Main article: Benzodiazepines The benzodiazepines are a class of drugs with hypnotic , anxiolytic, anticonvulsive, amnestic and muscle relaxant properties. They are believed to act on the GABA receptor GABAA, the activation of which dampens higher neuronal activity. They began to be widely prescribed for stress-related ailments in the 1960s and 1970s Benzodiazepines are often used for short-term relief of severe, disabling anxiety . Long-term use can be problematic due to the development of tolerance and dependency .

These drugs are preferred to the use of barbiturates because they have a lower abuse potential and relatively lower adverse reactions and interactions. However, drowsiness, ataxia, confusion, vertigo impaired judgement, and a number of other effects are still common.

The following are benzodiazepines. These drugs are listed in order of the shortest acting to the longest acting (by the approximate half-life of the drug), however this time may greatly vary between persons.

triazolam ("Halcion </wiki/Halcion>") - 2 hours

midazolam ("Versed ") - 3 hours [1.8-6 hours]

oxazepam ("Serax") - 4-15 hours

chlordiazepoxide ("Librium") - 5-25 hours

alprazolam ("Xanax ") - 6-12 hours

temazepam ("Restoril 8-20 hours

lorazepam ("Ativan ") 10-20 hours

bromazepam ("Lexotan ") 10-20 hours

estazolam ("ProSom ") 10-24 hours

flunitrazepam ("Rohypnol ") 18-26 hours. Considered a "date-rapedrug"

clonazepam ("Klonopin ", "Rivotril ") 18-50 hours

quazepam("Doral ") 25-100 hours

clorazepate ("Tranxene ") 36-100 hours

medazepam ("Nobrium") 36-150 hours

prazepam ("Centrax") 36-200 hours

diazepam ("Valium ") 36-200 hours

flurazepam ("Dalmane ") 40-250 hours

These drugs are not benzodiazepines, but have similar effects:

zolpidem ("Ambien ")

zaleplon ("Sonata ")


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