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Bromazepam (Lexotan) Side Effects, Withdrawal and FAQs

This entry was posted in Benzodiazepine on by .

Last Updated on June 13, 2021 by Carol Gillette

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Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Written by Diane Ridaeus Published Sep 13, 2018
Medically Reviewed by Dr Michael Loes MD

Bromazepam side effects can be harsh which adds to the challenges of bromazepam withdrawal. All benzos carry risks of addiction or dependence. Bromazepam should not be taken for more than one week. Please note that particular care should be taken not to mix it with other CNS depressants, such as alcohol.

Special care must be taken when stopping the use of bromazepam.

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Bromazepam Side Effects

Side effects of Bromazepam are not unlike those of other benzodiazepine drugs such as Valium©. Not all possible side effects are listed here; if a person experiences significant discomfort, seek medical attention immediately.

Like all benzodiazepines, some of the side effects can be quite mild and easy enough to tolerate, especially if the drug is only taken occasionally. With more long-term use, other reactions can be so harsh that a person will want to stop the drug. But please remember, it is not safe to abruptly stop taking benzodiazepine medications.

Bromazepam side effects include:

  • Paradoxical reactions: Although bromazepam is a sedative, opposite effects can occur. These paradoxical reactions are reportedly more likely to occur in the elderly. They include increased anxiety, restlessness, depression, delusions, rage, nightmares, etc.
  • 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.) for which swift medical attention is essential.
  • Sedation
  • Pregnant and nursing women should not take bromazepam as it can harm the baby.1
  • Depression, anxiety, agitation
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Decreased interest in things that usually were of interest
  • Tachycardia
  • Aural or visual hallucinations
  • Insomnia, nightmares
  • Memory impairment, anterograde amnesia (cannot form new memories, resulting in memory loss)
  • Cognitive impairments and significant learning capacity reduction
  • Drowsiness
  • Deteriorated motor skill performance, i.e., delayed reflexes while driving or operating machinery, loss of coordination.
  • Decreased libido
  • Dystonia (rare condition of muscle spasms, jerks, repetitive movements or twisting of the body, face, etc.)
  • Liver damage*
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea

*A person should get regular medical exams to monitor liver damage from bromazepam. “During the chronic administration, the liver weight increased 30-40%, with concomitant enlargement of the liver,” according to Fukazawa et al’s study.

Bromazepam Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms will emerge after taking the drug for more than one week. Withdrawal from bromazepam can be ruinously harsh — therefore 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 protracted withdrawal, and though rare, fatality.2

Bromazepam withdrawal symptoms include:

  • A return or worsening of symptoms, i.e., anxiety, depression
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Tremors
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Tension
  • Muscle pain
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Restlessness
  • Drug cravings*

*Bromazepam should not be taken for more than one week, due to risks of addiction and drug dependence, according to Pharmachoice.

What is Bromazepam Used For?

Bromazepam is used as an anti-anxiety agent or sedative. It is sometimes prescribed “as needed,” for instance, to prevent an occasional full-blown panic attack, for sleeping, to alleviate occasional tension, or before minor surgery.

Unfortunately, the drug can quickly become addictive and can become extremely hard to stop after a person takes it regularly for more than one week. Paradoxical effects, as mentioned above under “side effects,” can significantly complicate the use of benzodiazepines like bromazepam.

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, Lexotan, 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 Tolerance = Withdrawal Symptoms

The body quickly develops tolerance to benzodiazepines, requiring more of the drug to attain the same level of sedation. When the drug is withdrawn, even after as little as one week, bromazepam 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.

About Bromazepam – FAQs

Information on bromazepam is not as readily available in the US as it is elsewhere. Below you will find information we have found relating to bromazepam and some of the most frequently asked about topics where any information is available.

Why is Bromazepam Not Available in the U.S.?

While bromazepam is legally prescribed in other countries, such as France and Australia, it has not been approved by the FDA for use in the US.

There are reportedly many characteristics of the drug which make other alternatives safer and more desirable treatment options.2,3

Treatment for Bromazepam Abuse and Addiction?

Bromazepam abuse and addiction may become problematic quite quickly after starting to use this potent benzodiazepine drug. In France, where the drug is prescribed as an anti-anxiety agent, as well as for other purposes as outlined above, it is the most common drug used for intentional overdose.4

Avoiding Potentially Life-Threatening Benzo Scenarios

Medically monitored withdrawal is the safest recommendation, as there may be some complications requiring immediate intervention, such as airway collapse, severe respiratory failure, loss of consciousness, psychoses, and other extreme scenarios that would be best handled in a secure hospital setting.

The US Department of Health and Human Services cautions against prescribing bromazepam to pregnant women, the elderly, those with a history of alcohol abuse or any past drug dependence, and also cautions against prescribing it to children.

Bromazepam Withdrawal at Alternative to Meds Center

Alternative to Meds Center commonly has international clients who come to us from all over the world. Drugs like bromazepam are marketed under different names, but carry the same risks during withdrawal treatment. We welcome all clients and can assist with information about how to travel to the US for our services. We can also provide additional information about bromazepam side effects, and the advantages of a properly done bromazepam withdrawal program at Alternative to Meds Center.


1. Bibby S “Benzodiazepines: A Risk Factor in Sudden Infant Death?” Beat The Benzos Campaign, 2000 Nov [cited 2020 Nov 30]

2. Bromazepam Core Safety Profile Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, Germany, 2013 Nov 26 [cited 2020 Nov 30]

3. “Why is Bromazepam not available in the USA?” Quora, 2015 Apr 14 [cited 2020 Nov 30]

4. Staikowsky F, Theil F, Candella S “Trends in the Pharmaceutical Profile of Intentional Drug Overdoses Seen in the Emergency Room” PubMed, 2005 Jul 02 [cited 2020 Nov 30]

5. Salzman C, “The APA Task Force report on benzodiazepine dependence, toxicity, and abuse.” Am J Psychiatry. 1991 Feb;148(2):151-2. doi: 10.1176/ajp.148.2.151. PMID: 1987812.[cited 2020 Nov 30]



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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Bromazepam (Lexotan) Side Effects, Withdrawal and FAQs
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