How Can I Stop Taking Lorazepam

How Can I Stop Taking Lorazepam

Lorazepam can provide relief for those struggling with anxiety or insomnia, but prolonged use of lorazepam can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms. If you or a loved one is considering how to stop taking lorazepam, we will explore the best practices for tapering off lorazepam, the potential withdrawal symptoms, and the benefits of seeking professional help during the process.

The Benefits of Stopping Lorazepam

Before delving into the process of stopping lorazepam, it's important to understand the benefits of quitting the medication. While lorazepam can provide temporary relief from anxiety and insomnia, prolonged use can have negative effects on both physical and mental well-being. Here are some potential benefits of stopping lorazepam:

  1. Improved Energy and Mental Clarity: Lorazepam can cause drowsiness and cognitive impairment, making it difficult to think clearly and perform daily tasks.
  2. Enhanced Problem-Solving Skills: The sedating effects of lorazepam can delay problem-solving abilities, which can improve once the medication is no longer in the system.
  3. **Regaining Control of Your Life**: Dependence on lorazepam can consume one's thoughts and actions, leading to a constant focus on obtaining and taking the medication. Stopping lorazepam allows individuals to regain control of their lives and focus on healthier pursuits.

The Importance of a Tapering Plan

When it comes to stopping lorazepam, abruptly discontinuing the medication, also known as going "cold turkey," is not recommended. Abrupt cessation can lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and even potentially dangerous complications. Instead, it is crucial to develop a tapering plan in consultation with a healthcare professional. Tapering involves gradually reducing the dosage of lorazepam over a period of time, allowing the body to adjust to lower levels of the medication. This approach minimizes withdrawal symptoms and increases the chances of successfully stopping lorazepam.

Lorazepam Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can vary in intensity and duration depending on factors such as the individual's dosage, duration of lorazepam use, and personal physiology. Some common lorazepam withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations

It's important to note that withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe, and in some cases, individuals may experience protracted withdrawal symptoms that can last for an extended period of time. This emphasizes the need for a carefully planned tapering process to minimize discomfort and ensure a safe withdrawal.

How to Stop Taking Lorazepam: Tapering Schedule

Developing an individualized tapering schedule is key to safely stopping lorazepam. The tapering schedule will depend on factors such as the individual's current dosage, duration of use, and overall health. Here is an example of a tapering schedule that can be adjusted based on an individual's specific needs:

  1. Week 1: Reduce the lorazepam dosage slightly, but not significantly.
  2. Week 2: Decrease the total daily dose by 25%. If taking lorazepam multiple times a day, reduce each dose by 25%.
  3. Week 3: Similar to Week 1, slightly reduce the dosage.
  4. Week 4: Reduce the dosage by 25%, reaching a 50% reduction from the starting dose before tapering.
  5. Weeks 5-8: Maintain the same dosage to allow the body to adjust to the lower dose.
  6. Week 9 and beyond: Every two weeks, further reduce the dosage by 25% until it is safe to stop taking lorazepam entirely.

It is important to note that the tapering schedule may need to be adjusted based on an individual's response to the reduction in dosage. Consulting with a healthcare professional throughout the tapering process is crucial for a successful and safe withdrawal.

Substitution Tapering

In some cases, healthcare professionals may recommend a substitution tapering approach. Do not try to figure this out on your own. Substitution tapering involves switching from lorazepam to a longer-acting benzodiazepine, such as diazepam (Valium). The longer half-life of diazepam allows for a smoother withdrawal process. The substitution tapering method involves converting the lorazepam dosage to an equivalent dose of diazepam and then gradually reducing the diazepam dosage over time. This approach can be beneficial for individuals who may have difficulty tapering off lorazepam directly.

The Role of Medical Supervision

While it is possible to taper off lorazepam under medical supervision, it is strongly recommended to seek professional help during the withdrawal process. Medical supervision provides several advantages, including:

  1. Safe Withdrawal: Healthcare professionals can monitor your progress, adjust the tapering schedule as needed, and provide support to minimize withdrawal symptoms.
  2. Medical Detoxification: In severe cases of lorazepam dependence, medical detoxification may be necessary. This involves receiving 24/7 medical care in a specialized facility to ensure a safe and comfortable withdrawal.
  3. Psychological Support: Withdrawal from lorazepam can be emotionally challenging. Healthcare professionals can provide counseling and therapy to address any underlying issues contributing to the dependence and facilitate a successful recovery.

Additional Support During Lorazepam Withdrawal

In addition to medical supervision, there are various strategies and support systems that can help individuals during the lorazepam withdrawal process. These include:

  1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT can help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with lorazepam use. It provides coping strategies to manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  2. Support Groups: Joining support groups, whether in-person or online, can provide a sense of community and understanding during the withdrawal process. Sharing experiences and receiving support from others who have gone through similar journeys can be invaluable.
  3. Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Engaging in regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, practicing relaxation techniques (such as deep breathing or meditation), and getting sufficient sleep can support overall well-being and aid in the withdrawal process.

Long-Term Recovery and Aftercare

Once an individual successfully withdraws from lorazepam, it is important to continue with ongoing support and aftercare to maintain sobriety and prevent relapse. Aftercare options may include:

  1. Outpatient Treatment: Outpatient programs provide ongoing therapy and support while allowing individuals to live at home and continue with daily responsibilities.
  2. Continued Therapy: Individual therapy, group therapy, and counseling can address underlying issues and provide ongoing support in maintaining a drug-free lifestyle.
  3. Supportive Networks: Building a strong support network of friends, family, and peers who understand the challenges of recovery can be instrumental in long-term success.
  4. Healthy Coping Mechanisms: Developing healthy coping mechanisms and alternative strategies for managing stress and anxiety can reduce the risk of relapse.


In conclusion, stopping lorazepam safely requires careful planning, medical supervision, and a commitment to a comprehensive recovery process. By learning how to stop taking lorazepam through the development of a personalized tapering schedule, seeking professional help, and utilizing various support systems, individuals can successfully withdraw from lorazepam and embark on a path of long-term recovery. Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and with the right support, it is possible to overcome lorazepam dependence and regain control of your life.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your medication regimen. This article is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, seek help from a qualified healthcare provider or a reputable treatment center.


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