Benzodiazepines work on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor, which result in quick and temporary relief in symptoms of anxiety.

Uses :

  1. Anxiety

  2. Panic attacks

  3. Insomnia

  4. Alcohol detoxification

  5. Seizures

Types :

  1. Short acting benzodiazepines : Alprazolam, Clonazepam, and lorazepam ,which are commonly prescribed in Anxiety and Panic attacks.

  2. Long acting benzodiazepines : Diazepam and Chlodiazepoxide, which are commonly prescribed in seizure disorder, in alcohol withdrawal (detoxification)

Dosage and duration :

Depending upon the condition and severity of the problem, benzodiazepines can be prescribed as once or multiple times in a day, also as an SOS (as and when required) for panic attacks.

Benzodiazepines should be taken only as directed by your doctor and should not increase or decrease the dosage without doctor's advise.

Side- Effects : Drowsiness is the most common side-effect of benzodiazepines. Other side-effects which can be more pronounced in elderly are impaired co-ordination, mood changes, memory disturbances, slowed mental processing, confusion, fatigue.

Inform doctor :

  1. If you take Alcohol regularly

  2. If you are on any other medicine

  3. If you have a medical history of Glaucoma, Liver or kidney disease, COPD, Sleep apnoea

  4. If you are pregnant or planning pregnancy

Abuse :

Long-term use of benzodiazepines may result in dependence and withdrawal symptoms if the medication is stopped or decreased suddenly.