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Author Topic: Ativan and zoloft  (Read 155 times)

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Online sleek_chic01

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Ativan and zoloft
« on: September 04, 2014, 09:03:23 AM »
I started having issues with insomnia so my doctor put me on ativan. I was taking 2mg for two weeks straight just to sleep. Well I wanted to cut the dose so I talked to my doctor and he told me to cut it by 0.5 every week.

 Everyday since I started the ativan I have poor concentration, poor memory, lack of focus, spaced out brain fog feeling, seeing white flashes when I look at things, colors appearing brighter than. They are, weak shake muscles, migraines at night, night sweats and waking up frequently through the night in sort of a daze half sleep state. I'm not even sure how much sleep I am getting. and I just feel this overall lathergic feeling.. I also started taking 50mg of zoloft around the same time I cut my dose of ativan  to 1.5. I notice I feel like a zombie most of the day then as the night progresses I get really bad headaches and I feel numbness in my face and it's actually hard to talk like my speech is slurred.

I was wondering what u guys think might be causing all these problems. Did anyone have these problems while taking ativan? I just want to stop taking the drug but I don't want my body to go into shock. The poor cognition and vision disturbances are the worst for me. Thanks for reading.

I forgot to also note that I feel sluggish in the morning  and struggle to keep my eyes open.
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Offline Never-Quit

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Re: Ativan and zoloft
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2014, 01:48:55 PM »
I started having issues with insomnia so my doctor put me on ativan. I was taking 2mg for two weeks straight just to sleep. Well I wanted to cut the dose so I talked to my doctor and he told me to cut it by 0.5 every week.

For Insomnia and Anxiety, - Just from my personal experience of using Ativan for my insomnia = it was not a good choice for me, Ativan is a short half-life BZD and I would wake up every 3 or 4 hours, when trying to sleep.  My new doctor, switched me to Klonopin (1 mg per night before bed, ) a long half-life BZD (would  last all night and allow me to sleep properly  and noticed decreased anxiety the next day, with less anxiety throughout the day- without all that groggy-drowsiness during the daytime - for me this strategy worked like a charm.  I stayed on the Klonopin for several months, until the AD medication had a chance to start working.

You may want to discuss this option with your doctor, For the meantime, have your Ativan replaced with Klonopin and see how you feel, until Zoloft has had a chance to fully be effective for you.  Zoloft requires you to be at therapeutic levels - most common therapeutic dosage appears to fall between (50 mg-200 mg range) depending on the individual- starting at 50 mg and increased as recommended by your doctor for 4-12 weeks.

Once the Zoloft is working, you could have your doctor start the tapering process with Klonopin.


IME:  The best time to start weaning off Ativan or any BZD, is when the Zoloft  or any AD has had a chance to work for a good 4-12 weeks at a therapeutic dose.

In the past, whenever, I tried to wean off Ativan too soon - before my SSRI/AD medication had a chance to fully work, I would have such groggy and lethargic days, because I had to take Ativan every 4-6 hours, several times of day. ::)


Hope this helps  :action-smiley-065:


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Offline insights

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Re: Ativan and zoloft
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2014, 05:45:46 PM »
I started having issues with insomnia so my doctor put me on ativan.

The benzodiazepines are not good sleeping pills as tolerance to their sedation tends to develop quickly, often within only a couple of weeks. Small doses, 25-50mg - of trazodone (Desyrel) as very sedating antidepressant would be a better long-term bet. It isn't an antidepressant at doses below about 200mg so it will not affect the Zoloft.

Quote
I also started taking 50mg of zoloft around the same time I cut my dose of ativan  to 1.5.

At least some of the symptoms could be from starting Zoloft. Did you start at the full 50mg, or were you on a lower dose initially?

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I just want to stop taking the drug but I don't want my body to go into shock.

How long have you now been taking Ativan and what is the current dose?

Ian

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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Online sleek_chic01

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Re: Ativan and zoloft
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2014, 08:55:55 AM »
I've been of the ativan almost a month. Actually I want to say it has been a month. For the first week I was in and out of the er with horrible anxiety every other day and they would give me 2mg of ativan. Then the next week I started taking it nightly 2mg for two weeks straight.... Then I realized I had a problem and I was relying of it for sleep so my doctor told me to cut it by 0.5 every week. So I did 1.5mg for a week and now I'm down to 1mg.im terrified that I won't be able to sleep without it. I wake up frequently throughout the night and I'm always drenched in sweat. This never happened to me before. Will I be able to switch to klonopin and just stop taking the ativan? Also when u take klonopin do u notice it works right away and is it harder to get off of it? I'm just scared what these Benzos are doing to my memory and vision. Part of it could be the anxiety too I suppose. I was initially of 25mg of zoloft for a week and then I went up to 50mg. I got a prescription for Mirtazapine 15mg but I still feel like im sleeping too lightly or something cuz I wake up exhausted the next day like I haven't slept. Will the zoloft get rid of my sleep anxiety. I worry about getting to sleep every day it's like im. Boxed in the fear. I worry I will be dependent of sleep aids forever and I worry I won't be able to sleep without Benzos which shouldn't be taken long term =(  thank u for your replies.
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Offline insights

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Re: Ativan and zoloft
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2014, 05:51:15 PM »
now I'm down to 1mg.im terrified that I won't be able to sleep without it.

As you've only been on Ativan for a month you could probably just stop taking it without getting much in the way of true withdrawal symptoms, however, your highly anxious state, especially over insomnia, could create a cascade of unpleasant symptoms so it would probably not be a smart move.

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Will I be able to switch to klonopin and just stop taking the ativan? Also when u take klonopin do u notice it works right away and is it harder to get off of it?

So your doctor wants you on Klonopin instead of Ativan? If so, why didn't he just switch you over? They are both benzodiazepines (BZDs) so there is no need to taper off one before starting the other. Klonopin begins working within about half an hour of the first dose, but it takes a couple of days to build up to maximum concentrations in the blood stream. It isn't that much easier to quit because of the available tablet sizes. The easiest way of quitting BZDs after developing dependence is to switch to Valium (diazepam) and taper off it. Valium has a much longer half-life than the other BZDs and comes in physically large low dose tablets which makes it much easier to reduce the dose in small steps.

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I got a prescription for Mirtazapine 15mg but I still feel like im sleeping too lightly or something cuz I wake up exhausted the next day like I haven't slept

The "exhaustion" is probably just sedation from the mirtazapine continuing into the next day. Try taking it an hour or two earlier.

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Will the zoloft get rid of my sleep anxiety.

There is a high probability that it will, however, in the short-term it could be making your insomnia worse. SSRIs often cause insomnia in the first few weeks. The recommended way of treating this is with the trazodone I mentioned in my previous post, though mirtazapine is also prescribed for it and can be as effective.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline Never-Quit

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Re: Ativan and zoloft
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2014, 06:52:58 PM »

1)  Will I be able to switch to klonopin and just stop taking the ativan?

2) Also when u take klonopin do u notice it works right away and is it harder to get off of it?

3) I'm just scared what these Benzos are doing to my memory and vision.

4) Will the zoloft get rid of my sleep anxiety?

5)... Benzos which shouldn't be taken long term


Hi,

I will do my best to answer your questions....

1) Generally YES, - IME: I have been switched many times, they are all in the same family.  But, always check with your doctor - since he does have all your medical history.  But, I have personally been switched directly from Ativan to Klonopin several times in the past, without any problems.  (Also from Xanax to Valium and Valium to Klonopin, etc.  etc. ) throughout the years depending on the doctor I was seeing at the time.  I don't see a problem - if your doctor approves it.

2) IME: Klonopin will take about 15-20 min longer than Ativan to kick in = so I responded to Ativan in 15 min - Klonopin in about 30 minutes.  But, Klonopin will remain in your system longer - providing 3 to 5X longer than Ativan IME, to shield you from anxiety attacks - before they occur!  If you take a large dose at bedtime of Klonopin, I have been able to just take one dose vs 3-4 doses of Ativan throughout the day.

    IME: Klonopin (because it has a long half-life) was much easier to taper off and discontinue than Ativan, which took a little longer for me to taper off and discontinue.  Also, Klonopin appears to get stronger and more effective the longer you take it, with Ativan - I had to increase my dosage slightly each month to get the same benefit.


3) Side effects to memory and vision are possible, but are usually temporary, all drugs have side effects, but I have not seen any conclusive studies or evidence that directly that long term use of benzodiazepine cause memory or vision problems.  There are some doctors who believe they might... but no hard evidence....

See posting - Regarding false fears of studies of Benzos and dementia for long term users: http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,91018.msg507950.html#msg507950

4) It depends on your own's body unique response to Zoloft - It may or might not.  Only by using it long enough at therapeutic levels will you know.  Also, on how severe you sleep disorder happens to be...  Only time will tell....

5) Benzos which shouldn't be taken long term... - There are many people who do, without long term side effects - I am one of the many people who have used Benzodiazepines daily for over 20+ years - with no long term side effects, which I double-check with my doctor every 3 months. 

See postings -
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,91422.0.html  - Long term users of BZD

http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,91254.0.html - How long is it safe to use BZD?


Note:  This is one of the most controversial subjects in the medical profession and users - In the end every person must decide if the  benefits outweighs the POSSIBLE long term side effects,  for themselves.

In IME and IMO - "when benzodiazepines are used responsibly under a doctor's care" the potential long term side effects are insignificant to the overall benefits to a healthy body and mind from the long term destructive forces of anxiety that harms the body and mind, and "the quality of life".


Make sure to keep us updated on your progress  :action-smiley-065:
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Never, never, never give up. -Winston Churchill

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."   ~ John Wooden

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