Danger-These Drugs Are A Disaster For Your Health

These medications are usually used as sleep and anti-anxiety medication, they include Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), Restoril (temazepam), BuSpar (buspirone hydrochloride), Tranxene (clorazepate dipotassium), Serax (oxazepam),
Librium (chlordiazepoxide), Tegretol (carbamazepine), Valium (diazepam), Trileptal (oxcarbazepine), Seroquel (quetiapine), Risperdal (risperidone), and Symbyax (olanzapine and fluoxetine HCl).
Benzodiazepines are addictive, and patients build up a tolerance so that the drugs eventually lose effectiveness as a sleep aid. Addiction may occur in as little as two weeks.
The big problem with these medications, though, are the side effects, many of which mirror the symptoms of fibromyalgia and CFS. And they don’t promote deep, restorative sleep, so they are definitely not worth the risk.
Benzodiazepines depress the central nervous system and act on the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid). GABA acts as a calming chemical as it transmits messages from one cell to another. So directly or indirectly, these drugs influence almost every brain function and most other bodily systems, including those of the nervous, neuromuscular, endocrine, and gastrointestinal systems. It’s no wonder their side effects are so severe.
Benzodiazepines should be weaned off, starting as soon as possible. Be sure to work with a medical doctor as you wean off, and take it slow to avoid terrible withdrawal symptoms.
Potential side effects of benzodiazepines: Poor sleep; seizures; mania; depression and suicidal thoughts; tinnitus (ringing in the ears); transient amnesia; dizziness; agitation; disorientation; low blood pressure; nausea or vomiting; fluid retention; muscular incoordination and tremors; sexual dysfunction; prolonged drowsiness or a trance-like state; fatigue; headaches; body aches and pains; chills; runny nose; cough; congestion; difficulty breathing; feelings of discouragement, sadness, or emptiness; diarrhea; difficulty swallowing; vision and voice changes; and a host of others.
The crippling side effects and addictive nature of these drugs have been known for at least 40 years, yet doctors continue to prescribe them at an ever-increasing rate, especially for seniors. Surveys show that over 5.6 million adults over the age of 65 are now taking benzodiazepines. A mouth-dropping 50% of all women 60 and older will be prescribed a benzodiazepine drug.
And since addiction often occurs within four weeks of starting these drugs, the majority of these folks are now dependent on them.
Tolerance to the hypnotic (sleep) effects of these drugs may occur within one week. Symptoms of tolerance are identical to drug-withdrawal symptoms and may include anxiety, panic, severe insomnia, muscle pain and stiffness, depression, suicidal thoughts, rage, heart and lung problems, and agoraphobia (extreme fear of public or crowded spaces).
Tragically, only 10%–30% of people are able to successfully stop taking these drugs. The rest are addicted for life.
Please avoid these drugs if possible. Seek out alternatives, preferably over the counter natural amino acid therapy (5HTP, SAMe, L-Theanine, etc.) when facing anxiety disorder. For sleep related issues try over the counter 5HTP and or melatonin. You can read more about mood and sleep disorders at www.treatingandbeating.com

14 replies
  1. SewJazzy
    SewJazzy says:

    Thank you for this article, it could not have come at a better time for me. I am weaning off the opiates my pain doc had me on for the Fibro pain. I was up to 120 mg of OxyContin 2 x a day! And realized that I was experiencing MORE pain than before I stared climbing the opiate ladder, PLUS was lethargic, depressed and had lost interest in everything! To help with any possible withdrawals he gave me Valium. Thankfully I’ve only turned to it a few times. Thanks to you I will be throwing the rest away.
    I would love to know your opinions on treating Fibro pain with with medical marijuana vs opiates, as it is an option in the state I live in, and my personal research in talking to others who have gone that route have found nothing but positive results.
    Thank You So Much!

    • Joan Davis
      Joan Davis says:

      I have 2 sisters who live in Colorado who have been using marijuana for severe pain even before it was legalized. They’ve actually used it for several years. I talked to my sister the other day and she said that it really is not very effective in relieving pain. They have been so sick for so long that I think they now use it as more of an escape than anything else. I also have severe fibro but I live in a place where it is not legal. Even if it was I don’t think I would take that route. That’s just my opinion.

  2. Coyote
    Coyote says:

    I take 2.5 mg of diazepam in the morning to ward off my inevitable morning anxiety attacks. (Once they get started, it takes a lot more to stop them.) Is such a tiny amount truly awful? I’ve tried MANY natural remedies, but none of them will stop an anxiety attack. Only the diazepam can quash them. I also meditate, listen to guided imagery, and use measured breathing and progressive relaxation when my anxiety gets the better of me. None of that works either. I hate taking drugs of any kind, but in my experience, anxiety attacks are far more damaging to my nervous system than 2.5 mg of diazepam.

    • Dr. Rodger Murphree & Team
      Dr. Rodger Murphree & Team says:

      If it works get using it. The question is why do you have anxiety attacks first thing in AM? Do you need to lower your cortisol level with DHEA, adrenal calm, L-theanine or do you have elevated histamine level or food allergies? Detective work may be helpful.

  3. Laurie Ware
    Laurie Ware says:

    On top of FM, I have anxiety disorder. I have had that longer than FM. My sleep is sound and just fine. These may cause problems for some, but do not lump everyone in the same category. I have been taking clonazepam for 12 years. Same dose and it works just fine.

  4. Rene Steele
    Rene Steele says:

    I just wanted to tell you thank you for the free newsletters and information. There are some things I can do at home but unemployed, no income at all your newsletter gives me hope. It has also been the one to get me off of my provigil which after working graveyard for years and being on it, when I stopped working graveyard I continued to use it for energy, but now I know why my adrenials are shot. They no longer produce their own steroids so yes I have to be on a steroid daily for life. There are so many medications I’ve been on because I not only have fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome but also inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis. I have now been taking methotrexate which does help a great deal for approximately 5 to 6 months but this medication is the scariest one for me out of them all. The damage it can cause down the line is irreversible. I hope when I get back on my feet or get the disability I’ve been waiting for for 3 years, I hope that you will be running a special because you will be the first phone call I make. Thank you for helping all of us chronic pain sufferers and fibromites. I appreciate you Dr. Thank you

  5. kristine
    kristine says:

    Doctors want to whip out rx pad…When I was first dx with fibromyalgia , the psychiatrist prescribed me Ativan, Cymbalta, and Ativan. Well, that was the beginning of the end. Before all of this, I worked out 3 hours daily, no junk food etc. mu body was a temple. Please help me.

  6. Bridget Shinn
    Bridget Shinn says:

    Effexor could and should be added to the list. Fifteen years, seventy pounds, and a complete loss of joy in life were my “benefits” from this evil drug.

  7. Christal Coley
    Christal Coley says:

    These stories sound similar to mine. I see three diff drs. I hv bn hosp for poss suicidal thght bc i missed pres & otc slp med. I hv bn passed & passed bw drs. Lost my job & income & insurance. Living off my savings. Dont trust drs or thk i hv a chance of disability. Been thru the pain meds; anxiety meds; 3 diff BP med. I dont slp eat severe panice pain several seizures which at home & driving; the state took my license for 6mths. Have to reapprvd in 6mths. Instead of working together the drs are passing me arnd; chng meds instead of just increasing; one dr left the state. I found out whn i tried to get my med. He sent out a letter a month later. I am not going to deny i hvnt thght it wld be easier for family to be done but my mom tried 3 times & i remember how hurt & mad we were at her selfishness. Supposedly i hv degenerative disc dis, chronic insomnia, sev anxiety, sev depress, 2 hern disc but supposedly i can still work. Is it worth starting again? I dont trust any. I promised my mom & sister i would try if for my family. If not me, i pray someone makes it. I just want my life back but it is just a dream.


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