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Bipolar Disorder and Benzodiazepines

Read more about Benzodiazepines.

Overview

Benzodiazepines are a potentially addicting class of medicines that can be used to treat agitation or insomnia, usually on a short term basis.

Effect of Benzodiazepines on Bipolar Disorder

Since agitation and insomnia can be symptoms of biopolar/manic depressive disorder, benzodiazepines can be useful in helping to treat those symptoms.

Some common types of benzodiazepines used for the treatment of biopolar disorder are:

Side Effects and Warnings

Do not take with alcohol or other sedating drugs. Do not take if you must drive a vehicle or operate machinery. Benzodiazepines should not be taken in combination with certain oral antifungal medications or by people with certain types of glaucoma.

Possible side effects of benzodiazepines include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty walking
  • Respiratory depression (decreasing breathing)

These drugs should not be used more than prescribed since they may cause or worsen problems with memory, a symptom experienced by most people with Alzheimer’s disease. These drugs should also not be stopped abruptly since serious side effects, such as seizures, may result.

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