There are no set rules for this, but we would recommend not stopping suddenly. This can present risks e.g. – at the severe end of the range could be risk of seizures and suicidal ideation, and on a slightly lesser scale very severe withdrawal symptoms.
There is considerable guidance available on the NHS Clinical Knowledge Summary and it contains some important points for healthcare practitioners to note, such as:
Assess whether this is a suitable time to stop taking the drugs.
The chances of success are improved when a person’s physical and psychological health and personal circumstances are stable. In some circumstances it may be more appropriate to wait until other problems are resolved or improved before starting drug withdrawal.
If the person is unwilling to stop taking a benzodiazepine or z-drug:
… reassure the person that they will be in control of the drug withdrawal and that they can proceed at a rate that suits them.
Time required for drug withdrawal
… no specific time frame has been recommended as drug withdrawal should be titrated according to the severity of withdrawal symptoms and individual preference
For any healthcare professionals interested in further discussion, please call our dedicated duty mobile on 07483 390276, or email email@example.com