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Types of Benzo Drugs and Their Abuse

There are various types of Benzodiazepines drug which have different effect on the user and thus meant to treat different types of conditions. It is thus prudent to use the right benzodiazepine drug for the correct condition.

Before embarking on listing them, let look at various pharmacological terminologies and characteristics concerning the benzo drug:

  • Elimination half-life: This refers to the time the body takes to eliminate half of the drug from the body system. It is excreted through various body systems like blood purification system by organs like the kidneys.
  • Time to Peak: This refers to the maximum amount of time the drug takes to most concentrated in the user’s blood after taking a certain dose of the drug.

The above terminologies are important in describing the benzo drug and knowing their appropriateness in treating various conditions. The table below now looks at the various benzo drugs, how they are commonly known, and their time to peak, their elimination half life and how they are used therapeutically.

Drug Name Common Names Time to Peak (Hrs) Elimination Half-life Therapeutic Use
Triazolam Rilamir, Halcion 0.5 to 2 Hrs 2 Hrs Hypnotic
Temazepam Tenox, Euhypnos, Retoril Temaze 0.5 to 3 Hrs 8 to 22 Hrs Hypnotic
Quazepam Doral 1 to 5 Hrs 39 to 120 Hrs Hypnotic
Prazepam Centrax, Lysanxia 2 to 6 Hrs 36 to 200 Hrs Antiolytic
Phenazepam Phenazepam 1.5 to 4 Hrs 60 Hrs Anticonvulsant, Anxiolytic
Nitrazepam Dumolid, Mogadon 0.5 to 7 Hrs 15 to 38 Hrs Anticonvulsant, Hypnotic
Loprazolam Dormonoct 0.5 to 4 Hrs 6 to 12 Hrs Hypnotic
Flurazepam Dalmane 1 to 1.5 Hrs 40 to 250 Hrs Hypnotic
Alprazolam Tafil, Alprox, Helex, Onax 1 to 2 Hrs 9 to 20 Hrs Anxiolytic
Cinolazepam Gerodorm 0.5 to 2 Hrs 9 Hrs Sedative


Benzodiazepines to a large extent have the same pharmacological characteristics like sedative, skeletal muscle relaxant, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and amnesic. Variation is only seen in the potency of specific effects individual benzodiazepines may have. Some are known to produce active metabolites: this occurs when the user’s body breaks down the drug into compounds which share the same pharmacological profile with the parental compound and hence becomes irrelevant when it comes to calculating the extent which the pharmacological effect will last.

Long-lasting benzo having long-acting active metabolites such as chlordizepoxide and diazepam are usually prescribed to patients with alcohol withdrawal syndromes or for those with anxiety to whom constant dose levels are recommended to be maintained throughout the day.

Short-lasting benzo are prescribed to patients with insomnia since they have less hangover effect. It is thus quite important to take keen care in prescribing the correct benzo to the patient with reference to the type of condition the patient is suffering from.

These medications are strong and habit-forming. If you are developing an addiction to these medication contact a doctor right away and see about entering into a detox program.