How long does Valium withdrawal last?

Valium withdrawal starts a few hours after the last dose of Valium has worn off and can last for several weeks. More on how to cope with Valium withdrawal symptoms and what to expect as your withdraw from Valium here.

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Valium (diazepam) withdrawal can last for weeks. Why?

Valium is a benzodiazepine. It used to provide short term relief for anxiety and has been used to help to support alcoholics from recovery. Though Valium is used to help support initial chemical detox processes, Valium itself has a high dependency rate. This makes withdrawing from Valium, or Valium withdrawal syndrome, just as difficult as alcohol and other substances.

If you are planning to stop taking Valium and want to know which side effects stop taking Valium to expect you are in the right place. Here, we explore the withdrawal process from diazepam and what you can expect over the course of the weeks after you stop taking Valium. We also invite you to ask any questions you may have about Valium at the end.

How long until Valium withdrawal starts?

If you become physically dependent on diazepam and have decided to stop taking Valium, youcan expect to go through the process of withdrawal. You will start to experience Valium withdrawal symptoms a few hours after the effects of your last dose of diazepam has worn off. The intensity of withdrawal from Valium symptoms depend on the duration of and amount of Valium dosage and/or if you are using Valium outside the prescribed parameters. Below is a list of symptoms you may encounter at any time during Valium withdrawal.

  • abdominal pains
  • dysphoria
  • extreme anxiety
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • muscle pain
  • restlessness
  • sweating
  • tension
  • tingling of extremities
  • tremors

How long do Valium withdrawal symptoms last?

It generally takes people longer to withdrawal from Valium than from other medications. Most people continue to experience Valium withdrawal at different levels of severity for several weeks after last dose of diazepam. Because of the nature of Valium, symptoms will seem to get easier and then suddenly spike with the strength you felt at the beginning of the withdrawal symptoms. Valium withdrawal symptoms: how long? Acute withdrawal lasts from 3-6 days, while other symptoms can persist for weeks or months later.

Valium withdrawal timeline

The onset of Valium withdrawal symptoms begins a few hours after the last dose of Valium has worn off. Symptoms will continue to intensfiy and last for several hours later. In fact, while acute symptoms of Valium withdrawal usually subside after the first few days of detox, more persistant symptoms of Valium withdrawal can last several weeks afterwards. Furthermore, “rebound symptoms” can occur, which may manifest in high levels of anxiety. However, these symptoms should begin to decline about 6-8 weeks after quitting Valium.

24 – 72 hours Valium withdrawal: Withdrawal from Valium mimics that of alcohol. Your body will experience tremors, sweating, and agitation. Intense resurgence of anxiety or symptoms which where once taken care of by using Valium can also be present.

Week 1 Valium withdrawal: There should be a lessening of withdrawal symptoms from diazepam after the first week of Valium withdrawal. Physical symptoms will be evening out. However, it is likely you will still experience sleep disturbances and mild aches and pain.

Week 2 Valium withdrawal: It is during this time that acute withdrawal symptoms tend to resurface with the same original intensity.

Week 3-4 Valium withdrawal: Symptoms of Valium withdrawal again tend to dip before possibly resurfacing. This week should be even better than week one, as the further away you are from that last does, the more you can feel your body returning to normal. Insomnia and anxiety may still be a problem you will have to deal with.

Valium withdrawal: how long?

As a benzodiazepine, diazepam withdrawal seems to fluctuate between highs and lows. One week you may feel great; the next week your body can manifest severe withdrawal symptoms and can expect some level of fluctuations during withdrawal.

Depending on the amount of Valium you have been taking and the length of time you’ve taken it, you may go also exerpience PAWS,post-acute withdrawal symptoms. These are a set of persistent symptoms that last for several weeks to months after you have stopped taking Valium. What makes this process more difficult is that Valium withdrawal symptoms can mimic the original disorder(s) Valium was used to treat. However, keep in mind that although withdrawal does exacerbate anxiety, depression, and agitation … it passes. Other rebound symptoms such as panic attacks can be addressed by a psychologist or psychiatrist.

How long Valium withdrawal questions

If you have any more questions regarding withdrawal from Valium please ask. We do our best to respond to your question accurately and promptly. Also, we invite you to share your own experience of withdrawal from diazepam. What did you go through? What helped?

Reference Sources: NCBI: Diazepam withdrawal Syndrome
FDA: Valium
National Library of Medicine: Controlled Study of withdrawal Symptoms 
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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