Benzodiazepines for social anxiety disorder

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Benzodiazepines for social anxiety disorder

Examples

Generic NameBrand Name
alprazolamXanax
chlordiazepoxideLibrax
diazepamValium
lorazepamAtivan
oxazepam 

How It Works

Benzodiazepines are minor tranquillizers (sedatives) that prevent or reduce anxiety, sleeplessness, muscle spasms, seizures, and other problems by slowing down the central nervous system.

Why It Is Used

Benzodiazepines are used to relieve anxiety, nervousness, and tension associated with anxiety disorders.

How Well It Works

Benzodiazepines are effective at reducing anxiety and nervous tension associated with social anxiety disorder.

Side Effects

Possible side effects of benzodiazepines include:

  • Drowsiness or dizziness.
  • Light-headedness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Memory loss.
  • Muscle weakness.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

It is possible to become addicted to benzodiazepines. You should talk to your doctor before taking benzodiazepines if you are planning to become pregnant, have had a previous allergic reaction to them, or have glaucoma.

Taking medicines for social anxiety during pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects. If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, talk to your doctor. You may need to take medicine if your social anxiety disorder is severe. Your doctor can help you weigh the risks of treatment against the risk of harm to your pregnancy.

Do not use alcohol while taking benzodiazepines. Be careful driving your car or operating machinery, because these medicines can cause drowsiness or dizziness.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF) (What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Specialist Medical Reviewer Andrew Swan, MD, CCFP, FCFP - Family Medicine
Last Revised December 8, 2009

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.