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Protracted Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms

Editor Dan Schimmel, LCSW, CAP
Created On
Updated On

Due to a variety of symptoms, many of which can linger for an extended period of time, some people find it difficult to withdrawal from benzodiazepine use.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Before you go through withdrawal, it is essential to become familiar with the symptoms that could present themselves upon moving forward. Here are some of the most common protracted Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms, along with the usual course:

  • Anxiety: gradually lessens with each passing month over the course of a year.
  • Insomnia: gradually diminishes between a period of 6 to 12 months.
  • Depression: typically lasts for a period of several months. This symptom can be treated effectively with the use of anti-depressants.
  • Perceptual symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and pain in the limbs: can last as long as a year, and is permanent for some people.
  • Motor symptoms such as tension, weakness, and muscle pain: can last as long as a year, and is permanent for some people.
  • Gastro-intestinal symptoms: can last as long as a year, and is permanent for some people.

Treatment Approach

Any treatment for benzodiazepine dependence is likely to be accompanied by post-withdrawal syndrome. The two primary areas of focus during withdrawal must include:

  • Anxiety management
  • Gradual dose reduction

Dosage reduction is simple, as long as a person is being followed by a medical team that is able to help them make the right adjustments along the way.

Anxiety Management

When it comes to anxiety management, it is a must to stick with treatment, such as psychological support, for as long as necessary.

Note: with so many challenges associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal, those who seek treatment at a professional rehab facility have a greater chance of success the first time.

The protracted benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms detailed above can be both uncomfortable and painful. With the appropriate treatment schedule in place, overcoming these symptoms over the long haul is possible.



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