After 4 years, COMING OFF BENZO. HELP??

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Jen F, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    Hi y'all.

    As a result of my bad drug interaction recently, I am coming off the Restoril [temazepam] I have been reliant on for sleeping for more than 3 years.

    Until Thursday, I was on the maximum dosage of 30mg a night and lately it had lost some of it's effect on me.

    Then late Thursday I took 15 mg too close to percoset and the whole awful drug interaction started, where I had a heavy chest, shortness of breath, etc.

    I haven't taken more than about 10 mg at night since and I know little about benzo weaning. I am definitely having withdrawal effects.

    Any suggestions for the best way to do this? Tonight, now that I feel confident all or almost all of the Percoset is out of my system, I will take 15 mg, but I don't know if that is enough for a reasonably comfortable weaning process.

    Please share your stories.


  2. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    You have my empathy. I have never gotten dependent upon Restoril, and only use it about 6 times per year, but I am very dependent upon Xanax, and have gone through withdrawal from it four times in the last 17 years.
    The key is to do it very SLOWLY. The problem with Restoril is it comes in capsules, so it is not just a matter of breaking them in pieces like with Xanax.
    I would recommend carefully pulling the capsule apart while holding it over a spoon, and taking as close to 22.5 mgs as you can get. In otherwords, one 15 mg. cap and 1/2 of another 15 mg. cap. Do that for the next week. Then for another week alternate 22.5 mgs. with 15 mgs. every other night. Then for another week take 15 mgs. The following week alternate 15 mgs. with 7.5 mgs. The following week take 7 mgs. The next week alternate 7 mgs. with 3.5 mgs. The next week take 3.5 mgs. all week. The following week, alternate 3.5 mgs.with nothing (expect some trouble here when you go to zero despite your caution, and resign yourself to a couple of nights of insomnia, but don't accept any dangerous symptoms like too rapid heartbeat, stomach spasms, chest pain, etc. Back off a bit if that happens. Providing all goes well, you can stop the following week.
    This is exactly the way I do my Xanax withdrawls, and doing it any faster is a disaster, at least for me. I am genetically programmed towards dependency though, having had two alcoholic parents. Still, better safe than sorry. Also, restrict your exercise while withdrawing, for at least the first two days after each time you drop down a dose. Exertion can trigger panic attacks when you are withdrawing from benzos.
    You will be in my prayers. You can do it!
    Soft hugs,
  3. suz41

    suz41 New Member


    Glad to hear your feeling better, howver I am concerned about you weaning off your meds on your own, especially after the problems that sent you to the ER. If you have been on Restoril for three years and cut the dosage in half that seems awful fast without being under a doctors supervison. Watch yourself carefully for signs of withdrawl such as the shakes, nausea, muscle cramping, severe anxiety or anxiety like reactions. I think you should consider going a bit slower so your body doesn't react and land you in a bad place. Please contact a physician, you probably will need help with this.
    keep us posted
  4. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    No stories, just sorry to hear of your troubles.
    My mother might still be suffering from
    Paxil withdrawal. I am not sure.

    Gosh, will it never end with us.
    Here's hoping that we both have some
    good news soon for a change.

    We must be strong.
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    In fact, you should have called him right away when you noticed the drug interaction. Please give him or her a call. Benzos must be weaned off slowly. Good luck.

    Oops, just saw your other post and realize you did seek medical help. It doesn't sound as though you got much help though. Sometimes we have to be pretty assertive with docs.

    Love, Mikie
  6. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    Thank you very much for caring.

    NO, I have not seen my doctor yet about this, but mentioned to a friend with knowledge about coming off and the ER doc said I should take 15 mg that night after I left.

    I really really don't want to go back to my GP yet...Maybe I should...but I am so tired of doing that. I am sick of that office and they are sick of me and it takes up so much of my day, there is a lot of waiting. And I don't know that the doc knows much about benzodiazepene withdrawal anyways. You guys might know more than any of the docs at that clinic, tho maybe I should phone them and see.

    I was going to de research on the net, but haven't been feeling too well, so thought it might be a little less effort asking you guys.

    I have been having a little of the too rapid heartbeat and some other symptoms, including being flattened most of this eve.

    Thanks for your recommendation to restrict exercise while withdrawing, for at least the first two days after each time you drop down a dose.

    You say "Exertion can trigger panic attacks when you are withdrawing from benzos. " I certainly have been feeling nervous and jittery at times, like I've had 8 cups of coffee or something.

    Thanks for your best wishes, I really appreciate it.

    I am going to go rest for another few minutes and then read the rest of the responses.
  7. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    Thanks for your input, Suz.

    You said "cut the dosage in half that seems awful fast without being under a doctors supervison."

    Okay...maybe I will go up a bit on my dose tomorrow, maybe between 15 and 25 mg for a few days.

    You said "Watch yourself carefully for signs of withdrawl such as the shakes, nausea, muscle cramping, severe anxiety or anxiety like reactions. I think you should consider going a bit slower so your body doesn't react and land you in a bad place."

    Okay, thanks. I have been having very minor shakes on occasion, and anxiety which have reduced significantly since I just took a 15 mg capsule. But, I feel so...flattened...such a big push to get up and do anything. Not the usual cfs exhaustion, just more...inertia? I was in bed from about 6:30 til 8 and even got some sleep. Mind you, I only got 3 - 5 hours sleep last night.

    I have my homemaker calling tomorrow so I am hoping I can get my laundry ready before bed, but it's not looking good...

    Also been having a few hot flashes. Anyone else experience those?

  8. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Pharmacists know SO much more about these things than doctors and are usually quite helpful.
  9. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    Thanks for your input. I am getting the impression that I am doing this faster than i should...

    As you say, I did seek medical attn for the drug interaction. The first night I phoned a pharmacist and after speaking with them went to ER, by the time a doc saw me several hours later the S.o.b. had passed and was mild so was sent home with no medical care, just agreed not to take percoset. doc who saw me said he had never heard of this and as far as he knew, one should be able to pop both percoset and REstoril into mouth at same time.

    So, because I thought percoset was the problem, when I got home at around 7 am from ER after no sleep, I took the second half of my sleeping pill dose. Turns out that was a bad idea...I fell asleep and when woke up 5 hrs later, realized I had the s.o.b. again. So, I went to my GP'S AGAIN [been there a lot lately] and waited almost 2 hrs to be seen.

    The GP gave me an rx for toradol so i would have something other than an opiod for pain and told me to take it easy that evening and the s.o.b. would probably go away soon. I was wondering if he was going to give me an inhaler for my lungs, but he didn't. At the end of my appt with him, I started to feel flushed and faint and I told him so. He asked me how much I had to eat that day and when I told him a papaya and some salad he felt I just needed more to eat. [Note: It's hard to have time to make a proper meal when I needed to rush to the doc and then wait for almost 2hrs...]

    I wanted to know the half-life of percoset, etc and how long for the drug to be completely out of my system, but he didn't know.

    so, I went home again, tried not to do anything exertional, and tried to be calm about the s.o.b. and wait for it to pass. But, later that night I developed additional symptoms of lightheadedness and some confusion and nausea. So, I went to ER again hoping they could give me something to help, maybe an opiod-antagonist or something.

    It was good to get oxygen and be admitted to a bed quickly, but waited over 5hrs to see a doctor, feeling absolutely dreadful, nauseated, unable to sleep, very cold, shivering, then later too hot, needed cold compress on my head. They did take blood which was okay and checked my heart when noticing arrthymias with the finger pulse monitor, heart ECG was fine. Doc gave me nothing and told me to go home, take some restoril and try to get some sleep and wait til this awful feeling passes.

    So, you are right, I don't feel I got A LOT of medical help. A little, but not a lot.

    I am so tired with seeing these docs...maybe I will try on Wed, I don't have any appointments booked for then so far.

    Thanks for your comments and concern. I will contact my doctor soon and in the meantime appreciate the helpful info from this board. As I've said before, you guys often know more than the GP's i see.

  10. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    forgot to call my doc today, will call tomorrow.

    sometimes I am feeling "flattened". Almost like a catatonic state, but not that serious, just like I can't think, can't my "doing will" as Dr. Stoff calls it, is very very low and I am so tired...Is this part of the benzo withdrawal? Partly a yeast die off thing? {I am focussing even harder on avoiding sugar and having a better diet}


  11. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    this is one rough ride.

    I want to get off.
  12. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    does anyone know of doc in toronto familiar with benzo tapering??
  13. SantaAna9

    SantaAna9 New Member

    Hi, I'm new here, so if I'm telling you something you already know, forgive me.

    I was taking up to 12 mg Ativan 2 1/2 years ago. I went to a therapist (non-medical) who took me off it very, very slowly. I'm talking half a milligram every two weeks. It took a long time, and when I got to 6 mg, I thought I'd never get past that, but I am now on 1-2 mg of Clonazpam daily. So, as you see, I'm still not done. But so much better. Less pain, less fatigue, more alert.

    You can only do one thing at a time. First deal with getting off this medication and and then worry about the rest.

    I have a little pile of meds I take every night and I am now sleeping well for 7 hours -- 2 Trazodone, 1 Flexeril, 1 Zopiclone. I'd like to take 1 Trazodone (if only to lose weight), but I wake up about 3 a.m. I am going through a very stressful time right now, so I'm not going to mess with my medications just yet. One thing at a time.