- What are benzodiazepines?
- What are the uses for benzodiazepines?
- List of examples of generic and brand names for benzodiazepines available in the US
- Side effects of benzodiazepine drugs
- Drugs and supplements that interact with benzodiazepines
- Formulations of benzodiazepines
- Is it safe to take benzodiazepines if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding my baby?
What are benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are man-made medications that cause mild to severe depression of the nerves within the brain (central nervous system) and sedation (drowsiness).
What are the uses for benzodiazepines?
Adult men and women use benzodiazepines to treat:
- Panic disorders
- Muscle spasms
- Alcohol withdrawal
- Status epilepticus (A life-threatening disorder of the brain.)
- Premenstrual syndrome
Other uses for benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines also are used for sedation during surgery.
Benzodiazepine medications are habit forming and can lead to dependence (addiction). Long-term use also can lead to tolerance, which means that lower doses will become ineffective and patients will need higher doses. Benzodiazepines are abused to get 'high' due to their effects on the brain.
List of examples of generic and brand names for benzodiazepines available in the US
Examples of oral benzodiazepines are:
- alprazolam (Xanax, Xanax XR)
- clobazam (Onfi)
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- clorazepate (Tranxene)
- chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- diazepam (Valium, Diastat Acudial, Diastat)
- estazolam (Prosom is a discontinued brand in the US)
- lorazepam (Ativan)
- oxazepam (Serax is a discontinued brand in the US)
- temazepam (Restoril)
- triazolam (Halcion)
Side effects of benzodiazepine drugs
Common side effects of benzodiazepines are:
- Memory impairment
- Improper body balance
- Increase or decrease in appetite
- Weight gain
- Dry mouth
- Reduced libido
Serious side effects of benzodiazepines include:
- Respiratory depression
- Dependence and abuse
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Slow heart rate
- Severe low blood pressure
- Akathisia (A movement disorder)
- Increased heart rate
Quick GuideSleep Disorders: Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, and More
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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