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Suggest ways to wean off Ativan

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Posted on Mon, 8 Aug 2016
Question: I am currently titrating from 1.5 mg (.5 3xs throughout night for sleep) of Ativan to 1.25 mg so i can ween myself off it. I think its attributing to mood swings and depression im treated for throughout the day. Ive been on it for two months and am actually surprised off the withdrawal effects im experiencing for such a low dose and duration. How long should I stay on 1.25 before going down lower to 1 mg, in order to minimize discomfort ? Also is the withdrawal going to be as bad going from 1.5 to 1.25 to 1 since the does is lower ? Does it lessen at any point ?
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Answered by Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Consultation

Detailed Answer:
Hello, and thanks for your question.

The rule for weaning off benzodiazepines is to decrease by no more than 25% every 2 weeks, and sometimes as conservatively as no more than 10% per week. This should always be done under the supervision of a physician, never by yourself, because of risk of seizures and death. For you, a 25% decrease from 1.5mg would be 1.13mg nightly, and you are taking 1.25mg nightly, so this should be perfectly safe. The next decrease should be in 2 weeks, from 1.25mg to 1mg (a 20% decrease, which is safe). Your symptoms may get better as you go along, but a doctor can monitor your status and blood pressure and ensure safety.

Please remember to rate and close this answer thread when you are finished and satisfied.

In the future, for continuity of care, I encourage you to contact me directly at my private link below. After you ask a direct question, it would be my pleasure to be your dedicated personal physician on this website. My name is Dr. Sheppe, and I am an XXXXXXX doctor working in New York City at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, ranked #1 for Psychiatry in the United States (tinyurl.com/psyrank). For a personalized comprehensive evaluation, treatment recommendations, and individual therapy, ask me at HealthCareMagic at this private link: tinyurl.com/DrSheppeAnswers
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe

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Practicing since :2014

Answered : 2242 Questions

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Suggest ways to wean off Ativan

Brief Answer: Consultation Detailed Answer: Hello, and thanks for your question. The rule for weaning off benzodiazepines is to decrease by no more than 25% every 2 weeks, and sometimes as conservatively as no more than 10% per week. This should always be done under the supervision of a physician, never by yourself, because of risk of seizures and death. For you, a 25% decrease from 1.5mg would be 1.13mg nightly, and you are taking 1.25mg nightly, so this should be perfectly safe. The next decrease should be in 2 weeks, from 1.25mg to 1mg (a 20% decrease, which is safe). Your symptoms may get better as you go along, but a doctor can monitor your status and blood pressure and ensure safety. Please remember to rate and close this answer thread when you are finished and satisfied. In the future, for continuity of care, I encourage you to contact me directly at my private link below. After you ask a direct question, it would be my pleasure to be your dedicated personal physician on this website. My name is Dr. Sheppe, and I am an XXXXXXX doctor working in New York City at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, ranked #1 for Psychiatry in the United States (tinyurl.com/psyrank). For a personalized comprehensive evaluation, treatment recommendations, and individual therapy, ask me at HealthCareMagic at this private link: tinyurl.com/DrSheppeAnswers