Benzodiazepines (commonly known as “benzos”) can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions. This includes anxiety and panic disorders, alcohol use disorder, and insomnia (trouble sleeping). But in many cases, experts recommend limiting benzo use to just a few weeks. This is partly because long-term benzo use has been associated with negative effects, like withdrawal, addiction, and problems with memory.
If you’re prescribed a benzo, it’s important to know what benzo withdrawal symptoms look like. It’s also important to know the benzo withdrawal timeline — when do withdrawal symptoms start and how long can they last?
What are benzos?
Benzos work by affecting the brain. They bind (attach) to receptors in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. This slows down brain activity, which has a calming effect on the body.
Examples of benzo medications
There are many benzos available. Some work quickly, but don’t last long in the body. Others may take some time to work, but tend to last longer in the body. Different benzos are FDA approved for different reasons. Some examples include: