Nitrazolam is categorized as a triazolobenzodiazepine (TBZD), which belongs to the class of benzodiazepine (BZD) derivatives. This compound has been illicitly marketed online as a designer drug.

It shares a close chemical relationship with substances like clonazolam and flunitrazolam, differing only in the absence of a chlorine or fluorine group, respectively, on the benzene ring.

Studies conducted on mice have suggested that nitrazolam may exhibit several times more potency than diazepam in countering electroshock-induced tonic-extensor convulsions. However, it appears to be less effective than diazepam in preventing the righting reflex.

Nitrazolam has also served as an illustrative compound for demonstrating the microscale synthesis of reference materials using polymer-supported reagents.

IUPAC name
CAS Number28910-99-8
PubChem CID20317278
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass319.324 g·mol−1

Legal status

In the United Kingdom, nitrazolam was categorized as a Class C substance through the May 2017 revision of The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, a change that also encompassed various other designer benzodiazepine compounds.


1. What is Nitrazolam?

Nitrazolam is a benzodiazepine derivative and a member of the triazolobenzodiazepine (TBZD) class. It is sometimes sold as a designer drug and is known for its sedative and anxiolytic effects.

2. Is Nitrazolam legal?

The legal status of Nitrazolam varies from country to country. In some regions, it may be classified as a controlled substance, while in others, it might not be explicitly regulated. It’s essential to be aware of the specific legal status in your location.

3. What are the effects of Nitrazolam?

Nitrazolam is primarily known for its soothing effects, including relaxation and anxiety reduction. It can also be used to induce sleep.

4. How is Nitrazolam related to other benzodiazepines?

Nitrazolam is closely related to other designer benzodiazepines like clonazolam and flunitrazolam. These compounds share structural similarities, with differences often involving the presence or absence of specific chemical groups.

5. Is Nitrazolam safe to use?

The safety of Nitrazolam has not been comprehensively studied. As with all benzodiazepines, there are potential risks associated with its use, including the risk of dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and adverse effects when misused.

6. What are the potential side effects of Nitrazolam?

Side effects may include drowsiness, dizziness, impaired coordination, memory issues, and, in some cases, paradoxical reactions, where users experience increased anxiety or agitation.

7. Is Nitrazolam addictive?

Like other benzodiazepines, Nitrazolam has the potential for addiction when used regularly or at high doses. Users should exercise caution and seek medical guidance if they have concerns about addiction.

8. Can Nitrazolam be used for medical purposes?

Nitrazolam is not approved for medical use in most countries. Typically, benzodiazepines are prescribed by healthcare professionals for specific medical conditions, such as anxiety disorders or insomnia, under strict supervision.

9. How can I seek help or support related to Nitrazolam use?

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or dependence on Nitrazolam or any other substance, it is highly recommended to seek professional help from a healthcare provider or addiction treatment centre. Support from friends and family can also be crucial in the recovery process.

10. Where can I find more information about Nitrazolam?

To learn more about Nitrazolam, consult healthcare professionals and refer to reputable medical and scientific sources for the latest research and guidance on benzodiazepines and designer drugs. Always prioritize safety and responsible use when dealing with substances of this nature.


  1. Hester Jr JB (19 October 1976). “Patent US3987052 – 6-Phenyl-4H-s-triazolo[4,3-a][1,4]benzodiazepines,” was issued to The Upjohn Company, highlighting an early patent related to the chemical structure of Nitrazolam.
  2. Nitrazolam is listed in the New Synthetic Drugs Database, indicating its presence in the realm of designer drugs.
  3. Moosmann B, Bisel P, Franz F, Huppertz LM, Auwärter V (November 2016). “Characterization and in vitro phase I microsomal metabolism of designer benzodiazepines – an update,” provides valuable insights into the metabolism of designer benzodiazepines, including Nitrazolam, among others.
  4. Hester JB, Rudzik AD, Kamdar BV (November 1971). “6-phenyl-4H-s-triazolo[4,3-a][1,4]benzodiazepines which have central nervous system depressant activity,” underscores early research on compounds related to Nitrazolam and their potential effects on the central nervous system.
  5. Dowling G, Kavanagh PV, Eckhardt HG, Twamley B, Hessman G, McLaughlin G, et al. (March 2018). “An approach to shortening the timeframe between the emergence of new compounds on the drugs market and the availability of reference standards: The microscale syntheses of nitrazolam and clonazolam for use as reference materials, utilizing polymer-supported reagents,” discusses the synthesis of Nitrazolam for use as a reference material in drug testing and analysis.
  6. “The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2017” signifies a legal amendment relevant to the classification and regulation of substances, including Nitrazolam, within the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971.

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