How long does it take to form dependence on anti-anxiety med?
Just a quick question... My anxiety and OCD had started to act up again last week so I started taking Ativan (prescribed on an as needed basis). i took one every day from Sunday to Friday last week. Didn't take one on Sat. or Sun. Then today I woke up and my anxiety and OCD was starting to act up about 10 times worse than before so I took another one and am feeling better now. Just wondering if maybe my body is already going through withdrawl of the Ativan and that's why it was much worse today? How long can you take it before you start suffering from withdrawl?
I don't think there's any set time period as to how long it takes a person to become dependent or tolorant to anti-anxiety medication.
Some people never do...I never did.
I've never taken Ativan, but I did take Xanax everyday for almost 7 years.
I never got shakey between doses and my symptoms never got any worse between doses either.
I took a very low dose and maybe that's why I never had a problem.
Sorry, I couldn't be more help.
Maybe someone who's taken Ativan will be able to give you some help.
There is also something that another member..."Jennita" talks about.
I believe it's called the "Ashton Manual" and from what I understand that gives you a list of withdrawl symptoms.
You may want to try running a search for that.
I became addicted to xanax just 2 weeks after taking it. I read once that people had a higher risk of becoming addicted if alcoholism is in the family. I spent two difficult months slowly weaning myself off the xanax. Be careful.
1/2 MG. was also the dose that I took.
Although like I said I took Xanax and not Ativan.
I cut my pills in half and took a 1/4 MG. twice a day.
I know I can't just stop taking them, so I'm weaning off right now with no problem.
I'm down to 1/4 MG. every other day.
Like I said in my other post.
There's no set time period for things like dependence or tolorance.
I took Xanax everyday for almost 7 years without a problem, but not everyone is the same.
Some people become dependent in a very short time.
But, again I'm talking about Xanax I don't really have any knowledge of Ativan.
Hopefully someone who took/takes that medication can give you some better information.
I am not a doctor, but I would think one could develop a dependence after 5 or 7 days. I know with sleep meds it does. One is only supposed to take sleep meds for 7 to 14 days, or else dependence. If you are going to go off the med, maybe you should taper it down a little, gradually, gradually.
I have taken Klonopin recently and am afraid of becoming addicted (I've taken it, not every day, for about 2-3 weeks, and now I'm taking tiny, tiny pieces, like 1/8 a piece of a 1 mg pill, like once every other day). I've heard Klonopin is *hell* to get off of, so I'm being careful (plus, I'm beginning Buspar and Paxil, so hopefully, those will kick in soon).
Good luck and I hope your anxiety and OCD diminish.
I would say that you could get addicted quickly. What you need to think about is the long term. People take meds for lots of conditions, some all their life.
OK, so I get dependant on the drug for a while:
but is it making me feel better?
Can I carry on as a normal person?
Is it giving me a chance to feel balanced again?
It's always possible to come off a drug as long as you realise you need to do it gradually. When you do come off, the worst thing you can start to think is:
What happens if the anxiety starts again?
Will I feel dizzy?
Can I cope without the drug?
This will put you into a heightened state of anxiety from the start! And what's the worst that could happen? You might have to take the drug a little longer?
I convinced myself early on that I didn't want meds, then the anxiety got so extreme I knew I had little choice. Since taking the meds I have felt "normal" again, OK I still get some anxiety symptoms, but I am learning to ignore them and they generally ease and go away quicker now.
Thanks everyone for your reponses. I don't know if I'm addicted yet, I just know that my underlying condition is getting worse. I think my Luvox has stopped working. I have taken 250 mg for the past 5 years and it worked excellent. I've been having a lot of the same symptoms again for the past month that I started out with when I first was put on Luvox, but they are worse than before. So I've been taking Ativan nearly every day for the past week. My thoughts were so horrible today at work (first day) that I felt I had to leave, so I took an Ativan and felt better. At least it's helping me get through the day
Dependance is one thing, but what is worse is if it develops into tolerance(drug stops working) No timetable on tolerance, but when it happens, the bad thing is that withdrawals will be mistaken for worsening of original conditon...in which case, usually higher doses or more meds will be added or switched around, which will help for awhile. But then tolerance usually comes back down the line...so bottom line is, sometimes the drugs help the problem, sometimes they become the problem....
I just don't understand how a Dr. can give you a mental drug on an as need basis. You either need the drug or you don't. If you wake up and don't feel quite right or during the day you get a slight feeling you just will pop one because you have an anxiety problem and you are carrying your security blanket around in that little bottle. Since it takes weeks for the drug to start working correctly for you, your body does not know what is going on and you can't tell if you are having side effects, withdrawals or symptoms. If you can take them on an as need basis, then get Therapy and stay away from them if you can. If you need them daily then you have no choice but you will probably alwalys need them or for a long period of time anyway. I have hear from a very reliable Therapist that unfortunately I do not have the option of seeing anymore that they are getting wonderful results with Ativan. She suggested it to me but I have been on Xanax for to long to switch. Hope things work out for you.
Did I not state side effects as part of the problem when stating "weeks to get used to"? Benzos have many side effects also. Believe what you want, but you will be on more "as needed days", then not and I take a daily high dosage of Benzos along with srri and anti-siezure drugs. I tried as needed benzos years ago, doesn't work and if so, not for long. Benzos may work to stop anxiety quickly but your body needs to be on a level dosage to adjust to the change in chemistry. Everyone is different as far as side effects, but there are many with Benzos and some you just have to live with. Like I said, if you can do an "as needed basis" then you may have a chance to do without drugs altogether. That is the point, don't start using the drugs unless it is your only recourse. Try to find an alternative, such a Therapy, etc. Drugs should always be the last resort and I wish no one to have to take them. If that is the only way to get your life back, then it is okay but little things like remembering to bring your pills or take your pills or get up from sleep and take your pills is another pain in the you know what. It is a continious maintence program but for some like me, it is the only alternative. Not trying to dispute what other's expriences with drugs are, just expressing my own experiences. Hope everything works out the best for all of you.
i've been on ativan, klonopin, and xanax for several years. klonopin and ativan didn't do a thing for my attacks. the only thing that works for me is xanax. i have anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, and possible OCD. i take 4mg/day of xanax and 100mg/day prozac. i also take 1-2mg xanax for additional attacks, as needed.
dependence depends on the person and on your addictive qualities, if you have any. if you've had addiction problems in the past, i wouldn't recommend taking xanax on a daily basis. obviously, if you're taking a medication like this on a daily bases and not "as needed" there is a higher risk for addiction.
People who take drugs like Xanax on as-needed are usually those who have sudden panic attacks that don't occur everyday. As far as what I believe, as you put it, I think all these drugs (AD and benzo) have potential for dependancy whether or not one is prone to addiction, because dependancy is physical only! Addiction has psychological/social/euphoria components that dependancy does not. But dependancy and addiction are always getting mixed up because they are closely related to each other, although completely different issues.
yes, all people who takes these types of drugs should be aware of the dependency risks. depending upon your situation, sometimes you don't have much of a choice but to take something like this on a daily basis until your situation gets better. i don't plan to be on xanax "long-term." some people have situational or psychological issues in which they may need to be on an anxiety preventative until their anxiety issues are resolved. i wouldn't recommend it unless you have chronic attacks or constant anxiety and obviously psychotherapy should be involved in the treatment process for high-anxiety people.
Re: How long does it take to form dependence on anti-anxiety med?
There is something that most doctors don't seem to mention about medication. There is a rebound effect after you stop taking them. I am not sure if it is physical or psychological, but I have felt it and it seems like you did, too. When you take something for awhile and suddenly stop, the symptoms come back stronger than before. Next time, to ease the symptoms, ween yourself. Take 3/4, then half, etc.
I've given this some thought and I think whatever mechanism in your mind that causes the OCD/depression/anxiety/whatever attemts to become stronger in order to overcome the medication. If you stop the medication, the stronger symptoms are able to appear again. OR, you are simply not accustomed to feeling that way anymore and it just seems more intense. Only going from personal experience, I don't know what the reason is, but there is a rebound effect. That effect has nothing to do with
whether or not a drug is addictive or not, either.
If it took 2 days for you to feel the effects of not taking it, perhaps in the future, you can avoid taking it so much and rely on what is left in your system to get by on. Try skipping a day sooner.
There is no set time for addiction, either. As Rainonwindow mentioned, Xanax is highly addictive (there is actually a medication to help people get off of xanax). I've been on it for years and for the first few years, I could start and stop taking it as I pleased with no negative side effects. Now, however, I tend to feel the physical effects of not taking it. So, I limit the number of days I can take it in a row to 3. Then, I take at least 1 day off, preferrably 2. It took years for me to have any complications, whereas some people, such as Rainonwindow, get addicted very quickly. Even when I do go past my 3 day limit and get addicted, it only takes me about 2 days to recover and for me, it is only the physical symptoms, nothing psychological. We are all different.