A Review of Alprazolam Use, Misuse, and Withdrawal PMC

The broad group of drugs that comprise benzodiazepines can target different functions, act at different speeds and affect the body for varying lengths of time. Due to each of our unique metabolizing rates and interactions with pharmaceuticals, they don’t always have the same effect on each user. Your healthcare provider will schedule follow-up visits after prescribing benzodiazepines.

Withdrawal effects of benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines slow all of this activity down, calming the system, and relaxing the body and brain by increasing the interaction of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma amino-butyric acid, or GABA, within the central nervous system. Benzodiazepines also have the added effect of deregulating dopamine production, resulting in more of the “pleasure cells,” which may increase the addictive potential of benzos, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Protracted symptoms continue to fade over a period of many months or several years.

Factors That Influence Withdrawal From Benzos

Benzodiazepines open GABA-activated chloride channels and allow chloride ions to enter the neuron. This action allows the neuron to become negatively charged and resistant to excitation, which leads to the various anti-anxiety, sedative, or anti-seizure activity seen with these drugs. Table 1 lists U.S. generic and brand name benzodiazepines, their common uses and duration of action. Many of the brand name products have been discontinued https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/why-we-have-a-fear-of-being-sober-5-fears-about-it/ by their manufacturers; however, equivalent, lower-cost generics are available for these brands. Flumazenil is a benzodiazepine antagonist antidote that can be given intravenously in the emergency setting to reverse the effects of a benzodiazepine overdose. Benzodiazepines are a large drug class and have a long history of development, starting with the first FDA-approvals in the 1960s, chloridiazepoxide (Librium) and diazepam (Valium).

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Interestingly, those who used alcohol while taking BZD experienced no difference in discontinuation rate from those who did not use alcohol [64]. Benzodiazepines (BZDs) are among one of the most widely prescribed drug classes in the United States. BZDs are a class of psychoactive drugs known for their depressant effect on the central nervous system (CNS). They quickly diffuse through the blood–brain barrier to affect the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA and exert sedative effects.

Costs of benzodiazepines

Women who are breastfeeding should not use benzodiazepines unless directed to do so by their physician. Some benzodiazepines may be appropriate therapy in women who are breastfeeding, but only under the direction of a physician. The patient may remain awake but sedated, benzodiazepine withdrawal and usually there is no recollection of the procedure. This type of sedation allows the patient to recover more quickly from anesthesia. They will need someone to drive them home and are usually drowsy until the next day, so will need to take a full day off of work.

If you need help with your substance use disorder, we are here to help you build your confidence and momentum towards the future you want. We provide treatment services for adults with alcohol, opioid, and other substance use disorders. We are currently located in Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, and Washington. Drugs.com provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include Micromedex (updated 3 Mar 2024), Cerner Multum™ (updated 17 Mar 2024), ASHP (updated 20 Mar 2024) and others.

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