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Benzodiazepines – Definition and Types of Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are a class of medicines with amnesic, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, hypnotic, muscle relaxant, and sedative properties. Due to these properties, Benzodiazepines are often used to relieve stress or insomnia. However, if Benzodiazepines are used regularly (for example, everyday), they usually are not effective for several weeks.

Benzodiazepines drugs work by selectively affect neurons that have receptors for the neurotransmitter Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA).

When benzodiazepines were introduced, the hampering effect of GABA grew up. As a result, people taking these drugs experience altered mood, drowsiness and relaxed muscles.

In some cases, benzodiazepines may causes what is known as a paradoxical effect such as nervousness, nervous tension, nightmares and sweating.

Some common types of Benzodiazepines are:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax) is used in the treatment of panic disorder.
  • Chlordiazepoxide and oxazepam are used to treat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
  • Clobazam and lorazepam are used in the treatment of certain convulsive (seizure) disorders, such as epilepsy.
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin) is used to treat panic disorder and certain convulsive disorders, such as epilepsy
  • Clorazepate is used in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal and certain convulsive disorders.
  • Diazepam (Valium) is used to help relax muscles or relieve muscle spasm, treat alcohol withdrawal and treatment of epilepsy.
  • Diazepam injection is used before some medical procedures to relieve anxiety and reduce memory of the procedure.

The benzodiazepines may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

In general, Benzodiazepines are not recommended for people under 18 years old and should not be given to children under 6 months.