Centrax (Prazepam) Dependence

Prazepam is a prescription benzodiazepine that’s been available since the 1960s. Prazepam has been marketed under many different trade names around the world, including Centrax. Paxipam is prescribed to relieve anxiety symptoms. It’s also used as a muscle relaxant, anticonvulsive, and sedative drug. Benzodiazepines like Centrax are considered to be tranquilizers. Some of the more common benzodiazepine brand names sold in the United States include Klonopin and Xanax.

While Centrax is primarily used to treat short-term anxiety, the drug is also used to control seizures and treat insomnia. All benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants. They increase the effects of the neurotransmitter GABA. GABA calms neural activity in the brain that can contribute to anxiety. Over time, the brain becomes used to the presence of a drug like Centrax. Exposing the brain to Centrax repeatedly actually causes chemical changes throughout the brain.

Drug dependence can have both physical and psychological consequences.  Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and drug usage. Dependence doesn’t necessarily mean a person is addicted, however, dependence and addiction usually go hand-in-hand. When someone is dependent upon a substance, withdrawal symptoms occur as the brain and body try to adjust to the absence of the drug.

All benzodiazepines can cause physical dependence. This risk of dependence and addiction is the reason that they are only prescribed as short-term medications. If someone uses Centrax for more than a few weeks, then they are at a greater risk of becoming dependent and going through withdrawal. Even when people follow prescribing instructions and use Centrax for a brief period, they may still become dependent and addicted to the drug. If someone has a mild dependence on Centrax or another benzodiazepine, their doctor will usually instruct them to taper down their dosage slowly. Tapering down can reduce or mitigate Centrax withdrawal symptoms.

Centrax (Prazepam) Withdrawal

Centrax withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe in intensity. The severity depends on factors including the duration of use, how much someone was using, and whether other substance abuse issues are occurring simultaneously. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms are severe, even when compared to opioid withdrawal symptoms. Centrax withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Tension
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Concentration and cognitive problems
  • Memory problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain and stiffness

In severe cases of Centrax withdrawal, hallucinations, seizures and psychosis may occur as well.

Another symptom of Centrax withdrawal, and benzodiazepine withdrawal in general, can be suicidal thoughts or tendencies. The severe symptoms can be life-threatening. It’s recommended that people undergo benzodiazepine withdrawal with medical supervision or in a detox facility. Benzodiazepine withdrawal tends to include rebound symptoms that can last for weeks or months. These rebound symptoms are usually psychological. Ironically, they are often worsening symptoms of what the Centrax was originally prescribed to treat, such as anxiety. It can go on for months, which is one reason a professional detox facility is best for someone who is dependent upon Centrax or another benzodiazepine.

Centrax (Prazepam) Detox

At a medical detox, there are a couple of focus areas. First, the patient is kept safe. The detox professionals can provide medications that will help treat both psychological and physical symptoms. This can reduce the severity of Centrax withdrawal. During Centrax withdrawal, an individual can also be treated for any underlying mental health conditions. Centrax detox may also include care for any other substances that the patient is simultaneously dependent upon.

Detoxing is an essential first step for anyone who is seeking treatment for their substance use disorder. It is necessary to have the drugs fully eliminated from the system before going on to treatment, but the withdrawal period can be one of the primary obstacles for many people. It can be highly uncomfortable -physically and psychologically. These challenges are why a medical detox program can be so beneficial, compared to trying to do it on one’s own. As patients go through a medical Centrax detox, they often find that their mood, cognition and mental health improves and they feel better physically.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.