Ativan....Withdrawal Symptoms or Anxiety?

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I may have already posted this, so please forgive me if it's a repeat....I also apologize for the length, but I want to be sure I include the pertinent details:

I was prescribed lorazepam (Ativan) by my GP on August 8 to help with my anxiety symptoms...the instructions were to take an 0.5mg tablet once or twice per day on an "as needed" basis. Being a bit medication-phobic (that's an understatement!), I took 0.25mg (1/2 tablet) once every few days on average for the first five or so weeks, sometimes taking that same dose once per day for a few days in a row, but never more than three days in a row, and always with at least a couple (or three or four) days in between. On September 21, I took 0.25mg and took the same dose for the next nine days (ten days total), although on two of those days, I only took 0.125mg (1/4 tablet)....I've not taken any since Tuesday, September 30.

Because I'm a compulsive Google-user, I have read A BUNCH of horror stories about abruptly discontinuing lorazepam, and am terrified that I'm going to have convulsions or a seizure or become psychotic or perhaps even die because I've stopped taking the medication.

I desperately want to NOT be taking this drug any longer, but I am truly in a panic about discontinuing....I called my GP and he assured me (as did my psych doc) that a dose that low, taken that irregularly over the relatively short time I did "should not" cause me any life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Of course, I'm fixated on the "should not" statement, and have convinced myself (with the help of the internet) that I'm in serious danger.

Does anyone have any experience with discontinuing these types of drugs (benzos) after a usage pattern similar to what I've described above (as opposed to high-dose/long-term usage)? I'd appreciate any comments you might be able to offer...but please no terrifying stories (I've already read enough of those).

Thanks smile

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  • Posted

    I wish i could help, but i would say trust what the doctors say, and try to limit what you look up on the internet... I have stopped googling everything and i feel better already... I can also relate to your unease about medication... I'm the same.... Hope you feel better soon
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    • Posted

      Thanks, Tracie....I appreciate the response. I don't know why I keep Googling things....it's never made me feel better, only worse. I'm doing my best to calm down and not obsess about the way I'm feeling right now....I know that some of what I'm feeling is directly related to the fact that I've read about it.....I should have the Internet blocked on my phone!! smile
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    • Posted

      You are welcome... Resist the temptation to google even just for a few days and you will feel much better. For people like ourselves, it's very unhelpful... Good luck, hope you feel better soon
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  • Posted

    Hi kitty.

    i was on .25 3 x a day for about 2 years and I'll,that no you will not have any problems at all getting off of that low dose. People exaggerate sometimes, you know what I mean? They feel bad so they post. Anyhow I went off twice of what you did cold turkey and NOTHING happened to me at all.

    i know I have a drug phobia too. But I really needed this medication. 

    Relax, your off them. It's ok

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    • Posted

      Thanks, Rose, for your response.....I've been so frantic all day today, worrying myself absolutely sick over what might happen to me....and, of course, having read about the horrible withdrawal symptoms, I was convinced that I was experiencing all of them....I'm a bit calmer now, but I'll confess that I'm still anxious.....I wish I had never read the scary stories, but I can't unread them now.....it is comforting to know that you were able to come off the drug successfully.....tbamks again for taking the time to share your story.
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  • Posted

    No problem...we all have been there 😮

    hope the anxiety goes down quick

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  • Posted

    Hi, I see you posted your message over a year ago.  I am 50 and could totally relate to your post.  :-)  I was prescribed 0.5mg of Lorazepam (generic version of Ativan) to help me sleep at night.  I started by taking half a tablet at first due to my paranoia of medications as well, but realized I was fine with 0.5mg.  I have been taking it for a little over a year now.  I never even realized there was a possibility of withdrawal symptoms until about a week ago.  It just happened that I stopped taking it while taking a low dose of Flexeril (5mg) each night with the hope of reducing severe TMJ pain.  I'm ultra-sensitive to medications, so when I started feeling dizzy, shaky and anxious on the 3rd day of not taking Lorazepam, I assumed it was related to Flexeril, but then I read about withdrawals related to Lorazepam.  To complicate things further, I found out on the 4th day of not taking Lorazepam that I have a major sinus infection (fluid in my ears, red throat, etc).  I spoke with my pharmacist and he doesn't believe I'd have a withdrawal issue taking 0.5mg of Lorazepam each night and said it's likely my symptoms are related to the convergence of a sinus infection, taking Flexeril and maybe a tiny bit from not taking the Lorazepam.  Does anyone think I should be concerned about going back on the Lorazepam nightly after I finish the 2 weeks of Flexeril?  I don't plan on being on Lorazepam forever, but it does help me sleep better right now.  Thanks!  :-)

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