Advice on benzo taper

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For over three years i have had depression based anxiety. Body rejected the anti depressants so I am left by psychiatrist with diazepam.  I have taken 5mg at night for four years, sleep is one of my problems and it seemed to help.  I also take 2 or 4mg in daytime as i get agitated.  I am finding i am  waking agitated and taking another 2mg now and i am feeling the need for more.  Can anyone suggest how to deal with this problem before it gets worse?  GP just keeps prescribing to try to keep me level.  I dont think its the answer.  Tried cbt 20sessions but had to take diazepam before i even got there. Didnt help. I am very worried.

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  • Posted

    Hi Ann,

    You are right to be worried. I have been taking diazepam for 22 years, only now managing to taper off them very slowly under the supervision of my GP and addiction specialist.

    I would suggest that you go back to your GP and voice your concerns, they should not keep prescribing them as they lose their effect and your body will get used to one dose and want more and more. Highly addictive and vile drugs they are and should be used for short periods only.

    Please get help and do not under any circumstances stop them suddenly , a slow taper is needed.

    Best of luck......

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    • Posted

      I am using 5mg at night for four years, and was managing with 2mg now 4mg in day. I am finding waking early now needing to take some, trying to keep it low at 2mg but im feeling terrible an needing another 2mg as i get up, the days are long and hard.  I see you have been on them a long time and have a specialist helping you taper.  The psychiatrist i have been sent to just said take up to 6mg in day and keep going.  He doesnt seem to see i need to try to lower.  I need some support and i dont know if its from him or maybe another med to help, do you take anything else?
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    • Posted

      Hi Ann,

      I understand your situation. It is a hard road to reduce without help. I would go back to your psychiatrist and make it clear that you want to reduce.

      The need for a slow taper is essential as I know to my peril when it was done too fast a few years ago.

      I think you may be trying to reduce a little to fast, guidance is out there. local drug and alcohol services could help. But please seek some help and don't be too hard on yourself.

      I am reducing at a rate of 1mg/day per month. So I am on 13mg/day this month and next month it will be 12mg/day.

      I do not take any other meds except the essential thyroxine for underactive thyroid and the occasional tummy medication .I do have other health issues  , have tried anti-depressants in the past but hated the effect they had, so I stopped them myself.

      I wish you well, there is a lot of help out there in the form of benzo sites, this one is particularly good.

      A lot of others out there have gone along the same route and there are many success stories.

      Wishing you the best of luck

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    • Posted

      Your story is of great help. I am hoping to taper .5 per night for a while to see how it goes but i still feel the need in daytime just now.  Success stories are helpful. Like you i tried anti deps but had to stop, bad side effects couldnt cope with. Much better in that way now but now addicted/tolerant to diazepam.  Pm me if it helps we can keep in touch.
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    • Posted

      It looks like you havent signed up for pm so i cant do that till you put it on your profile.  Ican pm others but for some reason its not coming up with yours?
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  • Posted

    Google the 'Ashton Manual'.

    It is a document written by Professor Heather Ashton called Benzodiazepines, how they work & how to withdraw.

    I made a tapering schedule for my husband using the manual and showed it to his GP. We are now following it.

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    • Posted

      thank you. i have got a copy. i am not sure how easily i will manage drops when at moment i seem to need more rather than less. going down from 10 mg per day do you think .5mg per night would help?

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