Author Topic: How long does it take for benzos to leave your system?  (Read 91826 times)

[Buddie]

How long does it take for benzos to leave your system?
« on: August 02, 2007, 08:44:08 am »
This was originally posted as a reply to this thread: http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=5660.0


Strictly, it will not be earlier doses that are processed, but just a proportion of the amount of drug you have in your system. It just depends on the particular molecule coming into contact with your metabolic processes. So, it is all chance, and probability. But since there are huge numbers of these drug molecules floating around our system, we can predict how much (a proportion) of the drug is metabolised over a period of time. The only problem is that it varies from person-to-person. The usual way to describe this is how long it takes for half of the drug to be metabolised (assuming that you have stopped taking additional doses), we can work out the amount fairly simply. This will be expressed as a range because of our individual differences. So, Valium will take between 36-200 hours for half of it to be metabolised. Of what's remaining, half of that will be metabolised after a further 36-200 hours. So, you will have a quarter left in your system after 72-400 hours. The maths is as follows:

Since we cannot know our individual rates of metabolisation, we will have to instead calculate a range of possibilities. In the case of Valium, that's 36-200 hours. To calculate how much is left in our system, say, after 6 days:

144 hours in 6 days, divide by 36 hours, equals 4. (144/36=4). - This is our power.

Half-[...] (0.5) to the power of 4, equals 0.0625 (as a decimal). Multiply this by 100 to express it as a percentage, equals 6.25%. This is how much is left in our bodies after six days, assuming that we metabolise Valium at a half-[...] rate of 36 hours.

Now, if we instead assume that we metabolise Valium at half-[...] rate of 200 hours, then: 144 hours in six days, divide by 200 hours (144/200=0.72). This is our power!

Half-[...] (0.5) to the power of 0.72, equals 0.607 (as a decimal) Again, we multiply by 100 to gain a percentage figure, equals 60.7%.

So, you see, even after just six days, the range of possible blood levels is very large, and the gap grows even larger with more time.

Again (more succinctly):

6 days; half-[...] 36-200 hours

6x24=144 hours

144/36=4 (for a half-[...] of 36 hours)

0.54=0.0625

= 6.25%

144/200=0.72 (for a half-[...] of 200 hours)

0.50.72=0.607

= 60.7%

Range = 6.25 to 60.7%.



Another example:

Clonazepam; 2 days and 6 hours; half-[...] 18-50 hours

(2x24)+6=54 hours

54/18=3 (for a half-[...] of 18 hours)

0.53=0.125

= 12.5%

54/50=1.08 (for a half-[...] of 50 hours)

0.51.08=0.473

= 47.3%

Range after 54 hours: 12.5 to 47.3%


So, we can calculate possible ranges, but I don't think it really tells us anything, apart from our individual metabolic rates has huge effects upon our meds. Because of this variability, two people on the same benzo, at the same dose, can expect to have very different blood levels, even when not withdrawing!

As a matter of interest, the possible range for Valium left in our system after 30 days is: 0.000095% (that must be undetectable) to 8.25% (that must be easily detectable). This difference is enormous. Knowing this probably doesn't help any of us though.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2008, 02:59:55 am by [Buddie] »
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[Buddie]

Re: How long does it take for benzos to leave your system?
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2007, 03:17:41 pm »
adivan doesn't stay in your system as long - so when i'm done will i have less withdrawal?  i have a slow metabolism.

also was thinking of doing a liver detox in a few weeks - i have to dedicate a month to it - would detoxing my liver help.

i read on a previous post for rufus that broccoli is not a good thing to eat - i just ate a bunch before bedtime - and was up all night - i may have shorted my dose accidentally to.

so what are good veggies - cause i wanted to eat veggies before bed.

i would like to slit my way out of this addiction with pills - but it may not be possible - ok i am rambling now.

but since adivan has a shorter [...] to it i am looking for something to hang on to in my withdrawals - does it help it is so short how can i make that work to my advantage?
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]

Re: How long does it take for benzos to leave your system?
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2007, 08:39:29 pm »
A short half-[...] is not a good thing with benzo withdrawal. What we are trying to do is taper gradually, but if the benzo is metabolised quickly, blood levels tend to dip radically between doses. For this reason we would usually recommend that short acting benzos are taken several times a day. The reason I posted the above is so that people can gain some idea of how long benzos remain in the blood after their last dose. The subject does come up from time-to-time, so I worked out the formula. It may not be exact as I don't know, for example, if there tends to be a shift in the rate we can metabolise benzos according our dosage. If this happens to be the case (I have no idea about this, it is purely an example), then it would mean that the half-[...] would change over time, and that would alter the results. However, since the above formula describes extremes, those extremes should still be accurate, just highly unlikely if there are other factors that come into play. I'm overly complicating the issue with this reply - I just wanted to get across that the above is only to demonstrate how benzo levels drop over time. It is impossible for us to know how long it would take an individual's levels to drop to undetectable levels as we would need to know their actual blood levels and how fast they metabolise their benzo.

Anyway, to better answer your question, a fast acting benzo means a sharp withdrawal if we were to suddenly stop our benzos. It is sometimes said that Valium (and other long-acting benzos) have a natural in-built taper to them, but in reality it is still far too sharp to be of use in of itself. Valium offers a unique combination of being long-acting and low potency. This means a smooth taper and more easily managed cuts.
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[Buddie]

Re: How long does it take for benzos to leave your system?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2007, 07:02:19 am »
I've decided to move into this topic for the rapid taper that I am doing.   I was at 30mg on Friday, 20mg on Saturday and then only 10mg of Valium on Sunday.   Today, returning to work, I felt dull and fatigued (which I have felt in the past when lowering a daily dosage), so I had to climb back up to 20mg of Valium to feel "normal".   I plan on going back to 10mg tomorrow for 2 days and then 5mg for another 2-3 days, then cold turkey after that.  This should work for me, but I wouldn't suggest this for anyone.  I figure that the symptoms will hit around Friday, so I've got at least 2 days to writhe in bed and drink gallons of water over the weekend.   Hopefully, I'll find some activities on the weekend to ease the bizarre after effects and Monday will be more energetic for me.   I know that [...] would like us all to follow a more structured and lengthy taper, but I can't do it.   It is all or nothing for me.   It is much too easy to get some sort of benzo for sleep as my doctor knows my long struggle with insomnia.   All I have to do is pick up the phone and call the pharmacy and they'll call doc and the prescription will be ready.  When I reach that point, and don't make that call and I can still type here honestly with no bullcrap, then I will be on my way.   Until then, this is only a nice story.   :sneaky:    :angel:
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]

Re: How long does it take for benzos to leave your system?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2007, 12:04:05 pm »
IMO, you are tapering way too fast and risking a melt down. :o  Let us know how you make out.

[...]
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]

Re: How long does it take for benzos to leave your system?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2007, 05:51:39 pm »
Good Luck
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]

Re: How long does it take for benzos to leave your system?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2007, 06:40:31 pm »
[...],

Wouldn't drinking tons of water flush the benzos out of your system and cause more withdrawal symptoms than by simply letting time pass and have the benzos slowly decrease in your system?  I don't agree with the way you are doing it, but if you are doing it the way you are, I just thought that it might be easier on you if you dump the water.
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]

Re: How long does it take for benzos to leave your system?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2007, 06:52:33 pm »
[...],

Wouldn't drinking tons of water flush the benzos out of your system and cause more withdrawal symptoms than by simply letting time pass and have the benzos slowly decrease in your system?  I don't agree with the way you are doing it, but if you are doing it the way you are, I just thought that it might be easier on you if you dump the water.

I'm unsure of what effect drinking a lot of water when taking the benzo and for an hour or two afterwards would have absorption rates (if any), but water, in of itself, will not, as far as I know, have any affect on metabolisation of the drug. Benzos are not 'flushed' from your system.
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]

Re: How long does it take for benzos to leave your system?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2007, 07:17:38 pm »
The drinking of water should help "flush" some of the more gross elements of the medications.   I know it goes much deeper than this, at a cellular level most likely, but at least it'll take my mind off of what is happening if I have to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes.   8)   By next Monday, I'll type exactly what is happening without holding back any info.   I really can't go slower than what I am doing now.   I know myself too well and if I get another bottle of 10mg Valiums, I'll just resume the 30mg [...] day eventually because it is too easy.   Thanks for your suggestions and concerns.   Keep 'em comin'... they make me "think" more about whether or not my efforts are working or not.   :)
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[Buddie]

Re: How long does it take for benzos to leave your system?
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2007, 07:39:40 pm »
IMO, you are tapering way too fast and risking a melt down. :o  Let us know how you make out. [...]

Thanks for your concern [...].   Funny though, the meltdown actually came in the middle of taking Xanax on a regular basis (only for about a month) and the Valium seems like aspirin in comparison.   If I start getting seized-up muscles in my neck, I'll know that I'm in the middle of something, but I've been through it before and I watch what is happening very closely.   Did you ever notice that when you were tapering down or off the benzos altogether that you react differently to all sorts of situations, voices sound different, major things feel major, minor things feel major  (over-sensitive), your choice of words in any conversation take on a different approach... more like living in the here and now almost.   ;)
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.