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Fatal overdose may occur when thienodiazepines are combined with other depressants such as opiates, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, gabapentinoids, alcohol or other GABAergic substances.[1]

It is strongly discouraged to combine these substances, particularly in common to heavy doses.


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The general structure of Thienodiazepines.

A thienodiazepine is a heterocyclic compound containing a diazepine ring fused to a thiophene ring. The thienodiazepine ring structure forms the central core of several pharmaceutical drugs. Since thienodiazepines interact with the benzodiazepine receptor site, they typically have similar effects as benzodiazepines and can be considered as essentially identical.

Similar to benzodiazepines, the sudden discontinuation of thienodiazepines can be potentially dangerous or life-threatening for individuals using regularly for extended periods of time, sometimes resulting in seizures or death. It is highly recommended to taper one's dose by gradually lowering the amount taken each day for a prolonged period of time instead of stopping abruptly.[2]

Subjective effects

Disclaimer: The effects listed below cite the Subjective Effect Index (SEI), an open research literature based on anecdotal user reports and the personal analyses of PsychonautWiki contributors. As a result, they should be viewed with a healthy degree of skepticism.

It is also worth noting that these effects will not necessarily occur in a predictable or reliable manner, although higher doses are more liable to induce the full spectrum of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become increasingly likely with higher doses and may include addiction, severe injury, or death ☠.

Physical effects

Paradoxical effects

Cognitive effects

List of substituted thienodiazepines

Compound R1 R2 R5 R7 Structure
Metizolam CH=N- =N- C6H4Cl CH2CH3 Metizolam.svg
Deschloroetizolam C(CH3)=N- =N- C6H5 CH2CH3 Deschloroetizolam.svg
Etizolam C(CH3)=N- =N- C6H4Cl CH2CH3 Etizolam.svg
Brotizolam C(CH3)=N- =N- C6H4Cl Br Brotizolam.svg
Fluclotizolam C(CH3)=N- =N- C6H4F Cl Fluclotizolam.svg

Preparation methods

  • Volumetric liquid dosing - If one's thienodiazepines are in powder form, they are unlikely to weigh out accurately without the most expensive of scales due to their extreme potency. To avoid this, one can dissolve the thienodiazepine volumetrically into a solution so as to dose it accurately based upon the instructions described in this tutorial.

Toxicity and harm potential

Benzodiazepines and thienodiazepines are essentially identical in their pharmacological action, subjective effects, toxicity and harm potential. They can therefore be treated similarly in the appropriate efforts necessary to maximize harm reduction.

Radar plot showing relative physical harm, social harm, and dependence of benzodiazepines in comparison to other drugs.[7]

Lethal dosage

The median lethal dosage varies widely between specific substances within the thienzodiazepine class. For this reason, one should always fully research the substance before administering it to themselves or others.

It is strongly recommended that one use harm reduction practices when using these substances.

Tolerance and addiction potential

Tolerance will develop to the sedative-hypnotic effects within a couple of days.[8] Withdrawal symptoms or rebound symptoms may occur after ceasing usage abruptly following a few weeks or longer of steady dosing, and may necessitate a gradual dose reduction.[9] [10]


Similar to benzodiazepines, thienodiazepine discontinuation is notoriously difficult; it is potentially life-threatening for individuals using regularly to discontinue use without tapering their dose over a period of weeks. There is an increased risk of high blood pressure, seizures, and death.[11] Drugs which lower the seizure threshold such as tramadol should be avoided during withdrawal. Abrupt discontinuation also causes rebound stimulation which presents as anxiety, insomnia and restlessness.

It is safest to reduce the dose each day by a very small amount, for a couple of weeks until close to abstinence. If using a short half-life thienodiazepine, a longer acting drug can be substituted. Symptoms may still be present, but their severity will be reduced significantly. For more information on tapering from thienodiazepine in a controlled manner, please see this guide. Small amounts of alcohol can also help to reduce the symptoms.

The duration and severity of withdrawal symptoms depend on a number of factors including the half-life of the drug used, tolerance and the duration of abuse. Major symptoms will usually start within just a few days after discontinuation and persist for around a week for shorter lasting thienodiazepines. Thienodiazepines with longer half-lives will exhibit withdrawal symptoms with a slow onset and extended duration.

See also

External links


  1. Risks of Combining Depressants - TripSit 
  2. Kahan, M., Wilson, L., Mailis-Gagnon, A., Srivastava, A. (November 2011). "Canadian guideline for safe and effective use of opioids for chronic noncancer pain. Appendix B-6: Benzodiazepine Tapering". Canadian Family Physician. 57 (11): 1269–1276. ISSN 0008-350X. 
  3. Saïas, T., Gallarda, T. (September 2008). "[Paradoxical aggressive reactions to benzodiazepine use: a review]". L’Encephale. 34 (4): 330–336. doi:10.1016/j.encep.2007.05.005. ISSN 0013-7006. 
  4. Paton, C. (December 2002). "Benzodiazepines and disinhibition: a review". Psychiatric Bulletin. 26 (12): 460–462. doi:10.1192/pb.26.12.460. ISSN 0955-6036. 
  5. Bond, A. J. (1 January 1998). "Drug- Induced Behavioural Disinhibition". CNS Drugs. 9 (1): 41–57. doi:10.2165/00023210-199809010-00005. ISSN 1179-1934. 
  6. Drummer, O. H. (February 2002). "Benzodiazepines - Effects on Human Performance and Behavior". Forensic Science Review. 14 (1–2): 1–14. ISSN 1042-7201. 
  7. Nutt, D., King, L. A., Saulsbury, W., Blakemore, C. (24 March 2007). "Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse". The Lancet. 369 (9566): 1047–1053. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60464-4. ISSN 0140-6736. 
  8. Janicak, P. G., Marder, S. R., Pavuluri, M. N. (25 October 2010). Principles and Practice of Psychopharmacotherapy. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 9781605475653. 
  9. Verster, J. C., Volkerts, E. R. (7 June 2006). "Clinical Pharmacology, Clinical Efficacy, and Behavioral Toxicity of Alprazolam: A Review of the Literature". CNS Drug Reviews. 10 (1): 45–76. doi:10.1111/j.1527-3458.2004.tb00003.x. ISSN 1080-563X. 
  10. Galanter, M., Kleber, H. D. (2008). The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment. American Psychiatric Pub. ISBN 9781585622764. 
  11. Lann, M. A., Molina, D. K. (June 2009). "A fatal case of benzodiazepine withdrawal". The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology. 30 (2): 177–179. doi:10.1097/PAF.0b013e3181875aa0. ISSN 1533-404X.