Author Topic: Withdrawal from (irregular dosage) Oxazepam (serax)/substitution - advice needed  (Read 1258 times)

[Buddie]

Hi,

I am new to this forum but already found it very helpful. I am happy, although it's sad really, that I'm not the only one trying to withdraw from benzos.

I recently gave birth to a beautiful boy and ever since I felt some kind of unease. Maybe hormons. I developed severe sleeping problems to a point where I was awake almost all night, while I was extremely tired.

My docter gave me Oxazepam which is a short acting (6-8 hours) benzo. It works really well. I took it on and off for a couple weeks, but then almost daily for 2 weeks. During these 2 weeks I changed my dose up and down depending on how I felt. Then my docter reminded me that I should stop because I could get addicted to this med. I stopped cold turkey and entered a few days of hell. Extreme anxiety, muscle tension, panic attacks, etc. Maybe 24 hours and I was back on the Oxazepam, because I could not stand the symptoms. Now I still experience panic attacks, although I do take Oxazepam. I only take it at night (25mg) and sometimes 10mg during daytime I take it when I feel really bad. I am on a steady dose of 25mg in the evening for 3 days now and I am managing, although it's not easy.

Long story short: I want to taper of from this med as soon as possible. Doing a lot of research I am really doubting between tapering of the Oxazepam, of switching to Valium (Diazepam) first. I have had Valium in the past and it worked well for me, but I also read from people that switching to Valium could be quite hard.

Any thoughts on the following to approaches:
  • Either I try to stabelize my oxazepam usage and maybe switch from a single eveneing dose to a 2 or 3 times a day dose because of the short half life
  • Or, I subsitute to Valium (slowly). I am really scared of withdrawal symptoms when doing this because I am currently managing with 1 or 2 doses oxazepam daily, which is way better than the living hell I have been through. If I take 25mg oxazepam in the evening, would it be wise to switch to 20mg oxazepam + 2mg diazepam and see how I react? Will this guarantee a risk-free substitution or can anything happen and can I still get severe withdrawal symptons?

Lots of questions although I already read so much about it. Most people are on other benzos than Oxazepam and I now substition is not the same for all benzos.

Any help, succes stories, tips is so much appreciated. Thanks a lot and wish everyone here the best!

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Update: due to the longer half life and the easier tapering I have decided to go for substitution. I also read that oxazepam and diazepam are really similar and switching usually is no problem.

I am still doing it in a few steps over the next 1-2 weeks, just to be sure. The only thing is that I have only used Oxazepam for 1 or 2 months and I have been changing my dosis every day almost. One day I would take 50mg, the other 25, the other 12,5. Never more than 50mg though and only in the evening.

However, because of this I am not sure what my starting dose should be to start tapering off. Last 2 nights I took 25mg but the 25mg last night kicked in pretty strong so I am thinking maybe I can take less and start tapering from there. I am not sure what my body is used to, but I do know that I suffer withdrawal symptoms. Right now it's managable, last weekend (cold turkey) was hell.

So, knowing I do OK-ish on 25mg oxazepam at night only, do you guys think the following schedule will work for me without sever withdrawal symptoms (because I cannot handle that anymore)

every line in the schedule is 1 week or so, probably depending on how I feel. So during crossover I am also slightly decreasing my overal dosis. Is this too fast given my history of short and irregular usage? (ox=oxazepam, dia=diazepam). The schedule also assumes I will only take meds in the evening, or would it be easier if I split the dose and take some in the morning and some in the evening for a more stable withdrawal?

ox    dia (mg)
15   3
10   4
5    5
0    6
0    6
0    5
0    4
0    3
0    2
0    1
FREEDOM

So many questions and every situation is different, really hope for some tips/help/advice. Thanks a lot!
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Its good to hear you've tolerated Diazepam well in the past, I take it you already have a prescription for it?

I too am concerned about your uneven dosing of the Oxazepam, would you consider taking a steady dose of it for a few days to get a better idea of what your dose is?
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Hi,

Thanks a lot for your reply. Yes I have a prescription for Diazepam 2mg. My docter is very willing to do it any way I like because he doesn't beleive forcing anything will help me. Of course he gives advise and he thought switching to Diazepam would be good as well.

Last night I took 15mg oxazepam and 3mg diazepam (equivalent of roughly 22-24mg oxazepam) so that seemed like a pretty safe dose to me since I was doing OK on 25mg oxazeam. I am thinking maybe to stay on this a day or 3 and then go to 10mg oxazepam and 4mg diazepam (equivalent of roughly 19-22mg oxazepam). Is this safe or is this too fast?

Since I am not using for such a long time I was hoping I could taper pretty fast. Btw, yesterday and today are going pretty ok. No panic attacks so far. I really hope I can keep this up but I am so scared to get back the severe withdrawal symptoms. I know I should take it slow but at the same time I want off the meds asap. I am also scared that if I move to slowly my tolerance will build up and the last few MGs will be harder to taper.. Does this make sense?

One more thing: when I stopped cold turkey, I did a 4-day taper from 25mg oxazepam to zero. I went from 25/18/12/6/0. Thinking back, mild withdrawal symptoms came when I was on the 12mg, severe symptoms came 1 or 2 days after the 6mg. Since Oxazepam has a short half life can I assume that 18 was a pretty safe dose at that time resulting in mild w/d symptoms (1 or 2 days later). That way I can maybe go to 18mg rapidly now and take it slow from there. Do you thing this assumption is correct?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 08:31:30 am by [Buddie] »
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

I love the fact that you paid attention to your previous taper and noted when things got intense, this is exactly what you should be doing, using your symptoms as a guide.  You're right, those who have been on the drug for less time can typically taper and recover faster but of course its not a guarantee because we're all so different. 

I understand your reluctance to stay on the drug any longer than necessary but I don't feel the time spent tapering will add to your tolerance, it can take awhile to get to that state and your body has already decided you're dependent so take care that you don't render yourself non-functional because that beautiful baby boy won't care that you don't feel well, he'll still want mama.   :smitten:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Thanks a lot for your sharing your thoughts!

I am feeling pretty steady right now, doing OK during daytime a bit more anxious in the evening, it then gets better after I have taken my dose. I have other mild physical symptoms as well but the mental symptoms scare me the most. Staying on the same dose for a few dose now and then slowly take it from there.

One more thing maybe you know something about: if I am on a steady dose of diazepam and I get interdose w/d symptoms, would it be better to then switch to a 2-times a day dose? And then taper both doses to zero, or is it better to stay on just an evening dose as I am doing right now.

This forum is really great and I am so sorry for everyone going through this. 

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Its good you're having some steady moments in your day and I can relate to those mental symptoms, the fear I felt was terrible and totally nuts, I was afraid of things I'd never given a second thought to before, this process is awful!

Good thinking about your dosing and its totally up to you and your daily needs, this is your taper, your way.  :thumbsup:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Thanks again @[...]!

I am feeling OK-ish right now. Last cut in dose was 3 days ago. I am going for another 2.5mg cut tonight. Although I feel highly unstable I have not had panic attacks for 3 days and physicial symptoms are way less for the last 1-2 days as well. I will post an update in a couple weeks as it might help someone at some point.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2022, 08:22:38 am by [Buddie] »
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Thanks for letting us know your progress, I'm amazed you've seen some improvement but understand this is still really difficult.  We so appreciate you keeping us posted because we don't have that many members tapering Oxazepam so your updates are useful.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Quick update. Doing really well! Mild withdrawal symptoms but the tapering is going very well without severe symptoms. I think the fact that I did not use it for a long time really helps.

Currently down to 4mg diazepam daily, coming from 30-35mg oxazepam (which is approx 14mg diazepam). I have lowered my oxazepam dose really fast because of the short half life I could take a step back every 3 days. In the meanwhile I also substituted to Diazepam gradually.

I am wondering if I could maintain this pace because that would mean I can lower my Diazepam dose with 1mg every 3 days (which is comparable to 2.5mg oxazepam every 3 days, which worked fine). That way I can make the jump in 10-15 days already..! Or is this unwise because of long half life of Diazepam? Do you have any advice for this?

Overall I'm really happy this is going so well. After the c/t I was so anxious for what's to come but compared to those days it's a walk in the park right now. I'm just in a pickle on how fast to go with the Diazepam now because it takes so long before the withdrawal symptoms might kick in
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.