As depressants slow down brain activity, they cause other effects:
- slurred speech
- poor concentration
- shallow breathing, which can lead to overdose and even death.
- lack of coordination
Depressants should not be combined with any medicine or substance that causes sleepiness, like prescription pain medicines, certain over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines, or alcohol. If combined, they can slow both the heart rate and breathing increasing the risk of overdose and death.
Long-term effects are not known. However, over time, misuse of depressants can also lead to dependence, another reason they should only be used as prescribed. Dependence means you will feel uncomfortable or ill when you try to stop taking the drug, and it can lead to addiction.