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Because of their toxicity, bromides were replaced by barbiturates in the early 20th century, which were initially also heralded as effective and safe sedative drugs.
Benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Librium are anti-anxiety medications.As controlled substances, all benzodiazepines have the potential for abuse, addiction and diversion.In the past, benzodiazepines, especially when used as a sedative-hypnotic for sleep, were touted as safer alternatives to the older barbiturates, which could lead to fatal overdose, particularly when combined with alcohol.Sedation is commonly used in the intensive care unit (ICU) to make patients that require mechanical ventilation more comfortable, and less anxious.What many don’t realize is that sedation can have serious side effects, including delirium, that can endanger a patient’s life. Richard Barton, Director of Surgical Critical Care at University Hospital, and Nick Lonardo, Pharmacy, Clinical Coordinator, describe the hazards and how to avoid them.
Traditional benzodiazepines taken alone are rarely associated with lethal overdoses, but when combined with other sedatives or alcohol, the risk greatly increases. generic and brand name benzodiazepines, their common uses and duration of action.