Bromazepam: uses and side effects of this psychopharmaceutical
We can affirm that within the world of psychopharmacology the benzodiazepines They are the most studied and varied drugs that exist in the market. And it seems that there is a "solution" in the form of a colorful pill for any type of psychological problem that occurs in humans, however never assume a perfect solution or permanent.
In this article we are going to talk about the bromazepam , a benzodiazepine less known than diazepam or lorazepam, but widely used for anxiety crises and very intense stress states.
- Related article: "Benzodiazepines (psychodrugs): uses, effects and risks"
What is bromazepam?
Bromazepam is a psychotropic drug belonging to the family of benzodiazepines. Increases GABA activity by facilitating binding to the GABAergic receptor . In the pharmacy can be found under the names of Lexatin, Lexotan, Lexotanil, Lexomil, Somalium or Bromam, always under medical prescription.
This drug acts directly on the Central Nervous System, and It has anxiolytic, sedative, antispasmodic properties and relaxing properties on skeletal muscle.
As we will see in more detail below, you have to be especially careful with the use of this substance as it can generate a strong dependence , so under no circumstances is self-medication recommended without medical prescription. In addition, if combined with high doses of alcohol can be fatal: the sedative effects of alcohol in addition to the anxiolytic and sedative effects of bromazepam can lead the person to drown during sleep.
Another great risk of the consumption of this psychotropic drug is to abruptly discontinue its use, since it can initiate the withdrawal syndrome; In these cases, the most usual is to prescribe another benzodiazepine to control the withdrawal syndrome.
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In what cases is it used?
Bromazepam is only indicated when the disorder is severe, disabling or significantly affects the patient. That is to say, when it generates clinically significant discomfort and it interferes in several areas of the person's life. Some of the psychological problems that may require this psychoactive drug are:
- Anxiety and panic attacks.
- Hypochondria or anxiety for health.
- Behavioral disorders or excessive aggressiveness (always as support for psychotherapy).
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Specific and general phobias .
- People who have just experienced a particularly conflictive and very stressful situation.
In low doses, bromazepam relieves the physiological symptoms of anxiety (such as tachycardia, difficulty in breathing, digestive problems); at higher doses it produces a sedative and relaxing muscle effect, which can be highly addictive.
In more detail, the doses must be adjusted individually. As basic premises, we highlight:
- The appropriate thing is that the treatment starts with the lowest dose. It can be progressively increased until the most beneficial effect for the patient is found.
- It will be tried that the duration of the treatment is short , at most 8-12 weeks, due to its addictive power.
- It is very important to withdraw the medication gradually, since otherwise a withdrawal syndrome may occur in the patient.
- In adults the usual are 1,5mg-3mg up to 3 times a day. However, it is mandatory to follow the doctor's instructions.
- In severe hospitalized patients, 6mg-12mg three times a day.
- It is not advisable to give this medicine to children .
Side effects of bromazepam
The most important side effects of bromazepam are dependence on the drug, short-term memory impairment (produces anterograde amnesia in some cases) and even impairment of motor coordination. All these effects are can be aggravated if the patient consumes alcohol during treatment .
Curiously and paradoxically, the bromazepam can generate some difficulties that it tries to remedy , such as nervousness, aggression, episodes of irritability, nightmares and euphoria. Also common are the appearance of fatigue, drowsiness, muscle weakness, emotional dullness, confusion, dizziness, ataxia and headaches.
Among the less frequent effects are perceptual alterations such as hallucinations. They usually appear at the beginning of the treatment and gradually disappear. In the field of psychiatric disorders, it is possible the appearance of a pre-existing depression, which had not manifested until the beginning of the use of bromazepam. If any of these conditions appear, it is best to interrupt the treatment gradually and replace it with a more suitable one, always subject to the professional's criteria .
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Precautions and warnings
There are several precautions to be taken into account by the consumer before ingesting this psychopharmaceutical:
In order to avoid possible accumulation intoxication, the patient must go periodically to medical check-ups. On the other hand, it is better to consider the following guidelines.
- If the dose is not reduced progressively, the risk of abstinence and rebound effects is much greater .
- If it is suspected that the patient has been an alcoholic, or has been addicted to other substances, the use of benzodiazepines is not recommended.
- Special care must be taken with those patients who have respiratory problems, since there is a risk of respiratory depression and death.
- Must be be careful when driving vehicles or using machines , because the sedative effects of bromazepam can affect the capacity of the person.
2. Dependence and abuse
As we have said previously, the consumption of bromazepam can generate physical and psychological dependence in the person. Logically, this risk will increase as the dose and duration of treatment increase. If in addition to all the above, the patient is an alcoholic or is addicted to other substances, the risk of dependence on bromazepam will multiply .
3. Withdrawal of treatment
In the most severe cases and during the withdrawal of the treatment, the patient may present dissociative symptoms (as depersonalization and derealization), hyperacusis, hypersensitivity to light, sounds or physical contact (hyperesthesia), hallucinations and epileptic seizures.
4. Pregnancy and lactation
It is not advisable to use bromazepam during pregnancy, since its use in pregnant women can increase the risk of congenital anomalies during the first trimester of pregnancy .
Bromazepam may be given to a pregnant woman who is in the last trimester of pregnancy or during delivery, but only in those cases where it is absolutely necessary. The explanation is that the bromazepam can cause adverse effects in the baby as respiratory depression, hypotonia or hypothermia.
As for breastfeeding, mothers who give breast milk to their babies should not consume bromazepam, since benzodiazepines are transmitted to breast milk and may affect the newborn.