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Benzodiazepines

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Updated October 01, 2013

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition:

Benzodiazepines are drugs from the benzodiazepine class. They have a sedative effect that can help relieve anxiety. Benzodiazepines are frequently called tranquilizers.

People with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome who also have problems with anxiety (as either a symptom or an overlapping condition) are sometimes prescribed a benzodiazepine.

Examples of these drugs include:

  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Ativan (lorazepam)

Some research shows that people with fibromyalgia may be especially receptive to benzodiazepines.

Also See:

Sources:

Bazzichi L, et al. Clinical biochemistry. 2006 Sep;39(9):867-72. Peripheral benzodiazepine receptors on platelets of fibromyalgic patients.

Faggioli P, et al. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2004 Oct;43(10):1224-5. Increase in peripheral benzodiazepine receptors on monocytes in fibromyalgia.

Pronunciation: BEN-zoh-dye-AHZ-ah-peen
Also Known As: Sedatives, tranquilizers
Common Misspellings: Benzodiazapine
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