Glossary of Medical Terms

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepine medications are used to relieve anxiety, induce sleep, relax muscles, and relieve muscle spasms or seizures. Benzodiazepines work by slowing down the central nervous system.

Benzodiazepines can be habit-forming and are sometimes used illegally. Frequent or high-dosage use of benzodiazepines can lead to abnormal behavior (such as aggression and hostility) and to dependence on the drug.

Common benzodiazepine medications include alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and oxazepam (Serax).

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