Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines

medications

Alternate names

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

Toxicity to pets

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, in-coordination, aggression, agitation, nausea, and vomiting may be seen. In severe cases, respiratory and cardiovascular depression may be seen.

Common signs to watch for:

  • Severe sedation
  • In-coordination
  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Respiratory depression
  • Cardiovascular depression
Benzodiazepines

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Disclaimer

The content of this page is not veterinary advice. A number of factors (amount of substance ingested, size of the animal, allergies, etc.) determine what is toxic to a particular pet. If you think your pet has eaten something potentially toxic, call Pet Poison Helpline or seek immediate veterinary treatment.