open access

Vol 7, No 6 (2010)
Other materials agreed with the Editors
Published online: 2011-02-14
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Benzodiazepines in the elderly

Tomasz Sobów
Psychiatria 2010;7(6):244-249.

open access

Vol 7, No 6 (2010)
Akademia "Psychiatrii"
Published online: 2011-02-14

Abstract

Benzodiazepines are frequently prescribed in the elderly, usually as hypnotic or antianxiety agents. A typical consumer is a female with co-morbid medical (including chronic pain) and psychiatric conditions and taking multiple medications. There are age-related pharmakokinetic and pharmakodynamic changes that must be taken into account when prescribing benzodiazepines in the elderly. Significant adverse reactions that may be associated with benzodiazepines use in the elderly include falls, cognitive impairment, oversedation and motor coordination disturbances which may lead to impaiment in driving skills. Long-term use of benzodiazepines should be discouraged due to the risk of dependence and also the posibility of augmenting cognitive dysfunction and triggering dementia. Unrecognized and untreated benzodiazepine dependence may potentially result in serious medical complications, particularly in patients with numeorus co-morbid conditions.
Psychiatry 2010; 7, 6: 244–249

Abstract

Benzodiazepines are frequently prescribed in the elderly, usually as hypnotic or antianxiety agents. A typical consumer is a female with co-morbid medical (including chronic pain) and psychiatric conditions and taking multiple medications. There are age-related pharmakokinetic and pharmakodynamic changes that must be taken into account when prescribing benzodiazepines in the elderly. Significant adverse reactions that may be associated with benzodiazepines use in the elderly include falls, cognitive impairment, oversedation and motor coordination disturbances which may lead to impaiment in driving skills. Long-term use of benzodiazepines should be discouraged due to the risk of dependence and also the posibility of augmenting cognitive dysfunction and triggering dementia. Unrecognized and untreated benzodiazepine dependence may potentially result in serious medical complications, particularly in patients with numeorus co-morbid conditions.
Psychiatry 2010; 7, 6: 244–249
Get Citation

Keywords

benzodiazepines; elderly; pharmakokinetics; dependence; adverse reactions

About this article
Title

Benzodiazepines in the elderly

Journal

Psychiatria (Psychiatry)

Issue

Vol 7, No 6 (2010)

Article type

Other materials agreed with the Editors

Pages

244-249

Published online

2011-02-14

Bibliographic record

Psychiatria 2010;7(6):244-249.

Keywords

benzodiazepines
elderly
pharmakokinetics
dependence
adverse reactions

Authors

Tomasz Sobów

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