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(275 results for Benzodiazepines Detoxification)

Benzodiazepines Detoxification

Benzodiazepine drugs (benzos or benzies) have sedative, hypnotic, anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant properties. They are prescribed primarily for the treatment of anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal, seizures and insomnia. Chlordiazepoxide (brand name Librium), the first benzodiazepine ever developed, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1960. Since then, many other benzodiazepines have been developed, including three of the most frequently prescribed and abused: Valium (diazepam), Ativan (lorazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam).

While short term use of benzos is generally safe and effective, long-term use can lead to tolerance, dependence and other adverse effects such as driving impairment and overdose/withdrawal-related morbidity and mortality. In older patients, usage has been linked to cognitive decline, dementia and falls. Some benzos, most notably Xanax, appear to have greater potential for abuse, resulting in more dangerous overdoses. It is believed the addictive qualities are tied to the perception of intoxication, potency relative to formulation, risk of withdrawal phenomena and a shorter half-life. Half-life is the amount of time needed for the concentration of the drug in the bloodstream to be reduced by one-half.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

Benzo withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Stopping cold turkey can result in life threatening seizures, tremors and muscle cramps. Benzos are frequently abused with other drugs, making detox and withdrawal more complex.

Withdrawal Symptoms

– Sleep disturbances
– Irritability
– Increased tension and anxiety
– Panic attacks
– Hand tremor
– Sweating
– Concentration difficulties
– Confusion and cognitive issues
– Memory problems
– Dry retching and nausea
– Weight loss
– Palpitations
– Headache
– Muscular pain and stiffness
– Perceptual changes
– Hallucinations
– Seizures
– Psychosis
– Suicide

Benzo Detoxification

Benzo detox should be supervised and gradual, with the drug tapered off at specific intervals. This generally involves several types of intervention such as gradual reduction with a long or short half-life benzo, switching to non-benzo anxiolytics or prescribing adjuvant medications including antidepressants or anticonvulsants. While the risk of severe withdrawal decreases with professionally supervised detox, the potential for experiencing a wide range and severity of symptoms still exists.

Many studies have found gradual withdrawal over at least 10 weeks is effective in achieving long-term recovery. Taking diazepam (or its equivalent) in a daily dose of 10 mg or less at the onset of dosage reduction appears to result in less withdrawal symptoms and higher long-term abstinence rates. For people with high-dose benzodiazepine dependence, reduction approaches are often ineffective. Emerging scientific evidence indicates a medical intervention approach (used successfully to treat opioid dependence) may have potential for those with high-dose benzo addiction.

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More on Benzodiazepines Detoxification

Benzodiazepine drugs (benzos or benzies) have sedative, hypnotic, anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant properties. They are prescribed primarily for the treatment of anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal, seizures and insomnia. Chlordiazepoxide (brand name Librium), the first benzodiazepine ever developed, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1960. Since then, many other benzodiazepines have been developed, including three of the most frequently prescribed and abused: Valium (diazepam), Ativan (lorazepam) and Xanax (alprazolam).

While short term use of benzos is generally safe and effective, long-term use can lead to tolerance, dependence and other adverse effects such as driving impairment and overdose/withdrawal-related morbidity and mortality. In older patients, usage has been linked to cognitive decline, dementia and falls. Some benzos, most notably Xanax, appear to have greater potential for abuse, resulting in more dangerous overdoses. It is believed the addictive qualities are tied to the perception of intoxication, potency relative to formulation, risk of withdrawal phenomena and a shorter half-life. Half-life is the amount of time needed for the concentration of the drug in the bloodstream to be reduced by one-half.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

Benzo withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Stopping cold turkey can result in life threatening seizures, tremors and muscle cramps. Benzos are frequently abused with other drugs, making detox and withdrawal more complex.

Withdrawal Symptoms

– Sleep disturbances
– Irritability
– Increased tension and anxiety
– Panic attacks
– Hand tremor
– Sweating
– Concentration difficulties
– Confusion and cognitive issues
– Memory problems
– Dry retching and nausea
– Weight loss
– Palpitations
– Headache
– Muscular pain and stiffness
– Perceptual changes
– Hallucinations
– Seizures
– Psychosis
– Suicide

Benzo Detoxification

Benzo detox should be supervised and gradual, with the drug tapered off at specific intervals. This generally involves several types of intervention such as gradual reduction with a long or short half-life benzo, switching to non-benzo anxiolytics or prescribing adjuvant medications including antidepressants or anticonvulsants. While the risk of severe withdrawal decreases with professionally supervised detox, the potential for experiencing a wide range and severity of symptoms still exists.

Many studies have found gradual withdrawal over at least 10 weeks is effective in achieving long-term recovery. Taking diazepam (or its equivalent) in a daily dose of 10 mg or less at the onset of dosage reduction appears to result in less withdrawal symptoms and higher long-term abstinence rates. For people with high-dose benzodiazepine dependence, reduction approaches are often ineffective. Emerging scientific evidence indicates a medical intervention approach (used successfully to treat opioid dependence) may have potential for those with high-dose benzo addiction.

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