Valium detox timeline: How long to detox from Valium?

It can take weeks to months to detox from Valium. More on tapering protocols here.

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minute read

Withdrawing from benzodiazepines can be more difficult than withdrawing from opioids. The symptoms are similar, but are more intense and last longer. Plus, many symptoms can lead to serious psychiatric or mental health problems.

More here on tapering recommendations and slow withdrawal tips for coming off Valium (diazepam). Then, we invite your questions or comments about the Valium detox timeline at the end.

Valium detox duration and length

Benzodiazepine withdrawal timelines are highly individual. Each case depends on the amount of the medication taken, the length of time a person has been taking the medication, and which benzodiazepine the person is taking. Still, there are general principles of slow tapering and monitoring symptoms that anyone coming off a benzo should follow.

Generally, the best way to avoid serious withdrawal symptoms when detoxing from Valium is to reduce the amount of medication you are taking or how often you are taking them before you run out. Ideally, tapering should occur under MEDICAL SUPERVISION and take at least a few weeks, if not a few months to complete.

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Cutting the amount by 25% per day or an additional 25% every other day is fairly rapid and may result in some withdrawal symptoms but it is better than suddenly stopping them when you run out. Additionally, the withdrawal from benzodiazepines can mimic an anxiety attack. You may experience muscle twitching and seizures. Seizures related to benzodiazepine withdrawal typically last 30 seconds to a couple of minutes.

Valium detox timeline and schedule

Together with your doctor, you need to decide a plan of how to reduce the dose gradually. A common plan is to reduce the dose by a small amount every 1-2 weeks. The amount the dose is reduced at each step may vary, depending on how large a dose you are taking to start with. Also, the last few dose reductions before finally stopping completely may be less than the original dose reductions, and done more gradually.
The gradual reduction of dose keeps any withdrawal symptoms to a minimum.

Sometimes, other medication may be prescribed to help you cope with symptoms while you are coming off Valium. For example, you may be offered antidepressants if depression emerges whilst you are on a withdrawal program, or beta-blockers if you need help to control anxiety.

One proposed schedule suggested by professionals for a simple withdrawal process from Valium might look like this:

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  • Each 1-2 weeks you continue the same pattern: first lower the morning dose for 2mg and then continue to lower the dose taken at night.
  • In the first one or two weeks you can take 20mg of diazepam in the morning and 20mg at night
  • The next week or two, you lower your morning dose to 18mg and continue to take 20mg at night
  • Then you take 18mg of diazepam morning and night

How long to detox from Valium?

A very gradual detox time getting of Valium will be around 9 months, or so. The detoxification should start slow and gradual. What is more important is that you are making steady progress and safely quit without serious withdrawal symptoms.

Valium detox scheduling questions

Any questions about Valium detoxification duration? If there`s any please feel free to contact us by asking them in the section below. We are eager to hear your detox experience or to refer you to someone who can help.

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Reference Sources: SAMHSA: Abrupt Withdrawal from Pain Medications – Information and Caution
Patient: Stopping Benzodiazepines and Z Drugs
Benzo: SLOW WITHDRAWAL SCHEDULES
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.

4 Comments

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  1. I have been in Valium off and on for over 30 yrs. It is a monkey on my back so-to-speak. I have taken this because of Brain Cancer, It was a botched surgery. And following rad treatments it was so severe I was in and out of the hospital. I lost everything due to a neurologic problem. It was prescribed by a neuro physician that was a demise position in my surgery to stop seizures. Now in this culture they frown on anything you take. That is why they are titrating me off. I would like to know the half-life of Valium 5 mg.

    Sincerely,

    Stevie

    1. Hi stevie g. The half life of Valium is particularly long, 20-80 hours. However, Valium’s typical half life in a young, healthy person is about 24 hours.

  2. Sister has been taking 15 mg of diazepam for the past several years; doctor prescribed. she will not go to see a doctor and I have been noticing her legs shaking a lot and she is having trouble walking and is in a lot of pain. It worries me greatly. She has been on this for about 10 years. She takes 5 mg in the morning and 10mg at bedtime. I would like to gradually start decreasing her dosages and wonder how to go about this and will it be safe for her. Thank you.

    1. Hi Lorraine. The safest way to quit Valium is by slowly reducing the daily dose. I suggest that your sister consults with her doctor to help her plan an individualized tapering schedule. Also, take a look into the Ashton Manual here: https://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/
      It provides simple tapering schedules as well as tip to deal with benzo withdrawal.

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