Paxipam was a benzodiazepine with a risk of abuse, dependence and addiction. This drug has been discontinued, so any Paxipam you encounter is long-expired or counterfeit.
Paxipam, also known by its generic name halazepam, was a brand name benzodiazepine, or “benzo.” All benzodiazepines are classified as Schedule IV drugs in the United States as they can be habit-forming and have a potential for abuse. Halazepam is no longer available in either its brand or generic forms. For this reason, any halazepam you encounter is likely to be either long-expired or counterfeit.
Article at a Glance:
- Brand-name Paxipam and its generic version halazepam are no longer produced.
- Benzos like Paxipam work by calming the brain.
- As a controlled substance, benzos like Paxipam can put you at risk for abuse, dependence and addiction.
- Paxipam has a drowsiness side effect.
- Benzos like Paxipam should never be stopped cold-turkey due to the risk of withdrawal symptoms. Instead, they should only be stopped under medical supervision.
Benzos like Paxipam are often abused because of the calming effects that the drug has on the brain. All benzodiazepines enhance the effect of GABA, which is a neurotransmitter that depresses the central nervous system, relieving anxiety. The effects may be beneficial short-term but carry risks with short-term and long-term use.
When the brain is repeatedly exposed to the effects of a benzo, it changes its chemistry to adapt to the drug’s presence. In turn, the brain becomes reliant on the benzo, and trying to cope with life without the benzo becomes increasingly difficult. That’s how addiction and dependence arise, resulting in compulsive, uncontrolled benzo use.
Signs, Symptoms & Side Effects of Abuse
Signs of addiction can emerge early when a person starts depending on a benzo like Paxipam to function. Benzos are linked to a variety of physical and psychological effects, including:
- Memory problems
- Changes in mood, including both relaxation and hostile behavior
- Vivid or troubling dreams
Other symptoms can be common to all drugs of abuse and can include:
- Withdrawing from social contacts
- Spending excessive time with new friends
- Ignoring once-pleasurable activities
- Irregular sleep habits
- Missing appointments or deadlines
- Having problems at work, school or with family
- Reckless behavior
- Legal troubles
Over time, abusing benzos like Paxipam can lead to lifestyle complications, adverse side effects and health concerns. This includes the risk of overdose, especially when multiple substances are taken together, like benzos and opioids.
Benzos like Paxipam have been implicated in many overdose deaths, especially when mixed with opioids. More than 30% of opioid deaths also involve benzos. A benzo overdose is a medical emergency and can be fatal. If you think someone is overdosing on a benzo, you should seek medical attention immediately: the opioid reversal agent naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, will not work on Paxipam or any other benzo.
Signs of a Paxipam overdose include:
- Severe drowsiness
- Coordination and reflex problems
- Slowed breathing
Paxipam and Alcohol
Paxipam should never be mixed with alcohol. Because both benzos and alcohol are depressants, they can enhance each other’s side effects, leading to a dangerous slowing down of the central nervous system. Combining a benzo with alcohol or opioids can increase the risk of a serious outcome by up to 55%.
Paxipam Withdrawal & Detox
If you’ve been using a benzo like Paxipam for a long time and have become dependent, it is important to not stop cold turkey. Doing so can increase the risk of serious withdrawal symptoms. The best thing to do is talk to a doctor, who can advise you on the best ways to taper down your dosage. Tapering off a drug can help reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, your doctor may switch you to a long-acting benzo and then taper the dose of that benzo.
Paxipam withdrawal can be complex, with symptoms that wax, wane and fluctuate. Possible symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Impaired concentration and memory
- Achy or tense muscles
In severe cases, people may experience psychosis, hallucinations or seizures in benzodiazepine withdrawal. Only undergo benzo detox under medical supervision.
In medical detox, you are admitted to a professional facility to be weaned off Paxipam under 24/7 medical supervision. This minimizes the risk of severe symptoms like seizures, as they can be prevented or quickly treated. A medical detox program provides an opportunity for a safer, more comfortable benzo withdrawal experience.
Paxipam Addiction Treatment
The general objective of any benzo treatment program is to help people stop relying on benzo to face life, so therapy plays a big role in benzo addiction treatment. This can include individual and group therapy.
Benzo addiction treatment and rehabilitation can occur in many different settings. These can include:
- Inpatient rehab, where you put outside life on pause and live at the facility while getting treatment for your benzo addiction
- Outpatient rehab, where you live at home and participate in therapy at the facility either in person or via teletherapy
- Aftercare, which is a lifelong process that starts after rehab is complete, including support groups and relapse prevention plans so you can continue a benzo-free life
Choosing an Addiction Rehab Center
Top facilities will usually offer medical detox, then a seamless transition into the actual addiction treatment. It’s also important to address co-occurring mental health disorders. Sometimes, people take benzos like Paxipam to self-medicate an underlying mental health issue. These underlying mental health issues must be fully addressed and treated to increase the chances of a successful Paxipam rehab experience.
An effective addiction treatment and rehab program should be individualized. There is no one specific, universal approach that works well for all people struggling with Paxipam. An individualized program focuses on you as a whole person. You work with your addiction care team to create relationships and bonds. An individualized Paxipam addiction treatment plan is also fluid and can evolve as your needs change.
Recovering from a benzo addiction is possible, even if it’s to a discontinued drug, such as Paxipam. With help, many people recover and go on to live fulfilling lives. The Recovery Village is here to help you start your benzo-free life. Contact us today to discuss treatment options that may work well for you.
FAQs & Related
Generally, doctors do not recommend benzos like Paxipam during pregnancy because experts think benzos may have risks to the fetus, including birth defects. Before starting or stopping any medication during pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor to weigh the risks and benefits.
Paxipam has not been commercially available for more than a decade, so any drug that is labeled Paxipam is long-expired or counterfeit. This makes it difficult to predict how long a Paxipam dose would stay in your system.
Drug Enforcement Administration. “Benzodiazepines.” April 2020. Accessed September 24, 2020.
Food and Drug Administration. “FDA-Approved Drugs.” Accessed September 24, 2020.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “What are some signs and symptoms of someone with a drug use problem?” Accessed September 24, 2020.
Tinker, Sarah C; Reefhuis, Jennita; Bitsko, Rebecca H; et al. “Use of benzodiazepine medications during pregnancy and potential risk for birth defects, National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997–2011.” Birth Defects Research, March 19, 2019. Accessed September 24, 2020.
Drugbank. “Halazepam.” Accessed September 24, 2020.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Benzodiazepines and Opioids.” March 15, 2018. Accessed September 24, 2020.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Benzodiazepines in Combination with Opioid Pain Relievers or Alcohol: Greater Risk of More Serious ED Visit Outcomes.” December 18, 2014. Accessed September 24, 2020.
National Center for PTSD. “Effective Treatments for PTSD: Helping Patients Taper from Benzodiazepines.” January 2015. Accessed September 24, 2020.
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.