← Back

Benzodiazepines

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Generally mild to severe

Common signs to watch for:

  • Severe sedation
  • Incoordination
  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Respiratory depression
  • Cardiovascular depression

Print Friendly

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs used in both human and veterinary medicine as sedatives/hypnotics. They are also used as anti-anxiety medications, anti-convulsants (e.g., anti-seizure drugs), and as muscle relaxants. These drugs work by increasing the release of and/or facilitation of neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) activity. When dogs and cats get into a toxic amount of benzodiazepines, clinical signs of severe sedation, incoordination, aggression, agitation, nausea, and vomiting may be seen. In severe cases, respiratory and cardiovascular depression may be seen.

Poison type: Medications

Alternate names: alprazolam, Xanax, clonazepam, Klonopin, lorazepam, Ativan, diazepam, Valium, midazolam, Versed, nitrazepam, oxazepam, pinazepam, prazepam, zolazepam