“Short-acting benzodiazepines are generally used for patients with sleep-onset insomnia (difficulty falling asleep) without daytime anxiety. Shorter-acting drugs used to manage insomnia include estazolam (ProSom®), flurazepam (Dalmane®), temazepam (Restoril®), and triazolam (Halcion®). Midazolam (Versed®), a short-acting benzodiazepine, is utilized for sedation, anxiety, and amnesia in critical care settings and prior to anesthesia. It is available in the United States as an injectable preparation and as a syrup (primarily for pediatric patients).


Benzodiazepines with a longer duration of action are utilized to treat insomnia in patients with daytime anxiety. These drugs include alprazolam (Xanax®), chlordiazepoxide (librium®), clorazepate (Tranxene®), diazepam (Valium®, halazepam (Paxipam®), lorazepam (Ativan®), oxazepam (Serax®), prazepam (Centrax®), and quazepam (Doral®). Clonazepam (Klonopin®), diazepam, and clorazepate are also used as anticonvulsants.”

More information in the Prescription Drug Booklet

Other Sources:

  1. Depressants (Drug Enforcement Administration)
    Drug Fact Sheet  Overview  Benzodiazepines are depressants that produce sedation, induce sleep, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, and prevent seizures. Street names …
  2. Depressants and Pregnancy (Organization of Teratology Information Specialists)   
    Benzodiazepines and Pregnancy In every pregnancy, a woman starts out with a 3-5% chance of having … risk. This sheet talks about whether exposure to benzodiazepines may increase the risk for birth defects over …
  3. Toxicology screen 
    Barbiturates – Amphetamines – screen; Analgesics – screen; Antidepressants – screen; Narcotics – screen; Phenothiazines – screen; Drug abuse screen; Blood alcohol test
  4. Medicines for sleep 
     Sedatives; Hypnotics; Sleeping pills
  5. Drug-Poisoning Deaths Involving Opioid Analgesics: the United States, 1999-2011 (National Center for Health Statistics)  
    … of all opioid-analgesic poisoning deaths in 2007.
  6. Sleeping Pills for Insomnia: Which Ones Work Best? (Consumers Union of U.S.)  
    … as regular-strength zolpidem.
  7. Anxiety Disorders: Types, Diagnosis, and Treatment | NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine 
    … inhibitors (MAOIs) are also used for anxiety disorders.
  8. Delirium (Merck & Co., Inc.)  
    … may increase the risk of stroke and death.  Benzodiazepines (a type of sedative—see Treatment and … due to withdrawal from a sedative or alcohol.

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