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Old 05-24-2005, 05:41 PM   #1
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Question about Ativan?

I use Ativan on a very infrequent as needed basis. You see~I'm the queen of white coat and it was given to me when I made the transition from Tenormin(nightmare) to another med. It has always calmed me and worked well to squelch my anxiety. I decided to take my BP while on it~usually I never do because I am "chilled" and dont care~BUT~I was astounded that my BP was hovering in the high 150's over 90's and my pulse was over 100. I take Diovan which is not lowering my bp~but adding Ativan did NOT lower it and in some instances RAISED it. How can this be~when I "feel calm". Gosh I dont want to be a ticking timebomb and not know it. I hope someone can offer an explanation??? Im hoping that when I find the right BP med that works~I wont need Ativan anymore
R.R.

 
Old 05-25-2005, 11:18 AM   #2
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Re: Question about Ativan?

I had the same reaction. While I was completely relaxed on ativan I could have BP of 180/90. My doc said while some folks have HBP strickly because of anxiety, some (like me) have it for other other reasons. I seem to have inherited it. My grandmother had very high BP and I always thought it was because she was a worrier.
I rely on clonidine now. I find that, most of the time, my BP makes me anxious, not the other way around. If it's too high I can take 1/2 of .1mg of clonidine and it brings down my BP and relaxes me. For me it'a a win win situation.
Cass

Last edited by CASSIEBEL; 05-25-2005 at 11:19 AM.

 
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Old 05-25-2005, 04:30 PM   #3
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Re: Question about Ativan?

Cassie,

That aspect of clonidine interests me a lot (I hate Ativan worse than poison however.)

When I mentioned Clonidine it to my doctor, doofus must have mixed it up with Klonapin because he muttered something about benzodiazepine...a potent antiseizure medication. At first I thought he didn't know and made up nonsense...but then I put all the pieces together.
Next time I'll SPELL it for him S L O W L Y!

 
Old 05-25-2005, 07:26 PM   #4
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Re: Question about Ativan?

Lenin,
It works ever time. I had a spike today for no apparent reason 184/101. I took 1/2 of a clonidine and 45 min later it was 138/79.
It is one of the "have to wean" meds but for some reason I had rather be on a BP med that is habit forming than an anti-anxiety one.
Cass

 
Old 05-26-2005, 08:53 AM   #5
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Re: Question about Ativan?

I take clonidine on a regular basis (0.75 three times a day). It does have kind of a calming effect as it brings down bp and heart rate. It will also put you to sleep. Since I do take it regularly and have been for a while, I've mostly gotten past the sleepys.

As I have gotten older, I am finding it increasingly hard to sleep at night. Part of that is inherited (thanks Dad), and part is that I seem to be somewhat high strung. I am also wondering now if the clonidine is also interfering with sleep. I wonder if I have a similar effect as what I get with alcohol. A glass of wine mellows me right out, but if I drink before bedtime I can't get a decent night's sleep. I am trying to slowly wean off clonidine (hence the weird dosing) and see what happens to my sleep. So far going down from .4 mg to .225 mg per day hasn't made a difference.

 
Old 05-26-2005, 03:09 PM   #6
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Re: Question about Ativan?

Just curious, greylorn, but how in the world do you get that little pill into 0.75 dose?
As for the sleep issue. Maybe because I only take it once a day, just before bed. It seems to help me sleep. Though, I do somtimes have bouts of insomnia and when I do, I wonder if it's one of my meds.
Are you weaning because of the sleep problems?
Cass

Last edited by CASSIEBEL; 05-26-2005 at 03:15 PM.

 
Old 05-27-2005, 08:31 AM   #7
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Re: Question about Ativan?

Back when I was having a lot of trouble getting my numbers down, I got a prescription for .3mg! Yikes! I didn't really take them except for my Toprol indiced spikes. Somehow I got 100 of them in a prescription refill. Well, after I ditched Toprol and my numbers started going down, I got a new prescription for .2 mg clonidine, then later .1 mg clonidine. I couldn't bring myself to throw out the .3 mg.

I changed my diet, lost weight (up to 31 pounds now) and started exercising more regularly. With 180 mg tiazac (a ccb) and .1 mg clonidine 3 times a day, my bp numbers typically range in the 105-118/59-66 area. Sometimes in the evenings I drop down in to the upper 90s/low 50s. Heart rate is quite variable, but sometimes drops into the low 50s/upper 40s. With numbers that low, I think I am over medicated, although they don't really cause any problems. I decided to wean down the clonidine.

On the doses I was taking, I seem to need 3 times a day dosing. After about 7 hours I would nomally start to get jittery, although interestingly if I gutted it out that went away so that I could stretch out dosing to 8 or 9 hours. Since I had the .3 mg I wasn't using, I started quartering them to get .075 mg. It is not easy to quarter a small pill! With a 100 of them, I figured I could afford to waste a few on my way down to .05 mg by splitting a .1 mg. I have a pill splitter, but I am disappointed by how quickly it no longer cuts decently. I'm not going to run out an buy a new one every month. I have better luck using my Swiss Army knife.

Recently I've gone to .075 mg at bed time, .075 mg in the morning and .05 mg in the late afternoon. My numbers are still good, except that my first morning reading after I've been up a bit has crept up into the low 120s/about 70. This is before breakfast and tiazac and clonidine. Last night evening reading before bedtime clonidine was 102/57 pulse 61. I am hoping if I get to .05 mg 3 times a day I can go to .05 twice a day, and evaluate from there.

Besides feeling over medicated with very low readings, I wondered if the clonidine was contributing to my lousy sleep. Unfortunately I haven't noticed a sleep improvement.

 
Old 05-27-2005, 08:39 AM   #8
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Re: Question about Ativan?

Getting back to the thread title, I also have a prescription to Ativan I got one time when I told my doctor I don't sleep worth crap. Talk about tiny pill! I think it must be the smallest dose, and my doctor told me to cut them in half and take at bed time occasionally. I haven't had the courage to try them, after my horrendous experience with Toprol. I guess I should try one during the day, and if my body whacks out, I can go to the emergency room. However if it pushes up blood pressure and pulse, it wouldn't really help me much.

 
Old 05-28-2005, 02:49 PM   #9
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Re: Question about Ativan?

mgraylorn
I'm interested in what you said about clonodine for sleep. I've tried just about everything without results. Is this something I should ask my doc. He currently has me taking 1mg clonazapem (Klonodin) which I desparetly want to wean off of. But everytime I lower the dose I'm up ALL night.
Tell me more about what clonodine is. I want to sleep again!!

 
Old 05-29-2005, 02:29 AM   #10
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Re: Question about Ativan?

mgraylorn~I encourage you to try the Ativan during the day. I am always fearful of any med but Ativan is the exception~it has saved me from myself~LOL! I am concluding that the high bp numbers I got(when I had taken an Ativan) were to blame on the machine at Walmart. Many on the board and people I know personally said those machines are abused and often not calibrated properly. I have a new home monitor and my bp has been fine today(with Ativan). I only take it 2-4 times a month. I take one half of a 1mg pill~I use it for anxiety. So I cant promise it would work for sleep. It provides a "calm" that I wish I could have been born with. I think it works so well for me because I dont take it daily~and never have. The experts claim you will build a tolerance for it if taken daily. I do notice I sleep better the night of the day I take it. I usually take one in the afternoon between 2-4 and it lasts all day and well into the evening~but I am sensitive to meds so for me it doesnt take much. If you try one~let me know how it works. Small dose is not to fear.
Good luck~RR

 
Old 05-30-2005, 01:53 AM   #11
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Re: Question about Ativan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenin
Cassie,

That aspect of clonidine interests me a lot (I hate Ativan worse than poison however.)

When I mentioned Clonidine it to my doctor, doofus must have mixed it up with Klonapin because he muttered something about benzodiazepine...a potent antiseizure medication. At first I thought he didn't know and made up nonsense...but then I put all the pieces together.
Next time I'll SPELL it for him S L O W L Y!

Hi there

Just wanted to let you know that Ativan and Klonopin are both benzodiazepine medications. It can be used as an antiseizure med, but is also used for anxiety. I'm on it right now.

I am curious about what you said about your high blood pressure. I took a klonopin before I went to my internist and my BP was high too. I've never had high BP and now I'm wondering if this is what caused it. I feel really calm after I take it too. Weird huh?

Chantel

 
Old 05-30-2005, 07:12 AM   #12
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Re: Question about Ativan?

Hi Chantal...
I know they are both benzidiazepines but I was asking my doc about CLONIDINE which is really SORT of CNS depressant anti hypertensive and not a benzo. Unfortunately my doctor hadn't a clue what clonidine was (God FORBID he should ever be truthful and SAY that) and the closest his brain could get was what he though was Klonidin...which sounds like a drug I wouldn't take at the point of a gun. He must have thought I didn't know how to pronounce it...that would be typical of him.
The clonidine sounds like a nice combo of an antihypertesnsive, anti-anxiety, sleep agent...what's not to LIKE!

I'm not quite sure what you are asking.

Last edited by Lenin; 06-06-2005 at 02:03 PM.

 
Old 05-30-2005, 11:29 AM   #13
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Re: Question about Ativan?

I was prescribed Ativan for the periods of anxiety that I have every so often. I never had anxiety problems until I went on BP meds. They calm me and have never raised my BP. When I wake up in the middle of the night feeling anxious, I take one and it helps me to sleep for the rest of the night.

 
Old 05-30-2005, 12:46 PM   #14
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Re: Question about Ativan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenin
Hi Chantal...
I know they are both benzidiazepines but I was asking my doc about COLNIDINE which is really SORT of CNS depressant anti hypertensive and not a benzo. Unfortunately my doctor hadn't a clue what clonidine was (God FORBID he should ever be truthful and SAY that) and the closest his brain could get was what he though was Klonidin...which sounds like a drug I wouldn't take at the point of a gun. He must have thought I didn't know how to pronounce it...that would be typical of him.
The clonidine sounds like a nice combo of an antihypertesnsive, anti-anxiety, sleep agent...what's not to LIKE!

I'm not quite sure what you are asking.
Lenin,
Is your doc young? I know clonidine is an old med but I never heard of a doctor that hasn't used it. Most of the ERs (at least the ones down here) use it to bring BP down quickly.
Try asking for catapres, it's the brand name for clonidine.
Cass

 
Old 05-31-2005, 07:54 AM   #15
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Re: Question about Ativan?

Catapres is the patch version of clonidine. Its much easier to remember to change a patch once a week rather than to remember to take a pill 2 or 3 times a day. The patch also gives a steadier dosage rather than the up and down for the short lasting pill form.

Clonidine is habit forming if you take it regularly, so there can be rebound if you miss a dose, and you need to wean off it. I find that at .1mg 3 times a day, I start to experience some anxiety and the shakes after about 7 hours. That will fade away in an hour or so and I can stretch out my dose for 9 or 10 hours if need be. I am finding at smaller doses I am less apt to start getting the shakes after 7 hours but my blood pressure does go up some into the low to mid 120s/70s, so not bad.

I have looked and looked for a good description of how clonidine works and I've not found one. It doesn't fall into the major categories (diuretic, ccb, ACEI, ARB, beta blocker, alpha blocker), but is some "centrally acting agent" in a separate group. I think midoxodil (the hair grower) falls into this category, as do a couple other drugs I never heard of. Clonidine has been around forever, is cheap, and besides the useful side effects of sleepiness, antianxiety, and heart rate reducer, it is also sometimes used for detox from alcohol or drug abuse, and to relieve symptoms of hot flashes (this may become important to me in the next few years, lol!) It is fast acting, giving a sharp reduction in blood pressure in 30 minutes to an hour, but only lasts for 10-16 hours.

I take tiazac, a calcium channel blocker, which lowers my bp some, but maybe not enough. So far, the only other drug I've been able to tollerate that reduces my bp is clonidine. I can't even tollerate an increase in tiazac.

Now that I've made some lifestyle changes and lost weight, I'm trying to reduce and maybe get off clonidine. But I'd still like to have some around for occasional use. An example: this long weekend I spent a lot of time in the sun, gardening, getting dehydrated, eating too much rich food and not sleeping enough. And I was trying to cut down clonidine. Last night my body complained, my pulse went into the upper 80s/low 90s, I started to feel anxious, and my blood pressure went up to 145/84. Even though I was trying to be calm, rapid pulse, anxiety and increase in bp sets off a positive feedback loop where everything gets worse. So even though I wasn't due for my next clonidine regular dose yet, I took a small portion (one of the many chips from slicing and dicing the pills), and after about 45 minutes I had calmed down and the pulse and pb were going down. Doctors don't like you to dose short term symptoms as they arise, but clonidine is great for that.

 
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