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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Benzodiazepines

Read more about Benzodiazepines.

Effect of Benzodiazepines on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Benzodiazepines are used to reduce anxiety and panic that may accompany CFS. They may also be used to promote sleep. Benzodiazepines are fast acting but can be habit-forming when used long-term or in excess. In such cases, withdrawal must be accomplished slowly, over a period of weeks or months.

Common names include:

  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Flurazepam (Dalmane)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Triazolam (Halcion)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Temazepam (Restoril)
  • Oxazepam (Serax)
  • Clorazepate (Tranxene)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)

Possible side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Incoordination
  • Slow reaction time or impaired driving

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.