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Benzodiazepine Overdose

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Benzodiazepines are medicines used to treat anxiety, alcohol withdrawal, insomnia, muscle spasms, and seizures. Some examples include alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam, and temazepam. An overdose can occur if you take more than the recommended amount. It can also occur if you take benzodiazepines with alcohol or certain medicines that can cause harm if taken together.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Have someone else call 911 for the following:

  • You cannot be awakened.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You are extremely drowsy, or you have trouble staying awake or speaking.
  • Your speech is slurred, or you are confused.
  • You have trouble walking or moving parts of your body.
  • You feel extremely agitated.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Prevent a benzodiazepine overdose:

  • Take your medicine exactly as directed. Do not take more of the recommended amount of benzodiazepines each time you take it. Do not take benzodiazepines more often than recommended.
  • Do not mix benzodiazepines with alcohol, prescription pain pills, or street drugs. The combination of these substances can cause a life-threatening overdose.
  • Keep benzodiazepines out of the reach of children. Store benzodiazepines in a locked cabinet or in a location that children cannot get to. Ask your healthcare provider how to dispose of any unused benzodiazepine medicines.

Counseling:

Your healthcare provider may recommend that you see a counselor if you are abusing benzodiazepines.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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