Anyone wean themselves off temazepam?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and ME & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' started by Jen F, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    I have been taking Restoril [temazepam] on and off for about 6 yrs, constantly for the last 3, on max dose for last 2 yrs for sleeping.

    I gather from recent info that I need to wean off slowly.

    Has anyone here done this? How long did you take to wean off? How long were you taking the drug?

    Did you have any long term withdrawal effects even after discontinuing the medication?

    did you start off too quickly and put your dose back up a bit? [like what I've just done? i was taking 30 mg, and went down to 15 or just less than 15 mg per night.]

    Did you switch to diazepam and wean using that?

    thanks very much.

    Jen F
  2. Goodday

    Goodday New Member

    I tried to quit temazepam. I went without for two nights. My big problem was that my mind wouldn't shut down enough so that I could go to sleep. Got up about 3 a.m. and took Trazodone. Then I slept four hours only. I woke up extra achy and very tired with pain and stiffness. After two nights I gave up. I talked to my doctor and he said that if I didn't need more than the 15 mg to stay on it. But I did try several other types of sleeping pills but could not get the 6 to 7 hours of sleep nor the deep sleep. Restoril is working for me and my doc said we shouldn't mess up a good thing at the present time. Also I can take it in addition to the LDN, (low dose naltrexone) without a problem. On this combination I do not need the Trazodone. Prior to that I was taking both, Trazodone and Restoril.
    At the present time I am still taking 15 mg at bedtime. My doctor said if I don't need more than that he is happy to keep prescribing it.
    Why do you want to get off of it? I have never needed more than 15 mg. I think I could quit in three nights if I really really wanted to. I know some people cannot get the same effect and need to keep upping the dose. Since I am on the lowest dose I can't "wean" off.
    I read somewhere that it prevents Stage IV sleep. For me, it helps me get to sleep, otherwise my mind would race and I would not go to sleep, in my experience. It also keeps me sleeping the whole night through. This is the only pill that helps me without an a.m. "hangover."
    Guess this may not help you much. If you need off of it have you tried over-the-counter Sominex or something like it? That doesn't do the job for me.
    You might want to wean off at 15 mg for a week or more. Then try an OTC pill for a few nights. This is just a suggestion. Sorry I cannot give you an exact answer, but someone might! Goodday
  3. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    I had a bad drug interaction with the REstoril and with Percoset.

    If I need anything strong in the future for pain, I could have a big problem...

    I do find the Restoril excellent for sleeping, but with time you will probably notice it will start to lose it's effectiveness and you will need more. then like me you will be on maximum dose and eventually it will not always work.

    My friend thinks the REstoril might also be contributing to my fatigue these days.

    I always planned to eventually come off it, but I had heard that people with CFS who improved their functioning were able to come off benzo's without much withdrawal. So, since I am pursuing alternative health treatments I hoped I would get to a point where i would be a little better and THEN i could try weaning. But that time has never come.

    I know a CFS doctor here in Toronto who is an advocate of taking sleeping meds when it is the lesser of 2 evils, i.e. being reliant on them to sleep or not getting good sleep and the fatigue and cognition worsening. So, I have been going with that way of thinking.

    But, find yourself in the hospital with shortness of breath because your lungs are too relaxed, faintness, and confusion, etc and realize you can't take your usual dose of REstoril and it gets you thinking and concerned. Then, when after 2 days of a lower dose you start to go into a terrible withdrawal with nausea and all of the above still and you feel so sick you just want to die...you get worried.

    I figured I would experience some insomnia, I have forgotten to take my pill and not slept the whole night before, but I didn't expect to have such strong withdrawal effects. I thought might take me a couple of weeks to come off the REstoril and it might be SLIGHTLY uncomfortable and I might not sleep much for a couple of weeks, but i didn't expect the reaction to be so severe.

    Now, from my research I find that to be safe one must wean off VERY slowly and carefully. It could take me 6 MONTHS to come off this drug. 6 MONTHS!! And then, some people still have some withdrawal effects for 18 months or LONGER....

    Did you know this?

    I sure didn't.

    One of the resources I found on the net is written by a woman who ran a clinic for 12 yrs to help people get off benzo's. For our drug she seems to recommend a gradual switch to diazepam which can be easier to cut the dose by small, exact incremements.

    I need to talk to my doctor about this, but I don't know that he will be familiar with this. I bet many GP's aren't.

    I hope you never have to go through this, it's been unpleasant to the extreme. However, if I had tapered much more slowly, I might have avoided a lot of the discomfort. Mind you, the 3 days I was sick due to the drug interaction, I didn't have much of a choice but to reduce the dosage of the Restoril.

    Thanks for everyone's response so far.

    Hopefully I will hear from someone who HAS done this after being on for quite some time.

    Jen F
  4. Goodday

    Goodday New Member

    Gosh, I am sorry you have been going through such traumatic problems. I really hate taking pills and we never know how we will react or how they react to each other. Now I am afraid after what you have said. My docotor is not above and beyond putting me in the hospital if necessary, if I should have to go through something like you are going through. I have already gone through withdrawal of Ultram. It was a tough 2 1/2 weeks.
    Just what are we suppose to do to get that deep sleep? Just how are you reducing the Restoril? Hope someone else has your answers!!
    Goodday
  5. Goodday

    Goodday New Member

    Oh, there is an older drug that doctors sometimes use for drug addiction or to help get off a drug. It is called Narcon and needs to be used under constant supervision. In other words, you need to be hospitalized. I don't know what they use now though. I hope you are keeping your doctor informed. Goodday
  6. RachelLeah

    RachelLeah New Member

    I was put on a 15mg dose last July. It was raised to 30mg last Oct. I took it every single night up until mid April. I take it every now and then. I never knew people had to wean themselves off of it. I never had any discomfort, withdrawls, or anything. I noticed no differance. Hope that helps.
  7. pinkquartz

    pinkquartz New Member

    i have been on Tamezepam for 12 years.
    I began on 10mgs and went up to 40mgs !!
    last autumn i felt so concerned that it was too high .I wanted to cut down by half i decided to do it by cutting down by 2and a half mg every fortnight .
    [However my personal life got a bad hit then when a close friend got hit by a car and i have had him staying with me since, and this has got in the way.]
    I remember i felt terrible for 3 days and nights and then my body adjusted to the new dose over approx 2 weeks.
    i really want to cut it down because i do feel it has had a negative effect on my brain.....i think this is why i am less creative and also my sense of humour decreased.
    But i have read that the longterm can cause a reduction in intelligence and i don't want that to happen. [if its not too late of course, :-}...]

    i now use mealtonin which really helps me to fall asleep. Also magnesium.
    I still do have sleep probs.....but since i added in the magnesium there is a slight improvement.

    I think the tamezpam doesn't work really on me anymore, but i can't fall asleep without it.....so i think the best plan is to reduce very slowly.
    I have switched to the syrup rather than the tablets.
    this gives more control over the dosage.

    I think you cut down too much too quickly, try again real slow......Good Luck,
    and best wishes, pinkquartz
  8. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    Pinkquartz, thank you.

    Are you sure there is a liquid form of the drug?

    I asked the pharmacist here in Canada and she said no. But then she also had little clue about weaning.

    I am so tired of medical proffesionals who don't have a clue about one thing or another but won't admit it and look at me like a head case...

    Where do you live? maybe the syrup is avail in your country only...

    Please let me know. A syrup would allow for more exact weaning.

    thanks.
  9. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    ...due to the length of time I have been taking the Restoril. Nurse talked very sternly to me.

    But, an inpatient stay is not feasible for me. I have a cat that requires meds twice a day, my own special dietary needs, all my supplements and stuff here, and now with my neck problem, my special pillow, backrests, supportive chair I've borrowed, and my massager, my epsom salts, etc. I can't pack all that up and I have no one who can pill my cat unless I pay a service or take him to the vet and I don't think that's necessary...

    And yet, I can't find a doctor who knows about benzo withdrawal and tapering who can give me good guidance.

    My friend told me to contact the Addiction Research Foundation so I did and there is a clinic that i have been told I should go to, but there is a 5 week wait for an assessment!!

    I can't believe all this.

    Just because I want to wean off my sleeping pill.

    Think hard and think long before getting dependent on a benzo long term.

    And if you come off, do it much more slowly than I started.

    Jen F
  10. Goodday

    Goodday New Member

    Well, I am doing so good at what I am doing. I am on the low dose naltrexone but I still take the 15 mg Temazepam. I have thought of getting off. Seems the time is never right. Some people on other boards swear that the Naltrexone is helping them get deep sleep. I am not ready to swing it alone, but I got off of trazodone and Restoril at night. Plush the awful Ultram. Man, I was either high or so down with pain when it wore off. I won't use Ultram again!! Anyway, dear lady, I would try mixing lower and lower doses with a small amount of water and go to bed immediatly after taking it. That way you might wean your self. My doctor said if I do not need more and more that it wasn't a TRUE addiction. Secretly, I am not so sure. But right now I am functioning so good that I am satisfied. The "other thing" I am dealing with is anxiety, which came upon me while house hunting. I hate to move right now....but one has to move on, like it or not. Does my little suggestion help? I hope so. Goodday
  11. Goodday

    Goodday New Member

    Let us know how it is going, OK? Goodday
  12. pinkquartz

    pinkquartz New Member

    i am in the UK.
    we don't have the capsules here.
    i had a problem with the tablets....i wasn't falling asleep on the generic ones and a carer i have knew about the syrup cos of it being used for the elderly people.

    i think you should re check if it is available in Canada because i know here you get told something isn't available and it is if you keep asking different people !

    I think the main thing is to do the stopping really slowly and to research something else that will help you to relax.
    Could be herbs or reflexology or lavender oil in your bath.
    or everything!
    I have some herb tablets called "compose" by metagest that i use when really wound up and they do help.
    Also if you find a really good herbalist they can do a mix to help drug withdrawal.
    There are people out there who can help...its finding them.

    Reading your posts has got me thinking i really want to cut my dose down further too.
    good luck
    pinkquartz
  13. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    I found this online at a website called
    benzorelief. I didn't read the whole thing because
    I am too tired. They are selling a product that they
    say can help. If you think it would help you, let me
    know. I would be willing to buy it for you if you think
    it may help you.
    Hugs,
    Lynn
    You can use my email in my profile

    Study Report
    http://www.benzorelief.com/studyreport.htm
    Thursday, July 17, 2003

    Benzodiazepine Withdrawal
    Study Report:
    ‚ÄúSymptom Reduction In Persons Withdrawing from Benzodiazepines‚ÄĚ
    By: TERRY NEHER, DDS, CCDC, NCAC
    Vice President, Research and Development,
    NeuroGenesis, Inc. Houston, Texas
    ABSTRACT
    An amino acid, vitamin and mineral formulation was designed to restore GABAergic, opioidergic, and serotonergic deficits observed in persons suffering acute and protracted withdrawal symptoms associated with reduced use of benzodiazepines. In addition amino acids, vitamins and minerals were added which have been shown to further reduce anxiety provoked responses of striated and cardiac musculature. Seventeen adult male and eighteen adult female subjects who had been prescribed benzodiazepines for periods of time ranging from one to fifteen years, and who were all experiencing withdrawal symptoms as a result of attempting to reduce and stop the drugs, volunteered for the study. Twenty seven of the participants were following the tapering regimen suggested by Professor Heather Ashton of England and described in her manual "Benzodiazepines, How they Work and How to Withdraw". This guide is strongly supported by the author of this study. Each respondent understood they would not know whether they were receiving placebo or experimental product. Each was given a 30 day supply of either placebo or experimental. At the end of 30 days the products were switched and those having received placebo received experimental and visa versa. Symptoms were described and noted for each participant prior to beginning the study and during the study. Symptoms varied from extreme to moderate withdrawal depending on the benzodiazepine being used. Those persons attempting to taper Klonopin, Xanax or Ativan had a more difficult time due to rapid cycling of highs and lows of Norepinepherine activity. Those persons on long acting benzodiazepines such as Valium were more successful in the tapering process and experienced lower levels of anxiety and associated symptoms. Regardless of the drug being used, however, all respondents but two expressed that they were better able to function and were more clear headed when using the supplement as part of their tapering. The time period for this study was relatively short and further results will be documented over the coming months. At this time the product is scheduled to be tested in Europe as well as the United States.
    INTRODUCTION
    Since 1964 the use of benzodiazepines in this country has exploded to epidemic proportions. Librium, the first discovered, became known as "mothers little helper" and prescriptions for these "tranquilizers" were soon in the millions per year. People began to expect a pill to solve their problems of worry and anxiety and we soon stopped "solving" our problems and took drugs to change the way we felt. No one knew or expected that the use of these pharmaceuticals would one day create a monster of a problem linked to their use.
    As patients took these drugs for longer periods of time and then attempted to stop they were confronted with terrible psychological and physiological withdrawal symptoms which incapacitated them. People in withdrawal have lost jobs, families, their very lives as the extreme anxiety, sleeplessness, confusion, heart problems and other extreme withdrawal factors prevented them from interacting in society in any meaningful manner.
    Even patients who attempted to very slowly taper their dosages and gradually withdraw from this dependency experienced some degree of discomfort and the difficulty remained for months and years after use. While these people were no longer "dependent" on the benzodiazepine they continued to suffer protracted withdrawal and a significant degree of disability.
    Over the years even more potent benzodiazepines have been developed with the result that even more debilitating withdrawal is now evident. Recently, persons who were familiar with NeuroGenesis products and successes with nutritional supplements ask that we look at the "benzo" problem and determine if we could help those suffering with this dependency with a nutritional supplement.
    Upon reading the "Ashton Manual" on withdrawing from benzodiazepines and talking with numbers of people in this predicament it soon became clear that each person's experience of withdrawal is unique. Although there are many features in common, every individual has his/her own personal pattern of withdrawal symptoms. These differ in type, quality, severity, time-course, duration, and many other features. Such variety is not surprising since the course of withdrawal depends on many factors: the dose, type, potency, duration of action and length of use of a particular benzodiazepine, the reason it was prescribed, the personality and individual vulnerability of the patient, his or her lifestyle, personal stressors and past experiences, the rate of withdrawal, and the degree of support available during and after withdrawal, to name but a few.
    SUBJECTS AND METHOD
    Eighteen adult female and seventeen adult male subjects from all areas of the United States made it known they would be willing to participate in a study related to benzodiazepine withdrawal. All but three of the subjects were currently taking benzodiazepines and the others had been off the drugs for periods of time up to 12 months. Of those on the drugs all but two were following some kind of a tapering regimen for gradual withdrawal. Ten of the subjects were taking Klonopin, eight were taking Xanax, two were taking Ativan and twelve were taking Valium.
    Each person was interviewed by telephone and asked to describe the dose they were taking, any other medications, any other supplements and the symptoms they experienced on a daily basis. As expected the symptoms varied greatly but all described a torment that prevented the person from interacting in family and society successfully. (Persons taking antidepressants at the same time as benzodiazepines were excluded from the study). Each was then sent either placebo or experimental product sufficient to last 30 days and asked to take six capsules per day in divided doses. Each person was reinterviewed at periods between two and four weeks of the study and asked to again describe symptoms present at that time.
    Not surprising, those on placebo expressed little relief from the previous symptoms. Those on experimental product, however, indicated an awareness that some of their symptoms had diminished, and this added hope to their process. Interestingly, when the original experimental group was sent placebo for their second 30 day period they all stated they could tell the original discomfort was returning by the third week. They all requested that the previous "product" be sent to them when reinterviewed at the second and fourth week of the second month.
    Eighteen of the original participants have remained in contact at the four month mark and all are still taking "experimental product". They all report that the symptoms of withdrawal continue to wane as they taper their use of the tranquilizer. Several have stopped the benzodiazepine and are continuing on Neu Recover BZ and are expected to do so for an unknown period of time.
    One factor that stood out as each reported their progress/lack thereof was that those persons taking Valium were much more able to taper their use and experienced improved functionality sooner than those on the other benzodiazepines. Klonopin was the most difficult to taper and assist with symptom reduction via nutritional supplementation. All Klonopin users described extreme mood swings and difficulty functioning when attempting to taper the drug. Xanax users reported the same phenomenom and Ativan appeared to be almost as difficult. As Ashton points out in her manual, it much more simple to taper the long acting Valium and this was born out in our study.
    RATIONALE FOR FORMULA
    The Gamma Amino Butyric Acid (GABA) receptor is an extremely complex receptor system. GABA accounts for almost 40% of all neurotransmitters in the brain and this fact indicates it's importance in maintaining calm and logical thinking. Located on the GABA receptor are several other sites that become occupied by other various neurotransmitter chemicals. Principal among these auxiliary receptors are those that receive benzodiazepines. When a benzo occupies a receptor site it assists GABA in opening a channel into the neuron on which it is located and chloride (from NaCl, salt, for instance) passes through this channel into the neuron. This then reduces the firing rate of that neuron and "calms" down activity. While it is obvious that we were not born with a receptor for benzodiazepines, which were not known until 1964, it is obvious that we have a normal and natural neurotransmitter to act at these sites. These natural transmitters act very quickly and are so quickly degraded that they have not been positively identified and named at this time.
    The issue that is most important and the issue that causes all the problems of dependency is this: when the auxiliary receptors are occupied for longer than normal periods of time by drugs such as benzo's the result is that the brain begins to reduce the supply of GABA. The brain works to maintain balance, homeostasis, and will not do what it doesn't need to do. If auxiliary receptors are busy doing most of the work it does not need to make GABA, and it does not. The problem comes when the person attempts to stop the use of the drug which is assisting GABA and now there is not enough GABA to do the job on its own. Also, since "artificial" neurotransmitters in the form of a benzo were being introduced the brain makes less of its' own auxiliary transmitter and the problem is compounded. Dependency now exists for the benzodiazepine to open channels to allow chloride to calm activity. If the channels are not opened then adrenalin and noradrenalin run rampant and continually fuel the fight or flight response. Heart rate increases, sleep decreases, appetite decreases, all the states that are required for an alert are constantly present. Normal everyday human activity is not possible when the brain and body are engaged in the process of fighting or fleeing.
    CONCLUSION
    The depletion of brain chemistry required to maintain calm can be brought about by prolonged use of drugs such as benzodiazepines. The symptoms associated with this depletion become obvious when the drug is discontinued. The result is that the person is so incapacitated by these overwhelming negative states that they are virtually unable to function in society. In the past the medical community has simply told the patient to take the benzodiazepine all the time. This leads to distinct problems with blunting of affect and reduced ability to think and act as required for job and family. The solution is not more drug use. The solution has to involve rebuilding the normal brain chemistry needed to think and act calmly and rationally. This can be accomplished by a combined effort to gradually reduce the drug use and at the same time provide the building blocks for normal brain function which can only be gained from nutritional sources. In this case the precursor loading of the selective building blocks allows brain function to eventually resume normal function
  14. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    The awful withdrawal symptoms have slowly begun to ease slightly over the last 5 hours, thank goodness. I'm still wonky, but how I feel now my symptoms are at a level i can cope with more.

    I upped my dose, not back to max but to almost max a few days ago and I guess I might finally be turning the corner from the withdrawal caused by more than 3 days on a lower dose.

    I still haven't found a doctor who can help me properly, but I could go back to my usual clinic and have the GP there phone the Addiction Research Foundation, or was it the Centre for Addiciton and Mental Health...I can't rmember which one and they have all amalgamated...but they told me my GP could phone and they would give him info. They would not give me info over the phone.

    Thanks Lynn, I did see that info already on my search, it's actually Dr. Ashton's protocol that I've been talking about where tapering for my Restoril dosage is almost 6 months long for complete weaning and they use diazepam for full weaning off. I think I saw that product listed that is supposed to help with symptoms, but it's ingredients are already things I take as supplements, except the GABA which my friend has some of and I could try some of his. If I find differently, i will keep your offer in mind. Thanks very much.

    The effects of the withdrawal on my muscles were very unexpected. Talk about a shut down...

    I had a D.O. appointment this eve and I ran across the street between sets of traffic. My legs almost gave out part way across and I really really had to focus to keep my legs working - wasn't sure if I was going to make it. I needed to find someplace to lean on for a moment after that. won't be doing THAT again. I think I will stay on my current dosage [30 mg minus a small bit of the capsule] until I get some better supports and medical advice set up.

    I'm so tired.....

    I need a vacation. We all probably need a vacation...

    pink quartz, I will definitely look into the liquid form and its avail in Canada. However, perhaps it is made up from powdered capsules by a compounding pharmacist?
  15. LindaManx

    LindaManx Member

    I've been on 20mgs of Temazepam for 16 yrs..the drs are wanting people off this now....I started cutting out 1/4 tab eac night for 5 nights, things were'nt too bad till yesterday when I was in near total collapse. I happened to be at the hospital for another prob, my hubby had already had to help me to car to get there, in the hospital was sat in chair clinging to wall, culd not make it to consultants room, he had to come to me.......I had to take my usual 20mg dose to stabilise me, felt I was dying.......and thinking how the heck can I do this any slower.............the Drs are'nt much help in reducing..I just feel lost............this consultant wants me to take Cymbalta for arm nerve pain, and i'm so scared to take it as the coming off them I've read from people is horrendous.....I'm not winning with anything at the minute....has anyone managed to wean off slower in anyway ???
  16. nicholedvm

    nicholedvm Member

    I have been on Temazepam for about 1 year, 15 mg. I have been very sluggish and foggy headed. I thought I had CFS honestly. I decided to go off of it 4 days ago- completely. I am a NEW PERSON!!! My head is so much clearer and I don't feel nearly as tired! That medication slows your brain activity and causes fatigue and memory loss! I felt I had to post this in the hopes that it could help some of you.. By the way, after I went off of it I had a couple of nights of bad sleep but now I am sleeping better than when I was on it! You have to tough it out! It will get better.
  17. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    Those drugs can be so damaging.....I avoid them.

    I have the arm nerve pain and that's when I get my dedicated
    toothbrush and brush my arms with one of my topical creams....
  18. freeter

    freeter Member

    I avoid all "pam" class after my last attempt trying them.