Supplements & Other Medications


I’ve written about supplements in withdrawal before but there still seems to be some confusion about what we can and can’t tolerate. I’ve selected a few here to try and give a brief explanation of why they should be avoided. These are the most common supplements and herbs that people ask about.

The main point is, we have been harmed by a chemical that has given us difficult and sometimes extreme side effects that we are slow to recover from. We live in a society that has been conditioned to believe that a drug or supplement can do us good, even cure us, therefore when suffering, we naturally search for answers to alleviate that suffering. In Benzo withdrawal we come to learn that these beliefs have to be challenged if we are to recover as quickly as we can. The body isn’t the body that used to be able to eat, drink and take a pill as needed because it’s changing. In this state of change it is highly sensitive and doesn’t want to be further abused with chemicals, it wants to be left alone to do what it has to do to fully recover. Once recovered it will accept whatever we choose to throw at it, although I believe this whole process is an awakening that helps us value ourselves more and appreciate the innate health that lies within us all.

I know this is controversial and I completely understand the need to search for that elusive ‘cure’ as I’ve spent years now doing that for myself. Eventually I think we give in to it all and it’s that ‘giving in’ that supports our recovery in the end. Always remember it was a chemical poisoning that put you in this predicament, that ‘abused’ your body, so maybe better not to possibly do further harm with more chemicals added to the fire. I write this in answer to all the cries searching for something to help the horrors as my heart goes out to you. All I know is recovery is taking place the longer you are free of benzos and believe in your healing.

Remember that supplements, herbs and other so-called natural medicines are not required to be rigorously tested and contain certain fillers, even chaotic doses, that don’t necessarily adhere to what they say on the label. They are products of a money-making pharmaceutical industry intent on selling its wares and making some outlandish claims in order to do this. Please tread with caution if you want to try a product and make sure it comes from a reputable company and take only a small dose to start.

I appreciate that some may need certain supplements or drugs for medical conditions so please just use this for information and stop nothing suddenly.

I’ve compiled the following list so members of Beating Benzos can quickly identify answers they seek for a particular supplement or herb they may wish to try or which has been recommended as helping somebody else. Always remember however you react, good or bad, that this is personal to you. I haven’t detailed the mechanism of action for each substance, just written a brief overview. Any further information can be researched for yourself………


CBD oil


GABA Supplements





Lemon Balm




Milk Thistle

Oregano Oil


St John’s Wort



Considering taking a vitamin to treat or alleviate benzo withdrawal symptoms? Please be aware before adding anything to research its actions thoroughly and to make sure, through medical testing, that you do have a deficiency in that vitamin.

When in Benzo withdrawal or tolerance to the drugs the body is unlikely to tolerate any substance added that is merely an isolated chemical such as a synthetic vitamin substance. It may treat it as interference and cause an unwanted reaction.

If you feel adding a vitamin can be beneficial for you after research and testing then start slowly and build up to the maximum daily dose over time. Always be wary of any reactions and stop immediately if necessary. We stress that your doctor should be aware and support your use of any vitamins as overdosing of some can be dangerous.

‘Vitamins are organic compounds that are needed in small quantities to sustain life. Most vitamins need to come from food. This is because the human body either does not produce enough of them, or it does not produce any at all. Each organism has different vitamin requirements.’

Fast Facts on Vitamins

Here are some key points about vitamins. More detail of each and any known interaction with Benzos is under the individual vitamin discussion.

  • There are 13 known vitamins.
  • Vitamins are either water-soluble or fat-soluble.
  • Fat-soluble vitamins are easier for the body to store than water-soluble.
  • Vitamins always contain carbon, so they are described as "organic."
  • Food is the best source of vitamins, but some people may be advised by a physician to use supplements.

What Are Vitamins

Fruits and vegetables are good sources of a range of vitamins.

A vitamin is one of a group of organic substances that is present in minute amounts in natural foodstuffs. Vitamins are essential to normal metabolism. If we do not take enough of any kind of vitamin, certain medical conditions can result.

A vitamin is both:

  • an organic compound, which means it contains carbon
  • an essential nutrient that body cannot produce enough of and which it needs to get from food. There are currently 13 recognized vitamins...

Fat Soluble and Water Soluble

Vitamins are either fat-soluble or water-soluble.

Fat-soluble vitamins....

Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the fatty tissues of the body and the liver. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. These are easier to store than water-soluble vitamins, and they can stay in the body as reserves for days, and sometimes months.

Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed through the intestinal tract with the help of fats, or lipids.

Water-soluble vitamins....

Water-soluble vitamins do not stay in the body for long. The body cannot store them, and they are soon excreted in urine. Because of this, water-soluble vitamins need to be replaced more often than fat-soluble ones.

Vitamin C and all the B vitamins are water soluble.


Here are the different types of vitamins.

Vitamin A

Vitamin B

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B5

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B7

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B12

Vitamin C

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Vitamin K

Dietary Sources

The 2015-2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines focus on the overall diet as the best way to get enough nutrients for good health. Vitamins should come firstly from a balanced and varied diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.

However, in some cases, fortified foods and supplements may be appropriate.

A health professional may recommend vitamin supplements for people with certain conditions, during pregnancy, or for those on a restricted diet.

Those taking supplements should take care not to exceed the stated maximum dose, as health problems can result. Some medications can interact with vitamin supplements, too, so it is important to talk to a healthcare provider before using supplements.

Vitamins in Benzo Withdrawal

‘There is no evidence that nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids etc. are helpful in benzodiazepine withdrawal. Excessive doses of some can be toxic and others may even contain benzo-like substances that have the same adverse effects as benzodiazepines themselves. Nor is there any evidence that suggests benzodiazepine withdrawal causes vitamin, mineral or other deficiencies. No-one should take supplements without clear evidence of a specific deficiency. Those who advocate multiple supplements should first show evidence of any deficiency and then conduct proper controlled trials’.
- Heather Ashton, 2012


Vit D

Vit B

Vitamin C

The various other vitamins may cause a setback for some people but there is little known of how they may influence benzo withdrawal symptoms for better or worse. Always take any supplements with medical support while very fragile in your recovery and remember your response to one vitamin won’t be the same as that of another person’s. Just be vigilant and careful so setbacks are avoided. With a good diet there should be no need for these chemical ‘extras’.

Other Medication

Please see below for a list of other medications


Over the Counter Medications

Whenever an over-the-counter item is taken with a prescription medication, there is a chance that there will be an interaction between them. The interaction may increase or decrease the effectiveness and/or the side effects and might also result in a new side effect that is not generally seen with the medications individually. The likelihood of drug interactions increases as the number of combinations increases. Most drug interactions are due to altered absorption in the intestine and can change the blood flow to the intestines, metabolism of the drug by the intestine, increased movement in the intestines resulting in diarrhea or constipation, alterations in the acidity of the stomach and a change in the bacteria of the gut region. The liver and kidney are where most drugs are eliminated and therefore are important sites of drug interactions. Drug interactions can be complex and unpredictable, so minimizing the risk is essential.

Antihistamines (Benadryl, Dimetapp, NyQuil, Alka-Seltzer Night-Time Cold, Thera Flu, etc).

Nasal Decongestants (Afrin, Neosynephrine, Sudafed, ect.):

Pain Relievers (Acetaminophen - Tylenol, Excedrin, ect. / Ibuprofen - Motrin, Advil, ect.):

Stomach Relievers (Maalox, Tums, Tagamet, Prilosec OTC, Pepcid, Zantac, ect.):


PPIs (Protein Pump Inhibitors)



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