Benzodiazepines: How To Avoid Interactions And Nutrient Depletions

Benzodiazepines are a class of medications commonly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and various other conditions. They work by enhancing the effect of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which has a calming effect on the nervous system. Common benzodiazepines available in the United States include:

  • Diazepam (Brand names: Valium)
  • Lorazepam (Brand names: Ativan)
  • Alprazolam (Brand names: Xanax)
  • Clonazepam (Brand names: Klonopin)
  • Temazepam (Brand names: Restoril)

While benzodiazepines are effective for managing symptoms of anxiety and insomnia, they can interact with other medications and nutrients, leading to potential side effects and nutrient depletions.

Supplement Interaction

  • Kava: Do not combine with supplements containing kava, because these have effects similar your to anti-anxiety medications. Read more in the article about Kava.

Drug-Nutrient Interactions and Depletions:

  • Melatonin: Benzodiazepines can interfere with the natural production of melatonin in the body, potentially affecting sleep-wake cycles. Melatonin has been found to improve people’s ability to discontinue benzodiazepine medications. [PMID: 26547856]
  • Vitamin D:  Long-term use of benzodiazepines has been linked to decreased bone density, in part due to potential interference with the metabolism of vitamin D and calcium. [PMC8373308] Vitamin D dosages should be adjusted based on your blood level with many clinicians recommending an optimal Vitamin D level of 50-80 ng/ml. Vitamin D Labs (affiliate link) can be ordered in the NutriScape Lab Shop.
  • B Vitamins: There is some evidence to suggest that chronic use of benzodiazepines may affect the metabolism of certain B vitamins, including vitamin B12 and folate, which are crucial for neurological function and mental health. [PMID: 19409441]

To Sum It Up

Benzodiazepines should be used with caution due to their potential to interact with other medications and affect nutrient levels in the body. Awareness of these interactions is important, especially for those with existing health conditions or those taking multiple medications. Regular monitoring and consultation with healthcare providers are essential to manage these interactions effectively, ensuring the safe and effective use of benzodiazepines. Adopting a holistic approach that considers medication, supplements, and lifestyle factors is key to maintaining optimal health and well-being, underpinned by professional medical advice.

This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.

About the Author

Stephanie Figon, MS, RDN, LD

Creator of Supplement Sciences and NutriScape.NET. As a dietitian since 1992, Steph has had experiences in consulting, 15 years in clinical, and has operated a private practice nutrition counseling office for since 2011. Log in to comment and save this article on your board or send your comments to

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