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- Molecular formula: C9H8N2
- Molar mass: 144.173
- CAS Registry Number: Not available
- Appearance: Not available
- Melting point: Not available
- Boiling point: Not available
- Solubility: Not available
- Safety sheet: Not available
- Spectra: Check on SDBS. Add Spectra (Help).
Benzodiazepines (BZD, BZs), sometimes called "benzos", are a class of psychoactive drugs whose core chemical structure is the fusion of a benzene ring and a diazepine ring. The first such drug, chlordiazepoxide (Librium), was discovered accidentally by Leo Sternbach in 1955, and made available in 1960 by Hoffmann–La Roche, which, since 1963, has also marketed the benzodiazepine diazepam (Valium).
Benzodiazepines enhance the effect of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) at the GABAA receptor, resulting in sedative, hypnotic (sleep-inducing), anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant properties. High doses of many shorter-acting benzodiazepines may also cause anterograde amnesia and dissociation.
There is controversy concerning the safety of benzodiazepines in pregnancy. While they are not major teratogens, uncertainty remains as to whether they cause cleft palate in a small number of babies and whether neurobehavioural effects occur as a result of prenatal exposure; Benzodiazepines are commonly misused and taken in combination with other drugs of abuse.
1H-1,2-Benzodiazepine (IUPAC Name)