Benzodiazepines: stop as soon as possible

Benzodiazepines: stop as soon as possible


#Benzodiazepines #stop

In Brazil, the 40% increase consumption of benzodiazepines drew the attention of experts to the possible abuse of these substances. Most consumers are unaware that prolonged use of benzodiazepines is addictive. These drugs, which act on the central nervous system, have anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and hypnotic properties and are widely used in the treatment of sleep and anxiety disorders.

  • Types of benzodiazepines

  • Risks of using benzodiazepines

  • Duration of benzodiazepine use

    • Problems sleeping

    • Anxiety

  • Assess dependency and discontinue use

  • Interruption duration

    • Evaluate specific cases

    • Progressive interruption

  • Regular consultations

  • Achieve a dosage reduction

Types of benzodiazepines

There are several groups of benzodiazepines: benzodiazepines anxiolytics (Vératran®, Oxazepam®), benzodiazepines hypnotics (Rohypnol®), benzodiazepines anticonvulsants (Rivotril®, Valium®, Urbanil®) and benzodiazepines anti-H1 sedatives (Atarax®).

Risks of using benzodiazepines

The risks of using benzodiazepines and related drugs over a period of several months are daytime sleepiness, falls and accidents, as well as decreased memory. The risk of dependency it is also very important.

Despite the recommendations stipulating a limit for the consumption of these benzodiazepines, many people consume for months or even for many years. Scientific studies have already proven that side effects of this medication can appear with only a few weeks of use.

Duration of benzodiazepine use

Problems sleeping

The recommended duration of treatment for benzodiazepines and related drugs is a few days for occasional severe insomnia the four weeks for severe transient insomnia.

Anxiety

The recommended duration of treatment for benzodiazepines and related drugs is eight to twelve weeks for the treatment of severe and / or disabling manifestations of anxiety.

Assess dependency and discontinue use

People are considered capable of discontinuing treatment of benzodiazepines and related medications if they are motivated to do so, if they have no history of complications to stop medications and can be monitored regularly by a healthcare professional.

Interruption duration

We must tell the patient that the interruption can last three months to one year, sometimes even more, if necessary.

Evaluate specific cases

Indications for the prescription of benzodiazepines and related medications and their maintenance should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and according to the patient’s medical, psychological and social situation. In fact, the pace and timing of the interruption can be adapted for each person.

Progressive interruption

Treatment interruption should always be gradual, over a period of a few weeks to several months.

Regular consultations

It is essential to consult your doctor while week following the break treatment and consider regular follow-up for up to 6 months.

Achieve a dosage reduction

Even if the goal is to stop consuming benzodiazepines and related medications, which is sometimes difficult to obtain, to achieve decrease the dosage it’s already very positive.

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