Bluemoth, I think you meant 0.125mg, not 1.25mg! ;

 

 

Thanks Colin!!

 

Yes, Tyler that was a typo!! Ill go back and fix the post so you don't get confused.

 

Ok, as to your sleeping. Your body has to learn to sleep on its own again.  That is why you are going to do the once a night dose and take it down gradually.  You will be able to do this and you body WILL relearn in the process.

 

It is a good thing you flushed the percocets. The last thing you need right now is another drug to titrate off of.

 

XXX

Christine/BlueMoth

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Edit: saw that .125 change--got it.  Thanks!

 

I feel stupid.  I forgot one more component.  On nights that I didn't take Lorazepam, I sometimes took Ambien CR 12 mg.  I just read that Ambien can have similar withdrawal symptoms from Lorazepam.

 

My questions is: how will this affect my tapering off Lorazepam?

 

Should I just stop taking the Ambien or taper off both at the same time, or on alternate nights?

 

Sorry about forgetting this since the kind people here probably thought I was all set.

 

I hope somebody reads this last post.

 

Thanks again

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you have a dependency what you are feeling is withdrawals - so do not use any stimulates during the day - develop an effective sleep schedule - one that calms you down.

 

some of use benadryl, some use calms forte, some take a protein drink late noon or very early evening - some do breathing excises - it is a process of finding what works for you.

 

for me i need a completely uncluttered room, clean sheets, a fan on and some soothing teas along with some calms forte and benedryl.

 

when you are off of these drugs - things will begin to fall in place - you have not been on them long - many of us adjust to lack of sleep - it is part of the process for some.

 

relaxation is the key - so figure out what soothes you - alcohol is not a good alternative and taking other prescription drugs will only feed our addiction.

 

i just read your new post - how long have you been taking ambien?  you may have to taper from that to - depends on weather or not you have been on it long - if you have been on it long - only taper from ONE drug - a two drug taper is hard.

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Edit: saw that .125 change--got it.  Thanks!

 

I feel stupid.  I forgot one more component.  On nights that I didn't take Lorazepam, I sometimes took Ambien CR 12 mg.  I just read that Ambien can have similar withdrawal symptoms from Lorazepam.

 

My questions is: how will this affect my tapering off Lorazepam?

 

Should I just stop taking the Ambien or taper off both at the same time, or on alternate nights?

 

Sorry about forgetting this since the kind people here probably thought I was all set.

 

I hope somebody reads this last post.

 

Thanks again

 

Well, although technically not a benzodiazepine, it acts so similarly upon GABA receptors, we make no distinction - we consider it to be a de facto benzo. How many days a week do you take Lorazepam or Ambien?

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I have been on Ambien about 9 months.  I got both scrips (Lorazepam and Ambien) at the same time.

 

Then 3 months after that, I got into a car accident and needed an operation.  They gave me Perocet, Vicodin and Neurotin.

 

I only took the Percs and Vikes about once a week.  

 

So it broke down like this:

 

2 nights a week on Lorazepam, 1 night on Percocet and 4 nights on Ambien CR.

 

Quite a mess, eh?

 

Well, I flushed the Percs and Neurotin (I wasn't taking the Neurotin too regularly)

 

Now I just have Lorazepam and Ambien.

 

I think I can get more if I explain the taper off program to the APRN.  She's pretty cool.

 

***So you are saying taper off the Lorazepam first, then the Ambien?  Should I take both at once?  I never did that before since I would take a Tylenol PM with the Lorazepam instead and Ambien on the Lorazepam-free nights.***

 

Thanks everyone for your help.  I was in a real quagmire trying to figure this out.  

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I think I would taper of the Ambien first. You will need to approach your taper more cautiously since you take benzos or benzo-like meds most nights.

 

What dose are you Ambien tablets? Are you sure you take 12mgs of Ambien? I thought they came in 5 sand 10mg tablets!?

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I'm looking at the bottle now: it's Ambien CR 12.5 mg

 

Ambien CR is kinda new.  It's a "controlled release."

 

So you think tapering off the Ambien first? 

 

Should i take both at the same time? 

 

Any suggestions what the dosages should be for both drugs during the first week?

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

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Hi,

 

There is no difference in the action of these two drugs. Normally, it is better to taper off the shortest acting benzo first. Ambien has very short half life, but I'm unsure of the half-life for Ambien CR, so don't know which might be the better one to taper off.

 

Controlled release tablets generally (always?) need to be taken whole. So, splitting up your contolled release tablets is not an option. In your shoes, I'd enquire with your doctor if you can have a prescription for Lorazepam only, and use this instead. A better option still might be to switch Valium, as that is the easiest benzo with which to manage a taper, but many doctors are reluctant to prescribe Valium, particularly if you are in the US.

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Colin,

 

  The half life of Ambien is 2 to 2.6 hours.  It is chemically different in structure from a benzo but does potentiate the brain's GABA receptors.  In that case, Tyler lets get you off the Ambien first. 

 

  Hold your Ativan dose at .75 until you titrate off the Ambien.  This shouldn't take longer than a couple of weeks.  You need to get ambien in lower dose pills if you cannot split the cr ones.  Try and take it down by half for a week and then another half and then quit the ambien.  Then tackle your Aitvan dose the way we suggested. 

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Colin,

Sounds like your idea of Tyler just tapering off the lorazepam would be the easiest.  Don't know how a CR ambien taper would be accomplished.  Is the CR Ambien and the regular ambien the same half life Christine?

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