Benzodiazepines belong to the group of medicines called central nervous system (CNS) depressants (medicines that slow down the nervous system). Some benzodiazepines are used to relieve anxiety. However, benzodiazepines should not be used to relieve nervousness or tension caused by the stress of everyday life. Some benzodiazepines are used to treat insomnia (trouble in sleeping). However, if used regularly (for example, every day) for insomnia, they usually are not effective for more than a few weeks. Benzodiazepines may be habit-forming (causing mental or physical dependence), especially when taken for a long time or in high doses. Special precautions Allergies â€” tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to benzodiazepines. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes. Pregnancy â€” too much use of a benzodiazepine during pregnancy may cause the baby to become dependent on the medicine. This may lead to withdrawal side effects after birth. Also, use of benzodiazepines during pregnancy, especially during the last weeks, may cause body temperature problems, breathing problems, difficulty in feeding, drowsiness, or muscle weakness in the newborn infant. Breast-feeding â€” Benzodiazepines may pass into the breast milk and cause drowsiness, difficulty in feeding, and weight loss in nursing babies of mothers taking these medicines. Children â€” Most of the side effects of these medicines are more likely to occur in children, especially the very young. These patients are usually more sensitive than adults to the effects of benzodiazepines. Older adults â€” Most of the side effects of these medicines are more likely to occur in the elderly, who are usually more sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines. Other medical problems â€” the presence of other medical problems may affect the use of benzodiazepines. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially: Alcohol abuse (or history of) or Drug abuse or dependence (or history of)â€”Dependence on benzodiazepines may be more likely to develop Brain diseaseâ€”CNS depression and other side effects of benzodiazepines may be more likely to occur Difficulty in swallowing (in children) or Emphysema, asthma, bronchitis, or other chronic lung disease or Hyperactivity Mental depression Mental illness Myasthenia gravis Porphyria Sleep apnea (temporary stopping of breathing during sleep)â€”Benzodiazepines may make these conditions worse Epilepsy or history of seizuresâ€”Although some benzodiazepines are used in treating epilepsy, starting or suddenly stopping treatment with these medicines may increase seizures Glaucoma, acute narrow angleâ€”Benzodiazepines should NOT be used if you have this condition. Glaucoma, open angleâ€”Benzodiazepines can be used but your doctor should be monitoring your condition carefully. Kidney or liver diseaseâ€”Higher blood levels of benzodiazepines may result, increasing the chance that side effects will occur Side Effects of This Medicine Less common Anxiety; confusion (may be more common in the elderly); fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat ; lack of memory of events taking place after benzodiazepine is taken (may be more common with triazolam); mental depression Rare Abnormal thinking, including disorientation, delusions (holding false beliefs that cannot be changed by facts), or loss of sense of reality ; agitation; behavior changes, including aggressive behavior, bizarre behavior, decreased inhibition, or outbursts of anger; convulsions (seizures); hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there); hypotension (low blood pressure); muscle weakness; skin rash or itching ; sore throat, fever, and chills; trouble in sleeping; ulcers or sores in mouth or throat (continuing); uncontrolled movements of body, including the eyes; unusual bleeding or bruising ; unusual excitement, nervousness, or irritability ; unusual tiredness or weakness (severe); yellow eyes or skin. Symptoms of overdose Confusion (continuing); convulsions (seizures); drowsiness (severe) or coma; shakiness; slow heartbeat; slow reflexes; slurred speech (continuing) ; staggering; troubled breathing ; weakness (severe) Keep all appointment with your doctor. Do not let anyone else take your medicines.