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Tranxene Withdrawal | Personalized Treatment Help

This entry was posted in Benzodiazepine and tagged on by .
Medically Reviewed Fact Checked

Last Updated on February 8, 2023 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Michael Loes MD

For those looking for Tranxene withdrawal help, Alternative to Meds Center has the required expertise. Over 50 professionals are here to assist each client in a carefully designed program that is unique to each person’s recovery.

Tranxene (clorazepate dipotassium) is a benzodiazepine drug used for the short-term treatment of anxiety disorders and to prevent epileptic seizures and is a sedative used during alcohol withdrawal. Below you will find medical information on Tranxene including adverse effects, Tranxene withdrawal symptoms, and other information.

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What Is Tranxene Used For?

Tranxene is an anxiolytic/sedative in the benzodiazepine class. An anxiolytic is an anti-anxiety drug. Anxiolytics are prescribed to reduce feelings of fear, dread, uneasiness, apprehension, and muscle tension associated with stress.  But it is important to note that, according to the drug label, anxiety and stress of day-to-day life do not usually require medication with a benzodiazepine drug.

Tranxene does have a number of valuable medical uses.  

Tranxene is prescribed in the management of epileptic seizures, requiring regular monitoring if the period of time in treatment extends past four months. In clinical trials, patients found Tranxene to produce fewer toxic side effects than phenobarbital in the treatment of seizures.5

It is also used in alcohol withdrawal as a safety measure to prevent seizures, for a period of several days until the patient stabilizes, and then it is tapered off gently. Medical literature reports that between 3% and 18% of patients withdrawing from alcohol will experience seizures. However, a clinical trial published in the Western Journal of Medicine found that of 226 patients treated with clorazepate who were coming off alcohol, none experienced seizures, tending to confirm its effectiveness for this purpose.6

 Over time, benzodiazepines have been used for an ever-lengthening list of ailments or disorders, including PTSD, various phobias, panic disorders, insomnia, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), and other symptoms.  The relief that benzos provide can be immediate, and effective, but short-term use is the recommended protocol. This protocol, unfortunately, is largely ignored especially in outpatient settings. 14,15

Tranxene Withdrawal

Generally, the longer the time taking Tranxene, and the higher the dosage, the more extreme the withdrawals likely will be. Abruptly stopping the drug can result in seizures, convulsions, and even death. Always seek guidance and direction concerning how to gradually and safely reduce the dosage of Tranxene or similar drugs.1,9,10

If a person has been on a high dose of Tranxene for a long time, i.e., more than a month, the best recommendation and safest way to proceed would be to consider an inpatient medically monitored setting so that you can safely navigate through the process as safely and gently as possible.

Drug withdrawals generally produce reactions that are opposite to the initial effect. For example, opioids effectively reduce pain when initiated but ramp up the sensation of pain when they are withdrawn. The same is true for anxiolytics. Sleeping pills are another example. At first, they will knock a person out so they can sleep. But this is often followed after a surprisingly short time by insomnia which can be worse than the original condition. In benzodiazepines, the anti-anxiety effects that were felt in the beginning now reverse, and anxiety-type symptoms can become intense and overwhelming, especially without support and proper management of the Tranxene withdrawal process. 

Tranxene Withdrawal Symptoms

The class of drugs that Tranxene belongs to, namely the benzodiazepine class, is known to potentially cause dependence after as little as a few weeks. That is why benzodiazepines should only be prescribed for a short time up to a maximum of 4 weeks.

Even when Tranxene is used for a few days (as in alcohol withdrawals), the drug is gently stepped-down when the alcohol detox is complete, to soften any potential Tranxene withdrawals.

Nonetheless, coming off Tranxene even when taken for a short time may produce withdrawal effects as the body readjusts to a normal state. Abrupt cessation is dangerous and according to the FDA label information and much clinical research, can cause the most extreme withdrawals.1,4,7-11

Gradual cessation under medical supervision is recommended for benzodiazepines.

Tranxene withdrawal symptoms may include:
  • Rebound anxiety
  • Rebound insomnia
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Delirium
  • Delirium tremens
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Memory impairment
  • Diarrhea
  • Profuse sweating
  • Tremors, shaking
  • Mood or behavior changes
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Stomach aches
  • Muscle aches

Tranxene — Generic, Brand, and Slang Names

Tranquilizers are commonly sold on the street for their euphoric effects and are sometimes referred to as “blue bombs,” “tranks,” “downers,” “blues,” “ruffles,” or other slang terms.

Tranxene is the brand name for the generic benzodiazepine called clorazepate. Tranxene was presumably named after its tranquilizing effects.

Tranxene Adverse Effects

Like other tranquilizers in the benzodiazepine class, Tranxene is used as an anti-anxiety, anti-convulsive sedative. Tranxene may also cause additional adverse effects, some of which are listed below. Always be aware of changes that occur and see your prescribing physician if anything unusual or concerning happens. The following Tranxene adverse effects were reported on the drug label before the drug was approved, and also from clinical studies done post-marketing.1

Tranxene reported adverse effects can include:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Cravings for more of the drug than was prescribed
  • Depression
  • Tremors or other movement disorders, tics, spasms
  • Loss of memory, amnesia
  • Changes in energy, i.e., fatigue, drowsiness, tiredness
  • Changes in vision, i.e., blurred vision, altered perception, sensitivity to light
  • Emotional reactions, mood swings, sadness, nervousness, agitation, irritability, anger
  • Sleep disturbances, insomnia, nightmares, unusual dreams
  • Aches and pains, such as headache, stomach pain, muscle aches
  • Digestive or gastrointestinal changes, such as constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, urinary problems
  • Loss of balance, dizziness, vertigo
  • Cognitive changes, such as confusion, inability to focus or concentrate
  • Skin rashes can be severe with fever and other symptoms requiring medical attention
  • Dry mouth

Signs of Developing Dependence to Watch For

Though the risk of becoming dependent on Tranxene is high, signs of developing dependence may not have been discussed or explained in any detail prior to being prescribed. This is especially true when the prescription was intended for short-term use. For persons under psychiatric care, it is more frequent that long-term prescriptions occur, and this can lead to extreme and debilitating situations of developed dependence as noted in clinical studies.11,12

Self-education is self-empowerment. We recommend and encourage learning more about how benzodiazepines can cause dependence over time. While every person is a unique individual, there are some common signs to watch for so that help can be sought before the situation gets out of control. Eventually, the GABA receptors down-regulate, meaning they become less responsive to the drug. Anxiety and even panic attacks may begin to occur. The inclination then is to increase the frequency or to up the dosage. This is a sign of developing dependence.

A condition known as “emotional anesthesia” may occur over time, and is a sign of neuroadaptation, where normal emotional responses become blunted. Normal reactions such as being pleased about something good begin to fade away. This can become noticeable to others even before the person taking benzos is aware of it happening. And this can take a toll on personal relationships, working with others, and can lead to a sense of overall dissatisfaction and a lowered quality of life. 

In the beginning, benzodiazepines may have significant anxiolytic effects, such as daytime drowsiness, loss of mental alertness, or other hypnotic-type effects. Over time, however, these effects tend to diminish and while daytime sleepiness or muddy thinking may no longer be a problem, insomnia may become problematic. Generally, the anxiolytic effects diminish within 4 – 6 months but in an effort to prevent withdrawals, the prescription is often continued well beyond this point of tolerance. 

The effects of Tranxene tolerance, like other benzodiazepines, can mimic anxiety, insomnia, and other original symptoms. This can add a factor of confusion to a treatment plan as original symptoms and symptoms of Tranxene dependence may overlap to a great degree. Increasing the dosage may initially quell these reactions, but over time the problem will only continue to escalate. 

Feelings of reliance on the drug, lack of self-confidence unless taking the drug, and drug-seeking behaviors can be additional signs of developing tolerance and dependence. Sometimes anticipating anxiety rather than experiencing it is a psychological factor, that may be an indicator that over-reliance on the drug is occurring.

Another sign is when taking the drug doesn’t provide the desired effect, drinking alcohol or taking other substances for anti-anxiety effects is a particularly urgent red flag. This is because taking several CNS suppressants at the same time can introduce the risk of over-sedation, and overdose. Memory impairment can further escalate the problem as one may not remember when or how much they took clearly.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The importance of not abruptly stopping the drug cannot be overstated. Always seek help to manage a gradual, safe rate of withdrawal from a qualified professional who is familiar with the subject.

Tranxene FAQs

Below we have provided some additional information on Tranxene, such as how it works, interactions with other drugs, and other frequently searched-for topics. This information may prove helpful to someone looking for guidelines to implement before starting or stopping Tranxene.

How Does Tranxene Work?

Benzodiazepine drugs influence the central nervous system, including specific parts of the brain, by concentrating levels of a natural brain chemical called GABA. When GABA becomes more highly available it has a slowing or calming effect on the brain and central nervous system.

What’s the Difference between Tranxene and Xanax?

There are more similarities than differences between Tranxene and Xanax. They are both benzodiazepines with a sedative, calming effect. Both drugs are habit-forming in as short a time as a week or two, and cessation should be gradual and may be accompanied by withdrawal symptoms. Both drugs carry the risk of suicidal thoughts and other reactions common to benzodiazepines in general.

Both drugs should be avoided if the patient suffers from impaired liver function.

One difference is the form of the drug. Xanax comes in a quick-dissolve tablet, a pill, a liquid form, as well as an extended-release version as well. Tranxene only comes in pill form.

The half-life of Tranxene is approximately 50 to 60 hours. The half-life of Xanax is considerably shorter, ranging between 6 and 26 hours, with an average of just over 11 hours. These half-life estimates can be significantly different due to individual differences such as weight, liver health, age, diet, and many other variables that can affect metabolism and clearance of drugs from the body.

Can You Overdose on Tranxene?

Yes, it is possible to overdose on Tranxene. This can occur when taking too much of the drug, or when combining it with alcohol, other sedatives, opiates, or anything that has a depressant effect on the body.

When an overdose occurs, it can slow breathing and the heart down to dangerous levels, resulting in coma or even death.

Never combine anything that will act as a depressant while taking Tranxene. If you feel you cannot abstain from alcohol or similar substances, speak with your doctor so that you can safely proceed with your prescription, or take an alternative course of action.

The treatment for overdosing on Tranxene requires medical attention on an immediate basis if at all possible, performing gastric evacuation, lavage, or both. Vital signs should be monitored frequently to determine whether other measures may be needed such as norepinephrine bitartrate injection, or other agents.1

How Habit-forming is Tranxene?

Tranxene shares a high proclivity to dependence with other drugs in the benzodiazepine family. Benzodiazepines affect certain neurotransmitters and receptors in the brain, which quickly adapt to the presence of the drug. This is generally referred to as tolerance or dependence rather than “addiction”, but the mechanisms are similar. After neuroadaptive changes occur, stopping the drug will produce withdrawal symptoms.10

If Tranxene withdrawal is too abruptly done, this can result in a life-threatening shock to the body. Always seek medical assistance to come off drugs such as Tranxene in a way that will not adversely affect your health and safety.

Is Tranxene a Controlled Substance?

Tranxene is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are classified as Schedule IV drugs, for their therapeutic and medical benefits, and (should have a) low risk for dependence or addiction.2

However, statistics show a strong cause for doubt that Tranxene and other benzodiazepines have a low risk for dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has said the following …

Usually, benzodiazepines are not prescribed for long-term use because of the high risk for developing tolerance, dependence, or addiction.” 3

This is almost certainly a much more realistic representation of the dangers of benzodiazepine abuse and when considering starting a prescription of tranquilizers, one should be aware that benzodiazepines can quickly develop dependence in as little as a week or two.

How Long Does Tranxene Stay in Your System?

Tranxene (clorazepate dipotassium) has a particularly long half-life compared to other benzodiazepine drugs; up to 50 hours to clear half of the substance from the body. It could be estimated that to fully clear from the body might take considerably longer, perhaps as much as 180 hours.

Tranxene might show up on a urine test for 6 to 8 weeks or longer, and hair samples might show up for a considerably longer period of time, approximately three months. A blood test might show positive results for a week, or possibly longer.

Treatment for Tranxene Withdrawal, Abuse, and Dependence?

sedona drug rehabAlternative to Meds Center has helped many thousands of clients achieve their goal of comfortable, safe tapering and restored health, focusing on holistic methods of care.

An important aspect of our program allows for the testing of certain neurotoxic materials that may have accumulated in the body, over years of exposure to chemicals, pollutants, heavy metals, etc.

Neurotoxin removal significantly helps in the recovery of normalized neurotransmitter function. This is particularly important after medications may have disrupted an already weakened system. For this reason, Alternative to Meds offers a thorough program of neurotransmitter rehabilitation to bring balance back naturally and sustainably. Restoring a healthy gut microbiome is another aspect of treatment that is vital in the recovery of natural mental health and balance.13 Other treatments that soften the process of Tranxene withdrawal include therapeutic massage, diet modification, nebulized glutathione, holistic pain management, counseling, Equine therapy, IV treatments, and a wide range of other therapies. You can take a look at these in detail on our services overview pages.

In addition to overwhelming praise for the features of our program, many clients found the inpatient setting was nurturing and friendly, allowing for a much-needed break from the stresses of family or work. Peer support programs are extremely popular and help provide a warm and supportive atmosphere. Inpatient residential treatment can allow the client to focus on personal recovery while allowing their family the comfort and peace of knowing their loved one was in a caring, supportive atmosphere for healing. The setting for the facility is picturesque, nestled in the red rock mountains of Sedona, with plenty of daily outdoor activities and exercise, hiking, biking, hitting the walking trails, and beautiful photo opportunities. 

We invite you to study these subjects in-depth by referring to the cited studies and research papers that appear below the article. These can provide you with a wealth of knowledge about how to proceed with confidence in planning your recovery optimally.

Please contact us to find out more about our inpatient facility and the multi-phase treatment plans that could significantly benefit your health, making your Tranxene withdrawal experience very comfortable, safe, and health-restorative.

1. FDA drug label Tranxene T-Tab (clorazepate dipotassium) tablets, approval [cited 2023 Feb 7]

2. “Drug Scheduling” U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration [cited 2023 Feb 7]

3. “What classes of prescription drugs are commonly misused?” National Institute of Drug Abuse [cited 2023 Feb 7]

4. Lader M. Short-term versus long-term benzodiazepine therapy. Curr Med Res Opin. 1984;8 Suppl 4:120-6. doi: 10.1185/03007998409109550. PMID: 6144459.[cited 2023 Feb 7]

5. Wilensky AJ, Ojemann LM, Temkin NR, Troupin AS, Dodrill CB. Clorazepate and phenobarbital as antiepileptic drugs: a double-blind study. Neurology. 1981 Oct;31(10):1271-6. doi: 10.1212/wnl.31.10.1271. PMID: 6125918. [cited 2023 Feb 7]

6. Haddox VG, Bidder TG, Waldron LE, Derby P, Achen SM. Clorazepate use may prevent alcohol withdrawal convulsions. West J Med. 1987 Jun;146(6):695-6. PMID: 2887072; PMCID: PMC1307460.[cited 2023 Feb 7]

7. Lapierre YD. Benzodiazepine withdrawal. Can J Psychiatry. 1981 Mar;26(2):93-5. doi: 10.1177/070674378102600203. PMID: 6114793. [cited 2023 Feb 7]

8. Străulea AO, Chiriţă V. Managementul sindromului de abstinenţă in dependenţa la benzodiazepine [The withdrawal syndrome in benzodiazepine dependence and its management]. Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2009 Jul-Sep;113(3):879-84. Romanian. PMID: 20191849. [cited 2023 Feb 7]

9. Străulea AO, Chiriţă V. Studiu clinic asupra cazurilor de dependenţă la benzodiazepine spitalizate în perioada 2006-2008 [Clinical study of patients with benzodiazepine dependence, hospitalised between 2006-2008]. Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2009 Jan-Mar;113(1):89-92. Romanian. PMID: 21495303. [cited 2023 Feb 7]

10. O’brien CP. Benzodiazepine use, abuse, and dependence. J Clin Psychiatry. 2005;66 Suppl 2:28-33. PMID: 15762817. [cited 2023 Feb 7]

11. Longo L, Johnson B, Addiction Part 1: Benzodiazepines  Journal of the American Family Physician 2000, 61(7):2121-2128 [cited 2023 Feb 7]

12. Busto UE, Romach MK, Sellers EM. Multiple drug use and psychiatric comorbidity in patients admitted to the hospital with severe benzodiazepine dependence. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1996 Feb;16(1):51-7. doi: 10.1097/00004714-199602000-00009. PMID: 8834419.[cited 2023 Feb 7]

13. Clapp M, Aurora N, Herrera L, Bhatia M, Wilen E, Wakefield S. Gut microbiota’s effect on mental health: The gut-brain axis. Clin Pract. 2017 Sep 15;7(4):987. doi: 10.4081/cp.2017.987. PMID: 29071061; PMCID: PMC5641835. [cited 2023 Feb 7]

14. Kroll DS, Nieva HR, Barsky AJ, Linder JA. Benzodiazepines are Prescribed More Frequently to Patients Already at Risk for Benzodiazepine-Related Adverse Events in Primary Care. J Gen Intern Med. 2016 Sep;31(9):1027-34. doi: 10.1007/s11606-016-3740-0. Epub 2016 May 13. PMID: 27177914; PMCID: PMC4978684. [cited 2023 Feb 7]

15. Agarwal SD, Landon BE. Patterns in Outpatient Benzodiazepine Prescribing in the United States. JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Jan 4;2(1):e187399. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.7399. Erratum in: JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Mar 1;2(3):e191203. PMID: 30681713; PMCID: PMC6484578. [cited 2023 Feb 7]

Originally Published Sep 13, 2018 by Diane Ridaeus

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Michael Loes, M.D.


Dr. Michael Loes is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Pain Management and Addiction Medicine. He holds a dual license in Homeopathic and Integrative Medicine. He obtained his medical doctorate at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1978. Dr. Loes performed an externship at the National Institute of Health for Psychopharmacology. Additionally, he is a well-published author including Arthritis: The Doctor’s Cure, The Aspirin Alternative, The Healing Response, and Spirit Driven Health: The Psalmist’s Guide for Recovery. He has been awarded the Minnesota Medical Foundation’s “Excellence in Research” Award.

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