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Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepine medicines are used to relieve anxiety, induce sleep, relax muscles, and relieve muscle spasms or seizures. Benzodiazepines work by slowing down the central nervous system.

Benzodiazepines can be habit-forming and are sometimes used illegally. Frequent or high-dosage use of benzodiazepines can lead to abnormal behavior (such as aggression and hostility) and to dependence on the drug.

Common benzodiazepine medicines include alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and oxazepam (Serax).

Last Revised: June 13, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry

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