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Dr Subbanna MD
Dr Subbanna MD, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5416
Experience:  American Board Certified Neurologist, Internal Medicine
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I have developed severe myofascial pain while slowly

Customer Question

I have developed severe myofascial pain while slowly tapering off of Valium. The pain has becomes so debilitating that I am bedridden on some days and can no longer work or exercise at all. Is this common? I was only on benzos for 6 mos and have been tapering for almost 7 mos now...currently at 2.5 my trying to cut .5mg every 3 weeks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr Subbanna MD replied 2 years ago.
Hi, this is Neuro Doctor, an American Board Certified Neurologist with vast clinical experience. The Expert to whom this question was originally addressed is not available now so the company has made this question available to other experts too and I am very glad to help you with your health question.
First I will try to gather some additional information from you through these following questions;
1) In addition to the myofascial pain are you also having any additional symptoms like joint pain, swelling of the joints, loss of appetite, loss of weight, fever, or any skin rashes etc?
2) Have you already seen any doctor in the clinic for these symptoms? Also have you already undergone any medical investigations (tests)? If yes what are those investigations, and what are the results of those investigations?
3) Do you have any medical conditions like diabetes, thyroid diseases, autoimmune connective tissue disorders, lyme disease, hepatitis, HIV or any other?
Please answer the above questions for me, I will go through these additional information and then post my answer here at the earliest.
Best regards,
Neuro Doctor
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I have been all the way to Mayo Clinic and had every test imaginable. I do get some skin blisters whenever I make a Valium cut. These go away in 4-5 days. I have lost a lot of muscle mass. No wasting though and Sed rate is zero, normal C-reactive protein. I am very weak. Mayo docs did not seem very knowledgable on benzo withdrawal. Appetite OK but constipation is severe, colonoscopy was normal. MRIs of brain, spine, pelvis all normal. Blood test for lyme normal. No other medical conditions listed above. Was a healthy active 5-mile per day runner, mountain biker and weight lifter until being placed on benzos for tinnitus which I still have only worse now. Mayo Dr's simply said I have a dysregulated central nervous system with no known cause.
Expert:  Dr Subbanna MD replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thanks for all these additional details.
After carefully going through all these additional information provided by you I feel at this moment I may not be of much help to you with your current health situation. You have already seen neurologists in Mayo clinic - one of the best medical institutes in USA and they were unable to help you much, and I too feel that I may not be of much help to you. I really wish I could be of some help but unfortunately I am not able to do so. Accordingly I have decided to opt out from your case so that if you wish you can discuss your case with another expert at this site.
I wish you all the very best!
Best regards,
Neuro Doctor
Expert:  Dr Subbanna MD replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I see that your question is still not answered. It may be because other doctors too are feeling this is a difficult health situation to solve & treat. This indeed is something we do not commonly encounter in our clinical practice.
Since it is not yet answered by any other doctor even after so many days I opted out what I thought is I would try to give you my opinion on this unfortunate health situation you are suffering from and see whether this is acceptable to you.
First of all I want to reiterate this indeed looks like a very unusual benzo withdrawal situation. Benzo withdrawals can sometimes present with unusual patterns but this is probably the most severe and most unusual pattern I have ever come across so far. Your body is reacting extremely to the gradual withdrawal from the Valium. You are experiencing severe myofascial pain making you severely disabled and causing even skin blisters too. So this must be one of the most unusual and most severe forms of benzo withdrawal encountered in clinical practice.
So the obvious question now is what we are going to do & how we are going to manage this; I will explain it in detail now; what I am feeling is your body is reacting from the tapering of benzo like this due to some abnormal immunological reaction taking place in your body. Benzo tapering somehow triggering the immunological system of your body in an abnormal fashion and that is triggering all these crisis like situation. So the next obvious question is what can be done for this - your doctors can actually try treatments specifically focusing on the abnormally reactive immunological system. The following are some of the standard treatments that are used when we suspect the immunological system is dysfunctional;
A course of steroid treatment
A course of Immunoglobulin infusion (IVIG)
A course of plasmapheresis etc
The above are some of the standard treatments to fix the dysfunction of the immune system and you may try one of the above treatments and try tapering the Valium while you are under the protection of one of these above treatments and if this is indeed due to immune dysfunction then with the help of these type of treatments you may not encounter problems while slowly tapering from Valium and the severe muscle spasms/myofascial pain should respond to these treatments. The treatments you already have tried like trigger point therapy, physical therapy, heat, ice, neurontin, and flexeril etc can help only symptomatically but the above mentioned immunological treatments can help you actually to fix the underlying immunological dysfunction (if there is indeed any such dysfunction) in addition to helping in relief from your severe symptoms.
I am just trying to help you because I saw this question is still unanswered so many days after I had opted out from this question. If you do not like this answer then let me know I can opt out once again so that this question will be available for other experts at this site. If you like this answer then you may please rate me positively so that I will be compensated for my time and effort put in answering this question. I hope you do not rate me negatively since I am only trying to help you since this question is still not attended by any other experts. If you do not like the answer all you have to do is to ask me to opt out from this question so that it will be available to other experts again. And another point I want to mention to you is if you want your money to be refunded to you then you can contact the company directly and ask for the refund – giving a negative rating is not required for getting the refund - I am just discussing the various options you are having and you can choose the one which suits you the best.
Please let me know if you have any further questions or need any further clarifications and we can discuss this further.
Best regards,
Neuro Doctor

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