Categories: Side effects

Contraindications and side effects of Orfidal

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Discover the contraindications and side effects of Orfidal.

This type of benzodiazepine is used for some anxiety problems.

Anxiety is, along with depression, one of the most frequent psychological problems worldwide. Our lifestyle can cause a deep activation and reaction of both the mind and the body.

This anxiety may be a mere temporary annoyance for some, but others may find themselves facing a disabling obstacle that they are unable to fight.Contraindications and side effects of Orfidal


Fortunately, there are various therapies to help manage it and reduce its affectation, both at the level of psychotherapy and the pharmacological level.

Among the latter, we can find one of the most widely known anxiolytic drugs by the population: Orfidal .

Throughout this article, we will see what this drug is, how it works, and what it is prescribed for, as well as its possible side effects and contraindications.

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What is Orfidal?

It receives the name of Orfidal one of the most popular and used psychotropic drugs which are part of the group of drugs with psychoactive effects known as anxiolytics, and within these, benzodiazepines.

The main active ingredient in this drug is Lorazepam: Orfidal is one of the trade names for this substance.

As a benzodiazepine, Orfidal is a drug mainly prescribed as an anxiolytic and is also considered a hypnotic-sedative, in addition to having effects at the level of muscle relaxation and as an anticonvulsant.

It is a highly effective drug, although it also has some addictive potential and can cause some side effects.

This drug is part of the intermediate-life benzodiazepines, which means that it remains in the body for a period of between twelve and twenty-four hours and its effects remain in effect for a relatively long time throughout the day.

Mechanism of action

The operation of Orfidal, whose active principle is, as we have said, Lorazepam, is mainly based on a mechanism of action in which the drug acts as an indirect agonist of type A gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors.

In other words, Orfidal acts at the neuronal level, favoring and increasing the activity of one of the brain neurotransmitters that have the greatest role in inhibiting or reducing neuronal activation, GABA.

It is the increase in the latter that reduces anxiety symptoms and generates effects of relaxation and sedation.


The effect is especially relevant in the limbic system, the main area of the brain that governs the emotional sphere, as well as different regions of the cortex which allow information processing and reasoning.

The usefulness of this drug is enormous and is highly effective, with the advantage that it usually does not generate excessively disabling side effects and allows us to continue with our day-to-day normally.

Therapeutic indications: in which disorders is it used?

The main indication for Orfidal or any drug with the same active principle is fundamentally the treatment of short-term anxiety, regardless of whether or not there is an anxiety disorder or if we are facing a reaction to a specific stimulus or situation.

Of course, this drug should only be used in situations of great stress and anguish (with a medical indication), since it also has its disadvantages and risks.

In addition to this, as a hypnotic-sedative, it is also especially useful when carrying out a pharmacological treatment for insomnia or for other sleep disorders in which it appears by default.

It is also often used during depressive pictures, since sleep problems and the comorbid appearance of anxious symptoms are frequent in them, and also in other disorders in which a level of intense emotion appears.


It is also used in people with problems derived from the withdrawal of substances such as alcohol.

It is also not surprising that it is used in the treatment of some organic diseases linked to anxiety problems, such as irritable bowel or the presence of ulcers, or even to treat problems such as nausea in chemotherapy treatment for cancer.


Likewise, and although it is not an indication as such, it is sometimes used for the treatment of epilepsy due to its anticonvulsant properties.

Side effects of Orfidal

Although highly prescribed and very useful, the truth is that the consumption of Orfidal is not without risks or the emergence of possible undesirable side effects.

There are also specific sectors of the population that should not take it, having it contraindicated.

As the main and most notorious side effects, we can first find the existence of sedation.

Although depending on the case and the situation it may be useful, the sedative action of the drug may make it difficult to maintain wakefulness during the day and decrease performance and productivity in various areas, as well as feelings of fatigue and reluctance.

Another possible side effect is the emergence of a state of affective dullness and a slight feeling of suffocation.

You may see the loss of muscle tone, confusion, or retardation. In addition, it is not uncommon for dizziness or difficulties in coordination of movements and speech to appear.

Although it is sometimes used in depressions with anxious characteristics, the truth is that it can also lead to the appearance of depressive symptoms.


It is not uncommon for specific memory problems to appear, often at the level of difficulties in learning new things or remembering a specific event since it also has amnesic properties.

It can also generate an alteration at the sexual level, causing a decrease in libido in both sexes or erection problems in men. Vertigo and digestive problems and nausea are also possible.

Less common but also possible are hypersensitivity and allergy reactions, decreased body temperature, hypotension, hyponatremia (lack of sodium), and constipation.

Sometimes paradoxical reactions can occur, that is, contrary to what the drug would generally do: generate anxiety, nervousness, panic, agitation, muscle tension, emotional lability, and irritability.

In addition, it is also possible that conditions that can become life-threatening such as thrombocytopenia and agranulocytosis appear, in which there is a decrease in platelets and white and/or red blood cells (thrombocytopenia and agranulocytosis).

Contraindications of Orfidal

Orfidal is contraindicated in people with heart problems, bradycardia, and depression or cardiorespiratory insufficiencies since its action favors the appearance of these types of problems. Also people with liver failure.

Similarly, people with hypoxia or lack of oxygen should also avoid its use. Pregnant women should also avoid it, at least during the first trimester.

Nor should it be consumed by children or nursing mothers, since it facilitates the acquisition of dependence and withdrawal syndromes by minors to this drug. Do not drive or use heavy machinery after consumption due to sedation.


Likewise, the combination with alcohol and other drugs should be avoided, in addition to the fact that in the case of using another type of medication it will be necessary to inform the doctor due to the possible interaction between drugs and their possible effects.

Finally, it should be taken into account that Lorazepam is a substance that, like the rest of the benzodiazepines, has addictive potential, so its consumption must be extremely professionally prescribed and not be prolonged beyond twelve weeks.

Likewise, the cessation of its consumption should be scheduled and carried out gradually, never suddenly, due to the risk of the appearance of withdrawal syndromes.


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