An awesome wikipedia page—benzodiazepine withdrawal

Wikipedia has a great page on benzodiazepine withdrawal and the potential hazards. If anyone ever doubts your experience of horror at getting off benzos direct them to this page that includes documentation of studies that prove benzos are nasty addictive shit.

Of note it points out that people can become dependent within 7 days as well as intermittent use being the cause of rebound insomnia which is why I caution people, in general, to not even take regular intermittent doses of benzos. Once in a blue moon is really all that is safe.

Here too is a page they have on benzodiazepines half-lives and equivalencies.

And here is a list of all the names benzodiazepines go by.

These pages are certainly not the final word on benzo withdrawal, but if you need a place to start it’s a good one.

And to the man (WillieJ) the other day who was challenging my comments about benzos, here is your answer in spades.

Being that benzodiazepine withdrawal is really the only psychotropic drug for which withdrawal has been studied, this is about as good as it gets on info about how nasty withdrawal can be from a somewhat credible source. There are of course many people who think Wikipedia is far from credible. But they do site their sources so follow the documentation links to studies if you must.

Unfortunately all psychotropics have similar profiles, with the exception that addiction may not set in quite as quickly. I know from my experience in withdrawal groups, however, that withdrawal can be just as nasty with all the psychotropics—antidepressants to neuroleptics to mood stabilizers. This wikipedia entry is a foreshadowing of the future once people start wisening up and struggling to get off the other psychotropics they’ve been put on.

For an extensive collection of information on benzodiazepines and withdrawal from them see here: Benzo Info

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

9 Responses

  1. Sloopy Cowbell

    Interesting info. Thanks for posting it, Gianna!

    MIND, the leading Pharma-free mental health charity in the UK, publishes its own booklet on withdrawal from psych drugs, Making sense of coming off psychiatric drugs.

    MIND’s booklet was authored a few years ago, so some of the newer, even more toxic drugs unfortunately are not shown. However, the booklet does list the half-lives for most common psychotropic drugs, including benzodiazepines, anti-depressants and anti-psychotics.

    As you’ve just pointed out, Valium (diazepam) has the longest half-life of all the benzodiazepines (MIND lists the diazepam half-life as 1 to 4 days).

    I guess that is why experts like the psychopharmacologist, Professor Heather Ashton, recommend switching to diazepam when withdrawing from other benzodiazepines, like Klonopin, which have much shorter half-lives.

    The particularly long half life of diazepam means that the blood plasma level of the drug takes much longer to drop. This can mitigate some of the withdrawal trauma from tapering…


  2. Dorothy

    Thanks for all your informative links!

    This one is particularily thorough. So people take this drug for “anxiety”, cna look forward to possible heightened anxiety, tremors, muscle twitching, insominia, and much more, when they try to stop!

    This information has to be brought to the foreground when people consent to taking it in the first place. Why would anyone take this?


  3. Poster

    I took Xanax for 4 weeks and it took me over 5 years to recover from the major withdrawal symptoms. Now at 18 years I am still more sensitive to stress than before and I never feel quite right


  4. Thanks for the link !
    Alot of people only find out facts like this when searching online. Patients who monitor what they take and research have a much better understanding of the side effects than most doctors….


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