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How to switch from Xanax to Valium?

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Posted on Fri, 15 May 2015
Question: I am in the provess of a Benzo taper.
Was on 6 MG of ativan for years - 6 weeks ago went one day to the next to 3 mg Xanax experienced several weeks of withdrawl - and am about to start Valium 5mg 4to 6 x per day.
What is th smartesd transition strategy - just stop Xanax and start valium or transition from one to the other?
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Answered by Dr. Matt Wachsman (11 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
This is just substitution

Detailed Answer:
Benzodiazepine withdrawal like alcohol withdrawal can lead to fatal delerium Tremens with fatal seizures.
A total of 6 mg of ativan per day to a total of 3 mg of xanax per day is about equivalent with each being near the top recommended daily dose of each. 3 mg per day of ativan is about average or 1 to 1.5 mg per day of xanax per day. Twenty to thirty mg per day of valium is not a lower dose.
Xanax is the most abused benzodiazepine because it is highest potency and shortest duration. With ativan next and valium after that in terms of decreasing potency and increasing duration of action.
I do not understand the logic behind ativan to xanax to valium.
More reasonably is to be on a somewhat longer duration drug like ativan, but with continually lowering the daily dose gradually a few days to one week at a time.
This is often a reason to for admitting someone. Generally it would be a reason to admit someone. And to have heart rate and blood pressure monitored and having them go off of drug over 1 week with iv ativan being at the ready.

Then, after that, there are a large number of physical and psychological effects that are more subtle than a seizure and would be a reason to have counseling AND perhaps a 12 step like program (AA would be adequate for the 12 step). Changes in sleep pattern are likely to persist for a very long time after quitting.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Matt Wachsman

Addiction Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1985

Answered : 4201 Questions

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How to switch from Xanax to Valium?

Brief Answer: This is just substitution Detailed Answer: Benzodiazepine withdrawal like alcohol withdrawal can lead to fatal delerium Tremens with fatal seizures. A total of 6 mg of ativan per day to a total of 3 mg of xanax per day is about equivalent with each being near the top recommended daily dose of each. 3 mg per day of ativan is about average or 1 to 1.5 mg per day of xanax per day. Twenty to thirty mg per day of valium is not a lower dose. Xanax is the most abused benzodiazepine because it is highest potency and shortest duration. With ativan next and valium after that in terms of decreasing potency and increasing duration of action. I do not understand the logic behind ativan to xanax to valium. More reasonably is to be on a somewhat longer duration drug like ativan, but with continually lowering the daily dose gradually a few days to one week at a time. This is often a reason to for admitting someone. Generally it would be a reason to admit someone. And to have heart rate and blood pressure monitored and having them go off of drug over 1 week with iv ativan being at the ready. Then, after that, there are a large number of physical and psychological effects that are more subtle than a seizure and would be a reason to have counseling AND perhaps a 12 step like program (AA would be adequate for the 12 step). Changes in sleep pattern are likely to persist for a very long time after quitting.