Which medications in the drug class Benzodiazepines are used in the treatment of Lewy Body Dementia?

Updated: Aug 08, 2019
  • Author: Howard A Crystal, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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By binding to specific receptor sites, these agents appear to potentiate the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and to facilitate inhibitory GABA neurotransmission and other inhibitory transmitters.

Clonazepam (Klonopin)

Clonazepam is a long-acting benzodiazepine that increases presynaptic GABA inhibition and reduces monosynaptic and polysynaptic reflexes. It suppresses muscle contractions by facilitating inhibitory GABA neurotransmission and other inhibitory transmitters. Clonazepam has multiple indications, including the suppression of myoclonic, akinetic, or petit mal seizure activity and focal or generalized dystonias (eg, tardive dystonia). The drug reaches peak plasma concentration at 2-4 hours after oral or rectal administration.

In patients who are dependent, clonazepam is used in a manner similar to phenobarbital to smoothly wean patients from short-acting benzodiazepines. The general principle is that sedatives with longer half-lives have less severe withdrawal symptoms. Various schemes are used to individualize the dose to the patient. If symptoms are severe enough to require inpatient treatment, intravenous lorazepam or diazepam is used.

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