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Thread: Is this rivotril withdrawal?

  1. #1
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    Is this rivotril withdrawal?

    My health anxiety has been very bad these past few months, having many bouts of heightened anxiety. About 2 months ago my doctor prescribed Rivotril to help calm me down. They were low dose tablets, .5mg.
    I finished up taking half a tablet nearly every day, some days three quarters or a full tablet. The longest break I had was a day and then would take half a tablet the next day.
    The last one I had was Tuesday, 3 days ago. My doctor has since prescribed me Seroquel and I took one on Wednesday. It knocked me out for most of the day and I didn't take any more.
    So today will be my third day without a rivotril. But when I woke up this morning I didn't feel right. When I got up I got very dizzy and felt I could hardly move my legs, as if my coordination was going on me. It started to ease a bit after a few minutes but I still have it now. My head is spinning and my legs are like jelly. I didn't get a lot of sleep last night and I'm feeling exhausted now, my eyes are burning from tiredness.

    Does anyone think that what happened to me this morning, and is still happening, could be benzo withdrawal? It's the first time since I started them 2 months ago that I've had a longer break than 1 day.
    I went through horrific benzo withdrawal about 10 years ago, mostly xanax. It started off then the same as this morning - got up one morning and could hardly walk. I had many symptoms back then but the worst and lingering one (about 2 years) was a kind of constant head spinning and feeling as if I was walking on a boat, 24/7.
    Is 2 months on a low dose long enough to suffer withdrawal?

  2. #2
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    Re: Is this rivotril withdrawal?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenGirl View Post
    So today will be my third day without a rivotril. But when I woke up this morning I didn't feel right. When I got up I got very dizzy and felt I could hardly move my legs, as if my coordination was going on me. It started to ease a bit after a few minutes but I still have it now. My head is spinning and my legs are like jelly. I didn't get a lot of sleep last night and I'm feeling exhausted now, my eyes are burning from tiredness.

    Does anyone think that what happened to me this morning, and is still happening, could be benzo withdrawal?
    It most probably is benzodiazepine withdrawal, possibly with anxiety contributing to the dizziness. The lack of sleep wouldn't be helping either.

    Is 2 months on a low dose long enough to suffer withdrawal?
    Yes, it is long enough. However, withdrawal will likely be not as bad, or as long lasting as from alprazolam (Xanax). The quetiapine (Seroquel) should help. Was it prescribed to help ease withdrawal symptoms, or as the primary anxiety med?

    For future reference, while benzodiazepines (BZDs) are very effective anti anxiety meds they actually make it worse over time by inhibiting the growth of brain cells in the hippocampal regions of the brain so regular use is counterproductive. Otoh, antidepressants work by stimulating neuron growth in the hippocampi. It is the new cells and the connections they forge that produce the therapeutic response, not the ADs directly. Thus BZDs reduce the effectiveness of ADs.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Is this rivotril withdrawal?

    Thanks for your response.
    I really hope it is only benzo withdrawal, and I do think it is.
    It's happened to me a few times again in the past few days but much milder. I suppose the fact that I went through it all years ago makes it all so familiar.
    I can't believe I fell into the benzo trap again. I started out thinking I'll take them for a day or two and now here I am 2 months later. I'm a bit mad at myself for letting it happen but what's done is done.
    Here's to a benzo free 2021

  4. #4
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    Re: Is this rivotril withdrawal?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenGirl View Post
    Here's to a benzo free 2021
    Indeed. Have you tried the quetiapine again? It may help.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Is this rivotril withdrawal?

    Quote Originally Posted by panic_down_under View Post
    Indeed. Have you tried the quetiapine again? It may help.
    I took another one a few nights ago because I couldn't sleep. I really don't want to take many of them though, and especially during the day. They just knock me out completely.
    It's been a week now since I had the last rivotril and I haven't had another funny turn since. I'm hoping I'm over the worst of it now. As I said previously, I've been through benzo withdrawal before and there was no let up with it. I had it constantly, 24/7, for a very long time. Don't want to go back there again

  6. #6
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    Re: Is this rivotril withdrawal?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenGirl View Post
    I took another one a few nights ago because I couldn't sleep. I really don't want to take many of them though, and especially during the day. They just knock me out completely.
    Sedation is often quetiapine's strongest effect. You could try asking your GP for the okay to cut the dose in half (I'm assuming you're on 25mg immediate-release), or alternatively ask about *hydroxyzine. It is a prescription antihistamine with a fairly strong anti anxiety effect. Not quite as potent as the BZDs, but often potent enough to make a difference. It is usually only moderately sedating and the sedation generally lasts 4-6 hours so is less likely to continue into the next day if it's taken in the late evening for insomnia.

    *Hydroxyzine comes in two forms, hydroxyzine pamoate (Vistaril) and hydroxyzine hydrochloride (Atarax). Anecdotally, the pamoate form is claimed to be the more effective anxiolytic, but just how true this is remains a matter of debate in forums
    .

    It's been a week now since I had the last rivotril and I haven't had another funny turn since. I'm hoping I'm over the worst of it now.
    Clonazepam has a much longer half-life than alprazolam so generally is easier to quit.

    As I said previously, I've been through benzo withdrawal before and there was no let up with it. I had it constantly, 24/7, for a very long time. Don't want to go back there again
    Did you wean off from alprazolam, or from a longer half-life BZD? Switching to diazepam and weaning off it is usually less traumatic.
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    The opinions expressed above are based on my observations and, where applicable, interpretation of cited data and are general in nature. Consult your physician before acting on anything stated.

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