What Is Nordiazepam?

Nordiazepam is a benzodiazepine and one of three metabolites of diazepam commonly used to treat anxiety, seizures and other medical conditions, according to Practical Pain Management. Diazepam is the generic name for the drug often sold as Valium. Since diazepam is the “parent” drug, nordiazepam frequently appears on toxicology reports regarding both nordiazepam and diazepam use.

Practical Pain Management explains that diazepam is metabolized into two primary metabolites, one of which is nordiazepam. This is the primary urinary metabolite which is then metabolized further into oxazepam. Temazepam is the second of the primary metabolites and is also metabolized into oxazepam. A patient frequently taking diazepam will show all three metabolites. They are usually detectable in a urine screening for two to seven days.

Benzodiazepines have muscle-relaxant, sedative, anti-convulsant, hypnotic, amnesiac and anxiolytic effects. They are prescribed in tandem with opioids to treat chronic pain. This method of prescription has been shown to provide greater relief from chronic pain, but does increase a patient’s risk of overdose. According to ABC News, benzodiazepines are fast-acting and patients usually respond after the first few doses. This is one of the reasons they are often used to treat those who need quick symptom relief. While they are generally well tolerated, benzodiazeprines are known to cause sedation and possible dependence on the drug. Patients are advised to cease the medication slowly and under the care of a physician, as symptoms from sudden withdrawal can be severe.