Tapering off Tamazapam - can I take GABA?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Marta608, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I want to stop my dependence on Tamazapam (generic Restoril) for sleep and my occasional half of a generic Xanax. It's HARD. I wonder if anyone has taken GABA while tapering off a benzo? Pros and cons.

    My doctor finds no problem with the meds/dose I take. I've asked her about GABA, but she doesn't know what GABA is! After reading so much about the benefits and reasons for GABA it appears that benzos reduce our ability to make our own supply.

    If you don't have personal experience with this and/or don't want to give an opinion, could you suggest where I might look? Neither benzo nor GABA sites give this info.

    [This Message was Edited on 06/02/2011]
  2. heapsreal

    heapsreal New Member

    If your looking at tapering off benzo's they say it is best to change to an equivilant dose of a longer acting benzo like valium as theres less withdrawal problems. Temaze and xanax have very short half lifes so withdrawals are going to come on quicker and harder. Also u will need a slow taper and from what i have heard it isnt to pleasant but can be done. The thing i think about with withdrawals is will your sleep return to normal or is your sleep problem caused by damage from infection to the sleep centre in the brain, so even a successful taper may not improve sleep, but u will never know until u try.

    good luck and cheers!!!
  3. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I have CFS/ME. Poor sleep from stress seemed to be one of the causes for me; that and EBV.

    You're right, the withdrawal symptoms feel almost constant. Maybe my doc would try me on something else. Good thought. Thank you. And thanks for the links. I'll look into them.

  4. lgp

    lgp Well-Known Member

    because foolishly, I stopped taking it abruptly. What a foolish mistake, as I became very ill in much the same way a bonafide drug addict would. I told my internist and she was very upset with me. She said you have to taper off of it with half doses (i.e. if you are taking 15's you may need to go to 7.5's for a short while). But truly, I was so sick, if I had to do it over again, I would do it exactly the way the internist wanted me to. Listen to your doctor!!


    P.S. For the most part, I sleep really well now with no sleep aids.

    PITATOO Member

    Take it slow. You say your Dr. has no issue with your current dosage/usage of Tamazpam? You just don't want to be dependant, I understand and feel the same way. I was on Klonapin for 12 years 2mg bid, switched to Valium 10mg tid(high dosage - made my blood pressure and heart rate plumet) I am now down to 5mg Valium bid, tried to cut further and now I feel this is my maintenance dosage and Dr. feels the same way, but would for sure like to be free of it, but maybe I really need it at this point. In the beginnning of my battle with FMS/CFIDS I was just put right on Xanax/Klonapin as they thought it was all stress but that was before disagnosis of FMS/CFIDS. But now I feel at this level of 5mg of Valium bid is what I need; at least for now. Have tried GABA. But as you say I think once you are on a Benzo (or similiar family) that it may not work. I'm sure your Dr. knows what GABA is but it is a supplement and you know how that goes with a majority of mainstream Dr.s. I also inject 1/2 cc B12 every other day and this seems to help, my Dr. is very understanding this way. Do some more reasearch on GABA, it's been a while since I tried it and there are also some other herbs/supplements that can help. If all else fail if you can afford it, go to a Natrupathic Dr. , to at least get some guidance.

    I know it is really tough to get off of benzos after being on so long. I hate the idea of "having" to have them. I never take more than my dosage but still, when I travel out of the country it is stressful, "what if I run out?", "what if I am leaving the country 3 days before I can get a refill??? you can't get a refill of a us script even in Canada. So it is tough...

    Good luck...
  6. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I had to pick up a refill of meds, so had a chat with the pharmacist about this. Bottom line: "Don't worry about it! You're taking a very small dose." My thought was, Compared to whom? She did ask if I'd tried alternative therapies like acupuncture. It's very pricey but I may have to save up and I'd still have the tapering issue. There is now a generic 7.5 Tamazapam but I haven't tapered that low.

    No, my doctor has no problem with continuing the benzos, but docs are always happier when their patients aren't on them. Like so many mainstream doctors, she did not know what GABA is. With CFS/ME, I really think we're dealing with neurotransmitter dysfunction - along with the problems that can cause. As mentioned here, some of us may need a low maintenance dose.

    I did ask her if Valium or Librium (longer lasting) would be easier to taper, but she thought not.

    Yes, I hate "having to have them", too. The other night when we had a tornado warning, what was I doing? Right. Getting the benzos to take to the basement. The cats were on their own!

    Thanks for your replies. I'm going to keep working on it for now.

  7. heapsreal

    heapsreal New Member

    Im not sure what dose your using of temaze, im guessing 15mg. Try to drop the xanax altogether. With temaze try using it every second night,on the nights u dont use temaze try the over the counter sleep aids which are antihistamines, then after a few weeks use temaze every third night. The other nights also start looking into natural supps like withania, l-tryptophan in doses of 3000mg and a few other things u can find having a google. The natural stuff u could add to antihistamines but try to have a few nights with just supps. slowly try to ween of the temaze and replace with natural supps. once off temaze altogether try to stabilze on natural supps for a few weeks and then try to have a few suppfree nights. The thing is to do it slowly, but it would be better if u could replace temaze with valium though.

    I have thought the same thing about getting off sleep meds but sleep is one of my worst symptoms and im not sure coming off them is going to help, even meds are hit and miss sometimes. I think cfs hits us all differently, some end up with severe POTS, for me its dysfunctional sleep or no sleep. for me to attempt coming off i would need a good 6 months off work, which i cant afford.

  8. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Yup, 15 mg. Temaz. Oh boy, I tried an OTC sleep aid one night and thought I'd die the next day. I suspect I must taper down on Temaz whether I want to or not. I'll ask the doc about valium.

    Jam, sounds like a good plan. I wish I'd found natural things that work for me before I was put on the Tamaz. I think I have a long road before me.

  9. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Try googling "l-theanine benzo withdrawal" - There are several links written by people who have used l-theanine while tapering off benzos. Some people say it helps, others aren't sure.

    l-theanine is an amino acid which helps the brain produce GABA and can be very calming. Unlike GABA, l-theanine crosses the blood-brain barrier and I think is more effective than taking straight GABA.

    One caution: a couple of people warn about developing serotonin syndrome while taking l-theanine. This is inaccurate - l-theanine does not increase serotonin levels and will not cause you to develop serotonin syndrome. I think they are confusing it with 5-htp, another amino acid. 5-htp does help the brain produce serotonin, and so should not be used together with SSRIs because then serotonin levels may go too high.

    For what it's worth, I can't tolerate prescription ADs, but do great with 5-htp - no bad side effects.

    Good luck!

  10. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I guess that shows us once more that every body is different. Thanks for your thoughts. I've had l-theanine on my list but haven't bought it yet. I have SO MANY supplements unused in my cupboard.

  11. msSusan

    msSusan Member

    I wouldn't try to switch to Valium since I have been on Valium (5 mg) for approx. 3 years and I'm having trouble weaning off of it. I take for daily headaches, fibro pain/muscle and sleep.

    I have tried taking 3.75 mg at night and I start to not sleep as well and feel more anxious and achy during the day. Lately, I've also been very groggy even during the day at the lower doses.

    L-Theanine and GABA has not helped and 5-HTP, Inositol makes my daily headaches much worse. Many supps. and meds make my headaches worse!

    Any other weaning off tips would be greatly appreciated.
  12. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I'm still tapering the Tamazapam, as I said, it seems to be almost one grain at a time!

    I found an herbal combination at the nutrition store call Valerian Easy Sleep. It has various calming herbs in it. They might have something here at PH that would be similar, but I haven't checked yet.

    The directions are to take two tablets 30 minutes before bedtime. Since I'm still tapering the Tamaz. I take one tablet, not two. It seems to help me sleep longer before I need the Temaz. and I've felt less anxious during the day. It may be all in my head, but I don't care; whatever works! I suppose you should check with your doctor first but if you're doctor is like mine, they don't know anything about herbs or supplements.

    Keep in touch. As soon as I make more progress, I'll let you know.
  13. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Thanks Jam. I'll check it out.