Dementia Related Post

The Next Step

Next step in reducing the medication I’m taking.

I take Lorazepam, and this belongs to a group of medicines called benzodiazepines. 

Benzodiazepines act as a sedative – slowing down the body’s functions – and are used for both sleeping problems and anxiety.

They work by increasing the effect of a brain chemical called GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid). GABA reduces brain activity in the areas of the brain responsible for:

  • rational thought
  • memory
  • emotions
  • essential functions, such as breathing

The main effects of benzodiazepines are:

  • sedation
  • reduced anxiety
  • muscle relaxation

Benzodiazepines are very useful in the short term, but they may stop working if you take them continuously for more than a few months. This is because your brain adjusts to their effect, and maybe hypersensitive to natural brain chemicals when they are stopped.

According to the NHS official website, it’s not recommended to use Lorazepam for longer than four weeks. I’ve been taking Lorazepam for years.

It also states that you should tell your doctor straight away if:

  • your breathing becomes very slow or shallow
  • you find it difficult to remember things amnesia
  • you see or hear things, hallucinations
  • you think things that are not true (delusions)
  • you keep falling over
  • you notice mood changes such as talking too much, feeling overexcited, restless, irritable or aggressive

The above are all things I suffer and have suffered for many years.

Some medicines interfere with the way Lorazepam works and increase the chances of you having side effects, such as:

  1. antidepressants and antipsychotics used to treat mental health problems
  2. anticonvulsants used to treat epilepsy
  3. strong painkillers, such as morphine
  4. proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) – medicines for reducing stomach acid, such as omeprazole

My Medication List

  1. Aspirin 75mg 1 daily Heart
  2. Atorvastatin 80mg 1 daily Heart
  3. Bisoprolol 5mg 1 daily Beta Blocker Heart
  4. Candesartan 16mg 1 daily Heart
  5. Bendroflumethiazide 2.5mg I daily Diuretic Heart
  6. Glyceryl Trinitrate 500micrograms when required Heart
  7. Betahistine 16mg 1 – 3 times daily Meniere’s
  8. Cinnarizine 15mg 2- 3 times daily Meniere’s
  9. Lamotrigine 150mg 1 twice daily Anti Epileptic
  10. 10.Levetiracetam 1.5g 1 twice daily Anti Epileptic
  11. Pregabalin 100mg 1 twice daily Nerve Pain. Anxiety & Epilepsy
  12. 12.Mirtazapine 45mg I daily at night Antidepressant
  13. 13.Lorazepam 1mg 1 twice daily Bensodiazepine. Anxiety
  14. 14.Risperidone 0.5mg 1 daily at night Anti psychotic
  15. 15.Venlafaxine 75mg I daily Antidepressant SNRIs
  16. 16.Omeprazole 20mg 1 daily Acid Reduction in stomach
  17. Salbutamol 100micrograms every 4 hours Asthma
  18. 18.Salmeterol 50micrograms 1 twice daily Asthma
  19. 19.Cleaning module 100micrograms 2 twice daily Asthma
  20. 20.Senna 7.5g 1 daily at night Laxative
  21. 21.Ispaghula husk 3.5g 1 twice daily Laxative
  22. 22.Simple Trident T2 Sterile Leg Bag 500ml replace every day
  23. 23.Clear Advantage Sheath replace every day
  24. 24.Micro Enema 5ml every other day

Below is the medication I have managed to stop over the last few years.

  1. Donepezil 10mg 1 daily at night Dementia 
  2. Citalipram 40mg 1 daily at night SSRI Anti Depressant
  3. Gabapentin 300mg 1 – 3 times daily Nerve Pain & Epilepsy
  4. Oramorph 10mg/5ml when required Severe Pain
  5. Zomorph 40mg 1 twice daily Severe Pain

Do I feel better? There is no doubt in my mind that I am feeling and functioning so much better! My only regret is that I didn’t start a long time ago. I think this ridiculous situation should have been picked up and corrected in my so-called medical reviews. I will continue to reduce as much as possible over the next few years too. 

I have now decided that I have to try and stop taking Lorazepam.

I take 1 mg twice a day. I intend to reduce this over the next four months. 

  1. 0.5mg morning and 1mg at night.
  2. 0.5mg morning and 0.5mg at night.
  3. 0mg morning and 0.5mg at night
  4. 0mg morning and night. 

I will record any changes or withdrawal symptoms here. 

Please comment on anything I have said. Thank You!