Bromazepam is an anti-anxiety medication with similar effects to valium that can lead to abuse and addiction.
Bromazepam also has a high potency and is considered to have a greater abuse potential than many other benzodiazepines. This is because of its fast resorption rate and rapid onset of action (1)
Addiction to benzodiazepine medications is on the rise, mainly due to the ease of buying medications such as Diazepam, Bromazepam and Xanax online via the dark web. Last year the British government reported a 6 % increase in the number of people entering treatment for a benzodiazepine addiction (2)
Here, we look at why Bromazepam can be addictive, who should avoid it, and its risks and effects. Further on, we look at Bromazepam withdrawal symptoms and why, if you think you have a problem with Bromazpeman, you should seek professional help.
What is Bromazepam?
Bromazepam was initially approved for medical use in 1974 and was patented by the pharmaceutical company Roche.
This drug belongs to the benzodiazepine class of medications and is sold under various brand names. In the UK, it is a controlled Class C medication under the Misuse of Drugs act 1971.
Bromazepam can be prescribed in many countries around the world, including the UK, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Uruguay and South Africa.
Bromazepam is not legally available in the United States. The exact reason for this is not known, but it has not been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
Can Bromazepam lead to addiction?
Bromazepam is considered to be potentially more addictive than other benzodiazepines, as it is short-acting with an intermediate onset. This also means that withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur sooner than with longer-acting benzodiazepines.
Brand names of Bromazepam include:
- Somalium (1,3)
What Bromazepam is prescribed to treat
Bromazepam (Lectopam) is typically used as a short-term medication for the treatment of severe anxiety and panic disorder. It can also be used as a pre-med for surgery within a hospital.
Bromazepam comes in 1.5mg, 3mg and 6mg tablet forms, which are to be taken orally.
As a benzodiazepine, Bromazepam may also be used to treat the symptoms of opiate or alcohol withdrawal, but only within a clinical setting. Additionally, Lexatin can also be used as a muscle relaxant medication (1,3)
Preventing Bromazepam addiction
You can prevent Bromazepam addiction by following your doctor’s prescription and heeding the warning signs. Bromazepam can be safely taken for short periods of time.
It is important to recognise when you feel a physical or psychological dependence on Bromazepam forming. This is the point where you will need to discuss alternatives with your doctor.
You should also not take Bromazepam that does not belong to you or that is not authentically prescribed for you.
Purchasing Bromazepam from the dark web is illegal and a form of drug abuse. It is also extremely dangerous as you don’t know what will be in the medication or whether it is safe. It is this type of Bromazepam abuse that regularly leads to addiction.
The effects of Lexotan
Much like any other medication, Bromazepam can cause some unwanted side effects. These side effects can range from mild to severe.
Lexotanil affects different people differently. The effects of this benzodiazepine on a person cannot be predicted.
Some of the effects of Bromazepam, in rarer instances, can be dangerous or life-threatening. Because of this, you should always discuss any concerns you have with your doctor.
Common side effects of Bromazepam:
- Changes in appetite
- Delayed reaction time
- Slurred or delayed speech
- Sleepiness (4,6)
If any of the above side effects interfere with your day-to-day life, you may want to discuss more suitable options with your doctor. You should not drive or operate heavy machinery whilst under the influence of Bromazepam
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if you develop any of the following side effects:
- Increased anxiety
- Changes in behaviour (aggression, agitation, unusual excitement or irritability
- Difficulty in staying awake
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory Loss
- Losing balance and falling over
- Feeling low and depressed
- Loss of motivation
- Hallucinations – seeing or hearing things that are not there
- Problems urinating (4,6)
Serious side effects of Bromazepam include:
- Severe itching
- Signs of an anaphylactic reaction (difficulty breathing, throat swelling, facial swelling, nausea, vomiting, racing heart rate and thoughts of suicide) (4,6)
If you experience seizures or signs of an allergic reaction to Bromazepam, stop the medication immediately and seek urgent medical care.
In order to reduce the chance of developing distressing or dangerous side effects, your doctor should always start you off on the lowest dose possible. This is especially true for elderly patients.
How Bromazepam works
Bromazepam has sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic and muscle relaxant properties. Studies have shown that it works by lowering the release of catecholamines, which also include dopamine and adrenaline, in the brain. This, in turn, reduces levels of anxiety and calms brain activity.
However, this anti-anxiety action can also be associated with a reduction in 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptamine). 5 HTP acts as a neurotransmitter and can be converted into serotonin within the body. Because of this, there may be a higher incidence of low mood and depression in a person taking Bromazepam.
It is important to understand that Bromazepam has no antidepressant effects and may compound an already existing depressive disorder. (5)
Who should avoid taking Bromazepam?
There are a number of medical conditions where a person should avoid taking Bromazepam. It is always best to be honest with your healthcare provider so they can assess whether Bromazepam is the right medication for you.
You should not take Lexotan if you:
- If you ever had an allergic reaction to a Benzodiazepine drug or any ingredient contained within Bromazepam
- Suffer from a diagnosed mood disorder
- Suffer from Myasthenia Gravis
- Have compromised respiratory efficiency
- Suffer from sleep apnea
- Have lung disease
- Have glaucoma
- Suffer from a substance use disorder (including alcoholism)
- Take opioids, benzodiazepines or sleeping pills such as Zopiclone.
If you currently have a drug or alcohol addiction, you will be at a very high risk of developing a Bromazepam addiction also.
Taking Bromazepam with other drugs: Risks & Warnings
Bromazepam has depressant effects on the Central Nervous System. This means that it is especially dangerous to mix with other Central Nervous System depressants.
Mixing Bromazepam with alcohol, opioids, sleeping tablets, benzodiazepines, and even certain antidepressants will enhance the effects of both substances. Ultimately, this could lead to respiratory arrest, coma and death.
Taking Bromazepam regularly in conjunction with another substance also increases your risk of developing a dual addiction. This is especially true if you have ever developed an addiction before or have an alcohol or opioid dependence.
You should also be careful when combining over-the-counter medicines with Lexotan. Some medications contain alcohol, codeine or other substances that will increase the effect of sedation when mixed with Bromazepam. Your pharmacist will be able to advise you on which medications to avoid and which are safe.
You should not drive or operate heavy machinery if Lexotan affects how alert you feel in any way.
Bromazepam and alcohol: A deadly addiction
Alcohol is not safe to take with Bromazepam due to the increased effects of drunkenness and sedation that occur when the two are mixed. There is also a risk that you may accidentally overdose by combining the two.
Mixing Bromazepam and alcohol can result in the following:
- Decreased awareness of your surroundings
- Impulsive behaviours
- Increased risk of fall and injury
- Not recalling events that took place whilst under the influence (blackout)
- Respiratory depression and arrest
- Taking more Bromazepam than you intended and not realising
- Forgetfulness during intoxication
- Unsteadiness on your feet
- Slurred or incomprehensible speech
Taking Bromazepam exactly as prescribed will help you to avoid potentially life-threatening problems.
If you are taking Bromazepam for alcohol withdrawal, it is vital that you do not drink alcohol. Similarly, you should not take Bromazepam if you suffer from an untreated alcohol use disorder. This is not only a potentially lethal combination but can lead to a dual addiction to both alcohol and Bromazepam.
If you are in recovery from a substance use disorder, you should avoid this medication if at all possible. As your brain is already primed for addiction, you will be at a higher risk of developing Bromazepam addiction. Your healthcare provider can consider alternatives that will be safer for you (6)
Tolerance, dependence and withdrawal
As with all benzodiazepines, tolerance can develop quickly over a matter of a few weeks. When this happens, Bromazepam will not work so effectively. You may well be tempted to abuse the medication or seek an increase in your prescription if your original complaint has not been resolved. This is often the start of a very slippery road that can quickly spiral out of your control.
The physical dependence on Bromazepam happens when your body and brain require the drug to be in your bloodstream in order to operate normally. Without it, you will suffer from benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, you may find that you become psychologically dependent on Bromazepam due to its calming effects on the brain.
Withdrawal symptoms are more likely to occur if you have been taking Bromazepam for more than a few weeks. If you have been prescribed this medication for longer than a few weeks, your healthcare provider should help you to taper off.
If you have become dependent on Bromazepam through abusing it, never just stop taking it suddenly. This could cause you to suffer life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. You will also be at an increased risk of developing PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome) by stopping Bromazepam in this way.
Bromazepine withdrawal can be successfully and safely managed through a medical detox facilitated by a CQC-registered detox clinic or rehab facility.
Withdrawal symptoms from Bromazepam addiction can be severe or life-threatening; they include:
- Increased anxiety, nervousness and panic
- Feelings of paralysis (catatonia)
- Delirium tremens: fast and irregular heartbeat, extreme sweating, confusion
- Dysphoria: Feelings of depression and sadness
- Dissociation: Feeling disconnected and out of touch with reality
- Seizures: Including seizures or convulsions that do not stop
- Muscle cramps
- Stomach upset: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain
- Hallucinations: Seeing and/or hearing things that are not there
- Mania: Racing thoughts and erratic behaviour
- Thoughts or actions of self-harm
- Suicidal thoughts or actions (6,7)
This is by no means a full list of all of the withdrawal effects of Bromazepam. Withdrawal symptoms can be influenced by any number of personal health factors and the method by which you stop the medication.
Due to Bromazepam having a half-life of 8 to 12 hours, where a dependence has formed, withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as 8 to 12 hours after your last dose. In cases of chronic use, withdrawal can start even sooner. Abrupt cessation of Bromazepam, known as a cold-turkey detox, can lead to death. (6,7)
Long-term use of Bromazepam and Bromazepam addiction
Long-term use of Bromazepam is counterproductive. You may easily mistake withdrawal symptoms for increased symptoms of anxiety and depression.
When Bromazepam is taken for prolonged periods or abused as part of an addiction, it can cause irreparable damage to the brain. This can result in a whole host of symptoms, including forgetfulness, cognitive decline, depression and behavioural changes.
Research has shown that Benzodiazepines can cause damage to the cerebral cortex, which houses the brain’s functional areas for motor, sensory and association. Motor areas control a person’s motor activities, while sensory areas receive sensory information.
The association, part of the brain, is largely responsible for processing what goes on between sensory input and the generation of behaviour in response. These damaging changes to the brain can also occur at therapeutic doses in the long-term use of benzodiazepines (8,9)
Help for Bromazepam addiction and abuse
If you or a loved one have developed a dependence or addiction to Bromazepam, professional help and treatment is available.
Being dependent on benzodiazepines is a very scary place to be. Understandably, you will fear how you will cope without them and what to expect during detox.
Whilst detoxing from a benzodiazepine medication is one of the most challenging detoxes to undergo, it is completely possible with the right medical help and therapy.
Detox Plus UK can custom plan your Bromazepam detox so that you receive around-the-clock medical care and therapeutic support. Our addiction treatment professionals will also look at the reasons why you developed an addiction or dependence in the first place and ensure that this is comprehensively addressed.
Starting a rehab journey can be full of unknowns; however, finishing and completing an addiction rehabilitation programme can be the start of a new, exciting and infinitely better life.
Call us today and chat with one of our friendly advisors. We are here to listen to your story and make the appropriate recommendations to help you on your path to recovery.
Bromazepam: Common questions answered
How long does Bromazepam take to work?
Bromazepam usually takes around 1 hour to reach its optimum effects after consumption. These effects can last for several hours. The effects of Bromazepam can also increase over several days due to the accumulation of the drug in your system.
How does Bromazepam make you feel?
Bromazepam is likely to make you feel relaxed as it calms nerves and anxiety. It may also help you to sleep. You may experience euphoric effects and feel more content and happy. For some people though, this medication can have an adverse effect and increase symptoms of anxiety and restlessness.
How long can I take Bromazepam before becoming addicted?
Bromazepam should only be taken for as short a time as possible. There is no evidence to suggest that it is beneficial to take Bromazepam for longer than two to four weeks. On the contrary, taking Bromazepam for longer than this can lead to drug dependence and addiction.
- Bromazepam: https://go.drugbank.com/drugs/DB01558
- Adult substance misuse treatment statistics 2020 to 2021: report: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/substance-misuse-treatment-for-adults-statistics-2020-to-2021/adult-substance-misuse-treatment-statistics-2020-to-2021-report#people-in-treatment-substance-sex-age
- Australian Government – Department of Health. Bromazepam”. Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
- Ref: How does this medication work? What will it do for me? https://www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/bromazepam
- Effect of a new benzodiazepine bromazepam on locomotor performance and brain monoamine metabolism: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28378/
- What is Bromazepam used for? https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/bromazepam-3569872/
- Ref: Bromazepam: https://www.wikidoc.org/index.php/Bromazepam
- Chapter 1:The Anatomy of the Cerebral Cortex:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK575742/
- Brain Damage from Benzodiazepines: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/side-effects/201011/brain-damage-benzodiazepines