Among the list of benzodiazepines, the commonly prescribed medications are for the condition of anxiety. This is due to the fact that benzos, as referred so among patients, work by enhancing the GABA receptors in the brain to produce sedative and hypnotic effects. These drugs are often prescribed for off-label usage in treating insomnia, muscle soreness, seizures and other health conditions. Ativan, the generic formulation of Lorazepam, is one such anti-anxiety medication that is used in treating a number of ailments. But as with all benzodiazepines, the drug is indicated for short-term use only as it has the potential for addiction and more dangerously, the development of drug withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing the course. When drug dependence occurs, it is essential to follow the right way to wean off the medication as withdrawal can last for a prolonged period of time. It is vital to recognize the symptoms that indicate Ativan withdrawal in order to figure out how to proceed with treatment for the same.
Look Out For Signs Of Ativan Withdrawal
Under circumstances wherein the anxiety treatment with Ativan is not stopped correctly the risk of displaying withdrawal symptoms is higher. The potential effects that a person may feel when the drug treatment is stopped incorrectly are:
- Anxiety attacks
- Mood disorders
- Irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Trouble with memory
- Uncontrollable sweating
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of interest in regular activities
- Sensory numbness
- Unusual behavioral patterns
- Suicidal thoughts
These symptoms can vary in intensity and duration. They also differ from person to person as the body processes the anxiety meds differently. Primarily, the effect that is felt is rebound anxiety or rebound insomnia, or the return of symptoms for which the drug was originally prescribed as a method of treatment.
Avoid Going Cold Turkey After Taking Ativan For Anxiety
In an effort to prevent experiencing any form of withdrawal symptoms, the best option is to avoid going cold turkey or halting the medication suddenly. Medical experts suggest following an Ativan taper plan, which can be used to gradually reduce the dosage and also incorporating other non-medical treatment techniques for the ailment. Anxiety patients who are on any form of Ativan dosage should never change the prescription without a consultation from the prescribing doctor. Taking more medication than required or for longer than prescribed are chief reasons as to why the withdrawal symptoms occur. Buying Lorazepam pills without a prescription and without knowing how to take them can also cause drug dependence. It should also be highlighted that prescription medication should never be shared or given to any person without a prior medical consultation. Weaning off the anti-anxiety pills is harder to pursue under such circumstances.
Duration Of Ativan Withdrawal Side Effects
The length of time for which the withdrawal effects of Ativan is experienced also varies from individual to individual. If the person was taking higher doses of the medication for treating anxiety, then the severity of the withdrawal symptoms can also be expected to last longer. For some persons, the adverse effects may wear off in a few weeks. However, there are persons for whom these same effects may last for up to two years or even more. The onset of the withdrawal effects may be anytime within twelve to twenty-four hours of not taking the drug. For persons who take the benzo meds in an irregular pattern, the symptoms may show up in one or two weeks when the body is not receiving the drugs in its system. Persons who experience drug withdrawal must undertake a psychological and physical evaluation in order to assess the right path to treatment in weaning off of Ativan.