How do benzodiazepines affect GABA?

Benzodiazepines enhance the effect of GABA at the GABA-a receptor, resulting in sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant properties. High doses of many shorter-acting benzodiazepines may also affect GABA by anterograde amnesia and dissociation. Short- and intermediate-acting benzodiazepines are preferred for the treatment of insomnia; longer-acting benzodiazepines are recommended for the treatment of anxiety. This is the way benzodiazepines affect GABA.

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