Etizolam (trade names Etilaam, Etizest) is a short-acting psychoactive drug of the thienodiazepine class which has been shown to produce depressant, anxiolytic, sedative, hypnotic, muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant, and amnestic effects. Etizolam, like benzodiazepines, binds to modulatory sites on the GABA gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors. Etizolam is not commonly prescribed and is not recognised as a controlled substance in many parts of the world, leading to its rise in popularity as a product of many research chemical vendors.
Etizolam has a relatively fast onset of action and symptomatic relief. 1 - 2 mg of Etizolam is of similar potency to 10mg Diazepam. For anxiety disorders associated with depression, 1 mg can be administered several times over the course of a day. Smaller doses may alleviate symptoms of panic, and it can be used before bed for relief of insomnia.
Etizolam is a structural relative of benzodiazepines, where by the benzene ring has been replaced by a thiophene ring, classifying it as a thienodiazepine. It is classed as a research chemical.
Benzodiazepines produce a variety of effects by binding to the benzodiazepine receptor site and magnifying the efficiency and effects of the neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) by acting on its receptors. As this site is the most prolific inhibitory receptor within the brain its modulation results in the sedating (or calming effects) of etizolam on the nervous system.
The effects listed below are based upon the subjective effects index and personal experiences of PsychonautWiki contributors. The listed effects will rarely if ever occur all at once but heavier dosages will increase the chances and are more likely to induce a full range of effects.
The physical effects of Etizolam can be broken down into 5 components all of which progressively intensify proportional to dosage. These are described below and generally include:
The cognitive effects of Etizolam can be broken down into 7 components all of which progressively intensify proportional to dosage. The general head space of Etizolam is described by many as one of intense sedation and decreased inhibition. It contains a large number of typical depressant cognitive effects.
The most prominent of these cognitive effects generally include:
The lethal dosage of Etizolam has not been established, however like many benzodiazepines it has a large therapeutic index and margin of safety. Complications may arise when administered in excess. Intentional overdoses have been reported.
As with all GABAergic drugs, overdose can be lethal when mixed with other depressants including alcohol or opioids.
Tolerance will develop to the sedative-hypnotic effects within a couple of days of repeated administration. Abrupt discontinuation of Etizolam, following regular dosing over several days, can result in a withdrawal phase which includes rebound symptoms such as increased anxiety and insomnia. It is possible to gradually reduce the dose over the course of several days, which will lengthen the duration of the withdrawal period, but reduce the perceived intensity.
Thienodiazepine discontinuation is notoriously difficult; it is potentially life threatening for individuals using regularly to discontinue use without tapering their dose over a period of weeks. There is an increased risk of seizure following discontinuation of Etizolam. Drugs which lower the seizure threshold such as tramadol should be avoided during withdrawal.