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.