Descriptions, Characteristics and Uses of Clorazepate

Clorazepate binds to the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA receptor in order to exert its effects and attribute efficacy against the indications of this drug. This neurotransmitter can bind to both A and B receptors. Continue reading to find out how this drug works.
Descriptions, Characteristics and Uses of Clorazepate

Last update: 23 February, 2021

Dipotassium Clorazepate is the active ingredient of the brand names of Tranxene, Tranxilium, and Novo-Clopate, among others. This is a drug that belongs to the benzodiazepine family with hypnotic, anxiolytic, and anticonvulsant properties.

Doctors prescribe it in cases of anxiety due to said properties — except those that reach a psychiatric dimension.

Uses of Clorazepate

This drug is used for treating states of isolated anxiety or the kind that’s due to another disease. It’s also used in the treatment of insomnia and depression that have an anxiety component.

These aren’t the only indications for this drug, however. In general, we can say that Clorazepate is for treating anxiety or anxious states isolated or associated with depressive states.

In addition, this is specifically the prodrug of desmethyldiazepam, an active metabolite of diazepam, which is another widely used benzodiazepine.

Characteristics of anxiety

An anxious person.

You should know the main conditions this drug is usually prescribed for in order to better understand its effectiveness. In this respect, one could say anxiety is a normal body response, a mechanism of adaptation to certain dangerous situations. Thus, it’s useful to anticipate problems and prevent them.

Everyone has experienced anxiety at some point in their lives. However, this state of fear isn’t proportional to some situations it provokes and interferes in the daily life of some individuals. So, it’s no longer a normal state and becomes pathological.

During an anxiety disorder, a patient may feel any of the following symptoms:

  • Feeling of nervousness
  • Increased heart rate and palpitations
  • Tremors
  • Excessive sweating
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Insomnia

However, each person develops different symptoms and every patient will experience anxiety attacks in their own way.

The effect of Clorazepate on the body

As we mentioned above, this is a benzodiazepine. Furthermore, this type of medication exerts its action on the central nervous system and can produce the following:

  • Sedation
  • Hypnosis
  • Skeletal muscle relaxation
  • Anticonvulsant effects

The drug binds to the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA receptor in order to achieve all these effects and to attribute efficacy against the indications mentioned above. This neurotransmitter can bind to either GABA-A or GABA-B receptors.

The former is found in the central nervous system in greater quantity and its activation is responsible for the anxiolytic and sedative effects. As you can see, the drug considerably potentiates the effects of the neurotransmitter by binding to this receptor.

In addition, it can also improve sleep. Thanks to its effects on the GABA receptor, it reduces sleep latency and increases its continuity.

Finally, its anticonvulsant properties are due to its ability to act as an inhibitor of presynaptic suppression of nerve impulse transmission.

Side effects of Clorazepate

A neuronal system.

Like all drugs on the market, this benzodiazepine can also produce a series of adverse side effects you must take into account when beginning treatment with it.

Adverse reactions are all those undesirable and unintended events in any drug treatment. In this respect, the most reported side effects in clinical trials with this drug depend on the dose administered.

The most common ones are:

  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Headaches
  • Skin rash
  • Depression
  • Speech problems
  • Drowsiness

People may experience other side effects in addition to the above. This is because every person reacts differently to the same treatments.

In addition, like all benzodiazepines, Clorazepate can trigger dependency and lead to a withdrawal syndrome in those who abruptly interrupt treatment.

This kind of treatment should only be interrupted in cases where the patient experiences symptoms of nervous stimulation, such as mania, tremor, anxiety, nightmares, or insomnia.

Other recommendations

Finally, Clorazepate is a benzodiazepine that’s mainly used to treat anxiety disorders. It can produce dependence and tolerance, so a user must have enough information about it and should never skip medical recommendations. Note that the misuse of this drug can lead to serious health problems.

It might interest you...
All About Anxiolytics or Anxiety Medications
Step To HealthRead it in Step To Health
All About Anxiolytics or Anxiety Medications

In the following article, we'll tell you everything you need to know about anxiety medications for those who suffer from chronic anxiety.



  • Skupin, G., & Franzke, H. G. (1975). The role of chlorazepate dipotassium (Tranxilium) in the therapy of psychosomatic syndromes. Medizinische Klinik.
  • Ochs, H. R., Kliems, G., Otten, H., Greenblatt, D. J., & Bodem, G. (1979). Beeinflussung der Absorption von Dikalium-Chlorazepat (Tranxilium) durch Alter und Gastrektomie. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-85454-5_317
  • Rybakowski, J., Rajewski, A., Kobus, A., & Strzyzewski, W. (1983). Evaluation of the clinical efficacy of clorazepate dipotassium (tranxilium 20) administered once daily in neurotic disorders. Psychiatria Polska.
  • Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006–. Clorazepate. 2020 Sep 21. PMID: 30000269.