Jump to content
Important Survey - Please Participate ×

Tapering off 3mg lorazepam usage 12 weeks


Recommended Posts

[He...]

Hello, 

I have used lorazepam for 12 weeks now. The last 3 weeks have been 3mg. Beginning it was 1mg and then of course 2, then 2.5, jumps like that. I have a 6 week plan from my doctor to drop 0.5 a week for 5 weeks and stop the 6th week. Does this seem reasonable. Otherwise I could use the step off the table and cut a quarter a week off. So I take 1mg morning, afternoon, night. I would lower morning dose to 0.75mg, 1mg, 1mg, then the next week the afternoon dose would drop to 0.75mg until all three doses were that and then start 0.5 morning dose and keep that trend going. Part of me feels like a 12 week taper is too long; that’s as long as I’ve been on it. Before I tried to taper from 2.5mg, I was taking 0.5, 1,  and 1mg. Doctor tried to drop me to 1.5, first day I got to 0.5, 0.5 afternoon dose and I need up in the ER feeling like I was crawling out of my body inner restlessness really bad. So I just took my 1mg and stayed at 2mg then of course updose because they said my anxiety was that bad. Which plans seems more feasible. I really want off this. My anxiety is still really bad even on 3mg and before each dose I feel like I am really feaning. Any advice on how to do this taper. I don’t want to taper and withdrawal for 12 weeks if that’s how a taper works. I also don’t want to have a seizure going too fast that scares me so bad. But 6 weeks sounds more reasonable. I just don’t know if I will even feel a 0.5mg pill. If I drop by 0.5 each week. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[je...]

Hi @[He...]

Welcome to BenzoBuddies!

I'm sorry you're having trouble coming off benzo's. I just need a bit more clarification. 

2 hours ago, [[H...] said:

Doctor tried to drop me to 1.5

What does this mean? Was this from 3mg? Or was this from one of your doses? How long ago did you try this reduction?

What was the reason Lorazepam was prescribed? Have you used benzo's before?

Apologies for all the many questions, but we need answers to all of them so we can give you the best possible advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[He...]
10 minutes ago, [[j...] said:

Hi @[He...]

Welcome to BenzoBuddies!

I'm sorry you're having trouble coming off benzo's. I just need a bit more clarification. 

What does this mean? Was this from 3mg? Or was this from one of your doses? How long ago did you try this reduction?

What was the reason Lorazepam was prescribed? Have you used benzo's before?

Apologies for all the many questions, but we need answers to all of them so we can give you the best possible advice.

I tried the reduction about a month ago. I was at 2.5 mg a day in divided doses. I was taking 0.5mg, 1mg, and 1mg. Doctor said let’s drop from 2.5 to 1.5 and said just start taking 0.5 for all of your three doses. I tried it and did morning dose 0.5, afternoon dose 0.5, and then went to the ER because I felt really bad. They gave me 1mg IV Ativan and I didn’t take anymore that night so I stayed at 2mg that night and two more nights, then I kept having really bad anxiety and then my doctors said your anxiety is uncontrolled you wouldn’t be having interdose withdrawal on something your currently taking and upped me to 3mg been there since. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[je...]

Thank you, that is helpful.

Do you mind just answering these questions as well:

What was the reason Lorazepam was prescribed? Have you used benzo's before?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[He...]

It was prescribed because I was having debilitating anxiety that made me non functional. Not able to clean, go to stores, I’ve lost my ability to sit and watch tv like it’s really rough. But ever since I’ve been on benzo, especially at the higher dose I swear this anxiety is unlike anything I’ve ever had I want my old anxiety back. I had used lorazepam before if I had a panic attack last year but it was literally 2x. Then in February I took six and stopped for two weeks and then went back on them. Please see attached how I have taken the lorazepam these past 12 weeks. Also, this is just the total daily dosage. I’ve always divided it into 3 doses through the day. Also see attached taper plan my doctor gave me. 

IMG_4926.jpeg

IMG_4927.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[He...]
22 minutes ago, [[j...] said:

Thank you, that is helpful.

Do you mind just answering these questions as well:

What was the reason Lorazepam was prescribed? Have you used benzo's before?

Also, I have panic attacks that make me feel like I’m dying, that’s why I was put on it. Heart racing really bad feeling like I can’t breathe ect. I still have those but not the same. Now I’m like in a constant state of anxiety. Functioning a little better now though but not without these pills. But I’m done. I used to feel like a feather on them. Now it’s like I take a Tylenol with a mild calming effect. I don’t feel any sedation, or drugged feeling anymore. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[He...]
8 minutes ago, [[j...] said:

Have you used benzo's before?

Nope 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[je...]
18 minutes ago, [[H...] said:

Also, I have panic attacks that make me feel like I’m dying, that’s why I was put on it. Heart racing really bad feeling like I can’t breathe ect. I still have those but not the same. Now I’m like in a constant state of anxiety. Functioning a little better now though but not without these pills. But I’m done. I used to feel like a feather on them. Now it’s like I take a Tylenol with a mild calming effect. I don’t feel any sedation, or drugged feeling anymore. 

Very often when we use benzo's they can amplify the original condition it was prescribed for. It is symptomatic treatment, it doesn't address the actual problem. It sounds to me when you tried to stop it, the main symptom you were experiencing was the anxiety and panic attacks right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[He...]
1 minute ago, [[j...] said:

Very often when we use benzo's they can amplify the original condition it was prescribed for. It is symptomatic treatment, it doesn't address the actual problem. It sounds to me when you tried to stop it, the main symptom you were experiencing was the anxiety and panic attacks right?

It was like inner restlessness and severe anxiety and my body just feel so restless and panicking but much different and it was cold turkey it was just a drop in dosage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[je...]

Sorry, yes, I meant when you decreased it. By going off/reducing the Lorazepam it is very likely that your anxiety will increase since it was a pre-existing condition. I just have to make it clear, that you know what to expect. It will likely be extremely uncomfortable. The way forward though, is to try and make it most manageable. And you are the only person that is able to determine what level of anxiety you can manage. We can't determine that for you. We will definitely help and guide you, but you have to tell us what you are comfortable with. Ideally you would want to taper faster because you've been a fairly short term user, but there's no point in a faster taper if it ends up being completely unbearable.

Do you feel the cut from 2.5mg to 1.5mg was too much? 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[He...]
53 minutes ago, [[j...] said:

Sorry, yes, I meant when you decreased it. By going off/reducing the Lorazepam it is very likely that your anxiety will increase since it was a pre-existing condition. I just have to make it clear, that you know what to expect. It will likely be extremely uncomfortable. The way forward though, is to try and make it most manageable. And you are the only person that is able to determine what level of anxiety you can manage. We can't determine that for you. We will definitely help and guide you, but you have to tell us what you are comfortable with. Ideally you would want to taper faster because you've been a fairly short term user, but there's no point in a faster taper if it ends up being completely unbearable.

Do you feel the cut from 2.5mg to 1.5mg was too much? 

Yes I couldn’t even do it but that was him wanting me to cut an entire mg. And now I’ve been on 3 mg for three weeks or more. Did you see the attachment my doctor gave me for a taper. Does 0.5mg seem to drastic? If I’m on 3mg and jump down to 2.5 and decrease 0.5 every week? It seems like a 12 week taper is super long since that is how long I have been on it. But the 0.25 cut from 3mg to 2.75 does sound a bit easier but idk. And am I even doing this right? Where each week I take a cut from the first dose and then the next week you cut from the second dose, and then the third week cut from the third dose. Or do I just cut the first dose until it’s completely gone. The lowest each dose will go is to 0.25 before that does it gone. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[je...]
1 hour ago, [[H...] said:

Did you see the attachment my doctor gave me for a taper. Does 0.5mg seem to drastic? If I’m on 3mg and jump down to 2.5 and decrease 0.5 every week?

Yes, I think this will be too fast for you given how you reacted to the 1mg cut. You will be cutting 1mg in two weeks. Two weeks are not enough to recover and the reduction IMO is too big. There is something in withdrawal called the accumulation effect. Accumulation means that previous cuts are catching up with you and you suddenly experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. Basically your body remembers previous reductions and while you might have been okay with one or two cuts, the subsequent cuts can send you into severe withdrawal. 

1 hour ago, [[H...] said:

But the 0.25 cut from 3mg to 2.75 does sound a bit easier but idk

I think this might be too fast as well. To give you an idea, if people are really struggling with their symptoms, we usually recommend a taper of no more than 5-10% of the total daily dose every two weeks. If you feel comfortable with it, it will probably be better to attempt 0.125mg cuts every two weeks to see how you react. 

1 hour ago, [[H...] said:

It seems like a 12 week taper is super long since that is how long I have been on it.

I know it feels very long, but if you are already dependent and you are struggling, then the goal is to keep you functional. It does not mean you feel good, it means you are able to do the daily tasks that are expected of you. Ultimately you have to decide what your goals are and how you would like to taper. We can only share our experience and knowledge with you.  

1 hour ago, [[H...] said:

Or do I just cut the first dose until it’s completely gone

Generally people will cut between their doses. So they'll start with one, then the next cut will be from another dose etc. They don't usually eliminate one dose altogether. This is done to avoid interdose withdrawal. 

Let us know what your thoughts are and how we can further help with this process.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[He...]
3 minutes ago, [[j...] said:

Yes, I think this will be too fast for you given how you reacted to the 1mg cut. You will be cutting 1mg in two weeks. Two weeks are not enough to recover and the reduction IMO is too big. There is something in withdrawal called the accumulation effect. Accumulation means that previous cuts are catching up with you and you suddenly experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. Basically your body remembers previous reductions and while you might have been okay with one or two cuts, the subsequent cuts can send you into severe withdrawal. 

I think this might be too fast as well. To give you an idea, if people are really struggling with their symptoms, we usually recommend a taper of no more than 5-10% of the total daily dose every two weeks. If you feel comfortable with it, it will probably be better to attempt 0.125mg cuts every two weeks to see how you react. 

I know it feels very long, but if you are already dependent and you are struggling, then the goal is to keep you functional. It does not mean you feel good, it means you are able to do the daily tasks that are expected of you. Ultimately you have to decide what your goals are and how you would like to taper. We can only share our experience and knowledge with you.  

Generally people will cut between their doses. So they'll start with one, then the next cut will be from another dose etc. They don't usually eliminate one dose altogether. This is done to avoid interdose withdrawal. 

Let us know what your thoughts are and how we can further help with this process.

Thank you that makes sense! So I have 1mg pills I can’t take 10% off that would be 0.68 mg or something like that. I don’t know how I would be able to cut that. So that’s why I’m stuck with quarters or halves. I did look in the withdrawal support on direct tapers here and the step off the table showed that I would be off in 12 weeks give or take. But it showed I would drop a quarter off each week give or take. I’ll put images here. I hope I’m understanding that correctly. But I think because my dose is small that is why I can’t do 10% cuts because you can’t cut that small.  

IMG_4929.jpeg

IMG_4930.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[je...]

I'm not sure where you found that table, but we don't work according to a set taper plan here anymore (but well done for researching and reading up on tapering!). We work based on symptoms. That means we start off with suggested 1-2 cuts and then based on how you react to it we make adjustments accordingly. This process repeats itself after every 2-3 cuts. A taper should be flexible, not rigid and not based on an end date. :)

In order for you to make smaller cuts, you'll have to ask your doctor for smaller pills. I think the Lorazepam comes in 0.5mg pills if I'm not mistaken. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[He...]
11 hours ago, [[j...] said:

I'm not sure where you found that table, but we don't work according to a set taper plan here anymore (but well done for researching and reading up on tapering!). We work based on symptoms. That means we start off with suggested 1-2 cuts and then based on how you react to it we make adjustments accordingly. This process repeats itself after every 2-3 cuts. A taper should be flexible, not rigid and not based on an end date. :)

In order for you to make smaller cuts, you'll have to ask your doctor for smaller pills. I think the Lorazepam comes in 0.5mg pills if I'm not mistaken. 

I found that table on this site. Under withdrawal methods in the top right corner. Why is it still there if it’s not to be used? Anyways, I take my pills around 11:30, 4:30 or 5pm, and 9:30 or 10:30. Is the space between night time dose and first dose of the day to far apart is it going to throw me into bad withdrawal as I start tapering or not because the med is still in my body? Also when that morning dose is cut down and eventually cut out I’ll be going from 9:30 or 10:30 pm until 4:30 the next day. I didn’t think about smaller pills but don’t a lot of people taper over 12 weeks? That seems like a sufficient amount of time seeing as I’ve only been on 3 months but I do know I may have to hold and it end up taking longer but according to that table I found on the resources of this site it’s starting at 8.66% decrease. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[je...]
6 hours ago, [[H...] said:

but according to that table I found on the resources of this site it’s starting at 8.66% decrease. 

Any person can upload any table or any information to this site. We don't vet the information for correctness or credibility and we don't delete posts from any member who posts here. If that taper worked for someone else then great for them. It could be a resource for another member, but we don't blindly follow random tables. I have also uploaded a table here for how I tapered down from 0.125mg, but that does not mean this is endorsed by BenzoBuddies. This is a peer support group, which means we don't consider any one individual an expert and we don't supply individual taper plans from beginning to end. 

6 hours ago, [[H...] said:

I didn’t think about smaller pills but don’t a lot of people taper over 12 weeks? 

Most people here who are physically dependent taper longer. To give you some context. It took me about 20 months to taper 1mg Clonazepam. 1mg Clonazepam equals about 2mg Lorazepam. (I'm not suggesting you should taper this long, just answering your question). 

6 hours ago, [[H...] said:

That seems like a sufficient amount of time seeing as I’ve only been on 3 months

The way we usually approach tapering questions on the Tapering Forum is to establish whether the person is dependent or not. Then we consider the duration of use and this is related to how deep the physical dependency is. That is why I asked you how you felt about the 1mg cut. You said it was too much. At this stage I can't tell you how long your taper will take because it will depend on how you react to each cut. Based on your symptoms you can adjust your cuts. Our goal here at BB is to help people get safely off benzo's and as far as possible help them remain functional. 

But this is your taper. My suggestion, based on how you reacted to the previous cut, was to test a 0.125mg cut and see how that goes as I am hesitant to suggest bigger cuts that might cause you to end up in the ER again. If you want to go faster, that is entirely up to you and we would support you. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

Is there anyone who didn’t taper super slow, and followed a rapid taper and did okay. I don’t even have a way to taper 5-10% off my dose and I need off this pill. It’s making me sick and not from my taper, it has been I started taking it daily. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some people do rapid tapers and do fine, it all depends on their symptoms and how dependent they are. Each person is unique and has to determine what taper strategy works for them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m just worried about seizure risk. I’m contemplating cutting 0.25mg every 7 days.  It would take me still August to be off so it’s not super rapid. I’m down to 2.25mg from 3mg. Started the taper May 22nd 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, [[H...] said:

I’m just worried about seizure risk. I’m contemplating cutting 0.25mg every 7 days.  It would take me still August to be off so it’s not super rapid. I’m down to 2.25mg from 3mg. Started the taper May 22nd 

That would not be a seizure risk. Seizures are generally big cuts from high doses. These cuts are not considered big enough for seizures. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...