One of the most frequently prescribed drugs, benzodiazepines a.k.a. “benzos,” are classified as sedative-hypnotic medications. A sedative-hypnotic drug is a chemical compound that reduces anxiety and induces sleep. The majority of sedative hypnotics are benzodiazepines and they possess hypnotic, sedative, anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxing properties. Other closely related medications are diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam, and lorazepam.
Side Effects: Benzodiazepines have many side effects such as the extensive drowsiness and lightheadedness. Other side effects, unrelated to extended pharmacological activity, include: hostility, insomnia, amnesia, depression, seizures, hallucinations, depersonalization, taste alterations, diplopia, elevated bilirubin, elevated hepatic enzymes, jaundice and aggression.