Clorazepate is a generic drug, sold under the brand name Tranxene. Clorazepate is classified as a benzodiazepine, which is a psychoactive class of drugs. Tranxene is prescribed primarily to treat anxiety symptoms. It can also be used during alcohol withdrawal and for certain types of seizures. Benzodiazepines are classified as Schedule IV drugs in the U.S. This means the DEA believes they have accepted medical uses, and that while they may be psychologically addictive, the risk is low. Unfortunately, many people have realized that developing a psychological need for benzos is a real threat and all-too-common.
When Tranxene is administered, it affects something called GABA in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter responsible for having a calming effect on neuron activity. People with anxiety disorders may have a GABA deficiency, so Tranxene can artificially replicate its effects. The result is relaxation and in some cases drowsiness. For the most part, if these substances are taken as prescribed, people won’t develop a psychological disease causing them to crave the substances. For example, they’re short-term medications. Tranxene and other benzos like Xanax aren’t intended as ongoing or long-term medicines for anxiety, insomnia or other conditions they treat. This is because the longer someone uses them, the more likely they are to become psychologically addicted and physically dependent. Tranxene and drugs like it alter brain pathways over time. That alteration is what leads to the development of an addiction.
Another risk factor for Tranxene addiction is misusing the drug. Tranxene misuse could include taking a larger dose than what’s prescribed or taking doses more often. Misusing Tranxene can also include taking it without a prescription, taking it for longer than a doctor prescribes, or mixing it with other substances to feel high. Other symptoms of Tranxene misuse can include:
- Seeming drowsy at odd times
- Being impaired
- Cognitive and memory problems
- Slow reaction time
- Slurred speech
- Coordination problems
- Poor concentration
- Seeming to be in a stupor
Over time Tranxene misuse can cause other side effects. Long-term side effects of Tranxene misuse may include cognitive deterioration, particularly in older users, gastrointestinal problems and impaired memory and attention. People who are long-term abusers of benzos may also experience depression and changes in mood or mental health, as well as problems experiencing emotions.
An important consideration when discussing signs, symptoms and side effects of Tranxene misuse is polysubstance misuse. It is possible to misuse and be addicted to benzodiazepines on their own, but more often people have a polysubstance misuse issue. This means that they are simultaneously misusing or addicted to multiple drugs. For example, someone could misuse both Tranxene and alcohol or opioids. The risks of polysubstance misuse are even more significant than misusing a single drug. As an example, benzodiazepines and opioids depress the central nervous system. Combining them can lead to a fatal overdose. Polysubstance misuse also makes addiction treatment more complex.
If you or a loved one struggles with a benzodiazepine like Tranxene, or polysubstance use disorder, please call or contact The Recovery Village. We specialize in individualized treatment plans that create the best chance for a successful recovery.
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.