non benzodiazepines home page Non benzodiazepines

Withdrawal From Diazepam

Withdrawing from diazepam after long term use is not easy to do and dosage reductions must be done slowly to avoid serious physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. On this page you can read a suggested withdrawal regime to wean yourself off of diazepam (Valium).

Diazepam is a benzodiazepine which has a very long elimination half life (20 - 100 hours with an active metabolite 36 - 200 hours). Another good thing about using diazepam is that it is available in low potency doses of 2 mg tablets which can be quartered allowing for very small dose reductions. You can also get liquid form diazepam, which a small number of people prefer to take to wean off the last few mg's. These factors makes diazepam the ideal benzodiazepine to use to taper off other benzodiazepines. If the benzodiazepine that you have a dependence on is diazepam, then you are already off to an advantage. If you are dependent on a benzodiazepine other than diazepam we recommend the reading the excellent summary of the reasons for tapering using diazepam (valium) by Prof Ashton. You can use this page to compare equivalent doses of diazepam to other benzodiazepines if you are dependent on another benzodiazepine and you are considering crossing over to diazepam. This is also another useful page containing Professor Heather Ashton's Benzodiazepine Equivalents Table.

It is easier to become addicted to benzodiazepines as tolerance rapidly develops to these drugs, than it is to free oneself from an addiction to diazepam or other benzodiazepines. The good news is that there are withdrawal methods which can be utilated to make the withdrawal process easier and more managable. See diazepam withdrawal table below.

Below is a withdrawal schedule that we suggest as a general guide. It is important to note that this withdrawal schedule is seen as a schedule which is a general guide and not a withdrawal schedule which is carved in stone. We advocate that the individual takes responsibility for their own rate of withdrawal according to their own body's response to dose reductions. Individuals should remember that withdrawal effects from diazepam usually appear within 5 days to 14 days, but can be delayed for up to 3 weeks. Some individuals may want or feel it necessary to go even slower than the rates shown below and some may want or feel they can go quicker. It is the individuals choice. We do believe however and agree with the statement in the B.N.F (British National Formulary) that it is better to reduce benzodiazepines too slowly than it is to reduce them too quickly!

Withdrawing from Diazepam

Withdrawing from 60 mg of diazepam to 40 mg can be carried out using 5 mg or 10 mg sized tablets
Follow Table From Your Starting or Current dose
Morning Afternoon Evening Total Daily Dose
20 mg 20 mg 20 mg 60 mg
Hold reduction for 10 - 14 days
17.5 mg 17.5 mg 20 mg 55 mg
Hold reduction for 10 - 14 days
17.5 mg 15 mg 17.5 mg 50 mg
Hold reduction for 10 - 14 days
15 mg 15 mg 15 mg 45 mg
Hold reduction for 10 - 14 days
12.5 mg 12.5 mg 15 mg 40 mg

Withdrawing from 40 mg of diazepam to 20 mg can be carried out using 5 mg sized tablets

Hold reduction for 10 - 14 days
12.5 mg 11.25 mg 12.5 mg 36.25 mg
Hold reduction for 10 - 14 days
11.25 mg 10 mg 11.25 mg 32.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Now that the dose is going below 30 mg of diazepam most people find that they need to slow their taper rate down, so we recommend cuts are done every 3 - 4 weeks.
10 mg 8.75 mg 10 mg 28.75 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
8.75 mg 7.5 mg 8.75 mg 25 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
7.5 mg 7.5 mg 7.5 mg 22.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
10 mg   10 mg 20 mg
Withdrawing from 20 mg of diazepam should be carried out using 2 mg sized tablets
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
9 mg   9 mg 18 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
8 mg  

8 mg

16 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
7 mg   7.5 mg 14.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
6.5 mg   6.5 mg 13 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
5.5 mg   6 mg 11.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
5 mg   5 mg 10 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
4.5 mg   4.5 mg 9 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
4 mg   4 mg 8 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
3.5 mg   3.5 mg 7 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
3 mg   3 mg 6 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
See also NOTE below for additional information on withdrawing from 5 mg of diazepam
2.5 mg   2.5 mg 5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
2 mg   2.5 mg 4.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
2 mg   2 mg 4 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
1.5 mg   2 mg 3.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
1.5 mg   1.5 mg 3 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
1 mg   1.5 mg 2.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
1 mg   1 mg 2 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
0.5 mg   1 mg 1.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
0.5 mg   0.5 mg 1 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
    0.5 mg 0.5 mg
Drop Last 0.5 mg dose of diazepam and Never Take Another Benzodiazepine Again
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gradual Diazepam Detox Complete

NOTE: Some people find it difficult in the final stages of withdrawal from 5 mg of diazepam to zero. If you are one of these people it may be of value asking your doctor to provide you with the 2 mg per 5 ml diazepam liquid suspension, and obtaining a 1 ml syringe from your local pharmacy/drug store/chemist. Users can then obtain smaller dose reductions than the 0.5 mg sized cuts using tablets. See this page on SLOW WITHDRAWAL FROM DIAZEPAM using liquid suspension diazepam.

  Home Forum Withdrawal Benzo Names Contact Us  
Disclaimer Stories Books Feedback Sitemap