Benzodiazepine: Therapeutic use

Last modified: Thursday, 25. December 2008 - 7:15 am

Physicians use benzodiazepines to treat many disorders, including a number of anxiety disorders. These include acute anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In addition, benzodiazepines can be used to treat agitation or anxiety that is caused by other psychiatric conditions such as acute mania, psychotic illness, depression, impulse control disorders, and catatonia or mutism.

Involuntary movement disorders also respond well to this class of drugs. These include restless leg syndrome, akathisia associated with neuroleptic use, choreiform disorders, and myoclonus.

Benzodiazepines are used to treat insomnia and for the acute treatment of epileptic seizures, convulsive disorders, and spastic disorders such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and paraplegia caused by trauma to the spine.

Benzodiazepines can be used during detoxification from alcohol and other substances, as well as in surgery, dentistry, diagnostic studies (computed tomography, MRI, and endoscopy), cardioversion, and chemotherapy. They help reduce fear and anxiety, and in cases of detoxification, can actually lessen the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

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