What Are The Long-Term Effects of Taking Benzodiazepines?

Is It Safe to Use Benzodiazepines Forever?

Benzodiazepines: while they can most certainly cause some serious and dangerous side effects, they also offer benefits for individuals battling certain conditions or illnesses. In some cases, they can bring relief that may have users asking, “can I take benzodiazepines forever?”

What Are Benzodiazepines?

Otherwise known as “downers” and “benzos,” benzodiazepines are a man-made sedative drug. Now commonly prescribed to patients, this category of drug is usually available in tablet form.

Benzos are usually prescribed to treat mental and physical disorders such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Panic disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Muscle spasms
  • PMS

The Different Kinds of Benzos

While there are two general types of benzodiazepines, hypnotics and anxiolytics, there are now many different kinds and brands of benzos out there. Some brand names for benzodiazepine medications include:

  • Xanax
  • Klonopin
  • Librium
  • Valium
  • Ativan

They are each prescribed at varied rates and for different disorders. Some benzodiazepines, unfortunately, are distributed and consumed illegally because of their addictive properties.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use

Short-term use of benzodiazepines, since it is intended for medical purposes, should only cause mild side effects. Symptoms of short-term benzo use may include lightheadedness, drowsiness, confusion, nausea, and weight gain.

The long-term effects of benzodiazepines, however, are more serious. While this drug is meant to treat diseases, it can cause more treatment down the line if misused.

What Are the Effects of Long-Term Benzo Use?

Long-term use of benzodiazepines can cause dependence and abuse, like many other prescription drugs. Because of this, they can also cause withdrawal symptoms after someone who uses them regularly stops for an extended period of time. Other side effects of long-term benzo use may include:

  • Jaundice
  • Slow heart rate
  • Suicide
  • Fainting
  • Low blood pressure

Be cautious of these possible issues when taking benzodiazepines or any related prescription drugs.

Can You Take Benzos Forever?

Because benzos are habit-forming and can possibly cause the serious issues above, it is not recommended to take them for the rest of your life. They should be taken to relieve pain and ease the mind; once they do their job, it’s best to start weaning off.

Using Benzodiazepines Responsibly

While there is no way to prevent dependence on benzodiazepines, there are ways to use the drug responsibly in order to decrease the chances. Always use these drugs according to prescription. If you feel yourself becoming dependent on them, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

To learn more about the benefits and possible dangers of using benzos for an extended period of time, contact our addiction and mental health professionals by visiting our website here or giving us a call at 866-345-2147.

 

Sources

https://www.rethink.org/advice-and-information/living-with-mental-illness/medications/benzodiazepines/#:~:text=You%20should%20only%20be%20prescribed,may%20help%20to%20avoid%20addiction.

https://www.medicinenet.com/benzodiazepines_sleep-inducing-oral/article.htm#can_you_get_addicted_to_benzodiazepines