In 1959, chlordiazepoxide (Librium) debuts and launches a potent new class of antianxiety agents, the benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines and subsequent derivatives rapidly replaced barbiturates and meprobamate, an earlier moderately successful anxiolytic agent discovered in 1950.
Today, benzodiazepines are considered among the most successful drugs treating the problems of the central nervous system. The highly tolerable and safe benzodiazepines also prove successful as hypnotic agents, muscle relaxants, and for treatment of epilepsy.
Alprazolam (Xanax, Frontin), Diazepam (Seduxen), Nitrazepam (Eunoctin), Clonazepam (Rivotril), Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), Flumazenil (also used as an antidote in the treatment of benzodiazepine overdoses) (Anexate), Midazolam (Dormicum)