Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Doral Abuse

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Doral, also sold under the generic name quazepam, is a prescription drug used to treat insomnia. Insomnia is characterized by having trouble falling or staying asleep. Doral is classified as a benzodiazepine. This class of drugs is often used for the treatment of insomnia as well as for conditions such as anxiety and panic disorder. Benzos like Doral do have therapeutic benefits but only in the short term. Benzos are used for short-term treatment because they do have side effects, and they can be habit-forming.
Someone who abuses Doral or other benzos is more likely to become addicted. These drugs affect GABA receptors in the brain. They calm neuron activity, and as a result, the person feels more relaxed or sedated. These prescription medications affect brain pathways and trigger a reward response that can lead to addiction. The higher doses a person takes of a drug like Doral, or the longer they use it, the more likely there are to be changes in the brain that cause addiction. Compared to other benzodiazepines, Doral has a lower risk profile because it targets only specific GABA receptors, but that doesn’t mean this drug is risk-free. Specific physical and outward signs of Doral abuse include

  • Drowsiness (including during the day)
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of coordination
  • Problems with concentration
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Weak muscles
  • Taking more Doral than has been prescribed
  • Continuing to take the drug for longer than a doctor directs
  • Taking Doral without a prescription
  • Combining Doral with other substances (e.g., alcohol)

Long-term benzodiazepine abuse can cause some serious consequences including

  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Impaired attention and concentration
  • Problems experiencing or expressing emotion
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Impaired memory


Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Doral Abuse
Even though someone may show signs of abusing Doral or benzodiazepines, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re addicted. Addiction is a complex brain disease, and it has specific side effects. These side effects stem from changes in how the brain is wired. These changes result in extreme cravings. Studies looking at brain images in people addicted to benzodiazepines have shown changes in areas of the brain related to memory, behavior control, judgment, decision-making and learning. Signs of Doral addiction include the following:

  • Use of the drug seems out of the individual’s control
  • Compulsive drug-seeking
  • Continuing to use Doral or other benzos even when there are negative consequences
  • Trying to quit using the substance and being unsuccessful
  • Building a tolerance to the drug and needing larger amounts to feel the drug’s effects
  • Social and lifestyle problems such as damaged relationships or declining performance at school or work

The side effects of Doral addiction can ultimately cause a person to experience issues such as problems with the law or losing a job. People who are addicted to a substance such as a benzodiazepine also tend to have problems in their relationships with others. Over time they may experience financial troubles, and their drug use may move into other substances.

Separate from the condition of Doral addiction is physical dependence. Many benzodiazepines can cause physical dependence very quickly — within a few weeks. This is why they’re meant as a short-term treatment. Doral does have a lower likelihood of causing tolerance and physical dependence, but the risk is still present. People who are physically dependent on a substance may be addicted to it as well, but they don’t have to be. The brain becomes used to the presence of a drug and its effects. In the case of quazepam, the brain may start to feel that it is unable to make GABA on its own, without the presence of the medication. Someone who stops using Doral suddenly may go through withdrawal as their body tries to normalize itself. Many benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms are rebound effects that the drug was originally used to treat.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can include

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Irritability and other changes in mood
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Concentration problems
  • Nausea
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Changes in blood pressure

In some severe cases when a person is a long-time user of benzodiazepines, that person may experience serious withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include seizures and a condition called delirium tremens. Psychosis is also possible. The risk of these severe or prolonged withdrawal symptoms is higher in people who not only abuse a benzo like Doral but also use other substances as well. Certain treatment options and medications can help alleviate or mitigate Doral withdrawal symptoms.

The Recovery Village is a leading treatment center offering medical detox and a variety of program options. We’re happy to speak with you about how addiction and dependence are affecting your life and to explore the options available for treatment.


Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a 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 provider.