At times, when a patient is unable to shake off symptoms of an acute mental crisis, medication with benzodiazepines could prove to be useful. These meds are widely used in the treatment of all forms of mental disorders. Even more, they are also prescribed for the relief of pain and sedation brought about by injuries or arthritis. While they can work wonders, their side effects can be very harmful. If you’ve been prescribed these pills and are thinking about using them, know the dangers.
Benzodiazepines, often called “benzodiazepines”, are a group of psychoactive medications whose basic chemical structure is an amino-acid combination of a diazepine and a benzodiazepine ligand. As relaxants, they are prescribed frequently to treat conditions like anxiety, restless sleep, epilepsy, and even bipolar disorder. As opioids, they are used to alleviate pain and the effects of a number of medical conditions, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and fibromyalgia.
Commonly prescribed to induce sleep and tranquility, these drugs may actually have opposite effects on the patient. In the case of benzodiazepines, they are extremely effective at relaxing the patient and reducing his or her stress level, which makes him or her less receptive to stressful situations. However, prolonged use of these pills can lead to addiction. This means that instead of sleeping soundly, the person becomes constantly anxious and/or agitated, resulting in unpleasant side effects like irritability and depression. And in the case of long-term use, these pills may even result in worse health conditions like insomnia, cardiac arrhythmia, panic attacks, or substance abuse.
Opioid drugs are usually prescribed by doctors to relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, or fear. However, many patients become addicted to these medicines, as it is harder for people to stop using them once they’ve gotten accustomed to them. In the case of alcohol, these drugs may also be taken without a doctor’s prescription in cases where drinking alcohol is “irrational”. But what makes these benzodiazepines addictive?
The primary mechanism through which these benzodiazepines work is by affecting the functions of the brain. To achieve this, the drug puts the brain into a state of temporary darkness (which is similar to being hypnotized), as well as block all conscious thought processes. However, the sedative effects of the benzodiazepines are not felt immediately; instead, the effects start to build up slowly over time, often in just a few minutes. The sedative effect of these drugs can be so intense that patients may not be able to remember anything of the initial treatment period. This is because the brain goes into a state similar to sleep and whatever is experienced during this phase will be highly unreactive at later stages of the therapy.
Although the temporary effects of benzodiazepines can be unpleasant, they do provide a degree of relief from the physical and psychological stresses which cause major depression, anxiety, and panic. During the therapy, the patient undergoes cycles of increasingly deep sleep and wakefulness. The benzodiazepines work on the central nervous system by keeping it busy, resulting in a temporary paralysis of the nerves. The central nervous system then restores the patients to a more active and alert state, allowing him or her to be able to recall anything of the earlier session.
Unlike the tranquilizers and sedatives, benzodiazepines are actually more effective in the long run, as they allow the patient to return to a normal state of consciousness. Moreover, unlike most tranquilizers, benzodiazepines do not cause any kind of addiction. Also, unlike most antidepressants, benzodiazepines do not interfere with the production of serotonin in the brain, thus leaving the person with stable moods. Furthermore, benzodiazepines have been known to cure insomnia by inducing a sense of calmness and relaxation. While these drugs cannot cure insomnia permanently, as in most cases they do not have permanent effects, they can offer enough comfort during the difficult times of an individual’s chronic anxiety or insomnia.
The use of benzodiazepines for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia should only be used under medical supervision. While these drugs are extremely effective in eliminating the symptoms of anxiety and insomnia, it is important that you discuss your concerns with your doctor before taking these medications. If you take benzodiazepines for extended periods of time, there can be severe side effects including memory loss, muscle spasms, depression, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, restlessness and impulsiveness. If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking the medication immediately and contact your doctor or emergency hospital.