Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

benzos in a bottle

Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms begin when an addict abusing benzodiazepines stops. This also occurs with patients who are not addicted but have taken benzodiazepines consistently for more than a few weeks. Withdrawal symptoms are worse for those who take large amounts often.

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Without proper medical care, some of these symptoms can be life-threatening. Generally, when a patient is taken off of a benzodiazepine, the supervising medical authority will wean them off the drug over the course of a week or more. Weaning is a process where the daily dose is reduced gradually to avoid the more serious effects of withdrawal.

Common symptoms of benzo withdrawal

Disturbing dreams.
Anxiety, panic attacks
Sometimes called ‘fragile mood’, a hypersensitivity to stimulating events.
Rapid heartbeat
Especially prevalent forthose who were using benzodiazepines to treat mood disorders, sometimes called ‘rebound depression’.
In serious cases, this can lead to seizures.
Loss of appetite
Associated with depression and anxiety.
A feeling of detachment, unable to feel emotion
Ringing in the ears
Psychosis, hallucination and delusion
Mirrors the delirium tremens of alcohol withdrawal and can be fatal if untreated. This, along with seizures, is the primary reason patients are advised not to suddenly stop long-term use of benzodiazepines.
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