Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A Host of Anxiety Drugs, Begat by Valium
NY Times ^ | February 22, 2005 | NICHOLAS BAKALAR

Posted on 02/24/2005 4:19:25 PM PST by neverdem

Among famous inventors, Leo H. Sternbach may not immediately leap to mind.

But this May in Akron, Ohio, Dr. Sternbach, who is 96, will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He holds more than 240 patents, but perhaps his most famous invention, in collaboration with colleagues, is a chemical compound called diazepam, better known by its brand name, Valium.

One of the earliest benzodiazepines, Valium was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1963 as a treatment for anxiety, and it would become not only the country's best-selling drug, but an American cultural icon.

Referred to knowingly in Woody Allen movies, enshrined as "Mother's Little Helper" in the Rolling Stones song, condemned as poisonous in best-selling books, Valium reached the height of its popularity in 1978, a year when Americans consumed 2.3 billion of the little yellow pills.

But by the 1980's its reputation for creating abuse and withdrawal problems was well known, and the new selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac were widely considered better treatments for anxiety and panic disorders.

Still, the benzodiazepines - there are now more than a dozen others available besides Valium - never disappeared. They are still widely prescribed and, in the view of many doctors, extremely effective in treating not only anxiety and panic disorder, but bipolar illness, insomnia, catatonia and alcohol and drug withdrawal.

"The key is to use them correctly," said Dr. Eric Hollander, director of clinical psychopharmacology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Using them correctly is not so simple. Benzodiazepines cause sedation, which can be either therapeutic or a side effect, depending on the patient's ailment. Dr. Steven Roose, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, said that for anxiety the "S.S.R.I.'s are still the first-line treatment, but they can initially cause an exaggeration of anxiety symptoms."

"Pretreating with benzos can prevent this," Dr. Roose continued, citing Ativan, which "can be used for the sleep problems that S.S.R.I.'s can cause, although it should be used only for a brief term."

The use of benzodiazepines in drug withdrawal may seem paradoxical, since they can be addictive themselves.

But the newer longer-acting benzodiazepines like Klonopin may have fewer withdrawal problems than the older drugs because they are metabolized more slowly and leave the body gradually.

Even though they don't usually induce euphoria, benzopiazepines can become street drugs of abuse for their sedating effect, and some cocaine users like them to "chill out."

The benzodiazepines can also impair motor function, especially during the first weeks of treatment, and cause temporary memory impairment. The drugs do not help with depression, so those with both anxiety and depression, a common combination, may be better off with the double effect of the S.S.R.I.'s.

People who use alcohol as self-medication for anxiety are not good candidates for benzodiazepines, which can be deadly when combined with drinking.

Perhaps most notoriously, there is the danger of addiction, but some believe that may be exaggerated.

"My view is that the risk of dependency and tolerance is overblown," said Dr. Michael Craig Miller, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard and editor in chief of The Harvard Mental Health Letter. "People being treated for anxiety are not looking for a high; they're looking for relief from their anxiety symptoms, and if benzos give it to them, that's good."

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anxiety; benzodiazepines; depression; disorders; drugs; health; medicine; mentaldisorders; mentalhealth; pharmaceuticals; psychiatry; valium
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-67 next last
To: NorCalRepub
Hydro addicts were looking for the cancer pain drug in the northeast a few years ago- I forgot the name. I don't know why except that was supposed to be like heroin for old people. I read reports here that houses of old people were getting burglarized in Maine just for this chemical. Do you remember that chemical name?

I guess I'm not an addict because I had to take them until my body rejected them. I never got "high". I think my body rejected them all along in 2001. As for diazepines, 48 hours max for me before feeling somewhat weird after sleeping well.

I must reveal to you that during my stoner days a long time ago, my "buddies" and I took some Meleril pills. That was the last time I took drugs for recreational use. If they were meant for psychotic patients, we were feeling that way for a day. NO MORE after that.

41 posted on 02/24/2005 7:06:32 PM PST by BobS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: NorCalRepub

You know what's a drag? They use benzo's for opioid withdrawals!

42 posted on 02/24/2005 7:09:48 PM PST by Lx (Tuesday is Soylent green day!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: NorCalRepub

I failed to post that I had a seizure, that left me in the hospital for a week. Doctors said it was caised by sudden withdrawl from Valium. I am glad you are 90% better.

43 posted on 02/24/2005 7:11:13 PM PST by since1868
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: BobS

I don't know the name of the drug that was like herion but like you said, any psychotropic drug can lead to havoc..just look at the SSRI's now in the news that they say can lead to suicide in teens.....I have reports and such on this and books that talk about his 5 years ago, but the drug companies hold all this stuff back.....I'm not as familiar with opiates......and there is a diffence between being an addict and physically dependent....I was not an addict cause it didn't make me high and there was no psychosocial behavior around the drug......i took it cause the doctor said I should.....I learned my lesson from that and he was dead wrong.........your body rejected them cause some people have paradoxical effects or they can become toxic which is different than "tolerance"

44 posted on 02/24/2005 7:11:55 PM PST by NorCalRepub
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Lx

well in that case they are ok.....just like they use benzo's in alcohol that case it is fine to get thru the initial days and so you don't have seizures or in the hospital if one is seizing, they administer ativan. I have no problem with those uses. It is the long term use for anxiety or sleep problems that they can be devastating

45 posted on 02/24/2005 7:14:27 PM PST by NorCalRepub
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: since1868

thank you......definitely seizures are a part of benzo wd, that is why they put you on anti convulsants when detoxing.....thank god you didn 't have severe protracted wd like would know it if you had.....

46 posted on 02/24/2005 7:16:25 PM PST by NorCalRepub
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: NorCalRepub
I thank God every night. Esp for surviving the 70s
47 posted on 02/24/2005 7:18:20 PM PST by since1868
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: NorCalRepub
I took Ativan recently and once took a valium a very long time ago. One for a use and another for no constructive use. They don't do anything for me except the Ativan was correctly prescribed. The valium was during my HS pot-smoking years and didn't make me feel good then.

IMHO, these things should be prescribed for only a week before a follow-up appointment.

In my case, if I ever get into a serious injury situation, it will take a dilaudid injection to kill the pain.

Oxycodone is the cancer pain-management drug I was talking about.

48 posted on 02/24/2005 7:47:36 PM PST by BobS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: BobS

got ya......ya, Oxy is more addictive than most pain killers short of morphine though if it is for cancer pain and it is terminal, I certainly don't have a problem with that....if ya took an ativan or valium every once in awhile it is no worse than booze,......everyday for any length of time can be worse than booze in those predisposed

49 posted on 02/24/2005 7:55:01 PM PST by NorCalRepub
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: Stellar Dendrite
"Hopefully you purchase the valerian "standardized" extract...they're a little more expensive but worth it"

I have the GNC "fingerprinted" valerian root caps, which just made me pull my magnifying light down to look closely for the first time. No fingerprints unless that is the horsey smell. I have the PharmAssure Melatonin 3mg tablets. There is vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine HCL) mixed with it 3/2 and smells normal.

One of each together helps me sleep nice with some vegetable juice. Works for me! I must wake up at 4 AM and switched to tea instead of coffee. If melatonin magnifies depressive tendencies at 4AM, that's for the observer, not the observed. I have work to do. If you're standing around observing, I may make you do something.

50 posted on 02/24/2005 8:12:07 PM PST by BobS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: BobS

Hey Bob, GNC is ***outrageous*** in price!!

It is possible to get many many supplements from, they sell bulk powders of almost any supplement at super cheap prices. I highly recommend them, I have done buisiness with them for years.

If you don't want to mess with capping it yourself, I wouldn't buy from them. is another great business, their prices are very low....and all their stuff is already encapsulated.

A great resource for what vitamins and supplements to take is, they have "treatment protocols" for many conditions. They also sell supplements, but their prices are pretty dang high too.

Hope this helps....

51 posted on 02/24/2005 8:42:52 PM PST by Stellar Dendrite (PROPHETIC list of Communist goals SPREAD THE WORD!:
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 50 | View Replies]

To: NorCalRepub
Does Paxil fit into this category of drug? I have been taking it for three years now. I want to quit, but each time I try to get off, I get so sick after about four days, my husband strongly suggests I keep taking it.
52 posted on 02/24/2005 8:47:54 PM PST by ScudBud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: NorCalRepub
I have 3 year old ativan in my cabinet along with 3 year old hydro. I believe oxycodone would cause a rejection by my digestive system in about 24 hours since hydro created the basis for it 3.5 years ago over 3 weeks in a hospital. And guess what? I get back to work and they asked me to go piss in a bottle. Of course it failed. I took 8 vials of pills with me and nobody cared about them or read the labels when I went pee-pee.

The following day the "human resources" wench called me in to tell me the results and the corporate lawyer was there. I was waiting for this. I dumped those pills right on her desk and the guy just about prevented me from pulling her across her desk and smashing her face in one of my wrecked knees. The guy was good. Outside her office, I told him I took all those things with me to the clinic and nobody gave a damn there. I had respect since then. I do exactly as I please now when work needs to be accomplished. They learned the name of the lawyer for that car accident and it is a very major firm, you see.

53 posted on 02/24/2005 8:51:26 PM PST by BobS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

To: Stellar Dendrite

I just get what I need where I can find it. Getting sleepy requires 2 components when a woman is not near. I like herbal stuff for specific purposes. It works when needed. I remember the names of these things and ignore them unless I need them. Organic chemistry was a refernce point until I discovered physics. When doing this and math I need feeding:) Hopefully by a woman with a nice taste in burritos and tacos:)

54 posted on 02/24/2005 9:10:37 PM PST by BobS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 51 | View Replies]

To: BobS

Good info here. I'm gonna pass it along to some friends.

55 posted on 02/24/2005 9:24:01 PM PST by jamaly
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: ScudBud

Paxil is the shortest acting SSRI there is and most likely has the most possibility to create what they call a discontinuation can make you sick, anxious, electrical jolts and others. Since it is a SSRI anti depressant like Prozac it is nothing like benzo's. However, I would maybe try and find someone who can help you without meds if possible..I'm not a doctor and would never tell anyone to go off meds but paxil is usually used for depression, anxiety or social anxiety.....usually you get sick 4 days after cause it is finally out of your system and the metabolites as well.......what are you taking it for????????.......I can be more exact if you let me know......I know some on it that really really need it but they have tried everything else.....

56 posted on 02/24/2005 10:18:46 PM PST by NorCalRepub
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 52 | View Replies]

To: BobS

dump the is most likely too old and if taken could make you sick.........lots of people get sick or have digestive upset with pain killers

57 posted on 02/24/2005 10:20:47 PM PST by NorCalRepub
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 53 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Valium works wonders for me when I can't sleep. A good night's sleep without the hangover that I would get from Xanex, a horrible drug in my view. I don't use valium that frequently, but when it is needed it is really appreciated. It has even been used to calm down heart palpitations.

58 posted on 02/24/2005 10:21:30 PM PST by RichardW
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobS; kmiller1k

Valerian is quite amazing and I find it prolongs my dreams into an almost continuous thread. It is the best OTC sleep aid for me, and I have tried them all. In combination with Kava Kava and melatonin, it's nighty night. Take at least one hour before bed time on an empty or near-empty stomach. Of course if that doesn't work, it's Ambien time, but that's another story.

59 posted on 02/25/2005 10:17:00 AM PST by Blowtorch
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: neverdem


60 posted on 02/25/2005 1:47:59 PM PST by winodog (I am gonna stop calling them liberals. They are humanists. Liberal is actually a good word)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-67 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson