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help with lorazepam taper


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Hi there, looking to start my taper off of lorazepam.  I am very very confused by the tables and math on the first page of the site. I take it twice a day so the divided doses are confusing to me. Can someone please help?

 

I am currently taking lorazepam 0.5mg (one tablet) in the morning and 0.25mg (half of a tablet) in the evening.

 

My benzo history has been: 2012-2020 clonazepam, started with 0.5mg, at my highest was at 0.5mg 3x daily, and for about a year was steady with 0.5mg in the morning. sept 2020 started lorazepam 0.5mg in the morning. november 2021 increased to 0.5mg twice daily. ~march 2022 decreased to 0.5mg in the morning and 0.25mg in the evening.

 

Important to note that I am currently taking sertraline 50mg and trazodone 37.5mg at bedtime. I am going to be starting my sertraline taper in September.

 

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Hello steph527, welcome to BenzoBuddies,

 

We know it can be confusing so I'm very glad you've joined to get the answers you need to do this, its best to learn all you can before attempting to do this because its a big commitment.  I have a question for you, did you experience symptoms when you reduced your dose, I'm just trying to find out if you've had symptom before, so we can know how to advise you.

 

I'll give you some links to the various boards and some resources but please continue to ask questions, we're here to help you and we'll definitely help you find a taper that will hopefully work the best for you.

 

Pamster

 

Colorado Consortium Benzodiazepine Deprescribing Guidelines

 

Planning Your Withdrawal (Taper)

 

Withdrawal Support (during your taper)

 

The Ashton Manual

 

 

 

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Thanks for the reply. I don't think I experienced any symptoms from dose reduction, although I tried to quit sertraline pretty much cold turkey last September and had HORRIBLE protracted antidepressant withdrawal syndrome. (I am also a member of the forum survivingantidepressants).
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I'm encouraged by the fact that you haven't experienced symptoms from reducing your dose in the past but it troubles me you've had symptoms from Sertraline, hopefully that was because you pretty much quit cold turkey.  Not everyone will suffer with symptoms as we do so I'm hoping you'll be one of the lucky ones.

 

So you currently take .75 mgs Lorazepam a day, you could start out by cutting your .5 mg pill into quarters and taking one less quarter a day, meaning you'd take .625 in a day instead of .75 mg.  The problem with that is it's a 16.7% decrease and we recommend reducing between 5-10%.  If this feels like too much you can get a file or razor blade and make your pills smaller that way.  For the best input you could start a thread on the direct taper board to get recommendations from members who have tapered, I didn't so my information is second hand, this is the link. http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?board=56.0

 

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What i don't understand is which dose (am or pm) do i decrease first? Also, do i do this in conjunction with my sertraline taper? I've read you really should only taper one drug at a time, but feel really discouraged that I would have to continue to take this for years until my sertraline taper is complete. And in what increments do you recommend the 10% decrease? monthly? biweekly? Thanks in advance.
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Yes, we do recommend only tapering one drug at a time so you can know what could be causing what so you can make adjustments, I guess you'll need to decide which drug you want off of first.  As for which dose to reduce, this depends on your needs and lifestyle, where you can afford to make the first cut.  Many members will alternate the reductions between the doses until eventually they all have to go.

 

A symptom based taper means making reductions when your body tells you its time.  Members will make a reduction then record their symptoms and severity to use as an aid to decide when and how much to reduce again.  They'll also pay attention to when symptoms come on after a reduction and when they begin to settle, this is an indicator that its time to make another cut.  Regimented tapers aren't sustainable if we become non-functional.  As a rule of thumb we suggest reducing every couple of weeks because the various benzo's and their half lives fit into this scenario. 

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