How long does it take to withdraw funds from Ativan?

Ativan (lorazepam) is a brand-name prescription drug used to treat anxiety, epilepsy, and insomnia. It is one of the most commonly used prescription drugs in the country. Ativan belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines.

Benzos, as they usually say, are central nervous system depressants with calming and relaxing effects.Unfortunately, tolerance and dependence are not uncommon.

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Ativan is one of the most widely prescribed benzodiazepines. In 2017, doctors issued nearly 26.5 million prescriptions for Ativan.

As of 2018, an estimated 5.4 million people over the age of 12 abuse prescription benzodiazepines, such as Ativan.

Unfortunately, Ativan withdrawal not only affects drug abusers, but also their families and loved ones.

If you use Ativan daily for more than a few weeks, you may experience some withdrawal symptoms.

Ativan exit is a challenging and uncomfortable experience. Many people have been taking Ativan regularly for many years without realizing how dependent they have become. You may know the feeling of wanting to take Ativan without Ativan, or the feeling of waiting too long between medications, but withdrawal is a completely different beast.

Signs and symptoms

Benzos like Ativan were originally intended for short-term use, but long-term use of anxiety and insomnia has become commonplace.Taking Ativan for only three to six weeks, even in therapeutic doses, can cause physical dependence and mild withdrawal symptoms.

If you stop taking benzodiazepines suddenly for more than 6 months, about 40% of people will experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms. The other 60% will have mild symptoms.

The severity of withdrawal symptoms is also related to your current dose. If you take high doses of Ativan or mix Ativan with other benzene drugs, your withdrawal symptoms may be worse.

When your daily dose of Ativan is suddenly stopped or significantly reduced, withdrawal symptoms may appear in as little as 8 to 12 hours.

You may feel extremely anxious and irritable within a few weeks. The anxiety you experienced during Ativan withdrawal may be more severe than the anxiety you experienced before you started taking it. Insomnia can exacerbate the effects of anxiety, making it feel like your sleep pattern will never return to normal.

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Many people have experienced severe headaches, hand tremors, and muscle aches. You may find it difficult to concentrate or have memory problems. In severe cases of high-dose withdrawal, some people experience hallucinations, delirium, and seizures.

Other potential symptoms include:

  • anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Hand tremor
  • Muscle cramps
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Racing pulse
  • Hyperventilation
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Aches and pains
  • Panic attack
  • Allergic to irritation such as light and touch
  • Physical paresthesia (crawling skin, goose bumps)
  • Frustrated
  • Attention and memory problems
  • Visual impairment (flashing lights or blurred vision)
  • Auditory, tactile, or visual hallucinations
  • Unreal feeling
  • delirium
  • Grandiose epilepsy

Some studies describe that acute lorazepam withdrawal is most severe on the second day and improves on the fourth or fifth day.

Other researchers, including the World Health Organization (WHO), have found that acute symptoms last longer, usually between 1 and 4 weeks.

It is estimated that 10% to 25% of long-term benzo users have experienced so-called long-term withdrawal. Long-term withdrawal involves mild symptoms and lasts for several months.This is definitely not easy, but it usually resolves itself within a year.

Response and relief

The best way to deal with benzo withdrawal is to give up any attempt to quit “cold turkey” or one-time withdrawal. Exiting Ativan takes time and planning. You can avoid the worst of Ativan withdrawal by working with your doctor to reduce your dose. The tapering includes the gradual reduction of the dose of Ativan over a period of weeks or months.

Your doctor may switch you from Ativan to a long-acting benz such as diazepam before you begin to gradually reduce the dose.Long-acting drugs help stabilize you and make your taper smoother.

There is no single tapering timetable that best suits everyone. The higher your dose, the more significant your first dose reduction will be.

Once you steadily use the lower dose of diazepam, your doctor will reduce your dose by approximately 10% to 20% each week.Your doctor may prescribe a small amount of medicine at a time to prevent you from overdosing.

If you have been using Ativan for more than six months, tapering is the only safe way to stop taking the drug. Although gradual reduction will reduce your withdrawal symptoms, it will not completely eliminate them. You may experience symptoms every time the dose is reduced. To help you cope with these symptoms, consider the following options:

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  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (research on the effectiveness of CBT after three months is mixed)
  • meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • exercise


Quitting Ativan cold turkey can be dangerous. Although you may feel that Ativan is not a very serious drug, especially if you only take it as directed, it has a powerful effect on your brain. Certain drugs, even serious illegal drugs such as cocaine, are safe to quit smoking on your own. Benzos is not. However, most people do not need to be hospitalized for detoxification.

Consultation with your primary care doctor or psychiatrist in the clinic is sufficient.Your doctor can monitor your progress through frequent visits and phone calls.

If you have a history of complex withdrawal, seizures, or severe mental illness, hospitalization may be better. This may involve living in a detox or rehabilitation facility for several weeks, where you can be monitored for complications.

Mental symptoms

Ativan withdrawal may occur at the same time as the reappearance of psychiatric symptoms that may have been dormant when you used the drug. This can include severe anxiety, PTSD symptoms, OCD symptoms, and depression.If you develop severe symptoms, you may need to be hospitalized.

Discuss with your psychiatrist or psychologist how to help you work with your insurance company to obtain treatment. If you do not have insurance, there are still inpatient facilities to choose from.

The FDA’s Ativan prescription label warns that there are potential risks in taking Ativan during pregnancy, and recommends that the decision to continue or stop use is something that every woman must consider with the help of a doctor.If you are pregnant, talk to your psychiatrist or obstetrician and gynecologist to discuss the risks of continuing medication and the risks of quitting smoking during pregnancy. If you really want to quit smoking during pregnancy, then gradually tapering under medical supervision is the only safe way.

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Long-term treatment

Ativan withdrawal can feel long and difficult because it comes and goes as you gradually decrease. Some people complete the gradual dose reduction within three to four weeks, but others may gradually reduce their dose for up to 12 months. A longer taper has nothing to do with better results, but may be more comfortable for some people.

It is very important to complete the taper without reversing the direction. The Ativan taper should keep moving forward as the dose decreases.

If withdrawal symptoms occur during the dose reduction period, the dose reduction can be suspended to allow time for the body to adjust, but the dose should not be increased.

For those who have been abusing Ativan, tapering alone may not be enough to maintain abstinence. Cognitive behavioral therapy and other psychological therapies can help you understand why you need to use or abuse Ativan, and can help you make healthier decisions.

If total abstinence causes psychological distress, some people may aim to reduce the dose. Gradually reducing the dose can help reset your tolerance level and help you avoid the negative effects of high doses.


If you are interested in stopping or reducing your Ativan dose, please talk to your prescribing doctor first.Primary care doctors and psychiatrists are excellent resources. To make it easier for you to reduce the dose yourself, plan to work with a doctor who is conveniently located and accessible. You may need to visit the office multiple times.

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Ativan is easy to use and stay away from you. Maybe your dose has gradually increased over the years, and you are unable to concentrate and remember things. Maybe you have only used it for a few months, but you are worried that it will become an emotional crutch. Maybe you don’t remember what it’s like to sleep without it. Whatever your reason for leaving Ativan, please pay attention to it as much as possible. Withdrawing funds may be difficult, but everything is worth doing. You will thank yourself in the end.