Benzodiazepines Drug Facts: Benzodiazepines Usage and Safety Guide

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‌Benzodiazepines Drug Facts: Benzodiazepines Usage and Safety Guide

Stress, depression, and mental‌ ‌illness‌ often require medication treatment. Using such medication as benzodiazepine is often a way to combat these problems. This medication is not limited to treating such disorders and has a wider range of medical uses.

However, intake of this drug has a flip side of the coin and some patients may experience negative consequences. For example, addiction. Below you will find out the most essential things about this active substance every patient who plans to use this drug needs to understand.

Benzodiazepines: What Is It?

Benzodiazepines or Benzos are psychoactive substances that have an inhibitory effect on the central nervous system. Simply put, this substance has anti-anxiety, relaxing, sedative, and even HIV treatment-promising capabilities.

The pharmacological market offers drugs with different dosages of this component. However, regardless of the name of the drug and the manufacturer, it has similar effects, both positive and negative.

Depending on the problem and the condition of the body, the physician prescribes an intake regimen. Usually, experts try to prescribe the most effective but safe dosage to avoid side effects and the development of addiction.

With prolonged use, this component damages brain‌ ‌activity‌ in a similar way to alcohol. However, in addition to the destructive effect on the brain, other organs can also suffer. For this reason, these drugs can only be purchased with a prescription.

How Do People Use Benzodiazepines?

Most often, Benzos are used to get rid of insomnia or to get calmness. This component can help get rid of obsessive thoughts, and so on.

Benzos boost the specific receptors in the brain, which leads to the release of dopamine, as is often called the "pleasure hormone". This effect can last about 2-8 hours, depending on the dosage. Such a “pleasure” effect of the drug can be characterized by the following conditions:

  • Reduced generalized‌ anxiety ‌.
  • Feeling of calmness and serenity.
  • Reduction of any pain syndromes and sensitivity.
  • An increased feeling of relaxation.

All of the above symptoms make Benzos attractive to people with addiction. Therefore, patients often tend to drug‌ ‌abuse‌ after the end of treatment. For this reason, drugs in this group cannot be freely purchased without a doctor's prescription.

There is a need to understand that even if the patient has never experienced dependence on other substances before, with prolonged use, addiction may develop and it is not due to mental weakness.

The Common Effects of Benzodiazepines Intake

This drug has a wide spectrum use case since it is used not only to combat mental health problems. So, this class of drugs is most often used to achieve the following health goals:

  • To improve sleep disorders, fight insomnia and sleep‌ ‌apnea‌.
  • To combat anxiety‌ ‌disorder‌.
  • To activate dopamine to fight certain mental disorders.
  • To combat panic attacks.
  • To reduce muscle‌ ‌spasms‌ and tension.
  • To prevent seizures.
  • To combat alcohol addiction.

This drug may be prescribed by health‌ ‌care‌ specialists to suppress anxiety and emotions before surgery. It is worth noting that in such cases, the patient receives the effect of one-time suppressing the central nervous system and suppressing emotions. Low dosage and short-term use of the drug in such cases do not cause dependence or side effects. 

The Short-Term Side Effects

Even short-term use of the drug can lead to side effects. The most common effects with short-term use may include:

  • Dizziness.
  • Drowsiness, impaired concentration.
  • Short-term memory loss and dizziness.
  • Impaired speech and confusion.
  • Impaired coordination and loss of balance.
  • The gastrointestinal tract problems (constipation or diarrhea).
  • Spontaneous onset of anxiety.
  • The euphoria feeling that changes with anxiety.

The Long Term Intake Side Effects

The use of the drug for a long time has more negative effects on the body. Long-term use of this medication is very rarely prescribed by a physician since usually, drugs of this type are addictive. Long-term use of the drug can cause the following effects:

  • Development of depression and worsening of mental problems.
  • The erection reduction.
  • Attempts to stop the intake of the drug may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and headache.
  • Worsening of vision.
  • Toxic liver damage.
  • Euphoria feeling.
  • Delusional thoughts, spontaneous mood swings.
  • Impaired speech and disorientation in space.
  • Chronic insomnia.
  • The muscle weakness.
  • The appearance of suicidal thoughts.
  • The blood‌ ‌pressure‌ changes.
  • The emergence of panic‌ ‌disorder‌.
  • Other mental health disorders.

When these symptoms occur, it is necessary not only to stop the intake of the drug. You also need to seek help from specialists since withdrawal‌ ‌symptoms‌ ‌may occur. Such symptoms will force the patient to use the medication again.

The Drug Forms and Other Potential Effects

Usually, this substance comes in the form of pills. The patient’s doctor prescribes a certain dosage that will be most effective with the specific problem. But there is also a drug for intravenous use.

In some cases, the medication is used intravenously. This is because some patients cannot use drugs in pill form. The use of the drug intravenously is short-term and is often used for epileptic seizures or other emergency cases.

The Overdose on Benzodiazepines Symptoms

Overdose symptoms are similar to those effects that occur with prolonged use of the medication. If the dosage is increased unnecessarily, an overdose may occur. The following symptoms may indicate an overdose:

  • Drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • The vision and speech disorders.
  • Loss of coordination and disorientation in space.
  • Slowed‌ ‌breathing‌, coma. These symptoms can occur with a significant increase in the dose and intake of a large dosage at one time.

Any of the side effects requires attention and immediate medical help. Such symptoms are an indicator that the body is harmed and the patient is at risk not only from deteriorating health but also from the development of addiction.

The Benzodiazepines Overdose Treatment

Regardless of what symptom of an overdose the patient encounters, it is necessary to immediately seek medical help. Even a symptom such as dizziness is a wake-up call.

With the correct intake of the drug and a normal reaction to the medication, there should be no such side and dangerous effects. Therefore, it is necessary to urgently contact your doctor for help or call an ambulance if more dangerous side effects occur.

Is There a Risk of Developing Addiction While Intaking Benzodiazepines?

Benzos are intended for the temporary treatment of problems that are related not only to mental health but to physical health. With prolonged use of such drugs, the positive effect decreases.

For this reason, some patients may start to increase the dosage of the drug to obtain the desired effect. This dosage increase can lead to the development of addiction.

Moreover, the patient can get the opposite effect. For example, these drugs can help manage insomnia in one to two weeks. Continuing to take the drug after the recommended period may cause the person to wake up more often at night. This is similar to what happens with the long-term use of sleeping‌ ‌pills‌ .

The same is true for treating anxiety. The patient may begin to worry after canceling the intake and face anxiety again. 

The Benzodiazepines Addiction Treatment

The fight against addiction must be medically supervised. Dealing with addiction on your own can be unsuccessful. Moreover, long-term use of such medications can hurt many organs, and therefore medical intervention is necessary.

To successfully cope with addiction, you need to consult a physician. The specialist will develop a safe dosage reduction scheme that will allow you to safely stop the intake of the drug.

The doctor will monitor the patient's condition and the body's response to the dosage reduction. In some cases, there is a need for detox procedures.

If the patient has another addiction, for example, an alcoholic, then there is a need to treat two addictions at the same time. The best place to get such help is specialized rehabilitation centers. 

It is also essential to understand that rehabilitation requires not only time but also constant monitoring of health conditions. Therefore, this process requires professional help and complex therapy to establish not only physical health but also mental well-being.

What Every Patient Should Remember About Benzodiazepines

The use of drugs of this type always requires strict adherence to the doctor's recommendations and caution. The US government does not track the number of deaths from specific drugs. However, there are statistics according to which 70,000 deaths were registered as a result of a drug overdose.

This drug has dangerous side effects due to incorrect intake. Therefore, each patient undergoing therapy must remember that:

  • It is not recommended to drive a car or perform work that requires concentration or can be potentially traumatic while taking these medications.
  • Ask your physician to provide you with this medication fact‌ ‌sheet‌ to be fully informed on its positive effects and possible negative consequences.
  • If you notice any side effects, even dizziness or constipation, you must inform your physician about it.
  • Patients are strictly not recommended to independently increase the dosage and change the intake regimen.
  • You cannot continue therapy on your own after you are done with the doctor's recommendations and the recommended time frame for this pill intake. 
  • You shouldn't buy the drug from an online pharmacy. Quite often you can come across fakes and dummies. By the way, USA residents should buy drugs only in the offline drug store due to the current legislation. 

Brief Conclusion

Benzos are quite powerful for short-term symptom management. They neither treat the problem nor can be considered wellness supplements. Use these medicines only when prescribed by your doctor and be sure to carefully monitor your health condition. 



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