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Type Psychoactive
Legal Status Class C
Nitrazepam is a benzodiazepine which is used in difficulty sleeping.
The primary toxicity of benzodiazepines is CNS depression; the effects are potentially more severe when co-ingested with alcohol and other CNS depressants.
Short Term Effects
Benzodiazepines commonly cause drowsiness, ataxia, dysarthria and nystagmus. Coma, hypotension, bradycardia and respiratory depression occasionally occur but are seldom serious if these drugs are taken alone. Coma usually lasts only a few hours but may be prolonged in elderly patients. Co-ingestion of alcohol and other central nervous system depressants potentiates the effects of benzodiazepines and can increase toxicity.
Death Data
Deaths have been reported following nitrazepam overdose in two patients with advanced chronic disease (Brodsgaard et al, 1995).