Traditional benzodiazepines taken alone are rarely associated with lethal overdoses, but when combined with other sedatives or alcohol, the risk greatly increases. generic and brand name benzodiazepines, their common uses and duration of action.
Flumazenil is a benzodiazepine antagonist antidote that can be given intravenously in the emergency setting to reverse the effects of a benzodiazepine overdose, although some controversy exists over its use. Many of the brand name products have been discontinued by their manufacturers; however, equivalent, lower-cost generics are available for these brands.
Some benzodiazepines (diazepam, chlordiazepoxide) have active metabolites that remain in the system (long acting), and this can be problematic for patients - especially older patients.
Side effects, such as dizziness, confusion or unsteadiness may persist in the elderly who are prescribed long-acting benzodiazepines.
On the other hand, short-acting benzodiazepines are often preferred for insomnia because they theoretically produce less next-day drowsiness, although many patients still experience these effects.
*The half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of the drug to be eliminated from the body.
Benzodiazepines are a class of medications that work in the central nervous system and are used for a variety of medical conditions.
As a class, benzodiazepines are similar in how they work in the brain but have different potencies, durations of actions, and receptor site affinities.
Because of this, some benzodiazepines work better than others in the treatment of particular conditions.
Benzodiazepine Uses: Benzodiazepines are a large drug class (see Table 1) and have a long history of development, starting with the first FDA-approvals in the 1960s, chloridiazepoxide (Librium) and diazepam (Valium).
There are many options available within the class, and most benzodiazepines are now available generically, making them very affordable.
All benzodiazepines are listed as DEA schedule IV controlled substances.