Doctors defend benzodiazepines

This brief editorial is a statement to introduce a new working group on benzodiazepines, the International Task Force on Benzodiazepines, which comprises independent scientists, clinical researchers, and clinical psychopharmacologists. No references are included here as it would be beyond the scope and goal of this introduction, but a full review on benzodiazepines will be the topic of a number of papers and presentations in the near future.

Benzodiazepines have been with us since the dawn of modern psychopharmacology. Chlordiazepoxide, the first benzodiazepine, was discovered by Leo Sternbach in the late 1950s and was approved for use in the USA in 1960. Sternbach, a genial chemist, also discovered several other benzodiazepines, such as clonazepam, diazepam, flurazepam, flunitrazepam, and nitrazepam.

Benzodiazepines quickly became popular and widely used due to their versatility, tolerability, and ease of use. As they have anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, muscle relaxant, and sedative properties, they have been used widely and remain the most widely prescribed psychotropic medications among all medical specialties. Psychiatrists have been using benzodiazepines for the treatment of anxiety disorders, insomnia, alcohol withdrawal, and as adjunct therapy for many other indications since their discovery. The anxiolytic properties of benzodiazepines are still unsurpassed by other psychotropic medications, such as antidepressants and antipsychotics that are used in the treatment of anxiety disorders and anxiety symptoms in other mental disorders. Their adverse effect profile is relatively benign, with sedation and possible cognitive impairment being noted most frequently.

In spite of the unquestionable benefits of benzodiazepines and their popularity among physicians of various disciplines, we have witnessed a fairly negative campaign against benzodiazepines, which are often described as being readily abused (although their abuse liability is low and, if abuse occurs, it is in the context of other substance abuse). Interestingly, this campaign has intensified since the advent of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in the mid-1990s. The SSRIs, originally approved for the treatment of depressive disorders, were quickly approved for various anxiety disorders despite the lack of sufficient evidence (i.e., comparison to the existing efficacious anxiolytic drugs, benzodiazepines), and they are now promoted as the first-line treatment for these disorders. In addition, the scientific literature has gradually and surreptitiously been flooded with more and more articles on “negative” properties of benzodiazepines. While many of these publications have either not been based on good science or been frankly biased, they easily achieved a common goal that negative propaganda frequently reaches: they aroused suspicion of benzodiazepines and suggested difficulties in using them, while overlooking their benefits. An “illusion of truth” effect then occurred as frequently repeated negative information and half-truths gradually became the truth as benzodiazepines were given a “bad” name and their reputation was damaged, especially in some scientific circles. Even prescribing these drugs has become a cumbersome procedure around the world.

The International Task Force on Benzodiazepines, as a group of investigators and clinical psychopharmacologists with long-standing clinical and scientific expertise, has been concerned about this excessively negative trend. We feel that benzodiazepines have not been given proper attention during the last 2–3 decades, they have not been adequately compared to other psychotropic medications in various indications, and their risks and side effects have been overemphasized. Some of us feel that benzodiazepines have been the subject of an unspoken “commercial war.”

This Task Force will be working on presenting various psychiatric and medical audiences with information about benzodiazepines which is evidence based, balanced, unbiased, and clinically relevant and useful. We believe that our colleagues deserve such information as it will encourage our common goal of treating our patients effectively, properly, and safely. We hope to preserve benzodiazepines as a valuable part of our armamentarium.

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/489538

Ashton tapers cause turkey neck

I have aged drastically!
« on: December 08, 2017, 10:51:47 pm »

[Buddie]

Struggling. Seems like I have aged 20 years in the past 6 months. Wrinkles galore, turkey neck, gaunt and pale. It’s really scary. I can’t handle looking at myself. So disturbing!! It this withdraw? Am I seeing a distorted view of myself and exaggerating every line?

Feel horrible and ill constantly. Weak and tired. Does this get better? Will we look and feel healthy and younger again? Is this permanent?

Thoughts are welcome!

Re: I have aged drastically!
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 11:06:19 pm »

[Buddie]

I can’t say if it gets better or not, but I don’t recognize myself anymore either, so you’re not alone buddy.

14 months of brainwashing fails as cult member goes back on medication

Bit the bullet...
« on: December 03, 2017, 05:06:34 pm »

[Buddie]

So today I decided that I have suffered enough… 14 months. I’ve decided to take Zoloft at 25mg to start. It may make things better, it may make things worth however, at this point in my recovery I have nothing to lose because my depression is getting worse by the day. Thank you everyone for your support and listening to my rants. I’ve tried everything to stabilize… maybe some people who did the same will chime in and give me some hope.

love to all,

Ativan cures migraines

The effectiveness of ibuprofen and lorazepam combination therapy in treating the symptoms of acute Migraine: A randomized clinical trial.

CONCLUSIONS: Given the greater effectiveness of combination therapy with Ibuprofen and Lorazepam in alleviating the symptoms of acute migraine compared to single-drug treatments with Ibuprofen, Lorazepam is recommended to be used as a first line treatment for acute migraine.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/28461864/?i=10&from=ativan

Safe and effective Ativan helps prevent suicides

Ativan (and its generic version, lorazepam) is an extremely common drug, prescribed to millions of people every year, says Asher Simon, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. And overall, he says, “it can be an incredibly effective and very safe medication.”

It’s in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which work by slowing down the central nervous system and enhancing certain chemicals in the brain to produce a calming effect. (Other well-known benzodiazepines include Valium and Xanax.) The drug is usually prescribed on a short-term basis for the treatment of anxiety, and is often helpful for people with depression.

“It lasts about four to six hours, and a lot of times it’s prescribed on an as-needed basis,” says Dr. Simon. “We might say, ‘Take one or two pills three times a day, as needed.’” The drug starts working right away, he says; that’s why they’re sometimes recommended for people who are anxious about flying on airplanes or visiting the dentist, for example.

Ativan might also be prescribed for short-term use alongside antidepressant medications. “A lot of times when someone comes in with anxiety and you start them on an antidepressant, their anxiety can get worse before it gets better,” says Dr. Simon. “So sometimes they need a couple weeks of an anti-anxiety medication to provide immediate relief, until the antidepressant kicks in.”

Because it’s a sedative, Ativan can make people dizzy and tired when they first start taking it. It can increase the risk of falls, especially in older people, and patients are warned about driving or operating heavy machinery until they know how the drug will affect them.

But Dr. Simon says that taking an extra Ativan or two would not cause slurring or serious impairment, especially for people who have been on the drug long-term and developed a tolerance to its sedating side effects. “Yes, of course you should never take more than prescribed,” he says. “But one or two additional pills is usually not a huge deal.”

Combining Ativan with alcohol or other drugs, is much more dangerous, he says—mostly because of the potential for impaired judgment and slowed breathing and heart rate. There’s less of a chance that Ativan would cause a non-suicidal person to take their own life, says Dr. Simon. “A lot of suicide comes at a time of acute anxiety, and if it treats the anxiety it can actually prevent those suicides,” he says. “It is extremely unlikely to cause suicidal thinking in and of itself.”

http://www.bostonherald.com/lifestyle/health/2017/05/chris_cornell_s_family_thinks_ativan_may_have_played_role_in_his_suicide

‘Patients should always read the product information before using a drug’

Patients should always read the product information before using a drug. We employ over 1000 pharmacovigilance experts fully committed to patient safety, analyzing reports about side effects and making sure that the package leaflet is up-to-date. How it’s done: http://bit.ly/PatientsBayerEN