In countries where is a prescription medication (Japan, India, and Italy), etizolam uses commonly includes the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. It has also been used to treat insomnia and, unlike benzodiazepines, may be useful for people who have generalized anxiety disorders with depressive symptoms. Etizolam may have other valid medical uses, including use to minimize bleeding after neurosurgery and to reduce bronchoconstriction in emphysema and asthma.
Recreationally, high doses of are taken for the resulting feelings of relaxed euphoria. Like benzodiazepines, gives users the feeling that “everything [is] going to be OK.” Users often report that they feel like they are floating. Unfortunately, these feelings lead first-time users to continue to use , and regular use leads to tolerance, dependence, and addiction.
Administration & Dosage
In countries where etizolam is a prescription drug, etizolam dosage is generally between 0.5 mg and 2 mg per day and is administered orally. Although studies to clarify pharmacology and pharmacokinetics in humans remain underway, some reports indicate that etizolam is up to 10 times more potent than diazepam (a benzodiazepine). However, data on the toxicology of etizolam compared to diazepam are conflicting. Rarely, people who abuse etizolam may take it in other ways, including inhalation, rectal suppository, or via injection.
Much more importantly, overdose can be fatal. is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that is often taken with other CNS depressants, including alcohol or opioids. When CNS depressants are combined, the odds of overdose increase dramatically.
Overdoses are associated with unconsciousness, respiratory depression, extremely slow heart rate, and arrhythmia, coma, and death. There is currently no empirically validated treatment for overdose, although the drug, flumazenil, competitively binds to the same place that and benzodiazepines bind (namely, GABA receptors in the brain) and can help to reverse the effects of overdose.
Etizolam Side Effects
IIt works by enhancing signaling of a chemical in the brain called GABA, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning that it reduces brain activity. is thus quite effective at reducing anxiety and preventing panic attacks. However, too much inhibitory neurotransmission leads to such low levels of brain activity that normal physiological functions, including breathing, are inhibited.
When taken therapeutically (that is, at doses and frequencies that would be prescribed to treat anxiety or panic disorders), the most commonly reported side effects of etizolam are drowsiness, sleepiness and muscle weakness. Serious adverse side effects of are often associated with abuse and include loss of coordination, slurred speech, confusion, and unconsciousness. Regular abuse has been significantly linked to something called blepharospasm, especially in women. Blepharospasm is a medical term that refers to abnormal eyelid spasms that progress in intensity and frequency as time goes on.
When etizolam is combined with other drugs that slow brain function (CNS depressants), the result can be dangerous, even lethal. When is taken with alcohol, opioids, or benzodiazepines, the net effect can be synergistic, meaning that the drug combination has a greater overall effect than any of the drugs would have had if they were taken independently. The outcomes of polysubstance abuse including is often severe respiratory depression and dangerously slow heart rate. Many deaths that are associated with benzodiazepine or etizolam overdoses involve other drugs and are caused when people fall unconscious and their breathing and heart rate become so slow that they enter into a comatose state, eventually leading to death.
How Long Will Etizolam Stay in Your System?
The etizolam half-life is 3.4 hours, but this has been shown to vary quite a bit depending on the amount taken and the metabolism of the person who is using it. Larger doses of etizolam are associated with longer half-lives, with one report finding that the etizolam half-life can be as long as 15 hours.
Consequently, etizolam detection time can range from approximately a day and a half to more than 6 days. In addition, metabolism produces at least one byproduct which can be measured for approximately three and a half days. It should be noted that these tests all sampled blood. Currently, the most popular drug testing companies do not provide specific etizolam drug tests. However, drug testing protocols are being evaluated and preliminary results show that testing for is easy to do and the results are reliable.
There are over-the-counter “dipstick” type tests that can evaluate whether benzodiazepines are present in urine or other fluids. Because etizolam has a chemical structure that is similar to benzodiazepines, it is possible that a dipstick type test will deliver a positive result if someone has used etizolam recently. However, these tests are not approved for use as employment or court-ordered drug testing.
Is Etizolam Addictive?
Because etizolam is a relatively new drug that has not been well-studied, there have been few clinical trials that evaluated the potential for dependence and addiction. However, mounting preliminary data indicates that etizolam has a high risk of dependence and has a relatively high potential for abuse. In addition, anecdotal reports and case studies released from hospital emergency departments indicate that etizolam is addictive and can have dangerous, even lethal consequences. Currently, a number of European and Asian countries are the major source of data on adverse effects associated with etizolam abuse. On the domestic front, however, the American College of Emergency Physicians published a 2015 editorial seeking to highlight the increasing risk of etizolam abuse and overdose in the US.
Further underscoring that is associated with addiction is the finding that rapid cessation leads to withdrawal symptoms that are similar to those seen in cases of benzodiazepine withdrawal, including irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, anhedonia, heart palpitations, insomnia and panic attacks. Extreme cases of benzodiazepine withdrawal can cause hallucinations, delusions and even seizures; it is likely that etizolam will be empirically found to have similar symptoms.