Benzodiazepines are psychotropic drugs that act on the central nervous system with sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, amnestic and muscle relaxant effects. Mainly, they have general effect against anxiety and promote physical and mental relaxation.
Benzodiazepines can cause physical and psychological dependence. Even at low doses, withdrawal symptoms may occur with cessation of the drug, so they must always be prescribed under medical supervision.
The two main factors identified in dependence to benzodiazepines are its ability to create tolerance (the need for increasing doses to achieve the desired effect) and the psychological factor of addictive drugs that calm anxiety, causing the patient to perceive the effect as solely beneficial.
The most prominent side effects are sedation and drowsiness, incoordination of movement, difficulty of use or control of the muscles of the mouth, tongue, larynx or vocal cords, double vision and dizziness. Benzodiazepines interact with hypnotic drugs and alcohol, enhancing sedation and increasing the euphoric effect of opioids.
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