Jump to content

Ativan Withdrawal and Other Questions


[Ki...]

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

 

I have been on 1mg of Ativan for six years after starting Klonopin for six months before that for anxiety and sleep. The Ativan seemed to fit the mark better so I stuck with it. Anyway I also have an issue from childhood with my back that has caused me problems off and on (multiple multiple) surgeries. All this to say I also take Gabapentin and Norco.

 

So my question for everyone is a multi parter. First the Ativan- For the first time in six years I seemed to have misplaced my medication. I’ve looked absolutely everywhere. My wife has looked and I’ve accepted it’s been lost completely. It’s a 90 day supply and I’m about two months in. I cannot get a refill until the end of June. So now it’s been about six days without it and… I’m feeling pretty bad. I genuinely feel awful but I’m trying to push through as I have to work and have a family. What choice is there? But at the same time I’m also thinking at some point I could see myself being off this medication for the first time. I just want to know in general how bad the next 3-4 weeks are going to be?

 

My other question is about stopping my meds. I’ve been on and off opiates for years due to my back. I know how to taper opiates and have done this successfully at least 3 times. I am in a place where my back is good. I want to go off all meds. I thought I would keep the Ativan but I’m thinking no. After I taper and stop the opiates, should I stop Gabapentin then Ativan or taper them together? Thoughts??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like it's good news for you.... Ativan is short lasting so it's out of your system by I'd say day 4 so looks like ur having an easier time than other people.... Your day 6 I'd say that's as bad as it's going to get so no point in reinstating if your managing now. It's only going to get easier and easier.... Maybe for some really.reallyyyy odd reason if you start feeling terrible withdrawal symptoms than probably take it again but taper this time although I really don't see that happening for you. : )

 

As for your other meds if I were u I'd just continue to take them until your in the clear from Ativan withdrawal... Than slowly taper gabapentin if you wish too... It's an antiseizure med but it does help alot of other issues nerve pain, even anxiety for some, etc but non the less it's an antiseizure med that has an effect on lowering glutamate and if you cold turkey gabapentin there's a chance of seizures. Rebound effect of high glutamate can potentially cause a seizure but it's not for sure... Gabapentin comes in small doses of 100 mgs so it's easy to taper. As for any other meds I'm not sure on how to taper those but I wouldn't do them all at once. Try one at a time. Looks like giving up the Ativan will be easy for you or easier I should say which is a good thing .. benzos are not good I'd deffinitley look to get off them Ativan, Klonopin, valium etc there bad for the brain and cause worsening symptoms.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm so sorry you misplaced your Ativan but it has given you the opportunity to re-evaluate your relationship with medications.  I was always fearful that I would lose my benzo Rx and not be able to get an early refill and I'm glad I no longer have that worry!

 

We suggest that you taper only one medication at a time - if you start to struggle, you will know for sure which medication is causing the issue.  I don't see any point in starting the Ativan if you go to the end of June without it so you will already be off one of your meds.  I suggest waiting a while to let the dust settle post-Ativan, be sure you are good and stable, and then take on the Norco and do the Gabapentin last.

 

All the best to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you both for your replies. I guess I’m “lucky” this happened? I always thought I would stop the Norco and Gabapentin but just stay on the Ativan. Bc of this I’m thinking I don’t need it. So, even though it’s bad today, you think it will get easier not worse over the next three weeks?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Benzodiazepines are suggested by the manufacturer to be used for 2-4 weeks, these drugs were never meant for long term use, even though doctors prescribe them for decades.  The problem is they begin to cause the problems we went on them to fix, anxiety, insomnia and panic only its a 100 times worse than the normal stuff so many find that once off and recovered they feel much better and what they used to consider unmanageable in terms of anxiety is nothing compared to what they experienced on the drug.

 

In my opinion you probably won't feel better in 3 weeks, it takes a long time for our brains to repair the damage the drug did but here is why so many people are saying it's probably a blessing in disguise that you're in this situation.  If you decide to go back on the drug when your refill is available it will most likely take quite awhile to get back to your normal, if you even can at that point.  Once we go into withdrawal it takes time and sometimes an updose to get back to where you were, but some never can, it's like you can't go home once your body enters this nightmare so the only thing to do is taper off and recover.

 

You can of course decide to go back on the drug and taper but as I said in another post, tapering is for most painful too, just read through the thousands of posts from suffering members.  I quit cold turkey because I didn't know the drug needed to be tapered and while my symptoms were horrific I was able to recover just like someone who does a slow taper.  The purpose of a taper is to minimize symptoms while reducing the drug, in essence we use the drug to stay functional as we rid ourselves of the drug.  Functional doesn't mean feeling good, it just means able to carry out daily tasks.

 

I hope I haven't discouraged you, we'll support any decision you make because we understand this is personal, no one knows how much pain another person can endure and we understand this pain well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are not discouraging me I appreciate directness. I have stepped down from opiates so I know what you mean. I have decent self control so I can handle a taper. I’m going to be honest my concern with the Ativan is (mentally) I’m “managing” bc I know this is not permanent. I’ve never been one to cold Turkey. It feels too overwhelming.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm glad you're good with knowing how this works, and yes, these symptoms are temporary but a long temporary for most of us, typical recovery is between one and two years but the variables are too numerous to count.  Genetics, general health, stress levels, length of time on the drug, all of these things and more play a role in how painful a taper and recovery will be so try not to envision a terrible fate when its impossible to know how its going to go.  But of course, fear is one of our symptoms so its difficult to do.

 

What symptoms are you dealing with?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I definitely have seen people really struggle with opiate tapering as well. It sucks how awful it can be. As long as I took my time and didn’t introduce other meds to assist I could handle it and jump off. I learned a lot from my first time. I can deal with low level withdrawal. I definitely expect discomfort with it. So as for today, I have:

 

Chills

Cold intolerance (usually I’m always hot)

Malaise

Irritability

Anxiety and heart palpitations (I keep telling myself it’s just anxiety not a heart attack but this part is hard)

Diarrhea

Very low appetite

Insomnia

 

I expect to feel these things with a taper but at this point it’s ALL encompassing. Like I said I can deal with a baseline withdrawal but this is intense.

 

I know in general people are advocating I just never take them again but I’m going to be honest and say I’m likely not going to do that. Can you speak on how long I should try to stabilize on my Ativan before trying to taper? Should I just start back at half my dose daily?

 

Also I’m not discarding the above mentioned advice I just want to be honest about my intentions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can see you're suffering and absolutely respect your possible intention to go back on the drug so you can taper it, is there any way your doctor could write you another script so you pay out of pocket for it, it sounds like its the insurance company calling the shots when I believe this should be between you and your doctor.  If it's your desire to go back on I feel this would be your best option.

 

Its tough to know how much you should reinstate, of course you'll want to take the lowest amount possible but its tough to know what it will take you to stabilize.  Ativan is pretty short acting so you should know in a few days what the results of your initial dose will be.  You may be able to hold that initial dose but you may need to increase it.  You could start out with half and go from there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm that’s definitely an idea. I think I’m scared to push it with the pharmacy bc what happens if they just decide not to do any fills and I’m stuck withdrawing on all three at the same time? I have no doubt anxiety is putting thoughts in my head but I feel worried. I’ve never had an issue with them but when I called Friday it was a pretty firm we can’t help you.

 

I really appreciate your tapering advice. I’m going to do what I can from day to day and decide where I’m at on June 27th. That’s when I can refill it. Thank you so much for responding to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just brainstorming here …

 

If your withdrawal symptoms become intolerable, you could try asking your doctor if s/he would be willing to write a new prescription for a different amount and/or dosing schedule for the lorazepam (or, maybe even a different benzodiazepine).  This would constitute an actual change in prescription and (probably) would not get flagged in your state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (which is what your pharmacist likely checks before filling an Rx for a controlled substance).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just brainstorming here …

 

If your withdrawal symptoms become intolerable, you could try asking your doctor if s/he would be willing to write a new prescription for a different amount and/or dosing schedule for the lorazepam (or, maybe even a different benzodiazepine).  This would constitute an actual change in prescription and (probably) would not get flagged in your state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (which is what your pharmacist likely checks before filling an Rx for a controlled substance).

 

This is a great suggestion, thanks Libertas! 

 

Kitchyface3523, one of our hallmark symptoms is fear, we understand completely and you're right to be concerned, doctors and pharmacies deal with a lot of drug seekers but if your doctor knows you and will work on your behalf this could be a good solution. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is an awesome idea! I will see what he says tomorrow. We do have a good rapport.

 

Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is a pity that a few bad eggs make things difficult for the honest people who have a glitch but that is the syaye of controlled substance prescribing in today's environment.    :-\
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This. I am worried to be seen as doing something they would question. It’s sad to think I would rather sit here and withdrawal then ask 😑
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This. I am worried to be seen as doing something they would question. It’s sad to think I would rather sit here and withdrawal then ask 😑

 

Going outside the 'norm' in the world of controlled substances does carry the risk of getting onerself labeled a 'drug-seeker' so I think calculating the risk before asking for something 'extra' is wise.  I always tried to be a 'good' patient so my Rx for clonazepam would not come into question but now that I am off, I am relieved not to have that sort of pressure any longer.  Heck, I don't even have to stick with the same doctor any longer for fear that a new one wouldn't give me benzos.  My old doctor left the practice shortly after I finished tapering and what a relief it was that I didn't have to sweat it.  I ddin't care for the new one I picked so I found another one and didn't have to worry about him being benzo-friendly.  Yes, it is sad but that is the status of things these days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is this the first time you’ve lost/misplaced one of the controlled substances you were prescribed?  If so and you have a good rapport with your prescriber, I suggest a straightforward and honest approach. Explain what happened, describe the withdrawal symptoms you are experiencing, and ask if s/he would be willing to help.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is the first time indeed. I’m going to reach out today and see what happens. I’m anxious about it but no surprise there!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...