Resources

Disclaimer: Advocates for Social Reform is not providing medical advice with this resource section, or making any recommendations regarding withdrawal from psychiatric medications. The purpose of this page is to provide resources and information for those who may be considering this possibility.

The Ashton Manual (aka Benzodiazepines: How They Work And How To Withdraw – Protocol for the Treatment of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

Benzo Buddies – Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Support

Mad In America – Science, Psychiatry and Social Justice

Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry

RxISK – Making Medicines Safer for All of Us

benzo.org.uk – Resource Site

Educational Opportunities

 Mad In America Webinars – For a complete list of courses visit https://education.madinamerica.com/courses

What are Benzodiazepines?

Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive agents which bind to the GABA receptor of the brain, causing the receptor to become more sensitive to activation by naturally occurring gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). In the late 1950s Leo Sternbach accidentally discovered chlordiazepoxide (brand name Librium), the first of many of this drug category found to have potential benefit for anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasm, and seizures. Discovered much later, “Z drugs” – named that way because most generic names begin with the letter “Z” – are non-benzodiazepine compounds which also affect the GABA receptor but have a more favorable effect on sleep architecture compared to the benzodiazepines.

These substances have been used over many years, and indeed by 1977 benzodiazepines were the most prescribed class of medications in the world. Even today, however, their apparent benefit for the short term has led to long-term use in large numbers of individuals, a practice that  has been challenged. Benzodiazepine use can result in serious adverse reactions, which have been well described, but are often not taken seriously as evidenced by the lack of knowledge, informed consent, and ability to respond to patient concerns by prescribers. Indeed it has taken a crisis – the prominent role benzodiazepines have had in the opioid overdose epidemic – to redirect our attention to these medications.

Prescribing Information:

Alprazolam

Niravam   Xanax   Xanax XR

Prescribing Information:  Xanax

Approved on 4 week study

Chlordiazepoxide

Librium

Prescribing Information:  Chlordiazepoxide

Discovered 1957, marketed 1960

Clobazam

Onfi

Prescribing Information:  Onfi

Chlorazepate

Tranxene   Tranxene SD   Tranxene-T-Tab

Prescribing Information:  Chlorazepate

Clonazepam

Klonopin   Klonopin wafers

Prescribing Information:  Klonopin

Approved on 9 week & 6 week trials in panic disorder

Diazepam

Prescribing Information:  Valium

Launched in 1963

Estazolam

Prosom

Prescribing Information:  Estazolam

Flurazepam

Dalmane   

Prescribing Information:  Dalmane

Lorazepam

Ativan

Prescribing Information:  Ativan

Midazolam

Versed   

Prescribing Information:  Midazolam

Oxazepam

Serax   

Prescribing Information:  Oxazepam

Temazepam

Restoril

Prescribing Information:  Restoril

Approved on the basis of a 2 week study.

Triazolam

Halcion

Prescribing Information:  Halcion

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