Tapering off Diazepam - How slow is slow?!

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi, I’m a 70 year old female who is tapering off Diazepam after eleven years use. I’ve been reading some posts here and ‘Go slow’ seems to be repeated quite frequently. But how slow is ‘Go slow’ and how does one ‘work’ it out when one’s brain is all ‘scrambled’ and even just the thought to start tapering off one’s prescribed medication is absolutely terrifying… well, it was for me!

Apparently, the higher the dose the quicker you can reduce but the lower you get the slower you go. As an example:

18mg daily dose of Diazepam = 10 days to reduce 1mg

17mg daily dose of Diazepam = 11 days to reduce 1 mg

16mg daily dose of Diazepam = 11 days to reduce 1 mg

15mg daily dose of Diazepam = 12 days to reduce 1 mg

14mg daily dose of Diazepam = 12 days to reduce 1 mg

13mg daily dose of Diazepam = 13 days to reduce 1 mg

12mg daily dose of Diazepam = 14 days to reduce 1 mg

11mg daily dose of Diazepam = 15 days to reduce 1 mg

10mg daily dose of Diazepam = 16 days to reduce 1 mg

9mg daily dose of Diazepam = 18 days to reduce 1 mg

8mg daily dose of Diazepam = 20 days to reduce 1 mg

7mg daily dose of Diazepam = 22 days to reduce 1 mg

6mg daily dose of Diazepam = 25 days to reduce 1 mg

5mg daily dose of Diazepam = 28 days to reduce 1 mg

4mg daily dose of Diazepam = 33 days to reduce 1 mg

3mg daily dose of Diazepam = 40 days to reduce 1 mg

2mg daily dose of Diazepam = 50 days to reduce 0.5 mg

1.5mg daily dose of Diazepam = 66 days to reduce 0.5mg

1mg daily dose of Diazepam = 100 days to reduce to 0

HTH someone

Regards to all


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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Valerie

    Where did that advice come from? I would suggest you look up the website Battle Against Tranquillisers in Bristol. The people there are friendly but above all very experienced and knowledgable and recognised by this site.

    If you look at my other posts I did manage to send a link to someone this morning.

    To me it doesn't sound right, you should do it at your own pace and stabilise first before considering another drop. I wouldn't attempt anything until you have contacted BATs. If you don't find the website please contact me again

    Kind regards

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    • Posted

      Hi BS8

      I ‘visited’ Bat through your link to someone else yesterday. I had a ‘look’ around but didn’t register, though I may at a later date of my tapering off journey – thank you for posting the link btw. How does one know what their pace is prior to starting their taper down?! How can one start tapering by 5 to 10% of their prescribed daily dose, if one doesn’t have a clue about the procedure, and the mind is in turmoil with anxiety and fear?! I can only speak from my own experience and as I recall my body and mind was in such a mess (due to tolerance) I really couldn’t think for myself. I Googled; found BenzoBudies; the Ashton Manual; watched videos on You Tube and eventually started putting two and two together, but It took me weeks (if not months) to gather enough information regarding different approaches on how to taper and what vitamin and mineral supplements I could use to encourage healing in my brain and reduce withdrawal symptoms… that I thought would suite me! The example I posted is only that – an example of ‘safe’ figures (imo) which may be used by others on this forum to get started, if they so wish.

      Kindest regards

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  • Posted

    Agree with BS8.  When you have been a long time user (10 years definitely qualifies!) then even at higher doses you may only be able to get away with small cuts.  Safe rule of thumb is 10% of your previous dose every four weeks, only cutting if you feel stable and have been for a couple of weeks.  So, if you had reduced to 10 mg, you would reduce by 1 mg that month.  The next month you would reduce by 0.9 mg to get 8.1 mg.  The next month you would reduce by .81 mg and so on.  It is more important to cut by smaller amounts so that you don't even notice much in the way of wd.  Bigger cuts and then holding longer gets you to the same place but you are likey to experience stronger WD symptoms.
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    • Posted

      Hello Betsy

      Thank you for that explanation to Valerie. I have posted the very same explanation on other disscussions. There is a link on Other posts to BATs.

      I am attempting to highlight this serious problem that is affecting so many people. David Cameron stated on 23 rd October 2-3yrs ago at PMQs to the Late MP Dobbins calling it" this terrible affliction " promising to do something about it. I wrote to him, had an acknowledgment, the end??? I have a recording of that question and will post the transcript asap.

      I am inundated with questions from desperate people on a subject I have been informed that has little interest. Pleas see the moderators reply to me which I have not replied to as yet. I wanted to see for myself! I now have the answer It's 3.11 am and I'm still answering questions!??

      There is a link I posted yesterday morning to BATs - Battle Against Tranquillisers in Bristol. Posted their web address (very short one)but that was sent to the moderator. BATs are recognised by this site but I cannot copy and paste it and it's too long the way it has to be written.

      Any replies welcome


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    • Posted

      Hi betsy0603

      Thank you for your reply. In 2005 I was diagnosed with PTSD and prescribed Esitalopram, Co-Dydramol and Diazepam. During the latter part of 2014 each time I took my once daily dose of Esitalopram within 20 minutes every bone in my body would start to hurt and this excruciating pain that I was experiencing encouraged me to stop taking them. My recently gained knowledge of SSRI’s has made me realise that I had reached tolerance to the drug and unknowingly gone ‘cold turkey’. The c/t symptoms were horrendous (to say the least), but in hind-sight, I was still taking the Co-Dydramol and Diazepam which I think helped me through that agonising period and I eventually ‘stabilised’ (for want of a better word). In August last year my then current symptoms of PTSD had escalated to a point where G.A.D. and Agoraphobia were added to diagnosis. That started me thinking! I knew that how I was feeling shouldn’t be so and “It’s the medication” repeatedly ‘flashed’ through my thoughts. When I Googled my symptoms and came up with ‘Tolerance’ to Diazepam - it was then that my ‘Journey’ began. Like your suggestion, I started tapering at 10% of my then daily 12mg prescribed dose. I am doing a vodka/water daily taper btw! I had NO problems down to 6mg (50% reduction) it was a ‘doddle’ and a great confidence booster! However, holding at 10% reduction throughout proved to be too fast for me (we are all different) and w/d symptoms kicked in. I pushed through (thoughts of the Ashton Manual) but at 5mg (still at10%) I was in agony and unable to function. I sort help from BB’s and with their support I held until stabilized and altered my tapering plan to a reduction in the percentage. The example figures that I gave are my interpretation of a tapering plan suggested to me by a BB member. I am now down to 4mg and doing well – w/d symptoms free.

      Kindest regards

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  • Posted

    I am heartened by the fact that we do now have an All Party Parliamentary Group on Prescribed Drug Dependence in the House of Commons and the Chair of the BMA, Baroness Hollins, Is keen to see some action taken about PDD.  Let's hope something will be done before too long.  As for tapering, slow is best, but how slow is a difficult question to answer.  Flexibility seems to be the key.  Having been bedridden for 30 months now, I probably tapered too fast but who knows.  I came off 5 mg nitrazepam over 3 months but having taken it for 40 years, it clearly was not the best way for me.  Other folk could do the same thing and get away with it I am sure. 
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