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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Valium

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An indi vidual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 06/13/2000]
Question: Can long term use of valium/ativan cause dementia?

Answer: No.

[posted 06/11/2000]

Answer: Diazepam is better known as valium. It is used as a sedative and for treating anxiety disorders. It causes sedation, decreased ability to coordinate machinery and long term is an addicting drug.

[posted 05/18/2000]
Question: how long does the drug lorazepam 1mg. take to leave the body system.....have been prescribed to take this one tablet 2 hrs. before flight and one 15 min. before takeoff. Would like to know if i will be ok after a few hrs. Thank you.

Answer: The effects will be gone in 6-8 hours, the drug is detected (depending on the type of test)for up to six months.

[posted 12/1/1999]
Question: I have been abusing valium and vicodin for the past year. I've
been taking one or the other, and in some cases both together over
this period of time. I reached a point where I would take up to two
of each at a time and consume alcohol as well. I have no medical
reason for taking either of these drugs. I didn't think that I
had a problem until I decided to "take the weekend off" from the
use of both. On the second day of abstinence, I started to have
what I thought were flu like symptoms, neausea, diahrea, tiredness,
inability to sleep, loss of appetite. Are these symptoms of withdrawal?
What are the withdrawal symptoms for these two drugs? How long will it
take me to get past these symptoms?

I tried weening myself off at first, but the symptoms persisted.
Maybe to a lesser degree. So, I decided to go "cold turkey." Its been
7 days now and I feel horrible. Still have all the same symptoms,
although they some times tend to come and go through out the day. I need
help! What's your recommedation?

Answer: Vicodin is a drug you can stop abruptly. Valium is not as seizures can result. However, you may be past this risk. Most of your symptoms are probably withdrawal. I'd contact a treatment facility to help you short and long term.

[posted 10/14/1999]
Question: Dear Doctor:

I experimented (translate: abused!) valium over a three month period ending mid to late July of this year. I am an obese
50 year old man. I have not taken Valium since, but occasionally (by perscription) Xanax for axiety or insomnia.
I got pills from an acquantence - probably took 30-40 blue tablets (5mg?)over a three month period to self medicate for insomnia and back pain from stress.

I just failed a drug screen on a urine sample taken September 8th. The report says positive for Benzodiazepines,
but negative for Alrazolam (Xanax). I have requested the actual test results from the company that did not hire me.
The initial drug screen showed positive for Benzodiazepines and then I believe they did a follow up gas chrometography (sp?)
to eliminate Xanax, which I mentioned I was taking to the MRO.

Someone told me that Valium, especially in the amount I consumed, can stay in the fat tissues for a long time.
Obviously, I am concerned about how long it will stay in my system, since all jobs offers seem to require a negative drug screen for illegal use of drugs.
Is there any way to accelerate the process of cleansing, and how long can I be *marked*?

Please respond soon, as I am desparate to find a new job! Would exercise or diet help? Should I get a blood test for liver function?
I consider myself a non drug abuser at this point, and have no desire to repeat my mistake.
Interestingly, I never sufferred any withdrawal from not using the Valium. Any comments on this?


Answer: These drugs, depending on sensitivity usually last 6 months, occasionally a year. Nothing will accelerate the process of elimination and your liver is probably normal.

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