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please help me understand 10% dose decreases of Valium


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I have been at this for about 18 months coming off of both an opiate and Klonapin. I c/o to Valium around May, stabilized at 8 mg and here and there dropped my dose by .5 mg increments until the last two when I did a 1 mg drop.  I ALWAYS feel sick when I do this. I took the summer off and I still felt sick, obviously not as sick as the first week of a drop, but fairly sick. I am functional enough to parent and take care of three teenagers and that's about it except for a rare dinner out with friends. The Dr feels it is important that i get off the benzo as quickly as I can because the mix of opana and benzo causes sleep apnea and severe fatigue. I have been sort of winging my reductions based on family events and how much courage I can muster that particular week.

 

I am puzzled. I am currently at 3 mg of Valium. If I did a 10% a week reduction it seems to me that I would be doing this over about a 34 week period. Is this correct? My goodness, do people do this? My plan was to follow the Ashton recommendation and drop by about .5 mg or so weekly which would make me finished in about 6 weeks. I recognize that I am going to be sick. I recognize that it will take time to heal afterwards. Am I crazy to think that it shouldn't take 34 weeks to get off of 3 mg of Valium?? I so wish when I was stuck back in April with the .375 Klonopin dose that I would have done the 10% liquid titration then but I have already been on this path for 18 months and I am eager to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My highest dose was 1.5 mg of Klonopin and I was on it for muscle pain from fibromyalgia for about 12 years. I have been reading a lot about benzo and lurked about the site and benzo.org for many months before joining. I want to make it clear that I never feel really well no matter how long I hold a dose. I feel that the interaction between the opiate/benzo causes me to feel terrible a lot and I want to eliminate one of them. It is not possible for me to reduce the pain meds anymore at this time as I have had a severe spinal injury and am still recovering.

 

At the same time I do not want to be stupid about it. But really? 34 weeks for 3 mg of Valium when the whole point of my crossover was to speed things up and make it a smoother withdrawal.

 

I am confused. Any advice you can give would be appreciated!

Love,

Chrysanthemum :crazy:

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Hi Chrysanthemum,

 

The 10% you see people talk about is just a starting place, I've rarely seen anyone use it, outside of titration because of the difficulty of making cuts in pills.  As you taper those percentages will increase, until at the end, your last cut will be 100%.  For an example of what I'm talking about, look at the table on this link, under tailored taper plans. http://www.benzobuddies.org/benzodiazepine-withdrawal-methods/direct-taper

 

I'm not sure what mg pills you're using, but say you take for example, 2 pills a day.  Look at the left column and choose the number 2.  Then say you want to cut your pill into quarters, you'll select 1/4 across the top.  If you go up the chart, looking at the 2 and the 1/4, you'll see that each successive cut will be a greater percentage, there is no way around this. 

 

Try not to worry about percentages, and instead balance the needs of your family and your body's signals in consultation with your Dr.  I think you're doing great.

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Hi Chrys.  I can only give you my own experience which also involves opioids & benzos.  I was already disabled from withdrawing from tramadol & zopiclone cold turkey but unfortunately plenty of people have had difficulties tapering from even small doses of valium alone.

 

There is also clinical evidence that benzos & opioids can cross-react in the brain & withdrawal from one substance can trigger withdrawal in the other, so if you reduce your opana dose this can have the effect of benzo withdrawal even though you have not reduced your benzo dose.  (I am a biochemist, not a doctor so you should of course rely on your doctor's guidance).

 

 I started tapering from 2mgs of valium in February this year.  I firmly believed that I could do better than 10% reduction a week but it wasn't to be.  The times that I have tried to make more aggressive cuts have resulted in total systemic crashes, similar to those I experienced after cold turkey: benzo flu; extreme postural hypotension caused by too low BP; insomnia.

 

Since I have resumed the 10% taper, I have found it plenty tough enough & still have symptoms but the difference is I am having maybe 65% of a life in the meantime as opposed to being bed-ridden.

 

Everyone is different & there are no rules & I so understand the wish to be shot of these things.  I had hoped that my drive to get off would be enough but my body required a softer approach.  Whatever you decide, keep in mind that as long as you are, however slowly, reducing your dose, one day, you will be done & fully healed.

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Hi Chrysanthemum,

 

The 10% you see people talk about is just a starting place, I've rarely seen anyone use it, outside of titration because of the difficulty of making cuts in pills.  As you taper those percentages will increase, until at the end, your last cut will be 100%.  For an example of what I'm talking about, look at the table on this link, under tailored taper plans. http://www.benzobuddies.org/benzodiazepine-withdrawal-methods/direct-taper

 

I'm not sure what mg pills you're using, but say you take for example, 2 pills a day.  Look at the left column and choose the number 2.  Then say you want to cut your pill into quarters, you'll select 1/4 across the top.  If you go up the chart, looking at the 2 and the 1/4, you'll see that each successive cut will be a greater percentage, there is no way around this. 

 

Try not to worry about percentages, and instead balance the needs of your family and your body's signals in consultation with your Dr.  I think you're doing great.

Thank you Pamster! All of this can really mess with your head in some ways! The last thing I want is to make it difficult for my brain to heal. I had thought about the water titration with the Valium after I read everyone's stories. But it seems senseless to me at this point. I am taking 2 mg strength of Valium so I take one and a half pills. I DO wish I had done it with the Klonopin because I was having great difficulty, but there is no sense looking backwards at this point.

 

I have to keep in mind that this is an INDIVIDUAL journey. I am lucky in the following ways: I am not addicted to the medication other than physical dependency. I am never tempted to take "just a little more". I cannot imagine the people who have this craving kind of addiction-- to have to have the willpower not to take something that would provide immediate relief must be so daunting. Also, I was not prescribed this for an anxiety issue although God knows everytime I tried to reduce my dose I DID develop anxiety so of course the Dr. upped the dose. UGH. I also am a psychologist by trade so I have a lot of resources at my disposal. So I think it is best for me to keep following my own path and hope that I feel better at the end of this. So far I have refused to even look at the havoc that this drug has wreaked. It is such a long long story but I had to end up leaving my career for health issues at a very young age and now the more I read about this drug I wonder how much this played a role in all my illnesses. It is way too sad to contemplate right now though. I am so blue a lot and so anxious and I have to keep telling myself-- my body is healing and that is the low GABA talking, not me. But man it is hard. SOOO hard. No one really understands so in that way I am happy that I have this site but on the other hand, it is scaring the shit out of me and I also find myself feeling so incredibly sad at people's stories that they linger in my brain long after they should. I have not been able to watch the news or read the paper since my back surgery. The Dr. feels that I majorly have PTSD from my injury and that any kind of stress like that causes me upset. I think it is the drug withdrawal lurking its ugly little head.

 

I saw that there is now a children's singing group called YO GABBA GABBA so I have adopted that as my mantra and I am hoping for better days ahead. Your calm voice in this overstimulating storm means more to me than I can say. :smitten:

Love,

Chrysanthemum :crazy:

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Hi Chrys.  I can only give you my own experience which also involves opioids & benzos.  I was already disabled from withdrawing from tramadol & zopiclone cold turkey but unfortunately plenty of people have had difficulties tapering from even small doses of valium alone.

 

There is also clinical evidence that benzos & opioids can cross-react in the brain & withdrawal from one substance can trigger withdrawal in the other, so if you reduce your opana dose this can have the effect of benzo withdrawal even though you have not reduced your benzo dose.  (I am a biochemist, not a doctor so you should of course rely on your doctor's guidance).

 

 I started tapering from 2mgs of valium in February this year.  I firmly believed that I could do better than 10% reduction a week but it wasn't to be.  The times that I have tried to make more aggressive cuts have resulted in total systemic crashes, similar to those I experienced after cold turkey: benzo flu; extreme postural hypotension caused by too low BP; insomnia.

 

Since I have resumed the 10% taper, I have found it plenty tough enough & still have symptoms but the difference is I am having maybe 65% of a life in the meantime as opposed to being bed-ridden.

 

Everyone is different & there are no rules & I so understand the wish to be shot of these things.  I had hoped that my drive to get off would be enough but my body required a softer approach.  Whatever you decide, keep in mind that as long as you are, however slowly, reducing your dose, one day, you will be done & fully healed.

I am so tired so I will write to you tomorrow! I have been so wanting to talk to someone who has been doing the opiate/benzo course. I HAVE TRIED IN VAIN TO EXPLAIN TO PEOPLE THAT WHEN I LOWER MY BENZO I AM LOWERING MY OPIATE! AND VICE/VERSA. I will write tomorrow. Love, Chrysanthemum :crazy:
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Hi Chrys.  I can only give you my own experience which also involves opioids & benzos.  I was already disabled from withdrawing from tramadol & zopiclone cold turkey but unfortunately plenty of people have had difficulties tapering from even small doses of valium alone.

 

There is also clinical evidence that benzos & opioids can cross-react in the brain & withdrawal from one substance can trigger withdrawal in the other, so if you reduce your opana dose this can have the effect of benzo withdrawal even though you have not reduced your benzo dose.  (I am a biochemist, not a doctor so you should of course rely on your doctor's guidance).

 

 I started tapering from 2mgs of valium in February this year.  I firmly believed that I could do better than 10% reduction a week but it wasn't to be.  The times that I have tried to make more aggressive cuts have resulted in total systemic crashes, similar to those I experienced after cold turkey: benzo flu; extreme postural hypotension caused by too low BP; insomnia.

 

Since I have resumed the 10% taper, I have found it plenty tough enough & still have symptoms but the difference is I am having maybe 65% of a life in the meantime as opposed to being bed-ridden.

 

Everyone is different & there are no rules & I so understand the wish to be shot of these things.  I had hoped that my drive to get off would be enough but my body required a softer approach.  Whatever you decide, keep in mind that as long as you are, however slowly, reducing your dose, one day, you will be done & fully healed.

I am so tired so I will write to you tomorrow! I have been so wanting to talk to someone who has been doing the opiate/benzo course. I HAVE TRIED IN VAIN TO EXPLAIN TO PEOPLE THAT WHEN I LOWER MY BENZO I AM LOWERING MY OPIATE! AND VICE/VERSA. I will write tomorrow. Love, Chrysanthemum :crazy:

Hey! I have been trying to find someone who is taking this same road of opiate and benzo withdrawal as me! Are you still on the opiate? Did you withdraw from one and then start another? There is a special kind of hell with that double whammy, no? I really thought that once I started recovering from back surgery that I would simply drop my dose, like one does with Tylenol. I had NO IDEA that my body would become physically dependent on it and as I kept lowering my pain meds I found that I was going through benzo withdrawal as well. I got down on my pain meds alot and decided to wholly focus on the benzo and it has been hard and depressing and I am losing hope of ever feeling normal again. Luckily I do have the support of a good NP and I have a nice pain Dr. and I have a good background in mental health so I am able to see that these are symptoms of withdrawal but omg will they ever end. I would love to hear your story when you feel well enough to tell me. I am sorry it took me so long to respond. I couldn't find the thread :idiot:

 

Love,

Chrysanthemum :crazy:

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