The drug has been marketed as an anxiolytic since 1975 and an anticonvulsant since 1984. It is available in two brand names, Frisium and Urbanol. It is available only in oral form. It can be used as an effective treatment of anxiety and in India is approved for use to treat epilepsy. In the United Kingdom it is used as a short-term agent in schizophrenia, other psychotic disorders and for acute anxiety. It is generally used for patients who have not responded to other drugs and for those who are without uncontrolled clinical depression.
The drug has a benzodiazepine derivative. Benzodiazepine relaxes the muscles and helps to regulate the electrical signals in the brain and nerves to enable them to function properly. If the brain receives rapid electrical signals it becomes over-stimulated and this can result in seizures. The drug works by acting on the GABA receptors in the brain by calming the nerves. This helps to stabilise the activity in the brain and can help to prevent fits and seizures, and therefore promotes normal brain function. It is used short-term because of the development of dependence upon the drug.
The medicine is known to cause drowsiness and muscle weakness, and other side effects can be irritation, aggressiveness, experience of delusions, rages, nightmares and hallucinations. The drug is only available with a prescription.