Recovery Begins Here
Call 24/7 (844) 318-7500
We’re open every day 24/7
Get help now
Free & confidential
(844) 318-7500

Etizolam Side Effects: Short-Term and Long-Term Effects

Etizolam is a drug that is similar to benzodiazepines. It is classified as a type of hypnotic and sedative. It works to reduce anxiety and cause euphoria and sedation. A doctor might prescribe this medicine for depression, insomnia, anxiety, and panic disorder.

People who are using this medicine need to understand the potential side effects. This ensures that people who are using this drug as prescribed are properly informed. This information can also help those using the drug recreationally to know when it is time to seek treatment.

Since this medication works similarly to a benzodiazepine, the side effects are like those people experience with benzodiazepine drugs. 

Common Short-Term Side Effects

Whether someone is taking this drug as prescribed or using it recreationally, certain side effects are considered common. When used as prescribed, these side effects are usually considered to be short term. They typically go away after the person’s body adjusts to this medication.
The most commonly reported side effect is daytime drowsiness, according to research published in Current Medical Research and Opinion. This side effect may lessen as someone continues to use this medication.

Other common side effects may include:

  • Sedation
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Unsteadiness

The following side effects may last for a short period, but it is possible for them to persist. If any of the following side effects, or the above common side effects, get worse or do not go away, the person should consult their doctor:

  • Transient drowsiness (usually only occurs during the first few days of using this medicine as prescribed)
  • Loss of orientation
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Excitement
  • Feelings of depression
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Aggression
  • Memory impairment

Potentially Serious Side Effects

Any of the side effects of this drug can be potentially serious for some people. For example, if side effects like headache or memory impairment persist, they can have a profound effect on a person’s life. 

All people using this medicine should monitor their side effects. If they notice that one is getting worse, they should alert their doctor right away. If someone experiences any of the dangerous side effects, they should either immediately contact their doctor or obtain emergency medical treatment, depending on the specific issue.

Other side effects that can be serious may include:

  • Changes in vision
  • Weight gain
  • Trembling
  • Birth defects if a pregnant woman takes this medication

Dangerous Side Effects

When someone is taking this medication, they need to be aware of the side effects that are considered dangerous.

Should any of these effects occur, the person should immediately seek emergency medical treatment.

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Uncontrolled leg or arm shaking
  • Visual disturbances

These side effects are considered rare. They can indicate a very serious issue with a person’s health, so they must be evaluated right away.

It is important to know what the potential symptoms of an overdose are. If these effects occur, it is essential that the person who is experiencing them get immediate medical attention. Some of the symptoms of an overdose are nonspecific, so it can sometimes be difficult to recognize one, making it more dangerous.

Possible symptoms of an overdose, according to Medscape, are:

  • Agitation
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Blurry vision
  • Confusion

The following also might be discovered upon examination of a person who has overdosed on this drug:

  • Hallucinations
  • Ataxia
  • Hypotonia
  • Altered mental status
  • Paradoxical agitation
  • Nystagmus
  • Slurred speech
  • Coma
  • Weakness
  • Amnesia
  • Low blood pressure
  • Respiratory depression

Long-Term Side Effects

While tolerance to and dependence on etizolam is less likely compared to certain other benzodiazepines, they can still occur. The reduced risk is because this drug is quickly eliminated from the body. 

If someone abuses this drug, there is a chance they can develop a dependence or addiction.

Should they abruptly stop taking the medicine, it could lead to the side effects of withdrawal such as:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle tension
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability

While not as common, the following are also possible when someone with experiencing withdrawal:

  • Nausea
  • Blurry vision
  • Nightmares
  • Muscle coordination issues
  • Muscle spasms or twitching
  • Delusions
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Malaise
  • Sweating
  • Depression
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

Withdrawal from this type of drug can be potentially fatal, according to research published in Emergency Medicine News. Because of this, people who are planning to stop using this medicine after using it long term should seek treatment so they can go through a medically supervised detox process. 

Other possible long-term effects may include:

  • Coma
  • Respiratory depression
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slowed heart rate

When this medication is taken alone, these effects, except coma, may not be serious. However, if someone is using another drug with them, there is the potential for further adverse health effects. 

Mitigating the Side Effects

Even when someone is using this medicine exactly as prescribed, side effects are possible. There are some things that people can do to mitigate the side effects and reduce the risk of them becoming particularly bothersome.

Taking the medicine exactly as prescribed is imperative for reducing the risk of side effects. If they do occur, they tend to be more severe when someone takes higher doses than they are prescribed.

People should make sure to let their doctor know about all side effects, too. The doctor can help them to determine if there are ways to alleviate them or if the effects are too serious to allow the person to keep taking the medication.

The following can play a role in drug side effects, according to Drugs.com:

  • Limiting alcohol intake or not drinking at all can help to reduce side effects like nausea and drowsiness.
  • Making sure not to eat any foods that can interact with the medicine can prevent interaction effects.
  • Not smoking cigarettes can help to reduce the risk of certain side effects.
  • Making sure to stay hydrated is beneficial.
  • Making sure to fully understand the medicine and how to properly take it can reduce the risk of taking too much and experiencing effects related to this problem.

If certain side effects are particularly bothersome, the person should talk to their doctor. There might be a secondary medication that can help to reduce side effects. For example, if this medication causes someone to experience nausea, taking an antiemetic or following a bland diet can help to reduce this effect. 

Ready to get Help?

Talk to a treatment expert

If someone is using this medication as prescribed, but the side effects are bothersome or harming their health, they should talk to their doctor about making adjustments. Those using this drug recreationally should seek treatment to help them stop taking the drug.

Sources

(1990) Etizolam in the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Double-Blind Study Versus Placebo. Current Medical Research and Opinion. Retrieved January 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1981698

Benzodiazepines. RxList. Retrieved January 2019 from https://www.rxlist.com/benzodiazepines/drugs-condition.htm#side%20effects

Benzodiazepine Toxicity. Medscape. Retrieved January 2019 from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/813255-overview#a1

(December 2001) Benzodiazepine Withdrawal: Potentially Fatal, Commonly Missed Following Benzodiazepine Cessation, Withdrawal Symptoms May Begin Within 24 Hours or Take Up to Two Weeks to Develop. Emergency Medicine News. Retrieved January 2019 from https://journals.lww.com/em-news/fulltext/2001/12000/Benzodiazepine_Withdrawal__Potentially_Fatal,.13.aspx

Information Sheet Etizolam. Scottish Drugs Forum. Retrieved January 2019 from https://www.nhsaaa.net/media/4654/etizolam_infosheet_sdf_drugwatch1_1-2.pdf

Managing Common Drug Side Effects. Drugs.com. Retrieved January 2019 from https://www.drugs.com/article/drug-side-effects.html

Have Questions? Call 24/7.
Calling Is Free & Confidential.

(844) 318-7500

COVID-19 Advisory: We are accepting patients and offering telehealth options. Click here for more information.