Lorazepam Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs, and Detoxification

Lorazepam Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs and Detoxification

Symptoms and signs of lorazepam withdrawal typically peak between two to four days after halting the use of the drug. Here's what you need to know.

Takeaways from this article:

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    What is the drug lorazepam used for

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    Lorazepam addiction withdrawal symptoms

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    Lorazepam withdrawal treatment options

Lorazepam withdrawal can cause severe symptoms, but detoxifying from the drug is a necessary step when you are trying to recover from a lorazepam addiction. Lorazepam is a benzodiazepine, a type of anxiety-reducing medication. This drug is also used to relieve the withdrawal symptoms of a recovering alcoholic. It acts quickly in the body and is extremely potent, making it one of the most addictive of the benzodiazepines. While it serves a useful purpose as a prescription drug, it is also highly addictive.

Addiction often occurs even in some people who are taking it legitimately. It is especially addictive when used continuously for four months or longer. After four to six months of use, lorazepam may lose its effectiveness at treating anxiety, so use for longer periods of time than this can indicate a dependence on the drug.

Lorazepam Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs, and Detoxification

Because the effects of the drug are different for different users, lorazepam withdrawal symptoms also differ between individuals. Sleeplessness, irritability, and anxiousness are common withdrawal symptoms after halting lorazepam use. Some other potential withdrawal symptoms that users may experience after they stop taking lorazepam include sweating, muscle cramps, vomiting, tremors, and abdominal pain. In addition, some users who detoxify from this drug experience changes in thoughts or behavior, while others may have seizures.

Symptoms and signs of lorazepam withdrawal typically peak between two to four days after halting the use of the drug. The symptoms can last for up to a week after the final dose before going away completely. Withdrawal symptoms may be more pronounced in people who have developed a tolerance for the drug. Lorazepam tolerance occurs as the body becomes used to the drug and it ceases to have the same effect that it once did. Larger doses are needed to get the same relief, so the patient takes more of the drug in an attempt at self-care. This makes addiction more likely as well as increasing the likelihood of severe withdrawal symptoms.

Psychological addiction symptoms may also be present. These can include things like being afraid of the original condition returning if the drug is stopped and being overly reliant on the drug to treat the patient’s underlying anxiety.

How Long Do Lorazepam Withdrawals Last?

The duration of the timeline for lorazepam withdrawals can differ for each person. It is usually about the length of several weeks. In severe cases, however, some withdrawal symptoms can last for several years.

Withdrawing from Lorazepam: Options for Help

In most cases, lorazepam withdrawal treatment is done over a long period of time and under the care of a medical professional. If the patient has not been using the drug for long, the dose is usually tapered off gradually over the course of seven to 10 days in an attempt to mitigate the withdrawal symptoms. People who have been abusing lorazepam for many months or years may need to spread out the detoxification process to eight to 12 weeks.

Gradual withdrawal is preferred because an abrupt halt in drug use can lead to stronger withdrawal symptoms. Any treatment method for lorazepam addiction must consider both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. If the patient is afraid of living without the drug, psychological counseling and cognitive-behavioral therapy can help the person overcome these fears. This type of therapy is typically done at the same time as detoxification, so the patient will be working through the withdrawal symptoms at the same time as he or she is working on the psychological factors underlying the addiction.

In some cases, alternative methods are used to help treat lorazepam addiction. These might include yoga, meditation, reflexology, acupuncture, or herbal treatments. These methods are often used in conjunction with the well-established therapy-based treatment programs. Lorazepam addiction treatment can be done in a rehab center or on an outpatient basis.

Can I detox from Lorazepam Safely at Home?

If you’re considering a home remedy as a natural alternative to rehab, you should look into different options. Rehab centers can help ease the pains of withdrawal and provide the relief that you need. There are rehab centers that specialize in relieving the pains of withdrawal. Additionally, detox can take may only take several days to complete. A small sacrifice for the safety of medical professionals and processes in contrast to some of the serious side effects of withdrawal.

Treatment for Lorazepam After Detox

Long-term follow-up care is required for a successful recovery from lorazepam addiction. After detoxing, the treatment shifts to using therapy or other methods to teach the former addict how to avoid a relapse. Some people join a 12-step program or another support group to help aid recovery. A strong support network is often helpful for maintaining a clean and sober lifestyle and preventing relapses.

The therapy that began during the initial detoxification process can also be continued for months or years after the recovering addict stops using the drug. In addition to treatment for lorazepam addiction, the patient may also need treatment for the condition for which lorazepam was initially prescribed. In many cases, lorazepam use occurs concurrently with other drug use, so these addictions must also be treated in order to ensure the overall recovery.

Lorazepam Information at a Glance
Medication Name, Costs Class of Medicine
  • Generic Name: Lorazepam
  • Generic Name Variations: N/A
  • Chemical Name: Benzodiazepine
  • Brand Name: Lorazepam
  • Brand Name Variations: N/A
  • Cost/Price: Roughly $0.76 per 1mg tablet
  • Used to Treat Addiction? No
  • Function or Use at Low Dose: Treat anxiety
  • Function or Use at High Dose: Treat anxiety
  • Chemical Makeup: C16H13CIN2O
  • System: Benzodiazepine
  • Duration of Action: The duration of action differs depending on how it is taken.
Form, Intake and Dosage Interactions and Complications
  • Drug Forms: Tablet/IV
  • Administration Routes: Oral/Injected
  • Dosage: N/A
  • Overdose: N/A
  • Alcohol Interaction: Lorazepam can increase the effects of alcohol, so it is not recommended to take lorazepam with alcohol.
  • Illicit Drugs: Lorazepam should not be taken with any illicit drugs.
  • Prescription Medications: Consult your doctor before taking any other prescription medications with lorazepam.
  • Contraindications: Glaucoma, sleep apnea, respiratory insufficiency
Effects and Adverse Reactions Substance Abuse
  • Short-Term: Dizziness, weakness, unsteadiness
  • Long-Term: Sedation, respiratory failure, hypotension, injections-site reactions, hypoventilation
  • Risk of Substance Abuse: Because it is a benzodiazepine, there is a high risk of lorazepam abuse.
  • Signs of Abuse: Anxiety, neglect
Physiological Problem Signs and Symptoms Dependence and Addiction Issues
  • Withdrawal Syndrome Onset: N/A
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Headaches, terror, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, irritability, fatigue, dizziness, hypersensitivity to light or sound, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, hallucinations, seizures, abdominal cramps, muscle pain, agitation, heart palpitations, tachycardia, panic attacks
  • Tolerance: Over time, your body can build up a tolerance to lorazepam
  • Cross Dependence: N/A
  • Physical Dependence: N/A
  • Psychological Dependence: Because lorazepam changes the chemical balance of your brain, your brain can become highly dependent on lorazepam, which can make it very hard to withdraw from.
Legal Schedules and Ratings
  • Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule IV