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Benzos daily?


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I have taken one benzo or another fairly regularly over the last five years or so. I am able to go on and off them as needed without any withdrawal. I still use .25 to .5 mg of Klonopin to sleep every night (or if I get really stressed).

I also take Lexapro and Wellbutrin. This has been my happiest combination.

I personally do not like to take multiple doses of benzos on a daily basis because I find it too sedating, and it interferes with my life.

YMMV. You'll just have to deal with withdrawal at some point. It should be ok if you do it under a pdoc's supervision. And yes, SSRI withdrawal can be hell (especially with Paxil as I have experienced more than once).

I think it's worth exploring other options for long term relief from anxiety, but if it was me, and Ativan worked, I'd want it around while waiting for an SSRI to kick in.

Good luck.

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many people take them daily, myself included, and it is with the blessing of my DO and my therapist (who agree about the paxil withdrawal, btw.) all i know for sure is daily benzos work wonders for me -- they have saved my life and a good percentage of its quality.

like you, my diagnoses are all in the anxiety family.

i've never tried ativan, but of xanax, klonopin and valium, the latter is best for me in many ways (and apparently easiest to taper, as i've seen during better weeks.) but everyone's different.

good luck and aloha.

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I've taken Ativan three, sometimes four times per day for a couple of years.  It worked when nothing else would for my really bad anxiety.  When I mentioned to my Pdoc that I thought I was becoming addicted, she said that was the least of my worries right then.  She was right.  I was severely depressed and fighting for my life.  I'll deal with that issue when I get to it.  Right now, I'm grateful to not be depressed and grateful that I've found something that works for my anxiety.  Hope that makes sense!

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I take 1mg klonopin twice a day, sometimes 3 times a day when anxiety is particularly bad or as an add on mood stabilzer. I have taken either klonopin or valium, and on occasion both, for several years. I have stopped taking klonopin many times and did not have any withdrawal effects. The only time I did experiencce some typical benzo withdrawal effects (shakiness, vommiting) was a time when I had to stop all of my meds cold turkey.

Many pdocs will allow their patients to remain on benzos because they know they work well for many people. IMO, a good pdoc will be able to maintain you on benzo while not allowing you to become addcited.

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*raises hand*

1 mg Xanax XR daily (at bedtime) and .25 mg immediate release (when I remember) late afternoon or early evening (when the XR wears off).

First time on a benzo - started a few months ago. My pdoc says benzos aren't as addictive as people think when taken as prescribed. I'm definitely dependent, but so far haven't developed any tolerance - this dose works as well now as it did when I started taking it.

This is wholly my opinion (and not based on much), but I think the likelihood of tolerance is lower with an extended release version (not sure Ativan has one). The levels remain more constant so you don't feel it wearing off as quickly and thus feel the need to take another dose as soon.

Sunshine

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I was terrified to take a benzo every day, but my pdoc told me that Xanax XR 0.5 mg would help me deal with my every day anxiety and help me until the Zoloft kicked in full force. So far, it really has helped me every day. And I don't believe I will get addicted, but I do believe that over time you develop a tolerance and have to increase dosage. Then I think maybe you become physically dependent.

I'm still scared, but not as scared as being anxious and sick and scared every day of my life to do normal things. So far, I like this XR thing.

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I think the likelihood of tolerance is lower with an extended release version (not sure Ativan has one). The levels remain more constant so you don't feel it wearing off as quickly and thus feel the need to take another dose as soon.

yes, a smoother ride. although xanax xr wore off too suddenly for me (i metabolize really fast) i liked it for the 12 hours it did last, and this is the same concept of why i like valium over the shorter-acting ones. but again everyone's different and some don't feel the changing levels as much, or need as constant coverage, or mind as many dosages.    hooray for choices.

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What you have to consider is dose and duration.  If you take a low dose for a prolonged period things should be OK.  Serious addiction problems tend to arise when benzos are taken at "party" doses - way above the prescribed amount.  I take Lectapam (Bromazepam), and 6-12mg does the trick for relieving anxiety.  Any more than that doesn't really do all that much on the anxiety front, it only leaves me feeling stoned and numb.  Not my cup of tea...

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Ativan has a rather short half life (crazymeds lists 16 hours), so taking it 3 times a day would be fine.  I had a shot of it in the ER during a panic attack and it wore off quicker than I thought so I had to get another (within the course of a couple hours).  Talk to your doctor.  With your dx 3 times a day seems about right.

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Starchic, I have been taking temazepam for more than 6 months. Although a certain amount of tolerance has developed, it's still effective. Tolerance is of course unwanted. It means you need more of the same. But what your doc proposes seems sensible. Will withdrawal be bad ? Cold turkey withdrawal would be a bad idea, and how horrible (or absent) withdrawal is depends on the person and the med.

In general, benzos will tend to become less effective over time. But this depends on the person, the specific benzo, the dosage and what it's used for. Tolerance to sleep inducing effects tend to occur relatively soon, tolerance to anxiolytic (=reducing anxiety), and I understand that's what you need it for,

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I started having panic attacks out of the blue 4-5 months ago. Without medications, I get panic attacks at night, EVERY night. They wake me up, destroy my sleep, and ruin the next day for me.

After trying 4-5 different non benzo meds that didn't work, my pdoc agreed that .5 mg of ativan a night was the best option for me. I was all prepared to argue with him when I went in, but I didn't have to. He even told me than when I developed a tolerance for it, to just let him know and he'd bump up my prescription. So far I still take the same dose.

I have to also say I also go to therapy every 2 weeks, and do my cognitive therapy homework every week even when I'm feeling good. I feel this has kept my panic from spreading to any trigger other than sleeping, which is why I can get away with just taking a small dose to get me through the night.

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