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Old 09-05-2006, 12:27 PM   #1
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Ativan???

Anyone on Ativan? What do you guys think of this drug and would you recommend?

My boyfriend and I went to see his pdoc this afternoon b/c he's had such a difficult time weaning off his effexor and he recommended he stay on Effexor a little longer 37.5mg daily.

Anyhow, I explained how terrible his anxiety has been. He was taking Valium, but it was ineffective. The pdoc gave us an RX for Ativan, but before he begins It I was wondering if you guys have had any negative/positive side effects from this medication?

 
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Old 09-05-2006, 05:53 PM   #2
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Re: Ativan???

In the same family as Valium, just more potent and shorter acting. It is actually more addictive than Valium. It can cause tolerance much sooner and the withdrawal is more severe. I wouldn't go there.

Maybe he could add some chammomile tea to his daily routine, you would be surprized how soothing/calming it can be. I used it alot during withdrawal from Ativan, which was horrible I might add, and although it did not knock out the withdrawal symptoms completely, it definately calmed me down when nervousness struck. Double bag it for more effectiveness. It is very safe and mild.

Also, some people swear by Bach's flower remedies sold in health food stores but I've never taken it and I would check for any drug interactions on that one.

 
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Old 09-11-2006, 12:12 PM   #3
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Re: Ativan???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennita
Maybe he could add some chammomile tea to his daily routine, you would be surprized how soothing/calming it can be. I used it alot during withdrawal from Ativan, which was horrible I might add, and although it did not knock out the withdrawal symptoms completely, it definately calmed me down when nervousness struck. Double bag it for more effectiveness. It is very safe and mild.
You wouldn't happen to know if chammomile helps with the physical pain of withdrawal would you? I go through my Ativan too quickly because I take it for pain (trying to get off tylenol with codeine) more than I take it for anxiety. Then I find myself without any Ativan at all for a couple of weeks or so because it's too early for my next refill.

In case you are wondering, I take 1mg sublingual so the effect is instant and I haven't developed any tolerance to it. I also do not feel dependant on it.

 
Old 09-11-2006, 01:21 PM   #4
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Re: Ativan???

Oh, consider yourself lucky you are not tolerant yet or dependant. Now's the time to wean off before that happens! I became extremely tolerant and it's sheer hell when that happens as you get no relief in taking one and your brain craves more just to calm down, so you go into withdrawals even while on it! And when your dose becomes too high, the doc will not prescribe more so you are stuck.

I do believe this is when many people turn to alcohol to intensify the effect, which is very, very dangerous, or start trying to get a supply from another doc or on the street!!! All just to be able to stay calm and sleep since tolerance withdrawals cause insomnia and anxiety.

I didn't go there; since I never drank(or smoked, or anything addictive) it was not in me to even try that. I just decided to wean myself and went through a protracted withdrawal.....impossibly hard, but I finally made it.

As far as the pain relief, I don't really know if the tea helps that. I only had headaches (whoopers!), not any body pain but then again I was in great physical shape prior to the drugs which start with a withdrawal from a codiene based antihistamine (for a cold!) and that caused the doctors to put me on benzos like Ativan. I later found out codiene withdrawal is a picnic compared to benzo withdrawal because of more protracted cases!

Wish I would have stuck the codiene withdrawal out instead of taking the Ativan. But not ONE doctor I consulted told me I was experiencing narcotic withdrawal symptoms and I was very naive/uniformed at the time so I didn't know it either. But benzodiazepines are a bad drug for prolonged withdrawals if one becomes too tolerant or dependant where narcotic withdrawal, although tough as well, tends to be much shorter.

I took aspirin and sometimes tylenol only for those headaches and some cold compresses on occassion.

 
Old 09-12-2006, 12:54 AM   #5
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Re: Ativan???

Thanks, Jennita. I actually tried the cammomile tea, double bagged, but I couldn't drink all of it. I guess I don't really like it anymore because after half a cup I started having a hard time swallowing it without gagging. I'm not sure if it helped my pain or not.... oh well.

I've read some of what you've posted about benzos and it has scared me enough to be careful about how I take it. I've got enough problems without going through some of the same things you have. I definitely appreciate the warnings!

Thanks again!

 
Old 09-12-2006, 12:28 PM   #6
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Re: Ativan???

Oh, sorry about the tea. I forgot to mention sometimes it's better with a little honey or raw sugar. I don't know if your pain is from inflammatory disorders, withdrawal or what , but also consider some omega's in supplement form or just eat fish, walnuts, omega fortified eggs, etc. in case it is. Omegas are good for other things too anyway besides inflammation.

Even mild exercises and stretching have improved some pain in alot of people, yoga, acupuncture, etc...

I really haven't looked into all alternative pain relief practices to date, luckily it's something I haven't needed. Maybe you could investigate a bit on the internet, if tylenol or such doesn't quite cut it.

Well, yeah, I went through something alright so I'm glad if I can warn people to at least be cautious about those benzos!

I hope you feel better soon.

Last edited by Jennita; 09-12-2006 at 12:29 PM.

 
Old 09-13-2006, 12:45 AM   #7
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Re: Ativan???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennita
Oh, sorry about the tea. I forgot to mention sometimes it's better with a little honey or raw sugar. I don't know if your pain is from inflammatory disorders, withdrawal or what , but also consider some omega's in supplement form or just eat fish, walnuts, omega fortified eggs, etc. in case it is. Omegas are good for other things too anyway besides inflammation.
Yeah, I had honey in my tea; that's the only way I can drink any kind of tea. I've never really been big on cammomile, but thought I'd give it a try. I'll give the omegas a shot. I honestly don't know why I have pain. There is nothing physically wrong with me and my emotional state isn't low enough to explain the intensity of the pain I have sometimes. I'm just really screwed up.... . I do know that I need to get more excercise, but getting motivated to do it isn't easy. Sometimes I can't even force myself. And sometimes I hurt more after ...even if I've just gone for a walk.

 
Old 09-13-2006, 11:15 AM   #8
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Re: Ativan???

I guess pain is something very tricky as there are many reasons why it happens, aka injury, inflammatory disease, nerve damage, etc. Sometimes medications can cause it (some effect nervous system or muscles)or the withdrawal of medication (so maybe your codiene withdrawal?); sometimes simply non-use causes muscle deterioration and thus weakness/pain. Have you gotten a complete physical?

If it's a lingering withdrawal effect, it could possibly go on it's own in a few months.

 
Old 09-14-2006, 11:54 AM   #9
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Re: Ativan???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennita
I guess pain is something very tricky as there are many reasons why it happens, aka injury, inflammatory disease, nerve damage, etc. Sometimes medications can cause it (some effect nervous system or muscles)or the withdrawal of medication (so maybe your codiene withdrawal?); sometimes simply non-use causes muscle deterioration and thus weakness/pain. Have you gotten a complete physical?

If it's a lingering withdrawal effect, it could possibly go on it's own in a few months.
I have a physical every year. My doctor thinks my headaches are illness related and I'm under-medicated, which is why I've increased my Effexor dose. The more intense headaches are either from stress or withdrawal, depending on whether or not I've had any codeine for awhile. I actually did get off it completely at the beginning of the summer and then one day I had such a terrible headache that nothing would help, and muscle tension, and I was desperate . My boyfriend went and got some T1's for me.... I didn't ask him to, but I'd told him the day before I was tempted to ask.

If I'm sitting and reading, or working on cross-stitch, or watching tv I will frequently do stretches for my neck and shoulder muscles to relieve tension, but it never goes away completely. I've always had people telling me I'm so tense when they put their hands on my shoulders, and I never felt tense.... so maybe it's just how my muscles are? I don't feel any weakness in them.

Then there are my hands and feet. My hands hurt either from Raynaud's, carpal tunnel or tennis elbow, depending on what I've been doing. I have arthralgia in my feet (doctor says it's that because they don't feel warm/hot and they don't swell; then it would be arthritis), and tendonitis in the top of my right foot. It just all sucks! My mom has Fibromyalgia and I've wondered if I could be getting it too, but I don't think so. I don't want to be a hypochondriac!

Thanks for your help and advice.

 
Old 09-14-2006, 06:14 PM   #10
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Re: Ativan???

Oh, I didn't know you were on Effexor! That could explain some or part of the problem. Neck ridgity and pain, headaches including migraine are some of Effexors' side effects. Arthralgia (pain in joint) is in the listed in the other adverse effects during pre-marketing list too!

Serotonin itself is a powerful vasoconstrictor (causes blood vessels to narrow) and is implicated in headaches as well.

I'm not sure if upping the dose is a great idea or not considering the pain. I'd even wonder if it shouldn't be reduced or gotten off?

 
Old 09-16-2006, 09:30 PM   #11
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Re: Ativan???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennita
Oh, I didn't know you were on Effexor! That could explain some or part of the problem. Neck ridgity and pain, headaches including migraine are some of Effexors' side effects. Arthralgia (pain in joint) is in the listed in the other adverse effects during pre-marketing list too!

Serotonin itself is a powerful vasoconstrictor (causes blood vessels to narrow) and is implicated in headaches as well.

I'm not sure if upping the dose is a great idea or not considering the pain. I'd even wonder if it shouldn't be reduced or gotten off?
That's something I may consider if I can't get the "hot flashes" under control. I was doing really well until yesterday.....

I'm a big suck when it comes to pain, but if I'm at home, my head has to be REALLY bad before I'll take anything and usually only codeine works enough to take the edge off. Problem is, the more codeine I take the worse the pain is when it wears off. Viscious circle.... I need to go for massage therapy. That really helped when I was able to go regularly a few years ago, but I can't afford it now.

Anyway, the next time I see my doctor I'll mention what you said about Effexor and see what he thinks. Maybe I do need to get off it.

Last edited by Alex6657; 09-16-2006 at 09:31 PM.

 
Old 09-17-2006, 11:29 AM   #12
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Re: Ativan???

Well, I'm doubtful he'll want you off even with the side effects as it seems most doctors want to make SSRi's drugs for life these days, even if he admits your symptoms are side effects, which is also doubtful. But then again maybe he'll be honest if you ask, who knows.

If you do end up wanting to get off, I'd say go about a 10% cut every two weeks....this is slower than the doctors taper but they don't have any regard for the recovery process, they just taper what is considered safe according to drug co. guidelines, but sometimes that is very difficult for the patient to tolerate and they end up right back on the drugs.

Your brain gets very adapted or used to operating on the drug so it needs to be withdrawn slowly and even then some symptoms of withdrawal might linger during the recovery phase; the brain seems to take awhile before it functions ok without the drug.

Even then, after a successful withdrawal, some people have relapse of symptoms a few months out but those will be short lived. In other words, do be aware that these drugs usually have severe dependancy and tolerance issues so you might have to be patient. Of course, some people taper slow and have no problems too, you just never know. It just depends on each individual.

Good luck, hope you can get off successfully because of the side effects which may not get better.

 
Old 09-18-2006, 09:23 AM   #13
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Re: Ativan???

Ativan is a nightmare from Hell. I think it's more likely to CAUSE a major depression than to help with it.
Valium is the far better anti-anxiety agent.

Last edited by Lenin; 09-18-2006 at 10:28 AM.

 
Old 09-19-2006, 07:13 PM   #14
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Re: Ativan???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennita
Good luck, hope you can get off successfully because of the side effects which may not get better.
I actually dropped the extra 37.5mg I was taking last week. My night sweats started coming back really badly, so I'm going to stick with the original plan of dividing my dose into two: 75mg in the morning and 75mg in the evening. That seemed to work well for me and I'm going to try it out a bit longer.... maybe I'll even stay with it.

My doctor is pretty good about being honest with me, and if I told him I wanted off something he would let me go off it.

Thanks again, Jennita, you've been a big help!

 
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