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Lorazepam (Ativan) Posts

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Was prescribed 1mg or half .5mg as needed. Have taken 1mg probably no more than five times over the past month... usual dosage for me is just.5mg early evening or if anxiety strikes really bad in the afternoon. Didn't take any yesterday. Only been taking this med recently for a month.

At this minimal dose, it can still cause a dependance I would think and have never taken ANY more than 1mg a day. Well aware of how this can become a problem so really aware of that. Any advice or similar experience, tips on slowly lowering dose etc. would be appreciated. Or those who feel that if this is the ONLY med I take for anxiety... which it is right now... I should be okay as long as I never start upping dosage.

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Asked this as anxiety is bad right now and know that if I take even .25 mg of ativan that it will help and don't know if I'm being too hard on myself trying not to take it.

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Hi, Finally took .5 mg this afternoon and gosh it surely helped with anxiety. My friend said "if it helps and honestly makes you feel better" don't be so worried right now about dependency. As it is, been on this for five weeks and NEVER took more than 1mg total per day. Usual dose is .5mg once per day.

I realize that it's not a "forever" drug but have read posts on DF of people that have used a lot more over the course of a lot more time... is it at some point "whatever" it takes to get that anxiety gone if you are following doc's initial prescription?

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Ativan has lowered my anxiety and have been taking .5mg a day for five weeks. And not taking any some days during this five weeks... probably about a week full of individual days.

So, is it correct that at this dose, I can still become dependent on it? Loved ones are saying, "If it makes you feel better, take it etc" but I am SO hesitant and have been sticking to .5mg once a day or 1/2 of .5mg twice a day.

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Hi happyback,

I realized your post is almost a month old and you received no responses. Are you still taking Ativan .5mg? And are you still worried about the dependency issue? I am on Ativan 1mg and take up to 2mg as needed but I am having one of those days where I feel like I need it, sometimes I can snap out of it.. other times I cannot. I draw the line on my misery level pretty much. I try to ask myself on a scale of 1-10 how distressed/anxious I am feeling. I do not count panic attacks though, that is undeniable misery. I really would not worry about a dependency issue. You can always switch your benzodiazepine if it loses its effectiveness. And that is normal to do that. I guess my point is... assess how you are truly feeling before you take it.. you should NOT have to be in misery just because you are worried about dependance, but you also should not take it just for the heck of it.

-Carissa

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Hi Carissa,

Thank you for responding. Yes, I still take .25mg in am if needed and .25mg at night... so .50mg total daily... it has really helped and I agree... I sure don't take it, to just take it...

Bill

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Hi, Finally took .5 mg this afternoon and gosh it surely helped with anxiety. My friend said "if it helps and honestly makes you feel better" don't be so worried right now about dependency. As it is, been on this for five weeks and NEVER took more than 1mg total per day. Usual dose is .5mg once per day.

I realize that it's not a "forever" drug but have read posts on DF of people that have used a lot more over the course of a lot more time... is it at some point "whatever" it takes to get that anxiety gone if you are following doc's initial prescription?

I would also like to know the answer to this.

0.5mg is a low dose I think. My doctor started me on 1mg as required which did absolutely nothing, now I have been told to try 2mg per dose. As 2mg is already quite a big dose my concern is that it will work for a while then I will need more..... it seems like most people gain SOME tolerance but there is the occasional forum post from someone who have taken the same dose for years without any problems.

I guess luck and usage plays a factor. I bet multiple daily doses leads to more tolerance than just using 4 or 5 doses a week.

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The PRO is that it's very, very effective and generally safe to use. It works!

The CON is that many (not all) have tolerance or addiction issues and the longer you use them (or the higher the dosage) them more common this gets.

For short-term, occasional use the effectiveness of benzos really can't be disputed! For longer term use, it can be risky.

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Ativan is a great drug when used in extreme moderation. I had a bad experience on Ativan.

I had a psychiatrist that was prescription happy, and prescribed me large doses of ativan. For three years I took 2 mg four times a day...yes, you read that right...8 mg per day! At the time I didn't have a clue of how high of a dose that was. It worked great at relieving my anxiety, that is all I cared about. I was always laid back and never upset about anything on the ativan. Then my psychiatrist moved away and I started seeing a new psychiatrist. He went nuts at how high of a dose of ativan I was on, and explained to me why it was so bad. So once I heard that, I wanted off of the drug. I had a really, really, REALLY difficult time getting off of ativan. Finally I weaned myself off of it very slowly for over six months, but it was still difficult going that slowly.

I can tell you that I have completely lost those three years that I was on the ativan. I don't remember ANYTHING from those years. My daughter graduated from high school, and I can't remember anything about it...not the ceremony, not the grad party we had, nothing. I feel robbed.

So as I said, ativan is a great drug, just don't take too much of it and don't use it too often. Things can get out of hand quickly, unless you have a doctor that is keeping an eye on your dosage and usage.

Be well.

Gayle

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Hi Gayle,

Right now ativan is the only drug that offers me relief from anxiety. I have been only taking .25mg in the am and on and off, I'll take .25mg at night. I have held to that dose for two months now... there is no desire to take more or want more for that matter... I know that pretty soon down the road, I will just take .25mg once a day for the most part.

I am super sorry to hear about the outrageous dose you were taking and happy that you were able to taper off successfully. I had been on zoloft and that worked for eight months but in restarting it...just couldn't hang now... so no other meds right now except ativan.

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I was curious if anyone had any stories about this. I have since learned my lesson about mixing benzos and alcohol.

DO NOT DO IT!!!

I was completely caught off guard. I went out for a night on the town with my sister and her friend. The next morning, I had no idea what I did the night before. I was completely blacked-out.

I asked my sister and friend what happened and they were shocked at the fact that I didn't remember. Apparently, I was acting completely different yet still coherent. I went from being a relatively nice person, to being a complete jerk to everyone that approached my friends. I also woke up with someone elses phone and wallet in my car- don't worry I have since given them back to them. My friends also told me that I was doing things out of the ordinary, so much so that my sister left early because I was making her upset.

I'll skip the other stupid things I did, but as a warning: Don't mix the two. It will change who you are and could lead you to doing really stupid things. REALLY stupid things. (And, I don't have a personality issue or anything.)

Love you guys.

Edited by Pinga
quantity consumed

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On Tuesday afternoon I had a panic attack that lasted more than four hours (waiting in your GP's office while freaking out, hyperventilating and digging your nails into your skin because you can't contact your p-doc over the phone and the clinic is closed and you don't have a scrip for a benzo is a particularly awful thing to experience). My GP wrote me a scrip for lorazepam (after a pi** test and having to initial 20 times on an idiotic "contract" because it's a scheduled substance, as if drug abusers are incapable of lying) in the form of .5 mg tablets. He told me I could take 1 mg as soon as I picked up the pills and another half mg before sleep. Well I swallowed the lorazepam before even walking out the Walgreens door (I have no shame and I felt like I was about to have a heart attack from the panic). Drove home, felt no relief after a half hour. Put another two tablets under my tongue and let them dissolve sublingually because an online friend of mine on Ativan says she does this frequently on bad days. An hour after the first dose and half hour after the second, my hands stopped shaking and I was able to breathe almost normally but my chest was still tight. I took another 2 an hour later (3 mg lorazepam total that night) and chased it with a glass of alcohol in my bedroom. I put the bottle and the alcohol glass down on my desk, laid on my bed with all my clothes on and fell asleep basically literally instantly. Woke up 10 hours later.

Bad decision? Probably, but it was the worst panic attack of my life and I had no idea what else to do. But yeah, alcohol greatly potentiates benzos. The alprazolam I have now though is prescribed on a "when needed" (though I'm not supposed to have more than 1 bar at once and not supposed to have more than 2 bars in a day), so if I go out to dinner or somewhere I'll drink like a concert I will make damn sure to remember I haven't had one of my Xanaxes within the last few hours.

And fortunately, 2mg Xanax alone without any alcohol whatsoever is a perfect sleep aid so I don't ever have to worry about dangerous interactions with alcohol, even if I have another panic attack. I have no idea why Ativan was so useless to me though. My p-doc said it's because it's a longer acting benzo but those things were so tiny and melted in my mouth like sugar.

Honestly, in retrospect, I wish that Tuesday night I skipped going to my GP altogether and just took a handful of Flexeril I have at home instead. Not an anxiolytic but it is sedating. Don't mix that with alcohol either: I never knew they interacted until one night when I had back pain so I took 20 mg Flexeril an hour before going out to eat. After two beers (and a huge meal, which normally means I'd feel 99% sober) I was drunk. Fortunately I was just spaced out drunk and not obnoxious ***** drunk, so I was able to conceal it by just sitting quietly and not talking.

There's no point to this anecdote, really. But, the more you know, lol.

Edited by johncp727

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Hi,

Yes been there and done that only once . I do not mix meds with Alcohol unless it is only a glass of alcohol and I am in a house somewhere!!

Jim

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I've been on 4mg of alprazolam daily for five weeks (more than 10 times more powerful than what you're on), and I take the same dose every day but at different times of the day. I don't think I've developed physical dependency. I am a bit psychologically dependent, as in, I feel secure and happy to have it, but my psychiatrist told me it's okay to maintain on it through at least the summer as I finish with college and work through therapy and all.

After about two weeks on it I took a single day off just to see and I was more or less normal, a little bit more on edge but that's expected. You're taking a low dose of a weak benzo but you are still taking a benzo. There is always a risk for physical and psychological dependency. How and when and to what extent varies person by person. Proceed with caution but don't be afraid of it if it's helping you.

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Thanks. I haven't taken it for the past 2 mornings (I wake with anxiety) and today was just hell. I'm trying to figure out if today was bad because of no lorazepam or start up side effects for some reason got really bad today. I am concerned not of the dosage but because it was a daily.

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.5 x once daily is a small dose, so I wouldn't worry about it too much but bezno habits can creep on you so be careful if you go further than that. benzo dependence has a huge psychological piece - if you find yourself thinking about taking the pill all day (when will you take it, how much time is left, wondering if you will get addicted) then be even more careful. benzos can sort of creep into your thoughts and for some people, it starts to consume them.

for others, it's fairly manageable. for most, they will have difficulty if they use them long enough.

but .5 a day for 30 days is really not that risky and if your doctor is on board, try to enjoy the benefit of the medication.

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If someone was taking .5mg lorazapam daily in the AM for, let's say, 30 days. Would there be withdrawal or dependency?

I don't think it is likely but everyone is different. According to this website 4/10 will become addicted after 6 weeks or more....

.5 is quite a low dose and 30 days isn't very long so most likely any withdrawal effects would be an increase/return of the original anxiety problem, rather than any of the really nasty effects people experience after years of high doses.

TBH I wonder how much of the addiction is psychological and how much is actually physical....... I've been on Lorazepam for a few months now and I do not experience any issues NOT taking the medication when I don't want/need to. My guess is that its like alcohol - some people can take it or leave it, others are clock watching until it is a socially acceptable time to drink and some people have 0 control and are blind drunk all the time.

Edited by crazyUKguy

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Yesterday I took a half in am and today a quarter. The past two days have been hell. I don't know what to do, my doc wont get back to me. I think it might be w/d since I was getting better each day on Zoloft until this. My skin feels burning, I cant regulate temp, have anxiety, feel crazy in the head. is it Zoloft side effect, day 22, or w/d from lorazapam?

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I used to take Clonazepam (Klonopin). I took 6 mgs a day for 5 years. Then I decided a couple more wouldn't hurt. Then a couple more. Kept adding until I was regularly taking 15-18 mgs per day. On a few occasions I took 30-40 over 12 hours. I couldn't stop.

It sounds like the dose you are on is fine; 0.5mg is pretty light, so I wouldn't worry about becoming dependent on it. That being said...

ALL Benzo's are highly addictive...do not take more than your doc has prescribed.

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Thanks everyone for your comments. I had taken this med in the past, prn, and never had an issue, but I did quit cigarettes at the end of last summer after 13 years, and I think that maybe lorazapam is hitting my addictive desire.

Anyway, since my first post, I stopped for 5 days, but then started again, and the past week has been daily. Friday I tried not to take one, but freaked out and did. My doctor is upset that I am taking them daily and told me not to. He thinks the skin burning sensation is more likely the Ativan. Maybe the morning anxiety too. Interdose w/d. So I am not taking anymore. I hope I can now that my ADs are kicking in a lot more now.

Cheers.

Edited by Inbetween

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I'm switching from Ativan to Klonopin. I've read some equivalence tables that seem to conflict with what my pdoc said and a very experienced person in another forum. I just want some opinions on equivalent doses. My Pdoc has given me enough of a milligram script to figure out the equivalent. She has suggested rather than directed. I have the freedom to experiment within the dosage. Many on here have experience with them and I just want to know what you think. Question..

1mg of Ativan = how much Klonopin?

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There are some equivalency charts that place Klonopin at double the equivalency of Xanax and four times Ativan, though I think you should just go by the chart Ferdy posted.

With benzos, you not only have to take into account potency but duration. Both Ativan and Klonopin are long acting. I would say .5 mg of Klonopin would be equivalent to 1mg Ativan.

If you don't have sleep problems or have something else for sleep, I'd try taking your whole dose in the morning. If not, you could take .25 twice a day, once in the morning and once at night might be ideal.

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