A concern among clinicians is that benzodiazepines and opioids alone or in combination could cause adverse events, including respiratory depression, confusion, falls, and even premature death in patients with respiratory compromise.
Why do benzodiazepines cause respiratory depression?
First, they may cause harm via the central nervous system, which is abundant with GABAA receptors, to which benzodiazepines bind. Benzodiazepine administration has been shown to depress central respiratory drive and chemoreceptor responsiveness to hypercapnea [9,10]
Do Benzos cause breathing problems?
Benzodiazepines, such as Ativan or Xanax, may actually contribute to respiratory problems, such as depressing breathing ability and pneumonia, in these patients.
What are the most common side effects of benzodiazepines?
The most common side effects of benzodiazepines include:
- unsteadiness (especially in older people, who may fall and experience injuries)
- slurred speech.
- muscle weakness.
- memory problems.
Can benzodiazepines slow a person’s breathing?
Using benzos can be especially dangerous if you are: Suffering from breathing problems. Because benzos slow down breathing, people with emphysema and sleep apnea are at increased risk of accidental death.
What is the antidote for benzodiazepines?
Flumazenil, a specific benzodiazepine antagonist, is useful in reversing the sedation and respiratory depression that often occur when benzodiazepines are administered to patients undergoing anesthesia or when patients have taken an intentional benzodiazepine overdose.
Do barbiturates cause respiratory depression?
Barbiturate overdose is poisoning due to excessive doses of barbiturates. Symptoms typically include difficulty thinking, poor coordination, decreased level of consciousness, and a decreased effort to breathe (respiratory depression). Complications of overdose can include noncardiogenic pulmonary edema.
Can Xanax help with shortness of breath?
Antianxiety medications: If you are experiencing anxiety with your dyspnea, depending on the cause, your healthcare provider may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication, called an anxiolytic. These medications will help you to relax. These may include lorazepam (Ativan®), or alprazolam (Xanax®).
What is respiratory depression?
Respiratory depression (hypoventilation) is a breathing disorder characterized by slow and ineffective breathing. During a normal breathing cycle, you inhale oxygen into your lungs.
Can diazepam make you breathless?
Diazepam affects your CNS and may make it more difficult for you to breathe or cause you to stop breathing. Your doctor may start you on a lower dosage and monitor you more closely. If your breathing problems are severe or you have sleep apnea, your doctor may prescribe a different medication for you instead.
What to avoid while taking benzodiazepines?
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice: Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with certain benzodiazepines such as midazolam, triazolam, and alprazolam. Blood levels of these drugs may be increased if taken after drinking grapefruit juice and lead to potentially dangerous side effects.
Which Benzo is best for anxiety?
Both alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan) are considered intermediate-acting benzodiazepines, and when used for the right reasons, they’re quite effective for anxiety.
What is the strongest Benzo?
Though not prescribed in the United States, flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) is sold illicitly on the streets. Used as a date rape drug, Rohypnol is a high-potency benzodiazepine with a relatively long half-life.
High-potency Benzodiazepine List
- alprazolam (Xanax)
- lorazepam (Ativan)
- triazolam (Halcion)
What is a good substitute for benzodiazepines?
Some non-addictive alternatives to benzodiazepines for anxiety available by prescription include:
- SSRIs (antidepressants)
- SNRIs (antidepressants)
- Beta-Blockers (blood pressure medications)
- Buspirone (anti-anxiety)
- Hydroxyzine (brand name Vistaril, a prescription antihistamine).
Which Benzo is best for long term use?
With sustained levels of anxiety, long-acting benzodiazepines such as diazepam and clorazepate are usually preferred, while episodic anxiety normally responds best to shorter-acting drugs such as oxazepam or lorazepam.
Can I take Klonopin for the rest of my life?
Klonopin should not be relied on for prolonged periods of time, and it is safest when used for short durations of time – less than two weeks. If people have been using or abusing the drug for longer and exhibit some of the symptoms of addiction, they are probably dependent on it.