Benzodiazepine Side Effects

The documented risks of these drugs are provided so the public can make informed, educated decisions. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warns that benzodiazepines can bring about hostility, as well as physical dependence. Benzodiazepines include Ativan, Halcion, Klonopin, Restoril, Valium and Xanax.

Please note: No one should attempt to get off of psychiatric drugs without doctor’s supervision. To help find medical practitioners in your area, click here.


Benzodiazepine Drug Warnings:

There have been 27 warnings from 5 countries (Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States) warning that benzodiazepines cause harmful side effects. These include the following (note that some warnings cite more than one side effect, so the list below may not be equal to the total number of warnings):

11 warnings on benzodiazepines causing impaired driving or sleep-driving
5 warnings on benzodiazepines causing cognitive impairment
5 warnings on benzodiazepines causing sleep problems
5 warnings on benzodiazepines causing sleepwalking
3 warnings on benzodiazepines causing hallucinations
3 warnings on benzodiazepines causing depression
3 warnings on benzodiazepines causing amnesia
3 warnings on benzodiazepines causing swelling
3 warnings on benzodiazepines causing allergic reactions
2 warnings on benzodiazepines causing suicide risk or attempts
2 warnings on benzodiazepines causing drug abuse
2 warnings on benzodiazepines causing withdrawal reactions
1 warning on benzodiazepines causing death or increased risk of death
1 warning on benzodiazepines causing hostility or aggression
1 warning on benzodiazepines causing abnormal behavior
1 warning on benzodiazepines causing abnormal bleeding
1 warning on benzodiazepines causing anxiety
1 warning on benzodiazepines causing liver problems
1 warning on benzodiazepines causing newborn complications
1 warning on benzodiazepines causing risk of falls
1 warning on benzodiazepines causing risk of fractures
1 warning on benzodiazepines causing lack of efficacy

Benzodiazepine Drug Studies:

There have been 65 studies from 15 countries (Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom and United States) showing that benzodiazepines cause harmful side effects. These include the following (note that some studies cite more than one side effect, so the list below may not be equal to the total number of studies):

10 studies on benzodiazepines causing death or increased risk of death
9 studies on benzodiazepines causing risk of fractures
6 studies on benzodiazepines causing dementia
5 studies on benzodiazepines causing risk of falls
5 studies on benzodiazepines causing impaired driving or sleep-driving
4 studies on benzodiazepines causing suicide risk or attempts
4 studies on benzodiazepines causing cancer
3 studies on benzodiazepines causing violence
3 studies on benzodiazepines causing aggression
3 studies on benzodiazepines causing cardiovascular disorders
2 studies on benzodiazepines causing homicidal ideation
2 studies on benzodiazepines causing stroke
2 studies on benzodiazepines causing cognitive impairment
2 studies on benzodiazepines causing pneumonia
2 studies on benzodiazepines causing newborn complications
2 studies on benzodiazepines causing premature birth
1 study on benzodiazepines causing tumors
1 study on benzodiazepines causing liver problems
1 study on benzodiazepines causing sedation
1 study on benzodiazepines causing sleepwalking
1 study on benzodiazepines causing withdrawal reactions


Documented Side Effects of Benzodiazepines:
Source: Physicians Desk Reference, National Institutes of Health’s Medline Plus, and/or the drug labels.

Agitation
Aggressive behavior
Anxiety
Apnea
Behavior problems
Blurred vision
Buildup of lactic acid in the body
Cardiac arrest
Chills
Coma
Confusion
Congenital malformations
Constipation
Coordination disorders
Deficiency in amount of oxygen reaching body tissues
Deficiency of white blood cells
Delirium
Depression
Diarrhea
Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Difficulty concentrating
Difficulty thinking/ remembering
Dizziness
Double vision
Drowsiness
Elevated liver enzymes
Euphoria
Excess fluid in the lungs
Excessive quantities of acid in the body or kidneys not removing enough acid from the body
Fatigue
Feeling like throat is closing
Fever
Gastrointestinal bleeding
Hair loss
Hallucinations
Headache
Hearing loss
Heart failure
Hives
Hostility
Hyperactivity
Hypersalivation
Hypertension
Hyperventilation
Hypotension
Hypothermia
Hypoventilation
Impairment in blood’s ability to form clots
Impotence
Inflammation of the urinary bladder
Injection site reaction
Insomnia
Involuntary muscle movements
Irregular heartbeat
Irregular involuntary contraction of muscles
Irritability
Jaundice

Libido decrease
Libido increase
Life-threatening allergic reaction
Loss of full control of bodily movements
Loss of muscle coordination
Low blood pressure
Low sodium level in the blood
Mania
Memory disturbance
Memory impairment
Memory problems
Muscle or joint pain
Muscle paralysis
Muscle weakness
Nausea
Nervousness
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome
Nightmares
Orgasm dysfunction
Overactive or overresponsive reflexes
Persistent tremor or inability to sit still
Physiological dependence
Presence of air or gas in the cavity between the lungs and the chest wall, causing collapse of the lung
Problems with coordination
Problems with speech
Psychological dependence
Psychosis
Pulmonary hypertension
Rage
Rash
Respiratory arrest
Respiratory depression
Restlessness
Seizures
Severe skin rash
Shortness of breath
Shuffling walk
Slurred speech
Suicidal ideation/attempts
Superficial reddening of the skin, usually in patches
Sweating, especially to an unusual degree
Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue or throat
Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone Secretion
Thinking about harming/killing yourself or trying to do so
Tremor
Unusual changes in behavior or mood
Upper respiratory tract infection
Urinary incontinence
Vertigo
Vomiting
Weakness
Withdrawal
Yellowing of the skin/eyes

Note: Side effects of psychiatric drugs can persist for months, if not years, after stopping them.
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This brochure is a simple guide that documents the dangerous and deadly side effects of the drugs prescribed to millions of men, women and children diagnosed with bogus mental disorders.