Possible Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Please rest assured that nobody will have this vast list. I'm including it for reassurance if you have a strange symptom that may be worrying you. Always consult a doctor if you have any concerns.

Always remember that symptoms are signs of healing as the brain and body readjust and return to homeostasis. Try not to fight them, accept them for what they are and they will pass. The more you fight the more stress is added and the worse they can get. ‘Go with the flow‘, learn coping skills and use natural therapies but keep the body clear of more drugs and supplements if you can.

 

A

* Aphasia (mild or moderate "speechlessness" --a disturbance of the comprehension and formulation of language caused by dysfunction in specific brain regions.)

• Adrenaline rushes (benzodiazepines also alter the precisely balanced adrenaline reflex, which normally responds to danger signals resulting in blood being pumped into the right place at the right time to produce the flight-or-fight response. The effect of benzodiazepines is to throw this delicate mechanism into confusion producing inappropriate bursts of adrenaline resulting in panic attacks and fear of what this perceived sensation of panic means.)

• Aggression

• Anxiety

• Agoraphobia (anxiety in situations where the sufferer perceives certain environments as dangerous or uncomfortable, often due to the environment's vast openness or crowdedness…quite often leading to isolating oneself.)

• Apathy (lack of motivation, lack of interest in self or others, emotionally flat, socially withdrawn)

• Ataxia (lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements)

• Akathisia (sensations of inner restlessness that manifests itself with an inability to sit still or remain motionless)

• Allergic reactions

• Abnormal behavior

• Apnea (night)

• Autophobia (Fear of being alone or of oneself)

• Anti-social behavior

• Appetite changes

• Abdominal cramps

• Aches and pains throughout body

• Agitation and antsy feelings

• Acid reflux

B

• Breathlessness

• Back pain

• Blepharospasm (from slight eye twitching to severe where eyes are nearly closed)

• Breast pain and/or enlargement

• Brain Fog (or mental fog – feeling of cloudiness in consciousness)

• Blurred vision, seeing spots, flashes, vivid vision

• Balance problems

• “Benzo belly” (distension, bloat, pot belly, abnormally large, looking “pregnant.”)

• Bloat

• Bradycardia (slow heartbeat/pulse)

• Blood disorders (resulting in severe tiredness and possible infections)

• Bruxism (teeth grinding)

• Blood pressure fluctuations

• Body temperature fluctuations

• Brain motion (feeling of the brain moving inside head)

• Bladder incontinence

• Burning sensations (any part of the body and on the skin)

C

• Catatonia (which may result in death – this is with abrupt or over-rapid discontinuation)

• Choking/ Cough (dry, tickly)

• Constipation

• Convulsions (muscular usually, or seizures)

• Chest Pain or tightness

• Crying spells (feeling weepy at times without being able to identify a specific trigger, inability to stop crying)

• Confidence loss

• Confusion (simple tasks are difficult, unable to decipher directions or follow simple instructions)

• Cravings (food)

• Cognitive impairment

• Chills 

• Claustrophobia (fear of having no escape and being closed in small spaces or rooms) 

• Concentration loss (inability to focus attention and/or acquire new information

• Chemical sensitivities)

• Creaking joints (creaking with movement, ‘cracking’ sound in neck, arms, back, hips)

• Crawling sensation on skin (feeling as if insects are crawling all over the body)

D

• Dental pain

• Depersonalization (is an anomaly of self-awareness. It consists of a feeling of watching oneself act, while having no control over a situation. Subjects feel they have changed, and the world has become vague, dreamlike, less real, or lacking in significance. It can be a disturbing experience, since many feel that, indeed, they are living in a "dream.")

* Depression

• Derealization (an alteration in the perception or experience of the external world so that it seems unreal. Other symptoms include feeling as though one's environment is lacking in spontaneity, emotional coloring and depth.) 

• Diarrhea 

• Dry, itchy skin

• Dysphoria (inability to feel pleasure or happiness)

• Dehydration 

• Driving phobia (no actual official term, only for those of passengers in cars - Amaxophobia)

• Dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing)

• Dry eyes

• Delirium tremens (also referred to as The DTs, "the horrors", or "the shakes")

• Diplopia (commonly known as double vision, is the simultaneous perception of two images of a single object that may be displaced horizontally, vertically, or diagonally)

• Dizziness

* Disassociation disorder

• Dyspnea (breathing difficulty)

• Daytime drowsiness

• Dreams (very vivid and disturbing, often preying upon fears)

 • Dry mouth

• Delayed reactions (physical or in speech)

E

• Electric shock sensations throughout body

 • Excitability

 • Ear aches/pains

 • Ears feeling plugged

 • Emotional blunting or anaesthesia (inability to feel emotions whether positive or negative, not connected to authentic feelings)

 • Eye pain

 • Eye floaters/double vision/glazed/glassy

 • Eye burning

 • Eye bulging sensation

 • Exhaustion

 • Epileptic-like movements

 F

• Fasciculation ("muscle twitch," is a small, local, involuntary muscle contraction and relaxation which may be visible under the skin.)

 • Formication (sensation that exactly resembles that of small insects crawling on, or under the skin.

• Fear 

• Fearlessness

• Fits (emotional)

• Fluish (feel as if getting flu with aches, joint/muscle pain, feverish, stuffy nose)

• False beliefs

• Fibrositis (Inflammatory hyperplasia of white fibrous connective tissue, especially surrounding the muscles and causing pain and stiffness.)

• Fatigue

• Flashbacks

• Fever

• Forgetfulness

• Face pain

• Facial numbness (face numb/tingling, forehead numb, no feeling in one side of face, no feeling in both sides of face)

• False sensations of moving (perception distortion -- feel as if body is moving or chair or bed)

• Fatality (from seizures, suicide, other…)

 G

• Gastritis

• Gait disturbance (the ground seems to move underfoot)

• Glassy eyes (glazed and shiny)

 H

* Hair loss, breakage or change in texture

* Hallucinations (hypnotic or Hypnagogia when falling asleep, peripheral. Visual, auditory, olfactory/smell, tactile)

• Head pressure/sensations

• Headache

• Heart palpitations (irregular beats, thumping, beating loudly, feels as if jumping out of chest cavity)

• Hearing Impairment

• Heartburn

* Heaviness (part of the body, especially limbs, feel extremely heavy, body feels like ‘lead’)

* Histamine problems ( symptoms of high histamine levels in the blood)

* Hormonal imbalances (including non-menopausal hot flashes, severe pre-menstrual tension)

• Hostility

 * Hot and cold spells or flashes

• Hyperactivity

*  Hyperacusis (over-sensitivity to certain frequency and volume ranges of sound. With severe hyperacusis has difficulty tolerating everyday sounds, some of which may seem unpleasantly or painfully loud to that person but not to others) 

• Hyperprexia (overheating)

• Hyperventilation (overbreathing)

• Hyperosmia (sensitivity to smell)

• Hypersensitivity to stimuli

• Hyperreflexia (‘jumpiness’)

• Hyperthermia (elevated body temperature)

• Hypertention (high blood pressure)

• Hypochondriasis or hypochondria (excessive preoccupancy or worry about having a serious illness other than withdrawal symptoms)

I

• Inner trembling/Shaking/Vibrating (perception distortion -- feeling of body trembling or vibrating ‘on the inside’)

• Intrusive thoughts and memories

• Insomnia

• Irritability (very low tolerance levels, easily irritated)

• Impotence

• Indecisiveness

• IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

• Impending doom (the overwhelming fear something terrible is going to happen, even death)

 • Incontinence

 • Inappropriate reactions

 * Itching all over or in small areas

J

• Jaw pain

• Joint pain and stiffness (as if arthritic)

• Jaundice

• “Jelly legs” (legs feel weak and rubbery as if about to give way)

 K

• Kakosmia (or cacosmia-- a sensation of bad smell not related to a specific odor, or associated with olfactory stimuli usually considered to be pleasant.)

L

• Libidinal changes

• Leukonychea (whitening of nails)

• Loss of touch with reality

• Light hypersensitivity (everything seems intensely and unbearably bright, feeling the need to wear sunglasses even inside, unable to look at computer screen)

 M 

• Metallic taste (mouth has a metallic taste, gustatory distortion)

• Muscular cramps

• Muscular rigidity (muscles all over feel extremely stiff, inability to move agilely)

• Muscular spasms

• Muscular (and bone) weakness

• Menstrual irregularity PMT and dysmenorrhea (cycle changes and becomes irregular, painful periods, intense pre-menstrual tension)

• Myoclonic convulsions (muscle/nerve spasms)

• Malabsorption (usually the inability to absorb certain sugars, fats, proteins, or vitamins from food. It can also involve a general malabsorption of food.)

• Memory impairment (or loss short-term memory loss, ‘gaps in memory’ where unable to recall specific events, memory lapses)

• Monophobia

• Mucus in throat

• Mania (racing thoughts)

• Muscle wasting

• Migraines

• Mood swings (extreme and rapid changes in moods, one minute feeling optimistic then very low and depressed)

• Motor co-ordination impairment

• Moving sensations (false perceptions of body moving) 

N

• Nausea

• Nightmares

• Night terrors

• Night sweats

• Neck and shoulder pain

• Nose bleeds

• Nervousness

• Negative thoughts

• Neurological problems

• Night apnea

 O

• Obsessions and obsessive, unwanted thoughts

• OCD

• Oesophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus; often caused by gastroesophageal reflux)

• Oedema/water retention (especially of ankles and face)

• Over-breathing (breathing faster and deeper than necessary, hyperventilating)

 P

• Panic attacks

• Perceptual disturbances and distortions

• Psychosis (abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality")

• Perspiring

• Personality changes

• Paresthesia (numbing, burning and tingling; pins and needles)

• Paranoia

• Poor judgment

• Phobias

• Perceived persecution

• Photophobia (abnormal intolerance to visual perception of light)

 R

• Restlessness

• Restless Leg Syndrome (Akathesia)

• REM sleep rebound (lengthening and increasing frequency and depth of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep which occurs after periods of sleep deprivation. When people have been prevented from experiencing REM, they take less time than usual to attain the REM state)

• Runny nose

 • Rage

• Racing thoughts

 • Rashes, blotches

• Reading/Comprehension problems (difficulty reading or understanding even simple instructions)

 S

• Seizures

• Sensory disruption

• Scalp and forehead burning/itching

• Sore tongue

• Sweating

• Sinusitis (an inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses)

• Stomach cramps

• Spine (burning sensation)

• Skin insensitivity

• Skin smells

• Speech difficulty

• Skin pain/burn to the touch

• Shivering, feelings of extreme cold or hot

• Suicidal thoughts

• Sleep disturbances

• Slurred speech

• Salivation changes

• Soft tissue pain (thighs and other fleshy areas of body hurt) 

T

• Tinnitus (ringing in ears)

• Tremors

• Thrush-like symptoms

• Tiny pupils

• Tension

• Taste sensitivity

• Thirst

• Teeth/gum/mouth pain (nerves in teeth hurt, gum hurts, all teeth in mouth hurt)

• Tightness in Chest

• Thyroid disturbances

• Temperature fluctuations (in body temperature)

• Twitching/Tics (muscles in different areas of body twitch, involuntary movements, vocal tics)

• Tachycardia (a heart rate that exceeds the normal range)

• Terror

 U

• Urinary problems (bladder either 'all on' or 'all off')

• Urges to Urinate

• Urges to shout, throw, break things or harm someone

 V

• Vomiting

• Vertigo

• Visual disturbances (blurred, double, vivid)

• Visual perception distortion (seeing ‘things’, inanimate objects appear to be moving, people and objects appear flat, one-dimensional and paper-like.)

 • Vasovagal attacks (a malaise mediated by the vagus nerve. When it leads to syncope or "fainting", it is called a vasovagal syncope, which is the most common type of fainting)

• Vibrations (feelings throughout the body)

• Violent thoughts

 W

• Weakness

• Weight gain

• Weight loss

• Water retention/Oedema (fluid in body tissues, swollen feet, puffiness)

• Weepiness (spontaneous crying spells without being able to identify a specific trigger, uncontrollable crying)

X

• Xeroderma (dry skin)

 Z

• Zaps (electric shock sensations, feeling as if shocked, shocks running through body)

 

Other Illnesses Diagnosed While On or Withdrawing From Benzos

 

This list has some of the most common illnesses or disorders that are frequently diagnosed while on or withdrawing from benzos. Often these symptoms mimic an illness and lead to unnecessary labelling and even unnecessary, uncomfortable hospital investigations. Blood tests may sometimes confirm the diagnosis but can also be unreliable while the body is in this state of change.

*Please be aware that some of these illnesses may be ‘real’ and need the correct treatment so don’t assume everything is from benzos. Also benzos or their withdrawal can cause pre existing problems to worsen.

It is difficult to distinguish between some symptoms and the labels for disorders so let me know if anything else should be added that may have been diagnosed for you so we have full and comprehensive information.

Above all understand that this is for information only and not intended to cause anxiety by expecting it to happen to you. Anything that is diagnosed in benzo withdrawal should disappear during recovery from the drugs.

PHYSICAL

Lupus
Hashimoto's Disease
Lyme Disease
Hypertension (high BP)
Hypotension (low BP)
Hypothyroid
Hyperthyroid
Autoimmune Diseases
Cushing’s Disease
POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)
Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
Akathisia
Restless Leg Syndrome
Dystonia
Parkinson’s Disease
Myasthenia Gravis
Fibromyalgia
CFS/ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
Sjogren Syndrome (very dry mouth)
Dry Eye Syndrome
Disturbances in vision
Interstitial Cystitis
Cystitis/Bladder infections
Kidney Disease
MCAS (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome)
Gerd
Gastritis
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Type 2 Diabetes
Celiac Disease
Hypoglycaemia
Indigestion
Diverticulitis
Motility Disorders
Dental problems such as cavities and broken teeth
Dental pain for no obvious reason
Deafness and Hearing Problems
Low immunity causing infections
Migraines
MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
Mold Allergy
Neuralgia
Neuropathic Symptoms (numerous such as tingling, numbness, nerve pain)
Peripheral Neuropathy
FNDs Functional Neurological Disorders
Asperger Syndrome
Autistic Spectrum Disorder
MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity)
Stiff Person Syndrome
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Polyarthritis (pain in five joints or more)
Raynaud’s Syndrome (as above)
Osteoarthritis
Osteoporosis
Tinnitus
TIA (transient ischaemic attack...stroke warning symptoms)
Tinnitus
Dizziness or Vertigo
Shingles
Excema
Psoriasis
MUS (Medically Unexplained Symptoms)
Menstruation Problems
Sexual Dysfunction Disorders
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Hormone disturbances

MENTAL

Agoraphobia
Bipolar Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Depression
Dementia
GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder)
Insomnia
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
Panic Disorder
Psychosis
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome)
Somatoform Disorder (the physical manifestation of a mental disorder)
Mania
Self Injury Behaviours
Dissociative Disorders (loss of memory, awareness, perception)
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Phobic Disorders
Hypochondria
Delusional Disorder
Social Withdrawal
Suicide Ideation

Comments

25.07.2021 05:34

Muneyuki Kinoshita

I have mimic EDS and ALS.

21.06.2021 14:15

Cheryl Levine

As I taper, I feel like I am having a combination of Parkinson’s and Tardive dyskinesia. Scaring me. Seeing doctor soon.

31.12.2020 11:28

Tabbi

Havin thrush symptoms and burning and swelling vulva and anal some pain to I tried canesten makes no difference what can I do to help this my hair isn’t growing it’s very thin damaged. Am in healing

17.04.2021 18:47

Cynthia Smith

Are you better now?

24.11.2020 19:33

Joann

how to get off clonazepam safely

17.04.2021 19:31

Tabbi

No am not mucus is finishing mynl weight isn’t normal still weight gain cracking me up my muscles stil wasted no time my hair not growing it white or normal colour it dry or greasy still pain muscles

25.11.2020 12:00

Rosalind

Please can you email beatingbenzos@outlook.com for a taper plan to work with your doctor.

20.10.2020 00:40

Lisa Taylor

Anyone have any information or experience with high inflammation markers (c-reactive protein in particular) from stress on the body during withdrawal? I also feel like I'm burning from the inside out.

30.10.2020 18:59

Rosalind

Please can you join the Facebook group Beating Benzos for information.

22.05.2020 22:42

Tracy CRITCHLEY

Great list, absolutely experienced all symptoms

26.02.2020 23:41

Laura

My friend was taking Ativan for a long time, not sure how long. I believe she said 2mg 3 times a day. They made her quit cold turkey. She has burning sensation that won’t stop. Can this be stopped?

07.09.2019 14:51

Nancy Clay LaT

"standing limitation" was one of the issues I had, and have heard others had so if you could add that to the sxs list that would be greatly appreciated.

24.10.2019 01:41

Jasmine

As in, difficult to stand for a few minutes at a time? If so, yes, I have that.

01.03.2019 17:31

Amber Davis

Went too neq Doctorqho Prescribed Alprozam ER 3Mg right of the bat .Then after 3 months I told him I want off he said if cut those extended
he wont change his mind help me .please.

01.03.2019 18:24

Rosalind

The only way is to swap the extended release tablets for normal tablets or a liquid to allow you to taper. I’m sorry but you need to see a doct who will prescribe these for you and help you taper.

21.01.2019 16:46

Mitch Roderick

Starting today (1-21-‘19) ending my 37 year, never once missed a day, Ativan dependence. Began in 1982 from major panic attack & trying to end this nightmare. NOT sleeping here in Colorado!!! Thx

21.01.2019 17:38

Rosalind

Hello Mitch. You can do this and I suggest you join the Facebook Group Beating Benzos where you can get tapering advice and get off your Ativan.

05.01.2019 15:53

Kara

I am looking for support and information. After being on benzos for 13 years. I've been off of them for just under two years and STILL feel so messed up.

05.01.2019 16:07

Rosalind

In order to receive help you can write to the email address here or join the Facebook group, Beating Benzos.

05.01.2019 12:45

Naresh Mishra

Seems to be the Bible for benzo sufferers. The problem with a benzo hit mind is that it's battered. One often needs glancing at this list just to get solaced that he/she is undergoing nothing crazy.

12.12.2018 19:44

Amy

Very very helpful thanks

12.12.2018 11:27

Laurie

I am at end of taper right now. My worst symptoms are skull crushing headaches, buzzing in head, severe eye strain, blurred vision, periods of disorientation, vivid dreams, night sweats. and fear.

12.12.2018 11:42

Rosalind

Congratulations on the end Laurie. Recovery will continue for awhile so please don’t despair. The normal healing time is 6 to 18 months. More help is available on the Facebook group, Beating Benzos.

11.12.2018 15:08

Anjie McPeters

Yes I had or have nearly all of these symptoms. I never thought the body or mind could take so much abuse. Protracted Ativan withdrawal 22 months out now. Extrapyramidal symptoms need to be added

12.12.2018 11:45

Rosalind

Extra pyramidal symptoms encompass many of the symptoms listed individually on the symptoms list. Sadly some of us do become protracted but, even so, more time and healing happens.

26.10.2018 10:57

Jane JENNER

Have most of these side effects or signs and symptoms.

04.12.2017 19:23

Joe

going through this right now doing a slow taper worse for me lack of sleep and burning skin

05.12.2017 11:33

Rosalind

Keep going Joe, it eventually ends. Lack of sleep is horrible but a slow sensible taper should get you towards recovery.

22.09.2017 16:27

Anne

will an antipsychotic drug help if I am psychotic during withdrawal?

24.11.2018 16:07

Jessica

How long did it take you? It's been 15 days, still having adrenaline rushes, burning scalp, nausea, panic, inner trembling, problems using the bathroom.. it's WAY better, but feels like it won't ever

24.09.2017 09:12

Rosalind

I'm sorry but I can't give medical advice. If possible it's better not to add further drugs when withdrawing from Benzos but please discuss with your doctor.

14.07.2017 12:10

ken

I have burning skin trouble swallowing muscle twitches needles pins fear and a host of othert thjings