Side effects of benzodiazepine drugs

Memory impairment. Tablet benzodiazepine drugs used in the therapeutic (treatment of insomnia or anxiety) range for a long time, can cause memory impairment. In connection with the decrease in the attention concentration under the benzodiazepine preparations influence, the new information assimilation processes are violated. In addition, these drugs cause a specific shortage of “episodic” memory, memories of current events, the circumstances in which they occur, and their time sequence. Episodic memory violation can lead to so-called memory errors, responsible for the behavior unusual for a particular individual, for example, store “theft”. This contrasts with the safety of other mnestic functions (memory for words, the ability to reproduce telephone numbers, the long-term memory preservation). At the same time, this property of the benzodiazepines to act on the memory is actively used in anesthesia during premedication before large or small surgical procedures. Memories oppression of an unpleasant procedure is a positive effect in these circumstances. To this end, single-dose high doses of injectable benzodiazepines are used.
Paradoxical stimulating effect. Benzodiazepines can cause paradoxical arousal with increased anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, hallucinations associated with a period of falling asleep, irritation, hyperactivity or aggressive behavior. Among the rarest paradoxical reactions are described attacks of rage, violent behavior, including violence, which usually arise after intravenous administration of the drug. More often a less dramatic increase in excitability is observed. Such reactions are reminiscent of arousal provoked by alcohol. In the risk zone are aggressive individuals, children, elderly people. These reactions can be associated with the release or behavioral tendencies inhibition, which are usually constrained by social constraints.
Depression, emotional anesthesia. Depression can be the first negative symptom in long-term benzodiazepines administration. Benzodiazepines can cause depression or exacerbate previous depressive symptoms, probably due to a disturbance in the neurotransmitters balance such as serotonin and norepinephrine. Depression can also increase with the database abolition background. Therefore, it’s not recommended to use a benzodiazepines in monotherapy for the depression treatment or comorbid depression anxiety. Combination therapy, including an antidepressant and a benzodiazepine drug, is usually more successful in this patients category.
Patients who take long-term benzodiazepines sometimes complain about “emotional anesthesia”, inability to feel pleasure, empathize, feel heartache. Emotional decline is presumably associated with the benzodiazepines inhibitory effect on the “emotional” centers activity in the brain.
Adverse effects in elderly patients. The central nervous system in elderly patients is more sensitive to inhibitory effects of the benzodiazepines than in young people. In elderly patients, benzodiazepines can cause confusion, night walking, ataxia and pseudodementia. The increased sensitivity of elderly patients to benzodiazepine drugs is partially associated with a decrease in the rate of metabolism of drugs, which in turn leads to a longer circulation of the drug and its accumulation. But even with the same drug concentration in the elderly patients blood, its inhibitory effects are more pronounced than in young people, which is probably due to less brain reserves in the elderly. Minimize the side effects in elderly patients is possible with the use of small doses of the drug (half the dose from the target dosage in young patients) and short courses of treatment (no more than 2 weeks).
Tolerance. Tolerance – one of the negative database properties, developing with their regular use. The habitual dose of the drug progressively reduces the effect, and an increasing dose is required to achieve the former effect. This leads to the fact that the doctor is forced to increase the drug dose or some patients even add a second benzodiazepine drug. But different database effects have different tolerance. For example, tolerance to the hypnotic effect develops very quickly. On the contrary, tolerance to anxiolytic effect develops slowly, and DB can remain effective after several months of drugs continuous intake. Tolerance to the DB anticonvulsant effect limits the use of this drugs class in the epilepsy chronic treatment. Therefore, the most frequent use of classical databases in epileptology is the acute conditions coping (epileptic seizure, epileptic status). Tolerance to the DB is associated with compensatory changes in benzodiazepine receptors, as a result of which the GABA inhibitory function is reduced. There are differences in the tolerance formation between individual benzodiazepine drugs, as well as on the same drug in different individuals, tolerance can occur at different times from the start of treatment. The latter, probably, is associated with individual neurotransmitter characteristics and susceptibility to stress. The tolerance development is one of the possible reasons for the dependence formation.
Addiction. Benzodiazepine drugs are potentially addictive drugs. With regular use, they can develop psychological and physical dependence for several weeks or months. The dependence risk is determined by the therapy duration, the daily dose, the dose reduction rate before complete cancellation and the half-life duration of the drug. For example, dependence on diazepam appears much less frequently than from short-acting benzodiazepine hypnotics. The developed rules for the assignment of OBs prevent the dependence syndrome formation without affecting the patient’s therapy.
In everyday practice, doctors usually observe mild withdrawal syndrome forms, not associated with serious difficulties in managing patients, as they are quickly and easily reduced without additional therapeutic measures. Therefore, the very likelihood of the withdrawal formation and dependence syndrome shouldn’t be perceived as a possible contraindication to the use of benzodiazepine drugs. If you’re looking for the best place to buy benzodiazepines online, visit RC’s online store to place an order.

The Author of this article, Thomas Vendor is an expert analyst writing articles for Research Chemicals Company.

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