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9 Need to Know Facts about Common Psychotropic Medications

A psychotropic medication is any medication that alters the chemicals in the brain and consequently impacts emotions and behaviors.  The word, “psychotropic” comes from the Greek word psycho (mind) and tropic (turning), which in combination refer to the capability of turning the mind. These medications can be used to treat a variety of conditions including depression, bipolar, anxiety, ADHD, and psychosis.

While psychotropic medications can help people return to leading a productive and fulfilling life, they can have serious side effects and need to be carefully monitored by a physician…


1. Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines (Benzo’s) are a class of drug used to treat anxiety, insomnia, agitation, seizures, muscle spasms, and alcohol withdrawal. These drugs act by enhancing the effect of the neurotransmitter aminobutyric acid (GABA). This results in sedative, anti-anxiety, anti-convulsant and muscle relaxing properties.

Common Benzodiazepines include medications such as diazepam, oxazepam, and lorazepam. They can be classified as short, medium, or long acting. Short acting benzos are used to treat insomnia while longer acting drugs are used for anxiety.


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