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Thinking of Chickening, or Cold Turkeying, out


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It's been a long time since I've visited this board! I've was on 10 mgs (just cut that in half about a week ago down to 5 mgs/day) of valium for quite some time, and it really seemed to help me after nearly 10 years on Ativan. Now, though, the neurological symptoms are crazing me. I have severe difficulty urinating, I'm clumsy, I have trouble walking, I can't remember what I was going to say while I'm in the process of saying it, and a few other things. I've been convinced I have MS, but I see so many similarities between that disease and benzos it's unbelievable. I've been thinking that since last November I was cut from 6-8 mgs of Ativan per day down to 8 mg of Valium overnight that I can handle it. What do you think? Thanks!
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I honestly don't know if your current symptoms are due to the residual effects of dropping from 6mg Ativan to 6-8mg Valium in a day nearly a year ago or if something else is going on.  I know it is very difficult to diagnose MS (that it's mostly from ruling out everything else) and that very few doctors would even consider that your symptoms could be due to benzos. I'd like to suggest you bring your concerns to your doctor but I am concerned that you would end up with a lot of tests and an inaccurate diagnosis.  I don't think it would help you to cold turkey the rest of the Valium though if you want to do something like .5mg cuts every week or two that would at least be safe. 
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Well, I've been to a neurologist before and all tests came back normal. But when I was in withdrawals from the Ativan I had so many great things come back to me, and as soon as the Valium got in my bloodstream they were gone again. I'm just so sick and tired of feeling so sick and tired.
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hi - i was convinced i had ms too - my left side of my body - my imbalance, nerve pain.  now i am pretty sure it was the benzos.  so sorry u r going thru this.  keep holding on xoxo
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If you think your symptoms are bad now--what do you think will happen if you cold turkey????  Think about it.  I think if you would do a slow gradual taper off the V. (say drop .5) from each dose every two weeks, you should feel some better, its just gonna take a while.  Slow and gradual, baby steps.  good luck, sn
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nonilea--I was pretty close to going into rapid detox, myself, after two harrowing months of w/d, mostly panic and anxiety.  I took everybody's comments here to heart and did the crossover to valium.  It took awhile (like, a month) to feel anything start to smooth out after starting the valium (at 10 mgs.) but then things eased a bit, and I'm cutting .5 mg./wk (now at 6mg/day), and so far the cuts haven't been too harsh.  I added 300 mgs. neurontin and that is helping a little--hard to say how much.  Consider the .5 mg cuts, either every 5, 7 or 10 days, whatever is tolerable.
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nonilea--I was pretty close to going into rapid detox, myself, after two harrowing months of w/d, mostly panic and anxiety.  I took everybody's comments here to heart and did the crossover to valium.  It took awhile (like, a month) to feel anything start to smooth out after starting the valium (at 10 mgs.) but then things eased a bit, and I'm cutting .5 mg./wk (now at 6mg/day), and so far the cuts haven't been too harsh.  I added 300 mgs. neurontin and that is helping a little--hard to say how much.  Consider the .5 mg cuts, either every 5, 7 or 10 days, whatever is tolerable.

 

i've read a lot of folks are taking neurontin.  does this drug slow down healing or is it safe?  does it help most people?

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I don't know, some people can probably handle it.

 

But coming from a guy that was forced off benzos while still needing to take like 1.5mg xanax to stop withdrawals. I would not recommend a c/t, I would give anything If I could go back and due a proper valium taper, because I think the protracted withdrawals after stopping wouldn't be nearly as bad or as long, and I wouldn't have even had to go through the horrible c/t symptoms.

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I would imagine c/t from 8mg a day would be horrendous ! I know it is hard, but the best way to be kind to yourself would be tapering, in my opinion.

 

Best of luck x 

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desilou--before I started using neurontin in withdrawal I looked at what alot of folks on these boards had to say about it, and opinion here is mixed, although more negative, as it is regarding most alternate psychopharmacology and supplements.  I take those opinions seriously, and it sounds like some people have indeed had bad experiences either caused or exacerbated by the neurontin.  But, I had used it last year briefly as an experiment to see if it helped depression (it didn't), and I had no trouble with taking it or stopping it.  I have several friends who are taking it for different things (sleep, pain) and none of them has had a problem with it--one of those folks is someone who is extremely sensitive to most brain drugs even in minute amounts.  So I opted to try it.  Also, it's something that ALL docs seem to believe is a really benign drug.  Well, we know how many grains of salt to take regarding docs' beliefs in drugs, but this includes the benzo-wise ones I've talked to as well as the not-so-wise.  It had a dramatic impact with me the first week (as in, really dampening the anxiety).  Less effect as time has gone on, but I've continued to be better than I was before the neurontin.  And although I was ready to if it got bad, I have not upped the dose from 300mg/day.  That said, I could still get kicked from it, I suppose, either during taper or post-taper.  I'd say one should analyze one's drug history and reactions to other substances during w/d.  I will have to wean off this after the benzos are all gone, and will probably do it very slowly.  Again, it all boils down to the individual.  Ashton said more research needs to be done on neurontin and beta blockers to see if they help or hurt, and I'm sure she's right.  In the meantime, WE are the researchers.  BTW, I'm 5 weeks on the neurontin, 5 months since realizing I was in w/d from klonopin, and now cutting .5 mg. valium/wk.  Currently at 6 mgs/day.
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I know everyone reacts differently, but I was thinking of doing it because I went from an equivalent of 60-80 mgs/valium down to 8 mgs overnight...and it was okay. Did I suffer? Yes. But not like a lot of what I read that's supposed to happen and I got through it. I think that nutter psychiatrist that forced me off them in the first place will take me off completely when I go back on the 18th of this month anyway.
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  • 4 weeks later...
i have gabapentin but was told it works on gaba receptors as well? i would love something to take the edge off in emrergencies...let me know how you are doing on it.  thanks so much
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desilou--before I started using neurontin in withdrawal I looked at what alot of folks on these boards had to say about it, and opinion here is mixed, although more negative, as it is regarding most alternate psychopharmacology and supplements.  I take those opinions seriously, and it sounds like some people have indeed had bad experiences either caused or exacerbated by the neurontin.  But, I had used it last year briefly as an experiment to see if it helped depression (it didn't), and I had no trouble with taking it or stopping it.  I have several friends who are taking it for different things (sleep, pain) and none of them has had a problem with it--one of those folks is someone who is extremely sensitive to most brain drugs even in minute amounts.  So I opted to try it.  Also, it's something that ALL docs seem to believe is a really benign drug.  Well, we know how many grains of salt to take regarding docs' beliefs in drugs, but this includes the benzo-wise ones I've talked to as well as the not-so-wise.  It had a dramatic impact with me the first week (as in, really dampening the anxiety).  Less effect as time has gone on, but I've continued to be better than I was before the neurontin.  And although I was ready to if it got bad, I have not upped the dose from 300mg/day.  That said, I could still get kicked from it, I suppose, either during taper or post-taper.  I'd say one should analyze one's drug history and reactions to other substances during w/d.  I will have to wean off this after the benzos are all gone, and will probably do it very slowly.  Again, it all boils down to the individual.  Ashton said more research needs to be done on neurontin and beta blockers to see if they help or hurt, and I'm sure she's right.  In the meantime, WE are the researchers.  BTW, I'm 5 weeks on the neurontin, 5 months since realizing I was in w/d from klonopin, and now cutting .5 mg. valium/wk.  Currently at 6 mgs/day.

 

i hadn't seen this post til now.  thanks for this information.  it looks like neurontin may be helping you a bit.  i think that i'm going to try to stay away from any supplements or meds right now.  otherwise i'll be wondering if symptoms are caused by withdrawal or something else.  ???:)

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nonielea,

 

I believe that you have suffered enough at the hands of your doc.  Why risk all the progress you have made?  You've done brilliantly so far and are approaching the final descent!  Great Job!!! Truly!!!  :)

 

I have tinkered with the idea of c/ting off of 0.25 mg. (roughly equivalent to 5 mg. of V), believing that this is such a "small" dose.  Very far from the truth!!!

 

The other night, I completely forgot to take my usual bedtime dose of K and I had a brief encounter with what I might feel like if I c/t.  Although, I managed quite well with the symptoms of abrupt withdrawal for one 24 hour period, I seriously question whether I could withstand all the symptoms over a period of days, weeks, or possibly months. 

 

Knowing that I did this to myself with respect to going c/t, I think would ultimately put me in a position of feeling unnecessarily stressed, anxious, and sleep deprived and might lead me to ultimately reinstate. 

 

Personally, I feel it very important to do everything pretty much by the book so that I know what to expect.

 

I encourage you to stick to your taper.  You are really doing fantastic!  Hugs, Laurie

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