Prazepam (Centrax)


What is Centrax Used For?

Centrax is the trade name for the drug Prazepam. Centrax belongs to the benzodiazepine family and is used for short term treatment of anxiety.

How Does Centrax Work?

Centrax contains anxiolytic, sedative, anticonvulsant and skeletal muscle relaxant properties that work to calm the patient and relieve anxiety. Centrax works by enhancing GABA function in the brain by modulating benzodiazepine receptors.

Designed for short term use, the patient’s dose of Centrax is usually tapered off to help reduce or prevent withdraw effects. A short does of Centrax goes a long way often lasting between 29 and 224 hours. Centrax is taken in tablet or capsule form and is taken orally usually 4 times a day.

What are the Side Effects of Centrax?

Many drugs have side effects and Centrax, is no different. Side effects associated with Centrax are reportedly less profound that other benzodiazepine’s and include:

  • Fatigue
  • Feeling “spacey”
  • Lethargy
  • Clumsiness
  • Mental slowness
  • Clouded thinking
  • Stomach cramps
  • Dry mouth
  • Slurred speech
  • Memory loss
  • Mood changes
  • Convulsions
  • Urinary problems

Tolerance for Centrax can build up with long term use as can drug dependence. Because of this, cessation of Centrax or reducing dosage can result in benzodiazepine withdrawl syndrome. The longer Centrax is taken and the higher the dosage the greater the chance for withdraw. Benzodiazepine withdrawl syndrome can cause:

  • Sweating
  • Tachycardia
  • Dysphoria
  • Psychomotor agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis


Centrax must be used with special precautions if patients are elderly, pregnant, children, or dependent on alcohol or drugs. Normally Centrax is not prescribed for patients under 18 and over age 60. Alcohol can have a bad interaction with Centrax and cause an increase in drowsiness and performance impairment.

A serious consideration with Centrax is the high ability to become addicted. Anyone with a history of alcohol or drug dependence issues is not a candidate for Centrax,

Taking Centrax while taking other medication can result in serious problems such as over sedation. It is important anyone taking Centrax provide full disclosure about what other medications they are taking.

For more information about Centrax and whether it is the best medication for you, consult your health care provider.


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