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Fit Guy and short term use of Lorazepam


[kr...]

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I’m a 54 year old man and (was) in great shape and was never on any medications. I ran 3 miles a day and lifted heavy weights at the gym, I was pretty buff for my age and been into health & fitness & nutrition since my early 20’s.  I never smoked or did drugs but an occasional social drinker.  I have a wife and 2 kids and a great life with a lot to live for.  I never had anxiety, depression or sleep issues.  I always slept like a rock.  In early April of this year (2020) I woke up in the middle of the night with a shooting pain in the left side of my face, this happened for a few nights and my blood pressure was elevated and I could not get it under control.  I called my doctor and he prescribed me blood pressure meds and still my BP was elevated.  I drove myself to the ER one day thinking something was wrong, they did blood work and everything was normal.  I called my doctor on the way home and left him a voice mail saying maybe I need something temporarily for anxiety. In about 20 minutes I get a text message from the pharmacy that my prescription was ready, so I went and picked it up.  It was 60 1mg pills of Lorazepam and said take 1 every 12 hours.  I had absolutely no clue what I was taking and my doctor never even spoke to me, he just prescribed it on a voice mail.  It relaxed me right away and I took it for 2 weeks and then stopped and that’s when my nightmare began with the insomnia being the worst.  I went back to my doctor and he said I did not take it long enough for any side effects and then prescribed me Paxil, I took that for 2 days and felt like and zombie and had horrible thoughts of worthlessness. I immediately stopped and told my doctor I can not take that.  I then had a few good days and was able to get a bit of sleep and then I felt like myself again but then I rebounded and went days without sleep.  My GP then prescribed Trazodone, he said was good for insomnia, I took a half of pill and I had the worst night of my life and will never touch it again.  Desperate for sleep I took the Ativan about a week ago and every night since.  In the middle of all this I tried a Naturopathic doctor and supplements seem to rev me up more.  I finally found a caring doctor who deals with this and says I need a slow tapper but what blows me away is the tapper is longer than how long I have been on this drug.  I am starting to get concerned about my eyes, my balance seems to be off and have awful tinnitus and lost 20 pound and loosing muscle like crazy and have no appetite.  This is a living hell and I seemed to have lost all my good and bad emotions.  In such a short time my life has taken a complete 180 for the worse.  I would love to hear from people who had a similar experience and if there is hope for a full recovery. I feel like my life is over and stunned that this happened to me.
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Hello kry123, Welcome to BenzoBuddies!

 

I'm so very sorry to hear what's happened to you, you experienced a medical event and now you're living a nightmare created by a drug.  Can I ask, did you ever find out what caused you the original pain in your face and caused your blood pressure to go so high?  Has it returned to normal?

 

It sounds like the Dr you've found knows what to do, yes a slow taper is a good idea even though you've only been on the Ativan for a short time, I've seen people become dependent in as little as 10 days but given your extreme reaction, this is what is best.  We typically suggest cutting your dose by about 5-10% every week to 10 days, but this should depend on your symptoms, they should be your guide.

 

It would benefit you to read  The Ashton Manual, chapter 3 will list your symptoms and why you feel them, it's good to understand what's happening to you.

 

If you'd like suggestions for a taper, you can check out the methods we support here: Planning your taper (Taper Plans)

 

If you'd like to connect with others who know your fear and pain, you can start a thread on the  Withdrawal Support (during your taper) board.

 

Ask lots of questions, we're here to help.

 

Pamster

 

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Hi Kry

 

Welcome to BB. 

 

You will recover.  Follow the advice to taper the benzo slowly.  Yes, it may be longer than you were on it.  But, eventually you’ll be free of this.  It’s a shock to realize that dependency can happen so fast.  But full healing is also going to happen.  Benzo lessons are hard learned.  Not your fault.  You were not properly advised.  Good you weren’t on long, because this will likely mean you’ll get back to health reasonably soon. 

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kry123

 

I am in a similar situation. Prescribed benzos short term and came to the shocking realization you did when I tried to stop taking them.

 

As Pamster said the Ashton manual is your first resource.

 

There is a group of us tapering off of Ativan and you are welcome to join us in the Tapering off Ativan Support Thread. (link below) It is a great supportive group of people. Lots of experience that can be very helpful in answering questions specific to Ativan tapering. Some of us were on Ativan for a very short time with similar stories as yours.

 

Glad you found a supportive doctor. That can make all the difference.

 

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=44903.9110

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I am in the same situation as you with the same medication. My doc prescribed with a phone call, and only told me ‘dependence is possible after a few weeks.’ I had no idea what dependence looked like (mine showed up in the form of tolerance/interdose withdrawal inside of week 1), and certainly didn’t think it was possible in the time and dose I had been on the drug. I totally bottomed out when I tried to come off. Turns out, he knew dependence could happen but had never tapered anyone off...had no idea how to help me.

 

I committed to a taper after finding this group and reading the Ashton Manual. Thankfully, my doc supports my taper fully - to his credit, he allowed me to research and decide how to proceed. Like you, I’m a fit, active, energetic person...I also am a mom to four young children. My life was flipped on its face in less than three weeks. I have been tapering since the end of March, and I still have some months to go. I struggled for many weeks to accept this, but my body is sensitive to this pill...and THIS is what it will take to come off and remain functional for me.

 

Please join us on the Ativan Taper support page for ideas and help specific to Ativan. I’m so sorry this happened to you. It happened just like this to so many of us. You will be free of this drug and heal in time.

 

Beauty

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I was a clean fit guy who enjoys having a beer once in a while and was prescribed this because of some anxiety which I think COVID and Isolation and wife working on the front lines in NY had alot to do with..  My doctor prescribed this (on 4/8/20) with never talking to me directly and came with no warning, I had NO idea..  I would have gotten over my anxiety naturally as I always have.  I feel like this is an accidental drug dependency and it horrifies me.  You give me comfort that I'm not alone in my situation and sorry this happened to you..  They say you can develop a dependency after 10 days..  thinking back when I quit CT after 2 weeks that I could have made it if I wasn't trying every supplement out there on the advice of a Naturopath..  I think that may have ramped me up more and made the withdrawal process worse..  I was 3 weeks into CT and was mentally strong..  but now I feel broken..  I see my new doctor tomorrow who is actually a friend and he deals with this sort of thing and knows the danger of it..  it horrifies me that the tapper needs to be longer that my initial use..  I can imagine the days before the internet where people would just listen to their doctors and take these drugs and have no way of researching things..  every night I take this pill I hate it..
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Welcome to the “Lorazapam (or other Benzo) messed up my life” club. You can read my introduction as it’s somewhat similar. While I took it a little longer than you, I took a lower dose. After tapering off, I’m still struggling daily. Hang in there man, you’ve come to the right place for information and support.
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Same for me..got anxiety about the stupid coronavirus..so I took Xanax as needed like I was prescribed for one month and it's been hell. I did cold turkey because I didn't know anything about this.  I wound up in the hospital and no doctor believes I could ever have gotten dependent I such a short time.  Let us know what works for you.
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Hi in sorry my reply wasn't very positive.  I'm very frustrated at how we can be so easily prescribed something with no real warming then we find ourselves in a matter of weeks for some In this tunnel..and somehow no doctor can possibly believe you would ever be having symptoms of withdraw.  I would check into the taper if I were you or find a good doctor that has knowledge about this.
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No worries..  I'm mad as hell this happened to me (and everyone like us) for virtually no reason..  if the corona virus was not mishandled and we were all able to continue our daily lives and routine, I know I would not be where I am today.  I am glad I recognized this early but still was too late..  I should have done some research on Lorazepam before I took any (my bad)..  at the very least my doctor should have giving me maybe 3 (with warning) to take the edge off..  but he gave me 60 1mg at 2 times a day with an open ended prescription and never talked in person or over the phone about it..  its nuts how easy it is to get mind altering drugs like this.. its criminal..  Now that we are here, we need to be down for the struggle and beat this and warn others..  I am stunned Benzos are the most additive and hardest to come off even more than heroin..  does not seem right that doctors are allowed to ruin perfectly heathy peoples lives
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Yes. My prescription was 30 pills - 2mg, 3x a day, as needed. I’m thankful I broke them in halves (and often halves of halves). My doc didn’t tell me to do that, I just wanted to be sure I was taking as little as possible. I thought I was on a low dose. Turns out, there is no such thing.
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Kry123:

 

Welcome to the club.  I had a similar episode and trip to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack...nope just a panic attack. 

 

Don’t be too hard on yourself, at least you caught your mistake early and realized the danger, and then found a good doctor.  Many of us here were on them for years. 

 

Yes, the taper will extend your time on the drug, but be patient, you will get off of them.  I just hit four months off and am doing much better. 

 

It will seem difficult at times, but stick with it and you will be fine.  You’ve come to the right place for information and support.  Best wishes to you on your journey.  I have no doubt that you will be successful. 

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  • 1 month later...

Hello-

I actually feel like I can jump now but I am riding it out to .01 or .005 just to be safe.  I feel like the real healing will not begin until this awful stuff is out of my system.  What turned out to be a few days taking a prescription of Ativan from my Doctor (with no warning) turned into a 4 month nightmare.  He prescribed to me on a voice mail I left and then 20 mins later got a text from CVS that its ready..  My doctor or pharmacist never spoke to be about taken this.  Had i known the risks I would never have taken it, that's a fact.  I never even heard the word benzodiazepine before April 2020...  I thank God that I quickly found Benzo Buddies relatively early.  It was BB where I quickly learned the truth..  in a matter of a month, I was prescribed 4 different psych meds by my doctor.  Thank God I threw them all out and just reinstated Ativan and now on week 7 of a 8 week taper.. (I hope its not too soon)..  I still feel like the longer I take this stuff the more dependent my body gets, I want off.. I do not except to be 100% for many months or longer..  I am ready for my new Benzo free journey..  we will all heal and God Bless everyone out here and their families..

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I'm happy to see your post and thrilled with your determination to be free of this drug.  Too may of us get trapped for too long thinking we need what this drug has to offer but you recognized early how detrimental this drug is, I admire your enlightenment.

 

Keep up the good work!  :thumbsup: 

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my enlightenment comes from the wonderful people on BB.  I was clueless before I found BB.  so THANK YOU

 

we all know the dangers of oxycodone and if my doctor prescribed that because I smashed my finger I would have said no way..  the same type of Public awareness needs to happen with Benzos.. its a crime what happening

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Same here, super fit as a gym nut, 5 days 2.5mg valium I was thrown into the most crule hell, CT for 2 days had to go back and tapered off in 11 most hellish months. 1 yr off, damaged in and out physically and cognitively. In bed ever since then for 2 yrs still can't walk or do anything, even I'm rebuilding a bit muscle back, the extreme whole body contraction caused most delibtating dystonia and pain.

 

This is a the worst crime!

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The good news is that you can get off of these drugs.  It’s tough, but doable.  I’m coming up on six months off and most of my symptoms are gone.  When they do show up, they do not last long.  So far, for July, I have had more good days than bad. The only symptom that is lingering is some benzo belly and lack of energy/muscle weakness.

 

My new goal is to work on getting more physical activity in—even if it is just some walking.

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I have 6 more days on my taper and considering where I have been I feel pretty good with the worst issue being the tinnitus and ear pressure which seems to have my hearing off balance..  I have had blurry vision but that is much better and still seem a bit off balance..  I know this effects your CNS and I hope & pray this all clears up once I heal.  Right up until the beginning of April (right before I made the mistake of taking this pill) I would spring out of bed at 6am and run 2.5 miles..  Now I struggle in the morning but does seem to be a bit better.. I cannot wait until I can spring out bed and run again..  There is alot of symptoms I see out here that I never had and consider myself fortunate.  When this is all said and done it will be a total of 4 months on this (14 days on, ct for 3 or 4 weeks,  reinstate end of May then a 2 month taper)  I hope this still is considered short term use..

 

One question I have.. I am 54 and had my first beer at age 14 (40 years ago)..  I have never been a everyday drinker but only a social beer drinker..  Concerts, baseball games, happy hours, weddings, parties etc..  I'm just wondering that at my age and my history with alcohol is the reason why I had such a bad reaction..  also my doctor right off the bat prescribed me 1 mg 2-times a day

 

I'm not going to lie..  I hope to someday get back to be able to drink socially but fear I may never be able to do that again..

 

My doctors destroyed me and all you wonderful people out here gave me direction and the correct information about this awful drug..  if I listened to my doctor id be in a much worse place today..  all you wonderful people out here saved me..  THANK YOU.. but I am far from this nightmare being over..  Aug 1st is the finish line for Ativan and Aug 2nd is my new starting line..  bring it on

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From what I've read on the forum,  I don't feel your reaction to benzo's had anything to do with your social drinking, none of us know why some of us are afflicted with benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome and others aren't.  I don't see any reason why you can't return to your social life once you have this experience in the rear view mirror and by that I mean, way behind you.  I know of many members who have been able to drink again so please don't worry that this will mean you won't be able to enjoy alcohol occasionally.

 

I look forward to reading your success story which will of course include how you spring out of bed each day and go for a run.  I do feel I need to warn you though about your tinnitus, this symptom seems to be one of the last ones to leave for some people.  Mine went away but others have it linger for too long, in fact we have a support group on the forum for members still dealing with it.  You may be lucky like me, I hope so.

 

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Thanks Pamster..  you give me hope..  i just hope when I'm off this in 6 days that I start to see my symptoms disappear.. Yea, the tinnitus seems to be a bugger with people..  but not everyone has it..(I would trade other symptoms for that if I could) Id be able to function normally without it..  because of this I have a hard time going in public
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@[kr...]

 

I have remained a social drinker throughout.  Typically a couple glasses of wine with dinner a few times a week.

 

If you haven’t abused alcohol in the past, then try drinking a beer and see how you feel.  Listen to your body. 

 

Enjoying wine with a nice dinner is something I really enjoy. 

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the more I think of it.. instead of calling the doctor in the first place, I just should have had a nice glass of red wine in the evening to relax me during this whole COVID mess
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Hi Kry,

 

Congratulations on almost being ready to jump! I was 4 months on xanax, thinking I had not taken it long enough to be dependent and CT'd, went straight to wd hell, found BB and spent 8 months tapering. You WILL heal 100%. I am sure you know that by now. I'm a 'senior', almost 70 and I am confident that healing is absolutely in the cards for me so you have nothing but great things to look forward to. Isn't it maddening that this didn't need to happen and we all want to shake a collective fist at the medical community for being so ignorant and blase about RXing the poison. I've been off 6 months and 1 week and still have waves. I had already stressed my poor gray matter with long term narcotics and lyrica (evil medicine). I'm glad you realized early that certain supplements are definitely not compatible with benzo wd. I have a cabinet full of herbal teas and supplements with the word "calm" in the name that may never be OK for me to take. Thank God for BB and all the info and support that are here! Please keep writing your success story!!!

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thanks Success77-

after 60 years prescribing this ratt poison, shame on the medical community for still being ignorant..  Doctors destroyed me and BB saved me..  I would be in a much worse place if I followed my original doctors orders..  I had so many people say to me.. trust your doctor..  glad I did not and found a new one

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