John Bokma Mind
freelance Perl programmer

Comments: Quitting Oxazepam


Disclaimer: I am not a medically educated person. This writing is based on my own experience with Oxazepam and information found on the world wide web and included with Oxazepam. In no way should be acted on this article by anyone without consulting a medical expert. I am not responsible in any way if you use the information given.

Read the rest of Quitting Oxazepam.


Thank you for sharing your experience and suggesting an anxiety journal. That sounds like a really good idea because I have noticed writing reduces my conditions and I am looking for alternative/healthy ways to cope with anxiety.

Posted by Rebecca at 17:04 GMT on 9 July 2005

I suffered a dirt bike accident about 11 months ago, and I have had almost identical problems you describe in this post. Funny thing is that I never took any benzo's, and I got the symptoms after quitting oxycontin. I have gone back on it, tried about a half dozen sleep aids, gone to physical therapy trying to remedy the problems, but it is a problem that for some reason will not remedy itself. My biggest problem is probably still waking from pain, but even being back on pain killers doesn't fix my sleep problems, and my boss (I'm a .net developer) can't fathom the fact that some nights I just can't sleep, and I am going to come in a few minutes late to work :-)

I broke both femur's, a hip, and 17 vertabrae, though, so hopefully when I heal more all these issues will go away.

Good luck to both of us!

Posted by jason at 16:06 GMT on 12 February 2006

Thanks for posting your experience. It was extremely helpful to me on 2/6 of this year, when I was prescribed oxazepam (30 doses of 10mg.) I was researching it before I first took it the following day. I was having general anxiety issues, some panic attacks, and was using beer to calm myself down after work each day. Somehow, my business was doing quite well, but I was drinking 18 beers daily. When I tried to quit drinking, I had extreme anxiety due to alcohol withdrawal- thus, a visit to my doctor, and the prescription. It was his recommendation for my withdrawal. I took 10mg daily for 6 days and stopped. the duration of alcohol withdrawal is different for every drinker, and the symptoms can be minor shakiness to extreme hallucinations. Oxazepam spared me all of these things. However, I took the capsules as I needed them, and still have ten left. Your site, as well as some others I'd visited, had me concerned about relying on the doses too much. So, thanks again. Some of the doses I've read about really had me concerned, and surprised. I take a capsule every once in a while and it helps me to kind of build on things that these two months without alcohol have brought me. I guess my whole point, I'm obviously no expert, is that oxazepam has worked for me in terms of quitting alcohol, without replacing alcohol with another full-time habit. I hope I don't sound arrogant, it's actually quite the opposite, and I'm grateful. Regular exercise, drawing, and writing have been very good outlets for my anxiety, as well as working myself to my potential professionally. Also, I skip the nightly news, and tv in general. I hope that my experience is posted and that it helps someone in a similar situation. My anxiety still gets me sometimes, heck, I had anxiety about taking anxiety medication! Anyhow, your article cautioned me on much regarding my prescription. My doctor cautioned me as well, saying that it was a temporary fix (like a band-aid instead of surgery i suppose.) -Anyhow, good luck, and keep smilin'- mike

Posted by mike at 01:13 GMT on 19 April 2006

Wow, someone else who has gone through what I am now. My MD is always surprised when I say it has a manic effect after a few hours, and my sleep patterns are just as wild, 26 hour days and all.



Posted by Chris at 06:28 GMT on 18 June 2006

I have been on this medicine for 2 years and in the beginning it helped me get through my anxiety and pain in my chest. But after a while it does not always work so well or stops late afternoon.I have restless legs, lump in the throat etc and the symptoms have not gone. Any advise how to fix this problem??


Posted by mischa at 09:53 GMT on 6 July 2006

Hi guys,

Perhaps my comment is a little off topic, but someone might have use for my experience. I have used Oxazepam for a very special reason. I am a Swedish scientist who have very much contact with the USA and I have been crossing the Atlantic several times. Normally I do not use any drugs at all except for one drug curing high blood pressure (Diovan). I do not smoke or drink alcohol. I am 58 yrs old and physically active and very fit. However, I experience severe side effects from "Jetlag", the time zone shift (6 hours) after a transatlantic flight. I have sleep problems when arriving in the USA as well as in the EU. I have been using Oxazepam (Swedish brand name: Sobril) for many yrs, but ONLY for maximum 4 days after arrival on the other continent.

Taking one pill at night before bedtime gives me an enormously good sleep without side effects. After 4 days I MUST stop and adapt to the timezone naturally. I notice a decrease in effect of the Oxazepam if used more than 4 nights in a row. I also feel that my fitness is not coming back properly if I continue taking them. Thus, in this case ONLY for very short-term use!

My dosage: first nite: 25mg. 2nd, 3rd and (perhaps the) 4th nite: 1/2 a tablet of 25mg. Then STOP. This works excellent for me, but ALWAYS consult your doctor before experimenting with drugs of any kind. I get this drug on prescription here in SE.

//Dr. Robert Svensson

Posted by Robert at 17:28 GMT on 11 July 2006

the doc just prescribed this for me, 10mg as needed, not to exceed 3 per day. i'm leery to take one as i've spent so mny years developing my own defenses for anxiety and i don't trust drugs.

Posted by eric bostrom at 06:32 GMT on 15 July 2006

I am just now entering oxazepam withdrawal so I am hungrily searching the internet for any statements from other users as to just what I might expect when things get tough.

I have the 15 mg capsules, and I pour the powder out on a plate and divide it into 8 "equal" portions. I have been using these rather small doses of the stuff, about two mg., three to four times a week thinking that the low dose and broken interludes of use might keep me from getting addicted. After all, my total consumption was only 1 pill for each two weeks!

Six weeks ago I saw that my weekly use had suddenly doubled and I was taking 2 mg. a day for seven days straight. This worried me, so I decided to experiment with a taper down and finally, discontinuance.

At first things went well: week one I took only five doses, each still about 2, or maybe 3 mgs; the next week I was down to four doses; then two weeks in a row at three doses; week five, two doses, and week six one dose. Three days after what I thought would be my final dose things began to go wrong -- my neck felt like it was swelling to the point of bursting, my ears started to hum/ whine/ and ring, my torso would alternate between sweating heats and shivering chills. Of course my sleep routine quickly degenerated, and on the fifth day I started having short but nasty panic attacks. Each time I stumbled into bed exhausted, feeling that surely I would sleep tonight (or this afternoon, etc.) I would quickly drop through the first twilight stages and just as I started to really sleep I would have an electric shock panic attack. Up out of bed, confused and dismayed I'd stumble around for the ten minutes duration of the panic, then, very tired, but very wide awake I'd be up for another hour.

After a full week of this I decided I'd had enough, maybe I came off the drug too soon, too fast? So I went to the Urgent Care facility and got a sympathetic MD to prescribe me 15 of the new Ambien CR tablets to help me at least sleep the nights partly through. I'd had regular ambien before, last time was back in August/ September when I got five hours of solid sleep from each dose. But this time, I got no more than three hours even though the new ambien is 12.5 mg per tablet. Additionally, my oxazepam withdrawal symptons simply intensified with the panic attacks interrupting even my ambien sleep.

I started using the oxazepam once more, a single dose in the early morning did not give me any noticeable relief, so I started taking 2 mg of the benzodiazepine at 3 AM, 7 AM, and 11 AM, every day. I was now taking three times my original dose of just 7 odd weeks ago, and I'm still having all these withdrawal symptoms.

Apparently, there is a wide range of human responses to this drug, and I was very stupid to think that since I was only taking about 1/8th a pill a day that I was safe from addiction and any significant withdrawal symptoms.

Right now I am just struggling to get myself stabilized again before I try another run at quitting. Other than three sets of 10 mg ambien, used from May to September 2006, I have not used any drugs (other than 4 ibuprofen per day) and maybe three or four beers a week. I did have a severe Xanax withdrawal situation that ended more than 6 years ago, and now I wonder if that ancient benzodiazepine episode has left me particularly sensitive to the entire class of these drugs?

At any rate, I also have noticed a sharp, almost hypo-manic boost from oxazepam (not with every dose, just from time to time) even back several months ago when I was still taking no more than 8 mg per week. I also felt at times that the drug "encouraged" me to have a sort of monomaniac certainity that whatever point I was arguing, I was ABSOLUTELY right -- not exactly a calmant sort of drug, at times.

I've started a "journal of withdrawal" now as well, a great idea you have, and it does help keep the mind occupied when otherwise I'd be feeding my own miseries by leaving my brain free to concentrate on its pains.

Best of luck to all of us!

Posted by FRW at 02:34 GMT on 21 November 2006

Cold Turkey Benzo withdrawal can be very dangerous especially for those who have been taking it for a long period of time. Reccommended usage is for no more than a month because it is highly addictive. If you want to stop using any Benzodiazepine you would be well advised to seek medical consultation prior to quitting. For long time users a tapering program over a period of time (4-8 wks or more) is the best bet. If you have any questions calling your doctor, Withdrawal Management Center, or emerg facility or telehealth ontario @ 1-866-797-0000.

God bless you all


Posted by Rick S at 22:39 GMT on 6 December 2006

Hi, I am going through this exact same thing. I was prescribed Oxazepam for PTSD and I feel I am now addicted to it, I tryed to quit cold turkey and after 2 days w/o a dose I experienced EXTREME ANXIETY to the point where I wanted to call 911, however after taking a pill (PX 15 mg 2 times daily) I felt better, but then began to notice that after 6-8 hours, I HAD to take anothe pill or I would go into another attack immediately experiencing EXTREME MANIA. I also have had a lump in my throat since taking this medicine. All in all I do not think it has really helped, just mad me dependent on it and I feel it actually caused me more anxiety than anything else. I have also experienced a strong heart beat and shortness of breath and confusion. Keeping a journal is a good idea and I am calling my doctor ASAP its so refreshing to kow I am not alone in this. THANKS!

Posted by Lori at 15:59 GMT on 20 May 2007


yesterday, I was prescribed Oxazepam, 15mg, for sleep. Last night I took my first dose, 15mg, 1hr before sleep. I was wide awake until 3am , urinating frequently, I took another 15mg at 3am as I was desperate for sleep ! I eventually dosed off around 4am, but had sweats and nightmares and wide awake at 6am. I am exhausted and will call my doctor this morning.

Mary, July/09.

Posted by mary at 13:41 GMT on 28 July 2009

I had apanic attack before getting on the plane in the usa it struck me as dizzyness nausea bladder pain. I am an american/canadian living in holland. im on antidepressant mirtazepine, zolpidem for sleep and take some oxazepam i try to keep it down to 5-10 mg a day. trying to get better supposed to rest and relax very thin want to gain weight need to learn to relax.could go back to mom in miami can't travel yet have husbsnd and child here in holland. scared to to anywhere or just even alone in my house not gettingenough therapy want to get better. help danah

Posted by danah at 14:26 GMT on 8 December 2009

I have been on oxazepam for years now but my doctor is saying that I must come off them. He said that this was a government decision as they are only supposed to be for short term.I am on 15mg 3 times a day.My doctor now wants to put me on 10mg twice a day and he has given me seroxat 20mg to take 1 a day with them. Is there an easier way to come off them without taking the seroxat

Posted by Jack at 12:53 GMT on 11 March 2010

I have been taking Oxazepam for insomnia for the last 28 years. I am on 30 mg. Two pills before bedtime. It's not always effective & coming off them now is virtually impossible. I have not experienced any serious side effects except being totally addicted. I am 70 years old.

Posted by ed goertzen at 00:50 GMT on 30 July 2010

ive been on oxazepam for two years now and had no idea what they were at the time the doc gave them to me for anxiety with my daughter who broke her neck from a horse riding accident. After much research i decided to taper, previously i done the same with ssri's NASTY! im now down to 5mg in the morning and at night. sometimes i get a little "manic" which is quite scary and then the exhaustion sets in. my personal withdrawal symptoms are horrendous. jaw pain, choking sensation, feet feel like they are walking on broken glass all the time, night sweats that my body feels like someone turned on the tap....i live in holland and the doctors just dont seem to know what they are doing. they hand these pills out like candy and yet wont prescribe strong painkillers or anti-biotis unless "absolutely necessary" yet you can go round the corner and buy whatever dope you want. the memory loss and confusion is still there and i want now to drop another 5mg. when it comes to withdrawal's normally im really good. stopped alcohol cold turkey but these are the devil's pills, one of the most dangerous pills out there. i just want normal sensation in my feet again. how long does it take, anyone know? the suicidal thoughts and tremors seemed to have diminished although my motivation for social life has also diminished. at night i maybe smoke a joint just to help me sleep better, it does help but then again, im using! but the way i see it...get me off these and let me deal with other issues. good luck to everyone out there and be so so strong. lastly, my anxiety and panic increased so much on w/d i thought i was going crazy at some point's and trying to focus on daily task's was impossible even showering. but i will beat this i need my life back together after two years. keep busy best therapy and it physically tires you so sleep is a little easier..............serenity( we all wish for )

Posted by serenity at 06:18 GMT on 25 September 2010

I have been taking them for years. Mixed feelings about them. Had a major breakdown and recovered and stopped anti-depressants but I use Oxazepam in times of stress. I then plan periods of withdrawals with a strict diet of natural calming agents (valerian, sesame products, oily fish, good wholewheat carbs etc etc ) no booze or coffee, Chi Gung, exercise etc etc and that reduces withddrawals I was on 30 mg two months ago as I had a bad flu and was very nervy now 10mg and within a few weeks hope to stop: warm spring weather will help Take care my fellow oxazepamed ones :)

Posted by elfie at 16:33 GMT on 8 January 2011

Thank you to everyone that has posted such honest experiences. Stopping Benzos is extremely hard. It is a lot tougher than alcohol. I realize that alcohol only stays in your system for a period of 24-36 hours, but with benzos they are in your system for days / weeks before any serious side effects start to surface. Tapering is a very effective process. You can do cold turkey, but as its been stated in the posts, this can be fatal if we have been taking them for a period of time and of high doses. Oxazepam is a strange drug, but like all of the benzos, take it slowly, break it down, cut out caffeine for a while, drink water, exercise and eat fruit. I know this sounds weird. When you feel that your heart is racing, go for a run. Fight or flight. Run. I promise no harm will come. We can beat this. Take it one day at a time. Say to yourself these tablets are no longer an option. When you're tapering down a dose - say to yourself ' I will never take that higher dose again, its not an option.

Posted by The Hamlet20 at 16:56 GMT on 29 July 2011

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