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Benzo withdrawal : benefits from the Ashton manual?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by dadouv47, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. dadouv47

    dadouv47 Senior Member

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    Hello,
    I'm currently struggling a lot with my lorazepam withdrawal and i wanted to know if some people got some help by following the Ashton manual.
    I'm trying to withdrawal lorazepam. Lorazepam helped me so much ( maybe saved my life) when i got hospitalized in 2010), but now i'm living a nightmare. I kept taking them all this time, because it helped me and because it was too hard to stop. It helped me to have a more active life, to go back to my studies, to allow me some good moments with my girlfriend etc... I tried a few times to stop them, but i was starting to study again ( part time) and i couldn't stop them without being totally down. These last 2 years my health got really worse.It's difficult to know if it's my CFS that got worse or it's because of the long use of benzodiazepines, but i think it's probably both. So i had to stop studying again, got back home with my family to help me, and decided that it was the right time ( even if too late) to totally stop benzodiazepines. During a period i was taking almost 6mg a year (5years ago), but those last few years I cut it to 3,5mg. i started cutting again last 2 months, and i only decreased 1/3 of my initial dose (from 3,50 to 2,3mg) but it looks like i did a superhuman effort because my health got worse and worse and i'm really struggling. I can't describe all symptoms because there are too many, but i almost can't go out from home anymore. No energy, too much pain, dizziness and muscle contractures.
    I didn't want to take another benzo, but i discovered the Ashton manual and read some people really benefited from it. So i asked to my psychiatrist and I think he's ok to try to switch lorazepam to diazepam.
    I wanted to know if some of you benefited from it, if it can decrease the symptoms i'm feeling and if it allows to quit on lorazepam faster.
    Thank you for attention! (and sorry for my bad english)
    David
     
  2. Thinktank

    Thinktank Senior Member

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    I'm sorry to hear you are suffering so much, i understand your pain because i too have been a longterm user of clonazepam and it's been very difficult to get off from. I tried several methods without much success until i found the daily liquid microtaper. The idea is too cut your dose daily using liquid, this way your body doesn't go into shock every 2 ~ 3 weeks when the dose gets reduced like in the Ashton method. It took me 9 months or so to get off 0.25mg clonazepam, more rapid withdrawal resulted in serious symptoms.

    You can crossover to diazepam per Ashton method or taper the lorazepam directly but that will be very difficult.
    It's important to stabilize on your current lorazepam dose and then gradually crossover in 4 weeks (or more if you feel the need). I personally didn't tolerate diazepam very well so i sticked with clonazepam.

    How much lorazepam are you currently taking? 10mg diazepam is equivalent to approx. 1mg lorazepam.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  3. dadouv47

    dadouv47 Senior Member

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    Hello,
    I'm taking 2,30mg /day now. I read that 1mg lorazepam is equivalent to 10mg diazepam.
    If i can switch all the lorazepam i'm taking into 20-25mg diazepam in 4-5 weeks, it would be really great!
     
  4. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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  5. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    @dadouv47

    Hi David,

    Just wanted to double up on Mary's suggestion to consider an orthromolecular approach. I'm very familiar with the article Mary linkd to, and have found the supplements they recommend to be very helpful for me. I would say especially niacin, which has a remarkably similar effect to taking a benzodiazapine (I've had extensive experience with valium and clonazepam).

    Please, do NOT overlook the information in this article. It could very well an incredibly helpful adjunct to whatever course you decide on. -- Wishing you the very best as you search for some good answers for your current situation.

    Wayne
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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  6. redrachel76

    redrachel76 Senior Member

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    I was on lorazepam. I was unable to do a direct taper. I switched to Valium then tapered off.

    A slow Valium taper is much easier than tapering off lorazepam, especially with ME, in my experience.

    I also got addicted on stillnox once and used the Ashton manual to get off that.

    I find the real problem for me is after I have been off Benzos for a few months and then get a CFS flair of horrible insomnia. It's only then that I start craving it. ...it's hard to remind myself during the flair of how lousy I felt on the Benzos and how fast they stopped working. The actual tapering on Valium is easy as long as you do it slowly enough.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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  7. dadouv47

    dadouv47 Senior Member

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    thanks for the advises! Will certainly look to add supplements to help the withdrawal.

    Took a diazepam yesterday and felt like it was the first time in years that i was taking a benzo. Really shows how much lorazepam is not working anymore for me and is only making things worse. Hope i can switch from lorazepam to diazepam without too much suffering.
    Insomnia was also a big problem for me but i'm taking mirtazapine that really helps for that.
     
  8. Thinktank

    Thinktank Senior Member

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    You are doing a crossover right? You can't just jump from one benzo to another.
     
  9. dadouv47

    dadouv47 Senior Member

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    Sure! Planning to switch lorazepam to diazepam in 4-6 weeks (depending on symptoms, reaction). Just taking one diazepam/day right now while cutting a bit of lorazepam
     
  10. dadouv47

    dadouv47 Senior Member

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    Hello
    Can you recommend me some brand of Niacin?
    Also, I don't really know when it would be the right time to start taking it. Right now i'm doing the crossover from lorazepam to diazepam, and despite feeling already better, i'm having more fatigue ( side effect from diazepam probably). You said that niacin has a similar effect to taking a benzodiazepine, so maybe i should wait until i finish the crossover and start decreasing diazepam? Maybe i got all wrong :) but i prefer to ask before taking something at the wrong time.
    Thanks!
     
  11. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi David,

    I think niacin is a pretty straight-forward supplement, so I don't think brand is a big factor. I myself use NOW brand, which is usually cheaper than others. I can't really say whether taking it during your crossover would be better for you one way or another, although I can't think of a good reason why taking it now would be a problem.

    I wish I had known about niacin when I did my own clonazepam withdrawal (which I stretched out over a year). I think starting it at ANY point would have been very helpful. I myself am currently doing 500 mg / day, in four separate doses of !25 mg each. Some people take several thousand mg a day.

    I would also encourage you to consider iodine supplementation. Many people have found it to reduce anxiety and be helpful for sleep,. It's a vast topic, with much to consider. Also, I find eating butter regularly, especially before going to bed, relaxes my body and mind and helps my sleep. I think it's because of the butyrate in the butter, a probiotic which can have a calming effect.

    All the Best!

    Wayne
     
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