Which medications in the drug class Benzodiazepine Toxicity Antidotes are used in the treatment of Hypoventilation Syndromes?

Updated: Jul 22, 2021
  • Author: Jazeela Fayyaz, DO; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Benzodiazepine Toxicity Antidotes

These drugs are used to reverse the CNS-depressant effects of benzodiazepine overdose. Their ability to reverse benzodiazepine-induced respiratory depression is less predictable.

Flumazenil (Romazicon)

Flumazenil reverses the effects of benzodiazepines in an overdose by selectively antagonizing the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)/benzodiazepine receptor complex. If the patient who is overdosed has not responded after 5 minutes of administering a cumulative dose of 5 mg, the cause of sedation is not likely due to benzodiazepines.

Flumazenil is short acting, with a half-life of 0.7-1.3 hours. However, because most benzodiazepines have longer half-lives, multiple doses should be administered to avoid relapse into a sedative state. Flumazenil also has a risk for provoking seizures. 

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