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Bromazolam and Synthetic Benzodiazepines

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By Freepik© Studio

With a recent rise in Bromazolam in the news, it’s important to look at what synthetic benzodiazepines are and how they can be dangerous. 

What is Bromazolam?

Triazolobenzodiazepine is a synthetic benzodiazepine drug also known as bromazolam. It was originally developed in 1976, but it was never sent to market. It is considered a Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS), meaning it does have some psychoactive effects along with the sedative effects of other benzodiazepines1.

Bromazolam is sold as tablets or powders, which means it can be used to adulterate drugs such as fentanyl or Alprazolam (Xanax®). Novel psychoactive substances belonging to the benzodiazepines class are usually purchased on the online drug market under various street names, such as “legal benzodiazepines”, “designer benzodiazepines” and “research chemicals”1. The trends from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction showed warning signs for Bromazolam being sold illicitly on the streets in 20162.

Learn more about designer benzodiazepines in our blog post by USDTL’s Research and Development Coordinator, Amy Racines.

By Freepik© Studio

Benzodiazepines and Pregnancy

The FDA has categories for drugs and related pregnancy risks. Benzodiazepines are considered a category D, which means that positive evidence of risk exists, but there are benefits from use that may outweigh the risk1. These drugs include Alprazolam, Chlordiazepoxide, Clonazepam, Diazepam, and Lorazepam. Drugs that are contraindicated in pregnancy, or should not be given to pregnant women, are estazolam, fluazepam, quazepam, temazepam and triazolam1

Neonatal withdrawal reactions have been observed in newborns after maternal benzodiazepine use in the last weeks of pregnancy. There is also concern that neonatal exposure during breastfeeding may lead to central nervous system depression1. Since Bromazolam is a benzodiazepine, it is important to keep these FDA categories in mind as there is more exposure to it.

Bromazolam in the News

There have been more articles highlighting the incoming danger of bromazolam being sold illicitly in the United States, sometimes falsely marketed as Xanax or Alprazolam. As of this blog post, here are three relevant news articles:


  1. Critical Review Report: Bromazolam, World Health Organization
  2. European Drug Report 2023: Trends and Developments