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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10547
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My Dr put me on 3 mg a day and an Ativan if I have break

Customer Question

My Dr put me on 3 mg a day and an Ativan if I have break thru anxiety. I take 1 mg every 8 hrs. Is this safe
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.
Hello again, I believe I can help you with your question. Ativan is a very potent benzodiazepine that can lessen anxiety, so this is definitely a good medication to treat your break-through anxiety. Ativan is also only effective for around 8 hours, so taking it every 8 hours will provide you with 24 hour coverage to lessen your anxiety, but 3mg/day is a relatively moderate to high dose of this medication. The reason I would be concerned at this moderate to high dose is that Ativan is a very physically addictive medication, so eventually your body will get used to this dose, if taken everyday, and you would have to increase the medication dosage to garner the same benefits. In addition, when you eventually want to stop the medication, you would have to taper off the Ativan very slowly to avoid withdrawal effects, which can very severe if you taper too fast.
So overall Ativan is definitely a safe medication to use and there is nothing wrong with the dose your doctor prescribed for you, but it should either only be used for a short amount of time (6-8 weeks) or it should only be taken as needed to avoid your body becoming too physically addicted to it. Long-term use of a moderate-high dose benzodiazepine (a few years) can cause increased cognitive issues, increased rates of depression, and possibly increased risks of dementia.
I hope this answers your questions and gives you some guidance on this issue. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as I am happy to assist and support you regarding this issue.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I meant 3 mg of klonopin and .5 of ativan. Is the klonopin safe to take 1 mg every eight hours. I very rarely take them ativan.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the clarification. That is not the proper protocol with Klonopin because Klonopin is usually effective for 12 hours as it has a much longer half-life and that means you should typically only take Klonopin twice a day. If you take it three times a day, you may be too sedated and unable to perform daily life tasks to peek efficiency (e.g. walking, chores, working, driving, etc...). So taking the Klonopin three times a day has more potential to over-sedate you. You can ask your doctor to just take 1.5mg of the Klonopin in the morning and 1.5mg of the Klonopin at night, as this would be a more effective regimen for you. Adding .5mg of the Ativan when you need it will not have and adverse effects on your current regimen. Combining the .5mg of Ativan with your Klonopin regimen is perfectly safe and will only increase the anti-anxiety benefits and sedation properties of your regimen.
*****If you are satisfied with my answer, I would truly appreciate it if you can take the time and provide me with a positive rating so that I can receive credit for helping you. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is it dangerous to take this amount
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
Like I said it is a moderate to high dose, so if you take this much of a benzodiazepine (both Klonopin and Ativan) it should only be for the short term. Preferably you want to only take these medications for 6-8 weeks, but if you take them for a few months that is acceptable. Although afterwards you will have to do a slow taper (.25-.5mg reduction of Klonopin every 2 weeks) to avoid withdrawal effects. Now if you are using these medications for the long-term at these doses, your risks of increased cognitive issues, increased rates of depression, being physically addicted to the medication, and possible increased risk of dementia are all possible, which is why I would not recommend using these medications for the long-term (years). As of right now, if you have only been using the Klonopin, and now Ativan, for a few months than you are fine and safe to take this amount.
*****If you are satisfied with my answer, I would truly appreciate it if you can take the time and provide me with a positive rating so that I can receive credit for helping you. Thank you
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I was checking in to see if you have any further questions or concerns that you would like me to address on this issue?
*****If you are satisfied with my answer, I would truly appreciate it if you can take the time and provide me with a positive rating so that I can receive credit for helping you. Thank you

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