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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any experienced with Lorazepam? It is an anxiety reducing drug. I am taking Paxil but it has not reduced my anxiety nor IBs symptoms, so the doctor added Lorazepam. And I have had a marvelous night (full night's sleep for the first time in 10 years) and NO anxiety or hyper ventalating, or tension in the chest or feear and irrational desire to cry. I had a calm marvelous day. I've heard this little pill is habit forming, but so is Paxil, guess that just means you cannot stop cold turkey. So far, I am just thrilled to not be feeling anxious, and as a side effect, my abdomen is peaceful and my intestinal tract is peaceful. Wow!
 

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I've been taking a cousin to lorazepam, klonopin, for years now for anxiety related issues. It has helped my IBS so much as an added benefit. The first year or two were great. I've started to build up a tolerance though, at the same dosage it's alot less sedating, still knocks out anxiety, but isn't so effective for the IBS-D anymore. Habit forming means you can become physically addicted to it, and go through withdrawls when you quit. They recommend you taper down if you do decide to stop. For me, it's a quality of life issue, and my psych doc thinks taking klonopin long term is better than living a life full of anxiety.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here is my initial track record:Thursday: Wake up after 3 hours of sleep, begin feeling great chest tension and fear and a wave of sadness, as if I am about to face some great challenge, and my bowels respond with pain and grumbling.Then Thursday evening I get my first pill. I take it at 9 p.m. and begin to feel sleepy. For the first time is perhaps 5 years, I sleep through the entire night without stop, waking refreshed around 9 a.m. (instead of the usual 4 a.m.). I feel calm and cheerful. The entire day of Friday is peaceful. I take a pill after breakfast (around 9 a.m.) and discover that my bowel is calm and relaxed.Friday night I also have a lovely long sleep. Saturday morning I take another pill and am clam and peaceful, yet alert. I feel like I have my mind and body back. I have a bowel movement without pain or cramps and it is a perfect torpedo shape, none of this snakes, pencil thin knarled pieces, no mucus. Just a normal torpedo. No after-effect if having to go again.I think such anxiety medications can illustrate what percent of our ongoing IBS is related to anxiety. Perhaps many of us can live a relatively normal life if we get the anxiety in control, if it is the culprit for causingi the anguish physically and emotionally. I'll take a medication like this the rest of my life if I can, just like my daily blood pressure pill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
quote:Originally posted by JoninMo:I've been taking a cousin to lorazepam, klonopin, for years now for anxiety related issues. It has helped my IBS so much as an added benefit. The first year or two were great. I've started to build up a tolerance though, at the same dosage it's alot less sedating, still knocks out anxiety, but isn't so effective for the IBS-D anymore. Habit forming means you can become physically addicted to it, and go through withdrawls when you quit. They recommend you taper down if you do decide to stop. For me, it's a quality of life issue, and my psych doc thinks taking klonopin long term is better than living a life full of anxiety.
Is there a higher dosage or is there another drug that will pack the same initial punch as the one you started on? What has your doctor told you about tolerance? Does it continue to the point where the drug is useless or does it plateau and stay OK at a certain point? I am concerned about that. I think my doctor put me on this stuff because Paxil was like candy to me and did nothing after 6 weeks of daily usage. I was so disappointed because you can take Paxil for decades without a problem.
 

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I'm confused...I take lorazepam, but my doctor gave it to me telling me its a drug that just calms down the stomach, not an anxiety pill...He said its what is sometimes used in hospitals like to calm a persons stomach before they go under for surgery.I don't take it regularly, just when my stomach feels anxious and I think I need it...and it works a little but it isn't anywhere near some kind of miracle pill for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
quote:Originally posted by GracefullyGassy:I'm confused...I take lorazepam, but my doctor gave it to me telling me its a drug that just calms down the stomach, not an anxiety pill...He said its what is sometimes used in hospitals like to calm a persons stomach before they go under for surgery.I don't take it regularly, just when my stomach feels anxious and I think I need it...and it works a little but it isn't anywhere near some kind of miracle pill for me.
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Lorazepam is an antianxiety medication in the benzodiazepine family, the same family that includes diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), flurazepam (Dalmane), and others. Lorazepam and other benzodiazepines act by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that nerves in the brain use to send messages to one another. GABA inhibits activity in many of the nerves of the brain, and it is thought that this excessive activity is what causes anxiety or other psychological disorders. Because lorazepam is removed from the blood more rapidly than many other benzodiazepines, there is less chance that lorazepam concentrations in blood will reach high levels and become toxic. Lorazepam has fewer interactions with other medications than most of the other benzodiazepines. PRESCRIBED FOR: Lorazepam is used for the management of anxiety disorders, the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety or anxiety associated with depression. The effectiveness of lorazepam, or other benzodiazepines , have not been adequately studied for treatment beyond 4 months. Lorazepam also has been shown to be effective for improving sleep in people with insomnia, for panic attacks, and as an adjunct (i.e., when added to other medications) to prevent nausea and vomiting in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy.
 

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Yes, that is correct.And about the tendency to become addicted/dependant to these. If you go to anxiety/panic disorder boards, you will see many people discuss this issue.however, people with anxiety disorders and issues RARELY have addictive type personalities.Drugs like these are common street drugs. I have witnessed at a college party people snorting them, sprinkling them on marijuana, and the like... I was friends with someone who was prescribed them, and his "friends" stole them from him all the time.That's why doctors are so hesistant to prescribe them.IMO it is the newer doctors who are hip onto the SSRI anti-depressant craze that won't prescribe these.. Most people need to find the older docs that have prescribed them since they were brought on the market.They greatly reduce symptoms of IBS, and if you research it, Xanax was COMMONLY prescribed a long time ago in the treatment of IBS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All I can say is that it nipped a week long IBS-D upsetting flare-up in the bud. It went away completely,and my stomach and intestines feel fine now. Since I believe that many of my symptomsare caused by residual tension and stress, anything that relieves that in turn relieves the IBS. But I dont know what I will do in the long term, if this isn't a drug for the long term. I will have to ask my doctor, who is around 60 years old. I tried Paxil, the hip new drug, and got NOTHING from it after 6 weeks.I wonder if the fear of these drugs is part of the ongoing dumbing down of AMericans where they cannot be expected to take any responsibility for anything, especially drug intake, and the trend for everyone to be a victim. I can see how a doctor would be afraid to recommend a drug that WORKS for fear the recipient will blame him later if he pops the pills like candy and becomes addicted, and then sues the doctor. Interestingly, even Paxil is addicting and I was sternly warned NOT to abruptly stop taking it, since it wasto be a "weaning" process if I decide to stop. I find it hard to find what would be so exciting about Lorazepam as a street drug since it predominantly just makes you sleepy if you take more than 1 mg. But some people so loath themselvesand their lives unconsciously that they will do anything to become unconscious.
 

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Most doctors won't prescribe it for long term use. It's more for a temporary thing now a days, to minimize the early side-effects of anti-depressants.However, I know of some people who have been on them for 7+ years. One girl I know of had taken Xanax for 7 years, not needing to ever increase her initial dosage.I think it's a quality of life thing. There is a difference between being addicted, and dependant on somethingDiabetics are often dependant on insulin to maintain their quality of life.I sincerely hope your doctor does allow you to continue to take it, if that is what you know is helping you.
 

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do u think it's applying a band aid to the problem, becuase lorazepam binds to GABA receptors? Xanax makes gaba work harder allegedly. 2 subtle differences. Maybe worth an idea. Getting on the ativan fools gold train maybe for life, and then rezapride comes out. I suppose its all down to doctor/patient relationship. Take a few, see if it works. If it dosn't get the hell out before your body needs it.The same thing is said about tinnitus. If it helps your pain and suffering then go for it. You need a rational doctor, but they clearly know you are sensible. U taking 0.5mg?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am confused by what you are saying. Are you saying that Xanax is better, or that some new drug is coming out called renzapride, and I would not be able to take it because of Lorazepam? (By the way, I studied Renzapride on the internet and it will be targetted to Constipation sufferers. I am NORMAL, with intermitent bouts of "D", and the least thing I need is a medicine to make me go more often!).I don't understand posts that say some response to IBS is just a band aid. Excuse me, but there is NO CURE for IBS. Everything is in that sense a band aid. Certainly I do not want my body addicted to a drug, but I have been taking monopril for blood pressure (runs in my family) for 10 years. If I stop I doubt I would have painful withdrawel but it would most likely pop back up to 195/120 like it was before I started!I am taking 1 mg of Lorazepam twice daily. It does make me drousy at times but I have not had an anxiety attack since starting it. Before taking it, I ended up in an ER because I was having such an anxiety attack that I was having trouble breath and my chest of so tense. This nightmare stopped literally overnight. I had a "D" flare=up yesterday due to a food I should not have eaten (spicy spaghetti), and this morning my stool was perfectly formed and normal, which is a miracle for me. In the past, a "D" flare-up would last for weeks and would be made worse by anxiety attacks and fear. Please respond again about what you are trying to tell me, to get off Lorazepam because it is a dangerous drug, or that ALL drugs are irrelevant because they only mask symptoms and do not cure anything? I plan to get a track record with Lorazepam (I keep records every day of diet, symptoms, mood) and take it to the doctor. Then we can determine how long I can take it or migrate me to something else. He gave me a prescription with enough refills for 6 months at 2 per day.
 

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Hey you've got to go with whatever works for you. I think its GREAT that these things are working for you. I take paxil too, I was very reluctant to take it for many reasons but once I got past the fears I had (which being an anxious person were quite a few)and started on it, I am very happy w/the results. My Dr who is an IBS expert told me that paxil and elavil work really well together. The elavil is for pain and in my expereince it does just that. Since adding the paxil my pain is lessened often. Doesnt cure it but certainly takes the edge off. She had mentioned adding klonipin or xanax, that type of med if the paxil wasnt strong enough. Right now I am at 30 mg/paxil and am going to stay at this dose for the rest of the summer as I have isssues (teeth/child off to college)that would stress the most unanxious person so hopefully after labor day my life will calm down enough to really be able to evaluate things.I apologize for hijacking your thread. Just wanted to say that after suffering w/various IBS issues from mild to severe for over 25 yrs, "drugs" are apparently helping me. Becoming "addicted" is not a concern at this time, nor should it be.
 

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Healthwise, I definitely think that if it is helping, stay with it.The problem with people these days is that you have some that abuse it like it wasn't meant to be taken, and become "addicted" to it.. and it gives the drug a bad wrap.Anxiety sufferers typically do not have "addictive personalities". I have heard of people taking these drugs for 20 years, tapering for a month, and never needed them again. Like you said, you are "dependant" on your blood pressure medicine to regulate your blood pressure. You aren't addicted to it to keep your blood pressure low.Dependance and addiction are 2 completely different things, as you know... One comes with euphoria.If you continue to see it helping your anxiety, and continue to see it helping your D, stay on it. I would just try to keep the dose the same.. and if you ever feel like you dont need it, don't take it when you don't need to.But... I definitely think this medicine is SAFE. and you should take it as long as you want to, that is.. if your doctor will keep prescribing it..
 

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Life is too short, take anything. What I said was some "experts" and patients believe that becuase its a benzo, it's papering over the cracks and when u go off it, a dam burst effect happens and you have the original illness times 10.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
guangs,Thanks for the information. I assume when I stop taking Lorazepam it will be done in a medically responsible manner. A word of advice: There are people on this forum who are literally just making it through the day physically and/or emotionally. I was put on Lorazepam for a reason. I am not upset at your posts, but note that you are dealing often with sick people and your negative prediction about how someone on a medication may become 10 times worse is not really a very helpful response in that context, even though I am sure you meant well. Do you have IBS yourself or are you another pre-med student just slumming? (wink)
 

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Hey Healthwise, I know exactly how you feel.I think that you are one of the lucky ones who was able to get a benzo. They work so well, but doctors these days are brain-washed into thinking that benzos are addictive, and anti-depressants aren't.It's the newer doctors who have this mindframe. I would venture to say the majority of pro-benzo doctors are over 45. I hope you are doing well today. I'm not
, but what's new, right?Wish ya wellSee ya
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes, my doctor has been in the business about 30 years and seems to be an encyclepedia about anti-depressants and anxiety medications. He already had given me Paxil and after 6 weeks I had zero reaction to it. I suppose he could have tried Zoloft, but since I was having daily anxiety attacks and was in the ER at the time, he may have thought a drug that worked in 20 minutes was better than something pushed by the pharm. companies that (at best) might kick in after taking it for 4-6 weeks!!!!!!!!!!It would be equivalent to someone in horrendous physical pain begin given something that will offer relief after daily use in 4-6 weeks MAYBE versus a proven product that relieves horrendous body pain in 20 minutes. My doctor doesn't speak medical political-correct-speak. He speaks good old fashioned "what works" is what is what he uses. Elavil, for example, has been around for ages, but still gives good results for many folks, but gave me 100% impotence. For some folks it is heaven, for me it was the uninflatable sausage machine.As a matter of fact though, I have had "D" for a couple days, but UNLIKE ALL PREVIOUS TIMES, I am NOT emotionally freaking out about it. I am using the medication as a gift to allow me to realize that I must detach emotionally from IBS. I must learn to observe the reactions without fear and waves of anxiety. My neural circuit for fear and anxiety is a 10 lane freeway, and the drug is helping put road blocks up to stop feeding that neural circuit, allowing me a respite to consciously change my reactions. I don't just take a drug and zone out. I still must consciously select my thoughts and reactions. This drug is just helping me right now to be able to select them instead of being washed away in fear and tension to the point where I cannot literally breath. Philosophically, I need a new stance, a renewed mind regarding my relationship tp IBS, I need to stop fearing it, stop giving it so much emotional power, to DETACH emotionally. The drug is just a little gift that is helping me to cognitively SEE that.
 

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quote:Originally posted by Healthwise:Yes, my doctor has been in the business about 30 years and seems to be an encyclepedia about anti-depressants and anxiety medications. He already had given me Paxil and after 6 weeks I had zero reaction to it. I suppose he could have tried Zoloft, but since I was having daily anxiety attacks and was in the ER at the time, he may have thought a drug that worked in 20 minutes was better than something pushed by the pharm. companies that (at best) might kick in after taking it for 4-6 weeks!!!!!!!!!!It would be equivalent to someone in horrendous physical pain begin given something that will offer relief after daily use in 4-6 weeks MAYBE versus a proven product that relieves horrendous body pain in 20 minutes. My doctor doesn't speak medical political-correct-speak. He speaks good old fashioned "what works" is what is what he uses. Elavil, for example, has been around for ages, but still gives good results for many folks, but gave me 100% impotence. For some folks it is heaven, for me it was the uninflatable sausage machine.As a matter of fact though, I have had "D" for a couple days, but UNLIKE ALL PREVIOUS TIMES, I am NOT emotionally freaking out about it. I am using the medication as a gift to allow me to realize that I must detach emotionally from IBS. I must learn to observe the reactions without fear and waves of anxiety. My neural circuit for fear and anxiety is a 10 lane freeway, and the drug is helping put road blocks up to stop feeding that neural circuit, allowing me a respite to consciously change my reactions. I don't just take a drug and zone out. I still must consciously select my thoughts and reactions. This drug is just helping me right now to be able to select them instead of being washed away in fear and tension to the point where I cannot literally breath. Philosophically, I need a new stance, a renewed mind regarding my relationship tp IBS, I need to stop fearing it, stop giving it so much emotional power, to DETACH emotionally. The drug is just a little gift that is helping me to cognitively SEE that.
good to see it working for you. in the absence of much effective treatment.
 

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Hey Healthwise, I was just checking in to see if the Ativan(Lorazepam) was still working for you. Are you still getting benefits from it? Is the doctor still prescribing it for you?Hope to hear a positive answer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
quote:Originally posted by silentsufferersuffering:Hey Healthwise, I was just checking in to see if the Ativan(Lorazepam) was still working for you. Are you still getting benefits from it? Is the doctor still prescribing it for you?Hope to hear a positive answer!
Hi, I am taking a long vacation from IBS forums because I think they have a tendency to worsen my condition because they strengthen those old neural pathways that I'd prefer to weaken by living as normal a life as possible (in a world where it is normal for citizens to be proud of loosing their 18 year sons in Iraq without questioning the entire larger picture of what the US is doing there!). Anyway, the Lorazepam keeps me calm. I had 1 mushy stool period, and it may be that olives were the culprit. I am concerned about the drug being addictive, but I am keeping a daily calendar of health and will discuss with the doctor after a couple months history. Since beginning the drug, I have had NO "red" days, which are days when I am very sick and have huge anxiety and horrendous "D" symptoms. I'd take Lorazepam for the rest of my life if it does not fry my brain and keeps away such incidents.
 
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