Lorazepam (Ativan) Experiment

Discussion in 'Alternative Treatments and Research' started by stillafloat, Aug 2, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. stillafloat
      Breezy

      stillafloat Member

      Location:
      Portland, ME
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 3rd 2013
      good day everyone.

      I am new to the forum and to T and wanted to share my blog about my experience. Now I know all about benzos and addiction but at the same time I have also read of people taking them for 10+ years and living a perfectly normal life. I think it really all depends on how you look at it, do you let T run your life or a pill? Both options suck honestly :)

      So anyway I am on Lorazepam for anxiety 1mg 2x a day and have been so for about 2 months. The difference (for me) is like night and day. I feel very functional when i take it and my T fades into the background instead of the foreground. Now I am not saying people should run out and start taking Lorazepam but I think Drs need to have a serious look at benzos as (in my opinion and personal experience) best treatment we have available today.

      I am looking for feedback on any experiences with benzos and T. I will ask that people please hold back from posting all the "bad stuff" they have heard about benzos UNLESS it was used for treating or related to T.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and have a quiet day (hopefully :))
      David
       
      • Like Like x 2
    2. James White
      Anime

      James White Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Toulouse, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Maybe loud music. Not sure.
      Hi Dave and welcome here,

      so you are only on lorazapam for tinnitus ? or other conditions
       
    3. stillafloat
      Breezy

      stillafloat Member

      Location:
      Portland, ME
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 3rd 2013
      Thanks for the welcome :) well i started taking it for anxiety but have since continued to take it for the tinnitus.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Mahdi
      No Mood

      Mahdi Member

      Location:
      Tehran
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gunshot
      Hi David!
      Why Lorazepam and not other Benzos? Any experience with others to share?
      Thanks,
       
    5. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
    6. stillafloat
      Breezy

      stillafloat Member

      Location:
      Portland, ME
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 3rd 2013
      Hey Mahdi! I happen to have some in the house and was so frustrated with my tinnitus that i decided to try 1MG of Lorazepam to see if it would make a difference, and it did. Now as far as other Benzos I cant speak of but have read about Xanax and its ability to help lessen the annoyance that is T.


      I figure if it ant broke don't fix it kinda thing. So i will see how long i can stay on Lorazepam and how long the relief works. Who knows it may stop working in a week, ya never know.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    7. stillafloat
      Breezy

      stillafloat Member

      Location:
      Portland, ME
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 3rd 2013

      Hey Karl. Yeah just like any medication, benzos are not for everyone. I am not encouraging ANYONE to try this unless you do so with guidance from a healthcare provider. And even then it may not work for you.

      As far as the Kevin Hogan guy, who knows if it worked for him or if his success was a true "cure". Difference between him and I is I am not selling anything. I'd rather be poor man in a silence/quieter world then some rich fraud who still has T. lol

      David
       
    8. stillafloat
      Breezy

      stillafloat Member

      Location:
      Portland, ME
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 3rd 2013
      And just to make things clear. I still have T and can still hear it, but it is not as bothersome since I have staerted taking Lorazepam.
       
    9. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      I took Xanax for several weeks. It quieted (not silenced) my T for 3-4 hours after each dose. In the end, I decided there were more negatives to taking Xanax for tinnitus than positives and got off of the stuff. Overall, my experience with Xanax was not good, but there is no question that it did indeed knock the volume down a bit after each dose.
       
    10. Mahdi
      No Mood

      Mahdi Member

      Location:
      Tehran
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gunshot
      I take Xanax at bedtime only to go to sleep. After 5 years of use, misuse and abuse of Xanax, I can tell for sure Benzos just slow down the normal nervous system activities even to the degree that sometimes I think it has contributed to my absent-mindedness and dullness. However, What the hell instead can I resort to ?
       
    11. stillafloat
      Breezy

      stillafloat Member

      Location:
      Portland, ME
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 3rd 2013
      i'd rather be absent minded then outa my mind :)

      But I have only been taking lorazepam for 2 months so still to early for me to tell what side effects will come about.
       
    12. stillafloat
      Breezy

      stillafloat Member

      Location:
      Portland, ME
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 3rd 2013
      Hay Mick, was it the side effects or what was it that made you decided to stop using Xanax? I have heard/read lots about Xanax and T with lots of success. And it seems you had moderate success so just curious why you stopped?
       
    13. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      I started, reluctantly, with alprazolam (generic Xanax) one month ago. I did it to counteract the panic attacks/anxiety I developed in the wake of my T, not to control the T itself. Had no prior history with benzos, or anxiety disorders, and was terrified I would become addicted, given all the stuff you read out there. Got little relief in the first two weeks because I was too scared to take even the minimal amount of the very low dose I was prescribed. But decided to follow the doc's instructions and and now am giving it a try... so I really only consider myself having been on this med for about two weeks.

      So my doc says to take between .125-.25 mg three times daily, then .5 mg-1 mg at night for sleep. I never have used the maximum but now go above the minimum. Usually totals out to about 1.12 mg daily, depending on how my day is going.
      It makes me a little foggy, which I don't like, and I sometimes feel a little chest tightness. But the panic attacks are gone, thank god.

      As for my T: Sometimes, I think Xanax turns down the noise, sometimes not. And if it does turn it down, I think it is more due to reducing the anxiety-induced stress that ratchets up my T.

      I don't consider this a long-term solution and hope I will be off meds as soon as possible. But I am grateful for the option. There also are better meds to choose from if you are in it for the long haul. In the meantime, I also use relaxation and meditation tapes, am trying to get more exercise and sleep.

      Curious to hear why @mick decided to drop Xanax after a few weeks.

      Oh, and I don't recommend anyone try T therapy with benzos unless they are under the care of a psychiatrist. These things seriously screw with your brain chemistry.
       
    14. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      In short, I did not like that it seriously screwed with my brain chemistry. I actually started taking Xanax before my T started, and believe it is in fact the root cause of my T. I began experiencing very high blood pressure and between dose anxiety that was 10 times worse that the anxiety before taking Xanax. It took me several weeks to figure out that between dose withdrawal was the cause of all that. If it was not a direct effect of Xanax that caused my T, then I believe it was the indirect effect of the severe high BP that was caused by the Xanax, or an excitotoxicity phenomenon caused by the withdrawal.

      Aside from the awareness that the drug could be causing more harm than good, my initial decision to get off of it was mostly based on the fact that I just did not like the way it made me feel (even though it did reduce my T volume for short periods of time). It disturbed my sleep, made me nauseous, and very drowsy and sleepy. It was very easy for me to identify that Xanax was the cause of those symptoms. When I was taking the drug I fell asleep many times while driving, as well as falling asleep at my desk at work.

      My worst experience was when I decided to cut my dose in half to address the issue of falling asleep. At that point in time I had been taking 0.5 mg three times a day for about a month. I cut down to 0.25 mg 3x and went into severe withdrawal after 3 days. I've described that experience elsewhere on the forum. It scared me to death. I thought for sure I was headed for long term psychiatric hospitalization. It was unquestionably the worse experience of my life.

      It was during the course of subsequently tapering from the stuff that I figured out that the between dose withdrawal is what was causing my my episodes of extremely high blood pressure, and between dose agitation and anxiety. At one point a doctor suggested that the high BP episodes might be due to pheochromocytoma (which is basically a tumor on the adrenal glands which causes very high levels of epinephrine and other excitory neurotransmitters). It turned out (thankfully) that I don't have pheo, but both my blood tests and urine tests showed I had off-the-chart levels of excitory hormones in my system between doses of Xanax. The doctor told me that such high levels of the hormones were not possible from just anxiety. Once I got completely off the drug, my blood pressure and excitory hormone levels went back to normal.

      There is no question in my mind that Xanax did me much more harm than good. To me the most dangerous thing about it is that the withdrawal symptoms are essentially identical to anxiety. This leads to the mistaken belief that you need to continue on the drug or need more of it. It becomes a vicious cycle worse than the cycle anxiety itself can cause.

      My advice to anyone who has asked me is to steer clear of the stuff unless your anxiety is so severe that you feel the anxiety is physically harming you. Further, I suggest that people be very careful when they decide to cease taking it. Taper slowly and be prepared for some after-effects even after you've completely stopped taking it. If you're like me, you'll experience mild after-effects for several weeks. Lastly, I warn people that doctors really do not understand what a seriously dangerous drug it is. They give it out as if it had no down sides, and that simply is not the case. They do a severe disservice by not learning and explaining the realities to patients.
       
      • Like Like x 5
    15. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Thanks for the honest feedback Mick. I remain very cautious about this but still am struggling with th anxiety especially at work. Had what was close to a full attack Friday, which made me feel I was taking two steps back. But if the doses I am on aren't enuf to control it, I refuse take.more.
       
    16. heartbroken

      heartbroken Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      march 2013
      I have been using benzo for a month. though I myself hate the idea of taking pills to sleep especially, pulsatile tinnitus is enough to send me out of my mind literally so I have no choice though I have been experimenting with different teas to see if I can rely on those instead. so far I know that I am not ready to get off benzo.
       
    17. christine kauhane
      Sunshine

      christine kauhane Member

      Location:
      honolulu hawaii
      Tinnitus Since:
      june 9th 2013
      i to was given lorazepam the first two week of my T i dont take it on a daily basis just when i cant handle the anxiety. i dont get anxiety every day thank God for that, but it does help me get through it....
       
    18. Mahdi
      No Mood

      Mahdi Member

      Location:
      Tehran
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gunshot
      Tinnitus-related anxiety and sleep deprivation will make me go crazier if I decide to taper Xanax off of my system. What could serve as a less malicious replacement? Nothing, right?
       
    19. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      Lady Di,

      I empathize greatly with a full blown anxiety attack, and I am sorry to hear that you've suffered from such.

      For everyone reading this stuff:

      Each of us has to find and do what works best for themselves. I sometimes worry that telling my story will scare someone away from the drug when perhaps it is indeed the best thing for them, and I hope and pray that does not happen. On the other hand, I know that doctor's rarely explain the downside, and I think it is unfair, even morally wrong, to keep people in the dark who want to be involved in deciding what is best for them. The idea that someone else can think that they know what is best for me ruffles my feathers. (The phrase I often read or hear in pharmaceutical advertisements - "your doctor will decide what is best for you" - really makes me cringe). Maybe that is why I don't get along that well with doctors.

      Some people would prefer that their doctors make decisions for them in selecting possible treatments, drugs, etc. I can understand that. My sister is like that. Suffering people are sometimes suffering so much that they are not in the mood for, or have the ability to analyze things on their own. I've been there. For those people and those situations, I say, "Please ignore what you read on the internet, just listen to your doctor." That's not to say that doctor's are right all the time, but only that unless you're capable of putting in the time and effort to analyze on your own and taking responsibility for your decisions, the odds are that your doctor's advice is better than anyone elses, includng your own.

      mick
       
      • Like Like x 2
    20. rodstar43

      rodstar43 Guest

      I to was given Lorazepam as an experiment for my T by the VA. I am an old guy. had T for long time. started in the middle 70s or before. About a year ago the volume was turned up to high. Doctors have tried several meds and I am almost hopeful that Lorazepam is helping. But the dose was only .5mg twice a day. If I take two close together I almost think they help. What is the best dosage that works best for Y'all
       
    21. Petloy
      Happy

      Petloy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      I use Lorazepam 0.5 mg sparingly, I would go weeks without using it or the most would be twice in a week (for really bad T days)...am I in danger of withdrawal syndrome?
       
    22. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      I would say you are not in danger. Based on your description, you are taking it infrequently enough to be on the safe side.

      This is not medical advice though, but just my personal opinion and experience of what I've read and seen.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    23. Petloy
      Happy

      Petloy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Markku and Erik, I'm planning to probably take Lorazepam 0.5 mg for 3-4 days straight (once daily) this time I'm having a really bad time with my T will I need to taper off on the 4 day use or not? anyone?
       
    24. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      Probably no need to taper. I know from my experience that I wouldn't need tapering off after such a short time. People react different though and I can't guarantee this applies to you.

      However, maybe you could take half, 0.25mg, on the fourth day and then call it quits?
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    25. Petloy
      Happy

      Petloy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Thanks Markku!
       
    26. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      I started taking 3mg in 3 - 1mg pills in 2004 for a skipping heart. It straightened my heart out. A few years later, still taking it, I'd reduce it a little and BANG - I'd feel fearful and panicky so I'd pop one. I knew I was addicted. It also made me tired and goofed up my thinking. Just about a year ago I was at the doctor and I saw the head nurse slip a note into my chart. I knew that day I was an Ativan addict because I got pretty mad at the doctor when he suggested another drug. Actually I was scared. I went home and Googled 'Benzodiazepam Withdrawal' and that scared me more than anything. I went back and told the doctor that I was addicted and down to two a day, he said go REAL slow, like a year to decrease them. He said it was a short term drug and wondered why my old doctor ever put me on them in the first place. In my opinion, if Ativan completely took my tinnitus away (which it didn't) for 6 straight months it still would not be worth the withdrawal symptoms I was having - and one of them is TINNITUS !!! Having suffered the withdrawal symptoms of icky flu symptoms, confusion, cold arms and legs, panic, sleeplesness, increased tinnitus, and a racing heart, I would not feel good about recommended Benzos to anyone - except for some kind of one-time emergency stress problem. As I understand it, if you go off them a little too fast, you develop another malady so now you've got two problems and you're still hooked. The professionals say it's harder that herion to kick. I'm speaking from experience, this drug will give you what you want and not let go.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzodiazepine_withdrawal_syndrome
       
    27. David J
      Confused

      David J Member

      Location:
      Kent, Ohio
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      I have been taking Xanax o.5 mg/day for over ten years without problems. I can say with absolute certainty that it did not cause my "T". My "T" started only a few years ago. I take Xanax only once/day at night to help me sleep, but occasionally (rarely) for anxiety during the day. I worry about withdrawal if and when I stop using it, but it does help. In all honesty, I am unaware of any current side effects, but that doesn't mean that there aren't any. In my old age (65), I have become very forgetful. That could be made worse by the Xanax or caused entirely. I just don't know. I guess that can be a serious problem when you come to depend upon a drug so much. I have tried to stop taking it and when the withdrawal began the next day, went right back to it. Yes, the withdrawal is bad...........and I take a relatively small dose. BTW.......it does NOT reduce "T" symptoms at all for me.
       

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