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Lorazepam Withdrawal

Is lorazepam a problem for you? If lorazepam is causing you health problems and you wish to withdraw from lorazepam then the info on this page should assist you in how to withdraw with minimal withdrawal symptoms. Lorazepam is a common prescription medicine, prescribed and used for many conditions and symptoms. Most commonly it is prescribed for the treatment of anxiety, muscular spasms and insomnia. Lorazepam withdrawal is something which must be done gradually to minimise withdrawal symptoms. Addiction to lorazepam or ativan as it is sometimes known can occur after just a couple of weeks of regular use. Some withdrawal symptoms from abrupt withdrawal from lorazepam can be serious and potentially life threatening, including seizures and psychosis. Many people decide to withdraw from lorazepam after long term use due to the adverse effects on physical and particularly mental health from long term use. Long term use of lorazepam can cause an increase in anxiety, muscular problems, sensorary problems, agorophobia and cognitive deficits. Lorazepam is a short acting benzodiazepine drug with a half life of 10 - 20 hours and the available doses are all potent doses and thus small reductions cannot be made and the blood level of the drug cannot be kept stable. For this reason it is advised to cross over to an equivalent dose of the long acting benzodiazepine drug called diazepam, or as it is sometimes better known Valium. There are many benzodiazepine medications, which all share the same mechanism of action. Some common benzodiazepine drugs include lorazepam, alprazolam and clonazepam. The reasons for using diazepam aka valium for tapering off of other benzodiazepine drugs are summarised in this article by Prof Ashton. You can view the article on TAPERING USING DIAZEPAM here.

Lorazepam works similar to alcohol, on the GABA receptors in the brain and thus can cause an addiction and withdrawal syndrome similar to that seen in alcohol. The withdrawal syndrome from alcohol is similar to that seen in withdrawal from lorazepam and other sedative hypnotic drugs. You can view a complete description here of WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS that you may experience when stopping lorazepam. Lorazepam also carries the risk of overdose especially in cases of drug abuse. The risk of overdose increases with the size of the dose, tolerance level to the drug and when lorazepam is taken in combination with other drugs, especially opiates and or alcohol. Lorazepam is not recommended during pregnancy and is classed as category D, which means that it can harm the unborn baby. Lorazepam has been found to cause an increased risk of birth defects and also can result in the baby being born addicted to lorazepam and suffering complications after birth including floppy infant syndrome and benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms.

Lorazepam Brand Names

Lorazepam is the generic name or chemical name, however it is known under various different brand names around the world the most common brand name being ativan. The following is a list of brand names which you may know lorazepam as:

Abinol, Amparax, Ansilor, Anta, Anxira, Aplacasse, Aripax, Ativan, Calmatron, Calmese, Calmogenol, Control, Docloraze, Donix, Dorm, Emotival, Idalprem, Kalmalin, Larpose, LAtiwen, Laubeel, Lauracalm, Lonza, Lora, Lorabenz, Lorafen (Лорафен), Loralin, Loram, Loramed, Lorans, Lorapam, Lorasifar, Lorax, Lorazemed, Lorazep, Lorazepan, Lorazetop, Lorenin, Lorezan, Loridem, Lorivan, Lorsedal, Max-Pax, Merlit, Microzepam, Modium, Nervistop L, Nifalin, Novhepar, Novo-Lorazem, Nu-Loraz, Optisedine, Ora, Orfidal, Placinoral, Sedatival, Sedazin, Sedicepan, Serenase, Sidenar, Somagerol, Somnium, Tavor, Temesta, Titus, Tolid, Trankilium, Tranqipam, Trapax, Zeloram.

How to Withdraw From Lorazepam

Withdrawing from lorazepam can be made easier as explained above by a slow reduction regime preferably using diazepam. The slower the withdrawal rate from lorazepam the less severe the withdrawal side effects. Withdrawing too fast from benzodiazepines such as lorazepam can result is serious adverse effects. The most serious withdrawal symptom is seizures as these can be life threatening. However seizures do not occur when withdrawal is slow so those embarking on a sensible withdrawal rate can rest assure that they will not experience such serious withdrawal effects.

The first thing a person who is addicted to lorazepam should do is to stabalise their dosage of lorazepam. This means taking lorazepam in devided doses throughout the day. So for example if someone taking 2 mg of lorazepam at night, they should space this out to 0.5 mg 4 times a day. It may take the body a few weeks to get used to this change in dosing regime of their medication.

Once a person has stabalised their use of lorazepam in equally spaced doses the next step is to gradually switch over to diazepam. An example of how to switch from lorazepam to diazepam is given in the table below. Information that the reader will need to know is the equivalent dose of lorazepam to diazepam. The equivalency table which we have found to be most accurate is the benzodiazepine equivalence table by Professor Heather Ashton. You can view the HALF LIFE AND EQUIVALENCE TABLE here.

Below is a suggested withdrawal schedule for readers to follow. The withdrawal rate suggested below can be changed according to how the individual responds to dose cuts and the withdrawal rate should be determined by the individual. The below table uses the example of how to withdraw from 4 mg of lorazepam. If you are taking a different dose simply ammend the table to suit your current dose level.

If you have any further questions, require support or you would simply like to meet others who are withdrawing from benzodiazepines then feel free to join our benzodiazepine support forum here.

Withdrawing from Lorazepam

Withdrawing from 4 mg of Lorazepam using 5 mg Diazepam tablets.
Follow or Adapt Table From Your Starting or Current dose
Morning Lunch Time Evening Before Bed Total Daily Dose
Lorazepam 1 mg Lorazepam 1 mg Lorazepam 1 mg Lorazepam 1 mg Lorazepam 4 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks
Lorazepam 1 mg Lorazepam 0.5 mg + 5 mg Diazepam Lorazepam 0.5 mg + 5 mg Diazepam Lorazepam 1 mg Lorazepam 3 mg + 10 mg Diazepam
Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks

Lorazepam 0.5 mg + 5 mg Diazepam

Lorazepam 0.5 mg + 5 mg Diazepam Lorazepam 0.5 mg + 5 mg Diazepam Lorazepam 0.5 mg + 5 mg Diazepam Lorazepam 2 mg + 20 mg Diazepam
Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks
Lorazepam 0.5 mg + 5 mg Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam Lorazepam 0.5 mg + 5 mg Diazepam Lorazepam 1 mg + 30 mg Diazepam
Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks

Diazepam 10 mg

Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 40 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 2 weeks
At this stage you should be stabalising on the diazepam and ready to start making some small reductions in dosage.
Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 6.25 mg Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 36.25 mg
Hold reduction for 10 - 14 days
Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 6.25 mg Diazepam 6.25 mg Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 32.5 mg
Hold reduction for 10 - 14 days
Now that the dose is going below 30 mg of diazepam most people find that they need to slow their taper rate down, so we recommend cuts are done every 3 - 4 weeks.
Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 2.5 mg Diazepam 6.25 mg Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 28.75 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 2.5 mg Diazepam 2.5 mg Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 25 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 10 mg   Diazepam 2.5 mg Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 22.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 10 mg     Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 20 mg
Withdrawing from 20 mg of diazepam should be carried out using 2 mg sized tablets
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
9 mg     9 mg Diazepam 18 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 8 mg  

 

Diazepam 8 mg Diazepam 16 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 7 mg     Diazepam 7.5 mg Diazepam 14.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 6.5 mg     Diazepam 6.5 mg Diazepam 13 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 5.5 mg     Diazepam 6 mg Diazepam 11.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 5 mg     Diazepam 5 mg Diazepam 10 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 4.5 mg     Diazepam 4.5 mg Diazepam 9 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 4 mg     Diazepam 4 mg Diazepam 8 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 3.5 mg     Diazepam 3.5 mg Diazepam 7 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 3 mg     Diazepam 3 mg Diazepam 6 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
See also NOTE below for additional information on withdrawing from 5 mg of diazepam
Diazepam 2.5 mg     Diazepam 2.5 mg Diazepam 5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 2 mg     Diazepam 2.5 mg Diazepam 4.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 2 mg     Diazepam 2 mg Diazepam 4 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 1.5 mg     Diazepam 2 mg Diazepam 3.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 1.5 mg     Diazepam 1.5 mg Diazepam 3 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 1 mg     Diazepam 1.5 mg Diazepam 2.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 1 mg     Diazepam 1 mg Diazepam 2 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 0.5 mg     Diazepam 1 mg Diazepam 1.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 0.5 mg     Diazepam 0.5 mg Diazepam 1 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 0.5 mg Diazepam 0.5 mg
Drop Last 0.5 mg dose of diazepam and Never Take Another Benzodiazepine Again
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gradual Diazepam Detox Complete

NOTE: Some people find it difficult in the final stages of withdrawal from 5 mg of diazepam to zero. If you are one of these people it may be of value asking your doctor to provide you with the 2 mg per 5 ml diazepam oral, liquid suspension, and obtaining a 1 ml syringe from your local pharmacy/drug store/chemist. Users can then obtain smaller dose reductions than the 0.5 mg sized cuts obtained using the 2 mg sized diazepam tablet. See this page Slow Diazepam Withdrawal for more information.

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