Withdrawal from diazepam.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 35.29). 08/1977; 238(4):306.
Article: Benzodiazpine withdrawal effects[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: 1. Twenty-nine patients with anxiety neurosis who had completed a one week placebo, three week active drug study on either halazepam or oxazepam were observed for eight weeks for withdrawal effects. Half of the patients received a placebo for the first two weeks of the withdrawal study and half had all medication abruptly stopped. 2. There was no significant difference in the pattern of withdrawal between halazepam, an intermediate range benzodiazepine, and oxazepam, a short acting benzodiazepine. 3. Withdrawal symptoms were apparent, maximally between week 1 and 2 together with possible rebound effects. 4. Patients who received placebo had significantly less severe withdrawal symptoms than those who had their medication abruptly discontinued.
Article: Benzodiazepine dependence[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Benzodiazepines (BDPs) are widely used drugs that are effective in controlling the symptoms of anxiety. Tolerance develops rapidly to some of the effects but not to anxiolytic effect in most patients. Dependence occurs at usual therapeutic doses and in a small proportion of patients is accompanied by an enormous increase in the dose taken. The majority of subjects using very high doses are dependent on other substances concurrently.On discontinuing BDPs patients may suffer from relapse of the original condition, rebound in the severity of the symptoms of the original condition or the onset of new symptoms in an abstinence syndrome. If BDPs are discontinued abruptly there may be severe consequences such as seizures. With tapering of the dose, even if this is rapid and from high dose, high potency BDP, the subject will probably experience considerable discomfort but rarely life-threatening effects.Whilst there is concern that BDPs are used too freely, the conditions treated are accompanied by significant morbidity and mortality. The prevalence of pure BDP dependence is low and it is still a matter of debate as to how often BDPs should be prescribed, for which conditions and for what length of time.
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