lorazepam and RLS

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peanut1
Posts: 291
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:06 am

lorazepam and RLS

Postby peanut1 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:16 am

I am seriously needing either an antidepressant or anti anxiety. Do you know if Lorazepam (formerly Ativan) works with RLS? I was looking for the drug list they used to have and did not see it. I was also thinking about calling the foundation to see which benzodiazepams and opioids work with RLS, but didn't see anything. Feedback appreciated. Thank you!

badnights
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Re: lorazepam and RLS

Postby badnights » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:59 am

Hey peanut. I can only say what I have read in various places - lorazepam is good for anxiety and will help sleep as well, but may cause too much drowsiness - be sure that the RLS/WED symptoms are controlled first. I am not familiar with other anxiety meds nor how they affect RLS/WED (if at all), but Dr B has a list here: http://www.rlshelp.org/rlsrx.htm#Sedatives

Opioids don't help with anxiety or depression.

As for ADs, as you probably know already, it seems to be a personal thing - what exacerbates RLS/WED in one person might not in another. Dr B has a list at http://www.rlshelp.org/rlsrx.htm#Antidepressant
Beth - Wishing you all restful sleep tonight
WED/RLS AUGMENTATION:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6532&p=61601#p61601
Discussion Board Moderator's posts don't reflect the RLS Foundation's opinion & are not medical advice

2BassetMom
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Location: Idaho

Re: lorazepam and RLS

Postby 2BassetMom » Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:41 am

I have been on Clonazepam for 2 months. My primary care doctor prescribed it to see if it would calm my rls. It makes me sleepy but I still wake up about 1 1/2 hours later with restless legs. I'm going back in to see him because he said he has other "tricks in his bag" to try. We have ruled out the dopamine agonists because of augmentation. What has given some relief in the past is opioids with muscle relaxants. I can't take the muscle relaxants now because I have A-Fib. I am on oxycodone for a back problem and am slowly being taken off that. It is hard to get any doctor to discuss rls. My primary care doctor seems to care and he is trying to be helpful. Just this week I mentioned to my husband that I feel depressed and need to see my doctor to discuss this. Between the pain in my back and the restless legs I am getting very little sleep. That's my input and I hope someone has more insight.

Rustsmith
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Re: lorazepam and RLS

Postby Rustsmith » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:54 pm

The only one of the classical anti-depressants that is RLS friendly is bupropion (Wellbutrin). However, even the RLS experts agree that it is better to treat the depression first and have you walking around all night with severe RLS than to have a seriously depressed patient with your RLS under control.

With that said, if you live in a state where you have legal access to marijuana, then you might find that the THC helps. THC has anti-depressant properties in low doses but can make depression far worse if you use to much (which I have experienced myself). As for anxiety, the CBD marijuana or hemp products are very effective and very quickly treat anxiety.
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

stjohnh
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Re: lorazepam and RLS

Postby stjohnh » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:59 pm

Peanut, Clonazepam is the only benzodiazepine that users here on the RLS Forum say seems to help RLS. Unfortunately it is fairly addictive and quite difficult to get off of and many people don't want to use it because of that. Clonazepam is in a special class even though it is a benzodiazepine because it affects the Gaba receptors.

A more important consideration may be that all benzodiazepines have a tendency to make depression worse, so it's important that you and doctor work out how much depression is the problem and how much anxiety is the problem.

While benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed for insomnia, with the exception of clonazepam, they don't seem to help the sleeping problems that accompany RLS.

2BassetMom,
The depression you were having now may be related to the clonazepam. I would be sure and discuss this with your doctor.
Blessings,
Holland

Stainless
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Re: lorazepam and RLS

Postby Stainless » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:53 pm

Everything they say about dependency and quitting benzodiazepines is more than true. I've been on clonazepam for over 20 years for RLS.

I would try a more holistic approach to anxiety like joining a gym, eat healthy, don't sweat the small stuff. If you need help sleeping try gabapentin.

If you have to use a benzodiazepine, take as little as possible. I use gabapentin to help me do this. Best of luck Peanut.

pamhb
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Location: Canada

Re: lorazepam and RLS

Postby pamhb » Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:17 pm

Clonazepam was, for many years, my very best friend. It has always been a secondary drug for me -- I would use it in conjunction with another drug, such as mirapex, to smooth out the ups and downs of my symptoms, and to control symptoms when I travelled. When I was going through a period of wild symptoms as a result of augmentation, it was the drug that gave me quick relief. While the current theory seems to be that all it does is to improve sleep, that wasn't my experience. It helped control my symptoms.

I was taken off clonazepam as part of a drug washout. And yes, it was a difficult process, but my doctor and I went very slowly in titrating me off the drug, so it was manageable (with some cheerleading from the sidelines towards the end). I now manage without it, but both I and my doctor have a tacit understanding that if all else fails, it will be there as an alternative.

As a word of caution, at one point in time I was on both gabapentin and clonazepam. I was less than thrilled by the results, since the two drugs in combination made me particularly stupid and left me with a drug hangover every day. I would agree that if you can get by with gabapentin alone, it is the better choice. I have also begun working with CBD tincture (a form of medical marijuana), which makes me very, very sleepy :)

Polar Bear
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Re: lorazepam and RLS

Postby Polar Bear » Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:23 pm

My GP has tried just about everything available to help me sleep. Nothing has worked. RLS is almost always controlled but I am only sleeping for about 90 minute cycles, up for an hour - wide awake, back to sleep for hopefully 2 hours and then wide awake again and up for 1, or 2, or more hours. I am never in that sleepy, half asleep dreamy cosy stage. It's sleep and then ... ping.... wide awake and up out of bed within seconds.

At present I'm taking Amitriptyline as a sleep aid, to be taken about 2 hours before going to bed. I don't feel it's doing a lot.

Prior to this it was Gabapentin 300 which didn't help but the dose was I think low. Part of the reasoning for Gaba is that it would also help my fibromyalgia.

Prior to the Gaba it was Clonazepam - it didn't help much and I tried it for several months. Thankfully I didn't have a problem stopping this, sort of reduced it over a week as I went from Clonazepam to Amtriptyline.

Also tried Ambien and Lunesta, neither of which were successful.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

pamhb
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 1:11 am
Location: Canada

Re: lorazepam and RLS

Postby pamhb » Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:45 pm

2BassetMom wrote:I have been on Clonazepam for 2 months. My primary care doctor prescribed it to see if it would calm my rls. It makes me sleepy but I still wake up about 1 1/2 hours later with restless legs. I'm going back in to see him because he said he has other "tricks in his bag" to try. We have ruled out the dopamine agonists because of augmentation. What has given some relief in the past is opioids with muscle relaxants. I can't take the muscle relaxants now because I have A-Fib. I am on oxycodone for a back problem and am slowly being taken off that. It is hard to get any doctor to discuss rls. My primary care doctor seems to care and he is trying to be helpful. Just this week I mentioned to my husband that I feel depressed and need to see my doctor to discuss this. Between the pain in my back and the restless legs I am getting very little sleep. That's my input and I hope someone has more insight.


This is the point in time where you should consider asking for a referral to an RLS specialist. Once you have augmented, your drug choices narrow dramatically. I suffered for two years before I finally reached the specialist I needed to see. For me, the answer was quite simple. I needed to be on a higher dose of oxycodone. I spent two years in hell to get that answer. All of my doctors were kind and wanted to be helpful, but had no in depth experience with severe refractory RLS. I was quite depressed, but it all came down to a lack of sleep. Now that I am sleeping better, I am much more cheerful and feel more like myself.

I also have a hip problem which gives me pain. Have you tried using the Voltarin Extra Strength Cream which you rub into the joint? I find it works quite well for me. I apply the cream before bed, and then ice the joint while I sleep by lying on an ice pack wrapped in a towel. Those two things in combination effectively manage my hip pain. I've also tried the solid form of medical marijuana that you rub on for pain, and it also works quite well. (But you need to live in the right jurisdiction for that solution ....)

peanut1
Posts: 291
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:06 am

Re: lorazepam and RLS

Postby peanut1 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:34 am

I just wrote a long post and it disappeared! :(

I think I want to focus on the anxiety as it's easier to sleep when you are just depressed.

Ann,
Thank you for the great link!

Beth,
Thanks for the new Benzo.

I will get back to all of you soon!

peanut1
Posts: 291
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:06 am

Re: lorazepam and RLS

Postby peanut1 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:14 pm

2Basset,

I would not rely solely on clonazepam. For me, I have to take it with gabapentin or something else if it doesn't work. For some reason taking the 2 drugs don't seem to bother me.

Betty,
It sounds awful what you are going through. I hope you get some reprieve soon. Thank you for the new benzo.

St.John,
Yes, I have been on clonazepam for years (part time or it loses it's effect) only for sleep and RLS though and when things are utterly unbearable I might take it for a day here and there. I don't want to lose it's effect for sleep so I don't use it for the emotional.

Stainless,
If you read my previous posts, I am very into holistic stuff, but it's hard to exercise when you have bad plantar fasciitis so that is not an option. I've learned the hard way: sometimes medication is the way to go.

Rustsmith,
I got a list from the foundation on ADs that could work. Wellbutrin and Pamelor seem to work okay with RLS, but Wellbutrin can impact sleep.

Beth,
Great lists from Dr. b,

Thank you everyone!

leggo_my_legs
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Re: lorazepam and RLS

Postby leggo_my_legs » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:30 pm

Some anti depressants have anti anxiety properties, check with your doc on that one.

I take .5 mg ativan as needed and separately clonazepam .5 mg I think, as needed. About one dose twice a week, maybe less. I take it if I get agitated or suuuper anxious. Ativan doesn't help my pmls and clonazepam is negligible. Each helps with anxiety.

If you take benzos beware of rebound anxiety, which refers to a sudden spike of anxiety at some time after the dose has worn off. This reaction is physiologically related to the med. I don't tend to get it too much.

Also ask your doc about Buspar which is not considered addictive and may help with your anxiety.


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