How Might Ativan, Clonazapem Increase Strength?

TreePerson

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@Seadragon I don’t get anxious from withdrawal but I do get exacerbated physical symptoms like muscle spasms and a weird bloodsucking emptiness in my veins. All over body weakness. I actually think these symptoms are the ME but the benzos mask them and then they come back with avengence when I stop. This is to do with the strengthening effect they as mentioned in the original post. The weaker I’ve become the more sensitive I am to cutting them down.
 

debored13

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Here is the video of the presentation at IMEC13 where Ron Davis talks about Ativan on the nano-needle test.
https://www.omf.ngo/2018/09/17/ron-davis-iimec13/

@Rossy191276 I have severe ME (90% bedbound) and Ativan helps me attend doctors visits and blood draws by reducing symptoms, increasing energy, and reducing PEM. I don't take it every day as I think it loses it's effectiveness, as well as long term concerns. I too am interested in what the biological reason is. For me it could be due to it's mast cell stabiliser function, but who really knows.......
Severe ME here w similar response to Ativan. But similarly don’t want to get dependent and lose magic of it. I would guess that it could have something to do with excess glutamate in the brain of cfs patients causing excitotoxicity. GABA opposes glutamate I think
 

perrier

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Some research articles online suggest that certain benzos can suppress cytokine production and/or modulate the immune system in certain ways.

When I took benzos, quite a few years years ago now, I had a very overactive immune system at that time and I always felt significantly better with my fatigue/muscle pain/neuropathic pain etc when I took a Clonazepam for a couple of days afterwards each time.

Years of this though and I eventually developed tolerance and then withdrawal symptoms even on stable doses and then finally terrible paradoxical reactions. A horrendous few years followed weaning very slowly off them. I had no choice to do this. I have not taken them for five years now and wouldn't again unless my life depended on it.

I am now witnessing a fellow ME friend starting to get herself into the same mess with Clonazepam.

This is why I tell people to be careful.





That said, I totally understand why people here do use benzos - but please just be very careful to use as sparingly as possible and be aware of potential problems with frequent use (even as much as twice a week which is how I started).
The doctors prescribe it without adequately warning folks of what happens. Our family member was prescribed this by a CFS doctor who said it 'calms the brain" and helps with sleep--the latter was virtually non existent. Now the horrid slow tortuous process of trying to wean off this is taking place. And it is virtually impossible, as fragile poor sleep always suffers. Also this can harm memory. So the weaning is taking place in the tiniest increments imaginable. And who knows if I will entirely take place. I pray it does.
 

roller

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once, i looked up some horror-helminth-stuff, that made me wonder, what miracle could safe humans from hosting them.
couldnt find anything,

but at least same oddly, this brought me quite straight to addiction/withdrawal/cocaine.

you have to say, that withdrawal for some is hell and for others its breeze.
and for the majority its ok.

i think its not many, that have such heavy withdrawal symptoms.
may be wrong :)
 

Belbyr

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I got to update this thread with what has been happening to me with benzo's. I have been in this awful 'relapse' for almost 3 months now and when I first posted in this thread around August, I was in a 'mini month long relapse'. I'm between a rock and a hard place. I think what did it this time is I was pushing to keep working and using Ativan to keep me going.

Ativan initially helps my horrid nausea, abdominal pain, headache, and muscle pain... actually gives me an energy boost. After a while it seems to lose its effectiveness. I've had a few mad dashes to the ER recently where they give me big pushes of Ativan in the 2mg range along with fluids and narcotics. I will initially feel better, go home, then crash hard again and be right back in the ER 2-3 days later after I feel myself headed down hill again.

Right now I am trying to wean off of it and it has been very hard, my CFS symptoms are the exact symptoms of Ativan withdrawal. It has been a living hell of being curled up on the floor of my bathroom anywhere from 4-10 hours a day. Game plan right now is get as much sleep as possible and as much fluids as possible, the sleep is hard to do.
 
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. Benzodiazepines are not the solution to our disease.
Not everyone experiences such a horrific withdrawal but still.... be very careful.
Re Ativan(now called Lorazepam?)...I had to take it for about 5plus years...was addicted to it.....and had horrific withdrawal symptoms/times......left fighting for my life and almost died after being in a convulsive/comatose state.

No consultant/doctor could help me back in early 1980s although i pleaded with them for help.I know too that many have committed suicide after being on such drugs(benzodiapines)
 

Seadragon

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once, i looked up some horror-helminth-stuff, that made me wonder, what miracle could safe humans from hosting them.
couldnt find anything,

but at least same oddly, this brought me quite straight to addiction/withdrawal/cocaine.

you have to say, that withdrawal for some is hell and for others its breeze.
and for the majority its ok.

i think its not many, that have such heavy withdrawal symptoms.
may be wrong :)
Actually, quite a lot of people can have a lot of problems and great difficulty withdrawing from benzos. You are right that some can come off fairly easily with not too much trouble but others go through absolute h*ll.

I wouldn't want anyone to go through the terrible experience I had which is why I spoke up. There are several others here that have had a similar experience also.
 
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my CFS symptoms are the exact symptoms of Ativan withdrawal.
This is interesting. I have felt the same when starting and/or quitting some antidepressants (and not while I was on the drug).

I was unable to distinguish between the adaptation/withdrawal and a ME flare (the flu feeling, crushing fatigue, orthostatic intolerance....everything).

I wonder why this could be...but I wonder so many things...:confused:
 

Belbyr

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This is interesting. I have felt the same when starting and/or quitting some antidepressants (and not while I was on the drug).

I was unable to distinguish between the adaptation/withdrawal and a ME flare (the flu feeling, crushing fatigue, orthostatic intolerance....everything).

I wonder why this could be...but I wonder so many things...:confused:
I think it has to do with the autonomic functions (sympathetic/parasympathetic) being off in this horrid disease. Hence why we feel in over drive and run down at the same time.
 

debored13

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The fact that some ppl get dependent on Ativan or other benzos doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be used in severe ME, ppl just need to be educated on the risks. And never use it daily. Safe it for emergencies. I will take it when I need to go out and get scans etc. doctors do not understand the risks of benzodiazepine withdrawal , which is worse than opioid withdrawal. This doesn’t mean they don’t have a place in medicine though
 

lauluce

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I remember the days when i first took clonazepam, it was such a magic pill. I felt so much better, my brain fog was nearly gone, i had much more physical endurance, almost every symptom improved.
Then i became physically addicted to that poison for a few years and it started to turn against me. It took me over 12 months to quit, it was HELL. Look up post-withdrawal syndrome. Benzodiazepines are not the solution to our disease.
Not everyone experiences such a horrific withdrawal but still.... be very careful.
I tried to reduce the dose of clonazepam a month ago but after a month I felt forced to go back to my former higher dose since anxiety was unbearable and also apparently I was experiencing a greater cognitive impairment. What where the symptoms of your withdrawal syndrome? What was the dose you were taking? did the withdrawal symptoms disappear after 12 months? Thanks!
 

Thinktank

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I tried to reduce the dose of clonazepam a month ago but after a month I felt forced to go back to my former higher dose since anxiety was unbearable and also apparently I was experiencing a greater cognitive impairment. What where the symptoms of your withdrawal syndrome? What was the dose you were taking? did the withdrawal symptoms disappear after 12 months? Thanks!
You have to take it very slowly, especially if you've been taking the benzodiazepine for a while.
You can't just cut the dose randomly and hope for the best, it needs to be done in a calculated way.

My symptoms were:
Severe anxiety
Severe panic attacks
Akhatisia
Depersonalization (still suffering from it)
Derealization
Myoclonic jerks (stil having them now and then, especially when i feel overstimulated)
Brain fog worsened
OI / POTS worsened
Insomnia
Pain
Hair loss
Adrenaline surges
Hyperacusis
Light sensitivity

There were many more symptoms, most improved after 12 months, but those 12 months were pure HELL.

Some symptoms are still lingering like depersonalization. also post-benzo i feel overstimulated very easily, some things i just can't do anymore like playing shooter games on the PC, or having a challenging discussion. Anything that's too stimulating causes some kind of adrenaline surge and makes me crash.

I have been on several benzodiazepines, it started with xanax (alprozalam), then diazepam and then klonopin (clonazepam). Xanax got me hooked on benzo's very quickly.
I was on clonazepam for nearly 3 years, dosing between 0.5 and 2mg.
I did a liquid titration method with daily micro-deductions to get off the clonazepam, any other way like ashthon's 10% cut was just too much for my body to handle.
 
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Seadragon

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You have to take it very slowly, especially if you've been taking the benzodiazepine for a while.
You can't just cut the dose randomly and hope for the best, it needs to be done in a calculated way.

My symptoms were:
Severe anxiety
Severe panic attacks
Akhatisia
Depersonalization (still suffering from it)
Derealization
Myoclonic jerks (stil having them now and then, especially when i feel overstimulated)
Brain fog worsened
OI / POTS worsened
Insomnia
Pain
Hair loss
Adrenaline surges
Hyperacusis
Light sensitivity

There were many more symptoms, most improved after 12 months, but those 12 months were pure HELL.

Some symptoms are still lingering like depersonalization. also post-benzo i feel overstimulated very easily, some things i just can't do anymore like playing shooter games on the PC, or having a challenging discussion. Anything that's too stimulating causes some kind of adrenaline surge and makes me crash.

I have been on several benzodiazepines, it started with xanax (alprozalam), then diazepam and then klonopin (clonazepam). Xanax got me hooked on benzo's very quickly.
I was on clonazepam for nearly 3 years, dosing between 0.5 and 2mg.
I did a liquid titration method with daily micro-deductions to get off the clonazepam, any other way like ashthon's 10% cut was just too much for my body to handle.
@lauluce Similar to this for me though my withdrawal lasted longer because I messed up the first taper attempt. I had a lot of help from @Freddd and also a website called Benzo Buddies.
 

kurt

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For those who have an easy time withdrawing from Ativan, don't take that to mean it will be easy next time. I have been on and off Ativan for over 20 years. The first withdrawal was completely painless and only happened because I was put on an antibiotic for a year for a mycoplasma pneumonia infection. For some reason the doxycycline completely removed my need for Ativan to sleep. But after year it failed, insomnia came back, I had to go off the doxycycline because of new digestive problems. I was then on Ativan again for several years, and was able to get off for about two years, then after a family move had to go back on it, and this has gone on and on. And I mean taking it every night in the smallest dose that I could sleep with. Usually a quarter of a milligram. Again after I used a very strong natural anti-microbial for a year, suddenly I could sleep without the Ativan. No withdrawal, just happiness. My CFS improved a small bit but mostly this was about fixing the sleep problem. I have been trying for years to figure out how I accomplish this, I was also in a good place emotionally and was working a few hours a day part time, which give me a sense of purpose. Maybe that boosted my GABA levels. I don't know. However after about two years being off Ativan several family members, elderly, got sick and died. I had to manage the estate and it was hard on me, I had to go back on Ativan. I have been trying to get off it ever since, for nearly the past five years. But this time, no matter what I do, I get every reaction to withdraw described in this thread. I have tried some of the same antimicrobials, nothing works this time. I am older, approaching senior citizen, maybe that is a factor. I'm staying on a small dose to survive, but now the Ativan seems to be creating or at least perpetuating some of the CFS symptoms. My take away from all of this is that CFS may involve A serious problem with the GABA and glutamate relationship. And something with infections is related. I seriously believe if we could figure out how to treat CFS, those of us on Ativan could probably get off it with much less trouble. I have wondered if anyone has found a substitute for Ativan, maybe if we gradually switched out Ativan for something else, like Relora perhaps, or some other natural GABA booster, we would have an easier time with withdrawl.
 

roller

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there is something very interesting about withdrawal.
and its gross, that so little is known about it. basically nothing.

@kurt if you remember the 2nd microbial? was it perhaps genistein?
 

kurt

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@kurt if you remember the 2nd microbial? was it perhaps genistein?
I had used a very diluted form of chlorine dioxide for about a year, then suddenly I did not need Ativan anymore. I took the chlorine dioxide about three days a week. I may have been using other natural anti-microbial's, but I was not on any pharmaceutical abx at the time. The natural ones I typically use are grapefruit seed extract, oregano oil and olive leaf extract. I don't recall which of those I was using at the time. Of course, I have tried all of that since that time and do not get the same effect. So maybe there were other variables. I believe there are many environmental variables at play globally. For example, toxic molds are continually evolving. Particularly as more and more mold resistant building materials are used. Other toxins and pathogens in our environment may be changing, climate change, increased electromagnetic exposures, and so on. It is frustrating when things that work before stop working. Sometimes it feels like we are on a treadmill always having to look for better treatments.
 
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Benzodiazipines reduce stress levels thus energy levels may increase to some degree. There are some other GABA drugs out there like Noofen (β-Phenyl-γ-aminobutyric-acid) which have somewhat similar effects; but should not be taken on a regular base. Some Benzodiazipines interact with Interleukin 2, anti-SRBC titer & so on; depending on the dosage lenght it may impact the immune system.

I personally dont use Benzos on a regular base,
I still use low dose Xanax if I crash hard with PEM and in such a case at night additionally Dronabinol combined with CBD oil for better sleep. Doing so helped me to get faster ridd off PEM episodes.
On all other days, I dont use such drugs/medicamentations.
 
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Mary

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My take away from all of this is that CFS may involve A serious problem with the GABA and glutamate relationship. And something with infections is related. I seriously believe if we could figure out how to treat CFS, those of us on Ativan could probably get off it with much less trouble. I have wondered if anyone has found a substitute for Ativan, maybe if we gradually switched out Ativan for something else, like Relora perhaps, or some other natural GABA booster, we would have an easier time with withdrawl.
I'm sure ME/CFS involves an imbalance between GABA and glutamate and the sympathetic/parasympathetic relationship which is why we all have so much trouble with sleep and dealing with stress.

I was on lorazepam (Ativan) for sleep for 11 years. I started at 0.5 mg and went up to 1 mg., taking it in the middle of the night. I thought I wouldn't have any trouble getting off of it because I assumed I was on a smallish dose - wrong! What motivated me to quit it was learning that benzo use has been linked to Alzheimer's.

So I tapered relatively slowly, over about 8 months, but the insomnia became killer. I used many different things for sleep, and several would help, but only for a few weeks and then I'd have to switch it up again. Things I found helpful: high dose vitamin C - taking it throughout the day and the night - vitamin C is an excess glutamate scavenger (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25701025) - I don't think vitamin C ever lost its effectiveness; relora helped some; l-theanine; niacin (stimulates or sensitizes GABA receptors); lemon balm (Melissa); magnolia bark - a couple of different Chinese herbal combos with magnolia bark or extract were very helpful, for a few weeks; also, magnolia extract from Bulk Supplements was very powerful, but again, maybe for 3 or 4 weeks, and then lost its effectiveness; Unisom (generic form) - very powerful antihistamine, much more effective than Benadryl (1/4 tab would knock me out) but only works for about 2 weeks, and then have to switch it up again.

Right now I'm using medical MJ - it seems to be pretty effective. I fall asleep okay but middle of the night is my worst time. Anyways I've been vaping an indica oil, 3 hits generally put me back to sleep and it doesn't seem to be losing its effectiveness. I've been completely off lorazepam for around 2 years I think.

also if someone has high cortisol in the middle of the night - very common with ME/CFS - Seriphos (phosphorylated serine NOT phosphatidyl serine - two different things) can be very effective. I found it best taken in the morning, had to experiment to find the right dose. Taken at night it caused a weird awful insomnia.
 

debored13

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I have been using Ativan twice a week and am almost concerned even about that. But any more than that and I think one starts to lose the efficacy of it. Anyway I think once a week should pose no problems. People who warn against benzo use often used them daily. I think everyone needs to know that’s a bad idea. Somehow physicians don’t. The efficacy does make me wonder about phenibut, racetams, baclofen ans othergaba analogues Or agonists That May be safer