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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 123-130

Benzodiazepine abuse among the elderly


Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Siddharth Sarkar
Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2348-9995.195605

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Benzodiazepines belong to the hypnotic-sedative class of drugs which have anxiolytic, sedative, and hypnotic properties. These drugs have been in clinical use for at least half a century. The propensity for development of dependence, especially on prescription benzodiazepines, coupled with the risk of falls and cognitive impairment due to benzodiazepines makes the elderly population susceptible to adverse outcomes with the use of benzodiazepines, and hence, cautious use is desired in this population. This review discusses the various aspects pertaining to benzodiazepine abuse in the elderly including pharmacology, prevalence of abuse, adverse consequences of benzodiazepine abuse, and subsequently assessment and management of elderly patients with benzodiazepine abuse.


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