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Tranxene Side Effects, Withdrawal and FAQs

Tranxene (chlorazepate dipotassium) is a benzodiazepine drug used for short term treatment of anxiety disorders and to prevent epileptic seizures.
Other uses include for alcohol withdrawal.  Patients can find medical information on safety, warnings and other information on Tranxene.
Tranxene safety, side effects, withdrawal information, usage notes and other topics can be found here, along with other frequently asked questions.

What is Tranxene Used For?

Tranxene is an anxiolytic/sedative in the benzodiazepine class. Anxiety and stress of day to day life does not usually require medication with a benzodiazepine drug.

Tranxene is used for short-term management of anxiety disorders, but should not be used longer than four weeks in most cases.

It is also used in alcohol withdrawal as a safety measure to prevent seizures, for a period of several days until the patient stabilizes, and it is tapered off gently.

Tranxene is prescribed in the management of epileptic seizures, requiring regular monitoring if the period of time in treatment extends out past four months.

Tranxene Alternative Names and Slang

Tranquilizers are commonly sold on the street for their euphoric effects and are sometimes referred to as “blue bombs”, “tranks”, “downers” “blues” “ruffles” or other slang terms.

Tranxene is the brand name for this benzodiazepine drug, presumably named after its tranquilizing effects.

Tranxene Side Effects

Like other tranquilizers in the benzodiazepine class, it can produce various adverse effects. Some of these might be very mild, where others could be quite a bit more severe. Always be aware of changes that occur and see your prescribing physician if anything unusual or concerning happens.

Some of these are:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Cravings for more of the drug than was prescribed
  • Depression
  • Tremors or other movement disorders, tics, spasms
  • Loss of memory, amnesia
  • Changes in energy, i.e., fatigue, drowsiness, tiredness
  • Changes in vision, i.e. blurred vision, altered perception, sensitivity to light
  • Emotional reactions, mood swings, sadness, nervousness, agitation, irritability, anger
  • Sleep disturbances, insomnia, nightmares, unusual dreams
  • Aches and pains, such as headache, stomach pain, muscle aches
  • Digestive or gastrointestinal changes, such as constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, urinary problems
  • Loss of balance, dizziness, vertigo
  • Cognitive changes, such as confusion, inability to focus or concentrate
  • Skin rashes, can be severe with fever and other symptoms requiring medical attention
  • Dry mouth

Tranxene Withdrawal Symptoms

The class of drugs that Tranxene belongs to, namely the benzodiazepine class is known to potentially cause dependence after as little as a few weeks. That is why they are usually only prescribed for a short time up to a maximum of 4 weeks.

Even when Tranxene is used for a few days in alcohol withdrawals, the drug is gently tapered off when the alcohol detox is complete, to soften any potential Tranxene withdrawals.

Nonetheless, coming off Tranxene even when taken for a short time may produce withdrawal effects as the body readjusts to a normal state. Abrupt cessation is dangerous and according to the FDA label information, can cause the most extreme and deadly withdrawals. (1)

Gradual cessation is always recommended for benzodiazepines. Some of these withdrawal effects may include:

  • Rebound anxiety
  • Rebound insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Delirium
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Memory impairment
  • Diarrhea
  • Profuse sweating
  • Tremors, shaking
  • Mood or behavior changes
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Stomach aches
  • Muscle aches

Discontinuing/Quitting Tranxene

Generally, the longer the time taking Tranxene, and the higher the dosage, the more extreme the withdrawals likely will be. Abruptly stopping the drug can result in seizures, convulsions and even death. Always seek guidance and direction concerning how to gradually reduce the dosage of Tranxene or similar drugs.

If a person has been on a high dose of Tranxene for a long time, i.e., more than a month, the best recommendation and safest way to proceed would be to consider an inpatient medically monitored setting so that you can safely navigate through the process as smoothly and gently as possible.

Tranxene FAQs

Below we have provided some additional information on Tranxene, such as how it works, interactions with other drugs, and other frequently searched for topics. This information may prove helpful to someone who may be researching before starting or stopping Tranxene.

How Does Tranxene Work?

Benzodiazepine drugs influence the central nervous system, including specific parts of the brain, by concentrating levels of a natural brain chemical called GABA. When GABA becomes more highly available it has a slowing or calming effect on the brain and central nervous system.

What’s the Difference between Tranxene and Xanax?

There are more similarities than differences between Tranxene and Xanax. They are both benzodiazepines with a sedative, calming effect. Both drugs are habit-forming in as short a time as a week or two, and cessation should be gradual, and may be accompanied by withdrawal symptoms.   Both drugs carry risk of suicidal thoughts, and other common side effects.

Both drugs should be avoided if the patient suffers from impaired liver function.

Differences are that Xanax comes in a quick-dissolve tablet, a pill, a liquid form, as well as an extended release version as well. Tranxene only comes in a pill form.

The half-life of Tranxene is approximately 50 to 60 hours. The half-life of Xanax is considerably shorter, ranging between 6 and 26 hours, with an average of just over 11 hours. These half-life estimates can be significantly different due to individual differences such as weight, liver health, diet, and many other variables.

Can You Overdose on Tranxene?

Yes, it is possible to overdose on Tranxene. This can occur when taking too much of the drug, or when combining it with alcohol, other sedatives, opiates, or anything that has a depressant effect on the body.

When an overdose occurs, it can slow the breathing and the heart down to dangerous levels, resulting in coma or even death.

Never combine anything that will act as a depressant while taking Tranxene. If you feel you cannot abstain from alcohol or similar substances, speak with your doctor so that you can safely proceed with your prescription, or take an alternative course of action.

The treatment for overdosing on Tranxene requires medical attention on an immediate basis if at all possible, performing gastric evacuation, lavage, or both. Vital signs should be monitored frequently to determine whether other measures may be needed such as norepinephrine bitartrate injection, or other agents.  (1)

How Addictive is Tranxene?

Tranxene shares a high proclivity to dependence with other drugs in the benzodiazepine family. Benzodiazepines affect certain neurotransmitters and receptors in the brain, which after a very short time adapt to the presence of the drug. After neuroadaptive changes occur, stopping the drug will produce withdrawal symptoms.

If withdrawal is too abruptly done, this can result in a life-threatening shock to the body. Always seek medical assistance to come off drugs such as Tranxene in a way that will not adversely affect your health and safety.

Is Tranxene a Controlled Substance?

Tranxene is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are classified as Schedule IV drugs, which designates drugs that have therapeutic and medical benefits, and low risk for dependence or addiction. (2)

However, many patient experiences, as well as the number of admissions to drug rehabilitation centers for benzodiazepine addiction treatment, would tend to create a good cause for doubt that Tranxene and other benzodiazepines have a low risk for dependence. According to a US governmental site on drug abuse called NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse,

Usually, benzodiazepines are not prescribed for long-term use because of the high risk for developing tolerance, dependence, or addiction.” (3)

This is almost certainly a much more realistic representation of the dangers of benzodiazepine abuse and addiction.

When considering starting a prescription of tranquilizers, one should be aware that benzodiazepines can quickly develop dependence in as little as a week or two.

How Long Does Tranxene Stay in Your System?

Tranxene (chlorazepate) has a particularly long half-life compared to other benzodiazepine drugs; up to 50 hours to clear half of the substance from the body. It could be estimated that to fully clear from the body might take considerably longer, perhaps as much as 180 hours.

Tranxene might show up on a urine test for 6 to 8 weeks or longer, and hair samples might show up for considerably longer period of time, approximately 3 months. A blood test might show positive results for a week, maybe longer.

Treatment for Tranxene Abuse and Addiction?

The Alternative to Meds Center has helped many thousands of clients achieve their goal of comfortable, safe tapering and restored health, focusing on holistic methods of care.

An important aspect of our program allows for the testing of certain neurotoxic materials that may have accumulated in the body, over years of exposure to chemicals, pollutants, heavy metals, etc.

Neurotoxin removal significantly helps in the recovery of normalized neurotransmitter function. This is particularly important after medications may have disrupted an already weakened system.

In addition to overwhelming praise for the features of our program, many clients found the inpatient setting was nurturing and friendly, allowing for a much needed break from the stresses of family or work, allowing the client to focus on their personal healing, and allowing their family the comfort and peace of knowing their loved one was in a caring, supportive atmosphere for healing.

Please contact us to find out more about our inpatient facility and the multiple phase treatment plans that could significantly benefit your health, and make your tapering experience as comfortable as it possibly can be.


This content has been reviewed, and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Michael Loes, M.D.

Dr. Michael Loes is board certified in Internal Medicine , Pain Management and Addiction Medicine. He holds a dual license in Homeopathic and Integrative Medicine. He obtained his medical doctorate at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1978. Dr Loes performed an externship at the National Institute of Health for Psychopharmacology. Additionally he is a well published author including Arthritis: The Doctor’s Cure, The Aspirin Alternative, The Healing Response and Spirit Driven Health: The Psalmist’s Guide for Recovery. He has been awarded the Minnesota Medical Foundation’s “Excellence in Research” Award.

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