Techniques of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal in Clinical Practice
This is a report of a consensus conference on the management of the benzodiazepine-dependent patient. While the focus is on patients who are already dependent, it is better to avoid dependence in therapeutic use by careful patient selection, low dose and short term administration.
The management of dependence can normally be undertaken in general practice unless there are complicating factors, e.g. concomitant severe medical, psychiatric or social problems. Inpatient management is also preferable for those abusing drugs in the sociorecreational area. Withdrawal should be achieved by gradual dosage reduction over a period of several weeks. Support from the practitioner, family and friends is important to achieve good results. Since postwithdrawal problems occur, good clinician support is necessary over at least the next year.
Despite the risk of dependence, it is stressed that benzodiazepines are valuable therapeutic agents for several psychiatric and physical disorders.
KeywordsPhenobarbitone Alcohol Withdrawal Specialist Advice Dependent Patient Azepine
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