Common Signs Of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal To Be Prepared For
Benzodiazepine is a prescription medication in the United States for treating insomnia, seizures, anxiety, and panic disorders. This drug is also a muscle relaxant.
Often, users develop tolerance to Benzodiazepines after prolonged intake of high doses. As your tolerance increases, your need for even higher doses will increase. If you stop taking the drugs, you will experience withdrawal symptoms, whether you took them under prescription or abusing them. Some users also report withdrawal symptoms after missing a dose.
Read on for the common signs of benzodiazepine withdrawal.
Physical And Psychological Symptoms Of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal
Benzo withdrawal will trigger physical and emotional symptoms as the body adapts to living without the drug. In terms of severity and time, each patient will experience different symptoms based on their dosage, abuse of other drugs, or preexisting medical conditions.
Immediately after benzo withdrawal, you will experience the following symptoms:
- ● Sleep disturbances
- ● Anxiety
- ● Increased tension
- ● Panic attack
- ● Excessive sweating
- ● Heart palpitations
- ● Headache
- ● Cravings
- ● Muscular discomfort and stiffness
- ● Cravings
- ● Changes in perception
- ● Hand tremors
Individuals with a history of high benzodiazepine consumption or taking the substance for prolonged periods are severe addicts and will experience less common but severe symptoms. These symptoms include seizures, hallucinations, psychosis, and increased suicidal ideation.
Rebound Insomnia And Anxiety
Benzodiazepines treat mental health disorders such as insomnia and anxiety. Abrupt withdrawal from benzodiazepine after prolonged use will exaggerate insomnia and anxiety through the rebound effect. A rebound effect is the return of previous symptoms that existed before benzodiazepine in a worse state than before. These effects of benzodiazepine withdrawal last for two to three days. You can also experience severe paranoia or panic attacks.
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms Timelines
Unpleasant symptoms characterize benzo withdrawal, and knowing how long the duration lasts can help you prepare for the worst. There is no specific timeline for the symptoms, which will last depending on the benzo you were taking and the duration.
For instance, your withdrawal symptoms will appear faster after stopping shorter-acting benzodiazepines such as oxazepam, alprazolam, and lorazepam. On the other hand, you will wait longer for the symptoms to appear in the case of longer-acting benzos like clorazepate and diazepam.
Typically, benzodiazepine symptoms will appear two days after withdrawal, but it can take up to 5 days for the longer-acting benzos. You will experience mild symptoms like anxiety and trouble sleeping, which will intensify over the weeks, lasting up to a month.
Some people report continued benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms for up to a year. While this is still under study, it is common in people with prolonged benzo use. Your doctor can recommend alternative and less addictive treatment in the latter case for a quality life.
What To Do If Experiencing Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
Benzo withdrawal symptoms will affect your quality of life depending on their intensity. Talk to your healthcare provider for advice if you have the above symptoms from missing a dose.
However, if your symptoms result from complete withdrawal from the drug, you require medical care and emergency attention in case of severe symptoms like seizure and delirium.