Getting off diazepan safely when seizure prone

Posted , 5 users are following.


New here and could really do with some advice.

I'm in the process of getting off diazepan (been on approx 10mgs per day for a year).

I'm a recovering alcoholic and withdrawal seizure prone - the thing that terrifies me the most is the possibility of a seizure whilst withdrawing from diazepan.

Over the last two weeks I've come down from 10mgs to 3mgs per day, it's these last few mgs that I've started to struggle with - already i am getting withdrawal symptoms such as tinnitus, nightmares, increased agitation, etc.....

I was originally given the diazepan to help me cope with anxietyafter a traumatic labour/birth with my son 15 months ago.

I've had a few relapses over the year with alcohol also due to PND, so I need to factor this in as I've used Chordiazapoxide each time to detox as well as diazepan.

I managed quite well getting down to 5mgs, getting down to and stabilising at 3mgs of diazepan has been a huge struggle however, despite my Gp prescribing propranolol to help.

I'm due to see him tomorrow - i know he'll want me to reduce the diazepan further but I'm not sure I'm a) ready, or b) he appreciates the implications for seizures.

Any advice is massively appreciated!

2 likes, 15 replies

15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi CatLover1984,

    I am new to the group and have also been on 10mg of diazepam for over 2 years, but I think you should reduce your dosage much more slowly. I did either 1/4mg or 1/2 mg every 2 or 3 weeks, and I am still on 5mg. I get head feelings and stomach queasiness. Do not be in a rush to get off the pill, you must be patient. I read that the slower you go the easier it will be for you despite what some doctors say. It makes sense!!! Also, the slower you go a seizure will not be likely. I know you want to rush off the pill, but please go slowly and have a lot of FAITH! Your brain will appreciate it as it retrains itself to a lower dose. Please keep in touch with me, I would like to hear your progress and I can tell you mine.

    Many blessings, Jane

    • Posted

      Hi Jane4725,

      You sound like a very wise lady, very good advice.  I do think it helps if we can all be here for each other.  You obviously no your stuff.

      So pls also let me know how your going.  TAKE CARE & yes FAITH helps alot.   Nicola smile

    • Posted

      Great to hear from you nicola, thanks for the compliment about being wise. This is because of some experience. I am still trying to get off 5mg, but go very slowly. On August 17 I will have been on 5mg for a month so might try dropping 1/4 or 1/2mg. It takes a few days before you notice withdrawal and then you just have to hang in there. One thing I have found that helps is one of the B vitamins. It is called Biotin and you can buy 1mg and try taking half at first, then take it all if it agrees with you. It seems to make you less anxious. I found out by accident when using it for something different. BY THE WAY IT IS A CAPSULE SO YOU CAN OPEN THE CAPSULE AND USE JUST THE AMOUNT YOU WANT TO. I mix it with apple sauce or anything else you might like. I havde even taken it by mouth and just swish it around with water. It is quite harmless.

      Apart from that I take one day at a time. I really hope you progress - please keep me posted.

      Until next time, Jane

    • Posted

      Thank you Jane for that information, cant hurt to try it.

      You are doing really well so you should be proud of yourself, I just wish I could get to where you are at.  It's the going slow part my doc does not understand.  If I could tapper as you have said I think I would be much better off.  That in itself creats me so much anxiety I relapse, if I have any.  Taking one day at a time also, sometimes one minute at a time, you no what I mean.

      Nice to hear from you and thanks for the kind words, I'll keep you posted and you do the same.  Take care & all be strong as we can.  Nicola.

  • Posted

    Hi CatLover1984,

    I have too been on a battle with Diazepam and other Benzodiazepams for around 5 years now.  I use to drink alcohol but due to my husband becoming a MAJOR alcoholic which led to me leaving, for some reason I just cant drink any more, I suppose thats one good thing.  It was when I left him after 22 years, childhood sweathearts, I became extremly deppressed and anxious also BAD panic attacks.  I now realise it was due to all the domestic violence that went on.  We had just bought a house together and I had worked my whole life and put all my money in.  I was pretty well left with nothing.  My point is, Doctors back then would hand out Valium and all the other addictive prescription meds as a cure all, and they worked.  What they didnt tell us was the horrific withdrawals once you come off.  We were there test subjects and we pay the price, I have now read up on everything to do with it.   Yes, Valium is used for Alcohol withdrawal and I understand where your coming from as Alcohol withdrawal can be worse than herion withdrawal and so can Valium, it changes the chemicles in the brain and makes us physically dependant.  Now the Med profession no how dangerouse they are they just want to cut you off or like you tapper you down way too fast for your body & mind to adjust.  Im no Doctor but I swear I no much more about this issue than they do, they just go by the text book.

    So good on you for getting of the Alcohol but the doctors should have told you that Valium and all drugs alike are only to be used for max 4 weeks.  After that your pretty well addicted and you dont know it till you try to come off.  No matter how much you were on even 2mgs is 2mgs too much, HELL sets in, I have been through 3 lots of detox, they expect you to taper down in 10 days and say "oh it will be all out of your system by now, you'll be fine" A joke  yes once out of your system is all fine but Valium has a very long half life depending on the persons Weight Height. metabolisim all kinds of things it can actually stay in your system for 6 months 1 year personally Ive done detox and stayed off them for 7 months, worst 7 months of my life, that was the first time, also had seziures.  Did not sleep a wink, hearing voices, major anxiety panic and depression, sweating could not go outside, had to really force myself to be positive.  I tried everything excerising, eating well, vitamins, natropath.  I really could not eat at all or hold anything down.  I was worse of now than I was when I left my husband. 

    I was like after lying in bed for 7 hours trying to go to sleep but just feeling so bad, i'd get up and think, i'll get my affairs in order today as I just cant live this way, i was barely existing, and a burden too all around me,Tried putting on that happy face so all would think i was fine but they knew, although i never had the guts to actually do it and what it would do to my family. So I would relapse, I went to a doc as they were gettng harder and harder to get and just told him how bad I was feeling, did not mention that I was in withdrawal or they would not give you them at all.  My doc was good and helped me out until, like you he started tapering me down far too fast, he put me on a anti deppresent which I think i have been on every one, prob helps a little with deppression, thats about it.  At this stage I knew what I was in for so I got more from friends and different kinds of meds just to feel like I could handle the day.  I did not get on these drugs for fun, they were prescribed too me and for soo long.  Now I was considered a drug addict, waste of space.  I have  a Pshyciatrist who understands which is great and he would give me some but by this time I was now lying to friends and family as they thought after detox you should be just fine.

    Second detox I had a major seziure 10 min, in hospital they had never seen one that long.  They put me out too it for 2 weeks, when I came too I had lost so much of my memory but I got it back.  Doc's still did not want to putme back on them.  They gave me other meds for sezuires, but still felt so so bad.  That was a 8 month battle with nothing, going thru chirstmas and all occasions just wanting to die.  how many times can one hit rock bottom?  They say these withdrawals are worse than Herion and I def can vouch for that.

    I no what I have told you hear your probably freaking right out.  Don't , my point is you are down to 3mgs, you need to go back up to 5mgs and remind your doctor of his duty of care, with seziures  you can die from this.  Studies prove that a reduction programme should take a long time even a year or more so your whole self can adjust.  I was prescribed alot more than you are on and they gave me several different ones at once.

    I doubt very much you would go thru what i have.  But look it all up and go to your doctor with the proper information, you are not taking them for fun or to get high, he put you on them.   If worse comes to worse and he wont listen, go to a detox center at least there they will medically treat you and really watch out for seziures.  Even if it's the first step.  I live in Australia, I dont know where you live? there is a good one here.

    One more thing I've learnt, dont be too hard on yourself, it only creates more anxiety.  I've given you the schock factor,. Although I really believe if he can take it slower with you, go back to fivemgs and come down a tiny bit every 3-4 weeks you will probably be just fine and the withdrawals will not be nearly as bad.

    I hope you get thru to your doc, or find one that understands.

    I really wish you all the best and will be thinking of you.  Things will look up for you, look at what you have already achived.  Stay calm and strong.  If I had had this information back when i began, I would have been alot better.  So you have a heads up.  Def Kick them but slowly.  ALL THE BEST and sorry to go on and on, I feel a duty to tell people about this issue.  Anyone on this discussion that has comunicated with me, no's I talk alot, I feel it helps me too.  If I can stop one person from going thru what I did I would be a little happier.  I  am still on them but have come clean to every one in my life about it & wow they understood, my doc monitors me as you would no its very easy to want to take more and more.  Addicition it is a diesease & should be treated as such.cry cry out loud if you need too.

    I'll let you go now, I am here for you if you need and next time it wont be a long message, ha ha.  TAKE CARE  Nicola

  • Posted

    does this mean my Doctor should not have given me diazepan as I have epilepsy ?

    he gave it to me as i have had almost 2 years of back pain and it made me sleepy.

    I take 3 x tegretol 400mg everyday, there computer was down and he didn't have my notes

    • Posted

      Did you tell him you had Epilepsy?  How much Diazapam are you on?

      It can be used for Alcohol withdrawal, and I've read it can help with seziures.  It's when you come off the med that seziures can happen, depending on, how much your on, how quickly your coming off it etc.  Cold turkey is never a good way to go.  There are many medications for epilepsy that are not addictive and seem to work well.  If you have been on Diazamap for 2 years daily?  you would probably no if your addicted, if you dont have it & feel you need it or you've built a tollerance to it, (needing more)? the way you feel once you come off can be utterly horrid & somtimes takes a cpl days before you feel the difference.  I don't no all the facts with your situation but telling your doctor the medication your already on is always a good idea, talk to him or her regarding all yr concerns.  Let me no how you go.  Nicola

    • Posted

      Hi Georga,

      I'm no Doctor, so I'm not saying he should or should not have prescribed Valium for you.  It is precsribed for back pain amoung a thousand other things, mainly Anxiety.  I'd not heard of Tegretol, I looked it up.  Yes for epilepsy, as I have found, any medication a doctor want's to put me on, I now look up in depth as there are so many serious side effects, reactions, etc.  Most doc's dont tell you these things.  I suggest not only looking up Tegretol as in my search it did say should be very carefully monitored esp if your taking anti deppresants or muscle relaxants, Valium.  Both med's slow down your breathing, therefore the sleepy feeling  you get, so just don't take more than prescribed.  This is where so many "Famous" people that have passed away as of late, some had depression and or subsance abuse issues but one thing that has changed in this decade and will in the next is most of these people were on one, two or a cocktail of Benzodiazepens (Valium, Xanax etc) some also drank alcohol which increases the effects.  In the 70's 80's more "Famous or Rock Star deaths" related to illicit drugs, cocain, Herion etc.  While now it's a prescription drug epidemic and they are actually more harmful in the long term, thus the slow down your breathing i mentioned.  If your on a couple and have a low tolerance or take too much, breathing is so shallow and people can simply stop breathing in there sleep.

      I've gone off the track here, as I often do. 

      I suggest, make sure your doctor no's all the medications your on, just cause his computer was down, won't help you if you become addicted to these horrid little yellow pills.  Have you been on Valium for two years? How much? Look up both medications and be self aware.  The withdrawals of these drugs can be catistrophic, to say the least.  Wishing you all the best and I'm sure your a smart lady, just don't want to see anyone go down the road I did, unaware.  Benzo' is a good place to start or just type in the name of any drug you wish too look up, you will be surprised at the info out there.  Good luck, if you can let me know how your going that would be great, as it helps me also.  I'm seziure prone too, so kinda in the same boat.  All the best Nicola  .  cheesygrin

  • Posted

    Hi there, only reduce more when you are comfortable. I was on 10mg for 2 years and I am now on 5mg. I only reduce 1/4mg at a time. It is hard to cut 1/4mg but it makes withdrawal easier. You have to be very patient. My doctor said to stay on 5mg and I have been on it for just over a month. I will not change until I am ready. I went on it when my husband had passed and now wish i had not. Good luck and try and stay positive although it is not easy at times. You have done so well getting down to 3mg (better than me).

    Many blessings, Jane

  • Posted

    Hi all,

    Sorry it's taken so long to reply - i never have chance with a baby!

    Thanks so much for all the advice - some really helpful stuff said.

    I'm staying put on 3mgs for now, it took a week, but my body adjusted to 3mgs and now it would feel like a step back to increase.

    As for the seizures, I'm not epileptic - seizures in the past (last one was 2008) have been solely due to alcohol withdrawal after heavy prolonged use, but hence why I'm scared with reducing the diazepan too quickly, I know I'm seizure prone when it comes to withdrawal.

    • Posted

      Your doing really well, you should be proud of yourself & with a bub and all.  Understand fully RE seizure prone, I'm not epileptic either only had them when withdrawing from Valium far too quickly, just jumped off.  I dont drink but yes same thing seziures when coming off Alcohol is exactly the same.  My Pysiciatrist told me that Valium has the same effect on the exact same part of the brain as alcohol, thus giving us that relaxing feeling.  I would say now your stable on 3mg, your right not to go back up and still take it slow coming down.  Then from experience, and I jumped of a hell of alot more than 3mg to have seziures you won't have a problem with them, if you are worried let your doc no, there are other medications you can use while still reducing that stop any seziures.   I really think you have done so well, so much better than me.  Stick with it and take as long as you need.  your an inspiration, not only have you kicked Alcohol but also well on your way to being Valium free which was to help with the Alcohol withdrawal.  Be Proud  & well done,  I no it's still not easy, my thoughts are with you, take care and keep in touch when you have time.   Nicola  smile
  • Posted

    Hi CatLover, you have done so well. You are an inspiration. Doctors may tell you to reduce more than you want to, but they do not always understand. My advice would be to not go too fast. Next time you reduce the dose, go to 2-3/4mg. It is hard to break a 1/4mg but keep trying and you will get the hang of it. Stay on that for 3-4 weeks, then drop another 1/4mg. I am still on 5mg and do not know when or if I will go lower, but if I do I will drop a 1/4mg or 1/2mg at the most. It may take longer but be patient, it will be worth it. Even when you are off it you may have some withdrawal until your brain retrains itself to do without the valium. Good luck and God bless...Jane
  • Posted

    Hi there I'm also an alcoholic,been on the vs for over 22 years,just stickn at 5 mg,as long as yo do it really slowly like mabe 1 mg every 3 month you won't get the seizures,but you can't drink as it mucks up the withdrawel& the chemical in your brain,good luck lol smile
  • Posted

    I'd just like to say the doctors don't know what the hell there talking about
    • Posted

      Too True Brandon, they go by the book not the patient.  Yes, no alcohol at all i would also recomend.  Your a smart man, so thanks for good feedback.  Gool luck too you and all on this forum.

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