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1070904 tn?1257441235

How to comfortably taper off Valium?

I have been taking 50mgs of Valium daily for nearly the last 6-7 months. (5, 10mg tablets daily)  My doctor is having me taper off of them & had me go directly from 50mgs to 40mgs for one week, then to 30mgs for the next week.  I am having severe withdrawal symptoms & have not been able to get through to my doctor despite calling for several days now.  I did go down to the four per day, but that is where I have stopped because I still do not even feel close to being comfortable in my own skin.  Is this too fast of a taper or is it just me?
26 Responses
711224 tn?1344775287
Hi and welcome to the forum!
Yes it is way too fast. Benzos need to be tapered off very slowly. It took me 14 months to get off oxazepam but I was using it way longer than you.

The "reference" in benzos info and tapering plan is benzo.org here's the link:

and here's a tapering plan example :

I hope this helps, if you need any advice please feel free to pm me, I'd be more than happy to help.
Best of luck to you.
Avatar universal
sounds like a very reasonable taper plan, patients on benzos usually stay in detox for less than 2 weeks,even the little old ladies that have been on them for 30 yrs, i am sure you doc is treating you for wd symptoms, under a docs care there is little danger, or i hope so
i have to admitt that i have been craving benzos for a few days
thank you for reminding me of the detox, i definantly do not want to go through that again, my anxiety has been so bad
congradulations on your taper, i am so happy to hear that you doctor is helping you, thats rare these days
711224 tn?1344775287
Wow mt I am very suprised by your answer, 2 weeks??? That's weird, the Ashton Manual recommends a tapering plan between 26 and 52 weeks for 40mg of valium. I don't know how I would have felt if I had tapered off in 2 weeks!!!
199177 tn?1490502134
sophie you are right here it is Schedule 2. Simple withdrawal from diazepam (Valium) 40mg daily
(follow this schedule to complete Schedule 1)

  Morning Night Total
Daily Dosage
Starting dosage diazepam 20mg diazepam 20mg 40mg
Stage 1 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 18mg diazepam 20mg 38mg
Stage 2 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 18mg diazepam 18mg 36mg
Stage 3 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 16mg diazepam 18mg 34mg
Stage 4 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 16mg diazepam 16mg 32mg
Stage 5 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 14mg diazepam 16mg 30mg
Stage 6 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 14mg diazepam 14mg 28mg
Stage 7 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 12mg diazepam 14mg 26mg
Stage 8 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 12mg diazepam 12mg 24mg
Stage 9 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 10mg diazepam 12mg 22mg
Stage 10 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 10mg diazepam 10mg 20mg
Stage 11 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 8mg diazepam 10mg 18mg
Stage 12 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 8mg diazepam 8mg 16mg
Stage 13 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 6mg diazepam 8mg 14mg
Stage 14 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 5mg diazepam 8mg 13mg
Stage 15 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 4mg diazepam 8mg 12mg
Stage 16 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 3mg diazepam 8mg 11mg
Stage 17 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 2mg diazepam 8mg 10mg
Stage 18 (1-2 weeks) diazepam 1mg diazepam 8mg 9mg
Stage 19 (1-2 weeks) -- diazepam 8mg 8mg
Stage 20 (1-2 weeks) -- diazepam 7mg 7mg
Stage 21 (1-2 weeks) -- diazepam 6mg 6mg
Stage 22 (1-2 weeks) -- diazepam 5mg 5mg
Stage 23 (1-2 weeks) -- diazepam 4mg 4mg
Stage 24 (1-2 weeks) -- diazepam 3mg 3mg
Stage 25 (1-2 weeks) -- diazepam 2mg 2mg
Stage 26 (1-2 weeks) -- diazepam 1mg 1mg

Schedule 2 Notes:

You could probably manage Stages 1-5 (or even Stages 1-10) in weekly intervals (but take 2 weeks between stages if you prefer).

The later stages are probably better taken in 2 week intervals.

When you get down to a dose of 5mg daily, you could begin to decrease in 0.5mg doses, but most people manage with 1mg reductions.

What mg do you recommend jumping off at?
1070904 tn?1257441235
Hello Sophie,
My name is Beth & I am the person who originally asked about this being way too fast of a taper for me.  It is too fast for me.  The doctor is not giving me other meds to help through the taper, but I am already on Zoloft & he thinks that should be enough.  I saw him this past Friday & he threw an absolute temper tantrum that I did not go down to the 3 per day as he had instructed.  I informed him that I had repeatedly tried to contact him before I was expected to drop again, but he told me that he did not care.  I took the Ashton Manual taper plan with me & he asked me if the Ashton manual could write my prescription for me?!?!  I was to listen to HIS instructions. Period.  Yet, when I left his office that day, he did indeed write me for 4 tablets daily until I have to see him again this next Friday.  I hope that he will continue to work with me because I need his help more than ever right now.  We both have the same goal of me being off of the benzos altogether, but I simply asked if we had to go this quickly.  I have 3 children that I am at home with.  A 14 year old daughter, a 3 year old daughter & a 2 year old son.  I need to be able to function & able to even move around a bit to tend to them properly.  I cannot just be laid up & in misery.  I do realize that detox is always an option, but once again, due to my circumstances of being their primary caretaker, I need to do it from home.  The other concern that I have is that I am diagnosed with GAD & depression.  The Zoloft does help with the depression, but what am I able to use for the severe anxiety that I also live with when he takes me completely off the benzos?  I am scared Sophie & that does NOT help with the anxiety whatsoever.  What do you think?
1070904 tn?1257441235
Also Sophie, I had wanted to mention that I had been on Valium for 8 years before becoming pregnant with my now 3 year old daughter, but had not been on them at all until my previous doctor had put me back onto a medication called "Tranzene" (which I was unaware of it being a benzo) for my anxiety.  Now the tolerance that I have gotten to is so high because as I am sure that you know, if I was dependant on them previously, then when I re-started them, my tolerance had never gone back down to zero.  It was as high as when I stopped taking them four years ago.  So, I know that this also may be a factor in why it is so hard to drop so very quickly for me.  I realize that I am dependant & most likely, a Valium addict because I know that my body is crying out for them as I am dropping down.  I am unsure of how to control the anxiety without a medication, but do not know of any that are not addictive other than BuSpar & Visteril and neither of them have helped me in the past.  The BuSpar made me feel all wazzed out & out of it.  I did not feel any differently while taking the Visteril other than my allergies were not as bad.  I am unsure & scared about being off of everything other than the Zoloft for this "raw" & jumping out of my skin feeling that I have.  I know that Seroquel is sometimes prescribed under these circumstances, but also know that it can be addictive as well as the side effects of it not being too great.  As I mentioned in the first part of my comment, I am scared & really do not know what to do to handle it.  My doctor isn't giving me any indication of a long term plan because he was so pissed that I hadn't dropped down to the 3 per day as it was that he basically just let me know what he would help me with for this one week...  I need this doctor though, so I must follow his instructions if I want him to continue to help me.  Yet, I am the one who is living it, so I have to also follow how my body is feeling as well.  
Avatar universal
well we cannot keep people in detox for 26 to 53 days,  long term tx usually last 3 to 6 weeks, only 1 to 2 weeks of that is in detox, 3 weeks in extreme cases, call a local detox and ask them how long it would take for them to medically detox you from benzos, this will give you an idea of what to expect from addiction specialist, you can also ask the doctor on medhelps addictions expert forum, hope it all goes well, i tried to detox myself off xanax one time, the anxiety was so bad i went into a detox facility they kept me around 7 days to detox me off xanax, alcohol and pain pills, i felt horrible!!!!!!  i needed to be in there longer but insurance did not cover extended detox  7 to 14 days is the norm, sorry i did not come back and check on this post, i have been so busy, too busy, its been a long time since i have taken any benzo but i do understand why i liked them, we do not talk about benzos that much here
Avatar universal
you know i was thinking, i got in trouble here at medhelp for posting taper plans, that we use in a detox facility
just wondering why some people can post tapers and some cannot??!!?

"Do not post asking for dosing information on any medication Please consult your prescribing physician  for that information. "

199177 tn?1490502134
THAT  is from a doctor not made up by me or any other member and it was posted so people are aware of slowly you have to go with benzos
Avatar universal
Oh how I feel your pain!  I was addicted to Diazepam a few years back -- worked up up to an average of 60mg/day over course of 10 years.  I have other substance abuse issues as well, but Diazepam was the ONLY one I WAS ABLE to kick.  I went to a local facility on an OUTPATIENT basis that was affordable and confidential--took me nearly 10 months to COMFORTABLY and SAFETLY get off the stuff.  I was treated with respect and compassion by licensed professional who didn't make me feel even remotely bad about my addiction -- it was as if they respected me MORE for admitting I had problem and wanted to stop.

Here's my best advice:  Get on a COMFORTABLE step-down program and stick to it -- even if you think you can do it faster.  At first I tried to taper down by only taking it when I felt I need it or had a bit of w/drawl coming on -- I'm sure you know the feeling: lightheaded, dizzy, tingling sensations, bit of anxiety, heart palpitations, etc... But that DID NOT WORK-- I'd never have gotten off the stuff if I only listened to my body that was so conditioned and addicted to taking it "on demand".  STAY on SCHEDULE. You'll eventually condition your body to use less and less and eventually none at all.  You CAN DO IT!

GOOD LUCK and PLEASE let me know how you're doing!  I'm battling a DIFFERENT addiction now so am pretty much in the same boat -- only the addiction I have now is a bit more complicated than Diazepam -- otherwise I'd follow my own advice and knowledge!

199177 tn?1490502134
yes that's is the biggest thing here its not something you can to safely in a week or two it has to be done very slowly benzo are far different then opiates.
Avatar universal
where do you think the taper plans i suggest come from? the only difference is i actually ask people if they have any medical problems and tell them to run any taper plan by their doc........i need to chill, its this type of double standard here at medhelp that i will never understand, its like one group has the say in everything and can break the rules they posted
199177 tn?1490502134
I am not NOR  is anyone else telling her to do THIS taper. We are  making people aware of how slowly you have to go. Its not something you can do in two weeks doing it in two weeks could cause major problems
Avatar universal
My mom and girlfriend take diazepam. Not a high dose at all, but I thought quitting c/t or too fast could cause seizures? I have taken diazepam just a few times so I don't know the drug that well. 50 mgs seems like a lot? Good luck with the taper, you can do this:)
199177 tn?1490502134
gizzy yes it can
711224 tn?1344775287
Mt, If you read my comment, I write, "and here's a tapering plan EXAMPLE"

I have been taking 200 mg of oxazepam and 40mg of tranxene/ day for 9 years, I'm tapering with an addiction specialist and he had to slow me down sometimes coz I was going too fast, patience is THE secret to taper off benzos.
1070904 tn?1257441235
Hello everyone,
I am going back to my doctor today.  I am still working on convincing him that I need to slow down, that I cannot do it at 10mgs at a time & still functon.  It put me into immediate withdrawals & due to the fact that I have an underlying seizure disorder (epilepsy), I most certainly am scared about being home for 12-14 hours a day ALONE with my children.  (2,3 & 13)  I do NOT want to seize & have no one here with me or my little ones if his should possibly happen.  I really appreciate the feedback that you all are sharing with me.  I WILL be letting you know how today goes with HIS HIGHNESS!  
Thanks again,
711224 tn?1344775287
Hi Beth!
Please talk to your dr, he's playing God...It is even more incredible now that you're saying that you suffer from epilepsy!!
I was thinking about you a lot after your last pm and I have a suggestion for you. You could post on the doctors' forum and tell your story. I am pretty sure of what the answer is gonna be.... With that, go to your doctor and show it to him, at least he will have the opinion of someone who's a dr like him and that might make him think, just an idea...
My doctor became a real fan of medhelp, he calls it madhelp!!! lol and this system I tell you about has helped us both a lot. You see I'm struggling with AD's and I post to the MH pharmacist, he gives a lot of suggestions that my dr don't always think of.
I so do feel for you and I cannot even start to think how you must feel right now, please BE SAFE, try to find s/o you can call in case something goes wrong.
You can ALWAYS pm me or leave me a note but please keep us informed.
With all my support. Hugs to you. xoxoxo. sophie.
1070904 tn?1257441235
Hello GottaQuit,
I was re-reading your message to me & that was very well written & thought out.  It seems that we may be in reverse of each other.  What addiction are you struggling with currently?  I may be able to help you as you have helped me by letting me know what did & did not work for you & getting off the Valium.  I have acquired this benzo addiction while seeking help for another addiction.  If you would like to talk, please feel free to send me a message.  Cool?
Avatar universal
Hi and thanks for your post.  I've been thinking about you and your situation A LOT and wondering how u'r doing and if ur doc came to his senses!? I had a doc many years ago (who was the FIRST to rx Valium to me in the first place for a panic attack) who threatened to cut me off if I didn't CUT WAY BACK when I asked for a refill too soon, so I eventually found OTHER sources to get what I needed which eventually led to much higher use and my full-blown addiction over 10 years! Come to think of it ... this was the same doc who prescribed many of the pain meds I'm CURRENTLY addicted to!  So these "other sources" (and my desire to use) enabled me to turn into the full-blown addict I am today.

I'm sending you a pm, but wanted to write this HERE in the event it may help others when dealing with docs who may be less-than-understanding in what SHOULD BE HELPING those who want to get off benzos ... or ANY substance for that matter!

KEEP POSTING how you're doing -- I totally believe that everybodys story here helps to inspire and encourage and touch each of us in one way or another.  We are ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!

okay now go check ur personal note from me ... :)
Avatar universal
I believe you have to taper off very very slow. The withdraw can make the cravings unbearable.
Avatar universal
All I can say is WOW!

The tapering plan he has suggested is way to fast, especially given the quantities involved.

I suggest you review some of the tapering examples that can be found at http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzsched.htm#s2

If your doctor refuses to reconsider, get another doctor.

Good luck; you can do it!
Avatar universal
You are CORRECT. I had 2 Gran Mal seizures many years ago after trying to detox from benzos (muscle relaxers for a spinal fusion..) WE all need to support eaqch other...Drs sure know how to put you on the stuff, but you're  leper to them when you come back and ask for help getting off. Talk about double standards. There are other meds tht can help (some relating to blood pressure). See a addictionologist...one saved my life.
Avatar universal
i have read the ashton manual too, but they don't have anything regarding tapering off 10 mg valium---so i'm trying to use the 3 mg equal 30 schedule ( 1 was on 1 mg ativan for 2 1/2 months.

what are your suggestions. just after crossing over to valium where i'll be at 10 mg        i should just go 1 mg every 2 weeks until 5, then try 1/2---and if things are really diffficult just do 1 /2 all the way down? thanks
Avatar universal
i am  needing to taper off of   10 mg valium. can you give any comments/suggestions.
Avatar universal
can you share this facility with us ?
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