Crossover to Diazepam

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Well i've been on Zopiclone for about 4 years (buying them on the internet and taking about 4/day) since some traumatic events in my life and last June made an attempt to get off it as the side effects are plain nasty, and they had become a controlled drug so I couldn't buy them. My stupidity entirely. My doctor initially wasn'y very helpful, however recently after much persuasion and the help of another female doctor who was sort of shocked by my being prescribed 4 xops/day, he agreed to follow the Ashton plan crossover.

This has worked better than I'd thought in that instead of feeling withdrawal after 4-6 hrs of the zops, I am now on 2 5mg Diazepam plus 1 7.5gm Zopiclone in the evening and 1 5mg Diazepam in the morning. In a few days I'll drop the zops entirely and go onto 20mg Diazepam a day, followed by a reduction ever 2-3 weeks which will take about 6 months I reckon.

Has anyone done this before? Is it easy to withdraw off diazepam (withdrawing off Zopiclone was impossible because of the immediate short term effects)?

Although I feel much better on the diazepam (like not having to worry about taking pills every 6 hours or so, and the horrid side effects like mettalic taste, strange effects on your bowels, loss of short term memory etc) I'd rather get off them sooner than later!

Any advice appreciated...

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    I wish I could be of more help ..I know about diazepam but not Zopiclone

    To be successful in withdrawing from valium it needs to be done slowly ..it's not easy ...I have never managed it..so I hope some else can be more informative ..bit I must stress that you do it slowly

    good luck 

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  • Posted

    Wow, 4 zop/a day is way too much. You'll have to play smart and do a progressive taper. I have a similair crossover experience. I was taking 3.5 mg of zopiclone before bedtime for 4 months. When I tried to stop, I tapered to 2,5   for a week then I stop completely for 4 days but I could'nt hold up. The withdrawal symptoms were way too intense (insomnia, constant tinnitus, feeling suicidal and depress, rebound anxiety during daytime, dizziness, blablabla). The problem was that I had no realistic strategy/ plan for the withdrawal process. If I could go back in time I would not have taken the 2mg dizazepam for a crossover and would have tried to progressively taper the zopiclone, since I was taking a low dosage (3,5 mg). It is really hard to stop dizapem. For me it is a horrible experience eventho I was prescribed only 2mg for a week, then 1,5 for the next week, then 1mg, then 0,5 for 2 weeks. I've been tapering for the last 2 months and I must say that I went through hell. I'm now at 0,25 for 2 weeks and I still feel like crap on this low dosage. This is my experience of course. I must say that Im really sensitive to medications. So, to answer your question: it is usally not easy to get off diazepam because it is kind of "stronger". But it is logical to use diazepam to help you get off zopiclone. In your case, I think you did the right thing. Get off zopiclone doing the crossover, get stable on the diazepam, then get off it. Do it progressively and don't come to a point were you depend on it. Just taper and be smart about it. Follow your body and you ask help from your doc, as you have done already smile 

    Remember that youre not alone and youre not going crazy smile It will pass eventho its hard and extremely incomfortable. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Keith - I came off Zopiclone in 2012 in about 2 weeks. I then swapped to zimovane instead because I was using zimovane to come off mirtazapine an anti depressant, which actually worked! (sadly I am back on mirtazapine now. I had no side effects coming off Zopiclone whatsoever... I was working in residiential vocational college for disabled people...I had to sleep everyday at 11 and wake at 7 to work.  It was easy to come off this medication - I never even thought the possibility of side effects existed... I noticed the first week on zimovane I would get quite bad headaches and some memory confusion but nothing seroius that I couldnt work or function (and Im a very senstive, worrying neurotic hypchondriac, well used to be anyway). I wonder if my 'body reading' is less sensitive due to having worked in a bar in Mallorca for three years, where copious amounts of drinking were involved when I was in my early 20's, nothing prescribed has ever matched that level of chemically induced sickness for me. I have also worked with people suffering from heroin addiction...I personally have not experienced prescription medications as a serious concern to myself. Until I visisted this site I never thought people were so sensitive to these things. The most toxic medication still seems to be paracetemol.  It may or may not put your mind to rest if you join the 'anxiety' groups - just to see how powerful the mind and anxiety can be in creating imaginary symptoms. This is no way meant to sound patronising, I know anxiety is hell. In all honesty the only thing I have found it impossible to get off of and stay off  - is mirtazapine, an anti-depressant. 
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    • Posted

      I agree with you. worry, fear and anxiety increase all withdrawal symptoms. Do not uderestimate how powerful our mind can be and how it can progressively adapt to almost anything. 
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    • Posted

      yep - I have whilst trying to learn about my social anxiety/agorphobia looked up panic attacks on youtube - people litterally tense up so much they cant get blood to their hands, they hyperventilate and pass out. Let alone health anxiety, where people get convinced their headache is a brain tumour or something, and they get ALL the tests done on the NHS and are told there is nothing wrong but they are still convinced, they are on sites like this nearly all day every day - asking about this pain and that pain. I know because I used to be like that. In the end I realised, life is not worth living if your going to spend every second worrying about it and I just stopped worrying.
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    • Posted

      Nicely said. I think it's tempting to look up all your symptoms on the Net, trying to understand your situation by comparing yours to others. But ya, it's better to focus on the short and long term solutions than overanalyse your body's reactions. Panic doesn't solve anything. It sure is not fun at all.   
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  • Posted

    However I always got my medication as precribed from the Drs, Im not sure if what you get over the internet is as pure or pure at all. 
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