Valium good or bad!

Hya guys,

My dad has been prescribed valium for years. 5mg that's the doseage. Since his health has gotten worse the gp has dropped his amount to 12 a month. Needless to say they aren't lasting the month, we had the gp out yesterday because he's been out of breath alot more, more anxious about things so thought he might be brewing something. Gp said that there was no obvious signs of infection and said that it was more anxiety panic making him breathless and causing more chest tightness. He asked her for a few valium stating that they help him stay calm and stop the anxiety hitting high levels. But she was very reluctant claiming that they were doing more harm than good but I tried to explain watching him have a panic or anxiety attack is very hard on both me and him I just feel useless sat watching him struggling to catch his breath. Surely if that could be prevented by taking a valium then that outways the negative impact on his respiratory system especially at the end stage he's at. Can someone explain the her reasoning.

Love and light x

17 Replies

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  • Hi

    I can't explaining the reasoning but ask can you try a alternative, I use lorazepam half tablet twice a day .

    I have the same anxiety problem.

    Have you direct contact details with a respitory team, I find them more understanding and helpful with the secondary effects caused by the condition.

  • Hi stone, the gp did say that we need to check and speak to the respiratory team, we met the consultant about a fortnight ago and explained the situation and he didn't respond with an answer. He received a letter this morning with an appointment to see him again.... In March! My dad reckons he'll be dead by then, we see a nurse every so often (when they need to take readings off the bipap machine or arterial blood) but I don't know if they could alter his medication. Is there anyone else we could see?

  • Hi

    For me the respitory team have done the most.

    They advised and organised oxygen for exercise and walking.

    They have arranged by phone for my GP to prescribe Oramorph and lorazepam, my GP as put both items on repeat.

    Only yesterday at my six monthly oxygen assessment, after talking to the nurse about various issues including anxiety , she as refereed me for a nebuliser trial. Not sure what is involved but as the nurse pointed out any thing that helps lead a better quality of life is worth a try.

    As you father fully explained the problem, sometime people don't like a fuss and don't always explain fully.

    I have always found the respitory nurse more understanding.

  • Valium is a nasty drug thats highly addictive and GPs all over give this out less and less...it affects the breathing which is the last thing your dad needs

    Is the breathlessness causing the panic attacks because if it is he could be put on oramorph which can ease things when it real bad...if the panic attacks are causing the breathing problems then the doc needs to give him something for that

    If your not happy with whats happening ring the consultants secretary and ask for an appointment sooner , you can also ring his respiratory team and ask someone to come out and see him and write down everything you need them to know ...or ring his specialist nurses who deal with his nippy machine ....dont be afraid to ring these people thats what they are there for ....

    I have 21% lung function and on a nippy machine too and i dont intend going anywhere for a long time yet so although its classed as last stage he could live a much easier life once everything is in place for him because it dosnt sound like it is yet

    Has there been any mention of transplant being an option

  • If your dad is end stage then it seems cruel to take away something which is calming him. Not offering a replacement antidepressant seems illogical also, maybe you should ask for a second opinion or even change his doctor ?

    However long term valium (diazapam) has a quite long list of side effects some of which are horrendous. Valium can be more addictive than Morphine and withdrawal is quite dangerous if not done in a controlled way. I would ask for a slow withdrawal plan and also a replacement antidepressant, for example Mirtazapine, I found it very good in about three days and did not have any side effects which you can get when first prescribed some antidepressants.

    Good luck to you and your dad.

  • No, no mention of lung transplant. He's not physically or emotionally able for it I don't think. I've just read an article in the Daily Mail from June 2015 stating that taking valium and other drugs with similar effect (benzo something) over 3 years and longer can increase the risk of cancer by a third!

    We have a xray tomorrow to see if his pneumonia has cleared up from 6 weeks ago and praying that it doesn't show anything else.

    I'll ring the respiratory team Friday and see if they can give us an appointment sooner.

  • Thanks all fingers crossed that the xray results just shows what we already know, although my dad thinks he's gotten worse in the past 6 weeks maybe he's fearing the worst.

    Just have to wait and see. :/

  • I have taken Valium since 1976 10 mg and I don't have a problem getting repeat prescription I know they are addictive but I can honestly say I only take them when I need them, which is usually at night

  • Hi Melissa

    I think that gp Is downright mean! Valium is a benzo and you can't go from 30 to 12! Thats crazy. I take .025

    mgs. of xanax a day. Not enough to do much. Been taking it for many years.

    How long has your dad been taking it?

    It has to be tapered slowly. Why didn't he just leave the poor guy alone! He's

    probably doing more harm than good.

    I believe Valium comes in 2 mgs also.

    Good luck.

    Rubyxx 😊

  • I think it is very cruel of the gp to have allowed your dad to become dependent on valium & now to cut the dose by more than 50% without giving him any other help for his anxiety. The poor man has enough to cope with at the moment. Also, withdrawal can be harmful. GPs used to dish valium out willy nilly & now they've all gone the other way. They're like bloody sheep!

  • Your poor Dad, his GP sounds most uncaring. If there are 2mg valium tabs as someone has said then maybe you could ask for those. Failing that you could do what I did many years ago when I decided to wean myself off valium. I first of all broke the tabs in half and just took half a tab for a week or two, then I broke the halves in two and took a quarter of a tab for another couple of weeks. It worked for me BUT I wasn't at that time having breathing problems.

    Have you tried helping your Dad with breathing techniques when he is out of breath? It is hard at first but if he can master it the method really does help. He should try to breath in through his nose to a count of 4, hold it for a count of 4 then breathe out through his mouth for a count of 8, through pursed lips can help. If he can practice this while he is sitting down and not breathless, then try it when he is walking I think it might help him. If he can't hold his breath for the count of 4 that doesn't matter too much. The idea of this is that the more you empty out your lungs with the long breath out, the more space there is in your lungs that you can fill with air when you breath in. I find it very helpful when climbing the stairs or doing anything strenuous. Also the very act of concentrating on how you breath, can stop you getting into a panic.

    Remember that it can take a very long time to recover from pneumonia and he may still have some inflammation in his lungs. I was told a minimum of 8 weeks to recover, I think it was more like 6 months for me.

    I do hope that you can find some help somewhere for your Dad, please give him my good wishes.

  • I agree and like the rest of you it's taken as an when needed, but the past month he's been more anxious to things than normal. He also takes olazapine 10mg but that's at night, it's heartbreaking watching someone I love go through this hard time. I will speak with the nurses see what they say, it's just a vicious circle x

  • Melissa I am so sorry your Dad is being treated in this manner by your GP. Does the GP not realise that to reduce benzodiazapines too quickly, especially as your Dad has been taking them for years, the panic attacks/anxiety could in fact be withdrawal symptoms. No wonder your Dad feels so bad - that is cruel no matter what the GPs reasoning is.

    You might want to telephone MIND or NO Panic with advice on safe ways of coming off tranquilisers, although you really need to get in touch with your respiratory team and/or consultant. Can you email or 'phone consultant for their opinion.

    Please let us know how you get on.

    Love to you and your Dad.

    cx

  • Hi valium is one of the older drugs and doctors don't like prescribing it these days. They are very addictive too. Your father would be better off changing it for one of the newer ones which are just as good but less addictive. Discuss it with his doctor.

    I must say though that I don't see the logic in changing it now, after all what does it matter at end stage? It's more important to tackle his very understandable anxiety so he is more comfortable. x

  • Hi Melissa, I can't add anything more than what the others have said. I want you to know that I'm thinking of you & your Dad.

    Hope it all turns out well at his xray tomorrow. 🙏💐

  • I had a neighbour who was having shaking fits, panic attacks and got in a terrible state. Then, after looking after her for two weeks, I went round to find her back to normal.

    She hadn't told me she had stopped taking Valium suddenly. I was annoyed to say the least, as she had been very demanding. soon as she took some she was fine.

    If I had known about the Valium withdrawal, I would have insisted she see her doctor. Coming off them is a nightmare.

    If I was in your position, I would be demanding the GP prescribe an alternative, pronto. The GP of all people should know about the problems withdrawal from Valium causes.

  • Hi Melissa, I was on Valium and probably hooked for 30 years. My daily amount was only 4mg but when my doc asked me to try and wean myself off them he told me how to do it. He worked out how much I needed for 2mg and 1mg each day for 1 month. When I returned after the month I was able to say I had not noticed the difference. For the 2nd month I was down to 1mg twice a day. Again I did not notice the difference. The last month I was on a liquid replacement which was fine. So after three months I was free of Valium. There were no downsides. I cannot understand why any doctor would just cut the Valium off. Your Dad must be very distressed. This is the worse way of coming off any drug. My advice would be to make an appointment with another doctor (perhaps a double appointment if you can) and explain what is going on with your Dad. Good luck. Maximonkey

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