open access

Vol 11, No 1 (2014)
Review paper
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Safe and effective use of benzodiazepines in psychiatric disorders and other comorbid conditions

Krzysztof Krysta
Psychiatria 2014;11(1):9-14.

open access

Vol 11, No 1 (2014)
Prace poglądowe - nadesłane

Abstract

Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive drugs used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and other psychiatric disorders. They
are among the most frequently prescribed drugs in Poland and worldwide. Benzodiazepines have a sedative, hypnotic,
antidepressant, anticonvulsant and myorelaxant action. They act by increasing GABA-ergic transmission. A short-term
use of these drugs is safe and effective. However, their long-term use is associated with an increased risk of a development
of tolerance and dependence. The first drug of this chemical group was synthesized in 1955 by Leo Sternbach.
The most common indications for the use of benzodiazepines include anxiety disorders - generalized anxiety and panic
disorder, insomnia, seizures, alcohol withdrawal, treatment of disorders of consciousness. Particular drugs of this group
vary in their duration of action different metabolism, clinical effect, which means that part of them have more anxiolytic
potency and others exhibit more pronounced hypnotic or anticonvulsive action. They are also diversified as myorelaxants.
A proper use of agents known as benzodiazepines is safe, but their abuse can lead to addiction. It is important that
when the drug is administered to the patient, a suitable psychoeducation is provided aimed at the safe and effective
use, prevent the development of a dependence syndrome.

Abstract

Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive drugs used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and other psychiatric disorders. They
are among the most frequently prescribed drugs in Poland and worldwide. Benzodiazepines have a sedative, hypnotic,
antidepressant, anticonvulsant and myorelaxant action. They act by increasing GABA-ergic transmission. A short-term
use of these drugs is safe and effective. However, their long-term use is associated with an increased risk of a development
of tolerance and dependence. The first drug of this chemical group was synthesized in 1955 by Leo Sternbach.
The most common indications for the use of benzodiazepines include anxiety disorders - generalized anxiety and panic
disorder, insomnia, seizures, alcohol withdrawal, treatment of disorders of consciousness. Particular drugs of this group
vary in their duration of action different metabolism, clinical effect, which means that part of them have more anxiolytic
potency and others exhibit more pronounced hypnotic or anticonvulsive action. They are also diversified as myorelaxants.
A proper use of agents known as benzodiazepines is safe, but their abuse can lead to addiction. It is important that
when the drug is administered to the patient, a suitable psychoeducation is provided aimed at the safe and effective
use, prevent the development of a dependence syndrome.
Get Citation

Keywords

benzodiazepines, safety, addiction, current indications

About this article
Title

Safe and effective use of benzodiazepines in psychiatric disorders and other comorbid conditions

Journal

Psychiatria (Psychiatry)

Issue

Vol 11, No 1 (2014)

Article type

Review paper

Pages

9-14

Bibliographic record

Psychiatria 2014;11(1):9-14.

Keywords

benzodiazepines
safety
addiction
current indications

Authors

Krzysztof Krysta

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