There is a large amount of benzodiazepines that are available for consumption. However, it should be borne in mind that the dosage of various types of benzodiazepines can differ up to 20 times. For example, 0.5 mg of Alprazolam is the same as 10 mg of Diazepam. A person who takes 6 mg of Alprazolam per day should take about 120 mg of Diazepam to get the same effect. When prescribing drugs, doctors do not always take into account these strong differences in dosage. Some doctors disagree with the comparative table of equivalent doses, which is given below. Often, patients who take such benzodiazepines as, for example, Ativan, Alpalam, Lorazepam or Clonazepam, believe that they have been given high enough doses. Therefore, you should always take into account the strength of the effect of various benzodiazepines, which is especially important when changing the drug (when switching from one drug to another).
Exposure and removal
Benzodiazepines also differ in pharmacodynamics: various drugs are differently deposited in the body (in the liver) and are removed from the body (with urine). The half-life is also not the same. Half-life is the time for which the concentration in the blood drops to half its maximum value after a single dose of the drug. This time differs for various people due to their individual characteristics.
Thus, the half-life of Triazolam takes only 2 to 5 hours. For diazepam, this time is from 20 to 100 hours, during which the active substance from diazepam is converted to dimethyl-diazepam. The half-life of dimethyl-diazepam, in turn, lasts 36 to 200 hours. This means that up to 200 hours after taking a single dose of diazepam, more than half of the active substance remains in the human blood. With a regular daily intake of the drug, the half-life process accelerates and takes less and less time. In addition, the individual characteristics of the person taking the drug affect the duration of exposure to benzodiazepine. Specifically for Ativan, the half-life is between 10 and 20 hours.
Note that traces of Ativan can be found in human hair. Hair stores information about each dose of the drug taken during the growth of this hair.
The effect of benzodiazepine and the strength of its effects on humans directly depend on the rate of its assimilation and half-life. The period when a person feels the effect of the drug is often shorter than half-life. A person clearly senses the effect of most benzodiazepines in just a few hours. In fact, the active substances continue to actively influence the body even after the person ceases to notice the changes. This “imperceptible” exposure is a risk with prolonged use of the drug, and also after a person stops taking benzodiazepine.