A Medscape article asked “What Is the Best Way to Discontinue Benzodiazepines?”
But it turns out no one has the answer to that important question. But, of course I have my opinion and my recommendations.
“Approximately about 4% of the population use benzodiazepines, and prolonged treatment is common despite clinical recommendations for short-term use. Discontinuing benzodiazepines is difficult for many patients and it is unclear which pharmacologic interventions are best to facilitate tapering.”
So, there you have it in the first paragraph. In order to discontinue benzos you have to use another drug. In a comparison of 18 trials, “it was not possible to draw firm conclusions regarding pharmacologic interventions for facilitating benzodiazepine discontinuation in chronic benzodiazepine users.” Oops! We give these drugs, we prescribe them for more than the recommended 2-weeks; and then we turn our backs on people when they get addicted.
The writer concluded that “All we know is that weaning patients from benzodiazepines is best done very slowly and is often painful for our patients.” He said: “I often manage very slow tapers that last between 6 months and a year. It seems that most patients can manage this, but I have no evidence beyond my clinical impression to back up my opinion.”
He admitted that “Given the millions of people worldwide who take benzodiazepines long-term, we are desperately short of data and high-quality randomized trials aimed at developing evidence-based withdrawal protocols. These need to occur.”
No, we do not have to do drug trials to find out how to get people off drugs. We have to “do something completely different.”
I know, let’s do magnesium (ReMag) and methylated Bs (ReAline). That’s what we do and that’s what we recommend, and that’s what seems to be helping people build up their nutrient stores and support the structure and function of a perfect body.
Magnesium deficient-anxiety is unnecessarily treated with benzodiazepines. Here’s how I speak about anxiety in The Magnesium Miracle (2017).
How do we graduate from being a calm person in control of our nervous system to an anxious, fearful individual? I think it’s due to a gradual but chronic decrease in magnesium reserves. When the body is stressed – and it can be for a dozen different reasons, our magnesium reserves dump this crucial mineral into our blood stream and we immediately become one of those people blessed with the ability to cope. We are both calm and alert. Our friends and relatives think it’s just who we are but it’s really how much magnesium we have in reserve.
If the stress continues and we don’t rest or replace our magnesium between episodes, our magnesium stores become depleted. Then, when you are faced with the next stressor, your stress hormones (adrenalin and cortisol) don’t activate your magnesium reserves with a calming effect. Instead, adrenalin revs up your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure, and tenses your muscles in a fight or flight reaction.
Millions of people try unsuccessfully to cope with their problems or medicate their stress with overeating, cigarettes, alcohol, street drugs, and other addictive behaviors to suppress their pain. We are a nation suffering a 32 percent incidence of anxiety, depression, and drug problems. Instead of treating stress reactions properly with magnesium, each year millions of people are introduced to the merry-go-round of psychiatric drugs and psychological counseling for symptoms that may in fact be rooted in magnesium deficiency.
You’re stressed out, not sleeping, tense, and irritable and you don’t know that simply taking a good magnesium supplement could pull you out of that downward spiral. All these symptoms are interwoven as you can see from the following cases of people who fortunately discovered that much of their suffering was due to magnesium deficiency.
I repeat: Let’s do magnesium (ReMag) and methylated Bs (ReAline). That’s what we do and that’s what we recommend, and that’s what seems to be helping people build up their nutrient stores and support the structure and function of a perfect body.
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Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.