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Ativan (lorazepam) Withdrawal Symptoms

lorazepam ativan problematic withdrawal symptomsAtivan withdrawal symptoms (generic lorazepam) are extremely problematic for many persons. According to published medical research by Ashton, Brett, and Lader, benzodiazepines such as Ativan should, in the vast majority of cases, be prescribed for short-term use only. However, even after short-term use, Ativan withdrawal can still be problematic.7-9

Medical regulators around the world have reduced the recommended window for a lorazepam prescription to extend no longer than 2-4 weeks. This is due to the well-recognized, severe risk of becoming drug-dependent, most notably when used longer than this time frame.1,10

However, the FDA drug label states that lorazepam withdrawals such as rebound insomnia can occur even after a single week’s use of lorazepam. In general, the more rapid the rate of Ativan withdrawal, and the greater the dosage and duration of medication use, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms will likely be. Below is a summary of the most common Ativan withdrawal symptoms.5,11,12

Ativan withdrawal symptoms can include:
  • Rebound insomnia — often worsened compared to pre-treatment levels
  • Rebound anxiety — often worsened
  • Rebound depression — often worsened
  • Convulsions
  • Confusion, cognitive impairment, memory loss
  • Derealization/depersonalization — the feeling of being detached from one’s surroundings, or from one’s own identity
  • Sweating
  • Tingling or numbness in the extremities
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia), touch (hyperreflexia), and noise (hyperacusis)
  • Headache
  • Tension, irritability
  • Restlessness, agitation
  • Tachycardia, heart palpitations
  • Panic attacks
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Delusions, hallucinations, perception changes
  • Tremors, especially in the hands, shaking, involuntary movements
  • Nausea, vomiting, dry-retching
  • Muscle cramping, abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Hyperthermia (overheating, fever)
  • Dizziness, vertigo

Unless medically directed by a hospital, never abruptly stop benzodiazepines that have been in regular use, but do a gradual gentle Ativan withdrawal under medical supervision.14 Abruptly stopping Ativan or other benzodiazepines may result in seizure or death, especially if they have acclimated to using it over a longer duration. It is much safer and easier for the body and mind to approach a gradual lorazepam withdrawal.

Benzodiazepines are also known to have a number of PAWS13 or post-acute withdrawal symptoms that can linger long after the drug has been stopped.

Lingering Ativan withdrawals may include:
  • Return of anxiety and/or depression
  • Return of sleep difficulties — also called rebound insomnia
  • Mood swings, crying spells, irritability
  • Restlessness, agitation
  • Lack of focus, cognitive impairments
  • Tremors, shakiness
  • Cravings
  • Movement disorders such as dystonia — repetitive twisting or contortion of feet, hands, and other muscle groups

Physicians dedicate years to their medical training, yet the horrible truth is that med school does not adequately instruct how to help someone through lorazepam or Ativan withdrawal.1,2 Doctors are very often forced into the default position of continuing to prescribe a drug that masks symptoms for a short time, if at all.

Yet, considerable harm can ensue. Like all benzodiazepines, the health risks associated with Ativan and Ativan withdrawal are extremely worrisome. The reactions during Ativan or lorazepam withdrawal can be so hard to bear that a person may feel it’s a hopeless situation. All too often, this causes a person to go back on medication that they don’t want to take.

Do Your Symptoms Require Lorazepam?
getting off lorazepam
Alternative to Meds has been able to help thousands of clients struggling with benzodiazepine withdrawal to get better. Over the past nearly 20 years, we have accumulated a wealth of published evidence regarding our success. Some people seem to be able to miraculously slide off of benzodiazepines, whereas others have a dreadful time trying. It could be that some persons have sensitivity issues related to damaged neurochemistry.6 Dysfunctional neurochemistry can be remedied without pain or discomfort by cleaning out accumulated toxins, drug residues, etc., and at the same time rebuilding healthy neurotransmitters via corrected diet and supplementation. This makes a huge difference. Each person is beautifully unique, however, and must receive an individualized lorazepam withdrawal program that reflects that fact well.
This video is of a woman who withdrew from benzodiazepines and antidepressants while at Alternative to Meds Center. She came to us for help after having lost her ability to work, take care of herself, and was barely able to walk.

We invite you to watch and listen to her incredible story of recovery. She now practices as a licensed counselor and has a very robust life!

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You probably already know the dark side of this drug. Benzodiazepines are notoriously more difficult to withdraw from than heroin.

And, trying to live life on benzos can create a catastrophe.

Please watch the videos you see here or call us to get hope for your situation.

Did your doctor cover these items BEFORE prescribing lorazepam?

Lorazepam, sold under the brand name Ativan, is a potent, tranquilizer that induces sedation and muscle relaxation. Ativan, like all benzo drugs, is recommended for short-term use only, to avoid dependence, which can develop quickly. Despite the recommendations, many doctors continue to prescribe Ativan or lorazepam far longer than the recommended time frame without advising of the potential consequences of Ativan withdrawal, which can have disastrous consequences for their patients. Benzo prescriptions have continued to soar, despite cautions given by drug regulators and clinical researchers.38

Prescribing Best Practices

Before prescribing, physicians are encouraged to employ guidelines that they have been directed to follow, which include the following prescribing best practices: 1,15

  • Take full history including alcohol or other drug use, licit and illicit.
  • The patient must be informed of the potential adverse effects of benzodiazepines.
  • Search for and treat underlying causes before prescribing.
  • Explore and discuss referrals to other therapies or types of services.
  • Explore and discuss alternative types of therapies or treatments.
  • Explore, discuss, and consider the possibility of the patient delaying the prescription until the next visit.
  • Benzodiazepines should not be prescribed for more than a few weeks.

What Is Ativan (lorazepam) Used For?

Ativan is used as a potent short-term tranquilizer for a variety of purposes. The drug is fast-acting and produces a drowsy, calming, and mildly euphoric effect as a result of depression of the central nervous system.

Ativan is short-acting benzo. If someone takes it at night, it can be that by morning they are no longer feeling the sedating effects. Especially for people who experience daytime anxiety, this can create a rollercoastering effect of inter-dosing lorazepam withdrawal manifestations. Should this be occurring, the tendency may be for the practitioner to include daytime dosing. It is for this reason that Ativan is a poor choice for long-standing pre-existing anxiety. The person with pre-existing anxiety could quickly find themselves in a spot where they are taking the medication 3 or 4 times a day, and no clear way out of this situation.16

Medical Uses for Ativan

Lorazepam may prevent seizures during alcohol detox, and reduce discomfort during opiate withdrawal, and before surgery or dental work. Doctors prescribe Ativan to treat insomnia.17

Physicians often prescribe Ativan off-label to help with nausea, a common reaction to chemotherapy, and for a condition called psychogenic catatonia. Catatonia is a broad diagnostic term affecting up to 20% of psychotic persons in inpatient treatment settings. Catatonia patients may exhibit multiple symptoms such as mutism, stupor, grimacing, posturing, and other unusual symptoms. In this set of persons, benzodiazepines do not have a sedative effect, but paradoxically, 60-80% of these patients if given benzodiazepines through IV become more alert, and more interactive.18,19

Lorazepam and Opiates – Deadly Duo

Lorazepam is sometimes abused by opiate users because combining these two drugs augments the euphoric effects, although the practice is dangerous and often leads to overdose, coma, or death.

Another form of abuse is using lorazepam or Ativan on a victim of “date rape” or even robbery, due to the drug’s ability to induce a trance-like state of non-resistance and amnesia.20,21

What is a Natural Substitute for Ativan?

There are many natural nutritional and herbal remedies that have been found to have similar properties to Ativan, which improve sleep and provide relief from stress, depression, and anxiety, but without negative characteristics or harsh reactions.

Some examples of these aids can include:
  • Nutritional GABA 28
  • Amino acids such as taurine, glycine, L-lysine, L-theanine, 5-HTP, etc. 29,30
  • Magnesium 31
  • Diet modification includes fermented foods, probiotics, and prebiotics to support microbiome health, which in turn supports mental and physical health.32

Our Ativan alternatives page describes more examples in greater detail.

How Habit-Forming Is Ativan?

Ativan is classified by the DEA as a Schedule IV drug, described as having a lower risk for abuse than Schedule II or III drugs such as opioids or ketamine, but more addictive than cough syrup with codeine, or antidiarrhea drugs.34

However, it is well-established that benzodiazepines are highly addictive and according to clinical research published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, benzodiazepines should not be prescribed to anyone who has a history of drug or alcohol use disorder.33

Additional research out of Germany showed that between 35% and 40% of chronic benzodiazepine users become drug-dependent. As underscored in the DEA schedule, populations that have a history of turning to drugs or alcohol are at high risk if taking lorazepam and similar benzos.35

Ativan Alternative Names and Slang

Lorazepam is a generic drug that is sold under the brand name Ativan. It is often referred to in street slang 22 where the drug is used in non-clinical settings for getting high or for self-medicating. Here are some of the drug’s nicknames:

  • Tranks
  • Benzos
  • Nerve Pills
  • Downers

Strategies to Quit Ativan (lorazepam)

Withdrawal from Ativan is safest when done slowly; giving the body a chance to stabilize and adjust to incremental reductions over adequate time.

As mentioned earlier, benzodiazepines should be prescribed for 2-4 weeks maximum, but long-term use is still prevalent. Long-term use of benzodiazepines may require inpatient treatment for withdrawal. When the time comes to begin the detox process, a clinic or setting that can provide close and careful medical monitoring is recommended.

Handling Ativan’s Short Half-life in Withdrawal

Lorazepam or Ativan discontinuation may manifest a certain complication; due to the drug’s short half-life. This means withdrawal can come on quite rapidly. A pragmatic approach might be to spread the dosing out so that it is being administered three or four times over a day, to limit withdrawal effects between dosing. Speak to your prescriber about using a stair-step-down dosing strategy, to gradually reduce the dosage.

An example of this approach you can discuss with your prescriber might be:

  • 1mg Ativan daily, split into 4x.25mg dosings throughout the day. Dropping one of the doses to .125 (half) would be a reasonable approach to discuss with your doctor.
  • Once stabilized, continue to drop each of the dosings to .125mg, one step at a time.
  • Over the course of four reductions, the person would be at .5mg total daily.
  • Once stabilized, then consider dropping the mid-day dose.
  • For the next dosage adjustment, pick another dose to eliminate, and continue this process until medication-free.

In some cases, temporary bridge drugs like Trileptal or Gabapentin can soften the Ativan discontinuation process.

Another much different approach might be switching to Valium, as it is longer acting. Not everyone reacts to these two drugs equally, and there may be a crossover reaction so requires attentive monitoring.

Discuss these suggestions with your treating physician. The above information does not in any way represent what you should do in your case but does provide possible talking points between you and your doctor. Each person’s situation brings unique challenges and so requires the guidance of an experienced and trusted medical professional to determine the correct strategy.

These problems may challenge the entire family. Consider residential treatment for Ativan withdrawal, as it may significantly ease what you and your family may go through during this difficult time.

Ativan Withdrawal (lorazepam) FAQs

The following topics relate to the most searched-for and frequently asked questions about Ativan and Ativan withdrawal

For more information contact your primary or prescribing physician, or contact us for more information which we can supply on request.

How Do Benzodiazepines Work?

Lorazepam, like all benzodiazepines, is thought to enhance the effects of a natural neurotransmitter called GABA. The effect that is produced is a slowing of the sensory message relay system resident in the central nervous system and brain.9-11,17

This slowing-down effect produces a calm trance-like mental state.

Ativan induces an artificial feeling of well-being, mild euphoria, drowsiness, and relaxation of muscle tension.

Is Ativan a Narcotic?

Drug regulators classed Lorazepam as a benzodiazepine, and placed it on the list of controlled substance medications. In medical terms, a narcotic is an addictive substance that dulls the sensation of pain, induces sleep, or a comatose state. However, in legal terms, “narcotic” implies illegality.23

Therefore a controlled substance can induce narcotic effects, but because it is legal to prescribe, it is not referred to as a narcotic drug. Whether obtained legally or otherwise, Ativan withdrawal requires specialized treatment for success.

What’s the Difference between Ativan (lorazepam) and Xanax©?

There are similarities and differences between Ativan and Xanax. They are both benzodiazepines, and both are classified as controlled substance medications used in the treatment of psychiatric conditions, insomnia, prescribed as muscle relaxants, benzodiazepines differ

Both drugs affect the GABA neurotransmitters, inducing a slowing or calming of the CNS.
They are also both highly addictive and create similar adverse effects, including cravings.

The main difference between Ativan and Xanax involves the time it takes for each drug to leave the system. The half-life of both drugs is short, but Ativan leaves the body quicker than Xanax.

Certain other medications interact with Xanax but do not react with lorazepam, and possibly vice versa. Always inform your prescriber if you are taking other medications or substances, to avoid such complications.2,5,24

Can You Overdose on Ativan?

Yes. Ativan is a powerful sedating drug that has a depressant effect on the CNS. The CNS controls breathing, and heart rate, which are necessary to live. When these become overly sedated, coma or death can occur.5,17

Taking too much Ativan or mixing it with alcohol or other CNS depressants can result in an overdose, requiring medical intervention to prevent a fatality. Since lorazepam impairs memory, there is a greater chance of accidental overdose or missing doses that may lead to Ativan withdrawal reactions.27

Risks of Ativan / Lorazepam

Doctors prescribe benzodiazepines more frequently than most other drugs, despite their highly addictive characteristics. Ativan withdrawal requires careful and precise monitoring. Rising statistics show there is a growing number of people seeking help after benzodiazepine use both in the US and around the world.25

Lorazepam withdrawal management (as for all benzodiazepines) requires careful medical oversight, as the withdrawals can be coupled with intense cravings for the drug. The risk is high for adverse withdrawal symptoms which can be overwhelming and even deadly, especially where support is not adequately provided to soften the process.5

Always seek medical attention and guidance for managing Ativan withdrawals.

Lorazepam Withdrawal and Removal of Toxins

There has been success regarding the extraction of excitotoxins, like heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides that we have been commonly exposed to.

One type of pesticide, called organophosphates, kills pests by putting their nervous system into overdrive via overstimulation of its acetylcholine receptors.

Toxic Chemicals Affect Human Health

Toxic chemicals may cause similar reactions in the human body as well. Like the fate of the poisoned pest, similar chemical exposures may over-stimulate acetylcholine receptors in the human brain and CNS.3

A poison or pesticide kills pests by attacking the pest’s nervous system and leaving it in a state of twitches and uncontrolled movements as it begins to die. A close parallel exists in humans, because, like the pest, we also have acetylcholine receptors. The liver, in humans, clears some of this toxic burden, so we typically experience a different outcome than a grasshopper.  Yet, a person’s genetic dispositions can contribute to similar effects as are seen in the spasmodic movements and twitches or a poisoned, dying pest.

Researchers have examined two toxic substances, in particular, Aspartame© and MSG, in relation to causing synaptic over-firing.

According to one research group studying the over-firing phenomena,

“This is because aspartic acid (from aspartame) and glutamic acid (from MSG) can both stimulate a receptor in the brain called the NMDA receptor (n-Methyl-d-aspartate). Chronic overstimulation of the NMDA receptor over time is neurotoxic.” 4

The cumulative and very real effects of organophosphates and other environmental toxins need more rigorous study.  For some, clearing a body burden of neurotoxins may be the only way to find relief from anxiety and nervous system over-stimulation. These patients typically present as those who enjoyed a lifetime of balance and then slowly began to degenerate into anxiety and/or insomnia. These important and useful facts can contribute to a successful Ativan withdrawal and recovery.

Recovery from Ativan Withdrawal is Different at Alternative to Meds Center

Ativan withdrawal doesn’t have to be painful, torturous, or unsustainable. Clinical studies show that psychological and other non-medication-based interventions provide more effective treatment than merely substituting one drug for another. Perhaps in desperation, some rehab programs opt for a drug like flumazenil that shuts down benzo receptors within minutes, much like Narcan shuts down opioid receptors in reversing an opioid overdose. But doing so can cause seizures, convulsions, panic attacks, and other harsh withdrawal symptoms, according to the drug’s label.36,37

Even the FDA advises against using such drug interventions for benzodiazepine withdrawal in patients who have developed dependence. And we agree that this is not the path to successful recovery.

ativan withdrawal sedona drug rehabAlternative to Meds Center’s calm and measured approach has taken the lead in providing the best and most comprehensive holistic program for lorazepam withdrawal and recovery. During Ativan withdrawal, the center uses lab testing, neurotoxin removal, CBT and other counseling services, Equine-assisted therapy, therapeutic massage and other spa services, neurotransmitter rehabilitation, nebulized glutathione treatments, IV and NAD therapy, orthomolecular diet correction, yoga, Qi Gong, art therapy, acupuncture, holistic pain management, holistic medically managed discontinuation, and many others. You can view more details about services at Alternative to Meds on our services overview pages.

The center delivers inpatient services in our pristine and comfortable facility, with over 50 licensed staff to assist our clients.

Please contact us at Alternative to Meds Center to find out how our Ativan withdrawal program could help you or your loved one to achieve your long-term goals for success and renewed natural mental health.

1. “Benzodiazepines: Good Practice Guidelines for Clinicians” Dept of Health, Government of Ireland [published online] 2002 Dec 10, updated 2019 Jul 10 [cited 2023 May 8]

2. Miller NS, Sheppard LM. The role of the physician in addiction prevention and treatment. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 1999 Jun;22(2):489-505. doi: 10.1016/s0193-953x(05)70089-7. PMID: 10385946. [cited 2023 May 8]

3. Keeley L “7. Acetylcholinesterase and Insecticide Inhibition” YouTube video, 2011 Oct 26 [cited 2023 May 8]

4. Guillory G MD “Aspartame and MSG Increase Risk of Serious Illness” TheCareGroupPC [Internet] 2018 May 15 [cited 2023 May 8]

5. FDA Label Ativan (lorazepam) tablets. [revised 9/16]. [cited 2023 May 8]

6. Ashton H, “Benzodiazepines: How they Work and How to Withdraw” August 2002 [online] [cited 2023 May 8]

7. Ashton H. Guidelines for the rational use of benzodiazepines. When and what to use. Drugs. 1994 Jul;48(1):25-40. doi: 10.2165/00003495-199448010-00004. PMID: 7525193. [cited 2023 May 8]

8. Brett J, Murnion B. Management of benzodiazepine misuse and dependence. Aust Prescr. 2015;38(5):152-155. doi:10.18773/austprescr.2015.055 [cited 2023 May 8]

9. Lader M. Benzodiazepines revisited–will we ever learn? Addiction Journal. 2011 Dec;106(12):2086-109. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03563.x. Epub 2011 Oct 17. PMID: 21714826. [cited 2023 May 8]

10. Schweizer E, Rickels K. Benzodiazepine dependence and withdrawal: a review of the syndrome and its clinical management. Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl. 1998;393:95-101. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1998.tb05973.x. PMID: 9777054. [cited 2023 May 8]

11. Gentile JP, Snyder M, Marie Gillig P. STRESS AND TRAUMA: Psychotherapy and Pharmacotherapy for Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder. Innov Clin Neurosci. 2014 Jul;11(7-8):37-41. PMID: 25337444; PMCID: PMC4204471. [cited 2023 May 8]

12. Pétursson H. The benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. Addiction Journal. 1994 Nov;89(11):1455-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.1994.tb03743.x. PMID: 7841856. [cited 2023 May 8]

13. Ashton H. Protracted withdrawal syndromes from benzodiazepines. J Subst Abuse Treat. 1991;8(1-2):19-28. doi: 10.1016/0740-5472(91)90023-4. PMID: 1675688. [cited 2023 May 8]

14. Alexander B, Perry PJ. Detoxification from benzodiazepines: schedules and strategies. J Subst Abuse Treat. 1991;8(1-2):9-17. doi: 10.1016/0740-5472(91)90022-3. PMID: 1675694. [cited 2023 May 8]

15. Vicens C, Fiol F, Llobera J, Campoamor F, Mateu C, Alegret S, Socías I. Withdrawal from long-term benzodiazepine use: randomised trial in family practice. Br Journal of Gen Pract. 2006 Dec;56(533):958-63. PMID: 17132385; PMCID: PMC1934057. [cited 2023 May 8]

16. Benzodiazepine Information Coalition, “Interdose Withdrawal.” ND [published online N.D.] [cited 2023 May 8]

17. Ghiasi N, Bhansali RK, Marwaha R. Lorazepam. [Updated 2021 Feb 17]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. [cited 2023 May 8]

18. Salam SA, Kilzieh N. Lorazepam treatment of psychogenic catatonia: an update. Journal Clin Psychiatry. 1988 Dec;49 Suppl:16-21. PMID: 3058684. [cited 2023 May 8]

19. Burrow JP, Spurling BC, Marwaha R. Catatonia. [Updated 2021 May 21]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. [cited 2023 May 8]

20. Gautam L, Sharratt SD, Cole MD. Drug facilitated sexual assault: detection and stability of benzodiazepines in spiked drinks using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. PLoS One. 2014;9(2):e89031. Published 2014 Feb 19. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089031 [cited 2023 May 8]

21. Scott-Ham M, Burton FC. Toxicological findings in cases of alleged drug-facilitated sexual assault in the United Kingdom over a 3-year period. J Clin Forensic Med. 2005 Aug;12(4):175-86. doi: 10.1016/j.jcfm.2005.03.009. PMID: 16054005. [cited 2023 May 8]

22. National Center for Biotechnology Information (2021). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 3958, Lorazepam. Retrieved August 2, 2021 from [cited 2023 May 8]

23. DEA authors, “Drug Scheduling.” [internet] [cited 2023 May 8]

24. FDA Drug Label “Xanax” [internet ] [cited 2023 May 8]

25. Schiralli V, McIntosh M. Benzodiazepines: are we overprescribing?Can Fam Physician. 1987;33:927-934. [cited 2023 May 8]

26. Kaufmann CN, Spira AP, Alexander GC, Rutkow L, Mojtabai R. Emergency department visits involving benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine receptor agonists. Am J Emerg Med. 2017;35(10):1414-1419. doi:10.1016/j.ajem.2017.04.023 [cited 2023 May 8]

27. Sellers EM, Schneiderman JF, Romach MK, Kaplan HL, Somer GR. Comparative drug effects and abuse liability of lorazepam, buspirone, and secobarbital in nondependent subjects. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1992 Apr;12(2):79-85. PMID: 1573044. [cited 2023 May 8]

28. Hepsomali P, Groeger JA, Nishihira J, Scholey A. Effects of Oral Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Administration on Stress and Sleep in Humans: A Systematic ReviewFront Neurosci. 2020;14:923. Published 2020 Sep 17. doi:10.3389/fnins.2020.00923 [cited 2023 May 8]

29. Ogawa S, Ota M, Ogura J, Kato K, Kunugi H. Effects of L-theanine on anxiety-like behavior, cerebrospinal fluid amino acid profile, and hippocampal activity in Wistar Kyoto rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2018 Jan;235(1):37-45. doi: 10.1007/s00213-017-4743-1. Epub 2017 Oct 3. PMID: 28971241. [cited 2023 May 8]

30. Koochakpoor G, Salari-Moghaddam A, Keshteli AH, Afshar H, Esmaillzadeh A, Adibi P. Dietary intake of branched-chain amino acids in relation to depression, anxiety and psychological distress. Nutr J. 2021 Jan 29;20(1):11. doi: 10.1186/s12937-021-00670-z. PMID: 33514378; PMCID: PMC7847030.[cited 2023 May8]

31. Schwalfenberg GK, Genuis SJ. The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare. Scientifica (Cairo). 2017;2017:4179326. doi:10.1155/2017/4179326 [cited 2023 May 8]

32. Järbrink-Sehgal E, Andreasson A. The gut microbiota and mental health in adults. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2020 Jun;62:102-114. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2020.01.016. Epub 2020 Mar 9. PMID: 32163822. [cited 2023 May 8]

33. DuPont RL. “Should Patients With Substance Use Disorders Be Prescribed Benzodiazepines?” No. J Addict Med. 2017 Mar/Apr;11(2):84-86. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000291. PMID: 28301369. [cited 2023 May 8]

34. DEA Drug Classification Schedule [online] [cited 2023 May 8]

35. Meier PJ, Ziegler WH, Neftel K. Benzodiazepine–Praxis und Probleme ihrer Anwendung [Benzodiazepine–practice and problems of its use]. Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1988 Mar 19;118(11):381-92. German. PMID: 3287602. [cited 2023 May 8]

36. FDA Drug label Romazicon (flumazenil injection) approval 1998, Revised Feb. 2007 [cited 2023 May 8]

37. Hood SD, Norman A, Hince DA, Melichar JK, Hulse GK. Benzodiazepine dependence and its treatment with low dose flumazenil. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2014 Feb;77(2):285-94. doi: 10.1111/bcp.12023. PMID: 23126253; PMCID: PMC4014019.[cited 2023 May 8]

38. Agarwal SD, Landon BE. Patterns in Outpatient Benzodiazepine Prescribing in the United States. JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Jan 4;2(1):e187399. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.7399. Erratum in: JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Mar 1;2(3):e191203. PMID: 30681713; PMCID: PMC6484578. [cited 2023 May 8]

Originally Published Sep 13, 2018 by Diane Ridaeus

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Michael Loes, M.D.


Dr. Michael Loes is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Pain Management and Addiction Medicine. He holds a dual license in Homeopathic and Integrative Medicine. He obtained his medical doctorate at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1978. Dr. Loes performed an externship at the National Institute of Health for Psychopharmacology. Additionally, he is a well-published author including Arthritis: The Doctor’s Cure, The Aspirin Alternative, The Healing Response, and Spirit Driven Health: The Psalmist’s Guide for Recovery. He has been awarded the Minnesota Medical Foundation’s “Excellence in Research” Award.

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