What Are The Side Effects Of Benzos?

Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are a group of regulated psychoactive drugs that are used to deal with anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. Such medications can also improve the symptoms of chronic conditions. However, they inevitably cause side effects that may manifest with time or when taken excessively. 

Understanding what is a benzo and the possible side effects of benzodiazepines is essential to all people who choose or take these drugs. Let’s look at some typical side effects of benzodiazepines that most patients experience.

Drowsiness And Dizziness

The most common adverse effect of benzodiazepines is drowsiness. Patients taking benzodiazepines might experience drowsiness or tiredness during the day, making regular activities like driving or operating heavy machines challenging. Furthermore, benzodiazepines can lead to vertigo, uneasiness in the head, and dizziness, thus raising the possibility of accidents and falls.

Cognitive Impairment and Slurred Speech

Benzodiazepines can affect cognitive function and, as a result, make you prone to problems like lack of concentration, memory loss, and poor decision-making. Many users suffer from “brain fog,” which is a mental slow state the drug produces. Chronic use of benzodiazepines has been shown to cause cognitive deficits, especially among the elderly population.

If you wonder what benzo is, benzodiazepines can cause slurred speech. This adverse reaction is more likely to happen at higher doses or if a benzodiazepine is used along with other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol. A slurred speech can embarrass you and hinder your ability to communicate clearly, especially in an environment that requires social interaction or professionalism.

Respiratory Depression and Gastrointestinal Effects

At a high dose, benzodiazepines can cause respiratory depression, which in turn produces shallow or slowed breath. This side effect is more likely to occur if benzodiazepines are used together with other depressants of the respiratory system, like opioids or alcohol. Respiratory depression can be life-threatening; therefore, seek immediate medical attention if you start struggling to breathe.

Benzodiazepines may cause gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea. These effects are usually mild and do not last very long. Hydration and a balanced diet are crucial when taking benzodiazepines.

Tolerance And Dependence

Prolonged use of benzodiazepines may cause the body to develop tolerance, requiring larger doses for the same effects. However, the most dangerous long-term effects of benzodiazepines are physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and addiction. Always use benzodiazepines as prescribed.

Withdrawal Symptoms and Paradoxical Effects

Benzodiazepines can cause withdrawal symptoms that manifest as rebound anxiety, insomnia, irritability, agitation, tremors, and seizures when discontinued abruptly. It is essential to taper off benzodiazepines under the care of a healthcare professional to minimize the risk of withdrawal symptoms. Discontinuing benzodiazepines can be a difficult process; however, with adequate support, it is possible to stop safely.

In certain instances, benzodiazepines can trigger paradoxical reactions where you experience increased anxiety, agitation, aggression, and disordered thinking. These effects are more likely to occur in older people and people who are already suffering from psychological problems. Besides expected reactions to the medicine, paradoxical reactions can be unsettling and need additional treatment.


If you ask what benzo is, remember that while benzodiazepines can be effective in managing specific conditions, they also carry risks, especially with long-term use or misuse. It’s essential to discuss the potential side effects of benzodiazepines with your healthcare provider before starting treatment. 

Your healthcare provider can help you weigh the benefits and risks of benzodiazepine therapy and explore alternative treatment options if needed. If you experience any concerning side effects while taking benzodiazepines, seek medical attention.

Sanket Goyal

Sanket has been in digital marketing for 8 years. He has worked with various MNCs and brands, helping them grow their online presence.

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