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Getting conflicting opinions about my tapering speed


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Hi, Everyone,

 

I guess I thought I had all the answers, since my last taper was a piece of cake compared with this one. This time, I am getting all kinds of medical problems/infections, which are slowing me down.

 

One of my dearest friends said I should only taper by .5 mg of Valium every two weeks. Seems rather slow to me, but the last time I tried 1 mg, I hit the roof.

 

Another friend is concerned that by going so slowly my tolerance level could become more of a problem or I might even become toxic to the drug, so she suggested a more rapid taper. I am SOOO confused about this. I want to do this correctly, but I no longer know what correct means. Ashton is definitely too quick for me, but shouldn't I be making better progress?

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

 

Love,

Genie

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if you taper/life is hell - i would say get off - the faster the better - not so fast that your body does not adjust - but fast enough not to be so stressed stick.

 

now in all the months i have been here it has appeared that you have been very sick and challenged -so what has you taper rate been for the last few months.

 

if it has been fast - slow down - if it has been slow - then speed up.

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Hi Genie,

 

The truth of the matter is that you are almost certainly tolerent of your benzo by now anyway. I would consider it very unlikely that you become more tolerant than you are now. What is more likely is that you are experiencing side effects. These side effects will diminish as you taper off. It is trade off between side effects and withdrawal effects. A lot of rubbish is written about benzo 'toxicity'. Toxicity due benzos is rare, if it occurs at all. Stop listening to everyone else, make cuts, keep a diary, and adjust your taper to how you react. Other people's experiences are not your own; your taper will be individual to you. The diary will help you determin the best line between side and withdrawal effects. I understand that you feel fogged, but still, you are the best judge of what's best for you.

 

You will get through though this! :-*

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Hi Silver and Colin,

 

I certainly am tolerant of my benzo, and I have no idea if going slower or faster is the right thing for me to do. I guess I have to try both methods and see which one works better. I had a major panic attack today because we had a power outage (it was snowing out) and I made the mistake of going to a motel. A friend of mine drove me there. The motel was noisy and hot, and people kept banging on my door, and I had paid $165 for the night! So much for getting your money's worth -- lol! I am now recovering at home from the panic attack, and at least we have power again, but I know tonight will not be easy.

 

You're right. Tapering is difficult when one is tolerant to the drug. It's just that I don't know what to do anymore because, every time I turn around, I get another flu or infection, possibly BECAUSE I am tolerant to the benzo. I just wish things were the way they were the last time around. My taper was tough, but it wasn't nigh impossible. This time I seriously wonder if I will die from this. I know this might sound weird or irrational, but this is the way I sometimes feel. The symptoms are so severe that I think I'm dying  -- especially since I recently had thyroid problems, babesiosis and a UTI -- all in one month. I can't take much more of this, and, while my husband is very supportive of me, I cannot imagine how he will tolerate me, if I get even more agoraphobic, photophobic and irrational!

 

Thanks for your advice. I guess I have to do what feels right, but perhaps Silver is right. Maybe prolonging the agony isn't a good thing, even though I probably am not toxic to the drug -- merely tolerant.

 

I appreciate your thoughts. I only post when I can. I wish I could help more folks on the group. I'm just soooo sick myself these days.

 

Love,

Genie

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hi know you are sick genie - in the end it is your decision - from way back here in my mind (which by the way isn't as important as your mind) it would be nice to just get off since you are so sick.

 

but i sure would not want you to end up in the hospital over going fast - looks like it is just one of those things you try and see how it goes - valium has a long life so you would have to wait a while to see if a larger cut would work - wouldn't what to go 7 days do another cut and then have both of them hit you.

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Hey Genie,

 

Your posts are always appreciated around here. I don't think you irrational; just expressing the self-doubts that are common with benzo withdrawal.

 

It is very late here, so I must go. Just wanted to say, I am very skeptical about benzo(withdrawal) making us more susceptible to infection. Although, I do believe low mood is associated with greater susceptibility, so I guess it is possible as an indirect effect. If this is so, taking a more positive stance (devising a battle plan) may help in this regard. I know, it is tough, but keep fighting.

 

Take care.

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Although, I do believe low mood is associated with greater susceptibility, so I guess it is possible as an indirect effect.

 

And stress too.

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genie i wonder if librium would be easier on your then Valium?  seems many people who have been through a cold turkey taper have an awful time on Valium.
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Hi, Colin, Silver, Linda and Friends,

 

Silver, actually, this is my second Valium taper, so I don't know why I should have such a rough time with it this time around, except for the fact that I never stabilized. I have heard that some folks do better on Librium, but I would have trouble finding the right dose, and I'd rather deal with the Devil I know at this point. Good suggestion, though.

 

Colin, you're absolutely correct that it's stress which might predispose us to more infections during withdrawal. I see, Linda, that you concur with that. Colin, I appreciate your saying that my post doesn't seem irrational. It's just that I perceive myself as a nutcase these days -- lol!

 

Considering that now I'm on a low dose of a beta blocker and have even worse insomnia, I don't know if speeding up my taper right now makes sense. Maybe it will in the future when I am over this temporary hump.

 

 

Love,

Genie

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Hi Genie...I'm tapering from Valium too. I crossed-over to it after a failed klonopin taper. I started at 20mg/day. and tapered 1.25mg every 9-10 days. After about 4 cuts, I hit a brick wall like a speeding car!!!!! Every symptom known to a benzo head magnified and I was very sick for over a week. Went to my p-doc and got 2mg tabs so I could make smaller cuts. I'm now cutting at 0.5mg/wk. It's only been 5 days since I started that new schedule, and my first cut isn't until Saturday, BUT I can tell already that this is much more comfortable. I've stabilized and made a schedule for myself and hung it on the fridge so I can follow it easily. I know I'll become "tolerant" to the Valium long before I'm done tapering. BUT my thoughts are that I'd much rather endure tolerance sypmtoms as opposed to debilitating w/d sypmtoms from tapering too quickly. So, I too am doing the turtle taper. Every day I have to tell myself, "I don't care that this will take 7 mos. to complete......I just want it to be as smooth as possible". Heck I may even have to go down to .25mg/wk as I reach the finish line. Smaller cuts made closer together are better tolerated than larger ones made too far apart.....per Colin. That's my bible for now. Hope I helped you.

Tracy

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Tracy,

 

Thanks for your feedback. I had made larger cuts at the beginning, too, until I hit a brick wall, so I started making .5 mg cuts every two weeks. I felt miserably even after this cut because I have SO MANY other medical conditions, but maybe I am just meant to taper like a turtle and I should stop worrying about it. Sometimes, however, I start thinking that, if I tapered by 1 mg every two weeks instead of by .5, would it make such a big difference?

 

And, the other issue is: isn't it important that, when we taper, we stick to a schedule and not change our tapering course midstream? I think I made a major error when I updosed by 2 mg after that babesia scare, and now I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. I want to get this over with, and, while I know that, when a person is on 29 mg, a 1 mg cut should be a drop in a bucket, I am not sure this is true for those of us who are in tolerance.

 

I appreciate your candor, and any other thoughts by other members would be appreciated. My doctor thinks I am 5 mg lower than I am. He agrees with the .5 mg every two weeks -- it's just that he thinks I STARTED the taper at a lower dose, and I could not contradict him because then he would not have taken me on as a patient -- arghh.

 

Silver seems to think that, since my taper is already Hell, it should not make a difference if I speed it up a bit. That's my dilemma. Everyone here has a different viewpoint. I could understand better going down to .5 mg every two weeks once I'm below 20 mg, but I'm still at 29!!! And, at least, Tracy, you are tapering every one week instead of every two. I find my worst symptoms hit me on day eight of my taper -- hence the two weeks!

 

Love,

Genie  :-\

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Well, there's hell and then there's HELL. Usually I'd say don't rush it; go at the speed you're already at, but if you're in a lot of w/ds now, you could try to speed it up and if you find it intolerable, you can back down to the speed you're at now.

 

It's a  hard one to call, Genie, and ultimately it's up to you.

 

rufus

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Rufus,

 

In the past few weeks, I was diagnosed with babesiosis and almost took an anti-malarial drug which could have killed me. The whole scenario, after the second specialist said "Don't take the drug. You don't need it" made me updose by 2 mg. Big mistake.

 

Then, I got a UTI and was given Levaquin, which messed with my CNS.

 

Now, I have bowel problems, abdominal pain, the need to constantly prevent dehydratiion. Had a migraine which kept me bedridden for four days with vomiting and inability to eat, and this was just after cutting a measly 1/2 of a mg of Valium!!!!

 

I don't know if cutting by 1 mg at this stage would make things any worse, but all I can do is try, and, if things do get worse I could go back to the Arch Turtle Taper again.  I am between a rock and a hard place, and I still believe being 61 with other medical issues does not help at all. But, that's just a personal opinion.

 

But, this taper HAS been Hell, and I used to be a benzo success story and now all I do is rant and rave and ask for everyone else's advice coz tapering's harder the second time around, I guess. Thanks for your input, Rufus.

 

Love,

Genie

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