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Thank you for letting me join. I have been taking lorazepam for nausea and anxiety for cancer treatment. When I am done with treatment I will begin my wean.

 

 

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Hello Strongone20, Welcome to BenzoBuddies!

 

I'm so sorry to hear of your cancer diagnosis and equally sorry you were put on Lorazepam because of it.  Some people can stop these drugs with little to no problem but we aren't those people and we've all suffered horribly because of it.  I hope you fall into the latter category but I'm happy you're here so you can educate yourself about what you're taking and what it takes to stop taking it.

 

Can you tell us how long you've been taking it and how long you plan to continue taking it?  Also, what is the dose and how often?  These drugs are only meant to be taken for 2-4 weeks but I've seen dependence occur in as little as 10 days, so please be on the lookout for odd symptoms which could mean you're in danger of developing it.

 

Lorazepam has a fairly short half life, do you feel anxious when it's time for your next dose?  This could indicate interdose withdrawal which means your body is expecting another dose. 

 

I'm going to give you some links to read so you can understand what you're dealing with a little better. 

 

The Ashton Manual A great resource, chapter 3 will list possible symptoms.

 

Planning your taper (Taper Plans)  For when you decide you're ready to start, we suggest reducing your dose by about 5-10% every couple of weeks depending on your symptoms.

 

Withdrawal Support (during your taper) For support when you begin your taper.

 

What is happening in your brain What benzo's do to us.

 

I want you to know that I've painted a pretty scary picture for you but this is because I'm incredibly frustrated that your Dr prescribed an addictive and dangerous drug to someone who is facing a health crisis.  It's maddening to know that a Dr would do this to you when you're at your most vulnerable, I'm sorry but I'm angry and even though I don't know you, I want to spare you the pain we've all faced or are facing. 

 

We're glad you found us, I hope I haven't scared you off but if I can prevent one person from traveling in our footsteps I'll be happy.

 

Pamster

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Hi pamster

 

Thank you. I never expected in 1 million years to get cancer. Mine is very aggressive and came on fast

 

 

It would’ve been nice if I wouldn’t of had to go on lorazepam, but the steroids and all the things they gave me made me really sick. I couldn’t of done it without it. I’ve been on them for nearly 6 months I’d say. All throughout my chemo which isn’t done yet

 

I was hospitalized so many times and they put me on a dose of 0.5 mg every four hours. I was taking them every 6 to 8 hours before that. So for at least three months I’ve been on that dose

 

I plan on being on them until I’m done with my Masectomy and six weeks of radiation

 

Does anyone know how to extend the time to take the dose? So that I’m not taking them every four hours. Like is there a safe way to extend it like five minutes a day for a few days then go to 10 minutes a day so you’re like at four hours and 10 minutes extending this all the way up to like six hours.

 

Since I’m taking them every four hours I don’t have any inner dose withdrawal at all thank God.

 

The cancer right now and treatment seems worse than benzo’s. And I know I couldn’t be doing it without them right now, but I wish I could. I wish that I had never started them or had cancer

 

Thank you for answering me And and your help.

 

 

 

 

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I'm relieved you responded, I feared I'd come on too strong and I did, I'm sorry.  I can see they're helping you through a traumatic time in your life and you don't need me scaring you even more. 

 

When you get through your surgeries and treatments there will be time to address the Lorazepam and we'll be here to help you do that.  If I've done my math right (which is doubtful) you're taking about 3 mgs every 24 hours?  Its possible to extend the time between doses but then you could be facing interdose withdrawal and I don't know if you need that on top of everything else you're going through.

 

It would have been better to put you on a longer acting drug like Valium or even Klonopin, here are the half life estimates for them.  https://www.benzo.org.uk/bzequiv.htm  Valium would actually be better to taper from when you're ready, it's smoother because of the long half life.  If you speak with your Dr's you might ask them about another benzo.

 

Different benzo's have different properties so you might notice a change in how they affect you but they all pretty much do the same job.  If you do decide to switch over to another benzo the crossover needs to be tapered in so you don't experience symptoms, we need to keep you as comfortable as possible.

 

Are you getting up in the night to take your dose, if you are I'm sure it's disrupting your rest. 

 

 

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Hi pamster

 

You didn’t scare me off! With feeling bad from chemo, sometimes I can’t respond right back. Yes I think I am taking 3 mgs every 24 hours. I do feel bad about it, but it is helping me so much. My cancer is so aggressive. I don’t want any inter dose withdrawals. I don’t think they’ll switch me Right now to a longer acting benzo. Lorazepam is the right kind to help with nausea. And it agrees with me.

 

Yes I set the alarm and have to get up and take a dose. But then I fall right asleep again.

 

What is the half life where I wouldn’t feel inter dose withdrawals? I don’t remember If I had them before they switched me to every 4 hours.

 

Before I just slept and took one when I woke up. But I would go 8 hours and that wasn’t good!

 

Thank you for all your help!! Thank you for being here for me. I really appreciate it.

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It's good to hear you can fall asleep after taking your dose, the half life for Lorazepam is between 10-20 hours which means the amount of time it takes for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body so you should still have coverage at 4 hours.  It makes me wonder why they switched you to every 4 hours, especially if you don't recall getting interdose withdrawals but I'm sure your body is now expecting it so its probably best to leave things as they are.

 

I hope you'll educate yourself as much as possible while you're waiting to begin your taper, Professor Ashton said it's important to prepare for the challenges ahead.  Just remember to take it slow, this isn't a race and while it seems counter intuitive to taper longer than you've been on the drug it's important to listen to your body so you can minimize your symptoms.  It's also important to understand that once off the drug completely, there is still healing to be done, which of course means pain but recovery is possible, we have many who are proof of that. 

 

 

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Hi pamster

 

The reason they changed it to 4 hours was because The chemo was causing me to have terrible nausea and I couldn’t hold anything down and stop throwing up. It helped more than anything. So they decided when I was in the hospital that I should get it every four hours.

 

It’s going to be hard when I go off it but I will take my time and taper for a long time. I don’t know how I’ll be able to taper for every four hours but we will figure that out toI!

 

They offer lorazepam to almost every cancer patient, or at least breast cancer patients that I know. I don’t think most people take it around the clock like I do but I’m very sensitive to the chemo. I don’t think most people take it except for short periods of time.

 

I have a lot to learn but I’m so thankful to be in this group

 

 

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Hi Strong. Firstly I'd like to extend compassion to you for having to deal with breast cancer. I don't know if you're religious but I pray that you will come through this with flying colors. My heart goes out to you & your family as you journey to heal. I'm sad to say that I've had several of my female family members go through this as well. It's not easy but I see that you're living up to your name..a strong one. Big hugs to you!
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Hi Strongone,

 

I wanted to also welcome you to BB. I am so sorry that you've had to deal with cancer. It's sad that the treatments have affected you so much but your strength does shine through. That means so much as far as outcome. I agree with what was said, that you need to take the benzo as you need it now since it was the only thing that helped the nausea and vomiting. Once your chemo is over you have plenty of time to think about tapering. I will say, about adding a little time to each dose interval- that didn't work for me with opioids or xanax. It was a perfect solution when I got off lyrica and I thought I had discovered a solution for all drugs. It just didn't work with the others. I did a micro liquid taper and took 4 equal doses a day when I was tapering xanax and that worked great for me. I have read about others taking 5 doses a day to prevent interdose wd. The suggestion of switching to a benzo with a longer half life seems to have worked great for many people. I had my reasons for wanting to stay with xanax so I just stretched it out. For now, getting on BB and starting to gather some info and support for down the road is all you need to do. Please go easy on yourself about taking the benzo. No one knows what they would do in your shoes. Good grief- just having nausea and vomiting is enough to make most of us run for whatever would help! Add the fact that it's from chemo and you are allowed to take what you need. Unfortunately so many of us did have issues from being on meds that were intended to help but as pamster said, many people get off without issues. Know that you have support here, reach out when you need help and you are in my prayers.  :hug:

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Hi success 77

 

Thank you for all you’ve said. I’m really tired right now from the last chemo treatment but I wanted to answer. I hate being on it every four hours because how am I going to taper that? I thought it was a good idea to stretch it out a little bit at a time, going back up to six hours maybe. Like maybe a minute a day per dose, or five minutes a day per dose and then staying there for a while. I don’t know. I think it’s going to be difficult to taper every four hours.

 

I know I don’t have to worry about coming off it right now. It does help me sleep. I don’t know what innerdose withdrawls would feel like, but I feel pretty good I don’t think I’m having any. I think I’m a pretty used to the dose I’m on right now. I think I’ve been on that for three months now. Because that’s when they did it in the hospital. Before that I was every six hours or every eight hours for maybe two months.

 

I want to stay on the same medication because that just makes sense to me. It’s going to be hard coming off of it, but this cancer is harder. And a lot of people don’t make it through the kind of cancer I have. I’m praying that I will One of those that get to live.

 

I do pray a lot and have a strong faith.

 

Thank you for answering me. 🙏

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