Anxiolytic and benzodiazepine

Benzodiazepines are among the most prescribed tranquilizers.

Anxiolytic and benzodiazepines are among the medications which, apart from antidepressants, are mostly used to treat anxiety disorders.

The anxiolytic group includes buspirone, which helps to alleviate anxiety. The advantage of buspirone, as opposed to benzodiazepine, is that, according to current research, it does not induce dependency, nor does it induce fatigue. The effects appear, as opposed to benzodiazepine, not immediately after intake, but after a few weeks of regular intake. Frequent side effects include dizziness, fatigue, nausea and headaches, as well as cardiac arrhythmia, nervousness, insomnia and diarrhea.


Benzodiazepines (BD) are tranquilizers as well as soporifics. They are the most frequently used psychotropic drugs. The best-known active substance is diazepam, but other substances include alprazolam, bromazepam, oxazepam and others.

Benzodiazepines should be used on a short-term basis. Medications of this group all have an anxiety alleviating effect, as well as emotionally relaxing, tranquilizing, as well as sleep stimulating. Taken punctually, in a stressful situation or when it is more difficult to concentrate, benzodiazepines do not usually induce side effects. Frequent side effects are fatigue and somnolence. As regards elderly people, they can experience a loss of muscle tonus, which in turn can lead to falls and bone fracture. So-called paradox reactions (for ex. acute agitation or fits of anger) are rather rare but can represent a threatening situation, that occurs most often with people who have suffered from brain damage.

When taken on a regular basis, this medication is almost always accompanied by various problems. In case of acute panic attacks with phobia, they are indispensable as an emergency remedy.

Benzodiazepine should always be prescribed by a physician, who has the overview on the dosage needing to be observed. They should never be prescribed by more than one physician at a time. These medications have a high rate of dependency, even after a short while. They are considered as the medication mostly used abusively.

Text: Helga Grafe – 03/2016
Translation: MyH – 05/2016