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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Lorazepam Withdrawal Question

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Author Topic: Lorazepam Withdrawal Question
jwick25
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Hello,

I am in Lyme remission and have been on Lorazepam .5mg as needed for maybe a year or 2.

While I am permitted to take up to 3 pills a day, I have never taken more than 2 a day.

I typically take 1 a day on and off....so nothing too regular.

Recently, I was dealing with stress which was triggered my anxiety.

So, I was taking 2 pills daily. I can't remember for exactly how long, but I'm guessing between 1-3 weeks.

I haven't taken a pill for about 3 days now. I have been dealing with lightheadedness for the past 2 days.

I started to get terrified that the Lyme might be flaring up (I've been in remission for just over 5 years), but then remembered the Lorazepam.

For anyone with experience with these drugs, is stopping occasional use of .5mg enough to cause withdrawal symptoms?

I don't feel "sick," just dizzy on and off throughout the day.

I am praying that the stress has not caused a Lyme issue.....but I kind of think that I would feel sick if that were the case.

Other than the dizzies, I feel fine.

Any ideas?

Thank you!

Posts: 711 | From Bucks County, PA | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
randibear
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I have been taking 1 mg a day for months. I wanted to stop so doc has me down to .5 a night for a week or so then cut it in half down to .25.

i just want off it. I have noticed I'm jittery and totally not sleeping.

lyme just screws up everything. you don't know what's lyme. what's not. drug effect or herx. crazy.

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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jwick25
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That sucks. You're right....you never know what's what.

I hope you can get off the medication without any additional withdrawal symptoms. [Smile]

I might just call my doc (not the LLMD who prescribed this) and ask if withdrawal is possible on my dosage.

I'm guessing that when your body gets used to any amount....and then is deprived of that amount....there will be at least some withdrawal.

Obviously not the same intensity as someone on a much higher dose would feel, but possible.

I didn't know if I could cut the pills. So, if I can....then maybe I'll add .25 back for a week or so and see if that eliminates the dizziness.

I'll call the doc first.

I hope you feel better, randibear!!! And thanks so much for taking the time to respond. [Smile]

Posts: 711 | From Bucks County, PA | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TF
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This website lists a number of withdrawal symptoms and included is loss of balance:

http://www.alternativetomeds.com/articles/lorazepam-withdrawal.html

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jwick25
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Thanks, TF!

It looks like even low doses for shorter periods can cause withdrawal.

Geez....this stuff can be brutal.

I've never had an issue with it...and I'm not even sure withdrawal is what I'm experiencing....

but I almost hope it is because that would mean it's not the Lyme.

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didogs
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Hi
I weaned off ativan how randibear suggested. I went from .5 to .25 every night for a week. Then .25 every other day for a week, then .25 every 3 days and then done! I did have a little dizziness but I did ok.

I had taken it during the days when my treatment was at its worst and then only at night for about a year. I was nervous about weaning off of it but I did ok. You can do it!!

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randibear
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thanks didogs. i need to know also that it can be done. whew...

I used to be so strong but not anymore....sigh....

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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Lymetoo
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When you wean off .. go very slowly.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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didogs
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I know. Same here. This disease really stripped me of my confidence. I was very anxious about weaning off of it. I really thought I would never sleep again. I definitely needed it when I was taking it. But it is also liberating to not be dependent on it as well.

You can do it. Honestly, if I did, anyone can as I was pretty dependent on it.

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MannaMe
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It is rough weaning off.... my hubby's done it 3 or 4 times already.

His one family doctor told him when he weans off he will think he's going crazy. then added, "but you're not going crazy - its the med."

He's currently using Lorazepam and knows how hard it is to wean off. He tries to stay below the amount the doc recommended.

He does cut the pills in half and then 4ths as he weans off. Also tries to space them out longer before taking it. Currently he's taking it 3 times per day.

And yes, go sslllooooowwwwwww at weaning.

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lpkayak
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I had to wean of oxy after knee surgery. My sx was restless legs but all over my body and it kept me from.sleeping

I weaned down likw you guys but still had trouble

I was desperate...online i found about four supps that helped

It seemed like it took forever

Now im going to have to wean off cough syrup with codeine in it.

Same sx...restless legs and insomnia. Im going to have to search on here to find the protocol i used

--------------------
Lyme? Its complicated. Educate yourself.

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jwick25
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What I wonder is.....if I have already been off for 3 or 4 days.....is it worth it to start taking again?

I guess if the dizziness keeps up, I won't have a choice. I didn't expect this because I have gone weeks without taking it and never had a problem!

But....recently is the only time that I took 2 a day consistently for a couple of weeks.

When I was on Paxil years ago....which I don't think did a darn thing for me.....

weaning off was AWFUL.

headaches and dizziness from morning until dinner. The first time I weaned off, I followed doc's orders, but it was still too fast.

The 2nd time, I went twice as slow as the doc recommended, and that worked.

It can be done....but it is so not fun!

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jwick25
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My fear is.....what if this is a Lyme flare?

If I feel fine other than the dizziness, and it has been days, is that a hopeful sign that it is NOT the Lyme?

Not that I want vertigo or Lorazepam withdrawal....lol....but I will feel SO much better mentally if this is NOT Lyme.

Would I be feeling sick?

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TF
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I think that if this were lyme, you would be having your old lyme symptoms.

If you have gone 5 years without lyme symptoms, and if you have not been rebitten, the chances of this being lyme now are very, very small.

I heard Burrascano say that if a person is rid of symptoms for 3 years, then the lyme is gone.

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jwick25
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Wow....wouldn't that be wonderful! It makes me wonder if it could just be in remission though. Obviously, Dr. B knows more than I do....! LOL!

Just an update in case anyone was curious about this kind of thing for their own situations:

I called my (non LLMD) doctor today. He is the one who prescribed the Lorazepam.

I explained to the nurse about the dizziness and the details of my recent Lorazepam use. I told her that I had no clue if this tied in...

...but wanted to mention it.

I got a call back and - sure enough - the doctor advised that he believes this is very likely withdrawal.

He said the all-day dizziness is a very common symptom.

He believes that because I have never taken 2 pills a day consistently for at least 2 weeks.....

....then went to 0 pills a day for several days....

my body is reacting.

So, I am to start the pills again. I can try 1 pill for today (which I've taken).

If I am still dizzy tomorrow, I should take 2 pills tomorrow to get my body back to where it was last used to.

Then, I stay on 2 pills a day for about a week.

Then, I taper down to 1 pill a day for about a week.

Then, I can cut the pill and take half a pill (.25mg) once a day for about a week.

Then, I can take a half a pill every other day for about a week.

Then.....I get to stop.

I was told that if I need to take a pill again in case of an anxiety attack, I can do that.

I should just taper down after that.

Hopefully, this does the trick! All-day spinning is NOT fun.

I half expected him to come back and say, "Noooo! That small a dosage for only a couple of weeks wouldn't do anything!"

I'm actually glad that he realizes that it could do something.

So for anyone on a low dose...even for only a few weeks at a time...you can experience withdrawal.

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bitbit99
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I have taken this addictive drug on and off for years(even pre-lyme), My biggest withdrawl problems are in my chest.

Tightness trouble breathing.

By about 2 in the afternoon I needed one or a half of one.


Ill insert a whithdrawl chart that I ran across for your viewing.

Usually not a lot of fun getting off it.

I think this chart is for coming off three mg. a day habit.


Schedule 8. Withdrawal from lorazepam (Ativan) 3mg daily with
diazepam (Valium) substitution. (3mg lorazepam
is approximately equivalent to 30mg diazepam)

Morning Midday/Afternoon Evening/Night Daily Diazepam
Equivalent
Starting dosage lorazepam 1 mg lorazepam 1 mg lorazepam 1 mg 30mg
Stage 1
(1 week) lorazepam 1 mg lorazepam 1 mg lorazepam 0.5mg
diazepam 5mg 30mg
Stage 2
(1 week) lorazepam 0.5mg
diazepam 5mg lorazepam 1 mg lorazepam 0.5mg
diazepam 5mg 30mg
Stage 3
(1 week) lorazepam 0.5mg
diazepam 5mg lorazepam 0.5mg
diazepam 5mg lorazepam 0.5mg
diazepam 5mg 30mg
Stage 4
(1 week) lorazepam 0.5mg
diazepam 5mg lorazepam 0.5mg
diazepam 5mg Stop lorazepam
diazepam 10mg 30mg
Stage 5
(1 week) Stop lorazepam
diazepam 10mg lorazepam 0.5mg
diazepam 5mg diazepam 10mg 30mg
Stage 6
(1 week) diazepam 10mg Stop lorazepam
diazepam 10mg diazepam 10mg 30mg
Stage 7
(1-2 weeks) diazepam 10mg diazepam 8mg diazepam 10mg 28mg
Stage 8
(1-2 weeks) diazepam 8mg diazepam 8mg diazepam 10mg 26mg
Stage 9
(1-2 weeks) diazepam 8mg diazepam 6mg diazepam 10mg 24mg
Stage 10
(1-2 weeks) diazepam 6mg diazepam 6mg diazepam 10mg 22mg
Stage 11
(1-2 weeks) diazepam 6mg diazepam 4mg diazepam 10mg 20mg
Stage 12
(1-2 weeks) diazepam 6mg diazepam 2mg diazepam 10mg 18mg
Stage 13
(1-2 weeks) diazepam 6mg Stop diazepam diazepam 10mg 16mg
Stage 14
(1-2 weeks) diazepam 5mg -- diazepam 10mg 15mg
Stage 15
(1-2 weeks) diazepam 4mg -- diazepam 10mg 14mg
Stage 16
(1-2 weeks) diazepam 3mg -- diazepam 10mg 13mg
Stage 17
(1-2 weeks) diazepam 2mg -- diazepam 10mg 12mg
Stage 18
(1-2 weeks) diazepam 1mg -- diazepam 10mg 11mg
Stage 19
(1-2 weeks) Stop diazepam - diazepam 10mg 10mg
Continue reducing night time diazepam by 1 mg every 1-2 weeks (See Schedule 3, Stage 26)

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bitbit99
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try chapter 2 on this website... The above chart is hard to read ... if you go directly to website it is much better.


http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzsched.htm

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jwick25
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Great chart, bitbit99.

So sorry that you've had (or have) to deal with this.

It's amazing what these drugs can do.

Here's a question:

Is it the norm to continue to experience withdrawal symptoms throughout the weaning off process?

So, if I started out lightheaded and then started to wean off.....

....is it normal to continue to feel lightheaded for a while?

I guess I just want to know for sure that the Lorazepam withdrawal is- in fact - the issue at hand.

Does the weaning off process eliminate the withdrawal symptoms?

Or does the weaning off process gradually reduce the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms until they are gone?

Thank you so much!

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randibear
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my dr said the symptoms can contine even weeks after stopping.

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

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Phoiph
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In several interviews, Stevie Nicks, of Fleetwood Mac, describes her withdrawal from benzodiazepines (particularly klonipin) "hellish" and worse than withdrawing from heroin...

I would consider yourself fortunate that you are only experiencing dizziness. My experience with klonipin was much worse...

Don't rush the weaning process...and check out the Ashton Manual for guidelines.

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jwick25
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Wow.....these drugs really pack a punch, huh?

My heart goes out to those who fight to get off of much higher doses that they've been on for long periods of time.

I can only imagine how difficult that is!

Thanks randibear and Phoiph for the info and suggestions.

I'm going to wean off slowly....much more slowly than my doctor recommended.

The dizziness comes back soon before I take my daily dose.....but then goes away to a point.

It's not as intense as it had been, so I'll keep taking one pill a day until I feel better.

Then, I'll cut the pill and do a couple of weeks of that.

I never expected to experience withdrawal symptoms from a low dose taken for only a few weeks.

Can't wait til it's out of my system.

Hopefully, in the future, if I need one....I can take one.....and not have a problem.

Posts: 711 | From Bucks County, PA | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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