Midazolam, a powerful sedative

Midazolam, a powerful sedative

Midazolam, better known as Dormicum, is a widely used medication, but there are those who are not sure what it is used for, what its effects are and why use this medicine and not similar ones such as lorazepam or the diazepam. In this post we want to end all those doubts. Go for it!


  • 1 What is Midazolam
  • 2 Uses of Midazolam
  • 3 Side effects of using Midazolam

What is Midazolam

Midazolam is a type of benzodiazepine. Is about medicines with psychoactive effects, which are used to treat anxiety, among many other things. They are within the so-called "minor tranquilizers", which are different from the so-called major tranquilizers, also known as anxiolytics.

Has sedative, hypnotic, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and even anxiolytic effects. They are ideal for treating agitation, insomnia or some withdrawal syndromes, among many others.

Benzodiazepines are classified into three types, depending on the duration of their effects:

  • Short acting: between 1 and 12 hours. They are not suitable for anxiety disorder treatments that have been going on for a long time. On the contrary, they are the ones that act most quickly in situations that need an immediate response, such as anxiety crisis or insomnia.
  • Intermediate action: between 12 and 40 hours. Although they act quickly, they do not act as instantaneously as those with short action. It is appropriate in bridge or intermediate situations.
  • Long acting: between 40 and 250 hours. They are perfect for treating anxiety disorders. However, it must be taken into account that its remains remain a long time in the body, which can cause sedative effects due to the accumulation of these residues.

These medications they act on the neurotransmitters of the brain and on the Central Nervous System. They are indirect agonists of gamma-aminobutyric acid, better known as GABA. It is a neurotransmitter that helps brain management.

This type of medication causes the GABA to have an even greater influence on the system. The consequence is that it has a very direct influence on the treatment of anxiety, since it lowers the activation levels that cause anxiety symptoms.

Uses of Midazolam

This potent drug is used mostly in a clinical and hospital environment to cause more or less deep sedation in cases of certain medical interventions that generate discomfort or pain, such as digestive endoscopies (gastroscopy, colonoscopy and others), bronchoscopy, small surgeries and other more or less invasive procedures that, in principle, do not require general anesthesia, but a superficial sedation to avoid discomfort. It is also administered as an adjunct to general anesthesia. In these cases, its route of administration is intravenous and should always be supervised by an anesthesiologist.

In the form of a pill it is used less and first of all, it must be said that this type of medication should always be prescribed by a doctor. Therefore, if you have doubts about whether you should use it or not, It is best to see a specialist who diagnoses the most appropriate treatment and recommended doses.

In any case, these medications are used to treat:

  1. Anxiety episodes: This is perhaps the type of disorder that most leads to the use of Midazolam. Keep in mind that this is a fast-acting medication, so it is perfect in those cases in which anxiety flows with special virulence.
  2. Insomnia: There are many types of insomnia, and Midazolam is not intended for all of them. When it is useful it is in those cases in which the problem is in the difficulty to fall asleep. Its sedative effects help to end that problem.
  3. Seizures and motor agitation: In cases of episodes of seizures, the inhibition of neuronal excitation that these medications carry out is a great way to end them or mitigate them.

Side effects of using Midazolam

Like any other medication, Midazolam has side effects. That does not mean that anyone who takes it will suffer them all, but that Someone in some case may suffer one or more of these symptoms.

The most prominent are the following:

  • Addiction: This is undoubtedly the most dangerous, as it usually happens. Therefore, you should never end them abruptly, but with a gradual reduction of doses.
  • Overdose: An overdose of this type of medication can be very serious, although not usually fatal. You should never exceed the indicated doses.
  • Abstinence syndrome: related to the addiction it creates. If you end it abruptly, insomnia rebounds, headaches or even anxiety may appear.
  • Sleep, malaise, stunning: One of the most common side effects of Midazolam is the sensation of sedation. Keep in mind that one of your goals is to sedate and reassure, so it seems logical that symptoms may appear as well.
  • Memory problems: Although it is not usual, it is true that consuming benzodiazepines can lead to habitual memory losses. Although it is not serious, it should be clear that it can occur.
  • Counter reaction: It is not usual either, but sometimes these medications produce the opposite effect of what is sought (especially in the elderly).
  • You can slow your breathing or stop it, especially if the person has recently consumed a medication narcotic (opioid)

For all this, Midazolam is mainly administered in hospitals, health centers or other clinical environment where its vital signs can be observed closely.

We hope that this complete guide on Midazolam has helped you to know everything you need about this medicine.