Table 67Study information table of included systematic reviews of benzodiazepines

StudyFocus of reviewMethod of synthesisInclusion criteriaResults
Ashton, 2005BenzodiazepinesNarrativeBenzodiazepine dependence
Inclusion criteria not clear
Benzodiazepine meets the criteria currently defining ‘substance dependence’
Long-term use can aggravate anxiety and cause deficits in learning, memory, attention and visuospatial ability
Escalation of dosage and chronic use can cause depression and sedation (causing accidents).
Chouinard (2004)BenzodiazepinesNarrativeAnxiety disordersCan experience recurrent symptoms (gradual return of original symptoms with same intensity)
Rebound symptoms (rapid return of original symptoms but worse than before treatment), for example, anxiety and insomnia; greater with benzodiazepines that have short to intermediate half-lives
New CNS withdrawal symptoms that were not part of original illness; minor in nature are, for example, insomnia, gastric problems and tremors; major in nature, but rare new symptoms, are seizures and psychosis
Memory impairments can be increased by the following factors: absorption rates (high lipid solubility), high potency, high dose, short-intermediate half-life and route of administration (Healey et al., 1983); affects delayed, not immediate word recall; triazolam and lorazepam mostly associated with amnesia
Cloos & Ferreira, 2009BenzodiazepinesNarrativeAnxiety disordersSedation, fatigue, ataxia, slurred speech, memory impairment and weakness Higher risk of adverse events and dependency in older people


Cover of Generalised Anxiety Disorder in Adults
Generalised Anxiety Disorder in Adults: Management in Primary, Secondary and Community Care.
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 113.
National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK).
Leicester (UK): British Psychological Society; 2011.
Copyright © 2011, The British Psychological Society & The Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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