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Getting off Ativan
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Getting off Ativan

5 days off AtivanI've been on .5 mg Ativan (only at bedtime) for several years (7-10 years) I want to get off of them and haven’t had one since Monday. So I’m on day 5 and feel very spaced out, and disorientated. Anyone here know how long before I feel somewhat normal. I hear they're hard to get off of, but I am determined and have convinced myself I can do this. I wonder if i should be worried. I've heard people can have seizures.

I am taking vistaril, trazadone and clonadine at bed time to assist.

I appreciate anyone’s feedback on this

Thank you.
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28 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
Congrats of your decision to get off the benzos. Although you were on a very low dose the fact that you were on it for 7-10 years is a very long time. Normally doctors put people of longer acting benzos such as valium and klonopin if the patient is going on it longterm. Is your doctor aware that you are doing this? It is important that you tell him/her so that they may assist you in doing this. As I said they sometimes will switch you to valium and then taper off that rather than the ativan. Seizures are possible but not very common for someone on such a low dose. I have known many people to be on upwards of 10-16mg xanax a day and they are very likely to get seizures. You should make sure that you are not alone during your wd too just in case you do have a seizure someone will be there to help. I think youll be fine though. I wish you the best of luck and hope you feel better soon. Benzos are a killer to come off and it takes a long time before the zaps and cloudyness go away. Goodluck!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks so much. I appreciate what you just said. I think ill  be okay too. I was super spaced-out & light headed today and i just realized that i forgot to take my anti-depressant today. It was freaking me out. I feel so much better now. I think i can do this.
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Avatar_f_tn
I want to get off of the ativan because i can tell it's affecting my memory. I know am or was dependant on them or addicted, but i just didn’t care. I figured i took .5 mg every night at bedtime, never took more than that and never abused them (yep for 10 years) But mostly, i've been worried about my brain cells, my memory and the stigma of using them to sleep. They really do the trick, i slept well and never increased my dose. I've noticed this year, that i can’t remember things as well. I'm hoping it will help to get off of the lorazapam. The horror stories i've heard about withdrawal scare me, but im thinking .5 mg is a low does. Im using 50 mg vistril, 25 mg trazadone and 1 mg clonodine at bed time and it’s doing the trick, to sleep well, but very very groggy in the a.m. -- price i've got to pay. Any time you get off this stuff, it’s really hard to do alone, i appreciate this support here. I used this site to get off oxycontin 2 years ago, along with a 12 step program. so, this ain't my first time at the rodeo, as they say. Thanks again!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
It's very dangerous to abruptly stop Ativan; even at that dose. You really need to taper benzos. Seizures are always a possibility. It would be prudent to speak with the prescribing physician as soon as possible. Ten years is a long time.
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Avatar_f_tn
It's the length of time that i've been on them that scares me too. They are probably permeated in my cells and skin. That's why when i felt a woozy today, i got nervous, and posted here. i will be checking in for support too. Maybe it can help someone else got off them.  I do have valium in the house and i thought if i get to feeling really weird i may just take a little bite of that. I feel pretty good right now. Tonight is night # 5 without them. I think ill some melatonin too. I will keep you posted. And again, thanks,  I so much appreciate both of your posts!! God Bless
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Avatar_f_tn
Just want to mention that Melatonin is not recommended in combination with an antidepressant...and, seriously, it's not a good idea to cold turkey a benzo...
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Avatar_f_tn
Vicki - help me understand. I do not see this as CT because i am doing this cocktail of Vistiril, Trazadone & Clonidine, which was prescribed by a psychiatrist years ago to get off of ativan. (it worked temporarily, but i started using them again).

I did fail to mention that i took, bites of the .5 mg ativan for 3 days prior to quitting ativan and starting this cocktail, so i weaned a little bit.

I have heard to the dangers of CT off benzos, so i understand what you are saying, but i dont see this as CT because of the cocktail.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'll try to help but please understand that any info you get is purely anecdotal...

The meds you have may help anxiety and depression along with some uncomfortable withdrawal side effects but they really aren't anti seizure meds nor are they benzos; which you know.

Vistaril is an antihistamine. Clonidine is a B/P med (lowers B/P) and Trazadone is an antidepressant.

Conventional wisdom dictates that any benzo should be tapered. Also, for our purposes in this particular forum, we always discourage abrupt withdrawal of any benzo ( or barbiturate). It's cautious. We just don't know the health history of any one individual and we know there's a risk of seizure.

You may be just fine. But who wants to take that risk? I wouldn't want to ever suggest that. Every individual's seizure threshold is different and it's impossible to make a determination on a forum when there are so many "unknowns". We just want you to be safe and give you the best advice we know.



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Avatar_f_tn
Ok, I see what you're saying.... good point. i'll call my doctor on monday, and tell him what im up to. TY!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you. Well, i am alone, so i cant do much about that. I have a kitty-cat and he's right here with me. I'm gong to the vitamin store tomorrow to get some  magnesium and  5 HTP. Ill post tomorrow and let yall know how things are going. I think im fine, but appreciate all the info.
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495284_tn?1333897642
Hi.....I feel the need to jump in here.  Before you start any supplement please check with your doctor or the pharmacist.  Some of the supplements cant be taken with certain meds.  None of us are doctors on this forum and we cant say for certain that taking this or that will be okay.  Due to the length of time you have been on these meds the ONLY safe thing to do is talk to your doctor.  We just want you to be safe~~sara
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Avatar_m_tn
HI  my experience is with xanex but I was on them a long time you need to taper off they will probably switch you over to a long acting benzo as fare as that spacy feeling it can last for months talk to your doctor and get off with a proper taper benzos are nothing to mess with and beyond the scope of a home detox.....please consult your doctor.....this is a long process it will take a few mo to do good luck and God bless........Gnarly
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Avatar_f_tn
Good morning - checking in here. Slept well, 9 hours. Still spacey and light headed (which i believe is from the vistril, trazadone & clonodine). Aside from that, feeling good. Heading out to do some errands. Last night was night #5 without Ativan. I would think they are out of my physical system by now. I guess i'll call my doctor tomorrow morning, and see what he says. Ill check back later. Thanks!
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Avatar_m_tn
Congrats on day 6! Your doing very well and I agree that your prob. feeling pretty groggy from the trazadone in the morning. If you can I would stop taking those pretty soon so you don't get your body used to them. But remember even those should be tappered as your body is already in enough shock and you dont want to make it any worse. Talk to your doctor tomorrow and tell him/her exactly how you feel and how long it has been. I think your going to be feeling alot better in the next few days and unless the doctor tells you I would not start retaking those drugs into your system again. Then you are risking ODing because your body is no longer used to always have it in you and also restarting this whole process. Your doing very well and im proud of you for your determination to quit the drugs. Enjoy the end of your weekend and day 6 and keep us updated as to what the doc says tomorrow. Take care
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, i freaked myself out last night and took a .5 mg ativan after 5 nights off of them. I had been reading posts of all the withdrawal symptoms possible with benzos, and got scared, i had blurry vision, and my head didnt feel right, so i took the pill, i'll chock it up as part of my taper program.

Called doctor this morning and he said, that i had no chance of seizure since my dose was low and no history of seizures.

So, back on track, it's not fun though..... i willl share that with you all. I know this will take a while to recover from these, 6 months to 2 years to feel completely "normal" if ever.



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Avatar_m_tn
HI I was forced to ct off benzos once lost my ins and couldent aford the doctor it took 2 mo for the fuzzy spacy feeling to go away that was .5 mg of xanex at bedtime  like I said it no fun coming off this stuff stick with us for support if your looking for good info look up dr heather ashton she is the worlds leading expert
good luck and God bless........Gnarly
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks so much, i appreciate the support. Do you feel pretty good now, thinking clearly and all that? Are you sleeping well? God Bless
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey sorry to hear about the little messup but dont worry about it and get right back on track. I figured you doctor would tell you exactly that and didnt think you were at risk of seizure. I understand that the feelings can be pretty scary and weird but you must realize that they are totally normal. THe dizzy feeling and cloudyness is all part of it and no matter how you taper or quit you are going to experience some form of wd. I think that you are doing great and I dont blame you for taking one because of being scared of all the stuff you have read. I really think your in the clear due to the low dose and would keep on pushing through it. One pill should not set you back much at all as long as you dont keep taking them because than youll be right back at the start. Ill be praying for your safe recovery. Let us know if you need anything.
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Avatar_m_tn
How you feeling bud?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey -  day 2 no ativan.  Today i feel pretty good, my brain is not connecting well & still spacey, but not nearly as much as last week. I'm going to a cpr class tonight, and hoping i can concentrate enough to pass the test.

Day 2! Yay!

Thanks for asking. God Bless
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1416133_tn?1351126817
SO you did do cold turkey on the benzo?  Okay, well be really careful with that - I also did CT on the benzo but only cause I didn't know any better.  And my experience w/that was HORRIBLE.

Good luck to you - and PLEASE call a Dr. or go to the ER if it gets to be too bad.  Seizures are a serious (and rightfully so) concern during that kind of detox.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am past the point of seizures now. I was on .5 mg at bedtime for several years, then i went 5 nights without, i took one sunday night and now  im on day 2 so, fortunately, i dont believe that will happen. Thank you for your concern though.


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1416133_tn?1351126817
Stay well.  I don't know what else to say.  My only hope is that you get out of this the way I did (which I think was just sheer luck).  But I do appreciate your resolve.

Good luck to you.  :)
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Avatar_m_tn
hows it going?
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199177_tn?1332183097
if your still feeling spacy i wouldnt drive ....until it stops
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Avatar_f_tn
Day 3 no Ativan and i am feeling pretty darn good! (im sure because i quit for 5 days last week), but im pretty amazed that i feel this good. I'm not functioning at full capacity, not a ton of energy, but each day is a little better than the next. i'm not working this week. I went to the psychiatrist today and he gave me Terazosin to help me sleep now. My BP was kind of high.
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Avatar_n_tn
Am ready to switch over to my 3rd Valium tomorrow, so today will be my last Ativan at 4pm.  The bedtime and morning ones have already been switched.  I am so terrified to do that because of the spaciness I am feeling.
I need to be able to function.  I don't know what to do.  I don't want to be alone and my husband will be going out of town next week, so the doctor
thought it best I start on this last Valium this week.  Now it sounds like the spaciness is all a part of the switching  over and then what will happen when I start to taper??? Please help me, I'm so afraid, that I am getting
abdominal spasms with this terrific fear every day.  Please say something that may comfort.  I have no support..everyone is disgusted with me.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was on them for 4 years and could not get below 1mg. My idiot doctor just kept giving me anti depressants to get me off them and it made it worse. I finally went to another doctor who put me on a Librium taper and I was off them a month later. Librium is another kind of benzo but it worked for me. Hope this helps anyone going though this horrible addiction.
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