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What Is Etizolam?

L. Whitaker
L. Whitaker

Etizolam is a thienodiazepine-based drug with multiple therapeutic properties that is sometimes used to treat anxiety, panic disorder, depression, or sleep disorders. At least one clinical trial has found etizolam to be more effective than a placebo in alleviating symptoms of depression and generalized anxiety disorder. This medication's effects are similar to those of the benzodiazepine drug family that includes lorazepam, clonazepam, and triazolam. As of 2011, this drug was not approved for any use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, although it is used in some other countries. In Italy, it is known by the trade name Depas, while in Japan it goes by a number of brand names such as Capsafe, Sedekopan, and Eticalm.

Side effects are said to be mild or moderate, depending on the therapeutic dose given for specific conditions; the most common effect of etizolam is sleepiness during daytime hours. The dosage tends to be carefully monitored because of the risk of a fatal overdose. This drug is typically reserved for short-term use, due to its chemical similarity to the benzodiazepines. The long-term effects of benzodiazepine medications can include disturbing nighttime dreams, memory loss, hostile behavior, and physical addiction. People who abruptly stop taking benzodiazepines tend to experience severe withdrawal symptoms, sometimes requiring hospitalization.

The most common side effect of etizolam is sleepiness during daytime hours.
The most common side effect of etizolam is sleepiness during daytime hours.

Like its benzodiazepine-based cousins, etizolam is sometimes sought as an illicit drug for recreational use. Using this drug in search of a so-called high can be dangerous because of the impaired judgment it causes. In addition, there is a significant increase in the likelihood of overdose when etizolam is combined with alcohol.

Benzodiazepines can have varied therapeutic effects, depending on the dosage of the particular drug. These medications tend to be sedating at low doses, whereas higher doses can have anxiolytic or hynotic effects. In some medical cases, they can also be used to prevent seizures. Diazepam and alprazolam are two of the most common benzodiazepines to be obtained illegally for recreational use. Illicit users of cocaine or narcotic medications are said to be more likely to also abuse benzodiazepine drugs.

Etizolam may be used to treat depression.
Etizolam may be used to treat depression.

One benzodiazepine medicine that has gained media attention is flunitrazepam or Rohypnol®, also known informally as "roofies." In some high-profile cases, this medication has been used in combination with alcohol to render another person unconscious for the purpose of sexual assault. For this reason, flunitrazepam has become known as the so-called date rape drug.

Discussion Comments


@literally45 You are wrong in just about everything you said

1. It is a thienotriazolodiazepine.

2. It is very similar to a benzodiazepine, and is in fact an analog

3. Potency is very similar to Alprazolam (Xanax)

4. It has a lower LD50 than most benzodiazepines, so it is in fact harder to overdose on, and inherently safer.

5. It is widely available from online vendors globally and legally

6. A benefit is that it does not accumulate as readily as typical benzodiazepines making tolerance/dependence build more slowly, and in some cases reverse tolerance has been observed making it less addictive and more effective.

If anything it is a better, safer, and more useful amnesic, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, hypnotic, sedative and skeletal muscle relaxant than the traditional Benzodiazepines we see on the market now.


There sure are a lot of "keyboard doctors" roaming around thinking that they know it all.

Yes, etizolam is not a benzodiazepine, but it targets the exact same receptor as all benzodiazepines and any other drug which works upon the Gaba-A system. The statement about it not being allowed in the US because of its potency is just wrong. It's not any easier to overdose on than any other Gaba-A acting drug. Alprazolam (Xanax) and Clonazepam (klonopin), both of which are more potent than Valium. 0.5mg of either drug will equal to about 10mg of diazepam, and both drugs are also more potent than etizolam. Explain the logic about how etizolam is not approved by the FDA because of its potency? Take a look at some barbiturates (which were replaced by the benzodiazepines because of overdose potential). There are many drugs which work upon the gaba-a receptors that are more potent than etizolam. Explain again why the FDA didn't approve of it because of its potency. Oh, and it will not have greater side effects than any other benzodiazepine or gaba-a acting drug, they all have the same side effect profile. It doesn't matter about the benzene ring being missing making it a thienodiazepine; it works on the same receptors! That's all that matters in the end.

The bottom line is, etizolam works on the Gaba-A receptor system. Its' just like a benzo, z-drug, or barbiturate. This should be common sense, but then again, not everyone has been to medical school, although a lot of know-it-alls write a bunch of crap on the internet as if they have the answers to everything in life.


Etizolam is not authorized for use in America. You can get arrested for using it. If caught in your possession, it counts as a controlled substance.


Etizolam is used in India. My doctor in India prescribed it for me when I was living there. I don't think this drug is more dangerous than any other anti-depressive drug out there. As long as it's taken under doctor supervision and in the recommended doses, it's fine.

Etizolam was actually very effective for me. It improved my mood immediately and it did not make me as drowsy as some other anti-depressive drugs I've tried. I also did not have a hard time coming off of it, but I did taper slowly. I think the FDA should reconsider.


@ddljohn--Etizolam is not a benzodiazepine. It's a thienodiazepine. Thienodiazepine has thiophene and benzodiazepine doesn't. So they're not the same or even similar.

It might not be allowed in the US because of its potency. As far as I know, it's extremely potent, about ten times as strong as some benzodiazepines. So it's easy to overdose on it and yes, side effects will be greater than with benzodiazepines.

There is already a lot of benzo abuse in this country. So I'm glad that drugs like etizolam are kept out. This medication is not necessary for those who suffer from anxiety and depression. There are many other, effective and safer alternatives available.


Why isn't etizolam approved in the US? Is it because more studies have to be done to prove its effectiveness? Or does it have too many side effects? But why would a developed country like Japan use it then? There are many benzodiazepine group of drugs on the market in the US, I don't know why etizolam is not allowed.

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    • The most common side effect of etizolam is sleepiness during daytime hours.
      By: Eléonore H
      The most common side effect of etizolam is sleepiness during daytime hours.
    • Etizolam may be used to treat depression.
      By: Antonioguillem
      Etizolam may be used to treat depression.
    • Etizolam may be used to treat sleep disorders.
      By: MaxRiesgo
      Etizolam may be used to treat sleep disorders.
    • There is a significant increase in the likelihood of overdose when etizolam is combined with alcohol.
      By: lacamerachiara
      There is a significant increase in the likelihood of overdose when etizolam is combined with alcohol.