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Taking Ativan and Zolpidem together


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Hi everyone. I have had life long insomnia and have been going through a pretty rough patch for the past year. (aka menopause!) I take 1mg lorazepam along with 5 to 10mg of zolpidem every night to sleep. I found that combo has no longer been working. The zolpidem used to knock me out within 20 minutes, but now it simply makes me feel like I am not sleeping at all. I decided to cut out zolpidem completely 3 nights ago, and only taking the 1mg of lorazepam, which doesn't help me fall asleep on its own. So now it has been three nights of zero sleep. I would like to taper off of these two drugs for good and learn to sleep naturally.

Has anyone else been on a combined zolpidem/ativan and had success getting off both?

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Hello finz, welcome to BenzoBuddies,


I was in the Zolpidem trap, the more I took the less I slept and the more miserable I was the next day, I get it. 


I understand you haven't slept for 3 nights but this is to be expected, are you dealing with any other symptoms?  The reason I'm asking is because it may be that you can just stay off of the Zolpidem and not go back on to taper.  I quit Zolpidem cold turkey and while we don't recommend this, for some of us it seems to be the right thing to do.  Many members will taper it by 10%, some more some less but the bi-product for all of us is no sleep for a time but there is a lot of variation in actual withdrawal symptoms.  It's difficult to know who will suffer long term from Zolpidem discontinuation but it seems to be easier for some than tapering benzo's.


As for the Ativan, we recommend reducing your dose by about 5-10% every couple of weeks but special attention should be paid to your symptoms, if you let them guide your reductions you can hopefully stay functional.


Its important to only taper one medication at a time so you can know what is causing what in order to make adjustments.  If you decide to stay off the Zolpidem, I'd wait until sleep somewhat returns before tapering the Ativan.


I've given you my perspective but I think its important to reach out to the wider community for input, gathering information will help you make the best decision for you.  I'll provide some links to get you started but please ask questions, we're here to help.




Colorado Consortium Benzodiazepine Deprescribing Guidelines


Planning Your Withdrawal (Taper)


Withdrawal Support (during your taper)


The Ashton Manual


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