Cautionary Advise Regarding “Benzo” Drugs for Lyme Patients Benzodiazepines can present special challenges for people with Lyme disease.

By Dr. Jennifer Leigh
Benzodiazepines — often called “benzos” — are depressants that produce sedation and hypnosis, relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, and reduce seizures. The most common benzodiazepines are Valium®, Xanax®, Halcion®, Ativan®, and Klonopin®. Unfortunately, such drugs can present special challenges for people with Lyme disease.

Jennifer Leigh, PhD I work with clients who were put on a benzodiazepine to cope with their Lyme disease symptoms. This article is for them and their healthcare providers.

Lyme disease and benzodiazepine withdrawal (BWD) are two medical conditions that can significantly impact an individual’s health. While the two may seem unrelated, recent research has shown a potential connection between the two.

Unfortunately, many medical professionals are uneducated about the dangers and damages of benzodiazepines and prescribe them to Lyme patients. They don’t know that the benzodiazepine may worsen Lyme symptoms or create new uncomfortable and frightening symptoms.

To add to the confusion, symptoms of Lyme and benzodiazepine often mimic one another, causing the Lyme/BWD sufferer anguish and confusion about what is happening in their bodies. Let’s explore the connection between Lyme disease and benzodiazepine withdrawal.

Lyme disease

Lyme and Benzodiazepine withdrawalLyme disease, a tick-borne illness, is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. This disease manifests through many symptoms, such as insomnia, fatigue, fever, and joint pain. The inflammation induced by the bacterium can potentially interfere with the production and function of neurotransmitters in the brain, which regulate mood and emotions. Consequently, individuals may experience anxiety, depression, and irritability.

Moreover, the chronic nature of Lyme disease and its effect on daily living can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress. Doctors may prescribe a benzodiazepine for anxiety and insomnia, putting a Lyme sufferer at more risk for more ill health and a prolonged recovery………Join or login below to continue reading.

You must be a member to access this content.

If you are already a member, log in below. Otherwise, become a member today to access the full content of this article and the full library of Lyme Times articles.
* Physician Directory Memberships do not have access to the Lyme Times.