A patient is admitted to the psychiatric unit for acute agitation and anxiety. The physician orders a long-acting benzodiazepine. The nurse expects to administer which of the following?
• Benzodiazepines are GABA agonists. GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. These medications decrease anxiety and agitation and cause sedation.
• Tip: Note the common "-am" suffix in these medications.
• Diazepam (Valium) is a long-acting benzodiazepine used for sedation and to treat anxiety.
• Incorrect: Midazolam is a short-acting benzodiazepine usually administered in surgery.
• Incorrect: Lorazepam (Ativan) and clonazepam (Klonopin) are intermediate-acting benzodiazepines.