Alcohol dependence has been a growing and prevalent problem in society. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms are a part of alcohol abuse syndrome that is commonly encountered now a day in hospital settings, in most of the department. These syndromes could range from medium to severe consequences. Benzodiazepines have been proved most significant and best evidence-based in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal. This medication is considered to be of the gold standard.
Benzodiazepines are commonly referred to as “ Benzos.” These prescribed medications are marketed in the form of the tablet form. It can be swallowed or dissolved in the mouth, as well as a liquid way that could be injected.
Benzodiazepines in Treating Alcoholism
Benzodiazepines can be used for the recovery in the detoxification process unlike other medication such as disulfiram and naltrexone is used for the treatment of alcohol abuse disorders. The most of the symptoms arise during detox, especially when alcohol is completely cleared from the system. During the unpredictable withdrawal symptoms, it is highly recommended to go for detox under a medical professional. Treatment specialists are experienced enough to prescribe drugs according to the individual’s requirement, such as benzos. It could help an individual to help reduce any unbearable and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that could arise during the detoxification process.
Various Benzodiazepines help mitigate the impact of a withdrawal syndrome in a varied number of ways.
The Benzos could avert and entertain the following symptoms like:
• Sleeping and restlessness problems
• Nausea, sickness, and vomiting
• Seizures, shaking, and tremors
• Aggravation, inflame, and irritability
• Chills and sweats
• A headache, migraine, and pain
Commonly Used Benzodiazepines to Treat Alcohol Withdrawal
Here is the classification of these drugs according to the treatment of alcohol use disorders.
• Diazepam (Valium)
It is one of the most common medications used to deal with alcohol abuse disorders. It is available in two forms- tablet and injection. It helps in reducing the chances of recurrent withdrawal symptoms.
It is a long-acting Benzo; it can last up to three days. To come into effect, this benzo in injection form takes five minutes, and the tablet form takes 30 to 60 minutes. This medication could help reduce some symptoms like anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures, and insomnia.
• Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
This medication is supervised and administered daily by tablet to alleviate annoying or irksome withdrawal symptoms. It is also considered long-lasting Benzos; it remains in the body for approximately for three days. Due to its prolonged effects, an individual feels much comfortable during the withdrawal process. It could make effects within 30 minutes of its consumption. It helps in lowering the symptoms of anxiety and muscle spasms caused by withdrawal.
It is classified as a short to intermediate-acting benzo. Its effects could last around for one day. It is usually taken in tablet form daily. Medical supervision is administered for this drug so that an individual’s health and vital issues could be monitored effectively. It makes me feel good from the withdrawal syndrome after an hour of taking this drug. It relieves a person from anxiety, helps to relax and focus on sobriety and other beneficial aspects of the treatment.
• Lorazepam (Ativan)
It helps a patient overcome alcohol use disorders and used in the rehab facilities to improve across the nation. This medication is available in the form of a tablet and injection form. This medication has a short duration of roughly 11 to 20 hours.
This drug is used for older patients and individuals suffering from liver failure. The tablet form makes its effect within 30 minutes, and the injectable form can take effect as early as 15 minutes. This medication helps alleviate irritation or anxiety as well as seizures during withdrawal.
How Do Benzodiazepines Work?
This medication is administered in an inpatient rehab facility. The reason is that acute withdrawal syndrome is experienced during 1-2 weeks of detox. The patient can rest assured by knowing that around the clock care is done. It also binds the same neurotransmitters in the brain as alcohol, including GABA activity.
The three primary uses of this prescription are:
• Fixed tapering dose regimen (FTDR)
• Symptom-triggered regimen (STR)
• Loading dose regimen (LDR)
Benzodiazepines Side Effects
This drug could create from minor to severe side effects depending on the use. It could also cause an adverse reaction when used with other medications.
The most common side effects of benzos incorporate:
• Drowsiness, sleepiness, and fatigue
• Dizziness, sedation, and faintness
• Changes in appetite
• Constipation and memory loss
• Difficulty in maintaining balance
• Sexual malfunction
• Dry mouth and weakness
Some rare but more severe side effects include:
• Anxiety or frequent urination and ejaculation
• Blurred and soften vision
• Some respiratory problems
• Yellowing of skin or eyes
• Skin Rashes
• Jaundice and seizures
• Unbalanced heart rate
Benefits of Benzodiazepines
• Provide a wide variety of option for treatment
• Help prevent more severe and dangerous side effects