Tables

This page is useful for understanding how long the drug takes to leave your system, how high your dose really is and what a tapering schedule looks like.  The information is excerpted from the ‘Benzo-Wise’ Book which was reviewed and authorized by our kind expert, Professor C Heather Ashton.

Equivalence Table

Benzodiazepine Half-life (hrs)
[active metabolite]
Approximate Equivalent
Oral dosages mg
Alprazolam (Xanax) 6-12 0.5
Bromazepam (Lexotan, Lexomil) 10-20 5-6
Chlordiazepoxide (Librium) 5-30 [36-200] 25
Clobazam (Frisium) 12-60 20
Clonazepam (Klonopin, Rivotril) 18-50 0.5
Clorazepate (Tranxene) [36-200] 15
Diazepam (Valium) 20-100 [36-200] 10
Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) 18-26 1
Flurazepam (Dalmane) [40-250] 15-30
Lorazepam (Ativan) 10-20 1
Nitrazepam (Mogadon) 15-38 10
Nordazepam (Nordaz, Calmday) 36-200 10
Oxazepam (Serax, Serepax, Serenid) 4-15 20
Temazepam (Restoril, Normison, Euhypnos) 8-22 20
Triazolam (Halcion) 2 0.5

‘Z’ Drugs Equivalence Table

Z Drug Half-life (hrs) Approximate Equivalent
Oral dosages mg
Zaleplon (Sonata) 2 20
Zolpidem (Ambien, Stilnoct) 2 20
Zopiclone (Zimovane, Imovane) 5-6 15
Eszopiclone (Lunesta) 6 (9 in elderly) 3

The drug’s half-life is the time taken for the blood concentration level to fall by fifty percent after a single dose. This is important to note when switching from one benzodiazepine to another. For example, if you plan on tapering using diazepam and your current dosage is 1.5 mg clonazepam daily, since 0.5 mg clonazepam is equivalent to 10 mg diazepam, you are taking the equivalent of 30 mg diazepam. The half-life of the active products of the drug or active metabolite, shown in square brackets, varies according to individual.

Tapering Schedules

There are different recommended methods of tapering which are known to be effective and manageable. One of the most successful and widely used is the Ashton method, as outlined in the Ashton Manual. It recommends the use of diazepam (Valium) to taper off other benzodiazepines because it is more slowly eliminated from the body. Diazepam comes in liquid form and in doses of 10 mg, 5 mg and 2 mg which makes it easy to make very minute reductions in doses.

This schedule shown here is an example only and so the duration of each stage of reduction has been removed. If you are planning to taper, please consult your doctor or other healthcare provider to discuss and arrange your schedule.

Phase 1

Duration Morning Midday Evening Diazepam Equiv.
Starting dose clonazepam0.5 mg clonazepam0.5 mg clonazepam0.5mg 30 mg
clonazepam0.5 mg clonazepam0.5 mg clonazepam0.25 mgdiazepam 5mg 30 mg
clonazepam0.5 mg clonazepam0.5 mg STOP CLONAZEPAMdiazepam 10 mg 30 mg
clonazepam0.25 mgdiazepam 5mg clonazepam0.5 mg diazepam10 mg 30 mg
clonazepam0.25 mgdiazepam 5mg clonazepam0.25 mgdiazepam 5mg diazepam10 mg 30 mg
STOP CLONAZEPAMdiazepam 10 mg clonazepam0.25 mgdiazepam 5 mg diazepam10 mg 30 mg
diazepam10 mg STOP CLONAZEPAM diazepam10 mg 28 mg

Phase 2

Duration Morning Midday Evening Diazepam Equiv.
diazepam 10 mg diazepam 6 mg diazepam 10 mg 26 mg
diazepam 10 mg diazepam 4 mg diazepam 10 mg 24 mg
diazepam 10 mg diazepam 2 mg diazepam 10 mg 22 mg
diazepam 10 mg STOP DIAZEPAM diazepam 10 mg 20 mg
diazepam 8 mg diazepam 10 mg 18 mg
diazepam 6 mg diazepam 10 mg 16 mg
diazepam 4 mg diazepam 10 mg 14 mg
diazepam 2 mg diazepam 10 mg 12 mg
STOP DIAZEPAM diazepam 10 mg 10 mg

Phase 3

Duration Morning Midday Evening Diazepam Equiv.
diazepam 9 mg 9 mg
diazepam 8 mg 8 mg
diazepam 7 mg 7 mg
diazepam 6 mg 6 mg
diazepam 5 mg 5 mg
diazepam 4 mg 4 mg
diazepam 3 mg 3 mg
diazepam 2 mg 2 mg
diazepam 1 mg 1 mg
STOP DIAZEPAM
 

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