Google ad
End of ad
left arrow
Google ads:
down arrow
Independent expert answers
on psychiatry and psychology

Therapeutic Use of and Side Effects of Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Ativan, etc.)

Abstract: What is the clinical use of benzodiazepines?

Web4Health logo
psychologist Independent medical expert answers on psychiatry and psychology

Therapeutic Use of and Side Effects of Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Ativan, etc.)

Intelligent natural language question-answering in the area of psychology and psychiatry. Ask a simple question  Local help Info


Go the top of the page Top Forum iconDiscuss this Forum iconGet expert advice Printer Print
Question(s): 
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 29 Jul 2008.

What is the therapeutic use of benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Ativan, etc.)? What are the side effects of Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Etc.?

Answer:

Regardless of their potency, speed of elimination or duration of effects, the actions in the body are virtually the same for all benzodiazepines. This is true whether they are marketed as anxiolytics, hypnotics or anti-convulsants. Benzodiazepines exert five major effects which are used therapeutically: anxiolytic, hypnotic, muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant and amnesic (impairment of memory). More.

Therapeutic use of benzodiazepines:

  • Anxiolytic relief of anxiety - Anxiety and panic disorders, phobias
  • Hypnotic - promotion of sleep - Insomnia
  • Myorelaxant - muscle relaxation - Muscle spasms, spastic disorders
  • Anticonvulsant - stop fits, convulsions - Fits due to drug poisoning, some forms of epilepsy
  • Amnesia - impair short-term memory - Premedication for operations, sedation for minor surgical procedures

Other clinical uses, utilising combined effects:

  • Alcohol detoxification
  • Acute psychosis with hyperexcitability and agressiveness

These actions, exerted by different benzodiazepines in slightly varying degrees, confer on the drugs some useful medicinal properties. Few drugs can compete with them in efficacy, rapid onset of action and low acute toxicity. In short-term use, benzodiazepines can be valuable, sometimes even life-saving, across a wide range of clinical conditions. Nearly all the disadvantages of benzodiazepines result from long-term use (regular use for more than a few weeks). The UK Committee on Safety of Medicines in 1988 recommended that benzodiazepines should in general be reserved for short-term use (2-4 weeks only).

Intelligent natural language question-answering in the area of psychology and psychiatry. Ask a simple question:
Local help Info
Google ad
End of ad
Disclaimer: The documents contained in this web site are presented for information purposes only. The material is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified psychiatrist or psychotherapist. It can not and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. If you find anything wrong, please notify us at .
Go to top of page To top of page