Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013

Prazepam

Prazepam is a benzodiazepine medication, a tranquiliser prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe anxiety and panic disorders.

0

Prazepam is the active ingredient of Demetrin.

General Information

Prazepam is a benzodiazepine medication, a tranquiliser prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe anxiety and panic disorders,

This benzodiazepine should in most case not be used for longer than 2 - 4 weeks as tolerance and physical and psychological dependence can occur. Prazepam shares with other benzodiazepines the risk of abuse, misuse, psychological and/or physical dependence.

If prescribed for longer than 4 weeks your prescriber should periodically reassess the need for prazepam.

How does prazepam work?

Prazepam has an effect on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is the brain's quieting or tranquilising neurotransmitter, possessing an inhibitive effect on the transmission of nerve signals. Prazepam and other benzodiazepines enhance the effect of GABA, thus slowing down the transmission of nerve signals.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: Schedule 5

Available as: Prazepam is available as tablets.

What does it do? Prazepam has an anti-anxiety effect.

Overdose risk: High

Dependence risk: High

Is prazepam available as a generic? No

Is prazepam available on prescription only? Yes

User information

Onset of effect: Within 30 minutes

Duration of action: Up to 12 hours

Dietary advice: Prazepam may be taken with or without food

Stopping this medicine: Prazepam should not be stopped abruptly. Sudden discontinuation may lead to withdrawal symptoms. The dosage of prazepam should be gradually reduced according to the advice of your doctor.

Prolonged use: Short-term therapy is advised, treatment should generally be no longer than 4-6 weeks, including a tapering off process. Tolerance has been noted with long term use. Do not take prazepam for longer periods unless strictly instructed by your doctor.

Special precautions

Never exceed the prescribed dose of prazepam.

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • You have a known hypersensitivity to benzodiazepines
  • You have narrow angle glaucoma
  • You have myasthenia gravis.
  • You have liver or kidney disease.
  • You have a history of alcohol or substance abuse
  • You have a chronic lung disease
  • You have suffer from mental illness or depression.

Pregnancy: Avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: Avoid. This medication is passed through breast milk and may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: Avoid. This medication may cause serious adverse effects. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: This medication is not intended for use in children.

Elderly: Use with caution as side effects may be emphasised. Dosage may need adjustment.

Driving and hazardous work: This medication should be avoided as it may cause extreme sedation.

Alcohol: Prazepam's effect may intensify the effect of alcohol and vice versa. Do not consume alcohol while taking this medication, as side effects may be drastically pronounced.

Possible side effects:

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

Drowsiness/confusion

x

x

Loss of coordination/dizziness

x

x

Slurred speech

x

x

Unsteady walk

x

x

Dry mouth

x

x

Extreme fatigue

x

x

Loss of memory

x

x

Rash/itching

x

x

Anger/behaviour changes

x

x

Yellow tinge: eyes/skin

x

x

Bruising/bleeding

x

x

Interactions:

Drug interactions:

Alcohol, antihistamines, antidepressants, other benzodiazepines, narcotics

Increased depression of central nervous system (CNS)

Digoxin

Increased possibility of digoxin toxicity

Disulfiram

Increased possibility of prazepam toxicity

Ketokonazole and other related antifungals

Increased possibility of prazepam toxicity

Cimetidine

Increased possibility of prazepam toxicity

Isoniazid

Increased possibility of prazepam toxicity

Oral contraceptive

Increased possibility of prazepam toxicity

Propranolol

Increased possibility of prazepam toxicity

Valproic acid

Increased possibility of prazepam toxicity

Isoniazid

Increased possibility of a prazepam toxicity

Levodopa

Decreases levodopa's anti-Parkinson effect.

Probenecid

Increased possibility of prazepam toxicity

Rifampicin

May decrease the effect of prazepam.

Theophylline

May counteract the sedative effects of prazepam.

Disease interactions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have acute closed-angle glaucoma, myasthenia gravis, liver or kidney disease, a chronic lung disease; also if you suffer from mental illness, depression or sleep apnoea.

Overdose action

An overdose of prazepam can be serious. Seek immediate emergency medical attention. Symptoms may include poor coordination, slow breathing, tremors, drowsiness, slurred speech, confusion, slow reflexes and loss of consciousness.

Recommended dosage

20-60 mg/day at bedtime. Use strictly as prescribed by your doctor.

 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.