View Full Version : Valium

05-30-2010, 06:15 PM
I've been off the meds for one week, and occasionally have taken one valium at night to help me sleep a little - I wondered could this set me back from the withdrawal of the other drugs coming out of my body? Is Valium also addictive?

05-30-2010, 08:42 PM
I think Valium can be addictive, but I don't think it would necessarily set you back with the withdrawal from other meds, especially if you are taking it only once per day.

When I was on it (for a different problem--not scoli), I did feel "withdrawal" even during the same 24 hours as it went out of my system, though.

Still, if you are still have bad pain, you need to take something. So I would say do what you need to do and don't worry about it yet. It's still early!


05-30-2010, 08:50 PM
i believe, from what i know of the field of addiction, that valium is considered extremely addictive...that's not to say there arent plenty of good reasons for it to be prescribed by doctors..but it is up there in the addictive scale!


05-30-2010, 08:55 PM
I believe that it is additive but since you are off the other pain meds and you are not that long out past your surgery, why not take it if you need it?


05-31-2010, 05:14 AM
why indeed....just be aware that it is one of the top addictive meds out there, that's all...

"Knowledge is power"...


05-31-2010, 08:26 AM
Both my daughters were prescribed valium and didn't have any problems with withdrawal. However, and this is a big one - it was for muscle spasms. Maddie has been doing this since her third surgery in April. I would worry about use for night time since there are drugs that can help you sleep. Talk to your docs and see what they say. Mary

05-31-2010, 08:49 AM
Valium is highly addictive and a depressant besides. I took it for a couple of months when I had severe muscles spasms and while it was a big help at night, I was very weepy while I was on it and I felt a lot better emotionally once I stopped taking it. It's one of those drugs that takes a while to leave your system...so if you take it nightly, you're still feeling some effects from it the next day.

05-31-2010, 09:52 AM
Thanks guys - I had a strong suspicion that it was addictive and took a while to get out of the system. Since I've done so well being off the meds for one week, I've decided to stay off the valium. I haven't taken one for the last two nights, and seem to be getting through the night with waking up about three times in the night for the bathroom, luckily getting back to sleep each time :)

05-31-2010, 10:22 AM
I don't remember who posted about leg cramps at night about a month ago or so, but I responded that I get them. I can now say that I no longer do. I was getting them almost nightly-- calves, shins, thighs, feet... you name it. Often two or three times a night. They were horrendous, believe me. It almost made me dread going to bed. About a month ago I was seeing a neurologist about my migraines and mentioned the leg cramps. He suggested trying diazepam (generic for valium) to see how that did. He thought that would relax my legs enough to prevent the cramping. He suggested 1/2 to one pill at bedtime. I take 1/2 of a 5 mg. tablet (they are scored) and haven't had a cramp since. I am so grateful. I really think this is a low dose, as I can get up and not seem groggy or anything.

Of course I realize this isn't talking about taking valium related to scoliosis surgery...

05-31-2010, 10:51 AM
Susie Bee--
Do you think your leg cramps are related to surgery still? I have had a problem in my left hip about where the long pelvic pins are that throbs all the way down to my ankle. I've tried all the usual remedies and nothing works. It wakes me up at night and in the morning & lasts all day. This started last Thursday and just seems to increase. Hurts in the hip to kneel down etc. I still take a small amount of hydrocodone, I'm embarrassed to say, but I just can't get past the tight, sore achey feeling in my back. Even upped that some and added tylenol. Almost seems like sciatica. Just can't figure out if this could still be related to surgery or something new. Thanks for any help. Janet

05-31-2010, 11:29 AM
Janet-- I used to get some cramps before my surgery, but not as much, and mostly just in the calves. In my opinion, the KILLERS are the ones on the inside of the thighs.... and occasionally I have had them everywhere at once and thought I'd die!

My best guess is that your problem is still related to your surgery. I still get aches from mine, and mine's been 3 years. It gets better all the time, but it's not "gone" like some are. Like right now I'm a bit anxious. I thought for sure I had blown it big time last week -- I had to do book inventory of the school library, scanning over 13,000 library books (meaning hand-scanning all the books on the shelves, from the top shelves to the bottom shelves). The bottom ones are really difficult for me, because they are just about floor level. I had about 4.5 days to do it all in, and got it done-- barely. But then I noticed my lower back and hip were hurting terribly and it really hurt when I lifted up my right leg when I walked. This is the first day (in about 5) it has been better. Whew. I was afraid I had ruined L5 and L6 or something. :(

I would check with your doctor. Best wishes.

05-31-2010, 12:09 PM
Thanks, Susie. I'll see how it goes for a couple more days and then check. Strangely, the second day I had this I was subbing at school and checking in textbooks that had to be stacked on the floor. Each bend was really hurting. I would have put it all to that but it had started the day before. I'm sure it didn't do any good! Hope your pains get better soon. Janet

05-31-2010, 01:03 PM
hey susie
seriously...rough work! is that normally part of your job? do you have a union? can you get accommodations...even temporary ones? i had "no climbing more than 2 flights of stairs" for awhile...of course, had to give it up for the job i wanted.... which was 5 flights! very very tough...i early retired 3 years ago due to pain!

i hope both of you find some relief from the pain! i am grateful i can get botox shots for spasms in thoracic...unfortunately, such shots havent helped lumbar spasms! and i havent had surgery...yet...my surgeon is waiting for my call! his office called me last month to see what i was doing...!!

hope all of you feel better soon!


05-31-2010, 06:26 PM
Belatedly adding that Valium is one of the most addictive drugs out there, BUT - it's extremely variable how much it affects the individual. I was once prescribed 40 mg/day by a know-nothing doc, and I only noticed at Yom Kippur (when asfaras possible I stop all meds for a day), that I was jumping out of my skin. From then on, I cut waaaaay back. Just 10 mg at bed-time sometimes, like you (for decades).

As far as I'm concerned, now, years from then, I believe one of the main risks of meds is how hard they are to obtain. The belief in the medical community now demonizes Valium way ahead of its actual risk IMO. But nonetheless, it became almost impossible to get. I try to avoid getting to like things that are apt to be withheld.

OTOH I take Klonopin nightly - another benzodiazapine, but one viewed more benignly (though if you're prescribed it PRN, you're well advised to monitor the dosage carefully. Rapid switches up or down can supposedly cause seizures. Again, I think this is rare, though I do know someone who died from just that.) It's more useful as a rare anti-panic med, but takes much longer to kick in than Valium. Both are technically anti-convulsants.

There are many sleep meds qua sleep - or meds used off-label with other main prescribing indications. If you or anyone needs advice, I still know most of what's out there. Onset, staying asleep in right phases, not waking early. Depends on your situation. E.g., children themselves can be a "sleeping disorder ", so it might be better to avoid meds which are specificaly for sleep onset, as you can't retake them if a child wakes you at night. For example, Ambien. It's great, but it needs to be taken under very controlled conditions - something no mom can manage.

Safest for you might be diphenhydramine - one-two capsules as needed. Plain old Benadryl, the OTC anti-histamine. Valium is fine, but rarely. Saved for times when you really have extra anxiety. It helps by relaxing the muscles, but the half life is VERY long, so if you're sensitive to that, it's better to reserve it for "special occasions" - of stress.

Re getting up at night - but not fully waking up - I find nightlights help a lot in avoiding that problem. All over the place especially the walk from bedroom to toiilet. As long as your passages are free of clutter (remember my thread "Fear of falling?"). Somehow, blue ones almost put me to sleep all by themselves. Keepng lights low for at least an hr before bed (and BRIGHT daylight bulbs in the morning) can help keep your clock straught. I see Columbia U has a "CHRONO-therapy " program to resolve sleep disorders. Relies on light control mostly. Regulating the release of melatonin, the master pituitary hormone (produced in response to light ) is vital to keeping your Circadian rhythm in sync. (Hence, one needs to watch how one takes melatonin - so popular and cheap, but NOT a sleeping pill per se).

Anyone still on narcos, knows that oxycontin really knocks most people out, so for anyone having trouble with pain AND sleep, bedtime is the time to take it if there's a choice.

Man, I just can't stop once I start, can I? :p


05-31-2010, 06:40 PM
T'was I who posted about leg cramps and yes, muscle relaxants can help, It can also be very useful in identifying cause and effect to examine ye old Neurotome chart. I can now see exactly which motor nerves are misfiring in causing cramping. Pretty sure it's related to nerve pinching at the L5-S1 juncture, where an EMG already showed severe damage. The myelogram I'm to have soon should shed more light.

Regardless, of neurological issues, I find it helps a LOT with cramps to keep the leg muscles well stretched during the day (what I used to think of as runners stretches) and especially before bedtime. Pressing hands to wall, stretch the calves and hamstrings for a few mintes, reduces the occurance.

Also dehydration can cause cramping, so at the risk of needing an extra midnight pit-stop you might drink at least half a glass of water at bedtime and see it it helps. Likewise, if they wake you. Sometimes I have some water and walk around when they just WON'T quiet down. Maybe addaing potassium and/or magnesium in case an electrolyte imbalance is implicated. (It's not like they're dangerous!)

That's IF the sqatting doesn't help - once I can get my soles flat on the floor that is (often they go into a nasty curl when I'm spazzing out). If you're post op maybe you can't do the squats. It all depends - on everything. :o

05-31-2010, 06:57 PM
none of the pain meds knock me out, unfortunately! none...not oxy, not hydrocodone...dont know about morphine, as i'm too busy throwing it up to fall asleep :rolleyes: nothing knocks me out..benadryl makes my heart race...found out the hard way one time for an allergic reaction! cant take the stuff!
only thing knocks me out are sleeping pills, and even those dont work as well as they used to...body can get used to any medication, i'm sad to say...


05-31-2010, 11:27 PM
OK there's one failself, Jess,

It's what I use PRN (and the only thing that finally got me to sleep after detox) Note, this is after using a combination of Klonopin (anxiety), Ambien (sleep onset) and Neurontin (sleep maintenance in proper sleep cycles) for over ten years - until Ambien stopped working.

Of course, you can fight almost anything, especially if you don't lie down to sleep (and observe :good sleep hygiene", as hard as that is...). I know by insomnia!

Low dose Seroquel 25-50mg will knock you out. In a pinch to overcome the "phobia" , you might need to go as high as 100 mg to start (need to prove to your body and mind, that you CAN sleep!) Now that I have "proven" it, I'm able to sklp it almost all the time, as long as I actually go to bed, read something relaxing, keep the lights low, etc...

As you probably know, this is in the class of atypical anti-psychotics used at doses ten - fifty+ times higher. But it's used in very low-doses for serious insomnia. Pricy but your insurance is probably better than mine. If you get the 100 mg pills they cost the same as 25 mg, and they can be shattered into approximate doses. Very safe.


06-01-2010, 12:15 AM
Hi Amanda
thanks anyway, for trying to help with the suggestion...but i wouldnt touch seroquel...ever!

have a good nite