BRAND NAMES (IN CANADA)

  • Alti-Alprazolam
  • Alti-Bromazepam
  • Alti-Clonazepam
  • Alti-Triazolam
  • Apo-Alpraz
  • Apo-Chlordiazepoxide
  • Apo-Clonazepam
  • Apo-Clorazepat
  • Apo-Diazepam
  • Apo-Flurazepam
  • Apo-Lorazepam
  • Apo-Oxazepam
  • Apo-Temazepam
  • Apo-Triazo
  • Ativan
  • Clonapam
  • Dalmane
  • Diazemuls
  • Frisium
  • Gen-Alprazolam
  • Gen-Bromazepam
  • Gen-Clonazepam
  • Gen-Triazolam
  • Halcion
  • Lectopam
  • Mogadon
  • Novo-Alprazol
  • Novo-Clopate
  • Novo-Dipam
  • Novo-Flupam
  • Novo-Lorazem
  • Novo-Poxide
  • Novo-Temazepam
  • Novo-Triolam
  • Novoxapam
  • Nu-Alpraz
  • Nu-Loraz
  • PMS-Clonazepam
  • PMS-Diazepam
  • Restoril
  • Rivotril
  • Serax
  • Somnol
  • Tranxene
  • Valium
  • Vivol
  • Xanax
  • Xanax TS

 

DESCRIPTION

Benzodiazepines (ben-zoe-dye-AZ-e-peens) belong to the group of medicines called central nervous system (CNS) depressants (medicines that slow down the nervous system). Some benzodiazepines are used to relieve anxiety. However, benzodiazepines should not be used to relieve nervousness or tension caused by the stress of everyday life. Some benzodiazepines are used to treat insomnia (trouble in sleeping). However, if used regularly (for example, every day) for insomnia, they usually are not effective for more than a few weeks.
Many of the benzodiazepines are used in the treatment of other conditions, also. Diazepam is used to help relax muscles or relieve muscle spasm. Diazepam injection is used before some medical procedures to relieve anxiety and to reduce memory of the procedure.
Benzodiazepines may be habit-forming (causing mental or physical dependence), especially when taken for a long time or in high doses.

BEFORE USING THIS MEDICINE

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For benzodiazepines, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to benzodiazepines. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes. Certain benzodiazepine products may contain lactose, parabens, or soybean oil.
Pregnancy—Chlordiazepoxide and diazepam have been reported to increase the chance of birth defects when used during the first 3 months of pregnancy. Although similar problems have not been reported with the other benzodiazepines, the chance always exists since all of the benzodiazepines are related.

Too much use of a benzodiazepine during pregnancy may cause the baby to become dependent on the medicine. This may lead to withdrawal side effects after birth. Also, use of benzodiazepines during pregnancy, especially during the last weeks, may cause body temperature problems, breathing problems, difficulty in feeding, drowsiness, or muscle weakness in the newborn infant.
Breast-feeding. Benzodiazepines may pass into the breast milk and cause drowsiness, difficulty in feeding, and weight loss in nursing babies of mothers taking these medicines.

CHILDREN

Most of the side effects of these medicines are more likely to occur in children, especially the very young. These patients are usually more sensitive than adults to the effects of benzodiazepines.

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