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medication / anxiolytics 


What are anxiolytics?

There are several categories of anxiolytics, also called tranquilizers, which are prescribed to relieve certain symptoms, without a diagnosis being made of their causes:


Benzodiazepines, depending on their dosage, have different properties:

  at high doses: used as anticonvulsants. 

  medium dose: used as hypnotics (or sleeping pills)

  at low doses: used as anxiolytics (or tranquilizers)


After more than 4 weeks, an addiction to the product can lead to an increase in doses to obtain the same effect and a great dependence sets in. In addition, its weaning is very difficult.



Physical health issues

  • Insomnia caused by physical illness

  • (pain, discomfort)

  • Akathisia (irrepressible urge to move caused by the use of antipsychotics)

  • Seizures or epilepsy

  • restless leg syndrome


Mental health problems

  • Insomnia (hypnotic)

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Panic attack

  • Temporary stresses (such as bereavement)

  • Anxiety and apprehension before operations

  • Agitation and aggression

  • Alcohol withdrawal



(Use as a last resort)

  • Anxiety disorders (in those over 6 years old)

  • Night terrors, sleepwalking

  • Separation anxiety (from mother)



Physical health issues

  • Head trauma

  • liver problems

  • kidney problems

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

  • Sleep Apnea

  • Benzodiazepine allergy

  • In aggressive or impulsive children: (aggravates the situation)



  • Lower doses than adults

  • Give short-term benzodiazepines to avoid risk of accumulation


Pregnancy and breast feeding

  • Abstain during pregnancy and lactation


Mental health problems

  • Alcoholism (except for withdrawal)

  • Substance addiction

  • Be careful if borderline personality disorder



  • Heavy machinery operation

  • Dangerous tasks

  • Intense and sustained focus

Addiction and withdrawal symptoms

Benzodiazepines (BZDs) have a relatively high abuse potential and can cause psychological and physical dependence with withdrawal syndrome when stopped abruptly.


Withdrawal symptoms are:



  • Muscle stiffness

  • Weakness

  • gastrointestinal disorder

  • Paresthesia (sensitivity disorder which results in the perception of abnormal sensations such as tingling, tingling, burning)

  • Flu-like symptoms

  • Visual, olfactory disorders

  • Tachycardia



  • Anxiety, restlessness

  • Insomnia

  • Depersonalization

  • Cognitive impairment

  • Delirium, hallucinations

  • Depression

Drugs interactions

Psychiatric drugs

Can cause excessive drowsiness

  • Lithium

  • Antipsychotics

  • Anticonvulsants (especially carbamazepine)

  • Antidepressants (especially fluoxetine [Prozac] and fluvoxamine [Luvox])

  • Sedative drugs (GHB, marijuana)


Other drugs

Can cause excessive drowsiness

  • Antihistamines

  • Morphine derivatives

  • Medicines to lower blood pressure (especially diltiazem and verapamil)

  • Antibiotics: fluconazole, clarithromycin


May decrease the effectiveness of the benzodiazepine

  • Tuberculosis treatment (Rifampin)

  • Contraceptive pill

  • Antacids

  • Cigarettes



May cause excessive drowsiness

Side effects (intellectual and motor functioning)

They depend on the dosage and duration of treatment, the metabolism of the individual and the context in which he lives.



  • Memory and intellectual functioning problems

  • Decreased visual perception and alertness

  • Anterograde amnesia, loss of memory of events as soon as they happened (especially Xanax and Halcion)



  • Lack of physical coordination

  • Decreased reflexes

  • Ataxia

  • Dyskinesia



  • Drowsiness

  • Difficulty waking up in the morning

Side effects (mood)

They depend on the dosage and duration of treatment, the metabolism of the individual and the context in which he lives.

  • Paradoxical effect: anxiety, vivid dreams (which seem real, which leave a strong impression), hypersexuality, hyperactivity, irritability, rage or violence, self-destructive ideation (common in individuals who already have behavioral disinhibition: confused elderly patients , disruptive children, borderline and antisocial personality disorder, neurological disease.)

  • Depression

  • Paranoia

Other side effects

They depend on the dosage and duration of treatment, the metabolism of the individual and the context in which he lives.



  • Dizziness

  • Feeling of lightness in the head

  • Headache

  • Dryness in the mouth

  • Confusion

  • Bitter taste

  • Dizziness



  • Joint pain



  • chest pain



  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Urinary incontinence

  • Nausea



  • Change in menstruation cycle

  • Decreased sexual appetite



  • Weight gain

  • Increased appetite


Rebound from insomnia

It occurs after a few days or weeks of treatment. Requires dose increase or treatment of cause of insomnia.

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