Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome: Presentations and Emergency Department Management – emDOCs.net – Emergency Medicine Education

Prescription benzodiazepines continue to be commonly prescribed drugs for treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. In 2015, more than 32 million people over the age of 12 reported use of benzodiazepines in the previous year. Of these, nearly 20% used benzodiazepines in a pattern of misuse (Figure 1).1 Benzodiazepines also ranked second among misused/abused drug related visits to the ED by patients aged 65 and older in 2011.2 The rates of long term benzodiazepine use have steadily increased over time. A retrospective study showed an age-related increase in the percentage of benzodiazepine use with higher rates of any benzodiazepine use in women at any age.3 Most of the patients with long term benzodiazepine use received their prescriptions from prescribers who were not psychiatrists.4 Benzodiazepine dependence can be seen within just 3-6 weeks of regular use at therapeutic doses.3

Source: emDOCs.net – Emergency Medicine EducationBenzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome: Presentations and Emergency Department Management – emDOCs.net – Emergency Medicine Education

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