Ads from Google:

Google ad
End of ad
Google Adsense ad
End of ads.

Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanor, Xanax, etc.) Addiction Through Tolerance with Regular Use

Abstract: With regular use of benzodiasepines, the body adjusts so that the effect is more or less removed, and so that temporary withdrawal symptoms will occur when stopping to use these medicines.

Web4Health logo
psychologist Independent medical expert answers on psychiatry and psychology

Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanor, Xanax, etc.) Addiction Through Tolerance with Regular Use

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
Written by: Prof. Heather Ashton, University of Newcastle, Department of Neurology, Neurobiology & Psychiatry
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 29 Jul 2008.

What is meant by tolerance to benzodiazepines? Why do I have to increase my dosage of my sleeping pills? What is Valium, Xanor, Xanax Addiction?


Tolerance to many of the effects of benzodiazepines (Alprazolam, Ambien, Anxon, Apodorm, Apzepam, Ativan, Bromazepam, Centrax, Chlordiasepin, Clobazam, Clonazepin, Klonazepin, Clorazepain, Dalmane, Diazepan, Diazephane, Doral Dormonol, Estazolam, Euhypnol, Flunitrazepan, Flurazepan, Fluscane, Frisim. Halazepan, Halcion, Ketazolan, Klonopin, Lexomil Lexotan, Librium, Loprazolan, Lorazepan, Lormetazepan, Medazepan, Mogadon, Nitrazepan, Nobrium, Noctamin, Normison, Oxascan, Oxazepan, Paxipan, Prazepan, ProSon, Quazepan, Restoril, Rivotrin, Rohypnol, Seraxat, Serenil, Serepan, Sobril Stesolid, Temazepan, Temesta, Tranxen, Triazolam, Valium, Xanax, Xanor, etc.) develops with regular use: the original dose of the drug has progressively less effect and a higher dose is required to obtain the original effect. This has often led doctors to increase the dosage in their prescriptions or to add another benzodiazepine so that some patients have ended up taking two benzodiazepines at once.

However, tolerance to the various actions of benzodiazepines develops at variable rates and to different degrees. Tolerance to the hypnotic effects (sleeping pill effect) develops rapidly and sleep recordings have shown that sleep patterns, including deep sleep (slow wave sleep) and dreaming (which are initially suppressed by benzodiazepines), return to pre-treatment levels after a few weeks of regular benzodiazepine use. Similarly, daytime users of the drugs for anxiety no longer feel sleepy after a few days.

Tolerance to the anxiolytic effects (calming, anxiety-reducing effect) develops more slowly but there is little evidence that benzodiazepines retain their effectiveness after a few months. In fact long-term benzodiazepine use may even aggravate anxiety disorders . Many patients find that anxiety symptoms gradually increase over the years despite continuous benzodiazepine use, and panic attacks and agoraphobia may appear for the first time after years of chronic use. Such worsening of symptoms during long-term benzodiazepine use is probably due to the development of tolerance to the anxiolytic effects, so that "withdrawal" symptoms emerge even in the continued presence of the drugs. However, tolerance may not be complete and chronic users sometimes report continued efficacy, which may be partly due to suppression of withdrawal effects. Nevertheless, in most cases such symptoms gradually disappear after successful tapering and withdrawal of benzodiazepines.

Tolerance to the anticonvulsant effects of benzodiazepines makes them generally unsuitable for long-term control of epilepsy. Tolerance to the motor effects of benzodiazepines can develop to a remarkable degree so that people on very large doses may be able to ride a bicycle and play ball games. However, complete tolerance to the effects on memory and cognition does not seem to occur. Many studies show that these functions remain impaired in chronic users, recovering slowly, though sometimes incompletely, after withdrawal.

Tolerance is a phenomenon that develops with many chronically used drugs (including alcohol, heroin and morphine and cannabis). The body responds to the continued presence of the drug with a series of adjustments that tend to overcome the drug effects. In the case of benzodiazepines, compensatory changes occur in the GABA and benzodiazepine receptors which become less responsive, so that the inhibitory actions of GABA and benzodiazepines are decreased. At the same time there are changes in the secondary systems controlled by GABA so that the activity of excitatory neurotransmitters tends to be restored. Tolerance to different effects of benzodiazepines may vary between individuals - probably as a result of differences in intrinsic neurological and chemical make-up which are reflected in personality characteristics and susceptibility to stress. The development of tolerance is one of the reasons people become dependent on benzodiazepines, and also sets the scene for the withdrawal syndrome.

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
Web4Health in other languages: Finnish German Greek Italian Polish Russian Swedish

bio-benzo-tolerance Copyright 2003-2017 Web4Health
Copyright 2003-2017 Web4Health.
Web4Health was selected as finalist for the 2008 Stockholm Challenge Award
Translate Web4Health
We seek voluntary translators who are interested in translating Web4Health to new languages. We can provide the servers, and pay you 50 % of the income from ads on pages, which you have translated. We are especially interested in translators from German To English, From German, Swedish or English to French, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Finnish, Polish, Farsi, Russian.

Advertise here
Reach 300 000 visitors reading one million pages for a cost of 600 US $/month.