Benzodiazepines like Chlordiazepoxide and Diazepam were introduced as anti-anxiety drugs around 1960. After its introduction, it has replaced barbiturates as sedative and hypnotics as well. Benzodiazepines are centrally acting drug, it acts on the central nervous system. It is used as anxiolytic, muscle relaxant, hypnotic and anticonvulsant property. They produce centrally mediated muscle relaxation without affecting voluntary activity.
One of the drug of this class, Diazepam is most popular one, and is also used to decrease gastric secretion at night and prevents stress ulcers. Benzodiazepines acts on the part of the brain which maintain wakefulness i.e. reticular formation. It acts by increasing inhibition of signal transmission by acting on GABA channels. GABA channels are inhibitory in nature. Benzodiazepines are the drug of choice for acute management of generalized anxiety. Benzodiazepines are relatively safe drugs.
Some of the examples are Diazepam, Flurazepam, Alprazolam, Nitrazepam, Midazolam. Side effects of the drug are dizziness, vertigo, amnesia, ataxia, psychomotor skills impairment. Therefore it is advised not to drive after taking Benzodiazepines. Tolerance to its sedative action develops gradually but there is very less tendency to increase the dose.