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ccintexas: Lorazepam withdrawal


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Just finished (psychiatrist managed) 7 week slow taper off 10 yrs on Cymbalta. Now taking Wellbutrin which manages depression better. My struggle is the slow taper off Lorazepam which I’ve been on for 20 yrs. I’m down to .2 mg but the withdraws are horrible: hot/cold sweats are not only uncomfortable but embarrassing in public, body aches in upper part of back, anxiety and agitation, heart palpitations. I’m using Motrin pm to get to sleep and Belsomra to stay asleep thru the night. Dr just prescribed Doxepin to try to replace Motrin pm and help anxiety. Looking for feedback on the Lorazepam withdraws and what others may have found to help. Thanks!!

Cymbalta 90mg for 10 yrs - 9/19/17 started taper off by 10mg per week. 11/7/17 took last 20mg.

Lorazepam 1mg for 20 yrs  - 9/19/17 started taper off by .1 mg per week. 11/15/17 stuck at .2 mg with horrible withdrawl symptoms over last week that gets worse each day.

Wellbutrin 150 XL - started 9/27/17.

Bystolic 2.5mg started 10/10/17 for constant heart palpitations. 


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  • ChessieCat changed the title to ccintexas: Lorazepam withdrawal
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi ccintexas,


Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA), I’m glad you found this site before continuing on with your taper.  Unfortunately few doctors have any idea how to safely taper off of these drugs and often recommend tapering plans that are far too fast.  When a drug is removed abruptly, doses are alternated/skipped or reduced too quickly it throws our central nervous system into chaos and results in withdrawal syndrome.  I'm not sure how much Cymbalta you were taking, but a seven week taper is just not sufficient time for your central nervous system to adjust to the changes after taking this drug for such a long period of time.  You are likely feeling the effects of tapering too quickly from the Cymbalta as well as Lorazepam.  Because you are taking multiple psychotropic medications it is recommended that you taper only one drug at a time and from what you have written it looks like you were tapering Cymbalta and Lorazepam concurrently.  Please pay special attention to the link regarding tapering multiple drugs as you will find a lot of information on how to taper safely off of multiple drugs.  


Surviving Antidepressants has a separate benzodiazepine forum.  I would recommend that you also post an introduction topic in this forum so that you can find guidance on how to taper the Lorazepam safely, but for now, and until we have a completed withdrawal history signature (see below), I would suggest that you postpone tapering the Lorazepam at this time until you have a proper plan in place to help you get off of these drugs safely.  I am attaching a link to the Benzo Forum below:

Members Only Benzo Forum


At SA, it is recommended that a person taper by no more than 10% of their current dose with at least a four week hold in-between decreases.  The 10% taper recommendation is a harm reduction approach to going off psychiatric drugs.  Some people may have to taper at a more conservative rate as they are sensitive to even the smallest drops.
As I mentioned, before being able to provide you with any recommendations specific to your situation we will need to have a completed withdrawal history signature.  We ask all of our members to fill out a signature so that all of your information can be read at a glance.  This helps moderators determine you current situation and we would ask that you follow the instructions at the link below.


Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature


To get you started, and familiarized with the protocols followed by SA, I am linking a few topics so that you have a better understanding of what is recommended here. 


What is Withdrawal Syndrome?
Before you begin tapering what you need to know
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

Taking Multiple Psych Drugs - Which Drug to Taper First


Edited by baroquep

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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  • 2 months later...

ccintexas Well done for doing a great understandable drug signature.

Are you able to update  us on how you are doing?


I'm sorry your pdoc thinks that a  7 week taper after 10 years use is a slow taper ...he is very misinformed.


Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.


Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017



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I'm currently on 100mg of lamotrigine. My plan is too come off it over 4 months. I can't taper it at 10% increments because the smallest tablets are 25 mg. They do have a slit in the middle so I could go down to 12.5mg before coming off.

I'm not telling my psychiatrist I'm doing this because she will try to talk me out of it by telling me horror stories of people failing off medication.  And many of those failures would have been a consequence of coming off meds too soon.

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