Midazolam, a powerful sedative

Jonah Lester
Midazolam, a powerful sedative

Midazolam, better known as Dormicum, is a widely used drug, but there are those who are not very clear about what it is used for, what its effects are and why to use this drug and not other similar ones such as lorazepam or diazepam. In this post we want to end all those doubts. Go for it!

What is Midazolam

Midazolam is a type of benzodiazepine. These are drugs with psychoactive effects, which are used to treat anxiety, among many other things. They are within the so-called "minor tranquilizers", which are different from the so-called major tranquilizers, also known as anxiolytics..

It has sedative, hypnotic, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and even anxiolytic effects. They are ideal for treating agitation, insomnia or some withdrawal syndromes, among many others.

Benzodiazepines are classified into three types, based on the duration of their effects:

  • Short-acting: between 1 and 12 hours. They are not suitable for treating anxiety disorders that have been going on for a long time. On the contrary, they are the ones that act more quickly in situations that need an immediate response, such as anxiety attacks or insomnia..
  • Intermediate action: between 12 and 40 hours. Although they act quickly, they do not act as instantaneously as the short-acting ones. It is suitable in bridging or intermediate situations.
  • Long-acting: between 40 and 250 hours. They are perfect for treating anxiety disorders. However, it must be taken into account that its remains remain in the body for a long time, which can cause sedative effects due to the accumulation of these residues..

These drugs act on neurotransmitters in the brain and on the Central Nervous System. They are indirect agonists of gamma-aminobutyric acid, better known as GABA. It is a neurotransmitter that helps brain management.

This type of drug causes GABA to have an even greater influence on the system. The consequence is that it has a very direct influence on the treatment of anxiety, since it lowers the activation levels that cause anxiety symptoms..

Uses of Midazolam

This powerful drug is used mostly in clinical and hospital settings to cause more or less deep sedation in cases of certain medical interventions that cause discomfort or pain, such as digestive endoscopies (gastroscopies, colonoscopies and others), bronchoscopies, small surgeries and other more or less invasive procedures that, in principle, do not require general anesthesia, but do require superficial sedation to avoid discomfort. It is also administered as an adjunct to general anesthesia. In these cases, its route of administration is intravenous and must always be supervised by an anesthesiologist..

In pill form it is used less and first of all, it must be said that this type of medicine should always be prescribed by a doctor. Therefore, if you have doubts about whether you should use it or not, it is best to go to a specialist who will diagnose the most appropriate treatment and recommended doses..

In either case, these drugs are used to treat:

  1. Anxiety episodes: This is perhaps the type of disorder that most leads to the use of Midazolam. Keep in mind that this is a fast-acting drug, so it is perfect in those cases in which anxiety flares with special virulence.
  2. Insomnia: There are many types of insomnia, and Midazolam is not intended for all of them. When it is useful it is in those cases in which the problem is in the difficulty to fall asleep. Its sedative effects help to end this problem.
  3. Seizures and motor agitation: In cases of seizure episodes, the inhibition of neuronal arousal carried out by these drugs is a great way to stop or mitigate them.

Side effects of using Midazolam

Like any other medicine, Midazolam has side effects. That does not mean that anyone who takes it will suffer all of them, but that someone in some case may suffer one or more of these symptoms.

The most prominent are the following:

  • Addiction: this is undoubtedly the most dangerous, since it happens regularly. Therefore, you should never stop them abruptly, but with a gradual reduction of the doses..
  • Overdose: An overdose of this type of medication can be very serious, although it is not usually fatal. You should never exceed the indicated doses.
  • Withdrawal syndrome: related to the addiction it creates. If it ends abruptly, rebounds of insomnia, headaches or even anxiety may appear.
  • Sleepiness, malaise, lightheadedness: one of the most common side effects of Midazolam is the feeling of sedation you have. It must be borne in mind that one of its objectives is to sedate and reassure, so it seems logical that symptoms like this may appear.
  • Memory problems: although it is not common, it is true that taking benzodiazepines can cause habitual memory losses. Although it is not serious, it should be clear that it can occur.
  • Contrary reaction: it is not usual, but sometimes these drugs produce the opposite effect of what is sought (especially in the elderly).
  • It can slow or stop your breathing, especially if the person has recently taken a narcotic (opioid) medicine.

For all this, Midazolam is administered mainly in hospitals, health centers or other clinical settings where your vital signs can be closely observed..

We hope that this complete guide on Midazolam has helped you to know everything you need about this medicine.

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