Benzodiazepines are nothing but a group of sedatives that are widely prescribed and that include Xanax, Valium, Ambien etc. These drugs are commonly taken for anxiety or insomnia, often for a longer period of time.
Xanax, Valium, and Ambien are the few names in the Benzodiazepines category because these all have a structural similarity (which is composed of the benzene ring attached to another ring of seven heterocyclic members called Diazepine).
Benzodiazepines are the depressants of the nervous system, acting, in particular, on the limbic system. They are part of the Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) complex which is a Neurotransmitter with inhibitory action and its receptors are part of an inhibitory action mediated by GABA.
The benzodiazepine receptors are distributed throughout the brain and spinal cord; they are also found in the adrenal glands, kidneys, pineal gland and platelets. Benzodiazepines have rapid and high absorption and are not degraded before their arrival in the central nervous system.
Benzodiazepines can be administered orally, intramuscularly and intravenously. The lifespan of these drugs varies from 2 hours to 74 hours. Short-acting compounds have better hypnotic results, while long-acting compounds are preferred for their anxiolytic effects.
Uses of Benzodiazepines
It’s used to treat anxiety, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, epilepsy, affective disorders, also to treat poisonings with certain drugs.
Types of Benzodiazepines
Usually ends in -lam, -lan, -pam, -pan: Lorazepam, Diazepam (also known as Valium), Clonazepam, Triazolam etc. within this group are classified according to their average life duration in the body.
Effects of the Benzodiazepines
They act as sedatives, hypnotics, muscle relaxants, anticonvulsants, anxiolytics, and amnesia.
What are the Negative Effects of Benzodiazepines?
Dangerous… I repeat… An overdose of Benzodiazepines, particularly when combined with alcohol or any other types of sedative drugs, can even lead to a coma. The antidote for all benzodiazepines is flumazenil. The symptoms are excessive drowsiness, respiratory depression, confused speech, bradycardia, and hypotension.
There are various side-effects of the drug Benzodiazepine too. The side-effects include:
- Stomach ache
- Blurred vision
- A headache
- Coordination disorder
- Antegrade amnesia
- Hangover effect
- Unusual dreams
- Pain in the chest
- Paradoxical reactions
- Cross-tolerance (Alcohol)
While benzodiazepines are very effective in the short term (two to four weeks) the side effects associated with long-term use (deficiencies in cognitive abilities, memory problems, mood swings, overdoses when combined with other drugs) can make the risk-benefit ratio wrong.
Other symptoms that may occur are emotional dullness, nausea, headache, dizziness, irritability, lethargy, sleep problems, memory problems, personality changes, aggression, depression, agoraphobia, anxiety and panic attacks, social deterioration and problems labor If consumption is discontinued, the effects of long-term consumption may disappear after 3 or 6 months.
After reading all the above explanations, you must have understood the risks involved in taking Benzodiazepines for a longer (more than 12 months) period of time.
Can Benzodiazepines Cause Cancer?
Prolonged use increases the risk of developing Alzheimer and even Cancer from an increase in the cases of people with insomnia who use these drugs to sleep, according to neurologists.
The doses and frequency vary for every person to person. These variations may be on the basis of age, sex, allergies, and any other kind of diseases.
Uncontrolled uses of this drug benzodiazepines can cause any kind of disastrous health hazards. It can make you so addicted that it can even become almost impossible for you to leave it.
Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Ambien etc.) are not recommended without the medical guidance of any doctor.