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Lorazepam for panic attacks

Discussion in 'Therapy and Medication' started by Lulabelle, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. Lulabelle

    Lulabelle Forum Pro SF Supporter

    I saw my psychiatrist today and she's prescribed me lorazepam to take as needed for panic attacks.

    Has anyone else used this?

    I've never taken any benzos and have heard horror stories. She assured me that if I'm only taking them two or three times a week it should be fine but I'm still very nervous about them...

    Would taking them occasionally be safe re addiction and tolerance? How quickly does it start to work? As I generally experience panic attacks while I'm out, will I still be able to get myself home?

  2. gypsylee

    gypsylee SF Supporter

    Hey @Lulabelle :)

    I’ve been on and off benzos since I was about 17 and I’m 44. I googled lorazepam and I don’t think I’ve actually been on that as it’s not common in Australia (?) But I’ve been on a few and been addicted. The withdrawals aren’t fun, for sure, but the horror stories are a bit exaggerated if you ask me.

    You sound like you actually *listen* to your doctor and take her advice. Both my GP and psychiatrist would say I’m a great patient in the office with them but not so good when left to my own devices.. :rolleyes:

    Benzos are, in my opinion, the best anti-anxiety meds they’ve come up with so far. If you can control yourself and take them only when you really need them, you should be ok. One of the things I love about them is that just having them calms me down. My problem is I’m extremely good at convincing myself I should take some when I don’t really need to.

    They generally take about half an hour to work. Some, like Xanax, are fast-acting, while Valium (which I get) is slower-acting. I can’t really answer your question about getting home because it depends on the dose and how much they affect you. You can do a trial at home though.
    Lulabelle and sedamDanaLjeta like this.
  3. Ash600

    Ash600 SF Creative SF Supporter

    I'd be more concerned, Lu, if your GP had prescribed Lorazepam instead of your pyschiatrist. Yes they are a strong and not often used benzodiazepine nowadays, but they have been proven quite effective over the years to help manage anxiety. Your pysch would probably have more clinical experience in prescribing this than your doctor, and considering what you have been through over the past year or so, then I would assume that she would consider them to be appropriate for you at this moment in time.
    Regular use can cause dependence, normally a daily basis for 14 consecutive days usually causes this, but the occassional use 2-3 times a week as suggested by your psych should be ok. Even if dependance does develop, there are established protocols to safely withdraw from this drug (as well as from other benzodiazepines for that matter).
    Lulabelle likes this.
  4. Gonz

    Gonz Well-Known Member

    I’ve taken them before. As long as you’re not taking them every day, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about addiction/tolerance. The most serious side effect for me when stopping was insomnia.

    It’s probably a good idea to make sure you have a ride home the first couple of times you take them. They don’t affect everyone so strongly, for most it’s probably fine, but I definitely couldn’t drive while on them.
    Lulabelle likes this.
  5. Ash600

    Ash600 SF Creative SF Supporter

    If you are out and about, then be aware of the current legislation regarding driving and drugs (prescribed or otherwise) as it is illegal to drive if you are unfit to do so.

    Lulabelle and sedamDanaLjeta like this.
  6. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    They work literally within a few minutes and with no tolerance they are strong, will leave you feeling really relaxed - that is why they are so addictive. But taking them PRN (as needed) you shouldn't have any issues with the lorazepam, only take them when you really need them. You will benefit from being on lorazepam if your anxiety is really severe, best of luck :)
    Lulabelle likes this.
  7. SillyOldBear

    SillyOldBear Teddy Bear Fanatic Staff Alumni

    I take lorazepam. Its terrific. I call it my 'happy pill'. But I do have to be very careful with it. I have an agreement with my doctor to take it no more then twice a week. It calms me down and eases both emotional and physical pain that I may be feeling. Usually takes about an hour to really take a hold on me. Do be careful with it until you learn how it effects you. It can slow your reaction times. Don't want that to happen when you are driving.
    Lulabelle likes this.
  8. Walker

    Walker Everything Zen Staff Member Safety & Support SF Social Media SF Supporter

    I take valium (same family) but ativan made me act really strange. (I was about to go drive my car and don't remember it) so just make sure you know how you're going to react to them for a few times before you go doing anything crazy. You'll be ok. the horror stories are way overdone. Let us know how you're feeling.
    Lulabelle likes this.
  9. Lulabelle

    Lulabelle Forum Pro SF Supporter

    Thanks everyone, you've set my mind at ease a little.

    My mother is coming for dinner tomorrow so that will be a good opportunity to try one out at home ;)
  10. Ash600

    Ash600 SF Creative SF Supporter

    slip her one as well, Lu, :p
  11. Lulabelle

    Lulabelle Forum Pro SF Supporter

    Yes! I love your thinking :)
    Winter Blues likes this.
  12. Angel368

    Angel368 Well-Known Member

    Hi @Lulabelle, I was prescribed lorazepam while in hospital and it helped a lot with my anxiety, I don't think it made me drowsy. I was discharged with a few pills but the community psychiatrist would not give it to me again. Luckily I saved a couple for christmas with the family and I used it only on a particularly bad day. So you will probably notice a difference if you take it 30-60min before your mother arrives.
    Lulabelle likes this.
  13. Lulabelle

    Lulabelle Forum Pro SF Supporter

    So I decided to have a trial run at home. Took one yesterday evening and waited...

    Didn't feel any effect whatsoever. I guess if I was having a panic attack it may have done something but as I was fairly relaxed anyway... I did sleep really well last night though with no nightmares so that was a bonus :)
  14. Heavens Heart

    Heavens Heart Well-Known Member

    I have used them work right awa but addicting my Dr has prescribed a thc for me it helps me ingredient combination made specific to my needs
  15. Supernova

    Supernova SF Supporter

    I took them without effect. Now I am on diazepam and have the feeling they at least take away my emotional peaks during attacks. And I have no nightmares too when I have them which is really appreciated.
    And I also think it is a little pseudo effect during day when my daughter is around and I start to panic. It is like giving the need for regulation of the panic feelings to that little pill.
    It works and I can still function as a mother.
  16. Deety

    Deety SF Supporter

    I use loraz at the moment. The first time I took it 3 yrs ago I felt incredible, the relief from anxiety was unbelievable, I couldn't imagine that was how most people (those without anxiety) felt most of the time.
    These days I don't think it does as much for me, but I use it when I'm feeling really anxious. My GP will give me a script for 20 1mg tabs every 6 weeks or so when I ask (for the last few months anyway)
  17. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Seeing is Believing Forum Pro SF Supporter

    No effect with me whatsoever. I was also on haldol and other stuff when I was at the worst point.

    How is it working out for you @Lulabelle