Valium Withdrawal: Symptoms, Duration, and Timeline

Last Updated: July 6, 2020

Authored by Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Valium Withdrawal Symptoms and Duration

Valium withdrawal symptoms start appearing within 72 hours of the last dose. Watch for the following symptoms.

  • Cravings
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Shaking
  • Excessive sweating
  • Loss of sleep
  • Agitation
  • Mental confusion
  • Convulsion
  • Increased anxiety

Also, one might feel other problems such as vomiting, high blood pressure, high heart rate and mood changes. The duration of the withdrawal can last up to about a month, and if patients have any of these symptoms, they should find medical help right away.
Valium, while one of the most commonly given sedative-hypnotics, it’s a drug with very high abuse potential. Therefore, the risk is even higher if one has a history of addiction or substance abuse.
When one uses it for more than four months in a row, there are greater chances to develop addiction. The problem of addiction continues even after stopping the drug. A sudden discontinuation usually causes a set of unpleasant problems and withdrawal symptoms. Valium withdrawal is a very common condition and needs urgent medical attention and detox
Continue reading to discover more about Valium addiction and its health effects.

When Does Valium Withdrawal Start and How Long Will It Last

Withdrawal symptoms start showing within 72 hours of the last dose. Thus, symptoms go through various stages, and they may switch from strong cravings to serious problems.
Because every person is different, and so is the genetics, the severity and duration of withdrawal can vary significantly. Also, doses and length of the therapy are the other factors.
Withdrawal lasts for about a month or more. During this period, as the brain attempts to regain its normal status that was changed by use.

What Are The Symptoms of Valium Withdrawal

Withdrawal is a very “bad” experience to those who are going through it. The power of the “experience” worsens in direct proportion to the level of abuse. However, one needs to remember that Valium withdrawal can occur even when used it as directed.
Watch for the following symptoms, and especially if the patients use Valium for more than four months.

  • Cravings
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Shaking
  • Excessive sweating
  • Loss of sleep
  • Agitation
  • Mental confusion
  • Convulsion
  • Increased anxiety

Also, one might feel other distressful problems such as vomiting, high blood pressure and heart rate, and mood changes.

Timeline of Valium Withdrawal: Rollercoaster of Symptoms

Valium WithdrawalAs Valium starts to remove from the body, patients will go through some symptoms that can leave them stressed and desperate for relief.
The duration of the withdrawal is about a month and is divided into different parts. As a result, each step has a unique set of symptoms, which tend to fade after stopping the drug for some time.

Timeline of Valium Withdrawal

Acute Withdrawal Symptoms of Valium: These include unrest and stress which begin to show within 72 hours of stopping the medication. Thus, as the span of the drug-free state continues, the symptoms become even more intense. They reach their peak power in the second week of the withdrawal. Lastly, Loss of sleep increased sweating, and muscle aches are typical features of the acute peak phase.
Subacute Stage of Valium Withdrawal: This period of withdrawal starts a month after the discontinuation. As a result, the symptoms are less intense and can be taken care of by standard measures.
Chronic Stage: A fraction of the people who have abused Valium may have to bear the brunt even after years of quitting.

Remedies That Ease Valium Withdrawal Symptoms

Common solutions such as healthy food, physical exercises, increased fluid intake, and non-prescription pills for symptomatic relief may not always be enough to cure the condition. However, one  should continue using them.
In addition to the conventional remedies, patients will need a specific addiction-targeted detox program to ensure a drug-free life.

Valium Withdrawal Treatment Options

There are some ways one can resume a drug-free life. The selection of each option depends on the degree of abuse, the severity of symptoms, cost, and accessibility.
Certain drugs might help to deal with the Valium withdrawal symptoms. However, it’s important only to use prescription drugs from a qualified doctor.
The following is some medications that have proven beneficial:
Antidepressant medications: A specific class of mood-alleviating medications called Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) might be used to relieve withdrawal-associated anxiety.
Medications for convulsion: These agents are particularly useful if patients develop seizures during the withdrawal period.
Also, a doctor may give other drugs after viewing the condition.

What Can One Do Further?

For anyone going through the scary symptoms of Valium withdrawal, the only relief may seem to be the drug itself. But one needs to keep the urges in check and look for a rational solution to the  problem. Remember withdrawal is a sign of drug addiction which is a chronic disorder.
Treatment of withdrawal requires a group effort from family, friends and healthcare experts. The role of willpower and self-control are key to the success of a detox program.
For a holistic treatment and regular follow-up care, one can show up to addiction centers. These centers have a skilled team dedicated to giving all kinds of important services to help patients get back to normal life. The team includes well trained and skilled physicians, counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and auxiliary health care professionals. They all work together to design addiction treatment plans that are specific to the personal needs.
Addiction experts can provide the right guidance to help cope with Valium withdrawal, addiction, and dependency
Need Help? Talk to us; no one is alone. We can help to connect with the experts who have years of experience in treating the similar conditions.

Page Sources

  1. Mellor C. S., Jain V. K. Diazepam withdrawal syndrome: its prolonged and changing nature. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 1982; 127(11): 1093–1096.
  2. Leung F. W., Guze P. A. Diazepam withdrawal. Western Journal of Medicine. 1983; 138(1): 98–101.
  3. Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Valium: INFORMED CONSENT FOR MEDICATION. 2016.

Published on: March 13th, 2017

Updated on: July 6th, 2020

About Author

Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Nena Messina is a specialist in drug-related domestic violence. She devoted her life to the study of the connection between crime, mental health, and substance abuse. Apart from her work as management at addiction center, Nena regularly takes part in the educational program as a lecturer.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.


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