Benzodiazepines

Hi Guys,

Valium is the single best drug I have found in the last 4 years which gives me temporary and side-effect free results. The problem is, of course, that benzos are massively addictive and can actually cause neural damage if abused. I’ve hunted around the web a fair bit but cannot seem to find much good info on how to use these meds in a way that avoids addiction. Most just say use it for a few days and then run as fast as you can in the opposite direction before you succumb to the dark side. If it weren’t such an addictive med I’d be sprinkling it on my cereal every morning!

If anyone has some information on the most sensible use of these meds I’d like to hear more about it.

Thanks … Scott 8)

Here’s something I found that’s useful: a Benzodiazepine Equivalence Table

http://www.benzo.org.uk/bzequiv.htm

I may have found the answer already!

From benzo.org.uk

HOW QUICKLY CAN I BECOME ADDICTED TO A BENZODIAZEPINE?

The time it takes to form a physical dependency on a given benzodiazepine varies widely. The following variables may play a role: the size of your dose, the regularity with which you consume your dose, and most importantly, your personal body chemistry. People have been known to form dependencies in as little as 14 days of regular use at therapeutic dose levels. Your probability of forming some degree of dependency is significant, probably at least 50%, by the time you have been using them daily for 6 months. After a year of continuous use, it is highly likely that you have formed a dependency. It is unclear whether certain benzodiazepines are associated with a more rapid onset of dependency than others.

S 8)

Hey Scott,

glad you’re still with us :slight_smile:

It seems to me that there is not much hotter topic, drug-wise, than benzos. Many people demonize them and just as many casually claim that they are “as safe as aspirin.” And the two camps debate heatedly. You’d think it was a holy war.

I also did a ton of research (google scholar and Ashton’s work - you know of her work, right?) as well as discussions with my psychopharmacologist friend, and could find nothing better than this: Short-term use, one month daily dosing, no sweat. But in order to avoid tolerance, for long term use, take the lowest dose possible to relieve your symptoms. So where does that leave us ? The lowest dose possible to relieve my symptoms a year ago would have knocked out a horse.

Regarding a study on cognitive dysfunction, I found a quote in Julien’s Primer of Drug Action:

Stewart (2005) stated:

Meta-analyses found that cognitive dysfunction did in fact occur in patients treated long-term with benzos and although cognitive dysfunction improved after benzos were withdrawn, patients did not return to levels of functioning that matched benzo-free controls

The thing I worry about most is tolerance and tolerance withdrawal. The other issue is depression. Benzos eat up your serotonin.

it’s incredible how different each of us is. I heard a story of a man who went into tolerance withdrawal after one week on Ativan and another story of a woman taking Valium for 36 years, same dose.

That said, i take Klonopin 1.5 every day. I used to be a Valium user, but my doc likes Klonopin better so I tried it. What I like about it is that it doesn’t make me feel tired/dopey the way Valium does, so i made the switch. My other reasoning was that Klonopin is on the preventative list (not sure why) and the fact that Klonopin has stronger anti-seizure properties than any other benzo aside from Tranxene. Klonopin is more potent and is said to do more things in the brain than Valium - so i went with it. On the other hand, i fear that the issues of neural damage, tolerance and withdrawal could be harsher. Who knows. I’m just trying to get through the day.

It’s really striking to me that although i cannot find anything scholarly that recommends longer than one month daily dosing, I’m not sure how many docs are prescribing using those guidelines.

If anybody has any better information than this it sure would be helpful.

Julie

Scott, you type faster than I do :slight_smile: We were posting at the same time, you beat me to it

Julie

Valium has been a huge help the last few years. I alter the dosage. During the cold months, I’m at 5mg per day. 1/2 tab in the morning and 1/2 tab at night. When the weather warms up, I wean down to about 5 mg per week. 1/2 tab early in the week and 1/2 late in the week.

Damn the torpedos.
I use Klon at night and Xanax in the day.

My choice.

Heather

I took .25 mg Valium (“baby dose”) every day for six months. When I stopped to go on Verapamil, the doc said I was on such a low dose that he wasn’t worried about weaning me off it or taking Verapamil the very next day.

As far as I’m concerned, if it makes you feel better & side-effects aren’t worse than the original complaint, go for it. What ever works. Drugs are my friend :smiley:

“And the two camps debate heatedly. You’d think it was a holy war.” Amen, sista! I can’t believe how worked up some people get about this topic. It can be very … entertaining as long as you’re not in the middle of it.

— Begin quote from "joy"

I took .25 mg Valium (“baby dose”) every day for six months. When I stopped to go on Verapamil, the doc said I was on such a low dose that he wasn’t worried about weaning me off it or taking Verapamil the very next day.

As far as I’m concerned, if it makes you feel better & side-effects aren’t worse than the original complaint, go for it. What ever works. Drugs are my friend :smiley:

“And the two camps debate heatedly. You’d think it was a holy war.” Amen, sista! I can’t believe how worked up some people get about this topic. It can be very … entertaining as long as you’re not in the middle of it.

— End quote

I usually just troll those threads. But since there doesn’t seem to be any battle going on I’ll throw in my 2 cents. I took valium at 1 to 2 mg per day for over a year. I finally had to move my dosage up to 2.5 mg to 5 mg per day, for about 6 months before being dx’d. Once I started taking meds for migraine prevention, I quit the valium cold turkey and did not have a problem with it.

Brian

I think the reason there is no benzo battling going on here is because no one is claiming the either or position: “they are as safe as aspirin” versus “they are satan’s tic-tacs”

(I picked up that nickname from another site)

Satan’s tic-tacs. Lol.
Yeah well “Satan” visits me after every car trip to a doctor’s office and when I get out
of the car and go into the office, (like today) the darn chair, along with the inside of my head, is in motion like I’m in the ocean.
So I head for the ladies room and pop a “Tic-tac” before I have full blown panic and to calm down the symptoms.

Heather

:lol:

You chew 'em, right? faster action that way and you get used to the taste. And Mr. K they actually make in mouth-watering wafers to keep in your purse, pull 'em out, stick 'em under your tongue and you’re in K-induced stillness.

:lol:

No I don’t have Klon wafers-- what’s the lowest dose they come in, and can you break them up easily like brand Klonopin with the little K in the middle?
WTH are you talking about–chewing up Xanax? LOL!

Heather

The Klonopin wafer comes as small as .125 mg. They come in little sealed packets and you have to take the entire thing as soon as you open it. They are fragile and dissolve quickly in your mouth or can be swallowed with or without water.

As far as chewing Xanax. I have always chewed my benzos. When i took Valium for panic in my 20’s i found that I got a much faster reaction by chewing them, and when you’re in a panic, you want results fast. That’s why they make the Klonopin wafers. Besides, chewing them solves the problem of having to look for water, or swallowing them dry, which I’ve also done.

I even chew my Ambien, because I don’t want to drink any more water just before bedtime, plus it works more quickly.

Just for this particular dummy, my Klonopin strength medication per tablet is 500 microgram, and at present I’m taking one in the morning and one in the evening. What the heck is 500 microgram??? Is it 5 mg (milligram)???
cheers , Judy (confused and medically challenged :? )

500 micrograms = .5 mg :slight_smile:

I wish Mr. K induced stillness!
I wish anything induced stillness.
Benzos just kinda mute things, but believe me, the ground still moves up and down for me no matter what. :frowning:

Heather

I know, I can take 40 mg of Valium and still feel the rocking. they help, but they don’t take it away.

(I don’t take 40 mg of Valium, I only had to do that once under extreme circumstances during a full day of testing and driving, etc etc - don’t want to start any wars here. I was still walking at the end of the day and I was still dizzy, but I got through the testing, and that was the point.)

Thanks for the education Julie, (I’ll write it on the side of my bottle!), rather that troll backwards, out of interest what dosage of klonopin are you taking presently?
regards Judy

I was going to post that but forgot because i can’t remember anything beyond about 30 seconds :slight_smile: (and that’s why you see me editing my posts so much)

I’m taking 1.5 mg per day, that would be 1500 micrograms. So in your terms, I take 500 in the a.m., 500 at noon and 500 around dinner time. That covers my day pretty well.