What is Bromazepam Used For?
Bromazepam is used as an anti-anxiety agent, and is sometimes prescribed “as needed,” for instance, to prevent a full-blown panic attack, for sleeping, tension, and before minor surgery.
Bromazepam Alternative Names and Slang
Bromazepam is not sold in the US but is available in France and possibly other countries under trade names such as Bromaze, Somalium, Lexatin, Brazepam, and others.
It is not clear whether slang names have developed over the 50+ years it has been around, except that as it is a benzodiazepine drug, in some circles it might be generally referred to as “a downer,” “a trank,” “candy,” or simply “a benzo.”
Bromazepam Side Effects
Side effects of Bromazepam are not unlike those of other benzodiazepine drugs. Not all possible side effects are listed here; if a person experiences a significant discomfort, seek medical attention. Bromazepam side effects can include:
- Paradoxical reactions are more likely to occur in the elderly and can include increased anxiety, restlessness, depression, delusions, rage, nightmares, etc. and if these occur the medication should be withdrawn under medical supervision and monitoring.
- Severe allergic reaction (abdominal cramps, nausea, sudden fever, rash, raised welts or swelling in the face, mouth or throat, loss of consciousness, confusion, agitation, etc.)
- Pregnant and nursing women should not take Bromazepam as it can harm the baby.1
- Thoughts of suicide or self harm
- Difficulty breathing
- Decreased interest in things that usually were of interest
- Aural or visual hallucinations
- Memory impairment
- Anterograde amnesia (cannot form new memories, resulting in memory loss)
- Cognitive impairments and significant learning capacity reduction
- Deteriorated motor skill performance i.e., delayed reflexes while driving or operating machinery, and should be avoided
- Loss of coordination
- Decreased libido
- Dystonia (rare condition of muscle spasms, jerks, repetitive movements or twisting of the body, face, etc.)
- Liver damage (the drug maker advises getting regular medical exams)
- Slurred speech
Bromazepam Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms will emerge after taking the drug for more than one or two weeks. For this reason the drug should never be abruptly stopped but slowly tapered off under medical supervision.
If the tapering process is done slowly and with adequate support, withdrawals may be mild to moderate. However, some effects may present as more intense than expected even with a gradual reduction and may require medical intervention to avoid fatality.2
Bromazepam withdrawal symptoms may include:
- A return of symptoms, i.e. anxiety, depression and may be significantly worsened.
- Loss of consciousness
- Muscle pain
- Drug cravings
The body quickly becomes tolerant to Bromazepam, requiring more of the drug to attain the same level of sedation. When the drug is withdrawn, even after as little as one to two weeks, withdrawals will likely present. These can be severe reactions, and can be life-threatening especially if the drug is stopped abruptly.2
Always seek medical assistance so that the drug can be slowly tapered down to reduce withdrawal symptoms as much as possible.