Annette (Gbemudu) Ogbru, PharmD, MBA
Dr. Gbemudu received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Nova Southeastern University, her PharmD degree from University of Maryland, and MBA degree from University of Baltimore. She completed a one year post-doctoral fellowship with Rutgers University and Bristol Myers Squibb.
In this Article
- What are benzodiazepines, and how do they work?
- For what conditions are benzodiazepines used?
- Are there differences between benzodiazepines?
- What are the side effects of benzodiazepines?
- With which drugs do benzodiazepines interact?
- What are some examples of benzodiazepines?
With which drugs do benzodiazepines interact?
All benzodiazepines cause excessive sedation when combined with other medications that slow the brain's processes (for example, alcohol, barbiturates, narcotics, and tranquilizers). The elimination of some benzodiazepines [for example, alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium)] is reduced by drugs that slow elimination of drugs in the liver [for example, ketoconazole (Nizoral, Xolegel), valproic acid (Depakene, Stavzor), cimetidine (Tagamet), and fluoxetine (Prozac). Reduced elimination may result in increased blood concentrations and side effects of the affected benzodiazepines. Antacids may reduce the rate of absorption of benzodiazepines from the intestine. Separating the administration of antacids and benzodiazepines may prevent this interaction.
What are some examples of benzodiazepines?
Approved benzodiazepines in the United States include:
- alprazolam (Xanax)
- chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- clorazepate (Tranxene)
- diazepam (Valium)
- estazolam (Prosom)
- flurazepam (Dalmane)
- lorazepam (Ativan)
- oxazepam (Serax)
- temazepam (Restoril)
- triazolam (Halcion)
- quazepam (Doral)
Last Editorial Review: 12/3/2008
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