Jump to content

Questions and concerns for my tapering down off Ativan


[...]

Recommended Posts

Hey Folks-

Looking for soem opinions here...I have been on Ativan that started with my chemotherapy 2 years ago..been using it since then

I have been trying to taper down on my own..

Its been hard...I actually can going down to using nothing for up to 4 or 5 days, but then find myself up to my max dose of 2 mgs...,5 here .25 there

I also take trazadone for insomnia...and have recently been diagnosed with PTSD and Bipolar..

all very new to me but making sense...long story...

This is the first pysch doctor I have seen really...

Im in grad school and am working and taking care of family with illnesses..never seems to be a good time....plus many deaths have occured and have had some issues with grief.

I asked the psych doc that I wanted to to come off the Ativan...she was totaly cool with that and wrote me a script for Kolonipin to taper down with....5 in the morning and .5 at night starting next week..

Im sort of concerned abot that since I've been reading this board and seen the UK website about valium withdrawal...any opinions on that??

I'm going to see another psych doc tomorrow for another opinion from my health provider..

The psych doc that rx'd the kolonopin is the unversity doc...

She also suggest either lamotigine or aripiprazole for mood stabilization...

BTW -I have been using tart cherry and the amino acid and calms forte ect...with some success.

any feed back would be appreciated..

My schedule gets very busy starting next week

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

effectively she has just upped your benzo use - i am sorry.

 

it sounds like you are in a very stressful situation - stressful situations can present as a mental illness - but from what you have written it sounds like stress and lack of sleep are your problems - you are hooked on drugs plain and simple.

 

if you want off of these drugs and you were able to go a few days with out them - then i would recommend (IF YOU ARE NOT HOOKED ON kolonapin yet - go back to ativan - and take your dose every other day w/o updoseing.

 

from that point start your taper.

 

but before you do that a moderator would have to know how long have you been on kolonapin and have you been taking ativan with it.

 

a moderator will be by to help - if you decide you would like to get off benzo's - it is your decision.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Dan, actually 2mg Ativan is equal to 1mg klonopin, so in a way you are on the same amount of klonopin as your max dosage of ativan.

a valium cross over is one option of tapering, but really not neccessary. If you have .5mg pills of Klonopin, you can start direct tapering if you like. I did this, starting at 1mg of klono a day. I quartered my pills with a pill cutter, and reduced by 1 quarter every 2 weeks or so. This is a 12.5% cut.

If this is too difficult, there is another option, titration, which is mixing the powdered pill with liquid, and reducing by smaller increments.

I'm very sorry about all your troubles.     

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dan, there is another homeopathic treatment made by the same makers as calms forte, and I find it much more effective for sleep. It's called "insomnia" by Hylands. I by it online. the directions say to take 2 to 3 pills (they are sublinqual) every 4 hours. I only take one and it puts me out pretty well.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for the feedback-I actually have not taken the kolonipin yet...she wants me to stop the ativan by next week and start the kolonpin I guess at some point this upcoming week..I had ordered bromzepam because I heard it was easier to taper down with since the tablets are bigger than ativan..I have another appointment tomorrow with my kaiser for a second opinion...for some reason I was a little concerned about the kolonipin because I saw it on the UK site as a drug to taper down from...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

you will be hard pressed to find a doctor that does not promote pills.  funding to doctors, hospitals and related services is partly funded by pharmaceuticals in some cases and in all cases it is cheaper to medicate someone then to provide the proper therapy and support (in the short run) that may be needed from time to time.

 

life is hard sometimes - we are faced with what seems to be insurmountable problems - it is the nature of life - at those times we need support not drugs.

 

i have a friend who has terminal cancer - she has had it for 18 or more yrs - every 4 or five years they debulk her cancer.  she has been on 1 mg of ativan all this time w/o going up - i don't know how she does it but she does.  for most of us we build up a tolerance to benzos and become more and more dysfunctional over time - it is then that we choose to get off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im sorry I was incorrect- the rx bottle say to take half a .5 mg pill in the morning and half of a .5 mg in the evening...total is .5 for the day...

Im just wondering if I can just taper with the ativan because thats what Im used to. I have had up 5 days not taking them at times etc.. and have gone down to lower dosages and have felt fine...

Confused to know what exactly to do...

I also concerned about the medications she suggested..ariprazole and lamotizine...

My friends opinions who work in the health professions do not agree with the Diagnosis of Bi-polar..but thinks it''s grief and that Im going through with increased emotions ...anyways...thanks and good night

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im sorry I was incorrect- the rx bottle say to take half a .5 mg pill in the morning and half of a .5 mg in the evening...total is .5 for the day...

Im just wondering if I can just taper with the ativan because thats what Im used to. I have had up 5 days not taking them at times etc.. and have gone down to lower dosages and have felt fine...

Confused to know what exactly to do...

I also concerned about the medications she suggested..ariprazole and lamotizine...

My friends opinions who work in the health professions do not agree with the Diagnosis of Bi-polar..but thinks it''s grief and that Im going through with increased emotions ...anyways...thanks and good night

 

I think your friends are probably right. Doctors are too quick with the labels, and bipolar is the label of the day. I got that label too, and I wasn't, I was just sleep deprived due to a health issue-caused anxiety!

If you can get more ativan from your doc, absolutely you can taper from that. You shouldn't have a problem switching back, since you are only on .5mg of K a day, and I don't think you've been on long? That would equal 1mg of ativan a day, so that would be a good starting point for your taper. If you can get .5mg or even .25mg pills, they are easier to taper off of.

My own personal advice would be to stay away from the mood stabilizers for now. I think you will be better off without them in the long run. Just see how things go in your life as you taper off the benzo. But if you become very depressed with no relief, you can always look into an antidepressant, though I think you are better off without these too. Life without chemicals is almost always the better choice.

Look into some talk therapy too. Cognitive therapy is very helpful in dealing with all sorts of grief and life issues.

Linda ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi-thanks for that...I went to kaiser today and they agree that the bi-polar is not an accurate diagnosis...but the PTSD anxiety, grief  and traumatic recovery thing is whats going on...

Everyone has suggested that I do not go off the Benzos right now because of all the things going on...work, grad school, internship, taking care of terminal family members ect...

they think I should start a taper around May, when I have a less hectic schedule...I talk with the Pyschiatrist at Kaiser again in late Feb to come up with a plan....what are peoples opinion of that here?

They said I'm too concerned with my dependence and feel that they maybe a benefit for me at present.

I'm also hooked up with support groups and one on onme therapy now...which is really helping..

Thnaks for the opinions...very much appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, most people here are of the school of thought that the sooner you get off, the better. But this is your decision alone. For me, initially the benzo was a blessing at first, but it quickly became more of hindrance in dealing with life. I developed depression partly from it's use, and I just felt down and fatigued, and everythng felt like such an effort. I also didn't seem to deal as well with emotional things in my life. I"m not saying it was just the klonopin, but it delinitely contributed to it. The lower I got in my taper, the better I felt about myself and my ability to deal with the negative stuff going on.

Don't let anyone talk you into doing something you don't want to do, and that includes us!

But do keep in mind that benzo's are recommended for short term use only. And that means about 2 to 4 weeks! This is according to drug manufacturor's literature! They really do stop working after awhile, and then you either need to take more, or you will feel bad again.

Counseling would be a much better option. Or do this concurrently with your benzo, but I would definitely try and work toward a goal of becoming benzo free in the near future. You will truly be better off in the long run, this I know. Long term benzo use is not the answer! ;D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your direct opinion-I hear ya...and I agree..I think Im just going to try a slow taper anyway....I actually feel better when I get the benzos out of my system.

other things wake up...and it feels good...plus it feels good on a deeper level knowing you can walk through life...even if I may feel edgy...it's a least feeling something..lets face it...lots of people in our world are feeling a little stressed out and edgy...so Im def not alone... I will try a slow tapering...I had a reall good month in Nov..got myself down to using less and more than half the days of the month were benzo free...Im going to get the insomnia stuff-have a good day everyone...do you think the kolonopin taper is better tha the ativan taper? I have not taken the kolonpin yet...and I sort know what to expect when coming off the shorter acting benzo...it''s easier for me to plan for it..you know?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your direct opinion-I hear ya...and I agree..I think Im just going to try a slow taper anyway....I actually feel better when I get the benzos out of my system.

other things wake up...and it feels good...plus it feels good on a deeper level knowing you can walk through life...even if I may feel edgy...it's a least feeling something..lets face it...lots of people in our world are feeling a little stressed out and edgy...so Im def not alone... I will try a slow tapering...I had a reall good month in Nov..got myself down to using less and more than half the days of the month were benzo free...Im going to get the insomnia stuff-have a good day everyone...do you think the kolonopin taper is better tha the ativan taper? I have not taken the kolonpin yet...and I sort know what to expect when coming off the shorter acting benzo...it''s easier for me to plan for it..you know?

 

Then stick with the ativan. If you do a slow taper, you won't neccessarily have any sleep problems. I didn't, except for a few days after each cut. I was originally put on it for the worst insomnia imaginable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Thanks for the advice. I've stuck with the Ativan taper rather than taking the Klonopin and the other med the pysch doc suggested..I think for me, the shorter half-life is something I am familiar with...I'm cruising at .25 mg a day-I am going to try and stay there for a while. I am a little "up", but I am using the extra energy to work out and to study. Trying to be comfortable with a little discomfort. Come on everyone, we can drop the benzo dependence!!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Dan, Linda and Friends,

 

Dan, tapering using the 10 percent method makes sense to me. 1 mg of K equals 2 mg of V, as I believe, Linda had explained to you. It is supposedly easier to taper off Klonopin than Ativan. I was unable to taper off Ativan. Right now, I am doing a Valium taper, and I'm very depressed on the drug. Actually, the Trazodone should be helping you with sleep issues. How much are you taking? For sleep, the dose is usually 50-150 mg, I think.

 

Linda, You mentioned Calms Forte for sleep. I used to take it while withdrawing from Valium, but I was wondering at what dose it might be safe to try it. So far, I am still sleeping, although fitfully, so I don't want to add anything to the mix. Also taking Tapazole for my thyroid and just finished a terrible bout with Levaquin for a UTI. I know Calms Forte is natural, but I don't want to become a zombie. What do you think of 5-HTP? I know lots of folks are anti supplements, and I know it's risky to actually recommend them, as different folks have different reactions, but what do you think about Calms Forte?

 

Love,

Genie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...