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Common side effects of benzodiazepines include: According to the FDA, benzodiazepines can worsen cases of pre‐existing depression, and more recent studies suggest that they may potentially lead to treatment-resistant depression.Furthermore, benzodiazepines can cause emotional blunting or numbness and increase suicidal thoughts and feelings.If you abruptly stop taking your medication, you may experience severe withdrawal symptoms such as: Many people mistake withdrawal symptoms for a return of their original anxiety condition, making them think they need to restart the medication.Gradually tapering off the drug will help minimize the withdrawal reaction.But certain individuals are at a higher risk: People over 65.
These drugs can provide temporary relief, but they also come with side effects and safety concerns—some significant. In fact, there are many questions about their long-term effectiveness.
Just what are the safety concerns and potential side effects?
And are there any truly effective non-drug options?
Benzodiazepines (also known as tranquilizers) are the most widely prescribed type of medication for anxiety.
Because they work quickly—typically bringing relief within 30 minutes to an hour—they’re very effective when taken during a panic attack or another overwhelming anxiety episode.
Anxiety medications can ease symptoms, but they're not right for everyone and they're not the only answer.