Benzodiazepine and related hypno-sedatives increase the CNS depressant effects of alcohol to some extent. Alcohol modestly affects the pharmacokinetics of some benzodiazepines, and may increase aggression or amnesia, and/or reduce their anxiolytic effects.
The deterioration in the skills related to driving (as a result of the increased CNS depression that may occur) will depend on the particular drug in question, its dosage and the amounts of alcohol taken. The risk is heightened because the patient may be unaware of being affected. Some benzodiazepines used at night for sedation are still present in appreciable amounts the next day and therefore may continue to interact. Anyone taking any of these drugs should be warned that their usual response to alcohol may be greater than expected, and their ability to drive a car, or carry out any other tasks requiring alertness, may be impaired.
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