Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome

Benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome is the longhand term used to encapsulate the strange and overwhelming set of reactions to coming off these sedative drugs. More often, the condition is named benzo withdrawal.


This extensive list of typical adverse reactions caused when reducing benzo drugs has another peculiarity, where these symptoms come and go, get worse, ease up, then become excruciating again, leaving the person feeling desperate and unable to predict or cope with such extreme changes.

Here is an incomplete list of the troubling reactions that wax and wane during benzo withdrawal:

  • Psychotic episodes
  • Heart palpitations
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations and altered perceptions
  • Suicide, suicidality
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle pain, stiff muscles
  • Weakness
  • Nausea, dry heaves
  • Memory loss
  • Weight loss
  • Sweating profusely
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors, especially of the hands
  • Shaking
  • Loss of concentration and ability to focus
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Mood swings, i.e., rage, irritability, crying spells, etc.
  • Headaches

Tolerance and Dependence

Benzos are becoming scrutinized more carefully by a growing number of medical practitioners, causing many physicians to elect to restrict prescribing the drug for more than a few weeks. A policy of restricting prescriptions of benzodiazepines to short-term without refills could prevent many patients from having to suffer benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. But the suggestion received harsh words by some quite vocal proponents of unrestricted long-term use, who argue that to limit their use would inflict unnecessary human suffering on those who rely on them. Some might also worry that such restrictions could put a damper on profits obtained from the sale of the incredibly lucrative benzodiazepine class of drugs.

As always, one is served well by educating oneself, and making one's own informed decisions concerning vital health issues. What can be learned about becoming tolerant to and dependence on benzo drugs? We know that tolerance can occur within a very short time (2 weeks or less), meaning that after crossing that line, the physiology of the brain and CNS has adapted to the presence of the psychoactive drug. The next fact we can learn is that after establishing that point of tolerance, stopping or reducing the drug can be expected to produce withdrawal symptoms.

One can learn more about various chemical and hormonal interactions and how toxic drugs and other substances affect the very intricate and fine workings of the brain and CNS. But the above, though over-simplified, can serve as a primary outline or guideline for the phenomenon known as drug tolerance. It is wise to walk back benzo tolerance and dependency with care, utilizing experienced and medically trained caregivers. We can help.

How to Avoid Benzo Withdrawal Syndrome

The Alternative to Meds Center provides a residential program that provides a safe, gentle taper process for those who have become dependent on benzo drugs and wish to stop. The withdrawals from this class of drug are renowned for their longevity, severity, and relentless nature. Our program is designed to prepare a person for withdrawal, utilizing natural substances, nutritional boosters, gentle cleansing of the toxic load, improving sleep and stability, and other assistance before tapering even begins.

We invite you to call and find out more about our program and protocols that can assist you or your loved one where these excruciating symptoms require compassionate and expert handling. Find out how quickly you can find relief with the Alternative to Meds Center for the treatment of benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome.


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