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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2008 Jan 17;128(2):166-70.

[Benzodiazepine-like hypnotics--attitudes and prescription practice among general practitioners].

[Article in Norwegian]

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  • 1Institutt for laboratoriemedisin, barne- og kvinnesykdommer, Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The large increase in sales of the benzodiazepine-like hypnotics (z-hypnotics) zopiclone and zolpidem over the last decade prompted an investigation into Norwegian general practitioners' prescription habits, knowledge of and attitudes to these drugs.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

A questionnaire was distributed to all 928 registered GPs in six Norwegian counties. The physicians were asked to assess statements, patient vignettes and drug preferences with regard to z-hypnotic and benzodiazepine prescription practice. The responders were anonymized and grouped with respect to gender, county, years of professional experience, knowledge and attitudes.

RESULTS:

A total of 321 (36%) of the GPs responded. Among the respondents, physicians with adequate knowledge about clinical use of and restrictive prescription attitudes towards z-hypnotics and benzodiazepines prescribed these drugs with a lower frequency. Prescription rates did not vary as a function of sex, geographical localization, work experience or knowledge about drug pharmacodynamics. A total of 56% of the respondents preferred zopiclone to zolpidem, whereas 8% preferred zolpidem. Many of the factors, which were used to justify the preferences, were irrelevant or erroneous.

INTERPRETATION:

The study revealed a lack of factual knowledge about these drugs, and may suggest that a rational prescription practice is restrictive.

PMID:
18202726
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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