Avatar universal

how long does valium withdrawal last?

I've been using valium for at least ten years on a daily basis. Two months ago I reduced dosage from 10mg a day to 5, and three of weeks ago went down to 2.5mg. Two weeks ago, stopped taking it altogether.

Now, I've got a strange metallic taste in my mouth, fast heartbeat and the world seems to be kind of swimmy, if that makes any sense. A couple of nights ago I was having full on visual and auditory hallucinations.

It is my intention to walk away from this drug, but I'm not sure if I'm going about it the right way. I have no insurance and no Doctor. I understand this may take a while and am willing to suffer through, but am curious if anyone out there might know the real taper off formula? I am 50 years old and in good shape, 5'8, 160 lbs.

Thanks in advance
106 Responses
Avatar universal
wow..you tapered rather fast...I have taken plenty of valium but I primarily have always taken xanax..It is very dangerous to go cold turkey off benzos..such as valium...and 2.5 mg would be considered alot to a dr..even though you tapered from 10 mg..I don't like the sound of these problems your having and would hesitate to do anything but send you to the e.r if it continues..Do you have any valium left? I would have kept tapering (a little slower) all the way down to 1/4mg..Are you still having these problems..this is definitly nothing to take lightly...
You have gone off of it way too fast. I also have been on Valium for some time. I am tapering down, but slowly. I take7.5 in the am but still 10 at night. I am very sensitive to meds.  Tapering that fast can cause seizures. I will still go thru withdrawal. You really need to see a Dr.  You can go to the Er. They have to treat you.
I'm on 40mg 4 10mg pills don't even feel um you all scaring me now I thought 4 10mg baby dose. Omg
Avatar universal
Thanks, I have heard the horror stories but believe I can pull this off. I am hesitant to just arbitrarily start taking some amount and get started all over again. Are you a Physician by any chance? Do you know of any kind of taper off chart or something like it?

Feeling somewhat better, taste lingers and kinda jumpy, but drinking lots of water and taking vitamins. Been sleeping okay, just feel bouncy and very aware of sights & sounds. Not so bad really, and I do feel good about making this choice.

Not taking this lightly, but thinking positively. Thanks again~
Avatar universal
Swivelhed, please be aware of the seizure risk as well. It's high.
Avatar universal
well it sounds like you are aware and paying attention to your body..I wish I was a dr..but i am not...The only taper I know of is the one I did with xanax..but I would imagine that you would have already had serious complications by now...I say keep doing what your doing..it sounds like you really want it..but please...if what you described above happens again..I would have it checked out..I don't balme you for not wanting to just take it again..you sound like you are going to be just fine..good for you...please let us know how your doing...
Avatar universal
Today the world is much more stable and the metallic taste in my mouth is much reduced. Think I'm over the Big Hump~~

There is a link in the left hand column that takes you to a suggested taper method, very nice and informative.

Looks like I'll be able to accomplish this, so exciting to say goodbye to this little monkey!

Thanks so much for the advice & support, please tag me back if I can help in return.

Happy trails all
Avatar universal
valium is not anywhere near as dangerous to xanax, soma, klonopin. Even though the taper was rather fast the dizzy swim feeling is expected regardless of how long you taper. It would have came regardless even under dr. Its your blood pressure, heart beat you want to watch and make sure it subsides. 10mg of valium is equal to about only 1mg xanax and i have dropped from 1mg xanax to nothing without taper and had no real issues other than anxiety and rapid heartbeat on off. I think your over the hump.
Avatar universal
note...valium at your dose isnt much to be worried about. Valium at 40-100mg on the other hand is potentially life threatening as stated in this thread by others. It can cause seizures and death much like alchol or other benzos. Amazing you kept a 10mg dose all these years. You have alot of strength. Valium dependcy and tolerence goes up very fast. Its also a skeltal relaxant which makes it differ from others.
Avatar universal
Encouraging to hear, thank you~everything seems to have mellowed out today. Not racing and the world isn't wallowing around anymore. Glad to hear my dosage wasn't all that much and that the hump is passed, whew, what a ride.

Yes, I was run over by a drunk driver and broke more bones than Evel Knievel in one split second, leading to this situation. I am a little concerned about the skeleton starting to complain, but am so tired of the side effects of valium the trade off will be worth it!

Interestingly enough, lots of good things have been happening at the same time. Thanks again for lending an ear & advice, blessings all around!
Avatar universal
Hallo, I'm back to report and ask another question.

Had a few rough days but feel better daily, still not at all interested in using again, and folks say I look like a different person.

Only my wife and you guys know what's going on, thank you for the support, she and I have never experienced anything like this before...

Ever since about a week into this process, I've had a strange metallic taste in my mouth, like my teeth and tongue are secreting something. Nothing is visible, but anything with vinegar in it is repulsive.

Is this something I should be concerned about, and is there anything I can do to fight back?

Thanks everyone, hope you're all having a great day
Avatar universal
heay there your doing really well keep it up and rember evry day your body will heal its self. Am coming of well i cant say for sure really as i have been taken mostly street valium but i reacon about 40 50 mg a day its been rather intense but i feel a bit beeter evry day am having bad dreams and realy jumpy and nearvious but evry day i plaster on a fake smile and get on with it.anaway you keep on doing what your doing and you will be free again.big respect to you take care.
Avatar universal
Hi. I feel I have something to add here. I came to valium in a very weird, painful way. Let me begin. I was never a drug user... I was always a sports guy. Just a weekend drinker like so many people. I feared drugs very much thus I stayed away from them. Years go by and well, I am not feeling happy, my mother's death I was still not dealing with well, my father was going through major heart surgery, broke off with a woman I liked and I walked out on a job. Then, unfortunately, I was introduced to vicodin like many people... through a bad tooth or something similar. I liked it. I would pop them when I could but was a casual user, not enough to "hook" me. Well, I was then introduced to someone who had oxycodone/oxycontin. BOOM. I was addicted probably by the 3rd day I took it... and it was not that much. The minimum is 5mg and I maxed out at 15 mg. But I went on to take this for 15 months at least for 5 days a week. I loved it. It took me out of my little sad world and made me feel great. Hell, I would go out and just pop a couple of oxycodone and not even drink. I would order water or soda since the alcohol mix did not give me the same high. Bartenders would often scratch their heads when they saw me. Then, reality started to settle in. My "highs" were not as long-lasting and I would get very tired when coming down from them. Just plop in bed. But the one thing I refused to do was up the amount I was taking. Then one day, May 6, 2007, I said I don't want to do this anymore. I decided to throw out a bag of about 30 oxycodone pills. Sounds great, right? Me, having NO CLUE about such things as withdrawal, was ready to have the hammer drop on me. It happened slowly. I felt weird with friends, my legs would slowly shake, I had to cut-short meetings. Slowly it was getting worse until I went into full scale convulsions on the floor virtually everyday for several weeks and would shake so much I would shake myself to sleep for literally 15 hours a day... only to wake-up to the same nightmare again and again. I would think of throwing myself out the window... a long drop. This was a continual focus. I would throw myself into bed to control such thoughts. I finally had to do what I did not want to do.... go to a hospital. I was scared to death. They were not sure what to do with me. I was off the oxycodone now for about 2 months but had bad shakes and depression. They just gave me zoloft while I was with other people taking all kinds of drugs. I stayed for 1 week. But I had one major complaint... my shakes would NOT go away. I woke up at 3 in the morning at the hospital shaking like a leaf and demanded something be done. There, i was given ativan... a small dose. It calmed me down pretty quick but got jumpy again. My doctor upped the amount to 2 mg twice daily. He then let me out of the hospital saying I should not be there since there were people with "much deeper" problems. OK? But what about the shakes? He gave me enough ativan for a week. Then I had to get them off a doctor. Guess what? Ativan, as said by my doctor, is highly addictive. Thus, I went from one addiction to another( ativan) but really had no choice. I felt better at home but still not great and of course was addicted to ativan for about 8 months. It was then I decided to do my own research and came across the Ashton Manual which many know IS THE ULTIMATE source for getting off benzos. Basically, the switch had to be made over to valium so I could slowly get off. You can download it free. I was on about 30 mg of valium and SLOWLY came off... I repeat, SLOWLY. I am down to 10 mg of valium now and, according to the plan, every cut will be only 1mg, about every 2-4 weeks until finished. Read the Ashton Manual. Just do a search on it. Believe me, a lot of bed-rest is required. I am still tired often and when tears come to you, well, let them come. I am also on an anti-depressant( zoloft) 50 mg. This is due to the fact that valium or any benzo. will hype up or cause depression if taken alone for most people. I am working... but only PT for now. But it is fine right now. Basically, anyone going through benzo. hell has been hit by an atom bomb and is trying to recover. You will and do... but a very little at a time... and there will be "bad days." Sleep as much as you can. Drink water a lot. Work out a bit. Take walks, take the sun. Don't push too hard too fast. And read positive material as you get better. Shut the damn news off which is all negative thinking. A suggested first book to get, "The Power of Positive Thinking" a combo of religious and positive thought. Look at more subjects with similar titles. Get the negative **** away. I am not done with my withdrawal yet and I expect about another 5-6 months at least. Go slow, it does get better. Say your prayers and NEVER do drugs in your life. Get away from all painkillers FOREVER. Get away from ativan, valium, xanax and all those drugs. THEY ARE HELL ON EARTH. God Bless You. And get your loved ones involved. You will need them. Don't hide it.
Thank you. My doctor and I are tapering me off and I'm in a similar boat, Found a provider who knew about Ashton and it's still challenging.
Avatar universal
I gave up 5mg daily valium and 55mg daily methadone six weeks ago. For the first three weeks the withdrawl from the methadone was prevelant. I had hallucinations, cramps, anxiety, palputations etc... After two weeks I went onto a short dose of subutex (4mg) to ease the physical pain and I plan to cut the dose down by 1mg every six weeks.

I have used valium for the last four years (legaly for two) and have gone from 30mg to 5mg (my last drop was from 10mg to 5mg in Feburary).

Although I pretty much went cold turkey on the methadone, it was a lot easier to give up than valium. I am now still feeling withdrawal from valium. I sometimes crave it. I constantly feel anxious, I cannot sleep unless I use zopiclone (although I don't use this every night as I would rather excercise to make myself tired and I don't want an habit), I am very quick to jump to un-logical conclusions about paranoias I have and I am also very restless (although this could be down to the lack of dopamine from giving up methadone). I am also still in a bit of physical pain (especially my back and stomach).

I know you may be thinking that what I have written doesn't help due to my giving up of two majorly addictive drugs at the same time but what I found when I made the decision to stop was that I had got to the root of why I was taking the drugs in the first place.

Two close friends got me to see the extent of my addictive personality and helped me focus on how that was stopping me properly enjoying my life. I know, escpecially with valium, that addiction can sway you towards defending the drug you are taking. I feel that to break away from addiction you need a lot more than other drugs to withdraw.

I am a very stubborn person and I have always thought the idea of seeing a psychiatrist/therapist/counsellor was not a good idea. In the past I have been convinced that I have a strong enough mind to be able to get by without support. Luckily, I have a good set of friends who have supported me through breaking my addiction but I wasn't always able to see that they were there for me. Valium and methadone put you in a 'bubble' where you end up distancing yourself from the people close to you. They make you feel as though you are getting along perfectly but in fact you are just content to be isolated (be that physically or mentally). When I gave up the two drugs I was amazed at how much I was in a kind of fog. I could hear better, see better and I realised how much I had been pushing the people away who cared about me (before I gave up I thought most of these people were against me).

If you are addicted and feel that you can talk to a stranger for support then get professional help with your problem. Not all councellors etc.. are working out of a text book. If you have problems with money then there are a lot of free organisations that offer support whilst you make the change and there are many people who work for the organisations that have fought addiction themselves.

Either way, the withdrawal I am going through at the moment is worth it. I wouldn't reccomend just stopping like I did due to the intense mania I got initially. I was fortunate to be in a position where work, money and being looked after wasn't a problem (my housemate is an angel for helping through it). I had been reducing methadone for six months and valium for two years and it took all that time for me to be in a position to be confident that I could handle the depression that came with stopping. Just stopping brings all the bad things that you have being trying to not remember up. This is why I think it should be done with support rather than just drugs. All my issues are still not resolved but I plan to see a psychiartrist just to have someone to vent my stresses to rather than laying it on my friends and feeling like I am being a burden (feeling as though you are a burden can lead you back into addiction a lot more than you may think).

My main tips for what to do whilst stopping are to keep active (eg. walking, excercise), take regular baths (to stop muscle ache), if you know you are about to stop or take a large reduction then prepare youself by not taking on any extra work, try to save so that you can support yourself whilst you are not feeling well (although this isn't often something realistic it is worth a try if you are in a position to), ask your doctor/drugs worker for additional support (or seek free advice) and the most important thing is to take care of yourself. Eat properly, don't over-work/over-play and if you find that the stress is too much and you have to go back onto the drug then don't beat yourself up about it. Take note of the things that got in the way of you stopping, discuss this with a friend/counsellor and work towards resolving the issue. It took me an uncountable amount of atempts to give up valium and opiates.
Avatar universal
A Cherokee grandfather teaching Tribal ways and philosophies on life to his grandson, spoke:

"A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight between two wolves.

One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

Looking straight into his grandson's eyes, the old man continues:

"This same fight is going on inside you and I and every person in the world."

His grandson, thinking about this phenomenon for a moment, asks his wise old grandfather:

"Which one will win"?

The Cherokee grandfather replies replies:

"The one you feed"!

I thought this was a good story to share. Don't feed the negative wolf inside of you, feed only the good wolf!

If you take valium and feed in good WHILE taking it, you will win the battle inside of you.

If you take valium and feed the bad WHILE taking it, you will loose the battle.

Avatar universal
I've had back problems for about 5 years. I followed the doctor's suggestions of physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments (2 and 1/2 years), cortizone shots, and then finally percocet.  I became addicted to 40mg of perc a day, then an ambien to sleep @ night.  This lasted over a year and and half.  In Nov. 2009, I wanted to reduce the perc (since it wasn't helping anymore and I was afraid to take more), the doctor gave me valium 10mg which I took on occasion and to help me get of the perc. By Dec. 2009, I needed surgery for my back and had it in Jan. 2010.  The surgeon wanted me completedly off the perc, which I did, in only a week.  The withdrawals were terrible.  All I could do is lie on the floor and cry.  When I woke up from my surgery, I found myself on Morphine.  Three days later, I was transferred to a rehab center, which put me back on percocet (but in a different form so I didn't know) and a lower dosage of the valium (which they told me was a muscle relaxer).  Four weeks later, I began to decrease the percocet and was completely off in 2 weeks!  I thought my problems were over.  Exactly one week later, my stomach began to cramp which brought me to the emergency room twice.  They put me on Dilaudid (a sister drug to percocet)-I felt wonderful!  Three days later, after finding out that I was on another narcotic I stopped completely.  That was 3 weeks ago.  My symptons were stomach cramping, night sweats, inability to eat ANYTHING without stomach cramping, insomnia, crying, depression, feeling of hopelessness (which a KNEW was not true, but felt it all the same), shakes, feeling I would never get better.  Five days later, I realized I was addicted to the valium as well and stopped cold turkey.  Exactly one week after the valium was stopped, I began with uncontrollable shaking, feeling my nerves were COMPLETELY on edge.  I couldn't stop moving because the tremors and nerves were so bad.  The only relief was an sleeping pill (ambien).  The doctor told me I was over the percocet, but was now going through valium withdrawals.  He gave me a "non-addictive" sleeping "aid" now.  I have had nerve pain all week, in my legs, arms & back.  Sometimes, I've had to use ice to help with the pain.  All the while, I am still shaking.  Morning are worse, but today was the first day I was able to be showered and dressed to go to church.  Being with my fellow Christians has made a world of difference for me.  They are praying for me.  I have been very open to everyone about this addiction, and know, through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, I will be over soon.  God did not take away my pain, but has been with me all the way, reminding me that what I've gone through was nothing compared to what He suffered on the cross, when He paid for me sin.  I am still feeling the effects of the drugs on my system, but know there is hope in Jesus Christ.  He overcame the grave...this is nothing for Him.  While I have read all the postings I have cried knowing exactly what each one of you have suffered because I am going through it myself.  In the same manner, Jesus Christ can also sympathize because He became a man and suffered and died satisfying God.  How do I know?  Because He was raised on the third day and was seen by over 500 witnesses.  (that would stand up in any court of law)  I've given Him my life, and I will serve Him.  He is my Lord and Savior; and I have peace with Him...even through this storm.  You can too!
Avatar universal
Speaking from my own experience getting off valium,  I would now stay off of it if you had your dose down to 2 and a half mgs.    Or use a pill slicer and take half of that 1 and a quarter mgs for the next week then stay off.     I felt edgy and jittery for some days but gradually you'll see the number of good days outnumber bad ones.    Now after several weeks I feel much better and really don't feel any effects.
1377606 tn?1278920190
Where to start...........well back in 1967, I had a duodenal ulcer. A G.P precribed 3 X 5 mgs Sodium Amytal P.D ......& 3 X 5 mgs Valium! Are these addictive, No way,  the only way you can hurt yourself is to jump in a vat full of tablets and drown..........OK, I took what he prescribed. The ulcer did not get better, I was a doped up zombie. That's OK for some, but I drive a truck for a living, and it is a  tough job!

I used to come home and sit in a chair just like a zombie. I used to go to be at 7 p.m. I found out about the Sodium Amytal, and I hit that cold turkey.I used to see the ceiling come down on me at night, and so the  withdrawal pains went on. Eventually I overcame that pill.

Next was Valium on the list. I stopped that. I was driving the truck along a main road and .............whoosh! I was not sure which way I was driving. I was shaky all right. I phoned the doc: Get back on the Valium straight away says the expert. I confronted him, I said these things are addictive, nonsense says he, I am a doctor, and that is my job to know! So I could not argue with the man.

As time went by, I saw other doctors and they all said, what the hell are you taking these for? They were prescribed for me some years ago by a G.P! Says I! So it went on.

One Medical I had, was for a British HGV license, and the M.D said, how the blazes do you keep awake on these? Good question, I did and have drove without an accident for over 50 years! If anyone has ever experienced the terror of disorientation whilst cutting the Valium, they would not ask that question!

Yes I have been in several clinics, and paid for it! Simply useless! A lot have jumped on the bandwagon of Hoffman La Roche to make money!

One joker had me cut it cold turkey, he knew his stuff alright. He was examing me a few days later, and tried to put his stethescope to my chest, I could not stop shaking! He prescibed another tranquiliser. One night a nurse came in to check me, and called the Matron, she got me some Valium tablets, she commented I was verging on serious fits.

I have tried the tapering off, according to Shirley Trickett, I went 9 months,down to 1/2 mg of Valium at night, but the pain in the epigastric area was murderous. I saw a G.P. he  put my on something, it was for dyspepsia he said, may have been only it was an addictive tranquiliser.
Back to square on, My wife said I was really putting myself through misery, and asked me to just get back on the Valium.

It has been like tha off and on now for some years. To come up to date. Apart from my job, I  also did Marahon running till I was 65, and clocked up 15 City to Surfs in Sydney.Plus swimming in distances.

I know a bit about the the religios side, as a church goer, I have not really got much from that. I have given each a shot, including the Unitarians, but that was no good.

I have a book 'The Tough Minded Optomis' by Norman Peale. I also have all his other books. I have several bibles and other religious works. So we can leave that for a minute.

I thought I would I would give Norman Peale's 'Positive Thinking' a try. OK so went ahead. One quotation I used and kept in my mind. Was from Phil:4:13.......'I can do all things through the power of Christ, which strengthens me'! I repeated this and thought about every hour in between my norma prayers. So far so good! I came down from 4 tabs: P.D to 3, then 3 to 2, then 2 to 1, It was a bit tricky, but using the words from the scriptures was going to get me by............! I mentioned the running a while ago, why? Today I was walking, a short walk, 3.5 miles. And whooosh, I got the most peculiar sensation. A sort of whizzing in the head, and I thought I was going to fall over! This contiunued half way through the walk till I got to the stage where I was praying I would make it home, I prayed no one would I bump into I knew, I was just about shaky knackered! I got home, and was grateful. But the whizziness was still there.

You will note I stopped running in 1965, a little question of cholsterol, which blocked one of my heart arteries had come away. I lost 20% of the power in my heart! Next, I lost my  wife to and isidious disease brought on for the brain cancer, the Stephen Johnson Syndrome, some expert Onclogists did not realise she was allergic to Dilantin!

Next step, they isisted I have a pacemaker installed! Why, they said my pulse was too low! I tried to tell them that all marahon runners have a low pulse in general, but  they were not used to seeing athletes, so I was given the bionic pacemaker!

Why I am saying or writing this I am not sure! But I feel I must. Don't let it put you off getting off your drugs, just do what you think best and try hard. One thing I will say, don't become the self reformed sinner! (As in the bible). You need a power greater than yourself! That is for sure, like in A.A. the 12 steps, it does not matter what you think this power is, or what it looks like, just realise, you need it. Just like the man on skid row, you can't fall any lower, but you can go up!

My e-mail is ***@**** if you want to drop me a line to tell me how wrong I am. But to you all............Good luck, just hang on in there, or you may finish up on the 43 year addiction!
Avatar universal
After undergoing a 21 day withdrawal period for Valium (cold turkey) in a hospital setting I have had skeletal muscle tightness in my chest and neck.  Sometimes it can be very distracting.  I have had this condition since 1979.

Has anyone experienced a similar condition ??
Avatar universal
You need to get your neck and upper back checked out. An MRI possibly. The muscle relaxant properties could have been hiding another condition that causes muscle tightness.
Avatar universal
I have been on Valium for 3 years.  Started tapering off a month and a half ago.  I am experiencing muscle aches,joint pain,panic attacks and a sour taste in my mouth.  I am astounded at the pain the drug has hidden.  I am worried that I will have to live the rest of my life with these symptoms.  However, I am steadfast on not going back to Valium or any other painkillers or sleep aids.  Can anyone here who has gone through this tell me if these symptoms last?        
Avatar universal
I am on about 70mg of vailum a day and stoped takin it about a week ago I feel like im gong to die!! any advice!!!
Avatar universal
I was on 6 mg Ativan for 1 year prescribed by a doctor who omitted to inform me that it should not be taken for more than 2-4 weeks. Had she told me this, i wouldnt have taken them for the length of time i have done..I have since been on a withdrawal taper and have replaced Ativan with Diazepam [Valium]  I am now down to 20mg of Valium, and wil be dropping another 5 mgs next week....Working ok. Main withdrawals are Dry metallic mouth,
Muscle aches, headaches,lethargy,.low mood and emotional blunting. I think that if you know what is going on, and why you feel as you feel as you withdraw, you can bite the bullet, and be courageous, and you will come through the other side. Slow tapering is the answer and remember not all people have the same withdrawal experience....One size does not fit all. I was initially given Ativan for a cancer scare that turned out to be ok But even though the reason i took them had gone,my dependence on these little monsters hadnt... i was lost in a maze of Benzodiazipine hell. I would rather suffer a few withdrawal symptoms than take that poison. I have done a lot of research on these drugs and was horrified to learn that they can cause permanent brain damage.  Anyone wanting to learn more should Google The Ashton Manual You will find all you need to know there.
Footnote; I have reported my doctor to the Medical council and that feels good!
Avatar universal
my boyfriend has a valium addiction and is slowly tapering with the help of proffessionals, hes not sleeping is up most of the night, ive never had to deal with anything like this before and know nothing about the drug, i dont know how hes going to react from one day to the next, ive tried getting him to talk to me but i just hit a brick wall, what can i do to help him
Avatar universal
my boyfriend has a valium addiction and is slowly tapering with the help of proffessionals, hes not sleeping is up most of the night, is there anything i can do to help him, ive never had to deal with anything like this before and know nothing about the drug, i dont know how hes going to react from one day to the next, ive tried getting him to talk to me but i just hit a brick wall, what can i do to help him
1580085 tn?1400940838
hi, i have withdrawn from vallium, and there are others who can help too, but this is an old
thread, if you go to the top of the page, and post your question , it will start a new thread for you and get you some help and advice,  sudie
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