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Sante Ment Que. 2003 Autumn;28(2):59-86.

[Benzodiazepine withdrawal in patients with generalized anxiety disorder: efficiency of a behavioral and cognitive intervention].

[Article in French]

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Ecole de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec.


Benzodiazepine medication is often prescribed for the short-term treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. The chronic nature of generalized anxiety disorder entails a prolonged use of these psychotropic medication on several months and several years, entailing also a psychological and physical addiction. The current study aims at determining if the combination of a behavioral and cognitive therapy and gradual withdrawal facilitate interrupting the use of benzodiazepine in patients with generalized anxiety disorder. In total, five participants have received the combined intervention according to an experimental protocol of unique case with multiple levels. Four among them have completed the withdrawal plan and have demonstrated important clinical improvements. Data collected during the 3rd and 6th month indicate the preservation of therapeutic gain. These results suggest that behavioral and cognitive therapy facilitates stopping the use of benzodiazepine medication in patients with generalized anxiety disorder by significantly reducing anxious symptoms.


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