Valium withdrawal cold turkey 1 week, continue with cold turkey?

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi everyone, I ran out of valium last wednesday, it's now 6 days later. I was taking 10mg each night for sleep. I didn't realise there would be a terrible cold turkey. I had all kinds of symptoms. 

Now I've done 6 days, does anyone know if I should continue cold turkey? I received new valium today, and to be honest I took a tiny nibble to see what they were like. And now I feel a bit panicky a few hours later.

I've read cold turkey for 10mg a day (I've been taking them for 5 years) can be dangerous, but I'm not sure since I've not taken any for 6 days if I can continue or should I taper with the new valium?

I had no idea withdrawal would be so bad, I wish I'd known. 

Any experience of this being shared would be very appreciated.

Thank you.

(I don't know if having a tiny bit of valium today, which would be about 2mg, negates the cold turkey of the past 6 days)

2 likes, 23 replies

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23 Replies

  • Posted

    I do not think it would 'negate' it but on the other hand benzos should be tapered off very slowly. I have PM the name of a manual written by a Professor of Pharmacology etc.  Take care.

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  • Posted

    yes having a tiny bit in your system can negate the cold turkey experience. dont go cold turkey on any benzo, you can have seizures and even die from your bodies; reaction to its sudden absence. 

    at this point for you it's a matter of how much do you wanna suffer? at this point you won't die but if you feel that messed up by the withdrawal then definitely get more valium. or try gabapentin which is much more mild and not a benzo but can help with the withdrawal.

    check out the "ashton" manual, it's the best source of info for anything benzo related,

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    • Posted

      Thank you, I've gone to a drug help centre and have been strongly advised to taper, so they've given me a lower dose and will monitor me. Not safe to go cold turkey it seems, and horrendous too.Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

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    • Posted

      yes it is very dangerous to go cold turkey on benzos. One can get seizures and other nasty withdrawal side effects that can cause death. The benzos have to be tapered extremely slowly indeed.This also means under strict medical supervision by a dr experienced in such matters or under a drugs centre.

       Professor Ashton has written a manual on safe withdrawal. This covers several different drugs. 

      Opiates can be withdrawn by going cold turkey, the withdrawal is unpleasant but safe .


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    • Posted

      Hi, thank you for replying, I've been to a drug centre locally, and they're going to put me on a withdrawal program that's slow, as you said. I've yet to see the doctor there, but the workers said it will probably be lowered by 1mg at a time - they said approx 6 months withdrawal.

      I'm back on 10mg a day for now. Feel on edge, but I have other stress factors in my life which is why I was taking the diazepam in the first place. Glad to be getting off the tablets. The thing is, after taking the same dose for years, I don't think they're even doing anything but contributing to stress. I've been taking bits of the 10mg throughout the day/night, and I don't feel tired during the day when I take some, so perhaps I'm immune to that dose after taking it for several years. All it might be doing is adding to my stress levels (!!).

      Would you like to hear what the doctor says after I get a program?

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  • Posted

    How long did the doctors suggest as I've been on diazepam for 7 years now and just wondered how long your detox will last

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    • Posted

      You're about the same length of taking them as me. 

      I went to a drug centre locally, and I've yet to see the official doctor, but the workers I saw said I'll probably be lowered 1-1.5mg at a time (depending how I react) and it will take about 6 months.

      The thing is, I was told by an experienced worker at the centre that taking the same dose for these many years, chances are the diazepam element isn't working any more.

      Now I'm taking small doses throughout the day and at night, spreading the 10mg. During the day I don't even feel sleepy, so I'm probably immune now. It was more psycho-somatic, when I think of it they didn't relax me or really send me to sleep, I thought they did, but I'd often lie awake on them.

      You may find, and I can't say for sure, but that they're not helping you sleep or de-stress, but are actually causing stress to your nervous system. I was very defensive over my diazepam use, insisting I needed them. Having ran out of them for about a month, I think they were causing more problems instead of helping me. I'm being honest here, not just saying that to make myself feel better about giving them up. It's been a rude awakening. I do hope that helps. If you're on a much higher dose, it'll take longer, though every body is different so you may detox faster. Best wishes.

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    • Posted

      I agree with you. Diazepam or any of the benzos cause so many problems including insomnia, anxiety, depression, suicide ideation , etc, etc. People develop a tolerance quite quickly. Withdrawal is very slow because going cold turkey even tapering too quickly is very dangerous indeed. Most people do not know that including myself . It was an eye opener.  Take care.

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    • Posted

      Hi, I didn't cope well at all. I didn't know that I was withdrawing from valium, I had no clue there were withdrawal symptoms from stopping. Because it's a prescription medicine I thought it was like stopping aspirin (how naive). I was buying it online and had told my doctor, but he never warned me to not stop suddenly.

      I didn't stop completely for a month. I had bought some valium but they never arrived. I had about 12 x 10mg left, which I spread over 3 weeks - then I went without any valium for a week, and that's when the horrendous withdrawal symptoms started (after 2 days of stopping). 

      I called the emergency services and they sent an ambulance to check my heart because it was beating like crazy for about 4 hours. I had muscle spasms, felt like I was leaving my body in an alarming way, feared I was 'losing it', became hyper-sensitive to noise at one point, felt high anxiety - amongst other things. It was shockingly bad.

      It was on the 6th day something inside told me to check valium withdrawal, which I did and realised that was the culprit. I have some high life stresses right now, which is why I was taking the valium, so I thought I was having a meltdown or something, but no, it was valium withdrawal.

      A doctor has given me a prescription of 10mg a day and I have gone to a centre for people on drugs, so I can withdraw with support. I'll see a doctor at the centre soon and will get a withdrawal program.

      I've seen a few people there and have been that valium is the worst drug to withdraw from - worse than heroin and other class A drugs. Alcohol is probably the only one as bad, but not as dangerous as valium.

      I think I'll be getting 1mg a month less, or longer if I'm finding it difficult (speaking to someone else who went on a valium withdrawal program - it took him 4 years because he was on a much higher dose).

      I'll have to prepare for months of symptoms, I'm still getting mild symptoms even on 10mg (when I think about it, I was on about 12-15mg a day).

      I'd not want to withdraw again like that, not at all. thank heavens something inside told me to check valium withdrawal, I dread to think what would have happened. Did you go on a withdrawal program? If so, how was it for you? Best wishes.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your comprehensive and interesting reply.

      I am prescribed clobazam for epilepsy and want to stop taking it as it is making my epilepsy worse. I have been on it for over 20 years. I feel as angry as you because I did not know until recently how much it has wrecked my life.

      I am having less seizures since reducing it but I am depressed and cannot have any anti depressants , not that I want them, due to the epilepsy.

      I told myt neurologist I wished to stop the clobazam which are only allowed to be prescribed long term for epilepsy, he said NO. I told him I wanted to stop them anyway due to their side effects. All he said was to do it very slowly but no regime provided.

      One of the drs at the surgery is in favour of withdrawing but scared of going against the neurologist hence no advice.

      I believe it is a very slow process that can take 12 months as I take a total of 30 mgms a day. Am prescribed 20 mgms twice a day but do not take all that!!

      ​I worry every time I take a tablet as it causes respiratory depression and I have asthma!  Thanks once again.


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    • Posted

      Gosh that's awful. I looked up Clobazam and it has very mixed reviews on forums. I noticed someone else say their breathing was affected. 

      Reducing it, since it's a benzodiazepine, I expect will be like me coming of diazepam, in that it will induce stress and depression. Your neurologist sounds rubbish. Are you in a big enough town/city to go to a new one? It's your right to choose another if you don't like the one you've got - we're paying for them! And we really can request a second opinion, or new specialist/doctor by law.

      I do hope Clobazam can be tapered faster than diazepam. I'd definitely get a new neurologist. One who gives a damn at least. 

      What is available to help stave off the epilepsy?

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