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is it safe to take 2 mg of Ativan every night?


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I recently started seeing a new P doc-- guy immediately takes me off 50 mg of Seroquel after my complains about weight gain and lethargy and puts me on up to 3 mg of Ativan to take at night. Not a little bit of Ativan here and there for anxiety-- like what I assume most people take, but one big dose to take at night only for sleep. I have terrible insomnia. Is that safe to take 2 mg at once at night?

 

So far I have been taking 2 mg nightly ( every night) for sleep. Been sleeping okay. He also started me on 5 mg Abilify because to be safe, my treatment team agrees I need to be on anti-psychotic. The 5 mg is making my daytime anxiety worse ( I take it in the morning) so far it is helping my depression though as an add on to the 40 mg of Prozac I am taking.

 

Is it common practice to give Ativan ( or any other benzo) for sleep only? Is it safe to be taking 2 mg at one time? Will I get addicted to it if I take it every night?

 

thanks in advance

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I'm not a doctor so this is just a statement.

 

My best friend's great aunt is 96 years old and takes 2mg of Ativan about every 6-8 hours. She does okay with it. Clearly developed some kind of tolerance.

 

I've heard of benzo's being given for sleep only. My grandmother takes Xanax so she could sleep (and it knocks her out .25mg LOL)

 

I don't think you'll get addicted but you may develop a tolerance for it eventually.

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I took 2mg of Ativan at night for sleep, and then switched to 2mg of Klonopin because it is longer acting and is supposed to help with restless legs. I weaned off it about a year ago after taking them for about 10 years.

 

If it were me, I would try to see if you could fall asleep at just 1mg.  I think that taking the least amount that's effective is best.

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I tried 1 mg at night dilemma, it did nothing for me, sucks, considering a few years ago I could sleep at least 7 restful hours all the way though on 1 mg. I think now, after being on heavier sleeping meds, and after being at a higher weight then a few years ago, Ativan at one mg doesn't work anymore.

 

dancing tea pot: Hope I don't develop a tolerance to 2 mg. I'll keep an eye on it. If It looks like I have to go up pass 3 mg ( the absolute most my P doc is letting me take) it's back to low dose Seroquel for sleep or maybe a switch to Klonopin.

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I've only ever taken Ativan as a fast acting solution to panic attacks, never for something like sleep.  However, it sounds to me as if you have the right attitude here - you're being cautious and careful, and are clearly aware of what you're doing.  If you continue to work like this with your pdoc and within his guidelines, then I can't see where you'd go wrong.  I hope the 2-3mg work for you - insomnia is terribly debilitating.

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Yes, I used to be on Ativan for sleep. I think I took 2 mg a night. It really did help at the time -- and now I'm back on it again, though for reasons other than sleep.

 

Lots of doctors seem concerned about the likelihood of Ativan being abused, but since you don't abuse it, I wouldn't worry too much. and like I said, the ativan I took before really did help at night. And I never became addicted to it, eiher, fwiw.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's safe.

 

Addiction isn't dependence..

 

Taking it to get to sleep will likely make you dependent on it to get to sleep.  Think of dependence like being accustomed and getting withdrawal if you stop.  

Addiction on the other hand, is using something for psychological reasons where you feel you, "have to have it or you'll go crazy".  It's a craving.

 

Most psych meds make you dependent, cause stopping them causes withdrawals.  That doesn't mean you're addicted or that it's bad.  It's body chemistry.  When you get used to sleeping with the Ativan, you'll become dependent & stopping it will make it hard to sleep for 3-7 days.  That's the extent of it.

 

Your body can get used to benzos like Ativan and require more over time... but I'm not sure that's true for sleep.  Just for anxiety.  And, frankly, if they ever need to give you one for anxiety, there are others to choose from -- so being used to Ativan shouldn't matter.

 

For what it's worth, Ability made me very anxious in a bad way. (Google akathisia)  I ended up having to go off it and restart at 2.5mg for a month.  Then 5/7.5/10/12.5/15...etc  That's the only way I got up to 30mg.  The normal dose increases were too much for me.

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If you don't really need it it's probably better not to take it every night long term.

 

Tolerance, dependence and withdrawal can be very unpleasant. Also, when taken once a day 'interdose withdrawal' is a possibility, especially after long term use.

 

I'm not saying you shouldn't take it but it's something worth thinking about. I wish had been more careful !

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I agonized over dependence and had some difficulty wrapping my head about the difference between that and addiction.  

 

Maybe this is a good analogy - If you have heart problems you wouldn't think twice about taking the proper meds to keep your blood pressure low.   To keep your blood pressure right you depend on the drug(s).    Not being able to sleep is no different or at least is in some cases.   A nurse who told me she had sleep problems said if the choice was don't sleep or needing to take Ambien?  Well I don't know ativan.  And I don't use Benzos for sleep but whatever works I'm all about it.    Maybe relay your concerns to your doctor?   I've asked to switch meds a couple of times.   Some of it was because of what someone said or something I read.

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I recently started seeing a new P doc-- guy immediately takes me off 50 mg of Seroquel after my complains about weight gain and lethargy and puts me on up to 3 mg of Ativan to take at night. 

 

He also started me on 5 mg Abilify because to be safe, my treatment team agrees I need to be on anti-psychotic. 

 

Hope I don't develop a tolerance to 2 mg. I'll keep an eye on it. If It looks like I have to go up pass 3 mg ( the absolute most my P doc is letting me take) it's back to low dose Seroquel for sleep or maybe a switch to Klonopin.

 

Actually,  if you're needing something for sleep and have to be on an anti-psychotic... there is a great alternative to the Seroquel.

 

Truthfully, at 50mg Seroquel was only acting as a sleep aid and not an anti-psychotic anyway.  That takes about 300mg. (Maybe 250... it's been over a year since I checked up on that - and it's somewhat irrelevant atm)

 

The point is, there's another AAP called Saphris that works well for sleep (and for me) had no weight gain.  You'd get the sleep and anti-psychotic benefits all in one.  Saphris can help depression as well.  Technically Abilify seems to be better on that front... but it also tends to cause anxiety. (And at only 5mg, I'm not sure it's really high enough to have any real anti-psychotic impact anyway.. 15mg seems to be the minimum target dose)

 

Seroquel knocked me out for a bit, but stopped working for sleep after a few months.  Benzos/hypnotics never really worked to begin with.  Saphris was the one med that never pooped out on me for sleep.

 

As sleep is still an issue for me - If I could justify taking an AAP for that sole reason (and it wasn't contraindicated for me now)... in all honestly, I'd still be on it.

 

So... just something to consider.  Feel free to print this out and take it to your pdoc for their opinion/reasoning.  They know the factors better than me, but it can't hurt to put the idea out there on the back-burner.

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Thanks for the responses everyone--- I have now gotten it down to 1 mg of Ativan a night. I was put back on Ablify recently and this time it's working well for me, at first 10 mg made me a little sleepy but now it's not. Still, somehow I managed to get the dose of Ativan down to 1 mg a night. If it's okay with my P doc I will stick to the Ativan for now.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I recently started seeing a new P doc-- guy immediately takes me off 50 mg of Seroquel after my complains about weight gain and lethargy and puts me on up to 3 mg of Ativan to take at night. Not a little bit of Ativan here and there for anxiety-- like what I assume most people take, but one big dose to take at night only for sleep. I have terrible insomnia. Is that safe to take 2 mg at once at night?

 

So far I have been taking 2 mg nightly ( every night) for sleep. Been sleeping okay. He also started me on 5 mg Abilify because to be safe, my treatment team agrees I need to be on anti-psychotic. The 5 mg is making my daytime anxiety worse ( I take it in the morning) so far it is helping my depression though as an add on to the 40 mg of Prozac I am taking.

 

Is it common practice to give Ativan ( or any other benzo) for sleep only? Is it safe to be taking 2 mg at one time? Will I get addicted to it if I take it every night?

 

thanks in advance

 

 

You felt you gained weight from taking the seroquel at night? So it's weight-gaining mechanism was something other than simply eating more?

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I recently started seeing a new P doc-- guy immediately takes me off 50 mg of Seroquel after my complains about weight gain and lethargy and puts me on up to 3 mg of Ativan to take at night. Not a little bit of Ativan here and there for anxiety-- like what I assume most people take, but one big dose to take at night only for sleep. I have terrible insomnia. Is that safe to take 2 mg at once at night?

 

So far I have been taking 2 mg nightly ( every night) for sleep. Been sleeping okay. He also started me on 5 mg Abilify because to be safe, my treatment team agrees I need to be on anti-psychotic. The 5 mg is making my daytime anxiety worse ( I take it in the morning) so far it is helping my depression though as an add on to the 40 mg of Prozac I am taking.

 

Is it common practice to give Ativan ( or any other benzo) for sleep only? Is it safe to be taking 2 mg at one time? Will I get addicted to it if I take it every night?

 

thanks in advance

 

 

You felt you gained weight from taking the seroquel at night? So it's weight-gaining mechanism was something other than simply eating more?

 

 YEP! I eat a little more on them but all AAP's I have tried so far make me gain weight, even at low doses, without much of a change in eating habits .

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I recently started seeing a new P doc-- guy immediately takes me off 50 mg of Seroquel after my complains about weight gain and lethargy and puts me on up to 3 mg of Ativan to take at night. Not a little bit of Ativan here and there for anxiety-- like what I assume most people take, but one big dose to take at night only for sleep. I have terrible insomnia. Is that safe to take 2 mg at once at night?

 

So far I have been taking 2 mg nightly ( every night) for sleep. Been sleeping okay. He also started me on 5 mg Abilify because to be safe, my treatment team agrees I need to be on anti-psychotic. The 5 mg is making my daytime anxiety worse ( I take it in the morning) so far it is helping my depression though as an add on to the 40 mg of Prozac I am taking.

 

Is it common practice to give Ativan ( or any other benzo) for sleep only? Is it safe to be taking 2 mg at one time? Will I get addicted to it if I take it every night?

 

thanks in advance

 

 

You felt you gained weight from taking the seroquel at night? So it's weight-gaining mechanism was something other than simply eating more?

 

 YEP! I eat a little more on them but all AAP's I have tried so far make me gain weight, even at low doses, without much of a change in eating habits .

 

 

I was just surprised because you were taking a low-dose, and at night-time, presumably before bed (and any binge eating could commence). I myself find that seroquel doesn't cause much of a weight-issue. Risperidal however...

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