Diazepam withdrawal

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Hi - I asked my doctor to help me wean off of temazepam as I`d built a tolerance and they were`nt working anymore. I was supposed to take 20 mg a night but found myself taking 30 mg - and so my prescription would run out early.

My Dr crossed me over to diazepam and I`m now taking 6 .50 every night. Trouble is I`m having terrible withdrawals - sweating, nausea, tiredness the next day and muscle aches.

  I wonder if anyone is going through the same thing and would like to get in touch to help each other through this?

TIA

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  • Posted

    Joy, I have been on Valium for a long time! Started on 5 mg, then reduced several years ago to 2 mg. I was fine. Not symptomatic at all. Almost two years ago I started using Ambien because of really bad sleep issues.Dizziness and even further worsening insomnia ensued. My mistake was that I continued to take Ambien not realizing that possibly toxic effects were occurring with the valium.Bottom line is I crossed over to valium about 4 months ago. So that I was then on 4 mg. now I am on 3.8 mg, soon to be 3.6 mg. I am tapering about .1 mg every 10 days or 7 1/2 percent each month. I have night sweats ,dizziness, tingling, numbness in toes,some in fingers, sometimes muscle pain ,head pressure and pulsing.these are the every day symptoms. Sometimes I have other ones also,like a jolt of electric shock! Somehow the ambien combined with the valium brought on a tide of unbelievable symptoms. Believe it or not, I actually om somewhat better these days. Everything is less intense although the same symptoms are there. and there is of course the insomnia. I tried going to a psychiatrist but it doesn't really help to hash this out every week over and over again. I need to just accept that I a symptomatic due to the long years of use in spite of a small dosage.i am hoping that through a slow taper I will start to feel better before I am totally benzo free. Hope this is of help to you! You need to taper slowly regardless of what your doctor says. Hang in there!
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply Lily.  I`m tapering 0.05 mg every week or 10 days depending on how I feel. 

      I`ve had the night sweats all the way through and nausea- but my worse symptom is fatigue. Have you had this ?

      We`ll get there smile

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  • Posted

    Joy,  I am glad to hear that you are on a very slow taper. I have all of your symptoms and more except the nausea which I never experienced. I have extreme fatigue every day but then again this could be due to my sleep or lack of sleep issues.I used to have hyperacusas also.Now that is gone,but tinnitus continues. I took very large cuts in the beginning of my taper per doctor's advice. That essentially was like going cold turkey. Thus the extreme symptoms. I don't think you should have as many symptoms as me since you are taking very small cuts. We're you on your original benzo for a long period of time? 
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    • Posted

      Hi again Lily

      I was taking temazepam for about 8 years, then realised I`d reached a tolerance as I was taking more to get to sleep- then I`d run out before my prescription was due. It was during this time that I woke up dry retching and sweating- the problem was that I had an overactive thyroid being treated at the same time- so the doctor thought it was because my thyroid levels weren`t where they should be.  Anyway this kept happening and eventually my thyroid levels were ok- it was then I saw a duty doctor who asked  how I was using the sleeping pill. I was honest and told him that I`d been a week without any as I`d been taking 30 mg instead of 20 mg. He wrote me a prescription and told me to go home and take 10mg and I was immediatley ok again.

      By now I decided to get off these drugs and looked at the Ashton protocol- went to see my own Dr and he crossed me over to diazepam 10 mg. I was like a zombie on 10 mg so tried 9 mg and the same happened. So I started my taper at 8 mg and have cut down about 1 mg per month since.  

      I think that was a too large cut to begin with and like you experienced, it was a bit like cold turkey.  

      I`ve had thoughts of suicide - although I wont act on them as I love my family too much. The nausea seems to have improved but I `m having muscle pains - but the chronic fatigue is worrying me a lot.

      I make myself do some chores and then end up having to go back to bed and this is basically how I`m spending my days.  Also I`m avoiding my friends as it all seems to much to try and chat to them.

      I`m due to see my Dr tomorrow as he sent me for more blood tests as he didn`t think I should have this exhaustion - but I don`t think he realises just how hard this withdrawal is. 

      So this post has become a bit long- hope you`re coping as best as you can. I`d love to hear from you again x

       

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  • Posted

    Joy,  I too learned more from the Internet than my doctors. The fatigue is due to benzo wd most likely. I am exhausted every day whether I slept well or not. I force myself to take a 3 mile walk in the morning (even though I have dizziness) and then 1 mile in the afternoon. I have avoided social evenings out with friends also. I only go out with family.it would be better to see more people to distract but I don't think our systems can handle too much stimulation. I also find the mall difficult with all the crowds and excess stimulation from products ! However, if you have this difficulty too try to still get out to the mall a few times per week.You don't want to get agoraphobic. The bottom line is there is no easy way to do this and we need to accept that many people have it much worse than us. Some people are bedridden even and really be terrible panic and anxiety. I am told that the mental /emotional stuff is far more difficult than the physical.however, if you can try not to stay in bed too much. I am unable to do too much in the way of chores or housecleaning. I spend most of my time relaxing---- reading about one book per day,cooking meals,grocery shopping. I feel terribly unproductive but have allowed these negative thoughts to drop off too. The less negative the better. Do you have your valium compounded in capsule or liquid and do you take different doses throughout the day? I take a small dose at noon ( .6 mg) and then 3.1 mg at night due to sleep issues. This could explain  why I feel interdosal  wd.
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    • Posted

      Hi Lily thanks for your reply again. I`m not pleased you`re going through the same thing but pleased to have someone to share this with, so thank you. 

      I hope you`re right and the fatigue is withdrawal, I`ll know more tomorrow after seeing my Dr. I walk our dog every morning and afternoon but I don`t do 3 miles- credit to you for that!  We live near some quiet woodland and I take her around a short track, I suppose I walk about 30 mins a day. 

      Its horrible how we`re avoiding our friends but as you say I think the stimulation is too much. I`ll see family too.  One of my daughters went through this herself a few years ago- but she lived further away and never told me much about it at the time in our phone calls. I expect she didn`t want to worry me and to be really honest, I don`t think I would have understood- its not until you suffer it do you understand. She`s since told me that she reduced her diazepam from 40 mg over 3 months and suggested I do the same. I`m not sure about that although we have the same genes- I could be ok and it would get it over with. She said she was ok again one week after her last pill.

      I agree about malls and shops - I used to love shopping but do it all online at the moment but I do make myself go to our local supermarket now and again. Especially when I feel its too much, I make myself go. My daughter did say that she used to feel the same and would go when it was quiet.

      I`m glad you said you don`t do too many chores as that doesn`t make me feel so bad about mine lol. I do spend a lot of time in bed but it`s not how it seems, our bedroom looks out onto the garden and I sit here reading or on my laptop- then I suddenly get up and take the dog or the laundry or dust something smile 

      I`ll take a leaf out of your book and drop the negative thoughts - they`re certainly not helping. I expect you`re the same and would like to do soooo much but our bodies just aren`t willing?

      I take the diazepam as a pill - I`m chopping a 2mg one to make 0.50 and adding 6mg on top of that. I`m planning on dropping the 0.50 tomorrow night. 

      Is there a reason you take .6 mg at noon? My Dr told me to take it all at night - although I`m not sure he knows exactly what he`s doing ?

      Also do you mind my asking where you live Lily? I`m in the UK .

      Hope to hear from you again

      Joy x

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    • Posted

      I meant to add  that I`m sorry to hear about your dizziness and hope this soon goes away for you. Do you cut your dose even though you`re having symptoms?  I have as I keep thinking its best to get it over with....although from what I`ve read it doesn`t exactly work like that. 

      I also read that we will get better.smile

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  • Posted

    Joy,  I live in California. I found that the medical community here understands so little about benzos that it is shocking! They simply deny that there is even benzo withdrawal in spite of all the credible research of Dr Ashton and others. In the UK ,there seems to be a greater awareness of the dangers of benzos so I joined some of your forums. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area next door to Stanford University so I have had access to what is considered top notch practitioners...Very disappointing that they basically had me going CT and didn't even care though my husband is a retired doctor associated with Stanford University Hospital.Where are you in the UK?

    the thing that I've noticed is that it doesn't seem to matter what your genes are. My son has been taking Ambien for years,goes on and off whenever he feels like t and doesn't experience any symptoms. 

    The reason I take the noon dose is that Ashton advises dividing into 3 doses throughout the day but for those who require valium for sleep to take two doses and the larger dose before bedtime!

    i am glad to hear that you are not lying in bed attempting to sleep. I do the same as you except I sit on the sofa with a book or laptop or IPAD.

    If you think that it would be OK to take the leap by making some huge cuts, I would do it and get it out of the way! 

    It did not work for me to make huge cuts of ambien ! That is when the tingles, benzo bloating,etc set in. However, you already are cutting a fair amt each month compared to me and don't have as many symptoms so perhaps you would be OK making bigger cuts. But if you just take your .5 mg cut each ten days, it won't take long will it? I suppose you could try a larger cut and see how it goes? 

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  • Posted

    Joy, I've found that staying longer on the same dose doesn't really help. So,I just make the cut when the time comes. I seem to have the same symptoms every day,sometimes more intense,sometimes less so.But I have stabilized into a situation of an ongoing set of symptoms.

    So,unless you are significantly worse, I would just continue your taper schedule.

    Hope that your doctor's visit is fine for you. I don't think there will anything. It definitely doesn't sound like chronic fatigue syndrome. That is excruciatingly painful I understand !

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    • Posted

      Hi Lily, wow Californa I bet you have great weather. I`m in Norfolk near the sea. Its 8am here and I`ve just got back from my first dog walk of the day and its frosty.

      Anyway I`ve had a thought. I take tramadol for a bad back and my Dr told me to carry on with them as they need tapering also but I`ve had a feeling they haven`t been helping the tiredness. So I`ve been taking one less a day and then  just one pill instead of two and stretching those doses out during the day. So my last dose is now much later. Anyway last night was the first I ever had without night sweats and woke much brighter - then the sweat began!  So I took just one tramadol, the sweats went away and 30 mins after that the tiredness washed over me. I may have hit on something so I`ll mention it to my Dr later. This may not be a good idea but I think I need to reduce those tramadol as well now- I`ve been managing my bad back with visits to a chiro and a tens machine as the tramadol hasn`t been helping anyway. I`ve only carried on taking it because the Dr told me to.

      No I don`t think mine`s chronic fatigue either as I doubt I`d be able to walk the dog. 

      Having a retired Dr for a husband must be really helpful with what you`re going through, mine`s a retired builder - not quite the same lol but handy for house improvements.smile 

      I`ve read that the Dr`s in US insist on CT. I expect Dr Ashton altered the views here, but even so I don`t think my GP knows too much about how hard this can be.

      By the sounds of it your symptoms are waxing and waning, just as Dr Ashton has said it would be, that sounds like you`re recovering smile

      Have you had weird dreams? 

      Mine started out as nightmares but thankfully are getting a bit more pleasant now. I`ve only just realized that its been ages before this that I had dreams. 

      Joy x

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    • Posted

      Hi Lily 

      I`m just back from the docs and my blood results were all ok.  Apart from my thyroid which is still a little bit overactive- this,I believe maybe not helping the tiredness?  Anyway I mentioned the tramadol and the Dr has agreed they`re not helping either, so he`s arranged for me to wean off them. 

      He believes my problems are withdrawal plus my thyroid not being quite right.  He`s also reduced the diazepam to 6 mg. So this should be fun, reducing the tramadol and the diazepam together smile

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  • Posted

    Hi Joy  I was on alepam for 20years and always had withdrawal symptoms  in the afternoons until I said no more. A caring dr helped me give up by substituting gram for gram  with diazepam and just take a little bit less every 2 weeks. For 6 weeks it was a breeze and got down to half a gram then no more.
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  • Posted

    Joy.Maybe your diazepam dose is not strong enough.Each drug uses a different formula to calculate its match.Try a 2nd opinion. Good luck.
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  • Posted

    Joy, so glad to hear that you had negative results from your tests,also that you might have come to a correct analysis of why you are so fatigued. It also could be the interaction of the two drugs. I think as long as you are not weaning off two benzos, you should be ok? Maggie seems to have come off valium with no difficulties, again highlighting an important point about benzo tapering. Each person is an individual so many people can withdraw and not be symptomatic. Maybe you are not symptomatic from benzo tapering at all? And you could try your daughter's suggested plan--- larger cuts to get the whole process over sooner? 

    Yes, we've had great weather--- yesterday was a cold day at 68 F,last week we had days in the 80sF. My sons live in Los Angeles where it has been in the 90s. However, the big problem is no rain this winter!Lucky you to live by the sea! I love the ocean. I also have a home in Hawaii by the ocean! Will be going back there in early June.

    donyou have sleep problems at all or does valium take care of that?

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    • Posted

      Lily, No I don`t have any problem with sleeping, the diazepam usually knocks me out within a few minutes. I do wake really early though. How about you- are you getting insomnia because I heard that`s a common symptom?

      Also I mentioned to my Dr that I`m finding it hard seeing my friends - he asked if I was like this before ----NOPE, I love seeing my friends. He said then its the withdrawal as is anxiety in shops. 

      Joy x

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