Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms appear when a person stops taking the drug after using it for a period of time or developing a dependence to the medication.
Benzo withdrawal symptoms will vary widely for each person and depend largely on the type of drug used, length of time, and method of stopping use of the medication.
Stopping all at once without tapering down the dose over time can cause severe withdrawal symptoms with numerous complications.
Withdrawal symptoms and side effects usually begin within 24 hours of the last dose and the severity and nature will depend on several factors.
Fast acting, short duration benzos will have different side effects and symptoms than slow acting, long duration drugs.
The symptoms and duration of Xanax withdrawal are usually much different than Klonopin, so it’s imperative to work with an addiction and detox specialist who understands the nuances of each type of drug.
Rebound Withdrawal Symptoms often appear quickly and resemble the condition the drug was used to treat, like a return or rebound of anxiety or insomnia. Sometimes the rebound symptoms are worse than before a person began taking the medication.
Acute and Protracted Withdrawal Symptoms can begin after several days and may last for a few weeks, months, or up to a year or more for some people.
These are generally new symptoms not related to the initial diagnosis and can include those listed above for typical benzodiazepine side effects.
They may also include more severe complications like stomach issues, seizures, psychosis, excitotoxicity, or delirium tremens.
Because benzodiazepines are prescribed by a doctor, most people consider them to be safe until they struggle with complications or adverse health events.
The first reaction is to stop taking them altogether, which often causes even worse withdrawal symptoms. When this happens, withdrawal treatment and detox becomes a necessity.