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  • Valium Withdrawal...help please!



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    Old 09-01-2006, 06:38 AM   #1
    Barrel Bottom
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    Valium Withdrawal...help please!

    Hi Everyone,

    Thank God I found this board - been on the internet for hours and can't find an answer.

    Been on 10 mg [1 tablet] per day for the past two years. Never really felt like it was doing anything but continued taking it anyway. I know...stupid to do, but it became like a vitamin to me and I just didn't think about the repercussion.

    Problem is I decided to stop taking it last Wed [08/23] and never gave any thought to withdrawal. I was fine until Sunday morning. That's when I realized that it MUST have been doing something to me, because I can't believe the way I felt [and continue to feel]. Totally spaced out, nauseous, hands are shaking...feel like I'm going out of my mind. And it' not getting better. It seems to get worse aws the day goes on. I had to take off work this week and starting to get really scared.

    A friend suggested that I go back on 1/2 tablet and start weaning myself off. Not sure what to do because I already went "cold turkey" and wonder if I can/should do that.

    My main problem is that I decided to go job hunting [possible career change] and found out that everyone requires a drug screen, so I panicked and just stopped taking the valium.

    Real catch 22: If the answer is to get back on 1/2 tablet, then I guess I can blow off the job search for a while...which leads me to another question.

    How long does this poison stay in my system?

    Appreciate any info.

    Thanks to all,

    BB

    Last edited by Barrel Bottom; 09-03-2006 at 09:14 PM.

     
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    Old 09-01-2006, 06:49 AM   #2
    featherweight
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    Re: Valium Withdrawal...help please!

    You are in cold turkey withdrawal and this can have drastic side effects. Seizures are not uncommon. Valium has a long half life, thus the reason you didn't feel it until Sunday. What you are feeling are typical withdrawal symptoms and this is only the beginning. It can get nasty.

    If you are going to do this on your own you need a low systematic taper. Please do a search for the Ashton Method of Withdrawing from Benzodiazapines.

    I just tapered off of Ativan that I took for 18 mos. I took 1mg which is equal to 10mgs of Valium. It took me 17 mos to taper off of it.

    I strongly suggest to get back on your regular dose and seek some professional help for this or keep searching the net for information on benzos and how to withdraw safely and comfortably.. There is a ton of information and help for you. Unfortunately I can't give you the web sites here.

    Please keep in touch.

     
    Old 09-01-2006, 07:32 AM   #3
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    Re: Valium Withdrawal...help please!

    Crap - not what I wanted to hear, but I'm very thankful for the advice Featherweight. Only 10:30 and I'm already freaking out - usually don't feel this way until much later in the day. That's why I posted...I had a feeling that this might just be the beginning of something bound to get worse. I just took a half dose and am about to read the Ashton Method right now.

    I guess I shouldn't worry about the drug testing - they'll either test for that or they won't. Kind of stinks because I really wanted to start looking to change careers.

    How long have you been off the Ativan? How are you doing now that you're off?

    Will let you know how it goes - thanks again.

     
    Old 09-01-2006, 08:27 AM   #4
    featherweight
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    Re: Valium Withdrawal...help please!

    Hi Barrel

    I have only been off the Ativan for 7 weeks.

    I started taking it to help with the anxiety and residual dizziness from an inner ear infection. It worked beautifully and I felt WONDERFUL on it. But, fast forward 18 mos and I started to feel despressed, apathetic had major brain fog, memory loss and when I missed a dose I felt sick, dizzy, and shaky.
    I finally realized that my symptoms went away quickly after taking my Ativan. Decided I didn't want to go about the rest of my life in a fog. Also realized through reading that I was feeling interdose withdrawal and to correct this I would only need more....interesstly, 3 Dr's suggested I stay on Ativan for life, I am 64. They told me my dose was really low and it was helping some long standing GAD I had and wasn't addressing.

    I searched the net and found support for getting off. I did a water taper directly off Ativan which can be more difficult since it is a short acting drug. The best water taper is directly off Valium which you are on already.

    In reading the material you will see that you'll need to stabilize again on your 10 mgs and then begin a taper from that dose in order to help eliminate severe WD symptoms. Taking 1/2 your dose isn't going to help much. that is too drastic a reduction, in my opinion. You'll also learn that many people can discontinue these drugs with no outward effects at all. Everyone is different.

    Right now at 7 weeks off, my depresseion and apathy are completely gone. I don't feel any anxiety amd I am sleeping well most nights. I have developed some irritating eye symtpoms though. My eyes feel numb and get a strange feeling in my head that I call "bobble head". Sort of unbalanced and dizzy. I am extremely sensitive to noise. These symptoms may also be residual from my inner ear problem. The good thing, though, is that the symptoms are intermittent. Tropical storm Ernesto is approaching so maybe the humidity and barametric pressure is bothering me....

    You have been a good decision to quit benzos. Don't know your age but you'll be so free when you quit. It may take some time for you to feel 100% but hang in there. Remember any symptoms you get are only symptoms. Nothing is actually happening to you. Keep searching the net for a benzo recovery group and join in the interaction and message boards.

    Hopefully others will jump in here as well. Please keep in touch

    Feel well......

     
    Old 09-01-2006, 07:01 PM   #5
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    Re: Valium Withdrawal...help please!

    Hey FW,

    Can't tell you how thankful I am for your replies. Wait. Yes I can...thank you .

    Sorry to hear that you're still have some probs, but real glad that the anxiety is gone. Could be right, though, in that it might be the storm. I guess everyone who goes off a med starts to second guess everything that they feel. How can you know if it was the med or if now, it's something else? I guess you can't because the meds really do rewire you.

    Was able to get through the day with only the half but had the other half in my pocket all day. I think you're right in having to bump it back up first - better to be safe. I definitely can relate to "bobble head" and I also had major noise sensitivity from Sunday on. Waking up in the middle of the night with ringing in my ears too - that was pleasant. Man, this stuff really messes you up. From what I have read, I wasn't even really taking that much when compared to other people.

    Just turned 39 on the 23rd. That was another reason for stopping. Had a second interview on my birthday [for what seems like a great position] and when I woke up the next morning, I just stopped taking them. Had the birthday and the interview in mind...and then the dreaded thought of a drug test popped into my head. Panic. Glad I didn't flush them . Just dumb luck because I was going to.

    Have GAD and a little ADD & OCD. I think we all do...to a degree. This stuff really did help me over the past two years and even though I know I'll eventually be off it completely, I feel like I'll be right back where I was before - anxiety, panic attacks, etc. Once off, I think I will go with herbal remedies. Tried some before but they just never seemed to achieve what the valium was apparently doing for/to me. It's strange because I didn't have that weird buzz that everyone talks about when on their meds. They just really took off the edge for me.

    Will keep you posted and would also like to read how you progress as well. Take care of yourself.

     
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    Old 09-02-2006, 07:34 AM   #6
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    Re: Valium Withdrawal...help please!

    Hi Barrel,

    WOW, we are very similar in our backgrounds, except for age of course.. I, too, suffer from varying degress of ADD and OCD.
    Have you ever considered taking an SSRI? I tried Lexapro for about 4 weeks but found it too sedating during the day and at the same time I was experiencing "electric shocks" throught my neck and head. It was very disturbing. I guess you have to experiment with different drugs to see which one works for you but I decided I would like to finish out the rest of my life as drug free as possible. I will say however, I have a friend on Zoloft for about 5 years now and she feels absolutely wonderful on it.....Also, have a male friend that had a very severe case of depression this year and is responding very well. Don't know what he is taking. I know these drugs have a place in society but also understand they are altering brain chemicals as well. Catch 22.....I have limited knowledge of herbal and vitamin therapy so somewhat recluctant to try any of that....
    The rain is here and I am still feeling quite icky in the head. Actually thought, briefly, about taking some Ativan to see if the sensation goes away. I figured then I would know for sure if this is a protracted WD symptom. On the other hand, it may relieve the feelings simply because it is a depressant. From my reading on the benzo boards, I am pretty confident that this is my body healing itself and coming alive....just hope it doesn't come too alive and knock me on my feet!
    What's really interesting to me is learning that some people are coming off these drugs now after having been on them for 30-40 years! WOW, at 64 I'd even take a chance for a good, calm, dizzy free 10-15 years! I actually would not be opposed to taking a low dose if only I knew I wouldn't have to increase it over the years. My Dr. feels that since I am 64 my metabolism is slower than those taking benzos in their 20's and 30's and because of this you don't get the "need" to increase the drug as readily. Does this make sense to you? How long have you been on Valium?

    Hope you are feeling better today. Have you made a decision on how you plan to taper? How did the job interview go? Also, do they test for benzos when you interview? Thought it may just be for the stronger recreational ones.

    Have a great weekend...

     
    Old 09-02-2006, 10:03 AM   #7
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    Re: Valium Withdrawal...help please!

    Hello Feather,

    I just finished reading the C. Heather Ashton info. Amazing! I didn't realize that I was such a mess. I took another half [5 mg] this AM and feel great. I can't believe how quickly I lost the feelings of paranoia, depression, racing mind, etc.

    I'm going to stick with this for about a month [if I can] before I cut more. I think I'll try to do 1 mg every other week at that point. I'm going to add some supplements I read about, most of which are in the Whey Protein and the Casein Protein shakes I drink every day. From what I read on another site, that seems to help alleviate the symptoms. Speaking of symptoms, you were right in your advice: "Remember any symptoms you get are only symptoms. Nothing is actually happening to you." It was so hard to see them as just symptoms, when you don't know what's going on inside your head. From just talking/writing to someone [you] and the reading, I now have such an understanding of what's going on with the neurotransmitters, that I am convinced a lot of what I was going through last week were my owns fears and anxieties amplifying the withdrawal effects; although right now, it could just be that I needed to get back on the valium.

    I did try Lexapro about 3 years ago and felt the same way - exhausted. It's odd because I don't feel tired on the 10 mg V. but the Lexapro knocked me out. From what I read, some people take 30-40+ mg of V. per day, so I guess I am the REAL featherweight . My mom is taking Zoloft and it seems to help her and a friend of mine was taking Paxil for a year. He had just had a baby and was "freaking out". His Dr. weaned him off after a year and he is doing great now. As for me, when I get through this, I'm done with these meds...hopefully

    I too was blown away that some people have been on the Benzos for decades! That really also helped to put things in perspective for me, as I have only been on them for two years.

    Icky head: It might just be the rain and if you didn't already, I would say not to take an Ativan "just to see". You've come a long way to come off of that med. and if the feeling is not too bad, maybe try to stick it out. Remember, "don't go backwards" . My friend said that, even with his Dr. tapering him off of a low dose of the Paxil for a year, he still had a funky, tingling feeling for a few weeks after the last dose. I understand what your Dr. is saying about your metabolism and it makes sense; however, I can see your point too about taking the low dose. I can't wait to get off this stuff, but wonder if I can.

    Unfortunately, we might both need low doses of something .

    Thanks for asking about the interview - it went well. Here's the ironic part...it's for a pharmaceutical sales position . The next step is one more interview and then, if we come to an agreement, they do a background/drug screening. Can't ask them what they test for so I contacted the testing center and tried to anonymously squeeze info from them - got nothing. Another friend who has a pharmacy in his house [all prescribed] said that he's had a lot of these test and they have never picked up on his Klonopin, Aterol, or the multitude of other meds. he's been on. I do think that they are looking just for recreational drugs but, with a pharma., I think they may be more thorough. Worst case scenario is that I fail and am stuck selling mutual funds and insurance the rest of my life . More important to wean of off this - no job is that important.

    You have a great weekend as well. Please let me know how things go for you during your storm [both of them].

    BB

     
    Old 09-02-2006, 12:27 PM   #8
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    Re: Valium Withdrawal...help please!

    i am also tapering off of valium using the ashton method. right now i am at 20mg's. you probably should go back up to 10mg's until you feel stable, then begin to cut using the ashton method. i have come down from 180 mg oxazepam(equal to 90mg valium) in 5 months. i crossed over to the valium, since the oxazepam is a benzo with an extremely short half-life. unfortunately, because of the high dose i was on, i suffer partial brain seizures, and i have become extremely bi-polar induced by the benzos. i am having to take depakote for the seizures, and seroquel for the agitation and hallunications. i am on low doses of both. i am continuing to taper my valium. once off of the valium, i will taper the other two drugs. benzos are not a drug to mess around with. if you wait too long, reinstating might not do you any good, and you might suffer for a while. this is stated in the ashton manual. better to err on the side of caution. my life was completely destroyed for a while, because tapering the valium alone wasn't enough. btw, as long as you have a prescription, the valium won't be reported in your drug test. they test for illegal drugs, and high doses of prescription drugs. you are on a very low dose of valium. good luck to you. angie

     
    Old 09-03-2006, 07:18 AM   #9
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    Re: Valium Withdrawal...help please!

    Hi Angie,

    Thanks for your reply. So sorry to hear about the trouble you're having. Are the seizures under control? What is that like? It's only been a couple of days, but I think that I'm going to stay on 1/2 for the month of September and then start to drop 1 mg every two weeks. I seem to be okay compared to last week and hope that the worst is over from the 1 week of stopping and the move to 5 mg. I'm also taking a protein shake that has L-Glutamine, Phenylalanine, Glycine etc., as well as a supplement that has GABA and Taurine in it. I had gotten out of the routine of taking those every day but, since I started again, I feel pretty "even". I guess we'll see. Good luck to you as well and please keep in touch.

    BB

     
    Old 09-03-2006, 01:20 PM   #10
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    Re: Valium Withdrawal...help please!

    If you decide to taper off,don't worry about the drug screening.Don't vounteer any info,but if your drug test results come back and they find the valium,you have no worries because you have a perscription from your doctor.

     
    Old 09-03-2006, 07:24 PM   #11
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    Re: Valium Withdrawal...help please!

    Benzogirl is out other expert take her advise she does know what your going through and will give you any advice or help you will need trust her and others!!!! Good people here to help you along!!! Kim

     
    Old 10-17-2006, 05:06 PM   #12
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    Re: Valium Withdrawal...help please!

    Hi All,

    Hope everyone is getting better.

    Just wanted to update - maybe it will help someone else.

    To recap: Was on (1) 10 mg per day for two years...went cold turkey August 23 and in less than a week started to go "out of my mind". Found this board and got right back on, but only 1/2 tablet per day. Did that for all of September [and felt "fine"] and then cut off a "sliver" of 30 halfs. The idea being to try to go down to 4 mg per day for October and keep trying to reduce by 1 mg per month.

    Well...the past two weeks have been brutal to say the least. I have some other things going on [job problem, breakup with g/f] and have found myself bawling almost every day. Again, stupidly, never gave any thought to withdrawal symptoms. Thought I was just depressed. Same feelings as before though: going out of my mind and basically wanting to blow my brains out to make the feeling stop.

    Couldn't take it anymore and started calling around for an appt. with a psych. and can't get one until late November! Went to a walk in center today and they told me the same thing - "get back on my higher dose...it's the valium w/d causing all those feelings!" They also said no way I could taper this fast after 2 years. I just thought that 10 mg was such a small dose, it would be easy. Oh, and they could refer me to someone also, but not until December - unreal!

    Came home...took a half [5 mg] and within an hour...feel 100%. Good news is...it's the valium. Bad news is...definitely need it to function - at least for now. Making an appt. tomorrow for my family Dr. to hopefully get some guidance and maybe a script for Paxil if he thinks I need it. Definitely don't want to go into depression. From what I read, that seems to happen when trying to w/d.

    Feel like such an idiot - thought I was going to walk in someplace today, get help, and get Paxil or something for depression. I guess the only real way to get immediate treatment is the emergency room. I am still so blown away at what this stuff does to your mind.

    Moral: Don't go it alone!

    Will update - thanks all,

    BB

     
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