What Are Benzodiazepines

These medicines are used to lessen a patient's anxiety; they include such drugs as CHLORDIAZEPOXIDE (Librium), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan) and oxazepam (Serenid; Serox). The term benzodiazepine describes a basic chemical structure. Some, like diazepam, are long acting and can be taken once daily; others, like lorazepam and alprazolam (Xanax), need to be taken more often. Most sleeping tablets (hypnotics) are benzodiazepines, and these include short-acting drugs such as triazolam (Halcion), medium-acting drugs such as temazepam (Restoril), and long-acting drugs such as flurazepam (Dalmane) and nitrazepam (Mogadon).

Other medicines are used in psychiatry, such as Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, and lithium. These have effects that differ from the benzodiaze-pines, effects both therapeutic and unwanted.

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