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Need Help-- benzo and z-drug see-saw


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I just realized for sure that I'm not so much withdrawing from one drug, as replacing it with another (w/d Ativan/replacing increased Z-drug). I didn't know that for sure, as I keep a log; but hadn't read it in a week, being extremely busy (and with multiple medical issues). When I finally did read my written log (not on here) and realized too that my Z-drug supply was diminishing --before the insurance co. would refill it again-- I thought to myself, "This isn't working out". You might think it's idiotic for me not to realize it before this, but I take so many drugs a day... which is why I need to keep a log! So folks, to be honest, I'm not really withdrawing. I just thought I was. I'm really just replacing one drug with the other, and it's not working out. Well, at least I'm honest about it! But I think I am going to have to go back to my old regimen, in order to be able to sleep for the rest of the month before my insurance kicks in, as that way, I take LESS Z-drugs, but more Benzos. It's just a trade-off. I need to know if anyone here has tapered BOTH at the same time without Valium and/or supplements from those companies online, in which you have to pay them $250--$400 ?  Otherwise, I imagine I'm going to have to keep upping and cutting one drug and then another back and forth constantly, as insurance is such a problem... as well as my sleeping!


Sorry... if you want me to leave, I will.  I can't get help from any doctors, at this point. Maybe a bit later on... but they're all so busy... they never even call back. And I know that detox doesn't work, either. Not sure what to do. I am getting over an active infection... with one still going on, and I need my sleep to function! The pharmacists don't know what to do, either.


Everyone and everything I had read said to "w/d the Benzos first"... but as I can't sleep that way and tend to up my Z-drug dose, it's not going to work, that way. Which drug is safer, I wonder? Also, since I added the Z-drugs later (been on Ativan longer), I am wondering if I shouldn't do it vice versa, in my case? That is, try to get off the Z-drugs, and then, the Benzos?


I also take a bunch of other meds...


(Please don't suggest dipenhydramine for sleep, btw: it's very drying,  and I already have a problem with that, plus asthma; so it tends to dry me out and then cause infection.)

I was thinking maybe *Passion Flower*, though even on here, people don't think that it works very well.


Other suggestions? Thanks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi there, TryingAgain,


I'm not as familiar with the Z-drugs, so my hope is that someone will be able to offer some helpful words to support you.  And of course we don't want you to leave.  Many people here are familiar with the Z-drugs and as far as I know they act on GABA in a similar manner as Benzos do...I could be wrong. 


Hopefully someone soon will be able to lend a hand.


All my best,


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Yeah hi, Schatje, and thanks for moving the post... actually, I wrote that awhile ago, and I'm way beyond that, now. I went back on my usual Ativan dose, and then-- after having increased my sleep meds, was able to start cutting back on the sleep meds. Now, I'm still a tad above what I was taking before, but not much (like 1/4 mg. more of each drug). 


So my logic is, if I continue this way, I can taper the Z -drugs, and then, work on the Ativan. I had heard in another place to do the Ativan first, but then, someone on here (forget who) said to do it the other way (vice versa). So now I am.


So anyway, that was an old post. But thanks anyway!  :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was taking 10 mg of Ambien and found that I was using it to rescue me from kingpin cuts.  I stopped the klonopin cuts and tapered off the Ambient first.  Then I was able to start tapering the Klonopin with a lot fewer symptoms.  I didn't believe it but it turned out that it was best to get off of the Z drug first.  I am now able to make progress with the klonopin taper much more comfortably.  The reason is that the Z drugs are so short acting.


Hope that helps.

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Yes, it does help. Appreciate it, Goldenxoxo!  :)


There's been a delay re: my doctors' responding and the insurance garbage cooperation, so I doubt now that I'll be able to get back on CR, anyway. Unless I write several appeals... Meanwhile, I'm doing a bit better sometimes, but as this has been an extremely stressful week (taxes and other things), I am sometimes needing a bit more of either Ambien or of Ativan, but not both... overall, I'm taking less than I was a month or so ago.  :yippee: But not by much.  :(


Still, it could be worse. Given that my experience mirrors yours, Golden, I think we are both on the right track, here (and someone else on here also corroborated): Despite what some other experts think, probably getting off the Z-Drugs (or cutting down) is the first thing to do, THEN the Benzo (even though Ativan is "short-acting"). But then, everyone's different. Ever feel like a lab rat? It's a shame that doctors don't know these things... >:(  

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